Forum user: ‘Underground’ doesn’t mean ‘extremely skilled’

October 26th, 2008 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General

Truth be told, I almost missed this week’s Forum Post of the Week. I was skimming this interesting thread about Daniel Madison, not really reading it. Then another user nudged me toward this post by user Medifro, saying it was well-written. Once I read it fully, there was no doubt.

The honor belongs to Medifro and his thoughts about what it means to be an “underground” magician:

“This is not to say that there are no cliques in magic. You can form one yourself. Just get together with a couple of friends and start snubbing other magicians. But that’s no way the same as an underground magic circle. Its easy to understand why most of today’s magicians can’t tell the difference because they weren’t there back when magic was really an underground.”

Medifro goes on to define an underground magic circle as a group that hoards certain moves, sleights and techniques, keeping it from public consumption for years. As he notes later in the thread, it’s not a knock against professional magicians who market themselves as “underground” (he, like many others in the thread, compliment Madison’s skills) but those who fall in love with the concept of being “underground” without fully understanding its meaning. That perception can lead us to exclude others or close our minds to certain areas of magic performance. Here’s a tip: Don’t do that.

Good work, Medifro!


  1. “Underground” is a buzz word. Just like most other buzz words in business, it tends to be mis-applied and takes on a meaning of its own. In this case, it’s been used by many stores to sell products (ironic), and self-bestowed upon many young magicians to make them feel like they’re part of something that they’re really not.

    Kind of like people who shop at Hot Topic because they are some sort of rebel against the establishment, but by doing so, they are lining the pockets of guys in business suits… thereby supporting the establishment.

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