In a rather candid video, Chris Ramsay has recently announced he’s no longer going to be creating magic tutorials on his YouTube channel.
The move seems to be in response to some recent criticism on social media from illusionist R. Paul Wilson, who alleges that a recent YouTube tutorial video made by Ramsay featured a move of Wilson’s creation without permission, and that he used it to sell his own deck of cards.
Hey @chrisramsay52 – What gives you the right to share my move (and a Bernard Bilis sleight) in a public video while pitching your new cards? Some of us had to create our own ideas to share and sell and would prefer if you didn’t pick our pockets without the decency to credit.
— RPW (@SWEshift) April 5, 2018
Ramsay used the video to apologize both to Wilson and Bernard Bilis (who Wilson also mentioned in the above tweet), and to explain that he never meant to teach his specific move. According to the video, he’d attempted to source the trick, and asked a number of his friends where the trick came from, but the only response he could find was that it was “old”, so he went ahead with filming. (As an aside, this is not uncommon in magic – Ellusionist recently pulled its F.U. Deck from retail mere days after release over a similar concern). Ramsay has since removed the offending video from his channel.
“It’s tough,” he said in the video, “to make tutorial after tutorial without stepping on any toes. That’s one of the things you can’t do on [YouTube], you can’t just freely teach things every single week because eventually it will be someone’s creation, it will be someone’s pocket you’re dipping into. Whether that’s intentional or unintentional, that’s bound to happen.”
This was one of several reasons why he’s decided not to post tutorial videos any more. He also cites general burnout with having to come up with things to teach every single week, despite that not being what draws him to magic. This happened to be the final straw for him.
He will still feature tutorials on performance and overall magic theory, so there will still be plenty for Ramsay to talk about, but he will no longer post videos detailing specific sleight of hand method. And he’s still going to teach cardistry, and will allow other creators to come onto his YouTube channel to teach their own original creations.
“I preach a lot about ethics,” Ramsay said. “I preach a lot about morality, and I preach a lot about history or research. It sucks for me to have to admit that, ‘Yeah, ok, that was his, dammit’…I don’t want to be part of the drama, and I don’t want to be the cause for drama.”