Saturday, February 13, 2016

The little easy...

Sorry for my absence as of late. I haven't really been that angry at anything in the magic scene.... at least not enough to write about. There is plenty of regular asshattery but I have just grown numb to it.

 This is what everyday on the Cafe looks like

So in lieu of angst I will offer up some advice. As someone who has been doing stage magic since before some of you were born, let me dole out this brain dripping: Make Things Easy On Yourself!
I have learned the hard way that if it happens once it can and WILL happen again. Fix it before the next show or it might bite you in the... well... you know ^...

Everything needs to flow as seamlessly as it can. This way you don't have to worry about something falling, not being in the right spot, or moving from it's (possibly secret) location. When you know you don't have to worry about things falling to pieces you can focus on your performance which is the more important part.

So if it needs a magnet, hook, velcro, ring of hot glue to keep it from rolling off the table, felt, fishing hooks, snap gums, broken popsicle stick, tampon applicator, whatever... then make it happen.

You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

You are just a tool...

Dear Magic Creators,

A magic company will defend you only so long as you are valuable to them. The moment you are not a cash cow, they move on to the next slaughter. Don't let it go to your head. It's the same in every business.

A companies sole reason to exist is to make money. Don't fool yourselves into thinking they are "helping you" or anyone else other than themselves because they are "kindhearted". The only thing they care about is filling their coffers.

Keep that in mind when you fill the market with your brain poop.

The Mngmnt.

"Everyone is so fake when they shake you hand, and they kiss your ass 'cause then they get cash" - Reel Big Fish

Saturday, December 05, 2015

The definition of insanity...

I was reading an article about the OODA Loop, (A theory that pertains to many things including magic), and in it there was a talk about the 2nd law of Thermodynamics". While technically this refers to mechanics and whatnot, it can also be applied to people. For you lazt bastards who don't want to read it, here is a line that jumped out at me: "The more we rely on outdated mental models even while the world around us is changing, the more our mental “entropy” goes up."

Doesn't that sound a lot like most of the magicians we know?

Magic doesn't like to evolve with the times. To be fair humans in general resist swift change but we are one, if not many, decades behind the times. We have jumped ahead a bit here and there with the advent of the internet, but let's face it, we are still giving people books printed in the 30s and 40s back when tricks were titled "To magically procure a selected card from a borrowed gentleman's bowler hat". 

In some cases, magic is collapsing in on itself because they believe circling the wagons is the best option. The SAM, IBM, Magic Castle and even forums like the big soylent green refuse to look at the world around us and accept there might be people who view entertainment different from them.

Don't agree with me? Here is another bit of text from that article...

"Individuals or organizations that don’t communicate with the outside world by getting new information about the environment or by creating new mental models act like a “closed system.” And just as a closed system in nature will have increasing entropy, or disorder, so too will a person or organization experience mental entropy or disorder if they’re cut off from the outside world and new information."
 Now if that doesn't sound like a bunch of old white men with decks of cards I don't know what does.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Battle Damage...

I want to share something with you guys that I have been telling others about for a while now. Usually I spill this news to the younger generation when one of the old guard does something so profoundly and unfathomably stupid or asshole-o-rific(tm), that the aforementioned youngster just cant wrap their head around it all.  

The entertainment business is populated with damaged people.

Now I am sure a handful of you reading this will be like "Well duh Bizzaro. You haven't written anything in a long time and THIS is what you come back at us with?"

This nugget of wisdom is not for you smart ass. It's for the beginners and youngsters who might stumble upon my words and have not experienced this oh so joyous part of our business.

The rest of you meet me at camera 3.... 

Ok guys look. For some reason people with some major deep seated issues are drawn to the ascertainment business. (Mind you they are different issues than the ones that draw damaged people to become cops but that is besides the point.) They either weren't hugged enough as a child... or hugged TOO much. They seek power, fame, money, and many other forms of acceptance or adoration they never had in their life before. Whatever the reason, if they do or say something crazy to/at you, it's not your fault. Just take a deep breath and repeat after me...

"They're just a magician. They can't help that they're damaged." (This also tends to work in relationships too but there is a litany of other factors to that one.)

So chin up young bucks and buckettes. If some 50 year old finger flinger you once respected has cock blocked you from releasing a DVD because they think they own snack food, it's on them. If they make a YouTube video about something you posted and it sounds insane, chances are it is and you should just repeat our above mantra.

For every batshit entertainer out there, there is another one who is cool and fun to hang out with. Seek those people out instead and you will be much happier.

 Just remember to keep the popcorn handy

Friday, October 16, 2015

Lines in the sand...

Magic is a small community. Word gets around fast.

As a creator and prop maker, I have always lauded the practice of properly crediting and to never rub another man's rhubarb. If the lines are blurry between an effect and the other, it's nice to reach out and talk to the other party to come to some sort of agreement or compromise. (Sometimes that can backfire of course and some dick thinks he owns Cracker Jacks or something.)

As the world progresses and evolves, more and more people are ok with engaging in shady practices to get their name out there. As I have stated before, today you are more well known for the product you release in magic than your ability to perform.

This is why it's so very important to leave a pleasant first impression with your initial magic releases (And every other after that but I digress).

Enter this guy....

He's modest too!

Within a matter of months he has managed to piss off a lot of magicians (to be fair, it's not that difficult) and make a name for himself... but not a good one.

You see, magic is (usually) a self-policing entity. We see something that is too close to something else and we lose our fucking minds. Usually it's justified, sometimes it's not. In this case, there is clear evidence of shenanigans. Paper trails and alla that.

You see, even professional magicians are like a car full of drag queens. We can be catty bitches and we talk. OH do we talk. The reason is many of us care about what is going on in our profession because we care about magic in one way or another. This kid's bad rep goes deeper than his lack of respect for magic product releases. Apparently he has pissed a few other people's Cheerios in the magic world in some form or another.

Let him serve as an example of what could happen to you if you think you can fool the foolers. You'll still likely get away with it, but a lot less people will want to come play in your sandbox.

Also, I'm not the only one who sees this am I?

Yeah, you get it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Going thru a stage...

A very interesting article popped up on my feed the other day. While the title pertains to life, I think it also pertains to magic as well. Thus I have adopted their categories to describe how we grow thru life if we stay on this weird journey we call magic.

    Mimicry - I have said that magic is ten years behind the times because we are influenced by what has come before us. Music, movies, other performers, etc. When we first start out as performers, we look to those who leave an impact on us. Some of us are inspired while others outright copy. Some say that when you are very young it is ok to copy as it helps you get your bearings but you eventually (I say quickly) need to move away and find yourself which is where the second stage comes in.

    Self-Discovery - This is where you figure out what your performing persona or character or style might be. What material you like... or don't like. Mind you a lot of these decisions will evolve or alter course over time but usually you start to find your footing.

    Commitment - After a decade of finding yourself and honing your skills, you start to narrow in on the kind of presentation and material you want to do. Again, things will ebb and flow in and out of mind, but ultimately you start to stand your ground and focus on one thing or another.

    Legacy - Finally, you begin to master your craft and make fans and/or students. (More likely nowadays, publish material that will long outlast you) If you have stuck it out on the long hard road out of hell, you will leave behind those that will sing your praises and speak of you in hushed whispers in smokey back rooms. If you are lucky, your name will outlast all of the naysayers you encountered along the way who thought they knew you better than you did.

    All of this and more are the stepping stones of becoming a fully fleshed out performer and not just some joke fluffing birthday party rabbit puller.

    And then there are those who just don't give a shit one way or the other...

    Thursday, September 10, 2015

    On tour...

    I'm out galavanting on the east coast for a bit so here is something distracting....