Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Steven Youell is an authority in bad magic"

Steven Youell proclaimes himself being a magician.
Youell is not only a magician, but he loves to badmouth others. The Magic Café, the biggest magic forum in the English speaking world, gives him a platform to hype his own magic and to down talk others who think differently from him.
He is a friend of the owner of the Magic Café, and that friendship gives that man a certain editing power.
Well, we got a platform too!

49 comments:

Tyler said...

Just a thought: If you would really like this blog to take off, I think you might want to address the main issue that is Steve Brooks. The fact that he runs his forums with a totalitarian authority is not exactly a secret. What bothers me is how many people do not care. At least until they are banned for no particularly good reason. (Talk to Andy, creator of the Magic Circle Jerk.)

Mr. Youell is becoming increasingly unpleasant due to his unfettered ability to to send visible and invisible (PM) attacks. The sad thing is, sometimes he has good insight/advise. While I don't agree with a number of things he has said, I do understand his prerogative, which is why I don't necessarily agree he is an "authority in bad magic."

Regardless, he has said things that go WAY beyond the line, and there is little hope for him being help accountable due to his connects to Mr. Brooks.

Exposing this farce of a fair community will probably draw you a considerable following. You will (would?) have my continued support, provided your assertions are grounded and do not fall to the level of Mr. Youell's. (He has told multiple people to F*ck off, via PM, and no, he did not use the asterisk.)

Best of luck,

T

Tyler said...

P.S. I have to assume that sooner or later Mr. Youell himself will be reading this. It would be my hope that this mild insurrection would give him pause and perhaps change the course of his actions. Time will tell.

Roland said...

You are right, the focus hast to be on Mr. Brooks too. And we will certainly do that in the near future.

Aside from that I think this blog should also be used to point out all kinds of other magic failures.

But the whole magic cafe management would definitly be a big canditate for Magic Failure of the Year.

b d erland said...

My own experiences with Steven Youell lately have been pretty silly. The guy has sent PMs me with accusations of hatred and anger towards when really what I've criticized him for is the hypocritical attitude he displays on the Cafe. Simply put, when people give him the slightest bit of criticism, he goes nuts. That's fine and good, except that he turns around and gives almost hyperbolic criticism of others, far worse than the sort he overreacts to when it's directed at him. It's a social dysfunction and not conducive to open dialogue. Quite frankly, he's not just the elephant in the room, he's actually sitting on people.

But that's arguably not the worst part about dealing with him. His signature at the Cafe says "For Serious Cardmen Only: The Best Card Magic Videos On The Web". That's a pretty lofty claim to make, and it would help to back up that hubris with something of substance. Instead, he has this almost funny ability to take card controls that are best left invisible and give them screaming tells. His Side Steal handling is pretty cozy, but the initial squaring action actually leaves the cards unsquared... bizarre. The Mongrel Pass looks like the deck is being molested. His recent multiple-card top palm seems like it could survive a good burning, except that the covering action involves turning the deck face-up, the sort of thing which tends to cry out "A move just happened!" Indeed, turning the deck face up is such a strong attention-grabbing ploy it's arguably better used to cover a retreat from a palm, rather than as a covering action for it.

The Hindu Shuffle Force talked about in his thread is also terribly iffy. This may be an advanced point when it comes to forcing (and it's certainly not my own -- I deserve no credit for it), but something like the HSF is not ideal when you're in a situation where the cards are within contact range of a spectator. The most straightforward way to go about having a card selected in that situation is either (a) from a spread, or (b) letting them select their own card. So, in general, it's bad enough to use the HSF to force a card close-up. But Youell's not only ignoring this point, he's taken it to the next level, shuffling the cards face-up right up until the stop point, and then doing this odd turnover right at that point. Frankly, it feels like a discrepancy. Plus, the fact that the cards are being shuffled face-up right up until the stop point limits the force's application, since the magician gets a face-full of cards that could conceivably be used to his advantage.

Of course, the poisonous atmosphere that Youell cultivates around himself makes it impossible to even discuss these sorts of things out loud, nor the fact that the broader extrapolation of this general philosophy towards cards seems to be about the embracing of limitations rather than trying to exceed them. Simply put, it's as though he cannot misdirect away from things that should be misdirected away from, and instead has added nuances to moves that may increase invisibility but definitely decrease indetectability.

Many people have attested to Youell being an entertaining performer in real life. I really hope that's the case. He's also pretty quick to pimp out his credentials and testimonials from some of the top card guys in the community. Again, I hope he's justified it and these guys consider him a friend. And maybe he's got a ton of great stuff hidden in that website of his for his subscribers. From the videos he's shared, though, I'm not so certain of it.

Roland said...

Thank you for the honest comment. You nailed it I think. And I assume that Mr. Youell will be a continuing topic on this blog.

I a recently talking to a few people who would like to share certain emails with this man.

Steven Youell said...

I am willing to debate Mr. Musgrave on every single point he has made if a neutral environment could be provided and we agree to a civil debate, i.e. point, counter-point. I am also willing to agree to Roland as a moderator to keep everything fair and focused.

I have corresponded with Mr. Roland and find him to be quite reasonable.

I make this offer to demonstrate that I am conducive to open dialogue and not the person he portrays me to be.

SEY

b d erland said...
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b d erland said...

Open dialogue?

That's a laugh. Just this afternoon a post I made in response to Youell was deleted by the Cafe staff. Magically, Youell was given the last word in the discussion.

Incidentally, this was the post that was deleted.

"You're right, Steve. That was unnecessarily curt and I apologize. Let me try that again.

When I try to make an argument and put a lot of thought into it, I don't care if people openly disagree with me. A well-intended rebuttal is a positive force in debate. I do, however, generally get annoyed if I think that people aren't putting much effort into their rebuttals, and are only sounding their disagreement for the sake of it.

I have had this experience with you before in which you were initially dismissive of an argument that I offered, only to see you shy away from actually providing a substantive rebuttal.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=290826&forum=2

In that case, as in this one, I was trying to offer help to the original poster, and I would have been more than pleased to have been legitimately corrected on false points so that I don't lead posters astray. Similarly, though, I get a bit disappointed if the suggestion is made that there's something wrong with an argument, without much in the way of elaboration. It's not helpful to the person who started the discussion, it's not helpful to the person who offered the argument that you're rebutting, and it's not helpful to the discussion in general.

So, to bring this back on point, the original post talked about the merits of a fancy shuffle versus an invisible pass. I tried to make the point that the key in determining which is better is how they fit into the context of the effect. I provided three examples, all of which you found some fault with.

Respectfully, can you be specific about what is wrong with the examples?

1) In a spelling effect, all other things being equal, it would be stronger if the deck is shuffled by the spectator, rather than the magician.

2) In an ACR effect, it is stronger if there is no shuffling (or any instance of a control with an external reality) by either the performer or the spectator, before the performer makes the card jump to the top of the deck.

3) In a CAAN, if the deal is clean, it is more important that the shuffle happens prior to the number being named (rather than afterwards) than it is who does the shuffling, and that one might want to base one's decision on who does the shuffling so as to support the cause behind the effect -- ie: "This is a total coincidence" = they shuffle, or "I've got this intuitive sense with cards" = the performer shuffles. (Obviously, this assumes a presentation of CAAN involving a shuffle in the first place.)

If you can offer a rebuttal to any of these three points that will show the error in them, then it'd be much appreciated."

Given the apology and the attempt to bring the discussion back on point, there's one, and only one reason, why that post was deleted, because it brings to the fore a previous discussion which demonstrates Youell's pattern behaviour of acting like a twit, and he knows it.

Steven Youell said...

I'm sorry you feel the need to consistently try and engage me in a flame war.

I suspect that the post you have reprinted here was deleted for flaming-- as least that's what I labeled it as when I reported it. And the post in which I acknowledged your apology was also deleted. Strange that you did not include that post here or even mention it.

Reporting a post in the way I did goes through the same channels as anyone else's report goes through. I received no special treatment.

In the last few weeks you have called me names, called my character into question and in general made it a point to insult me. I have not responded in kind, nor will I.

For someone who throws around accusations regarding "Open Dialogue" and willingness to debate logically and rationally I find your behavior a bit odd.

My offer to debate on neutral ground with a moderator we both agree on stands.

SEY

b d erland said...

Their only reason for deleting your post was because it referenced mine. It would have been nonsensical to have left it there -- they do this all the time. It is not, however, the only time that I've have responses deleted that I've written, leaving others with the last word and me unable to respond to it. It has happened before in discussions with you, and I assume it'll only happen again. That sort of stifling dynamic has also led to the banning of several Cafe members who've tried to confront you on your nonsense.

Which leads us to the latest incarnation of it. I figured it was you who reported that post, and that's at the heart of your problem, Youell. You report a post like that as "flaming" when it contains an apology, an attempt to explain my tone, and an attempt to get back on topic. In the meantime, you post things online and send people Personal Messages that contain content far worse that that.

I constantly try to engage YOU in a flame war? When Weekly Magic Failures was brought up over at the Cafe, I explained why I wasn't going to respond over there. It was YOU who kept trying to engage ME. You copied and pasted my words over there. This sort of dishonesty on your part, this false representation of events, cannot continue.

What follows is the account of one of our first disagreements on the Cafe.

It started here...
Fourth Wall. Notice it was you who opened with gamesmanship -- apparently I wasn't trying to rebut you, but instead I was trying to make you "look stupid". I responded in kind with some gamesmanship of my own, and you flipped, leading to this PM in my inbox.

-------------
I want to make this clear.
I do not like you. I think you are a pretentious ***.
I'm pretty sure you feel the same way about me.
I don't care.
**** off.
SEY
-------------

Even then, later on, when you apologized for that remark, you couldn't do it without bitter sarcasm. And then there are conversations like the one listed earlier about general routining, where your weak rebuttals and need to present yourself as an expert without having to back it up end up derailing the surrounding conversation.

Take your behaviour towards others, and compare it to the behaviour that gets shown towards you, and the hypocrisy becomes obvious. There's not a single thing in this afternoon's post that you reported as "flaming" that isn't trumped by some of the nonsense you've written to others, not just myself.

I said earlier on that it's possible that you're an entertaining performer, and that you've earned the testimonials that others have given you. None of that changes your behaviour towards other magicians you disagree with, your megalomaniacal attitude and fetish with presenting yourself as an authority, and ultimately, your ridiculous hypocrisy about how you expect to be treated as compared to how you treat others. Even your attempts to reconcile with others cannot be made without you needing to slip in barbs and jabs. I could post the proof of that here as well, if you like.

I think, at this point, the debate is on, and Roland is already moderating the debate by not censoring anything. I could be wrong, and if I am I hope he says so, but in the meantime, I'm pretty sure you're free to state what you like.

stevenyouell said...

Andrew,

This isn't a debate. You've engaged in personal attacks, made suppositions for which you have no hard facts, engaged in the exact behavior that you have accused me of and posted angry rants that have no place in rational, calm debate.

I"m sorry you can't see the difference between an actual debate and your behavior. It's really unfortunate.

As to the PM's-- threatening me with publishing them will be ineffective. I wrote what I wrote and I'm willing to own that. Certainly I regret writing some of them. Will it make you feel better if I apologize to you here, with no reservations? It so, I would be glad to do that.

To me, there is a vast difference between a private heated argument that may include harsh language and making personal attacks in a public forum. One may be used for venting anger at each other in private, but the other is almost always done with the intent of subjecting someone to public humiliation. I chose the lesser of two evils. In retrospect, I regret choosing either of the evils, but I cannot take that decision back.

Yes, I have lost my temper. As evidenced by your behavior in the last few weeks, you occasionally do as well. But I think you would be hard pressed to find an instance where I called you names in public, accused you of a conspiracy without evidence in public, denigrated your work (magic) in public or called you socially dysfunctional in public. Yet it is an undeniable fact that you have engaged in that behavior towards me in public.

If that behavior is how you classify and/or encourage being "conducive to open dialogue", then you are most certainly correct. I am not interested in that.

I cannot imagine what you hope to achieve by your recent behavior, but I will be glad to continue to read your rants here, since you obviously feel safe on this site.

b d erland said...
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b d erland said...

Oh, at this point? Yeah, I've got no problem calling your bullshit for what it is. And I do easily lose my temper when dealing with somebody who's fundamentally dishonest.

Take this, for instance.

"As to the PM's-- threatening me with publishing them will be ineffective. I wrote what I wrote and I'm willing to own that."

It runs directly contrary to what you messaged me in private.

"It would not surprise me at all to see these PM's published on WMF, but I would be disappointed nevertheless."

Why would you be disappointed with something like that when you're willing to "own" what you write? It seems every time you open your mouth you say something disingenuous, and one only needs to read your previous comments to prove it.

Even now, the only reason I've copied and pasted anything is so that people can see the duplicity for what it is. You always want things both ways. You want to be a condescending twit to people, and then you want to play the victim when people call you a condescending twit. You want open discussion and dialogue, and then you petition the staff to remove "flaming" posts when said flaming is NOTHING compared to the shit you dish out. You say you want debate, and yet you retreat like a coward when points are actually presented to you. You say earlier on that you've got no interest in having a discussion based on the points I made about your card technique that you champion, yet when I talk instead about your general attitude, you complain about that as well.

You can keep up this nonsense all you want, Youell, but you're not fooling a damn person.

stevenyouell said...

Andrew,

You're better than this. Your posts here are full of contradictions, personal attacks and long rants that don't make any sense.

You say you want open debate as well, but wouldn't do it on the cafe, so why would you expect me to do it there?

I've read the two statements you quoted in your last post several times and I simply don't see how any of them are contradictory.

I was not surprised that you published them.
I was disappointed that you published them.
I'm willing to own them-- and apologize for them.
Threatening me with publishing them will be ineffective.

I don't see how any two of those statements could possibly be considered mutually exclusive. I don't see any contradiction, either.

I also made it clear that I regret sending them. So I'll make it clear: I apologize for sending them to you. Regardless of how angry I was, it was not right for me to vent, swear or insult you in private messages.

And I'm not trying to fool anyone. In fact, I would encourage you to post a link to this discussion anywhere and everywhere so people can hear your unedited opinion.

I've even posted a link to this discussion on my endorsement page! You can read it here: http://www.stevenyouell.net/public/who.html

There ya go-- I'll leave that up for a few weeks.
Send as many people as you like here. Let them read the discussion. I am not ashamed of making mistakes. Everybody does. Heck, I'll even post a link to it on the cafe, personally e-mail Steve Brooks requesting that he not take it down AND CC you on the e-mail! Just say the word so I know you won't go nuts over the fact that I did it.

I think I've demonstrated here that I can take criticism without going ballistic, that I am open to debate and that I can admit to being wrong.

Even in the Fourth Wall thread you linked to I admitted I was wrong. Other people in the thread made it clear that they understood my intent. I would encourage anyone reading this exchange to read all of that thread and form their own judgements.

I do not know what more I could possibly do here. I've offered to apologize. I've apologized. I've taken every single bit of criticism you given. I've let you call me names. I've let you make assaults on my character. I've let you make unfounded accusations that have no evidence.

I've even put a link on my site to give anyone who reads my endorsements an opportunity to read everything you've written here.

One final word and I'll stop.

People are not defined by their mistakes.
They are defined by how they recover from them.

I really believe that. I wish you did.

Jack said...

Steven,

Get real! You are responsible for ending on a site like this one.
It seems as though you are trying to portray it as a personal issue between you and one other individual, which is really not a good idea. In fact I went through the exact same thing as Andrew and know many others you have insulted for disagreeing about a card move. Such petty behavior will bring you nowhere and will only continue to irritate everyone around you.

If you wish to apologize to someone, please do so but do it in the standard way leaving out all the nasty comments about that person. Offering an apology while putting him in a negative light in the same message usually does not work! Andrew has helped hundreds of magicians around the world without ever asking for anything and really deserves more respect.

I too have heard from people who have met you in person that you are a solid performer and have valuable things to offer. I don’t doubt we can all learn from you. That your attitude gets in the way is more than unfortunate.

Best regards,
- Jack

stevenyouell said...

Jack,

I meant everything I wrote in this thread. My e-mail is posted on the cafe, my phone number is posted on the cafe. My address is public.

I am willing to work out any issues you have with me and I'm willing to work our any issues you and your friends have with me.

As of right now, the only people I am aware of that have problems with me are you, Andrew and Tyler. Which is why I posted here.

If you know of anyone that has a problem with me, please encourage them to contact me so we can work it out.

SEY

b d erland said...

Anyway, continuing back to what was said earlier, perhaps Youell's behaviour isn't the problem, but only the symptom of the problem. Already there are complaints by other posters about what I wrote, and the fact that I put up an apology is going largely missed because the Mods deleted it to protect poor Youell's feelings and reputation.

I think I'm done there. There's only so much that can happen when the conversation is so ridiculously stilted in favour of one party.

As for Youell himself, either one of two things will happen. He'll either take this to heart and clean up his act, which will be for the better of the community, or he'll falter in this attempt at a charm offensive and go back to his old, alienating ways.

In any event, either of those two will transpire without anything more needed from me. It would be nice to think that the former will happen, but his continued insistence that nobody has a problem with his behaviour makes me suspect the latter. The Cafe cannot be trusted as a historical record, so we have only the discussions that go on behind the scenes to work with -- the way he's alienated friends, former dissatisfied customers of the Cardguy Compendium Project, and his peers online. Add this to the way he's successfully manipulated dialog, and we have one of the more dishonest, disingenuous people in the magic business today.

You have my congratulations on your successful relationship with the Cafe, Youell, and my pity for the fact that it enables your ridiculous behaviour.

stevenyouell said...

Andrew,

What would make you happy?

What do you want me to do?

What would resolve the problem for you?

SEY

b d erland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
b d erland said...

I accept the current circumstances, and so at this point, from my point of view, the problem's resolved. Like I said, either you'll clean up your act and the community will be all the better for it, or else you'll continue on being a duplicitous asshole, in which case this criticism you're facing will be validated. It's a win-win scenario.

Because I don't want to monopolize Roland's blog any further, though, I'll be putting up my final word on the matter elsewhere, and after that, I'll be done with you. You could win FISM or you could become the laughingstock of the magic world, and I won't care.

stevenyouell said...

Well OK then. I'll guess I'll just expect more of the same, just posted somewhere else...

SEY

Jack said...

Steven,
Not sure why you are referring me to Magic Café (read: your personal lecture hall). You convinced the owner to ban be from the forums while my only activity in ages was to ask a mundane question about Gypsy thread. I already knew you could do manipulations other than cards, but as a closer to your show I was expecting something less childish than this one... it didn't fool either; we all know you are buddies with Brooks.

I appreciate your apology and it is a good first step, but I hope you also understand that after crossing the line by several miles it takes more than slipping in an apology on a blog. It will take time and indeed a very magical and visual transformation to re-establish trust with those affected. Since i am no longer part of your personal lecture hall I'm afraid I will never witness your wonderful restoration. So I’ll always be left with the opinion I currently have about you; needless to say it’s a pretty gloomy one.

Thank you for your understanding,

- Jack

stevenyouell said...

Jack,

I'm sorry you're planning on living with bitterness for the rest of your life.

I'll ask you the same questions:

What would make you happy?

What do you want me to do?

What would resolve the problem for you?

SEY

Jack said...

Steven,
Once again you cannot desist from making an inflammatory comment. You understood my post very well but make it look like it is my own decision to be bitter.
Is it really worth my time to tell you what I think you should do? And frankly, considering the amount of time we have already given you in pointing out which actions of yours have been so disturbing, are you unable to see what would solve it for yourself?

Barry Fernelius said...

I'm curious, and I have a question for those of you who comment on this blog. How many of you have ever met Steven Youell in person or seen him in a live performance?

stevenyouell said...

OK-- here are your complaints as I understand them and my responses. All of the statements in italics can be demonstrated as true based solely on the written record.

You have stated repeatedly in public that I cannot take criticism of my work.At the same time, however, you have accused me of not discussing this issue or your comments regarding my videos. This is bifurcation, similar to the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?” If I respond with any objections to your comments regarding my work, you will use that as evidence that I cannot take criticism.

You have stated repeatedly in public that I am abusive towards people.These are some of the epithets you have leveled at me in public:
“dumb fucker”
“duplicitous, domineering, megalomaniacal ass”
“coward”
“hypocrite”

The facts are that that you cannot provide a single instance in which I made any personal attacks to anyone similar to that in public and have only been able to provide a few instances in which I used language similar to that in private. I assert that when such attacks are made in public rather than private, the motives are more than simply venting anger-- they are designed more towards public humiliation and the damage of someone’s reputation. I also assert that your engagment in such behavior as this (particularly in public) demonstrates that you are guilty of the same hypocrisy that you repeatedly accuse me of.

You have stated repeatedly in public that I have special privileges at the Cafe, including the ability to edit.As of yet, you have not provided a single shred of evidence that would demonstrate this. At best, you’ve provided circumstantial evidence that does not and cannot demonstrate a definite cause and effect relationship between me having editorial power and the instances to which you refer. Additionally, you have not demonstrated or provided any evidence that me reporting a post or violation of Cafe rules has any more leverage than the average member of the Cafe.

You have repeatedly stated that the Cafe is not an accurate historical record.I agree. But if it isn’t, why are you consistently using references to it in order to support your claims? Doing so is circular reasoning and if you want to form a coherent argument, you cannot have it both ways. The Cafe is either a reliable historical record or it is not. Insisting that it is not and then using it to support your claims simply is not credible.

You have consistently stated that I have alienated, abused, and angered several people.I have admitted that I have occasionally done so and have said explicitly that I regretted it.

My question is this: Who and how many? I absolutely defy you to present documentation that I have behaved this way with more than one dozen people over the last five years. I am not saying that such behavior is excused by a low number of instances, but I am saying that you cannot provide such evidence. Additionally, I will go on record as stating that the number of people who believe and have evidence that I am not the person you portray me to be is exponential to any number you can provide that believe me to be the person you portray me to be. Thus, you have formed conclusions based on a very, very small amount of evidence and have not considered the majority of contrary evidence. Furthermore, most of the evidence you do have is specific to you, personally. You have also launched a full frontal assault on my character without providing any substantial documentation or evidence.

I have apologized. I have expressed regret for the mistakes I have made and I have offered to reconcile not only with you, but also with anyone of the people you claim I have offended.

So rather than deal with unsubstantiated claims, rumors, innuendos or insults, let’s deal with facts. Cold, hard, documented facts.

Once you have presented such documented facts, I would be glad to address them. Otherwise, I see no point in continuing to address your claims.

stevenyouell said...

BTW--

I am not writing this in the hopes of convincing either one of you, but rather with the hopes that people who come across this discussion will understand my viewpoint. So it is not important to me that you respond.

Barry Fernelius said...

I’ve got one last thing to say, and then I’ll let all of you have the last word. It appears that no one here has actually met Steven Youell live and in the flesh. I invite you to come to the Golden Gate Gathering, and you’ll get a chance to see Steven in action. I’ve met the man, and I have an entirely different perception of him. Let me explain.

Steven’s act is a combination of killer sleight-of-hand chops and OUTRAGEOUS, over-the-top comedy. On several occasions, Steven has made me laugh so hard that my belly hurt. But you’d never know that the man has serious chops when he’s performing because 1) the moves are so well executed , 2) Steven has lots of ways to beat you that don’t involve difficult moves, and 3) his effects are so well constructed and the direction is so sound that Steven’s sleights are virtually invisible.

Steven learned to be funny by hanging out with the comedians who worked in comedy clubs back in the 1980s and 1990s. His sleight-of-hand skills are the result of many years of practice and studying with guys you may have heard of, guys like Paul Chosse, Ron Bauer, Mike Skinner, Roger Klause, Darwin Ortiz, Larry Jennings, Martin Nash, Jack McMillen, Mike Close, etc.

Steven has a gift for doing painstaking analysis of sleight of hand. He also is very good at explaining the WHYs behind a given sleight. Steven’s break down of Ron Bauer’s double lift technique is a great example of what I’m talking about. In fact, Ron Bauer has given permission for one person, and one person only, to teach his stuff: Steven.

A few of you have made disparaging remarks about some of Steven’s moves, including the Mongrel Pass. There’s a big difference between demonstrating a move for a web video and executing the move in the context of a routine. For the web video, the camera needs to be close, so that the details can be observed. By necessity, there can be no extra hand movements; the hands must stay ‘in frame.’ I can assure you that when Steven uses a move like the Mongrel Pass in the context of a routine, he creates the proper misdirective cover. He’s an expert in figuring out how to get into a move and out of a move in a way that arouses no suspicion. If you had a chance to see Steven perform for real people, I can guarantee you that he’d fry you with the Mongrel Pass.

Steven, by his very nature, is extroverted, loud, and opinionated. And yes, I agree that he can be annoying and offensive at times. I think that he becomes frustrated when no-name magicians, many of whom won’t even post stuff under their real names, pontificate about magic when they have no substantial performing experience. If you want to gain Steven’s respect, it’s very easy: perform something for him that demonstrates that you know how to do the real work. If you can show that you have knowledge and passion, this guy can help you take your magic to a higher level.

Do I agree with everything that Steven says? Absolutely not! But I pay careful attention to him because if he has a strong opinion about something, there is always a logical reason behind it.

Jack said...

Barry,

Imagine you want to paint a room in red and ask a paint shop to send you a sample of red. You return it saying you think it looks too dark for what you want. The manager of the shop gets mad at you. He accuses you of trashing his business, commenting on a color you have never seen in a context, dismissing what other people have said about this color and so on.... that would be pretty absurd wouldn’t it? But what is the difference when a man offers samples of a card move on a public forum and then gets all mad when someone does not like it? To be honest, I find it equally absurd. What is the point of a sample? Steven Youell is giving me a demo of his Mongrel pass. If this demo is in fact a very different picture from the way the move looks in real life, why offer it to me in the first place and make me go through the horror experience of being insulted, humiliated and banned from a forum for not liking the ‘bad’ sample?

No one said Steven Youell is a bad performer. All of the complaints are about his 'online' persona. I understand the man would come across very differently should we meet with him in real life and it’s a good thing you pointed this out.

As for his frustrations with people on the café not posting under their real name, that is something he should sort out with Steve Brooks. The Café allows us to pick a nickname and if Steven Youell is going to bark at anyone posting their opinions on magic under a nickname without presenting a demo like he does so splendidly, then perhaps the café is not a place for him. Honestly, I do not need to know someone’s name or see a video. I can tell by the quality of a post if the guy knows what he’s talking about or not.
Moreover, I personally offered in a thread about the Mogrel pass to show my skills over webcam.
(http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=302712&forum=2&start=90 under 'magicator'). That actually was the first time I got a PM from Youell. Needless to say, it wasn't about my offer.


- Jack

stevenyouell said...

Jack,

You have stated repeatedly in public that I have special privileges at the Cafe, including the ability to edit.As of yet, you have not provided a single shred of evidence that would demonstrate this. At best, you’ve provided circumstantial evidence that does not and cannot demonstrate a definite cause and effect relationship between me having editorial power and the instances to which you refer. Additionally, you have not demonstrated or provided any evidence that me reporting a post or violation of Cafe rules has any more leverage than the average member of the Cafe.

You also stated the following:

"...make me go through the horror experience of being insulted, humiliated and banned from a forum for not liking the ‘bad’ sample?"Could you please provide evidence for this claim?

JackLenoir said...

Steven,
Upon your request for presenting ‘evidence’ in support of my claims above, see below a few examples.

Message from Mar 19th, 2009 - 7.35 PM (PM on the Magic Cafe)
“Every single time you respond to one of my posts, you will look like a complete idiot.
I don’t even think you know who I am, anything about my reputation or skill level.
But even if you do, you do not have the knowledge or intellectual capability to do anything other than look like a complete jerk in a public forum.

Steven Youell”

Message from Mar 30th , 2009 - 5:33 AM (PM on the Magic Cafe)
"Kids like you trying to position yourself as experts annoys me because I believe it hurts magic.(…)
I feel sorry for you because you probably have some kind talent. My entire issue with you is that you do not know what you don’t know.
And you have no idea of how to express that talent that would lead to your end goal—better magic. (…)
I’ll just chalk you up as a kid who thinks he knows way more than he actually does.
Steven Youell"

Posted: Mon, Mar 30th, 2009 – 9.01 PM (PM on the Magic Cafe)
“Vernon was wrong in all kinds of places and often contradicted himself.”

Steven Youell

Message on Sun 29/03/09 9:30 PM (sent as an e-mail)
“Please stop knocking my work. You've only seen one or two videos.
I know more about magic than you do. I am more experienced in magic than you.
And my credibility is vastly superior to yours. So please, stop taking jabs at me and my work--it's only making you look bad.

Steven Youell”

I felt humiliated when you sent me those messages. I am a 35 yo professional magician and have been doing magic for almost 20 years. My first magic convention was in 1989. It had people like Al Goshman, Frank Garcia, Eugene Burger, Tamariz, and surely hooked me to continuing magic for the rest of my life. Since then I have practiced and studied a lot. I treat magic like my own child. I have studied with some of the best mentors in the field over many years and still continue to invest in mentorship for which I sometimes travel hundreds of miles. My passion for magic is tremendous. Calling me a kid who hurts magic is hurtful. Moreover it is disrespectful toward my mentors.

About the editing powers on the café I have never claimed you have ‘editing ability’. I do have an email from a cafe moderator writing about your friendship with Brooks, encouraging me to be 'careful' and advising me not to respond to you because there is nothing we can do because of your ties with Brooks. Coming from a cafe moderator with years of experience with the situation, I would consider that's pretty substantial evidence you are treated 'differently' to say the least.

I am keeping the whole ‘ban’ chapter out of the game for now, though it certainly constitutes the biggest chapter of all.

Let me know if you need more proofs.

I hope you understand that considering your age and experience in magic this situation is especially difficult for me. I would much rather respect you as a senior magician. I have no doubt that you know more than me but I also think I have valuable things to say and share with fellow magicians and have a right to be on a discussion forum. You had no reason to treat me the way you have.

Moving on,
- Jack

stevenyouell said...

Jack,

None of this proves the claim that I have editing power at the cafe. It also does not prove that I have any power at the cafe other than a normal user.

You essentially claimed that disagreeing with me and/or not liking something I did got you banned. It did not. Here is the sentences I refer to:

You convinced the owner to ban be from the forums while my only activity in ages was to ask a mundane question about Gypsy thread.why offer it to me in the first place and make me go through the horror experience of being insulted, humiliated and banned from a forum for not liking the ‘bad’ sample?So you have provided no evidence for that claim.

Now if you want me to address the PM's you've posted I would be glad to do so as it's clear that you're upset about them. I regret a few of them; a few of them were taken out of context and some of them were in response to messages you sent that you did not publish.

But if you'd like I'd be glad to address them.

JackLenoir said...

Steven,
No thanks, you don't have to address them. The messages that you've sent to me and others speak for themselves. At this point, it's
obvious you're just trying to put a positive spin on your bad behavior.
- Jack

stevenyouell said...

Jack,

I'm willing to address them and try and work things out between us.

Some messages I feel bad about and some I don't. I'm willing to explain my reasons and apologize for some of them.

However if you're not willing to discuss them, there's nothing I can do.

Thus far the only factual evidence you have provided for your numerous claims are a few private messages from me to you. At best this demonstrates that you and I had harsh words via private messages and e-mails.

I was willing to discuss them with you. You apparently are not willing to discuss them with me.

If you change your mind, please let me know.

As to your other claims, if you wish to provide factual evidence for them, I'd be glad to address that evidence.

As to me trying to put a positive spin on my "bad behavior", I ask you to consider the fact that in this very discussion I admitted having made mistakes and said I regretted making those mistakes.

I also stated that I would be glad to address the PM's that apparently hurt your feelings.

I do not think that is the behavior of someone trying to put a spin on his "bad behavior".

I have tried everything I can to work things out between us and you have refused every single offer.

That is unfortunate, but again, if you change your mind, please let me know.

1nyro said...

I just want to say that if laymen heard magicians squabbling like this, they'd tell us to get a life, and they'd definitely shun magicians like Steven Youell for arrogant comments like the ones posted from the Cafe, if they came to light. What pisses me off is how there is a disease of pretentiousness in magic and how magicians forget that their sole purpose, as a magician, is to create magic, primarily for lay audiences, as well as other magicians. Period. Not prance around and fill their egos with their status symbols and flood the art with all their politics and wanna-be aristocracy. It's a fucking joke, and people should lighten up, because I have to come face-to-face with this shit all the time, just because I’m “younger” and whatnot. Well get this, I can do things you can’t do, and you can do things I can’t do, in varying degrees, being the different individuals that we all are. As respectful as I am to others, why do I have to act like an ass-licker to the older generation, in order to fit in? You can’t disagree with any type of “consensus,” without people creating a witch-hunt on you! To give you an example, I recently tried to put forward the seemingly obvious notion that tricks will always be more important than presentation, in creating magic. But for some reason, almost everyone in the Magic Circle felt compelled to gang up on me with their patronising and insulting comments. Amazing.

I am very much aware of the fascist dictatorship that is the Magic Cafe, because I myself have been banned countless of times. I could see how I was banned for using occasional profanity, despite it being in an indirect and non-abusive manner, even after I censored all the letters, but when I was kicked out for disagreeing with certain acts/ principles in magic, that's when I got really fucked off. I don't know what that Steve Brooks cunt is up to, but to me, he meets all the criteria for a narrow-minded control freak, and I have no qualms about anyone understanding my view on the matter at hand. Some of you may have witnessed an angry member posting images, on almost every single board topic, of old men engaging in gay oral sex with one another, resulting in a temporary shut-down of the site. For those of you that did, I hope you got the message.

1Nyro

Ultimagic said...

What is funny to me is that if you do a search on Youell this blog is one of the first things that pops up. This is great as it may help to get the word around about what the magic cafe is all about and what a pretentious sniveling weasel Steven Youell is.

He's at it again as I write this. There have been many instances that I've have seen Youell blow his own horn to try and further his sorry reputation. Most of those times, the cost ends up being that some may actually believe his non-sense.

There is a thread right now on the cafe in which Youell renounces the Card College series saying that he hates it (No specifics of course)and that he has in fact told Roberto Giobbi this same thing to his face. I highly doubt that Youell ever met Giobbi and if he did, He was probably kissing his ass and said nothing of the sort. Youell is not good enough to be a pimple on Robeto Giobbi's ass let alone tell him anything about card magic. If Youell hates the Card College series, It probably has more to do with the fact that his name is not on the cover of those books than anything else.

Look, Youell has done nothing. Except start his own website in which he is free to claim that hes the best, and prove that he is not by his poorly conceived, and even more poorly executed moves and methods. The only thing the guy really does is sit at his computer and type messages on his buddy's website asserting how great he thinks he is and how much he thinks he knows.

Don't waste your money on his website, trying to learn his garbage. There are MANY who are much, much better.

Ultimagic said...

Alright... So Youell is still at it. His new "Palming" DVD is now available on his website. Check out the vids here.

http://www.expertcardtechnique.net/videos.html

Be sure to take a look at "The twist palm" demo. This has got to be one of the most obvious, terrible looking palms I've ever seen. The only thing I can't figure out is how he manages to palm a card at all with that claw like stiff as a board grip.

Now Youell states that all of the garbage on this new DVD was "Reviewed" by "Experts" and they all gave it a 9/10 score!! Of course "The experts" are most likely some of his buddies. Steve Brooks being among them no doubt.

This guys Hypocrisy seems to know no bounds. Of course you will see that his website is www.expertcardtechnique.com. Expert card technique indeed. It makes me sort of sick to see the name of one of the great card works put to use in such a manner. Youell is no expert and certainly has no technique as his latest foray into the realm of the terrible clearly shows.

Youell needs stop releasing this kind of crap before he really screws up more poor, unsuspecting people who don't know any better and waste their money, and time with his DVD's.

Salad Bowl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OldGuysRule said...

"I highly doubt that Youell ever met Giobbi and if he did, He was probably kissing his ass and said nothing of the sort."

Well-- you're wrong. I was there. It was the same DMS in which Giobbi did a workshop as a tribute to Vernon. What Youell said was this: "I like everything you've done...except Card College" and then they both laughed it off.

I've been in a session with Youell, Jennings, Bannon, Klause, Chosse, Skinner and Carpenter among others. Youell held his own. It was at one of the first "Close Up At the Capitol" conventions in Sacramento.

Those are facts. There are dozens of witnesses. Go find them yourselves. I think on the Cafe Jack Carpenter confirmed this session when Youell mentioned it.

You guys are totally ridiculous. You don't even consider the actual facts-- you just spout off vitrol as if you know what you're talking about.

I'd rather go with the verifiable opinions of well known Cardmen than those represented here. Opinions that can be verified by people whose knowledge can be verified.

But what the heck-- don't bother with facts-- just spew hateful opinions. When you're anonymous no one can really check to see if you know what you're talking about.

How convenient.

Ultimagic said...

"Well-- you're wrong. I was there."

Really? And just who are you exactly? How are your opinions and your "Facts" any more or less verifiable than anyone else's here?

The oldguysrule moniker is very cute but I'm afraid it doesn't instantly qualify you to call others wrong.

I'd like to take you seriously, But when your anonymous no one can really check to see if you know what your talking about.

How convenient indeed.

And by the way, Your statement that Youell "Held his own" throws the credibility of your entire post into doubt. Youell couldn't hold his own pee-pee compared to Roberto Giobbi. Let alone anyone else you mentioned.

Nice try though.. He has this magic failure award for a reason.

OldGuysRules said...

"Really? And just who are you exactly? How are your opinions and your "Facts" any more or less verifiable than anyone else's here?"

First, I am an anonymous poster just like you. That gives my comments just as much weight as yours. It also gives my opinions just as much weight as yours. I find it rather hypocritical that you're calling me on using the same "advantage" as you're using.

Second-- I told you how they can be verified. I'll repeat it here in the hopes you might actually care more about facts than you do spewing hate. You may have been right on one thing-- I cannot verify I was there for the Youell/Giobbi exchange without revealing who I am. So let's deal with different facts that contradict you.

Here's what you wrote: "Look, Youell has done nothing."

Here are some facts:

1) Youell has lectured 3 times at the Magic Castle and has performed there more than 20 times.

2) Youell has lectured/performed at three of IBM's Conventions as well as The MagiFest & twice at the GGG. He also lectured at Denny & Lee's-- a lecture that Darwin Ortiz travelled a few hours to see. Go to Darwin's site, email him and ask him. It's that simple.

3) The session I mentioned earlier happened. Jack Carpenter confirmed it happened. You could, of course, verify this if you'd get the bile out of your mouth. Most of the people (those still alive) at the session can be contacted directly via e-mail. Again, it's that simple. We're pretty sure the session happened since Jack already confirmed that on the Cafe, right? So all you have to do is ask around to verify what I said was true.

Youell did these things. They are accomplishments in the world of magic. They can be verified. Therefore your quoted statement is factually incorrect.

As to your opinion on his work-- I have no idea if you're qualified to make those judgments. Of course, you have no idea if I'm qualified to judge either. So let's do this. Contact the people who have endorsed his work and ask them to give you opinions on Youell's work. Darwin Ortiz, Jon Racherbaumer, Tom Gagnon and others can be contacted directly.

I'm sure we'd rather go with those opinions instead of an opinion issued by an anonymous poster, right? I think that would be fair.

You won't attempt to verify any of this though because you care more about spewing forth crap.

However anyone reading this can verify the facts above with just a little work. And when they do, they'll know you're talking out of your ass.

Prove any of those facts above are wrong. I dare you.

And if you can't and/or don't, then live with the fact you've been proven to be nothing more than a bully with no balls.

Vincent said...

I've held off writing this for awhile, but it must be said:

Steven Youell is a cockbite.

When he writes a review for his friend Dorian Rhodell's DVD he titles it "This isn't about me!" Of course it is. Everything's about you, Steven.

When Paul Chosse died he titled the thread "My Friend, Paul Chosse has died." Way to insert yourself into public mourning. "My" before "Paul" - very classy.

I'm sure other examples abound. The guy is an irrepressible attention-whore who never misses an opportunity to damage his ever deteriorating credibility. Inevitably he'll have his coterie of diehard Youell-can-do-no-wrong fans on Cult Cafe. "I'm straight, but when Steve ass-fucked me... I had no idea what I was in store for! You should totally sign up RIGHT NOW to get assfucked by Steve." - MickeyPainless

Now he's pimping a DVD with all his stuff... except it does not have ALL his stuff because the website that was going down any moment will be alive for a couple more months. Then maybe he'll have another final-final product. Wait a few months more and it will be heavily discounted. Wait awhile longer and don't be surprised if yet another membership project emerges.

Steven's all about telling people how he's changed, how sorry he is for being a jerk-asshole in the past, or whatever else. Steven: Show, don't tell (and it's OK to be subtle).

It's offensive to hear somebody talk about their health problems and then see him smoking. As a trusted source did - before, midway and after a Youell lecture.

From what I've seen, his card magic is nothing special. We can produce a list of names who have performed and lectured at the hallowed Magic Castle and you'll only be impressed by the amount of mediocrity. I do not doubt that he has the support of "heavy hitters." Who cares? He could be the best magician on the planet, he's still a graceless jerk. Or to put it another way: Steven Youell is a cockbite.

Gary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vincent said...

I've held off writing this for awhile, but it must be said: Steven Youell is a cockbite.

When he writes a review for his friend Dorian Rhodell's DVD he titles it "This isn't about me!" Of course it is. Everything's about you, Steven.

When Paul Chosse died he titled the thread "My Friend, Paul Chosse has died." Way to insert yourself into public mourning. "My" before "Paul" - very classy.

I'm sure other examples abound. The guy is an irrepressible attention-whore who never misses an opportunity to damage his ever deteriorating credibility. Inevitably he'll have his coterie of diehard Youell-can-do-no-wrong fans on Cult Cafe. "I'm straight, but when Steve ass-fucked me... I had no idea what I was in store for! You should totally sign up RIGHT NOW to get assfucked by Steve." - MickeyPainless

Now he's pimping a DVD with all his stuff... except it does not have ALL his stuff because the website that was going down any moment will be alive for a couple more months. Then maybe he'll have another final-final product. Wait a few months more and it will be heavily discounted. Wait awhile longer and don't be surprised if yet another membership project emerges.

Steven's all about telling people how he's changed, how sorry he is for being a jerk-asshole in the past, or whatever else. Steven: Show, don't tell (and it's OK to be subtle).
It's offensive to hear somebody talk about their health problems and then see him smoking - as a trusted source did - before, midway and after a lecture.
From what I've seen, his card magic is nothing special. We can produce a list of names who have performed and lectured at the hallowed Magic Castle and you'll only be impressed by the amount of mediocrity. I do not doubt that he has the support of "heavy hitters." Who cares? He could be the best magician on the planet, he's still a graceless jerk. Or to put it another way: Steven Youell is a cockbite.

Steven said...

Gary Dayton-- I just became aware of your post here. Unfortunately you are factually incorrect as I pointed out on the Cafe-- both in public and private. There is only one thing on "The Whole Nine Yards" that is from The Compendium and that's "Hacking The Pass". After you posted your message on The Cafe, I contacted several people that were Compendium members to make certain that the answer I gave you on the Cafe is accurate. It is.

So PLEASE stop saying something that isn't true. If you like, I'd be glad to send you a disk at no cost and you'll then see that what you're saying is incorrect.

As to The Compendium-- it was a complete failure and it was my fault. That's why I offered each and every member a pro-rated refund. In other words, they only paid for what they got. I'm sorry you did not find that sufficient, but I hardly think it's worth labeling someone a cheat-- especially when you're basing it on a statement that is not true.

Vincent-- there's nothing I can say. Although I was careful on the ordering page to say "nearly all my commercial offerings", I obviously did not do that in my signature on the Cafe. It will corrected right after I finish writing this. By the way-- nearly all the videos from the site are on the DVD.

Some of the things you metion bother me a bit-- because I just didn't see them from the perspective you describe. In the future I'll work harder to avoid such impressions.

As to smoking-- yes until two months ago I was a chain smoker. This had nothing to do with my illness however and the two are completely unrelated.

Finally, I really want to apologize for creating this much anger and disgust in you. Please believe me when I say that I know I've made a lot of mistakes in the past. I imagine I'll make more in the future. But I sincerely did not set out to make people have the feelings that you've expressed. Honest.

Is there a chance either one of you could call me? You can say anything you want-- even yell at me. Test me in this. I won't yell back, I won't speak angry and I will try my best to understand your side. Again-- test me. Email me from an anonymous account and I'll send you my phone number.
syouell@cox.net

Finally-- there will be a sale on the latest DVD. You were right about that.

SEY

Roland said...

One comment was removed, by request of the commentator. (Don't be scared by SEY)

b d erland said...

As somebody who has arguably been Steven Youell's harshest critic online, I want to offer the following...

Steven, just today, wrote in support for the actions I've taken to try to stop the unethical marketing practices that a local magician has been perpetrating.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=394004&forum=177&start=30

I am the LAST person who should have been shown a kindness like that. I can give a lot of shit to people online, and while I tend to stand by what I write, I'm also compelled to acknowledge that sort of generosity. Given that I made some very frank and unflattering assessments of his character earlier, I feel that at the very least I should balance that out by mentioning what the guy did today, which was a very generous thing.

I don't withdraw what I wrote earlier, and I don't exactly apologize for it either... rather, he showed me a side today that makes me realize that perhaps I painted an incomplete picture -- really, a picture I didn't really know to be incomplete until just now. I'm humbled by his gesture today.

Anneman said...

Look at what thread Youell just started on the cafe:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=446374&forum=2&start=0
What a weird man. He recently put up an anonymous website with false accusations of pedophilia against a cafe member. And now he starts a thread like that on the Magic Cafe???

Ivan mallia said...

Youell HEYYY!! It's Niva... Guess I should have checked with Google beforehand! :D

I was stupid to try and reason with such a person. It's all my fault!