Sunday, October 24, 2004

I have spoken on this before but instead of reposting everything about this in here I will make you work for my rant and why street magic isn't what the Asshat has made it seem to be. Wanna look? go Here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What's in a name?

Well for starters all of your personality and pretty much the first impression. Going by my stage name has it's drawbacks but there is no pretense about what yer getting. Choosing something a tad more inconspicuous can be handy and not at the same time. If it sounds too normal you might be perceived as just another nameless/ faceless magician. Copperfield was an already known name from a book. Instilled curiosity what that might be about. Houdini was a conglomerate of two other names. It was unique and invited further investigation.

A name has to have a bit of pop or roll off the tongue gently. "Penn and Teller"; what do these names say to you? If you have never heard of them.. well nothing. If you know it you know it well. Had it been Charlie and Frank, well that would be a different story. They happened to be born with interesting names (First and last respectively.) Are you that lucky? If yer name is John, Bob, Mary, or some other sundry name.. possibly not. If yer first name is a bit bland you can try to spice it up with a last name. For example Misty of added Lee to a name that was common in the 80's. It's a normal sounding name, buy also sounds like a bit more.

What spawned this post was another on the Ellusionist forums. Here is what was transcribed by me...

Performer names are all depending on the character you want to come across as. Bizzaro was created as a pure accident. I was 13 and said "That looked Bizzaro.. hmm that sounds kool." and voila. I didn't mean for it to be so fitting as the demented stuff came later (And later found out that Bizarro was a Superman villain AND comic strip. Luckily I was a public skool child and didn't know how to spell. When I found out the real spelling it was already too late.)

One of my associates developed his from his middle name and just putting a finger in the phone book.. he got Glenn Claxton. I know someone who liked wolves and became Kurtis Wolfe. (Curtis being his first name)

So inspiration can come from anywhere. If you chose a unique multi-word performing name it might get shortened. McBride, Copperfield, Blaine. They all have first names but it's the LAST name that sells it. Houdini, Keller, Dante. All dead. Also all one word names.

In the end it's not just yer name, it's if you can sell that name... but it helps to have one that is memorable and easy to spell.

Too bad I went to public skool hunh?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Shameless self promotion!!!

For those who are not familiar with my Close-up work I am offering this one time only.

At the suggestion of some others I have decided to release into limited print a few of my effects: The Bizzaro Flip, Fan Control, and one handed flourish revelation along with some effects using said techniques. It is a small independently published booklet limited to a run of ONLY 25. I personally do not believe in mass marketing effects but I do want to share them with some people who are serious about magic and adding to their art and materials. I usually will only teach people these in person but due to some suggestions I am offering this up. The booklet will be 13.80$ US and will be limited to 5 customers from 5 different forums. Go to this link Here and fill out the form. Once all of them are gone the page will disappear and never be offered again. Enjoy!

Person to person rants... what follows is some snippets from an IM conversation I was recently having.

smappdooda: it just takes acting and personality and mastering the art of making them believe what you want them to
smappdooda: too many magicians are not themselves when they perform.. they are a magician. If you watch me you see I am just being me but with a deck of cards.
smappdooda: but yah I talk to people like they are people not just props. It just takes time to get to that level where it's not the magic but how you present it and if you can entertain the audience.
smappdooda: magic is moves and tricks.. it's adding dance, make up comedy and other stuff when it becomes art
smappdooda: I bitch about magic a lot on a blog I have...

You get the idea. I was talking to someone who wants to get into magic. I feel it best to try and steer people into a direction that is not so much magic as it is entertainment. Thaz what it's all about after all right? I talk about that a lot on here (If you have been following along) and it's never gonna change.

Many people have said to me "I can't do magic I am not that dexterous... my hands are too small... I am clumsy." I say some of the best magic isn't the way you do it it's how you present it. It is up to you to make it as difficult as you want. Most people just go along with what you say. True you get some who are watchful but they were never up to enjoying it anyway. (Always have something fool proof for people like this to shut them up by the way. It's good to have a "Plan B")

Remember that the magic is really you and them. The props are just there for the visual. It's your life... make it your own.


Saturday, October 02, 2004


This is the word you should write on your forehead so in the mirror you will see it and remember to ask yourself "Why?". There is a point in most magicians lives, (Not all but most.. and not as many as there should be.), where they stop and think to themselves, "Well that don't make no damn sense!".

When you see someone produce a dove or candle or fan of cards do you wonder "now why did he do that"? Many just write it off or chalk it up to "Oh he's a magician". (There sure are a lot of ""'s in this post) Now not everything has to be logical but it would be nice if you are holding a playing card, sword, or other prop in some un-natural fashion to have a reason for doing so. Ever see the snap change? Who holds a card like that?

Now there are some times it's ok. Some things are so subtle or in the peripheral that no one questions it or notices it. Like how magicians turn over a playing card on a deck of cards. Ask a normal type person to turn over a card. They usually do it end for end, not left to right or any other goofy ass way we turn over cards. They don't question our way cuz' it's not something they do enuff or care about. It's when we take an everyday action they see or do themselves that they kind of wonder what's up. It's a subtle alarm. Like looking at a drawing or painting and just KNOWING something is off but can't place it on whut. Yer gonna think about it... and so will they.

So just think about why yer doing some of the stuff yer doing. If yer gonna put a picture frame over yer head and move your head around at least have the motivation to do so. Someone hitting you over the head with a real painting out of anger. Spite and revenge is great motivation for a stage illusion. Most of them are hella violent anyway.

In the end it's not the why.. but the how they care about anyway.