Thursday, August 15, 2019

Eth Icks

I'm just gonna leave this here...

www.magicethics.com

Friday, May 17, 2019

Post credits scene...

I want to have a talk about crediting...

I don't mean the type of crediting where you tell who invented the double lift or other move in a lecture or instructional treatise. I mean the kind of crediting where you acknowledge the people who have helped you, especially in a public space. TV shows, stage shows, etc.

For TV, a name in the end credits is almost mandatory obviously. Web video it's a little different. If it's a YT video or the like, it's easy to thank someone in the descriptions. If it's a long series of things, a blanket statement somewhere publicly goes a long way.

You'd think this would be a "well duh" thing, but there are a lot of damaged assholes in the world (and especially the entertainment business) who want everyone to think they did everything themselves. Everyone who has any modicum of success has a team behind them. Big or small there is still more than one person who gets that person into the limelight. Some of those people thank that team any chance they get, and others... well....

You know who you are...
I am now speaking to the young up and coming guys: As someone who has been on some of those teams for various performers, let me tell you that monetary compensation is not a thank you. For some people it might be because it's just a job to them, but some of us are trying to make cool magic and art. To pretend we don't exist is a good way to get a bad name in the industry and word spreads fast if you are a little diva and take credit for other people's work.

So make sure you acknowledge those who lift you up because if not, eventually, they will drop your ass.

TL;DR - There are some really big pieces of shit in magic.




Wednesday, April 10, 2019

JTMMC...

Today was the Johnny Thompson memorial in Las Vegas. It was chocked full of nuts magicians from all over. The outpouring of respect and love for him was impressive to behold.

For me the most depressing thing is that we will never have another person with his kind of career because we live in different times. Oh sure, there are a handful of knowledgeable magicians still alive but no one will ever have the arc he did. The lack of venues, respect for live performance, and the rise of the internet are a few of the reasons for this.

The generation after Johnny who looked up to him have been dealt a hefty blow for sure. My generation has a little bit more to go before we lose someone of his magnitude that we watched growing up as kids. It makes me curious who the current generation will look up to and learn from down the line.

I know I have spoken quite harshly of the most recent crop of kids on the internet doing social media magic. It's not because I don't like them but more what they are doing (or not doing). I just want them to be better. None of us made good decisions in our youth. The difference is we didn't have a world stage to parade our bad decisions around on. I can't tell you how much I hope to see the likes of Julius Dean or Jibrizy wise up as they get older and become great. To rise above their mistakes and become iconic performers future generations look up to and learn from. Basically I just want to be wrong.

It could happen...

Don't do it for me. Do it for Johnny.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I'm more amazed than you are...

I recently saw a magic show and was reminded of a bad habit some performers fall into and want to share it with you so maybe you don't fall into the same trap.

Don't know what has happened before the audience does.

What do I mean by this? Imagine You are doing a drawing duplication and before you ever see the drawing your helper has done you pronounce "and the drawings match" THEN you look at them both and THEN show the audience. This usually happens when you are following a script too tightly or have been doing a routine for so long you just speed through it (or you have not been taught anything about being theatrical AT ALL).

Now there are times when this is ok. When you cause the magic to happen on purpose and you know ahead of time what the outcome is supposed to be. The problem comes into play when the magic is supposed to be a "surprise" for you and the audience. I don't mean you have to act surprised, but you discover something at the same time as them.

If you know what has happened before you are supposed to know, it lends itself to the fact that there was no free will on the part of the audience and can even point towards a method.

So be aware that even if you are playing the part of a mind reader, you shouldn't get ahead of your audience.

Don't Be This Guy

Monday, March 11, 2019

Social Disease...

The past week, (hell the past few months), have been rough on magic. A lot of magicians are in a period of mourning and if you don't know why you might just need to look into it.

I could do one of my usual waxing poetic posts about who we lost like I have in the past and I still might but today I decided to do an experiment... a social experiment.

I thought to myself, "I wonder if any of the high profile social media guys have posted anything about any number of the people we have lost."

Did I find anything you ask?


Male, female, none of the people whose social media I slogged through said word one about Johnny, Dusheck, Sonny, Denny, or any of the others who have recently passed. Actually, I take that back. One person mentioned Johnny. So that means I could find 7 whole words across 4 platforms about one of them.

Why is that you ask? Could it be because the current crop of people using magic to garner attention couldn't be bothered to acknowledge that which has come before them and pay respects to the shoulders of those who they are treading all over?

Most of their pages are just a glut of "LOOK AT ME BUY MY STUFF LOOK AT ME!" To be fair I didn't see EVERY page they post on. Some have their personal FB profiles hidden well (or don't exist). However, you would think that even on their "official" pages they would mention the passing of SOMEONE to the public out of respect. I don't care if you have millions of invisible fans or won a TV show competition, you should take your blinders off and look around sometime.

Acknowledge the knowledge that has gotten you this far.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Blood makes noise...

Passion breeds many things. Love, education, sadness, and even anger (especially anger). I cannot think of one person more deserving of the word "passionate" than Denny Haney.

The highest compliment I can give Denny is that even my wife liked him.

I only got to truly meet him within the last decade when I lectured at his shop in Baltimore. After that, any chance I got I would stop by and visit just to hear stories and talk shop and gossip a bit. Him and I saw eye to eye on many things (even if he was shorter than me). His magic shop contained a wealth of knowledge and with his passing that shop has got a lot less of that knowledge in it.

I have mentioned before how we are losing our greats slowly and they are NOT being replaced. It's like a sports tournament bracket. (or the Highlander if yer nerdy like me) We are slowly being whittled down to the last man standing.

My prediction that has been in full view the entire time...

I'm not trying to be dire or come off as one of those idiots who like to claim "magic is dying". I'm not that delusional. We are however seeing a definite decline in magic of those who know any history of the art or how to perform. The worst part is the ones who are dipping their taint in the well will be long gone before the damage they are doing fades away.

There are very few of us who care enough to try and inject some knowledge into the lives of magicians at large. The fewer there are, the fewer there are that can be helped. I personally have no idea how to reach those who need to be reached on a macro scale. The ones who need it don't want to hear it and you can't really give it away for free because no one will value it. You can't even put it on social media so the people who really need it will see it.

I stole this from Shaun Robinson on Memes for Magicians
I think I am a mix of excited and terrified to watch the next decade of magic unfold. I want to see who will step into the light to rise up and take over the mantles of those whose hearts were too full and just had to give some of that passion and love away to those who wanted it. If you are very lucky you might one day become that person. Someone people will look up to and travel just to learn from and hang out with. If you are really REALLY lucky, one day some weirdo might even talk about you on the internet in their magic journal for 3 people to read.

Farewell you magnificent bastard.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

More audio fun!

For those of you who might remember, I did a post about how to run your own sound. It seemed to help people out and I am always looking to update the community on new stuff that might help them.

Today I share with you two new tools to help you make your music making experience easier. The first one was shown to me by Naathan Phan (the magic asian man). It's a bluetooth media button that doesn't go to sleep on you after 30 seconds and has a decent range. The weird thing is, if you search for blutetooth remote, it won't pop up because it's a "media button". Regardless, it's small and easy to use.
Little, yellow, different... (except for the yellow part)

The other audio toy comes to us from Ryan Stock. He runs his music from on-stage when he can. To do this you usually need a direct box to get a balanced signal which can be a pain to deal with if you have the wrong cables or there is no DI box handy. Well that's a thing of the past now!

A company with a weird long name (rapcohorizon) has produced the LTIBlox. It's part of their line of Blox named audio stuff. This one in particular is intended for use with a laptop or other audio device that takes a headphone input. It also has a volume knob built right in so you can adjust on the fly. This lets you have your ipod/ipad/media star/etc right there on stage with you so if something goes wrong, you can adjust it tout suite. Just make sure you have an XLR cable handy because you never know what you are up against in a new venue.

That's a sexy knob right there...

So make a new year's resolution to pick up some new equipment to make your life easier.