Friday, September 19, 2014

Do you contest this?

I have a new website/lecture only DVD coming out soon. It's an "EP" with three effects (and some gaffs included) If you wanna win a copy, caption this photo all "meme" style. For those lacking mad photoshop skills, you can use places like This.

Stick them in the comments section. The one that makes me chuckle the most gets the DVD. Get them in by  October 1st! (one entry per person so make em' good)

Click the image to get it at full size:

Saturday, September 06, 2014

A padded cell...

Some of you should be committed. No I don't mean in an asylum, (well not all of you), but when you deliver your lines.

I see a lot of younger magicians delivering lines, jokes, patter and then apologizing for them afterward. It doesn't matter how corny, bad, hacky what you say might be, you need to just let them be. If they land flat move on. If they hit, let them laugh (or groan) and don't step on the reaction. It's a tough lesson to learn and I can tell you that magicians, for the most part, are not funny.

Saying a line that is funny and BEING funny are two different things. Mike Bent has a great lecture about writing comedy. I don't mean jokes, I mean COMEDY. Most of you can't write comedy to save your life. Trust me, I have seen it.

It's a tough lesson to let sleeping lines lie. We almost seem embarrassed or guilty about saying something risque or "funny". We laugh at the joke and dismiss it like we didn't mean it. Well let me tell you something... MEAN IT! Don't just say a line because someone told you to, or you read it in a book or saw someone else do it. Say it because it's from YOUR experiences, YOUR heart. If you can't write or are afraid to be funny in the moment take some improv classes. They can teach you how to go with it and not be apologetic for what you say.

Now put on that strait jacket and get out there!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Get with the times...

Anyone who has seen magic in the last few years will notice the trend of "street clothes" as the normal attire of the young magi. Whether or not you like it, this is the norm now. On one hand it looks very unassuming. On the downside it, those who are being influenced by this try to copy it and do it badly. It works for some people. Some people know how to dress and get stuff that, while looking "normal", have an air of performer to them.

I am sure when Robert Houdin started wearing the tux and tails to perform in, which was the normal day to day wear of the times (more or less), people mocked and dismissed it.

Mind you those people were wearing Chinese robes to perform in so...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Computer Viruses....

I am getting really sick of mediocre "magicians" who are barely performers trying to get noticed by making "viral" videos.

Too many people want to be rock stars without putting in the effort.

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's ok to suck for a little while...

"It's better to be 5 years late than one day too early"

I'm not sure who said that exactly (and I am likely paraphrasing that harshly) but you get the idea. I have noticed a lot of younger performers are in a huge hurry to get somewhere before they maybe should. I'm not saying this is a new thing BUT it seems to have reach an accelerated level. I'm also not the only one who has noticed this.

Watch this video below and see if some of this sounds familiar and then say to yourself "It's gonna be ok..."
The Long Game Part 1: Why Leonardo DaVinci was no genius from Delve on Vimeo.

And just so you don't skip part two, Here it is for you lazy bastards out there.
The Long Game Part 2: the missing chapter from Delve on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sell your sole... property?

The last few years have seen a strange trend I am not sure I like. It's the selling of of an "award winning" act on DVD well before that performer has gotten too old to do it.

Some say it's to show their techniques to put a time stamp on it but they do not "encourage" you to perform their act verbatim. I understand letting it all go after a lifetime of creation and magic. However I think the selling of a magic competition act after only a few years is for one sole purpose... profit.

I guess when there is a buck to be made, there is no point in keeping secrets.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

DVD Guide pt 4: Nice package...

I thought to myself "I should do a new guide thingy. I'll do it next week" not realizing I had a lot of shows that next week.

What say we finish this puppy off with a little talk about how to wrap yo' shit? I don't mean double bagging it either (unless you like your junk secure with shrink wrap).

The double entendre aside, I am referring on how to present your DVD creations.Some options are, but not limited to:

1. The classic and easily recognizable Amray Case: I can say from experience that traveling with a lot of this style case can be a giant space eater and pain in the butt.

2. The slightly less bulky Slim Line case: A lot like the above but half the size. It saves you some space but you sacrifice the visibility of the spine on a shelf.

3. The compact and cheaper DVD Sleeve: This one is likely to save you a LOT of room in your luggage and tends to be cheaper to produce because you can have some slick packaging and make your own discs.

Most DVD duplicators offer all of these options. You can even self-produce the whole shebang from start to finish.

Now comes the eternal question: Goobers or Raisinetes... no wait.. I mean Duplicated vs. Replicated. What is the difference you ask? All "professionally" produced discs have that shiny silver underbelly. Those are replicated. The ones with the purple-ish store-bought look are duplicated. So which one is right for you?

There was a time that people would judge your DVD on if it was burned at home or not. In today's world, because of the availability of self-production, that seems to have fallen by the wayside. 10 years ago I would NEVER have released a non-replicated DVD. Nowadays for shorter runs and private stuff sold on your website or at lectures you can get the aforementioned DVD sleeves made up elsewhere, burn your own discs and, if you have the right machine, print the tops of them at home too.

Having a slick looking package (giggity) will help you attract attention but ultimately it's the content inside that will determine it's success. With any luck I have helped you a slight bit with my advice. Anything I can do to make the magic marketplace suck a bit less.

It's what I do...