Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Something funny happened to me on the way to this post...

I found This on Rudy Coby's Twitter.

It applies to magic in almost as many ways as it does comedy. (I'm a fan of the first one)

Read and learn mofos!

PS: Our fellow blogging fiend over at WMF has been giving some top notch advice. You should go read that too.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tragic on all occasions...

I was reading a post on a magic FB group and someone was asking about what they should put on their business card so they didn't have a laundry list of stuff on it eating up all of the space. I was very surprised, and quite frankly concerned, about the amount of people who told him to put "Magic For All Occasions".

Now perhaps it's just the fact I have been in magic a long time and heard this from so many working guys, but don't ever... ever... EVER put that on your business card. Do you do magic for funerals? How about Amish barn raising or the occasional Bris? (Just because you actually would because you need the money doesn't count)

Most anyone who makes a living doing a specific thing is that you should specialize. You can charge more and it makes you seem more competent in that particular field. If you do happen to do multiple things, make separate business cards (that also goes for websites and other marketing materials)

Unless you leave a pile of cards randomly littered about your town, chances are you handed that person that card yourself. If they ask for your card or you are giving it out, they should KNOW what you do. Something as simple as "Magical Entertainer" works. If they want you for something they will call and ask. I know it just kills people to not flood someone with information so they don't miss out on a gig but if you're good and you focus on a few areas only, the money will come and more of it.

More is less...


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NO AND THEN!

So I was watching a great little webseries called "Every Frame a Painting". It breaks down a lot about film and it's many varied aspects. On the most recent one he showed a clip from a show called Stand-in. In it the creators of South Park surprised some kids at NYU their first day of class.

Now regardless of what you might think of the show or the guys who make it, they know their shit or they would have died penniless and hopped up on heroin in an alley way long ago. It's worth a watch.

Why am I telling you all of this? It's because there is this one section I want you to pay particular attention to. It's about structuring a story. The advice they give very much can apply to routining a magic act. A routine is/can be a story. Maybe not in a traditional fairytale sense, but it should have a beginning, middle, and end or, if you want, a start, a build, and an ending.

Being able to write a proper routine is like crafting comedy. It's a skill unto itself completely apart from the mechanics required to work the props. You can have all of the magic you want but if it doesn't flow or make some semblance of sense, then the act can suffer.

Therefore, you should watch the clips above...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mix ratio...

The other day someone comment that I am known for being "pretty creative". Assuming he wasn't referring to how I make myself appear attractive, I responded that I just know things.

Creativity is not just a "thing". It's a mixture of various aspects. Two of the main ingredients are imagination and knowledge. The more things you know about, the more you can draw from that information/experience the create things.

Do not confuse this for being smart. There are plenty of "smart" people who don't know how to apply it. Knowledge is a reservoir to pull information from. Just because you know what a puzzle is doesn't mean you know how it goes together.

So if you want to expand your creativity go out and learn about things in the world. When you wonder about something, look it up. If you find yourself asking "How do they do that?", ship that little pocket computer and Google that shit. Fill your empty melon with information and think of something interesting to do with it.

If that doesn't work, there is always Bizzaro By Design.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Crisis on Infinite Job Titles...

Problems. Others has them.

Different disciplines tend to cross over especially in the performing arts.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

magicScript...

I created a new effect the other day and while I was trying to figure out some pieces of the puzzle, I hit upon a weird concept that might be familiar to some of you.

Creating magic is kind of like javascript.

For those of you who are fortunate enuff to have had more of a life than some of us, allow me to explain. Some javascript works on a language that uses if/then/else statements.

When I was working out a method for this effect I had to narrow down my options and what had to happen. In other words if (this), then (this) but if (this) else (that); Basically, to make the effect happen the way I want, a certain thing has to happen and to make that certain thing happen this OTHER thing has to occur. Do you see what I mean?

One thing leads to another and one idea triggers another. To get from point A to point B certain criteria have to be met or else I have to go another direction. It might seem silly but sometimes the creative process very much is.

function myFunction() {
    document.get("myDrift?");
}

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The Hypocrisy of it all...

I want to preface what I am about to say about the Wizard Wars TV show. Just because I am close to the source doesn't mean I don't see/know it's flaws. It's not a perfect animal but very few things ever really are. That said...

You know how I can tell magicians don't hate Wizard Wars? They all aren't up in arms about it. They aren't singing it's praises from the rooftops either but the complaining has been at a minimum and that in itself is an achievement because let's face it... you magicians LOVE to bitch.

The small rumblings I have seen are very hypocritical however. Let's look at some of the statements I have seen online.

"I don't care for magic being in a competition format" All I have to say to these people is I bet dollars to dog nuts that you have sat thru your fair share of magic competitions at a magic convention. Most of the magic on that show is far better than people who work for years on a competition act. (no not all of it but you get my point)

"I don't like the concept" The concept they are referring to is taking objects and, in a short amount of time, making magic with them that might not be as polished as other time tested stuff. The problem is these are the same people who laud the magician who can perform magic impromptu. Picking up objects they have never handled and, using the skills they have honed for years, doing magic with those items. There are whole competitions at magic gatherings doing just this and THAT seems fine.

"I miss the days of Copperfield/Henning/Carson/etc" Holy shit this one irritates me. This is why magic is so far behind most other performing mediums. We can't let go of the past and accept the evolution of a medium. I mean, I don't like the way most magicians dress like they just put on whatever was clean that morning but it is modern dress. (Who cares if they want to look like everyone else and not stand out.) I might not like it but I can accept it. At least this show is taking magic back onto the stage and in front of a live audience.

So while you are entitled to your opinion, in the future please spare me your duplicitous bullshit.

"I don't care for it."