Monday, January 16, 2017

Leading the blind...

I have noticed the currently younger generation has that the older generation didn't. No it's not faster downloading porn. It's arrogance and ignorance.

I'm not saying it didn't exist in magic in the old days but it seems to be running more and more rampant. A lot of people know everything about nothing.

There is an article I read called "The Death of Expertise". I don't entirely disagree with it. There are far too many people who are experts on subjects they barely understand. It's like watching a leper give skin care tips.

Like the leper said to the prostitute...

What's worse is the rampant passing of information by the uninformed. We have amateurs teaching amateurs. People who don't know things teaching people who want to know things. It's breeding a new crop of, and I use the term lightly, magicians who can't perform. They can only create "new" magic that looks good on camera. They then go out and teach their wondrous miracle to people who don't know better and thus infecting the entire hive with misinformation. It's a never ending cycle.

Artists rendering of an upcoming magic convention in 2017

If you find yourself reading this and getting angry, you might be one of the ones who needs to take a step back and realize you could learn a thing or two. Put down your camera and cards and go learn how to actually perform in front of real people before you tell someone else how to do it poorly.

"It's better to know 4 things really well than 100 things badly" - Tom Mullica


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Colorblind as a bat...

Can you remember a time before Sharpies? I mean, the company has existed since the 60s but they didn't really take off until the 90s for magic. I got my first (and only) Sharpie thru bill in 1997. It was basic black. However since then a myrid of basic and exotic colors have come out. Some guys have built an entire career using them...

Maybe these will distract you from my Ramsey Subtlety?

Color Match

If you have been performing for 20 years or 20 days, you have likely had someone sign something. If you are in the USA it was with a Sharpie. My questions is this: Was it the right color for the job?

Believe it or not, there are certain colors that you SHOULD be using when you have items signed. I'm not some marker racist, but color does matter.
  • Blue: This color is our preferred go to for playing cards. Black and red just blend in and if it's a free choice it's a crap shoot. Blue will pop against any color, even court cards. 
  • Red: Don't you EVER have an American bill signed with a black marker. It is impossible to see even from up close. Red is the way to go. It can be seen from a very far distance and gives you instant recognition.
  • Black: For everything else. Black is good for things like balloons, coins, or other things with a good contrast.

Size DOES Matter

When you work anything other than close-up (and even then) you need the markings to be visible. By using the larger "Chisel tip" style markers, you increase the readability of the markings your helpers leave. Mac King has people sign a card with a HUGE marker.

This came with my Bowl-A-Rama but &$%# that trick!

It's the small details like this that come with performing, experimenting and caring about your audience and what they see/perceive.

Who are we to argue with Mac King?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Truth in advertising...

This might be the most honest and accurate shirt to represent the current generation of magicians I have ever seen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Like a pin drop...

I wonder if magicians can hear the sound of an appearing metal cane. Do they think the loud sound of rapidly expanding spring steel is what magic sounds like when it's happening. I got news for you. If you can hear it, so can everyone else.

I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.

There are ways to do it where it doesn't sound like a pterodactyl swooping out of the sky. There are (read: were) canes that used to be pretty damned silent but good luck finding those for a good price. You could use plastic but they usually look like crooked and wobbly. 

Personally I prefer the production out of a scarf like Shimada and Dimmare were oft to do. (If you don't know what I'm talking about Scott Cervine can show you.) 

So next time you want to fire of an appearing cane ask yourself, "Is this what magic sounds like or am I just fooling myself?" 

It's likely the latter.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The king's throne...

Here is a random idea I just thought of....

Put a mirror across from your toilet.

Not a full length one. There is no need to get that intimate while doing "paperwork". However something that sits about shoulder height and up can be beneficial. It's like having sex in a public place. You'll get used to it. (and there is less of a chance you'll get arrested)

This will help you in two ways:
I. you can work on your facial expressions which are very important when it comes to performing and conveying emotions. Far too many performers don't know what to do with their face. This will give you the chance to work on it.

II. It will get you more comfortable in awkward situations. If you can maintain eye and make faces at yourself with defecating, you can do most anything. Getting over those feelings of embarrassment are part and partial to being a good entertainer.

Besides, it's not like you're going anywhere...

Friday, October 28, 2016

Let's define the terms...

This shit right here makes me mad.

These companies are allowing half wits with half baked ideas to get an ego about being inventors and then they start touting themselves as such and then pump out MORE magic bile into the world.

Let me get something straight here. Just because you come up with some piddly ass magic trick it does NOT make you a "creator". It makes you someone with an idea.

Also being a "creator" doesn't make you a magician. If you can't perform your own creations you are just someone who makes stuff.

In my opinion, a creator does their due diligence. They research, they perfect, they make something the best it can be. What companies like Murphys are perpetrating is if you come up with some terrible idea they can help make it "marketable" thus making them more of the creators and the person who comes to them a kind of figurehead. "We did all the work to make this not suck but because we can't just cut this idiot out of the loop we have to put his name on it".

I don't care if you don't agree with me or think I am way off base. I am just sick of our profession being choked with mediocre magic and fevered egos who think they are somebody because a bunch of pre-pubescent humans think they are hot shit.

Obviously this doesn't go for EVERYONE. Some people are prolific creators. (Not necessarily GOOD ones) However in magic everyone wants to be on par with the people who have achieved legit "fame" for making something and magic companies keep enabling this to happen.

The urge to create is deep in our core and I understand that, but too many are creating for the wrong reason: money. If you create for yourself and your audience, the money will come but if you forgo those first steps you are going about it the wrong way.

There's enough terrible magic out there. We don't need sponsored posts on message boards encouraging more greed and terrible tricks.

Thanks Obama...

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Avante Card...

Some magicians create magic for magicians. some create for the real world, and a few, create magic that skips madly between the two.

However, one trap I see a lot of guys falling into is trying to put some deep meaningful slant on card tricks. The problem is they aren't writers so their "script" comes off fake, forced, and flamingos (Sorry I needed a third word for the alliteration).

Non-magicians barely give a shit about magic as it is so hitting them with some heavy patter while doing a card trick can fall very flat. In a theater show it's usually fine. Hell some people have made a whole career out of it at this point. However, if you are going to hold people hostage in a strolling situation, you might want to leave the artsy shit at home. Least you find them watching your autistic artistic presentation like this...

 "Why is he talking about snow? It's a card trick..."

I'm not saying DON'T try to be artistic and creative and deep and alla that, just choose your battles. Don't make your script the default for EVERY situation. Read the room. If you're at a bar, chances are they don't want to hear your philosophy on how card tricks give you the chance to "ask questions".

It's not therapy, it's a card trick.