Thursday, January 29, 2004

It's a long and dark dangerous winding road creating magic to sell to a discerning crowd of rip off hacks and complete clones. Magic is a very free form thought process. However there are a lot of closed minded gits out there sadly. Many forget that what works for real people doesn't go over well with magi's. Mind you a svengali deck gets real people. Not like it's hard. However magicians try to create stuff to fool other magicians. Others try to do something that appeases both normal people and magicians. (cuz' let's face it, magicians are NOT normal.) One such person is Mickey Silver. Man this guy has taken the retention vanish and amped it up to inhuman proportions. I saw a video of it recently and my god this thing kills. He is going to release a DVD on it soon. This is where I stop and ask "Why"? So every hack can do it and you can make a buck? Is it to further the art but adding a new piece of unknown knowledge to the sub-culture.. or do you just want yer name in the history books?

Regardless it's always the human nature of newest, shiny toy. Even if it's just a move or idea, it's still new and EVERYONE is doing it (or wants to). Gee all the better reason to stay away from it. How can you be an individual by doing everyone else's stuff. Now in the case of techniques and moves it's understandable, but find a place for it IF it fits you. Too many people create stuff that they create for them, pass it off to make a buck, and muddle the world further. Hell I think it sucks when magicians blatantly rip off other guys and there is nothing they can do. Everyone waxes poetic about Meir Yedid's "Fade Out" however no one else seems to know that Peter Duffie came out with "Wipe Out" first. The effect and handling is the same. Would Meir do this knowingly? Mr. Duffie doesn't think so and chalks it up to both of them coming up with the same idea independently. I say PUUUUUHLEEEESE!!! Not my place but I do not think it's cool. But I digress...

So let's talk about new effects that were recently seen. One of such is the Tommy Wonder/ Losander effect "Sphere". Well first off Tommy Wonder revamped the "Zombie" ball by changing the gimmick and afew other things. Looked good. Losander too this Idea and made his now infamous "Floating Table". Quite frankly it's a great effect but fooking expensive for some balsa wood. Also too many people are doing it. So they got together and made the "Sphere" which appears to me to be a self contained (Gimmick and all) zombie. Ok I am down with that. Looks good. (Looks like the sphere version of the floating table but again, I digress.) My problem is, it looks like a fooking Phlat Ball. Un-natural as all hell. You can search around for a video demo if it if you look hard enuff. I am done hunting links down for you lazy buggers. It costs way more money than I would wanna pay for something that looks more out of place than a set of nice cups and balls. Hey slap two top names on the sucker and charge out the wang for it.. whatever. It's yer thing do what you wanna do. Show me a way to make a bowling ball do it, I'll be more impressed.


Friday, January 23, 2004

This Magic Moment...

For us the moment magic happens is when the move occurs. At that moment the magic is done. The hard part is over. Now we just have to turn over that card, reveal that coin, put out that fire, etc etc. However, for the audience they haven't seen any magic as of yet. Just some fancy moves, some personal juggling, maybe some snappy patter. (if they're lucky) Where is their magic moment? There are a lot of theories on sustaining that "magic moment". Some people think you have to stop the action to a crawl and say something incredibly stupid like, "And I cast a Shadow over the (insert object in question here)..". Not hardly. You should give them a magic moment. Something you do, be it snapping the fingers, wiggling the fingers, moving your body in a rock like motion, or other such silly stuff. That is when the magic happens for them.

You see it's like sex, (Which some of you may not know much about or might have to pay for it which means you can do what you want. It's yer money and yer anxious. I can appreciate that. Then there are those of you who have the internet and can type with one hand a little too well... but I digress.), you like to prolong that "magic moment" as it were, (If yer any kind of romantic person anyway. If yer paying for it, just forget I said any of this.), and it's always better when you kinda don't just go wham, bam, thank yah ma'am.

So magic is just like sex.. except I do magic waaaay more. Well maybe JUST not like sex. I don't need to take a shower after I find someone's card.. they might have to but.. no no I am losing my train of thought here. Basically, don't just throw their card down on the table after putting it in the deck and going "there". Ooh thank you Mr. Excitement!! Don't put a coin in yer hand and IMMEDIATELY open yer hand to show it's gone. Do a little foreplay. A little dinner, a little dancing. In the end when the magic happens, it's more powerful and fulfilling for both parties involved.

Magic and sex... what the hell was I thinking?


Monday, January 19, 2004

I think it is time to explain myself.... first take a look at this post.

Done? Ok... I was banned from that site for my defense of deleting and editing posts on subjects that are not as sensitive as they think. Basically I was booted for talking about censorship. (Ironic doncha think?) Later I went back in under a different name, (Years later I might add), and made a post in a section about fire magic on how NOT to burn yourself silly. What did they do? They banned that new name and deleted the post. The title of their site "Magicians helping Magicians" is kinda hypocritical at this point.

I have heard many things from people who have been banned, are still on, or have worked for the site. Now despite the fact that I love the stuff this guy sez about them... I personally won't resort to calling Scott Guinn a bible humping talentless hack. That's just wrong.. even if it is true. At this point the Cafe has grown beyond the scope of what it started as and has lost it's focus. There are too many hands in the soup and no one knows what the other cook is doing. (For all we know they are whackin' off in the "secret" sauce.)

What bothers me the most is they say they are like no other magic board... which is true. No one else bans, scares off, or downright censors anyone like they do. Now some of you reading this may not agree. You might be friends with these people. Hell you might even be those people. First off, thaz not my problem. Second, all of this is my opinion. I'm entitled to it. Not because of the constitution, but because I believe in the freedom to say what I want when I want and the only way to stop me is to kill me. Thaz my freedom of speech.. you have it and I have it. Words are words and some words can be more effective than others but you must know the right time and place to use them. This is for magic, and the world. Don't let anyone tell you how to be..

be whoever you are.


Saturday, January 17, 2004

Why am I not Surprised?

Just got this back from the people at the magic castle.... "Yes, we received and reviewed your CD. I'm regret to say that we are not booking any new acts of this genre at this time."

Gee what a fucking shocker. I don't shove chicks in a box, produce doves, or do card manipulation or torn and restored Newspaper. It sucks trying to be different I tells yah. For all of the ranting and raving I do about being original, sometimes it can be a double edged sword. I'm not bitter.. just annoyed.

However talking to Morgan from out in Vegas he and I both agree that doing magic for magicians suck. Remember that kids... real people are who we work for. Magicians are not your focus. You should always think like a lay person (I hate that term) AND a magician. You must be Switzerland.. you just wanna make cheese.

Oh well... keep up the good work everyone. You may all go now.. but leave your pants.


Update: The world has changed since I was 16 and doing magic in bars. It's a lot harder to get anywhere in the entertainment business. I won't say I was born in the wrong era, but I missed something. Mind you in the 70's I would have either been burned at the stake, or they would have been so drugged up that they would have loved me.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I just want to BEAT people like This. "What's a topit?" Any of you younger kids who are reading this do me a favor and do some FUCKING research!!!!! I'm sick of these people who immerse themselves into magic for a year or two, get really good at sleights, think they are the shizznit, and know nothing about certain aspects of magic. Now I am not one of those gung-ho "You must learn the history of magic dating back to the farrows (pun) and cups and balls and the history of the linking rings and blah blah blah.." kinda guys. It's good to know that stuff, but it's good to know not only how it works but why. I'm also not saying you have to directly research, just pay attention and look around. Blinders are for horses. Have an open mind, open eyes, and open ears. Listen, look, and THINK!!!! This isn't just for magic but for your whole bloody life.

Knowledge is never bad, but lack of it can be.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I don't agree with everything Mr. Haydn sez (Which is not a first) but he has some good points. I think it is good to learn the basics and KNOW the classics but not make them part of yer show so much. Sure anyone can learn them, buy them, perform them... but everyone does that. Everyday new people are egtting exposed to magic. They have never seen the cups n' bawls, clinking rings, or gypsy fooking thread. However before they die they will probably see it more times than they should. Sure I sound biased and whatnot... and I am. However that is my freedom to say so. Don't like it? Bite me.

Anywho, I just don't think we need clones running around enforcing magical inbreeding. Everything has it's place, I just want to see some more reinforcement that moves away from the norm. Is that too much to ask.. IS IT!!!!?

and now for yer amusement....

Wow that was a great box trick, but can he make a card stick to a ceiling?

We were watching the "Worlds Greatest Magic Show" (An only slightly over-inflated and complete lie. Three performers are good. The others are iffy. The MC is great and therefore doesn't count.) afterwards at dinner with all of them we thought, "They do good stage stuff, but can any of them do close-up that would amuse anyone?"

Let's break this down by performer shall we?

1. Jeff Hobson: Probably can do some good close-up. He knows a mercury fold and card in Mouth. That's at least one.
2. Joseph Gabriel: Probably not.
3. Nicholas Knight and Kinga: I don't think Kinga knows any magic persay. (Aside from the magic of being a Hungarian hottie.) Nicholas Knight can do at least ONE I know of cuz' he is selling it and has a demo of him doing it. So he probably knows something.
4. Sylvester The Jester: Two words - Sylvester, Pitch. Yes he can do close up. Seen it with my own eyes.
5. The Majestix: (snorts.. er. shakes Magic 8 Ball)Chances are not bloody likely.
6. Kevin James: Oh yah.. good stuff.

So what is the moral of this story? Original magicians don't limit themselves? Shitty box and dove magicians do? I don't think so... at least gads I seriously hope not.

So why get into magic and learn only one medium? I love stage. More than anything else. However I know you have to be able to do good close up too to survive. I'm not saying the aforementioned performers can't do it, I just can't SEE them doing it. If you have ever been told that you can ONLY be a card guy, coin person, stage magician, rope wrangler then you have been told wrong. You can learn it all!!

Now this does not mean go nutz and learn everything that comes out, thaz not what I am saying no. Learn enough to be educated but not hindered. Learn enough to be able to apply it to the situation as you see fit. Not everything is gold. Hell not everything is fake bling bling y0. So if you just do close-up, maybe you should think of trying for some parlour or stage branching out. It's good for your skill and art. Rarely do close-up kids go into stage. Usually it's vice versa, just remember: DON'T SUCK!!!!!

For our sakes....


Monday, January 05, 2004

Ok well I have only gotten one request thus far and to make it a real contest I need more than one you ungrateful mean loyal readers. So until the void is filled on another request I might as well yap to my heart's content about something else. I think I shall make a personal attack on the little nose-miner fuck trophies over at some of the magic boards I lurk on.

Personally I blame the degradation of magic into a capitalist hellhole on the abundance of slimy amateur magicians who think shlepping lackluster products to pre-pubescent males who couldn't get laid if they had a checking account is a good business venture. Back in the olden days (Way before my time I might add) magic stores were not as prolific nor were they run by just any numbnut. They also were (but not always) somewhat discriminating as to what they would or would not sell a hobbyist.

Now it's the future. We have the inter-web. Ah yes, the internet... where porn and blackmail roam free like so many water buffalo on a wildlife preserve. Someone realized there was a giant gap in the online magic market and decided to fill it. However what they filled it with was CRAP!!!!! Now they have message boards full of kids who know only so much as they are told and don't look much beyond their own computer screen for answers. They assume that just cuz' they found a website that guarantees them power, popularity, and some really neet magical apparatus then that's all they need to know. Technology has made us all lazy and magic on the web is no different. I see so many stupid questions that could be easily answered with just a bit more of effort on their part. I tire of seeing posts like "Invisible Deck: Is it worth it?" If you have to ask this question you should be booted from a magic board and forced to take up a hobby like cross-stitch. The first time it was asked should be your answer. There is a search function for a reason you know?

As the lazy factor climbs, so does the arrogance factor. Sure you've been in magic for, wow 2 whole years? You must be good enough to have yer own TV show. < /sarcasm > Here entertain me then. Notice I did not say fool me with some really convoluted sleight of hand. Technique is not the same as performance.

Speaking of your own show, every time I see someone who knows nil about performing (and blew his birthday money on a buncha props) books a show and then asks, "What is the best way to blah blah blah. I have a show this weekend." I want to bludgeon them about the head and shoulders. NEVER do a show you have not timed, practiced, and blocked out. You make us all look bad. It's like the blonde bimbo who sets women's lib back 40 years. Quite frankly it's too late to fix anything. (Much like women's lib in some cases.) Thus those who care have to care more and those who don't care... have to be lit on fire by those who do care. It's only because we care...


(The following sure is rather bitter and jaded but it has been a frustrating week. Don't like it, too bad!!)

Friday, January 02, 2004

Ok so I am feeling a bit generous. I'm takin' it to the streets. What do you people wanna hear me rant about? Send me some subjects!! Anything magic related you want to hear my thoughts on or my twisted views let's have them. The subject I choose will get a free copy of my book "CHEAT DAMN YOU!!" so email me at and give me some ideas. It's not that I am tapped out I just feel like taking a break and using this as an opportunity for misdirection away from the lack of entries. Deal with it.


Thursday, January 01, 2004

"Pick a black queen"
"I choose Ru Paul"
"no no no!!"

I love that. It amuses me greatly. So 2004 started off nicely. Good weather. Overcast, cool, pleasant. So tell me, what do you know about make-up. Not like drag queen stuff. I mean for stage work and even close up. Too many performers not only lack personality but also fluid motions, (You can be clumsy and still be rhythmic), and proper blocking. (Not that is not if you eat a lot of cheese. It's the way you place yourself and objects on stage and how they move around and where to etc.) If you are a serious performer, not just some "Hey look I got 20 bucks from selling the flowers I stole off a dead guys graves, I wanna buy a trick deck" kinda guy, then it is worth your time and effort to learn about your environment.. the stage.

Even close up is a stage. When you do close-up, put a thin layer of clear nail polish on your hands.. well not your hands but yer fingernails.. but you know what I meant dammit!!! It makes your hands look more manicured and professional. It seems silly but it's true. As for stage itself, stage lights will KILL your face. As in it blots it out to a mass of expressionless nothing. You want to put eyeliner around the eyes, and some perhaps in the eyebrows if you use a lot of facial expressions. Also light rouge of the cheeks and even lip liner for the lips for bigger stages. There are also ways to give the illusion of thinner cheeks, noses and other facial stuff. Look it up. I would do it for you but I am fascinated by my tear ducts right now.

So let's talk about movement a bit. Always, ALWAYS practice not only your magic moves but also the movements of your body AND the facial expressions. Body language and expressions are heavy misdirection when used properly. Let's talk about something very unknown. If you want to be perceived as a good guy type always enter from Stage Right. (if you don't know where that is you need more help than I can give.) And stage left if you want to be given off a personality of more foreboding. People read from left to right. They are more comfortable with that. Unless of course you are performing for the Chinese then it's Upstage to downstage.. they read funny.

So magic is more than just knowing the magic, it's performing it. If you are going to do this stuff, at least do it right. Quit making me look bad by sucking. If the best thing you can do for magic is get out of it.. DO SO!!!