Tuesday, August 22, 2017

They pull me back in again...

Yesterday I did something I try not to engage in often but since it pertained to the last post I decided to dip my toe in and...

On one of the FB magic groups This got posted. For those of you too lazy to watch it, it shows one of the previously mentioned individuals coaching his audience to over-react. To say it was met with dismay would be like saying Marlow and Vernon didn't "get along".

What really rips my sponge balls is the fact that there are magicians DEFENDING THIS! The problem is every single metaphor and example they give doesn't align because THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN MAGIC. Any example you throw at me I will gladly find fault with and explain why it doesn't work as a comparison.

The reason there is no precedent for this is because, as I have stated before, the internet is a new frontier. No one knows exactly what will work until it does and then once that ground has been raped for money and fame people move on to find the next thing that will get them noticed. It's because of this I have come to the conclusion that internet magic is it's own animal separate from stage, close-up and even TV.

What's worse is when seasoned pros say things like this, "He's doing well for himself AND he is getting people interested in Magic." Yah great. he is getting more kids who think it's ok to do this shit interested in magic who won't work or contribute to the art. Greeeeeat. Just what our world needs, more crappy magicians. Yaaaaaaay.

"Oh but they're young. leave em alone." you say? In any other job is this an excuse? Oh he keeps fucking up your fast food order? It's ok he's young. She got your Starbucks coffee incorrect? She's just young. Please. When that happens, you people go apeshit and rip those "kids" a new asshole. You don't get to pick and choose your excuses (even tho' we all do).

I had a conversation with a magician friend who has done a lot of TV and he takes issue with all of this because if it becomes the norm, then TV producers will expect these reactions and when it's explained all of it's fake they will respond with "Well why don't we just do that then?". If this becomes a thing it could affect all of us in front of AND behind the camera who actually work for a living.

But hey, in this world what could possibly go wrong?

Friday, August 04, 2017

State of the union...

First listen to this Bad Religion song to get you in the right mindset...

I don't know how many of you keep up with what is current in the magic world. Not necessarily tricks, but who is up and coming and what they are doing. If not you are likely blissful in your ignorance. If you are like me and pay WAY too much attention to our little community then you too might be perturbed by the growing trends you see.

A few days ago I posted this on my twitter:
(Aren't I #@$*ing clever?)

The reason for that post is that I see far too many magicians who are making magic videos with no substance or effort in an attempt to sell a product or gain "followers". It's usually the younger guys too because the older crowd is too busy working and was brought up believing magic is an art and a job you work at. The issue is becoming these kids want to be famous for nothing like many other "celebrities" the general populace glorify. It bothers me because I don't want to see my magic watered down and exploited for purely personal gain.

I am sure if you ask anyone I am speaking of they will justify it to others (and themselves) that they are still "entertaining" people and isn't that the goal? I know people who agree with this and their methods. At the end of the day it's a taste preference but what they are doing leaves a bad taste in my mouth and here is why: it seemingly spits in the face of those who work hard to develop a skill and treat magic as an "art".

Let me show you an example:

"But that's just one guy" I hear you cry. Ok then how about this one?

Ooooor this one?

(It's like they are making these videos in a factory or something? They are all the same!)

For those of you in the know, you might already be furious watching this. 90% of the reactions in these video are clearly fake and stooged. Does the average Duck Dynasty watching Facebook user know this? Hell no. However we have inside knowledge and, as many of you know, we judge others HARSHLY for stuff like this. There are those of us who spend months, maybe even YEARS, to perfect something so it can be done in similar ways under live fire and get genuine reactions. This kind of stuff tells others it's ok to ignore all of that and just "fake it til' you make it".

Where did this kind of silliness start you ask? Hard to tell but let's point the finger at David Blaine for now shall we? Let me preface this with the fact that, yes ol' DC used camera trickery and set up stuff BUT he did it on such a grand scale no one thought they could just run out and do it without a ton of money and production. Then along came Blaine in a T-shirt and faked a levitation and thus set a precedent. Flash forward and you got guys like Criss Fishing Rod who use After Effects and green screen to create "magic".

I am sure these guys' hearts are in the right place however their brains are clearly focused on fame. I understand people have different goals in life but I sure as shit am allowed not to like their methods for achieving them. The lay public doesn't know the difference either and by the time a booking agent finds out they can't deliver what they show, it's too late.

I know it's not smart to point fingers and yell about things you don't care for because then people will look at it and some will get the wrong idea but in this case examples need to be seen to be understood. So if you are watching these videos and thinking, "That's a great idea! I'm going to start doing that!", then I hope you die in a fire think twice about it. When you crash and burn and have to get a real job, you will get no sympathy from the rest of the magic community. However, if you could give a fuck less about the magic community, then you are probably halfway there as it is.

Here's to homogenization.

Monday, July 24, 2017

If you won't listen to me...

At least listen to Alice Cooper.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Repeat after me...

Hey magicians, please stop using the phrase, "Just keep repeating over and over in your head (insert card or whatever here)" It's a shitty and lazy way to reveal something, it has no magic moment, no panache, and I have seen it have less impact than an entire season of Criss Angel specials.

I don't know who started this idea, but it needs to STOP! I have seen spectators just stare blankly at a magician who revealed a card this way.

"I'm sorry did you say something? I stopped paying attention 10 minutes ago."

The worst part is, it shows a lack of creativity or originality on your part. If you think it's cute or magical you are wrong. I have seen far too many shitty performers use this as their quick go-to thing. I have never seen ANYONE freak out about it. They usually just sit there confused as if nothing happened. (I am sure someone out there has a story about someone losing their shit and running into traffic over it but I bet you those are some rare ol' times)

So if you engage in this kind of fuckery, stop it and flex your brain a bit to try something else.

Something like This perhaps?

Friday, April 07, 2017

Sincerely yours...

Dear magicians,

Stop making up stories about your relatives that aren't true. Unless they actually happened, it's an insincere lie you are telling your audience and you REEK of it. It's also hacky as shit. It's like saying you are going to beat Houdini's "record" for escaping a strait jacket. You're better than that and if you're not... just stop.

The Mngmnt

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Bridge and tunnel magicians...

"The creation of content is not a hobby. It is a profession." - Jean-Claude Junker

I found this quote while reading an article about the creators of Spinal Tap seeking remuneration for their work in the extremely shady industry of film and music.

For those of us who take it very seriously, creating magic is indeed a profession that borders on the obsessive. There are a number of things that take away what some of us spend a lot of time on.

  • FAKE! - A lot of the younger and unlearned magi apparently just assume something is camera edits when it's "too good" and they can't figure it out. When you do this you belittle the hard work many of us do to make it look that good. 
  • Actual Fakes - They have good reason to yell fake tho'. There are people like Zack King who (obviously) use video editing tricks to make magical things happen. However there are also people who more subtly use After Effects to create seemingly impossible tricks and don't own up to it. Those people are jag offs who will never escape their instagram account.
  • Weekend Warriors - Then there's THESE assholes. People who create magic for the sake of magic... and a paycheck. They are not making magic for the art. Oh I am sure they THINK they are but what they really are doing is looking for a way to get paid because A: they are terrible with money and 2: don't actually perform for real people and couldn't entertain a thought let alone a group of people.
It's these last ones that make me the most mad. They want money and notoriety and think releasing magic tricks will accomplish that because a few other slugs managed to do it. Every time they put out some piece of  lackluster crap tied together with elastic and magnets, they cover up the good stuff other real creators and performers have released.

Obviously the ones who dig through the mire to find the gold are the ones who will likely triumph but it's getting harder and harder every day because of these "creators" foisting their hobbies on the actual professionals. It also discourages better stuff from being produced as it's not monetarily worth the effort because a gem will soon be obscured by shit.

Fuckin' tourists...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Watch your head...

But first, watch this video.

Consider every live action mixed with animation movie you have seen in the last 20 or so years. Roger Rabbit is hands down the best. No argument. To be fair, I can forgive Cool World because it was quirky from the get go.

This video makes a valid point and it's something I have been talking about for years. When you do something for the love of the craft and because you care enough to make something great, it shows. Giving a damn is the biggest secret to creating amazing art. It's the truly obsessed with the focus to detail that make things that stand out above the rest. (Tempered with other knowledge of course. Being brain damaged about certain subjects doth not guarantee success.)

So go ahead. Bump the lamp. Don't you want to be remembered for generations like Roger Rabbit?

Or would you rather be... Space Jam?