I am not sure whether this is because times have changed. Or people have changed. Maybe both.
I have been doing lectures for the past 30 years now. My beginnings as a lecturer in 1984 were humble. I did my first lecture explaining (in detail) precisely three tricks/routines. That was it.
In the course of the years, I improved and added more to the lecture. Because I saw what the other lecturers were doing, the ones coming from over the big pond, they showed and explained their routines, and then they SOLD stuff!
Something new at that time; the people attending the lectures willingly paid for the new ‘stuff’.
Nowadays, a lecture has mutated into the event of a sale. The only reason to do a conference seems to sell the wares that has been prepared for this.
The ‘fee’ paid for a lecture has gone down to almost nothing. The organisers insist that the lecturer has the ‘chance’ to make her money by selling. And that she should be grateful for being allowed to do so by the club/organisation.
Meanwhile, the audience at lectures has changed. What used to be a get-together of magicians (persons interested in the art of magic) now comprises ‘laymen’, that have just a marginal interest for magic. People that discovered magic as their new hobby, spare time activity and a chance to show that they are something special.
See the audience assembled in one hundred of live lectures and at-the-table events. See the DVD series of some big production companies in our industry. Inspect how magic is made ‘commercial’ in these productions. See the change?
Now it seems to be more important at live lecture events to socialise, to brush up the ego by showing up and all that gossip. Buying the newest stuff is part of that routine.
Where will all this lead?
It forces creators to ‘create new stuff’ to survive in this shark pool. Some create magic and gimmicks that are not needed. Just for the ‘market’, just for the customers (who buy the crap).
The appreciation for classical, solid creations that have stood the test of time (and are still better than most of the new stuff) has diminished.
These people talk about progress in magic and evolution of technique. But they are just interested in something ‘new’. Something that tickles their fancy and satisfies their curiosity.
Because they are not real magicians, they are not into the art, and they are just visitors on a casual level. How should they know what makes up good magic, something others needed a lifetime of dedication to discover and practise?
The industry helps in this. Tricks, ideas, concepts and routines are being ripped-off relentlessly by unscrupulous magic companies. They have no longer any respect for creators and their intellectual property.
I love the expression: 90% of everything is crap. When I take a detailed look at our industry, I have to come to this conclusion: 90% in the magic industry is crap.
Sad. But true.