Friday, December 30, 2005

First off I am gonna PIMP YO' SISTER!!! er.. my stuff.. The new Helter Shelter book is now for sale at Murphy's Magic Supplies. Tell yer fave magic shop you want them to order it.

Now I'll trade you. You make them order my crap, and I'll tell you something useful. Previously a reliable way to create your own custom printed playing cards was either a hassle or fairly expensive. You could order the custom FAK-O sheets. They are good for normal cards. If you are the stubborn bastard type like me who use nothing but Jumbo Index cards or for those of you who are insane and use Lo-Vision cards it might be a bit more challenging.

Recently I found a step by step way to make your own cards on Alt.Magic brought to you by Mr. Ray Haddad. It can now be found Here. It's good solid advice but time consuming. The price of shirt transfers has gone down a bit since then too. I recently found another good shortcut for custom cards I shall now share with you.

Purchase Shipping labels larger than a playing card. (3.5 x 2.5) If you are photoshop savvy and have a scanner yer good to go. First scan the packing label sheet and use it as a template so you know where to position the card graphic. Scan some playing cards and adjust them as needed. Position them properly within the label lines and PRINT THAT SUKAH!!

I hope you bought a deck of blank cards. (Cuz' real cards can be seen thru the thin labels. If in a pinch you can sand off the pips of an ace with fine grain sandpaper) Line up the label as best you can and slap it on the card. Cut around the edges and voila a custom card!! Wait, there's more...

It's gonna have a matte finish (Unless you buy gloss coat shipping labels) so you will also need to use the Krylon Gloss finish to make the surface shiny as well as seal the label on the card.

Let it dry and voila' custom printed playing cards!!

Hope yah have fun with that and don't forget: Nothing sez lovin' like a book about razor blades.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

TOTALLY off topic...

My blog is worth $564.54.
How much is your blog worth?

Amusing regardless. More soon after the holidays.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Who's yer daddy?

A lot of magicians try to let a spectator perform an effect such as spectator cuts the aces. They feel this makes the helper the star... but let's think about this for a second. Ok sure the person helping will feel good for getting what you wanted right. A person who craves attention or power like a CEO or somesuch will prolly get off on being the center of attention for a moment or two. (A moment is three seconds long in case yah cared)

However in the real world a crowd watching a card handler/magician KNOWS that it was NOT the person doing the magic but the magician being clever enough to set up that instance of entertainment. Now some of the people out there who get easily freaked out by magic will believe anything but on the whole having someone else perform the motions just shows that the performers hands had nothing to do with it but still could accomplish miracles. Saying the spectator did it makes it less pompous.

Whatever gets us through the day hunh?


Friday, December 09, 2005

Amusing and worth reading.

That's all.

Can we Talk?

Ok so I just had a conversation with an old friend online... this goes to show just how much magic shows (Thru constant bombardment thru repeats) can still be effective and just how much exposure sites and TV shows don't hurt us on a whole.

The following story is true. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. The typos however have been left in.

what is with davis blaine?
smappdooda: David
smappdooda: he's got a good marketing team why?
s: i love him
s: how does he levitate?
smappdooda: the balducci levitation and video editing
s: uh
s: but you can see him going up, and the people are so freaked out
s: you mean it's fake?
smappdooda: don't believe everything you see on TV.. especially by magicians.. ESPECIALLY unscrupulous ones
s: ....unscrupulous? David Blaine? But i love him! How can he be unscrupulous?
smappdooda: well ok magically unethical how's that?
s: ,,,,i am confused
smappdooda: He does a buncha stuff that you could ONLY do with money and a crew.. but I guess David Copperfield has been doing the same thing since the 80's
s: ok you know that one thing where the card the person picks is shoved through the glass and you have to cut the glass to get it? that freaked me out. Are you saying that his tricks are all crap?
smappdooda: well technically ALL magic tricks are crap heh. The methods are SO downright sneaky or dirty that we don't tell how they are done because it makes it go from neat experince to shitty trick
smappdooda: but if you like Blaine check THIS guy out
smappdooda: he is the japanese version and BETTER
smappdooda: got a lot of videos of him in a list to the right
s: ok but seriously how does he levitate? can you just tell me?
smappdooda: sure he does a trick called the balducci levitation and then they edit the reaction sounds while he is lefted up on wires. That's all edited he gets the reaction by lifting up only a few inches using a sneaky method
smappdooda: yes the levitation is all edited and fake
s: what is the sneaky trick? does he use a cane or something?
s: err sneaky method
s: "he gets the reaction by lifting up only a few inches using a sneaky method"
smappdooda: it's a trick called the balducci levitation.. lemme see if I can find some footage of it to show you hold on..
s: i know, i googled it, but do you know how they do it?
smappdooda: yah I can do it
s: then tell me how please
smappdooda: well have you seen a video of it yet?
smappdooda: there yah go thaz the levitation he gets the reaction with
s: oh.
s: wow ok.
s: pretty cool trick
s: there is a place that charges $20 for a dvd to learn that
s: so i owe ya
s: now what about the card and glass thing?

So yes I told her how it was done. (But not the card glass thing. Yer penetration frames are still safe.) Obviously not that big a loss.. you know how many people expose that trick on the internet? I tend to feel a bit annoyed when asked about the Asshat's levitation. I feel it was a cheap way to go about things and have no problem debunking it. (Not like I am the only one.)

Now up there I am sure you noticed a weblink up there to a japanese magician named Cyril. He does the same stuff Blaine does. Preset up props, stuff you could only do on TV, or have the money to build for TV. (Mind you upon reflection Copperfield has been doing this for some time but these guys take it to the EXTREME) Cyril does something different from Blaine.. he smiles... kidding. He seems to enjoy what he is doing and has style.. maybe even a personality if I could understand japanese.

So what did we learn today bois and gurls? The Asshat is forever engrained into society like the giants he stands upon. Henning, Copperfield, Houdini, and many MANY others. There is no way to avoid it, but let's face it.... if you had a TV special you'd do it too.

Birds do it, bees do it.. let's do it...

Let's do a card trick.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Some people should give thanks to Sylvester the Jester for bringing the concept of the Appearing Pole to the mass market. Now I dunno if he TOTALLY originated it but he was the one who made it the most famous and found the best resources for it.

Just sayin'...


P.S. - It seems the man who started the trend of magic blogs has finally made good his threat to go bye-bye... or he's screwing with alla us. Regardless.. nothing lasts forever. Even cold November rain.< /crappy song reference >

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Recreating The Wheel

As magicians we sure do like to flex our creative muscle to create a method for an effect that fits our style or comfort level of handling. When it comes down to it tho', no matter how you accomplish it the outcome is always.. the same. Mind you as magicians we're the only ones who know but do we really need 149 ways to do an Ace Assembly. Is one method of Torn and Restored paper better than the other when they all come to the same conclusion? Is it really necessary to use a gimmick for three flight? Only YOU can prevent forest fire... er.. only YOU can answer that question.

With that in mind let's talk about the classics. They are called that because they will never cease to amaze people and bore the snot out of the people who know how it's done. I am sure when James Stewart was alive he didn't wanna watch "It's a Wonderful Life" every X-mas. I KNOW Tim Curry isn't too big a fan of watching himself in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why? They lived thru it. I know that anytime I see Linking Rings I tell the person next to me to wake me when it's over. Why? Cuz' I can do the silly things but refuse to. Personal opinion. Some magic I never get tired of seeing. That's just the way it is, some things will never change (Bruce Hornsby).

However since classics work well on the mundanes who write our checks we still have versions of Cups and Balls ranging from see-thru cups to milk shake container. We have linking rings made of barbed wire. We have Zombie Balls that look like tables and big red volleyballs (Which still confuses me why it looks like that.) So it's not so bad to take a classic and make it your own unique entity. Most magicians have a favorite classic. For me it's the multiplying balls. (Hence the eyeball routine I do.) I'm not doing anything frighteningly new but I have dressed it up to meet my standards and outlook on life. Does that make it noteworthy? Hell no! Is it the personality and performance I put into? I'd say yes but that's really up to the person viewing it.

So just remember. Even if 3/4ths of the world's magicians do cups and balls you could find a way that's never been done and stand out among the crowd. (And win a TAOM close up convention. They love cups and balls there. TRUST ME.)

So become classically trained. It might do yah good.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

So think about this the next time you watch someone perform like Greg Wilson or David Regal....

A guy comes into the room. You know he is a magician. He knows you are an audience there to see him. His job is to make you suspend your belief and question what you know thru his medium of magic. Mind you magic has a new connotation with each new Harry Potter book and film. They show that "real" magic takes a lot of schooling and practice. If it were real it would garner much respect and responsibility. (You'll notice that not a ONE of them does card tricks.)

Now take the modern conjurer. He brings out a deck of cards, shiny cups and.. crochet balls? He urges you to participate and remove a card and then finds it in an unusual manner. Perhaps he makes all of the aces assemble in one spot. Maybe coins penetrate a table. Whatever the outcome he always seems surprised at it.... which is suspect in of itself.

If you were really a magician I doubt you would be totally surprised when something you have done before worked. Maybe if it was truly the first time. Also it is possible that things would just HAPPEN by accident in your favor (or not) and you would be more used to them than shocked I would think. If you have been studying hard and lived with magic all your life you would not be phased so much as maybe annoyed.

That is.. if you were really a magician.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Ok don't get me wrong. I like online demo videos. (Unless they are so blurry or poor quality they look like this one here. However because of the rise of sites like sleightgeek and Magic Video Depot, (Which are nice sites with kool people on them, don't get me wrong), we are getting magic that looks better on camera than in real life.

Today's magicians, the younger ones especially, are doing ADD magic. They develop these effects that are one trick ponies and then sell it or show it to everyone before it gets a few years of audience flight time. Hey it looks good on camera it'll work everywhere. Not so true.

Magicap is one such of these effects. Great idea. Good concept. Looks great on video. Little more cumbersome in person. It's got a TON of uses but if you are smart about it you will only use it for one or two of it's many uses. It's not a whole routine in itself, it's part of one.

The other problem I have with effects like this is they are all shown being performed with fast movement, jerky action, and swift effects. Many of our magical ancestors would say go slower. Matter of fact with Magicap there is a way to present it that looks like magic.. not a trick.

All I am saying is spend some more time performing your effects before releasing them for sale. You might discover a better way of doing it...

or not at all.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I have the fortunate opportunity to work at a video production office that happens to be run by a magician. He gets to record a lot of convention footage and stuff for archives and whatnot. I help edit them and such and because of that I have seen some really good magical acts.. and sad to say... some really bad ones. Acts that leave me saying to myself, "And I'm still broke?"

Many of the magicians that come thru on these tapes are doing their "Competition" acts. An 8 minute act of doves, cards, candles, manipulation, and an otherwise amusing little vignettes. Such is Arthur Trace. His act involves a modern art theme. His website is sadly lacking in information about his specific magic acts. I do wish he dressed more the part of someone messing with a painting. As it is so far he looks like a museum curator or one of those latte' vinte drinking art snob gallery guys. (All black, jacket, etc) While his act is very strong and unique he suffers from the same as most other magi. No personality or memorable character to grasp onto. Just another face in the crowd.

Mind you I have gotten off subject. So many magicians spend so much time on a competition act I think they lose touch with performing not just for but TO an audience. Remember, the fourth wall is only there if you don't tear it down. (The fourth wall is a theater term where you play facing the audience but do not acknowledge they exist. Sometimes it is good to break the fourth wall barrier and sometimes not depending on the presentation.)

Basically these acts are the centerpiece of their show and the rest of it is just a variation on a theme. If you decide that you want to work magic conventions all your life then go for it. Create a magician pleasing magic competition act... or become unique in all that you do and see what real people like. Don't forget to research and ask and NEVER be afraid to get feedback from "laymen".

I've said it before, I'll say it again.. and again.. and again.. and again..


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fear and Loathing...

It is our job as magicians to make the impossible possible. Some people can naturally think at right angles. Some of the best art, music, literature, poetry, and much of the classic artforms we highly respect were all done by people who were honestly stoned off their ass. They did enough drugs to be not only invincible but realize that NOTHING was impossible.

I'm not advocating drug use here, however anyone who has taken a hallucinogen will tell you that when the text on a book starts dancing around it's a fun time had by all. People can be distracted by ant hills for three hours on the right kind of drugs. I personally know a guy who said the best thing he ever did for his magic career was take LSD... mind you it didn't do much for his military career but whatever.

Learn to think like you are on drugs. Don't walk the straight line. Think in a circle. If you wanna take them go for it. IF you are like me who has NEVER touched a drug in his life good for you too. Just remember: The impossible is NOT impossible.

"If you don't think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD's and burn them." - Bill Hicks


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I'm not the only one...

This was sent to me by a fellow magi. At least somebody appreciates what I am doing.

"...the tuxedo wearing, bird molesting wand wavers. It seems any idiot that can shell out 20 bucks for an Abbotts catalog can become a "Magician" with little if any creativity at all. But the real pisser is they get all the paying gig's Why?.... cause the paying public don't know anything better is available, and some are just not willing to take a chance on something original and totally different.

I hate "Magicians" that perform a trick straight out of the box, some of these lazy bastards will actually use the patter included in the instructions! WTF!"

Hee hee Bird molesting wand wavers.

Case in point? How many different ways do we need to achieve "Levitation"? At 400$$ prolly one less. It's not a new idea just a unique application of a method. Not a bad one tho'.

Oh can we stop making promo videos stop sounding like rap music videos.

Personally if I am gonna blow cash on anything it'll be stuff like this. Alas tis' not a sharpie marker so I will never buy it.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Just a side note... seeing this whole Whit Haydn drama on the blogs and boards leads me to say this little thing. If you don't release the same shit over and over again to make a buck, this shit won't keep happening."

Some of these "pros" need to lighten up.

You know I try my damnedest to not make the journal about me personally.. however sometimes I must go off on some things. Today's subject.. The Magic Castle.

Now I must preface this with I am NOT bitter about the following information personally. Just in general about everything like this situation. Allow me to explain...

I personally dropped off my promo material about 3 years to the box of Ron Wilson. I emailed him about seeing it and his reply was "We regret to inform you we are not hiring this genre of act". Genre of act? WTF does that mean? You mean magic? They're not hiring magic acts at the magic castle. That must suck for the patrons.

Well not being one to give up, I have kept trying. Submitting new material, going thru different channels, etc. Well thru inside sources I have been informed that Ron Wilson is by far the WORST talent booker around and he's gonna stay there till' he DIES!! He doesn't look at the acts he hires, barely looks at promo stuff, and hires the same trite TV fed bullshit that they have been pushing on the populace for years!! Now mind you they DO book interesting acts from time to time. Some good, some enh.

Ok so I sent my stuff to Dale Hindman who didna bother to look at it I gather and sent it to John Lovick and Ron. Well Lovick is a new liaison at the Castle. Handsome Jack by his stage name as he is known to some. I got an email I wish I had saved that pretty much said "You got some good stuff, but we doubt you would fit the castle, etc etc." Ok thaz fyne with me. You LIKE the trite cups and balls, box and dove magicians there fyne. However, I was recently there and saw a performer who not only was waaay out there in a morbid sense but made borderline S&M jokes. It was like Crispin Glover doing Anthony Perkins doing magic. Don't get me wrong it was hilarious. The audience of drunks GOT IT.

So because my style is a little dark and on the edge but yet uses NOTHING profane, vulgar, OR bloody. People of all types have been proven to dig my show.. especially drunks. (The crowd at the castle later in the evening for sure.) Now I will NEVER give up. I am out to prove a point not only to the close minded people at the castle but everywhere. Just because an act is different doesn't make it any less entertaining than the normal BS out there. I will NOT let people stop the unique and artistic individuals trying to broaden peoples minds. We're out here people!! We're coming for you!! Yah can't stop us.. or me for that fact. I'll get you all.. and yer little dogs too!!

Why am I telling all of this to you people who read this? Mostly out of venting. See, when I sent emails to Ron and a reply to Lovick about how unfair I think they judge an act based on how different it is and not even GIVING it a chance I never received a "Whatever leave us alone" reply. I am Disgusted by people who do not reply back to emails in a business sense. Not even a fuk you buh-bye. So I post it here. In my own little world. I don't want to start drama and post it on the Genii boards. This isn't a pity party for Bizzaro. This is just venting and information. I don't care what anyone thinks, I just want to inform.

And issue a warning.. I'm not done yet. Lovick.. Wilson.. watch out.. I got a close up and parlor act too MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAH!!!!

Pimp Ninja Jedi

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cuz' I said I would thaz why!!

This weekend saw me in CA for Bat's Day. I did a show, saw the sights and even got to see some old friends. As usual when I hit SoCal I like to visit "Le Magic Castle" (Fuck you v2.0 David Oliver) and got to see Jason Latimer's Clear Cups and Balls that won him FISM. Good idea. A few very old principles used in almost new ways. As was told to me his card work was "enh" but the cups were by far the best. His camera card idea has merit but when I saw it twas' sloppy.

Also saw a gentleman whose name I forget but it was like Crispin Glover does magic... sans the rats. It was AWESOME!! Dark humor and very modern. Kudos to him. Skipped the Palace show. Only so many times I can watch people shoved into glitzy boxes. Also said hello to Joe Monti. Nice guy and a good performer to boot.

All in all had a good time. Why do I tell you alla this? I told an accented pleasant smelling magi I would.

Until next time, the east coast calls.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I'll be touring the east coast for a few months so if yer looking for exciting news and posts on my harrowing adventures then go over to

Until then... don't eat too much bacon.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

I don't normally get involved in stuff like this but..

It kinda goes with the things I like to teach new magicians... and people in general. First it starts with This and swings deftly into That. (Why do I feel like I am doing that damn trick put out by Danny Archer?)

You can read the drama for yourself. The point I am making is thus... First, don't assume just because you do magic in restaurants and kids parties and yer 15 you can roll with the pros and expect to get treated like one. Second, don't, for the love of whatever deity you worship, ala' yer favorite method, listen to a buncha people online who chide you for something. They don't like it? Tough. Can't please everyone and if it's someone whose opinion you don't care for.. screw em'. Be yourself. Don't apologize for yourself.

Lastly, and this is the most important and hardest to do... don't blame others for your short-comings. Sometimes you get called on your bullshit. Own up to it, make a joke, build a bridge, get over it. Life is too short to worry about petty things. There are more important events in your life... I promise. Magic isn't the end.. or beginning of your world.. you are.

Lastly... even tho' that was the last one.. but eh.. screw it. (See I am taking my own advice. Go me!!) If you are so petty and narrow minded that something like an online community, or postings of another person, cause you to get all indignant.. then get out of magic. There are enough idiots already mucking up the system for those of us who DO take it seriously as an art and a career. Take a better hobby.. like stamp collecting.. or animal husbandry.

Now I DO wanna make this clear that this post is not, repeat, not aimed at the subject of the aforementioned drama. He is just the trigger. I see this stuff all too often. Just a little advice from me to you... all 3 of you.

"Let's stop this and start over
Let's go out - let's keep going


Thursday, August 04, 2005

"New Magic tricks are like a tattoo. Wait a while to see if you REALLY need it or want it... and be sober."


Monday, August 01, 2005

Let's talk about things that aren't in the spotlight. I mean magical effects or goings-on that are just in the peripheral.. some catch em.. some don't. These can be JUST as strong as bits of business as if presented as an effect unto themselves.

What struck this chord was a new effect by some french dood. The idea is solid and the gimmick looks damn near undetectable. As always I research interesting new ideas when they come out and many good things have been said about this.

Now you could easily perform it like this: "Watch this ordinary borrowed deck of cards as I defy gravity and the law of physics. Etc etc.. now thaz all fine and good but that just draws uncalled for attention to something that is otherwise a 10 second effect.

Now imagine you remove a deck of cards and before you remove it from the box you balance it on your hand, while the other hand searches for a pen. Perhaps you go thru your effect and to free up a hand you balance the deck and hold their card at your finger tips. Sometimes you don't have to draw attention to something to make it work.

Just ask Rich Cowley...


Friday, July 29, 2005

So do I have any advice for people who wanna do magic as a living? Yes... and it's not even my advice. (What a shock.) Technically, it's everyone's advice. Those who have been there, done that. When you get a chance to, read the "In their own words" interviews in MAGIC magazine. I'm serious. No but really.

It's professionals telling you what THEY had to go thru to get where they are now. Learn, laugh, and realize that it's not just you going thru tough times. Tom Mullica had to couch surf a LOT, Mark Kornhauser worked MALE strip clubs. If you have what it takes you will succeed... if you never give up.

Want advice? Don't ask people online. Try reading.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Here is another lesson brought to you by Bizzaro...


Reminders that you are alive and well and still manipulating people's minds is one of our best tools. To be a presence you must be present.

With that in mind, new footage from a recent show can be seen here!!

Lesson over.


Sunday, July 24, 2005

To: Magicians of the world
From: Bizzaro. The Optical Illusionist

Dear Fellow Magi,

For the love of all sorts of gods everywhere, please stop describing your show with so many adjectives it makes the hype sound like you are compensating for something. Phrases like "edge-of-your-seat amazement" and "taking the world by storm" are over used and trite. I understand you have to hype up your show but let them make up their mind before you say, "You'll love every minute of it!!". Try being a little more honest and focus on what matters... you. It's not the magic it's what YOU can bring to the venue.

Also, while I am thinking about it, stop putting "Magic for All Occasions" on your business cards. I don't think and Amish Barn Raising needs a magician.. but I could be wrong. Pick a path and GO WITH IT!!!

And for fuk's sake, stop signing your letters "magically Yours".

Magically Yours,


Friday, July 22, 2005

what IS it with people charging silly amounts of cash for tricks with ties!!?

Just thought I would ask...


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Revenge of the Asshat...

You know the saying, "You Can't Please all of the People all of the Time"? ("And last night all of those people were at my show" - Mitch Hedberg) Well in magic that saying can really hit home. Some people just will NOT dig your act.. or get it. (Good pal Dan Sylvester wrestles with this constantly. Some people just don't get it. I personally think it's genius.) This is why as entertainers, we need to be more like theme parks... SOMETHING FOR THE WHOLE FAMBLY!!

I recently did an open mic gong show mock up for fun. There were three judges, two females, one male. I had 4 minutes so I decided to do my fire act. (Flame from the zipper, etc.) In the end the two lowest scores were a 5 and the highest was an 8. The two fives came from the gals. This put my show into perspective a bit. Females I think, on a whole, don't dig on fire as much as guys. Now I know that is kind of a generalization but it's like the three stooges. SOME girls like them, but it's mostly dudes who dig them.

If I had done one of my comedy acts I probably would have scored higher. What's my point? I'm glad you didn't ask. A show should have something that can appeal to everyone. In this case comedy and magic for the ladies, fire and slapstick for the guys, and kids (Or drunks, same thing) like it all.

This I think is one of the factors that hurts David Blaine, The Ass Hat. His shows offer little humor aside from the small amount of amusement we get watching him fool some inner city youth. Chuckling to ourselves, "Huh huh he fooled them good and they act like retards huh huh." Yah thaz about it. Even Copperfield in all of his Jewish glory finds time to be funny now and again. (Generally more amusing in his live shows than TV.) It seems even Criss Angel is falling prey to this on his new TV show. Only going for the creepy factor which not everyone will go for. If you are gonna be on TV, you should at least try to be marketable to a wide range of interests. There is indeed a market for everything, but the people who have been the best at it, are indeed a good time had by all. (On the upside with Criss being on TV there might be more of a call for people who do "Weirder" magic.)

So am I saying you HAVE to try TRY and be funny? No. Just pay attention to your crowds, see what works best. Try and have something for everyone. Humor, magic, movement, and for the ADD kids.. something shiny.


Friday, July 15, 2005

You Realize this is a Set-up right?

I was reading thru some of Michael Close's writings from his workers books and boy that man sure thinks a lot about magic... which is good. Someone needs to. In one of them he talks about assumptions people make ahead of time about magicians. One of them is that there is no WAY a person would go out of their way to make a prop so convoluted JUST to entertain someone... which is TOTALLY wrong.

I cannot tell you how many hours I have personally spent hot gluing odd things together to make a trick seem "impromptu" or modifying a "normal" prop. This post is about such a trick. I saw this performed by the late Johnny Brown here in TX. It's not his, and it's not hard to find, but the effect is killer and hardly ANYONE does it today. (Which is true of most old effects and books. Vito Lupo made a career off of the stuff out of the Tarbell series. Well that and he's a good performer.)

This fooled the hell out of me in my younger years, and the effect is thus. A fully inspected glass is placed into a fully inspected coat jacket pocket. Then four (yes fully inspected) coins are placed one at a time in the hand. They vanish and heard to AUDIBLY fall into the glass on the other side of the body. There is no help from the other hand and they are both shown fairly empty after each vanish.

This is a coin classic (or was anyway) and I'd like to see some people doing it again. Sadly I cannot as I hardly wear a suit jacket EVER. Now this trick oddly enuff uses a gimmick. It also looks like real magic and total skill. I will not divulge the set-up or where to find it. I want people to do it but not EVERYONE!

This is just one of those effects that while no one would suspect we as performers would go thru so much trouble.. but we do. Prime example, and pure impact. You want beautiful magic that blows people away, get yer lazy ass off the internet and quit looking for the newest thing from Ellusionist and Penguin magic. Try reading some coin books from TX.

We have much to learn from our past.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ok just saw an ad for a new effect coming out and was amused by something in the description...

"...have the spectator use a magnet to search the test area for other magnets or threads."

thaz all.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A long while back I made a post about how I thought it was silly someone had to actually name "The Biddle Grip" instead of "Hold the cards like this". Regardless, there are some things in magic I truly do not get. There are thousands of stories in the naked city. This is one of them.

I honestly do NOT get The Lepaul Spread. What is the big deal with this move and why do so many people say it's so damned hard to do. Has anyone ever honestly done the Lepaul spread and have someone go "OOOoooooOOOooooh" over it.

For those who don't know what the hell I am talking about here is a video of someone doing it. Sure it looks kool but why does everyone make a big deal of it. It only mildly looks kool and to get the full effect you'd have to say "Watch this [spread]" and even then all they are gonna do is pick a card cuz' when you spread a deck at someone their mind goes right into that.

Maybe it's just me but I dun get it.

Damn kids and their rock music.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Ok I do like to complain about the capitalist sillyness of magicians nowadays. Like the devil's cokebottle that came out a while back. A science experiment someone was charging 1000$ for. It wasn't priced that high for the secret so much I think as the fact that it was the price you pay for not thinking of it first. It was brilliant!! A science experiment disguised as magic. Hell it's not the first time. "Any unfamiliar science or technology looks like magic" You wanna fool some people look at the old chemistry magic books from many years ago. (Do yerself a favor tho' research certain chemicals listed in those old books. Turns out asbestos is bad for you. Who knew?)

Ok so in the vein of "What the hell were you thinking when you priced that" I found a new magical toy that I am pretty sure is priced a tad too much. Now let me preface this with a little disclaimer: I think this is a dandy idea however I do not think the effect exceeds the price.

Ok with that said, I think this product fits into another rant about the pros and cons of online magic demo videos. Watch the video and you tell me how it's done. It's a tad obvious and to anyone who is unscrupulous and has any kind of engineering skill or a hot glue gun could easily recreate it. Why would they do that tho'? Are they evil bastards who dun wanna support an original artist? Are they some terrorist trying to bring down magic from the inside? Hardly. It's more along the lines of there is no way they are gonna shell out 150$ for a gaudy tie puppet on a stick. If it was priced lower then anyone who WOULD make it themselves would prolly rather be lazy and just buy it. 20$ is a great motivator towards sloth.

Now I am sure that the construction is superb (Or it's made all MacGyver like with a rubber band, duct tape, and a prayer.) but I do think that is a bit much especially when the method is very obvious. Now I am all for a demo video if the method is not simplistic or easy to discern. The internet is a harsh place and you could get the same idea from seeing a live demo at a real magic shop however you don't get a couple 1,000 people going in and out of a normal magic shop every hour. When I heard the description I thought "Oh Sean Begonia's dancing hank with a tie." I could dig that for the price... however...

Now someone will ALWAYS say, "Yer buying the secret". Ok fair enuff. Ever get the feeling some secrets just ain't worth that much trouble? Personally I think (Insert guys name here. It's not listed anywhere) should have just kept this idea to himself and sold it in a limited exposure on his website or something. It's a GOOD idea...

Just not a GREAT 140$ idea.

Then again, any trick you get that entertains and works well for you money should be NO object.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

As things draw to a Close...

Saw recently Mike Close decided, after allowing himself to be barraged by many mediocre magical items for review for ten years, to call it adieu and persue other ventures, like books.

The MAGIC interview (Kevin James on the cover) made a few good points. Magic items are quite prolific in the not so much terrible and great category but in the "enh" spot. Mind you he even mentioned that a review is an opinion. I know that the opinion of a magician is TOTALLY different than that of the people whose opinion really matter.. the layperson.

I released a trick in a limited venue and it got a less than stellar review in Genii. Mind you most of the review was more spent pointing out my writing style than the trick. Regardless, the reviewer, (Who shall remain nameless), wasn't thrilled. Do I care? Hell no. I have been doing this effect for well over a decade and it KILLS. What does it all mean? A review isn't always gospel. The best review is yours and yours alone. See it done, and if yer lucky, someone will show you how it works. Only then can you make an educated guess on whether it will work for you OR fit your style and character. (This is why the internet shops shouldn't be visited as much. Real live magic stores are hands on.)

However for those who can't drive or dun live near a magic shop and the intarweb is yer last bastion of magical placement some smart folks have started My Lovely Assistant dot Com. You might had seen the ads in various mags, but it's worth a look see. I have ever contributed a few of my own special brand of evil reviews there. Knowledge is power and some knowledge should be shared to warn others of shitty magical products *cough*HeNrYeVaNs*cough*

Just remember: Is it you.... and is it worth 25$ for a deck of cards with a hole in the card box and a rubber band? (The correct answer is.. no.)


Friday, May 27, 2005


This is an excerpt taken from my brain after perusing the Magic Bunny forums. Someone was (And is always) asking about books, videos, DVD's on CD manip. Here is my shorter reply.

Danny Cole is the person on the first Burton Special and he helped make it trendy for others to start doing. Murray (Tall guy, blonde hair) Does an *almost* all CD act but always gets mixed reviews.

There is not much out there because very few do it and those who do wanna keep it on the down low for people who would want to saturate the market.

While this is just a smattering for the brit boys over there it pertains to so much more in magic. Once one person gets a good idea, everyone wants one. Here is my main problem with CD acts, and most manip acts for that fact:


Mind you I could easily have said WHY!? but thaz obvious I think. Watching ol' Murray the major CD manip player in today's magic world got me thinking that what he is producing is nothing more than billiard balls, cards, and doves. Same stuff, just a prop change. (I dunno if he still does it but the production of a "CD castle" is a bit odd and really drives home the question WHY?

Mind you that has not much to do with the little bold word up there. Here is the deal. Some guy produces CD's? Ok thaz fyne. He produces sunglasses, manips the lens, produces a silk... wait.. is this a CD act? I seem to have suddenly forgotten.. to care. Most manip acts suffer this. They produce items for NO reason, (Aside from the fact it's pritty... mind you that is is the same foundation most people's dating life is built on.), and then muddle it up a bit by introducing random characters into the play that may or, more than likely, have NOTHING to do with the theme as a hole (Sp. error done on purpose. Of course if you tend to NOT read this due to my poor purposeful grammatical errors... what the hell do I care what you think?)

So yes try to pick a theme. I saw a guy at a magic competition start out strong and end nowhere NEAR his proposed act setting. (Oddly enuff manipulating CD's) Cd magic is very modern, trendy, and new to magic. (As new as a CD can be I suppose) There is little on it cuz' the people who do it feel that is their "Original" idea. Yup, yer an individual... just like everyone else. Give it up baby, yer not the first one to think a shiny round object was magical.

So yes CD manipulation is going to become into more and more magic acts I fear. Magic with records was done and I am sure some daring soul even tried 8-track magic. If it's done right magic with a cassette tape can be great. It's not the prop kids... it's you. Don't be like everyone else. Don't wait for someone to publish a book or a DVD or a video or a porno... create..

Do not follow... however perchance borrow.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Run, Run Away

You ever heard the phrase, "Don't run if yer not being chased"? It's a very popular saying in Magic. Right up there with KISS and CHaSD. It applies in life too, except unless yer in South Dallas or Compton. Then you want to run regardless of being chased or not.

As magicians we tend to over-explain lot of stuff. "This is an ordinary coin" well no duh genius you just borrowed it from them. Actions speak louder than words and pictures are worth 1000 of them. IF yer audience isn't "getting" what yer selling, then it's time to change yer delivery. Less is more and I think the less you point out the bloody obvious the better.

Now we, the mirth-makers.. or is that the pill-takers.. whatever you wanna call us, we do tend to have a few things that are JUST to amuse us. There is no need to explain them and, aside from the occasional Jonestown Kool-aid reference or Michael Hutchins joke, are all perfectly safe probably. (Wow all of this just for that one line.)

Remember, just because people seem dumb doesn't mean they are... all of the time.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

I been writing this journal for some time. A few people read it. No clue how many. Don't care. It's titled Magic Rants (Yes I had it first) but above it sez "Why am I stuck in Magician Hell?" That isn't exactly what some of you might think it means. After doing magic over 20 years you get to a point where it's hard to be fooled and you know how a LOT of stuff is done. You also tend to palm anything you happen to pick up. That ladies and gentlemen is magician hell. Coffee creamers, fruit, cards, coins, small household pets... nothing is safe from the threat of a finger clip or classic palm!!!

With this in mind we seem to forget what becomes effective in the eyes of the mundanes. Remember the first time you saw invisible deck? It prolly blew your mind. (20 bucks same as in town) What about a thumb tip? (I actually never saw this performed before I knew what it was.) I remember the first time I ever saw an ITR performed, back when they looked like crack pipes, and I about wet myself. Something floated RIGHT before my eyes!! I hadda get that!! Now I realize invisible thread is one big pain in the ass to use. Regardless... we forget.

I was flipping thru Penn and Teller's - How to Play with Your Food and they have a trick with a sugar cube very similar to that old voodoo ashes trick. Greg Wilson has something on one of his tapes using lipstick that I recently did when I was bored. Now voodoo ashes is in damn near every magic book on impromptu or good starter magic. It's yeeeeeears old. It's easy. It's effective... and very few people do it. Why? We forget that it BLOWS people's minds!! I personally cannot believe it. Thaz the magic side of me. The side that thinks like a normal-type person remembers that it must be trippy as hell to have that happen to you.

Don't stop using something because YOU have become disenchanted with it's workings. Use it. Change it to fit your needs. Some classics stay that way because they fool people. I don't like linking rings or cups and balls but they still exists for a reason. Don't let hat you know stop you from showing them something THEY don't know.

Forget everything you know.. or think you know... even if yer not Billy Barty.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

And we live our life...

Like a candle in the wind. Yes folks Jay Marshall, owner of Magic Inc. in Chicago as well as the care and feeder of Lefty the Rabbit has passed on into that great stage of wherever you might just believe in. (Or if yer atheist he's just dead.) Another one bites the dust.... which brings up an interesting point.

What are we gonna do when all of our most current forebearers are gone? The best teachers and inventors will all eventually pass away and take much knowledge with them. Oh sure L&L publishing and Michael Ammar will randomly trick them into putting out a video series but there is so much more that will never see print of any kind. It's style. Very few people have any style anymore.

Many of our classics of magic (Billy McComb, not the linking rings) have what only comes with experience. Ingenuity and panache. With today's modern magi being able to find what they want at the push of a button they have NO idea what it's like to learn from great teacher or work for their skill. Once all the great teachers are gone there will be no more lessons to learn.. and then what?

Too many people don't research the history of their craft.. ANY craft as it is. I don't think you have to start a library and read Discoverie of Withcraft or anything but merely pay attention. (Even those of us who are too poor to pay attention probably should.)

Personally I don't feel here is anyone in today's magic world who has the flair of the older gents who are or soon will be long gone. They were TRUE gentlemen (In some respect or another). Dai Vernon knew how to dress, Bruce Cervon.. does not. (What the hell is up with that neckerchief anyway?) Regardless, knowledge is sometimes a limited time offer. Get it while the gettin's good.

Operators are standing by...


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Let's talk about magic styles. What works? It depends what works best for you honestly. If you are a timid person then comedy is prolly not the way to go unless you can harness that ability to humor. Stan Laurel was a shy man and he made it funny. If you can do that, more power to yahz.

A very popular performing style is the bumbling magi. Carl Balantine was a fore runner of this style. Since then Cole and Co., Otto Wesely, and many others have used this type of act where the magic "kinda" happens to build a reputation. So this might lend itself to the debate of which is best for you? Suave tux and tails... or suave tux and tails that catch fire.

Some of the best and funny acts I have seen look like the magic props are attacking the performer. Incidental comedy is sometimes the best kind. People can relate to things not going as planned to someone. It happens to us everyday.

Some of the best loved characters in entertainment are the underdogs. Charlie Chaplain is a prime example. He was a tiny lone man in a great big world and persevered. Sometimes in very offhanded ways.

It boils down to this: Is it yer ego you are trying to sell, or your art? Were you not hugged enough as a child and need to look kool in order to feel cool? Or do you have the confidence to not get it always right and make something unique... In magic there is more questions to life than, "Is this your card?"

So you can either be another faceless interchangeable magical head, or you can be your own person. Find what makes you tick and how you work best and go with it. In the end, if you stick with it, you'll be rewarded. (Maybe not monetarily, but hey... it could happen)


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hey there I know I haven't been around much. Not having net access but once a week does that. (It also makes for a more creative time. Well that and hot glue.) I'm still here so check back soon for some new posts. Until then feel free to check out the new photos of a horrific mutant Zom-bunny.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Gee that sounded much cooler in the ad...

It's a familiar phrase. NO WIRES NO STRINGS!! (It's thread) NO WIRES NO THREAD!! (It's string) NO WEIRD MOVES!! (There is a weird move but using the word weird keeps them from getting sued) YOU COULD BE NAKED!!! (Thumb tip)

Regardless, the ads are made so the trick sounds better. This is why I will NOT buy something I don't see performed first. This is also one of the ONLY advantages to the internet magic shop. Video demos. Sure you can't say, "What does that do, or that, or this, or...", but thaz better for your health anyway. Getting smacked around in a magic store is just sad. Regardless, it always sounds better in words than it looks in person. (Especially when the only demo of something you can see online is an animated gif. Here is a tip from me to you: If it's not good enuff to film, it's not good enuff to buy.)

I had a similar experience at the Magic Castle last week. Saw two guys do a show together. One was a Julliard trained pianist (Say that fast, it's fun) and a Vegas magician. Here is what their website said:

"A Vegas magician and a Juilliard-trained concert pianist clash in an evening that celebrates great music and grand illusion. Can they escape the heat from the Martha Stewart Kitchen of Death in a Minute Waltz? Comical. Harmonious. Discord.

Now don't get me wrong it's a good idea but it sounds better in theory than in their practice. Not enough piano, too much dead space (And box illusions), and they had to resort to using a rabbit. Thaz just cheap applause kids. We all know it.

I think with some tweaking their act could be really good. At this point the females in the background were more engaging. (Not cuz' of their scantily clad-ness, but they were amusing to watch react to the show.)

So what's my point? I'll tell you. I hate the shadow box illusion. Sure makes NO sense but stick with me on this. In writing it would sound kool, but in watching it kinda gives itself away. Imagine this: An empty box with a light in it. The front door is paper so the light can be seen thru it. Shadows are cast on the paper. How is this possible? The box was empty.. yet there are masks, dragons, hands, etc being projected on the door. How is that.. oh a girl just appeared in the box. Well it must have been her.

Makes sense doesn't it?

Now I am sure many people are fooled by this. (My friend watching wasn't) Regardless, these are the same people fooled by a bevel base on ANY illusion but thinking people know where the shadows came from. I think the best shadow box effect I have seen was Dimmare. He combined Origami with a shadow box and folds a Pomeranian into a plant and then into a girl. That makes sense. (Kinda). Thus going from a lame appearance to an almost visual transformation. My point on this is thus: If yer gonna do shadow box, leave yer bitches in the base. It's more amazing. Produce them another way. You figure it out.

Yes I am sure someone will get offended with me saying "bitches" to describe an assistant. Life sucks. Get a hat. I could have easily said "prop-stitute" (Giggle giggle). It's not meant as an insult merely alliteration. My journal, my rules. Don't like it? Don't read it.

But we still luv you... in the butt.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Greetings from the West Coast. Coming to you live from Long Beach, CA for the official Waffles of the Damned shindig with the Cult of the Eye. With any luck I can hit up le Magic Castle this friday. (Take that David Oliver)

Regardless, we all know how much talk there is in this blog about not being like the Ass Hat and doing street magic the proper way, right? Well I thought I would comment on a few things about the art of street performance as observed in New Orleans. First there is no RIGHT way to do street theater, but there is a hell of a lot of wrong ways to do street theater. (Sounds classier when you call it that too.)

Two of the shools of thought are to do many many quick shows. Quantity WITH quality. The other of course is do a fooking long show. There are ups and downs to both of these. Let's examine them shall we?

So you want to do a 45 minute street act. The upside to this is that you can draw a MUCH larger crowd and therefore increase your Hat. (Money you take in at the end of a show) The downside to this is that if yer show is lacking good strong attention getting stuff you can and will have a lot of walk offs. People will only spend 3/4ths of an hour of THEIR time if YOU make it worth their while. How do you do this? I'll talk about that later.

Next is the shorter but easily to repeat shows. Again on the street you HAVE to be good. The street is a busy distracting place and everyone has places to see and people to do. Therefore if you have a good 8-10 act of strong visual stuff and skill you too can make much money.

So you can either work continually for about the same amout or do 3-5 big shows a day and pull in much. Again there is no right answer, you just have to be good at what you do. I have seen both work just fine. So the question is what do you do in a larger show?

Well at first a few small things to draw a crowd. Some stop a few people to see a trick and go. Some yell and beat on things. Some do a combo of the two. (With it's variations.) Well then you do some amazing magic, sleight of hand, comedy, etc. One of the tactics best used is to destroy someone's money. This not only keeps the person who lent you the 20$ around (sometimes) but also keeps others around to see if your gonna find it or get beat up.

So hwo do you use money and keep it funny and magical. Thaz where Gazzo, Chellini, and pretty much any other street performer come in. The cups and balls. Most every street person with a table and fresh fruit does this trick and, in all honesty, it kills. (Especially when the money is in the orange, lemon, lime, etc at the end.) Problem is what if you hate cups and balls? Then do a chop cup routine... or a two cup routine. What if you don't have a large shaped hat to produce a melon from? Get one!

What if you want to be different and not do this well established effect used for ever and ever and ever and ever and... well you get the idea. Remember, there is no right way to do street magic, just plenty of wrong ways. Cups and balls and fruit are well known to get reactions, money, and applause... then again so is fire eating and dove productions. It really depends if you want to be like two other guys in New Orleans or want to be different. Only problem with being different is you better be damn good to be different. It's possible. It happens. The question is: Can it happen to you? If the answer is yes, then make it so.

Make it JUST so...


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

"Yer always a slave to something...."

I cannot believe I have forgotten to ever MENTION this but here goes.... Music. Thaz right. Tunes, songs, ditties, jingles, noize. Whatever you call it it always adds a bit of that extra something to a show.It could be comedy, drama, action, excitement. Any good stage show needs it. Look at ANY of the pros and see how they do it. (Even if "let me see that thong" isn't yer taste in songs you'll get the idea.)

Watch any movie. Do you know what gets people swept up into the moment more than the acting. Well obviously I am gonna say the music, buuuuut thaz not all. It's everything. Many elements lead up to that moment of belief. Many of our beloved stage illusionists would be nowhere without their background score. Also if they had picked the wrong piece of music. It takes a bit of time to get to know what will work and what fits the piece you need. Here are a few tips to help you out if you are wondering how to improve your tune handling ability.

1. Don't use overly popular modern music: First off it's everywhere and no one really wants to hear it again. It's called pop music for a reason. It could easily be called fad music. I once knew a guy who used a backstreet boys song in his act. There are many things wrong with this. (Could have been worse, he could have used New Kids on the Block) If you use most of today's modern music for a mixed crowd you are going to run into people who just do NOT like that type of tripe. They will lose interest IMMEDIATELY because of the music. You run that risk with any music you use, but the more unknown or unobtrusive it is, the better... This leads me to..

2. Know yer Audience: Hell this is a no brainer. This applies to ANYTHING you do. However if yer going to be working a rock and roll night club don't use soothing soft rock and if yer doing a nice family show do not use Marilyn Manson. (I mean sure his song "Cake and Sodomy" is perfect for any sub-trunk routine but curb that urge I plead you.)

3. Use Instrumentals: Aside from the fact that most classical music is now public domain, there is a very good reason to use music sans words. If it is a song that ANYONE knows they will shift their mind away from you and try to remember what it is, where they know it from, what the lyrics are, who sings it, etc. They will not totally focus on you. This also kinda goes back to #1 up there. Use a nice obscure instrumental track, it will help you in the long run. I am not saying use ONLY that. There is only so much techno music or 60's bossanova one person can take. There are many songs with words that just WORK with a magic piece. I'm just saying.. be careful.

4. Pick stuff you would listen to normally: It helps when you know the music so well, not just because you have heard it in practice 50 zillion times, that you can adjust and know your timing. When you like what you use you will never get sick of it and actually enjoy yourself more on-stage. Know thyself.

Lastly let me comment on the "Timed RIGHT to the music" thing. Many magic routines are so dependent on the music piece that if something messes up or gets out of time they are in trouble. This rarely happens and it can add a lot but there is no rule that sez you can't have the music as a more background aesthetic and use it as you please. It helps not to be restricted by your surroundings. (Unless yer into that S&M type of stuff. You know, skittles and M&M's.)

Music can be the key you need to get the reaction you are looking for. I would comment more but my brain has been fuzzy all day and it is 5:30 in the morning.

And I promise this journal will go back to more ranting about magic itself and not the people abusing it.. even myself. Regardless, welcome back.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Oh I feel a rant coming on... (good thing I am listening to swing music or this could get ugly)

I have previously mentioned the rise of magic blogs and their propensity for going that EXTRA mile to talk about what's bad in magic. I am all for it, but geez people there is a line. Now improper business practices, stealing other material, reviews of tricks all well and good. However I fail to see where going online and critiquing someone else's act without them giving a damn what you think or asking yer opinion comes into play. Yah I know free country and alla that junk but...

I think if you took all of the hours these people spend surfing the net just LOOKING for stuff to bitch about you would find it greatly outnumbers the hours they spend practicing, performing, or improving their art, character, or presentations. Now true, some of these people are self-proclaimed non-pro's or retired of sorts from magic. Thaz fine.

Why do I bring this up? Well a while back on the magic cafe someone decided to bring up the fact that someone I know made a joke in one of his online videos about inventing the ambitious card. Oh man did everyone go batshit over this. Funny thing is that line did what it was soley intended to do. It worked beautifully. I had a good laugh.

Well while I was away it seems someone else found this site and made light of it on another blog. Some unkind words were said. This again falls under the category of "Who asked you?" Mind you anyone with a brain in their head, or a modicum of sense has better things to do than listen to the blather of what someone else thinks on something that they are perfectly free to decide for themselves. (Gee I think I just ousted myself there... oops.)

Let me say a little something for those who like to randomly critique other people's stuff when yer safe online.
1. Get all your facts. Making assumptions about stuff you have no idea about is kinda silly and juvenile.
2. Try to be more respectful of someone else's art. Just remember this... "Where is your professionally done promo video?" I guarantee the person you are bad mouthing doesn't care what you think and someday it could come back to bite you in the ass.
C. Remember: They can find out who you are and meet you in person someday.

Now reviewing a product online is a bit different. You are informing someone (if yer un-biased about it) of the pros and cons of an item from an informed ear. If you are a foul mouthed little wanker that comments on spelling mistakes and then doesn't spell check your own review you might want to re-think your logic. (For those of you keeping tabs, I misspell stuff on purpose. The english language is my BITCH!!)

Oh by the way, one more thing on blogs and I shall never speak of them again... what is the deal with making a magic blog and then putting in crap that has NOTHING to do with magic? They make Live Journals for stuff like that. I am sure you might be amused by ejaculation reports and wanna put it in yer magic blog.. but can we please keep your private life more.. private?

I'm not trying to offend anyone here, and these are just my opinions. Don't listen to me or anyone else. Listen to the voices in your head. They just might be trying to tell you something. (Practice more... get off the internet... stop wasting your life...)

(shakes head)Woo what was that?


Friday, February 25, 2005

Who am I to break a trend?

Many blogs spend a good amount of time linking to other websites they like or dislike and also give shout outs to others. So clear me some space on that bandwagon and let's have some fun shall we? First off is open. It even has that new website smell again.

I don't claim that my website is great and powerful or anything. Never have. Others like it and I am happy about that. Now let's look at say... This Guy. His site is slick and, as many magicians with more money than perceivable skill, is all flash. I have a problem with flash sites. First, on low end machines they lag. Sure they look pretty but some people go a tad nutty with it. Also many new browsers clamoring for yer attention, like Firefox, have nigh-impossible to install flash plugins. I have ONE flash object (Used to be a java applet and even LESS people can view those damn things) and it's small. Even 56k can download it quickly.

Many of these magic sites remind me of going to a goth club. I want to be an individual... so I am gonna dress like everyone else. Once someone has a good idea, then EVERYONE wants one. Marching to the beat of a different drummer... but thaz a hell of a crowd following that one drummer.

Ok enuff pessimism, as long as I have been online so has this gal's site Allison's Backstage. I started going to it in it's infant stages when it was on an angelfire site. (Yah so was mine. You can still find it's web address if you look hard enuff.) Over the years she has made it better, faster, stronger than before. Always very slick and well done. She used to have a place for magicians to post links but that went away. Hey for a Copperfield fan she is a damn good artist. So kudos to her and her sis. (You can even find one of her art pieces being used on my site if you look hard enuff)

So what have we learned tonight? If you insist on using flash and yer a magician... do it to Ronald McDonald. It's funnier.


(Why is the word blog not in the spell check database of a blog site? Someone explain this to me please!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Shameless self promotion time!!

Thaz right kids it's 2005 and that means a big change!! (Not just underwear either.) 2004 saw a brand new promo video, and 2005 brings about a brand new!!

This friday the home of demented magic gets a total facelift!! So stop by and see all the new shiny stuff and play with the toys. We'll leave a fire lit for yah.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It's that time again...

Time to make some people not like me again. (Redundant) First off I wanna say that I have been writing a lot in the journal over the last year and I try my best (save for a few pokes and jabs here and there) to stay off what many of the other magic blogs have fallen into. I of course speak of gossip and drama.

Now there is nothing wrong with other people reporting this. I personally think it's good to see that magic isn't just a bright shiny happy thing all the time. It's dirty and tarnished like everything else in the world. This blog was set up to discuss what I do or do not like about magic itself. I'll let others report on Ted Lassen or on how much of a bonehole Steve Brooks is.

Here you will find nothing but clean wholesome fambly fun.... as long as yer fambly is neurotic and dysfunctional.. but hey whose isn't? On with the show!!

First off I wanna talk about a few current events.. or more accurately current products. I have purchased two new marketed tricks. One was hyped beyond belief and was waaay too expensive for what it was. The other was mildly hyped and, while being a little bit of a "Well yah duh" the extra included bit is a grand idea.

The first one I won't mention by name by those in the know will know by the description I give. First off everyone and their dog talked up this effect. (As we all know the reliability of information on the magic cafe isn't always just that... with that being said...) It was said you could vanish, switch, appear, and damn near turn water to wine with these "Utility" devices. (Anytime something is called just as good as a thumb tip I get leery.. and I don't mean Dennis.)

Now many people speculated and it was said the objects you vanish do NOT have to be metal. Sure it helps and no they don't have to be buuuuuut.... there are limitations. First off the only way to do a deck switch is if the deck was in a card box and the only way to effectively switch coins is if it's Canadian currency. Ladies and gentlemen if you need something special to switch decks or vanish a coin please get the hell out of magic. Geez.

Mind you I got this device on X-mas and have been toying with it to give it a fair chance. To all of the people who thought this was a big "wow wished I thought of that first" you prolly have never cracked open a hard drive. I've been using this idea for a while as have many others.

Now the person who released this was known for saying you can vanish something and turn around and see nothing. Ending clean as it were. Well thaz a bit misleading. (From what I understand not an unusual practice.) Also the demo video, (Which was kinda poorly done froma video production guy standpoint), raised a great many questions and a few vauge answers. So regardless, not worth the money but hey now I can erase all of my roommate's pr0n videos.

Now since everyone loved that one and it was lackluster, the newest one that has drawn a lukewarm response is Steve Fearson's Self Vanish. (Find the link yourself you lazy bastahd.) Even tho' this new technique was cheap (also appeared in other literature as a way to vanish food) and an e-book type thing, there is another brainstorm included with the original. Definitely something to think about, especially if yer a stage performer. (Already working on ideas meself.)

However the idea has merit and CAN work to scare one person. Sure you read it and think, "Screw That!" but there are 1,000's of effects like that. However in the right hands it can be powerful. (Mike Close/ genii bottle anyone?) So for little money, don't bitch so much. You paid more for less elsewhere I guarantee.

I want to add that the fact I kinda know Mr. Fearson has NO bearing on my opinion on said release. My first thought was, "Oh come on!" but the second part is well worth it and with some thinking, so was the first part... but I do like his hat in the photos.

Ok well if you have read this far I guess you can contemplate this line from Star Wars. "Who is more foolish. The fool or the fool who follows the fool."

Just remember, don't believe everything you read cuz' 14% of all statistics are just made up anyway.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Life is too short for ands and ifs...

That goes around for everything actually. However since this is a magic themed site let's stick to that. If you have dreams of your own show, stage, TV, cable access... whatever, then don't let anyone or anything stop you. If you have a fire burning inside of you to create art and the medium you have chosen is prestidigitation, then do not hesitiate. If it's your dream follow those dreams. Life is too short... and sometimes, it's shorter than you think.

There is more to magic than practice in front of a shiny reflective surface. There is testing, research, self promotion, education, patience, discipline. All of these things make up all of the world's best and most well known entertainers. You can never give up or let ANYONE tell you you cannot make it if you have that fire burning inside of you.

The only people who truly never make it are those who give up. (Or get killed, but thaz not as poetic).

Don't lose sight. It's there, just walk towards it. At your own pace.. and no one else's.


"It's your dream. What are you doing to make it a reality?"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Wow two posts in a row. What are the odds? This week... pretty damn good I guess.

So what's this all about then? Tonight's episode is entitled "Too young for Mentalism" or "Get a haircut and get a real job". Recently in a few conversations at Knights o' sleights here in NOLA, it was commented that there is a large trend of younger lads getting into mentalism. Only problem with that (Only one?) is unless you are between the age of 30-something and DEATH then it's hard to be taken too terribly seriously. Some things are better with age... cheese, whine, and mind reading.

Now while people like Jay Sankey and Mr. Asshat have made mentalism very easy accessible to the youth, the problem is to actually pull it off you don't have to LOOK like Phil Goldstein but at least be closer to his age. If some clearasil pad needin' emo lookin' kid came up to me and tried to read my mind via a card trick I would know he bought it or it was just some dime store hooker... er.. trick.

Now if you look more the age of say well anyone in their 40's then I might just be a little more mystified. So while yer learning a center tear, glimpse, and how to use a shiner why not hone yer performing skills and save it for when you get sick of the card tricks.

By the way... don't call yerself a mentalist. Only we know what that means. Stick with mind reader, psychic, or lonely loser who obviously can't really predict the future or read minds or else they would have a better job.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Baby Lou tattoo

Wow an update, go figure. Being in New Orleans kinda distracts you. Also having to pay for net access kinda keeps you away from it. Regardless... riddle me this Copperfield. How far will you go for yer magic? I know a guy who actually has his fave card tattooed on his leg. Not only for style, obviously, but for a trick. (This effect falls under my theory of coincidence isn't magic. Now if the tat wasn't there first THEN was that might be magical.)

I mean this ink is big man. 3-4 inches tall. A number and a pip. Thaz dedication. (The fact he has a cute wife amazes us all.) This raises an interesting array of questions. First, does every damn magician have a fave card? If so, would YOU be willing to go under the knife, as it were, for yer art and affections. (or is that afflictions?)

I guess the only other thing that comes to mind is that if a girl sez she likes tattoos on guys would you be willing to show it off and expect them to go oh cool without the card trick? Having a a card drawn on yer body is a bit.. well.. dorky.. but as I always say magicians are indeed dorks. I mean fucking dorks. Seriously. We have to be. If we had a social life we would have jobs, cars, and better body modification ideas. (By the way I don't exclude myself from dorkdom. I have ever episode of Darkwing Duck on my computer and can name most of the first series of Transformers toys.. but at least I can get a date. Figure that one out.)

Being a misfit isn't so bad... but as Eric Mead has told many young magicians, "Learn to talk about something other than magic".

We are 138...


PS: My favorite card is the five of spades. Mind you I only have a duplicate of it in my wallet. I'm a big wuss. Sue me.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Tomorrow morn we head off to New Orleans for all of Jan until feb 8th (Fat Tuesday) to perform magic on the streets. Dunno how much net access I will have buuuuuuuut for those who want to keep up on the haps there I have started Nolamagic to keep alla youz guys updated.

I did this so as not to spam this journal and lose the point of magic rants. I'll still be here from time to time but the other one will be home for a while. BE well and for the love of whatever gawd you pray to, practice and stop sucking ok?