Thursday, November 18, 2004

Touching back on the creativity thing, I have realized that some of the best and most creative magicians around had one thing in common. THEY DIDN'T SIT IN FRONT OF A DAMN COMPUTER ALL DAY!!!

Think about it. In a time before computers what did magicians do? Read? Practice? Create maybe? How about all of the above!! Take a week off from technology and see what you come up with. Seriosuly. Want to be creaative, seclude yourself.

Just some quick sage advice from me to you. Deal with it.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Doritos and Milk....

I don't know what it is about Doritos that make me wanna drink milk. At least it's not Pepsi and Milk. (Shudders) So I see a lot of the same questions pop up on message boards a lot. "What do you do about hecklers?", "What do you do if something goes awry?" (Mind you they don't say awry. Heck most can't even spell that word properly.), "How do you think up new tricks?", and my fave "How does (Such-and-such) trick work?"

Well aside from the proverbial bitch slap I wanna give people who ask that last one, allow me to comment on the other three. When I was growing up, (And ten fold people who are older than me by a good +10 years), we didna have this new fangled inter-web doo-hicky to help us along and answer our questions at a fevered pitch. Yah hadda go search thru yer skool library and PRAY no one had gotten to that copy of The Amateur Magician's Handbook before you. You had to beg yer parents to drive you to that seedy magic shop run by that creepy old guy just to buy needle thru the arm to scare yer seventh grade talent show audience... or was that just me?

Anywho, point is there is so much information at the fingertips of everyone now it's just too damn easy and the journey is way too short. So before you ask the same question that has been asked a few hundred times why not look around a bit first. If magic has taught me anything, it's that patience is a harsh mistress who will kick you squah in the wumpus if given half the chance. So how do you handle hecklers?

Well first off don't fight back. It just makes you look like a jerk and then the show becomes about you... and them. The audience will side with one or the other and if yer a dick about it they will side against You. Mind you the best teacher is experience, but here are a few tips. A. Ignore their nasty ass. Simple as that B. Don't make a joke at the heckler, make it to the audience. "Hey look everyone, another of my adoring fans!" or something of that type. Don't make it a personal attack, just a general statement. 3. Call them up onstage and have them hold something for you the whole time like it is part of the show. When they are up there with you holding something with both hands, then they will prolly hush up. Just keep reassuring them the glass of water they are holding has a purpose. At the end just take a drink and bow and send them on their way. Depending on the situation you CAN be mean to the hecklers and make it part of the show. They will respect you for it. Work the bar scene for that kind of experience tho'. Nothing teaches yah quicker than a frat boy with a few too many beers in him.

What is something messes up? Simple....don't tell anyone. Kids improv can, is, and will always be your friend. Learn it, use it, love it as yer very own. It will save yer kiester on many occasions. Learn to be quick on yer feet. Play it off. Yah drop something, don't look frazzled. Stop, look at the ceiling like it fell from the sky, shrug, and pick it up.. go on. Go for comedy when a mess up occurs. There is a brief moment of tension when a snafu happens. A funny comment, look, action, or the like will ease them off that tension and what do they know? They have prolly never seen yer show before. Only we know what will screw up aye? If yer going thru hell... keep going. - Winston Churchill

Here is a hard one to answer. Some people's minds, much like Jesus, work in mysterious ways. Some people just ARE creative. Sylvester The Jester is one of those guys. His mind is a scary place.. and so is his garage. Actually it's s a pretty cool place, it's just the way he comes up with ideas that are so far out of the box they are in another room entirely from where the box even is. Best thing I can say about learning to create more is live you life to the fullest. Bombard your mind will sorts of stimuli. Don't limit your horizons. Have multiple interests, and to quote Eric Mead, "Learn to be able to talk about something other than magic."

Learn how things work. What makes things tick. How devices are constructed. Just say to yourself: Nothing is impossible. Think of the goal first. "I want to accomplish this. How do I do this?" Then devise the method. The more you know not only about magic and techniques, but of how the world works and how the human mind works, then you will find a way. There is always a way!

So that is a long ass post whot? Hope it shed some light into yer dull little lives for another 10 minutes of yer life yah can't have back. I am sure there is more to come soon enuff. Toodles.


Monday, November 08, 2004

You show me mine, I'll show you yours.

Steve Fearson hath plugged me (that sounded dirty) on his blog site. What is great about his blog site is that it's not just about magic stuff, it's about.. well his life. Amusing anecdotes all the way. So for those who don't know who he is here is a bit of background on this insane genius. (Not insane in a bad way. It's kinda like how people in New York say "Yer a stupid bastard.. but I mean that in a good way.")

One of his first breakout effects that I remember was the floating cigarette. A cigarette floats from your hand into your lips. It could be lit if you so chose to. Made a good bit of money off that I bet. The next big thing was his Fearson's Fantastic Floatation. I got this many years ago and I still use it. Still my fave lev thus far.

Since then he has created the Fearson Box levitation, David Copperfield's Cut in half illusion (Known as "The Laser"), and the soon to be announced I hope, self vanish. Now located on his own site and in Las Vegas he is creative and friendly. So give the man some love and business... and tell em' Bizzaro sent yah.

Buy the man some Jell-o.


(We now return you to yer regularly scheduled venomous magic postings)

Friday, November 05, 2004

I haven't been thinking much about magic or why it sucks, blows, juggles, or fingerpaints. However I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how much trendy clubs and business suck some hardcore phallic symbol. So today is a little advice to all of you kids who think that people respect magic and the fine institution it has become.

First.. ALWAYS get a contract. Especially if you work for a sleazy, trendy night club for special events. If you go thru an agency that's their job. If you do it yourself make sure YOU take care of it. The people who run most nightclubs that are filled up full of drunk yuppies with more money than sense will try to screw you at any chance they get.. Especially if yer a total stranger. You see in this world we think magic is this wondrous form of entertainment.. however the rest of the world (Well not the WHOLE world, but just replace "rest of the world" with "cocaine sniffing hooker buying bar owning idiots") isn't as keen on us as we want to believe.

It's like when you tell someone, "We have a sideshow" OH WOW REALLY!!! Then you say "We also have a magic show" Oh.. wow.. really? Yah that's kinda how it goes. Why is this? The word magic conjures up images of guys with doves, boxes, tuxedos, and silk scarves. (Let's face it, if you have more silk scarves than yer wife.. you are a magician. It's a close call tho' on that with Duane Laughlin.) I have said it before it's up to us to change that and I think it is... but it's been a lateral move from tuxedos to the David Blaine (AKA: The Asshat) We'll get there. We might all be dead when it happens.. but we'll get there.

So anywho, back at the farm.... Get a contract cuz' people with no morals will show their true colors when money is involved.

Next up is when you go to perform street magic learn the laws of the land. Some places won't let you take money from someone's hand until it hits a tip jar. It's called pandering or panhandling. Many cops have nothing better to do but flex their muscles at some poor skinny schlub trying to eek out a meager living on the street. If they are Dallas cops they might just mace you, take yer money, and kick yah a few times. That's getting off easy too. So know yer laws.

What else? Hmm lesee... if you are no good at the BS game on the phone then get yerself a good representation. Don't have to be a manager. Could be a friend who is just good at talking shit. Some great artists and magicians SUCK when it comes to dealing with people. This is why the Japanese invented managers. Get one.. or at least someone you trust.

Remember, just because it's not working where you are doesn't mean it won't work period. The US is a cesspool of conservative morals. Especially the south. Europe digs art and live acts. The wierder the better sometimes. They respect street performers. Find a place to be happy.. and stay there!! Not just a location but a place in your mind and heart. It's your life. Don't let anyone tell you how to live it.. unless they are yer wife. She knows where you live.