Friday, December 29, 2006

Ok so.. let's talk about something I am PRETTY sure has been touch on here before... but hey beating dead things is a good way to spend a day right?

Levitation. In some magician's eyes, the ULTIMATE magic trick. Levitating things with wire and string and bits of metal and... and... gawd the list goes on. There have been many many, too many versions of the balducci since the Asshat made it uber-popular. The elevator, zero gravity boots, king rising, icarus effect (And it's various versions), and now the FLY lev. (I left out some I know.)

What is the obsession with the holy grail of Asshattery... the "Street levitation"? In my experience of dealing with drunks, kids, and the like if you levitate yourself, they assume you can levitate ANYTHING. "Wow that was cool, here make my car float" "Hey that was neet what else can you do that to.. here try my cell phone".

If they don't do that, it comes down to "Do it again, do it again!" so they can look under your feet. Personally I don't think it is worth it. I say float a small object and if they ask if you can float yourself like on TV say.. "yes". No need to prove it.

Chances are they aren't gonna give you any money anyway.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

So a fairly new effect on the market has gotten people all a-buzz. It's called WOW. (Which when spelled backwards is also wow but upside down it's mom.) Now I dunno about you guys, but when I first saw it I immediately thought of an old trick called "The Hidden Sun" (Bottom Right). For those who remember it, you know what I am talking about.

What amazes me is that I saw that effect and IMMEDIATELY went, "Well duh". As usual with magic, just cuz' you can figure it out doesn't make it any less cool. It looks good and that's all that matters right?

This alllll goes back to usual rant about how today's magicians should study the world around them and be knowledgeable of their magical past to a degree. This is not the first time this technology has been used for a trick (or even a science experiment.)

Ah but the Japanese exploit technology and make it their bitch so in turn they can make
US their bitch as well. Same old song and dance aye?

Personally I thought Contra Vision had something to do with a video game.


Monday, December 11, 2006

All right let's talk about the shiny new distraction in magic right now. It's called Stuck!. Now at 10$ for a fairly visual coin vanish, that's not too bad in this day and age. (Yay instant gratification society)

I actually ponied up the cash for this... which is rare for me. When I decide to spend my pay pal funds I better not be disappointed. I wasn't really. The hype is true tho' it is impromptu (By that I mean nothing added or taken away.) There is something the demo doesn't show you, BUT it's not THAT big a deal. (As opposed to OTHER demo's) Don't let me scare you off with that statement. There is something you have to do to make the trick work, and as much as I wanna make a joke at it's expense I can't without tipping the method... and if I had to pay for it by gawd so do YOU.

I do think the handling and presentation is a bit "Magicky" (Is that a word?) but the best thing about coin magic, (And most difficult to convey to people), is that it is very personality based... so sez Jay Sankey. He's right tho'. The moves, patter, body language, and everything else that goes into a GOOD coin vanish SHOULD vary from performer to performer. The guy who sells Stuck!, his handling and presentation won't work for me anymore than it should work for you.

So be a good consumer, support the arts, get a new trick, fit it to yer style, love it, learn it, use it as yer own.

You'll be glad you did.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

The 5 stages of a bad show...


At least it is for me.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Is it live?

Or is it Memorex? Is it magic? Is it art? Is it both? Ask a magician he might say it's a zombie ball routine. Ask someone else it might be a dance. It's an act like this that can be a blessing in disguise because you can be booked as many different things. The best part is it doesn't take much to perform... except the years and YEARS of practice and study of movement, magic, and make-up/costuming. (Among other things) Surpassing the norm and creating something that transcends the stigma of "magician" or "Juggler" is the goal of any performance artist.

My good friend Jeb Sherrill and his wife performed on a french TV show with this guy, (Doing their magic art act) and said it is incredible to see live.

Do you think he would do well over here? (Said with a pinch of Sarcasm)


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ok ok so contest time!! I know I know the other contests I have had were kinda lackluster.. but this one will be fun and easy (Like my ex).

At the beginning of 2007 we will be finishing filming of Helter Shelter: The Movie and if you, yes YOU, would like a free copy all you have to do is.... find me the worst magicians website EVAR!!!

I of course will be the judge. There is a LOT to sift thru and my criteria is fairly open. It could be a horrid layout, terrible media, lame concept, or all around fitting 10 pounds of suck in a 5 pound bag.

I will not however accept crappy text only websites as poor cuz' while they are bad, they are bad with no content. You have until X-mas.


With that in mind I wanna talk about magic wesbites for a second. Some might say that there are two types of websites. Ego pages and business pages. Ego pages are personal pages made to stroke one's ego and put up things. This also includes pages for your pets or friends, etc. Business pages.. well.. duh. I think magic websites are a bit of both. There is a point where the lines blur and then, sadly, cross. You want the page to be personally ego stroking without being too terribly ass kissing. You also have to appeal to the bidness side of things and look moderately professional... even if yer not. The biggest illusion in magic, is to make yourself look important, or even more decpetive, cool.

Magic websites will NOT generally get you booked. You have to work on agents and whatnot to do that. A magic website serves primarily as an online promo packet as well as another way to be seen by the populace at large. (My site is designed the way it is for mainly these reasons) I know MANY pros whose site is notthat great, but it gets the point across without looking amateur-ish. If you can't do it, learn. If you can't learn it, bribe someone who can do it.

So on with your misson. Find me a crappy site, and DON'T make one of your own!


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Someone asked me about magic on TV back in the 90's. I decided to go a bit farther back with the history of magic on TV... more or less.

The 60's had Mark Wilson and Doug Henning... Stage magic.
The 70's Doug Henning and David Copperfield... Stage magic
80's? David Copperfield.... yup.. you guessed it.. stage magic.
Most of the 90's... World's Greatest Magic, Lance Burton, Rudy Coby, etc... Mostly stage magic.

1998 - The rise of the Asshat. Yup "Street" magic got it's firm nasty little grip on the world and the youth of magic was forever changed.
2000's: Criss Angel sez', "I want some of that Street Magic Money". Good stage performer from what I have heard and seen. Gets on Tv and gets all "Street cred" and goes right to hell.

Here is my pondering for tonight. When does the effect supersede your ethics? Copperfield was well known for using stooges to get the desired effect or joke to happen every time (Still is). Did effects you could ONLY do on TV really or involved clever camera angles. No real editing or special FX just creative use of the technology. He did ride a fine line but kept mostly on the side of ethics.

You'll notice no TV magic shows anymore say, "Everything you see here is live and is exactly what you would be seeing if you were here". If they did it would be a big fooking lie. The Asshat did stuff you could ONLY do with camera editing and specially built store fronts. Criss Angel did one better and got actors and jerky ass editing to do his bidding.

The worst part is with the loss of a major stage magic influence, today's kids are missing that flair for the dramatic and the rhythm that comes with being a stage performer. They only influence they see is the best thing magic can be is a close up guy in T-shirt and jeans saying "Waaaaatch".

Now I am being a bit pessimistic I know, but hey stick with what yer good at. Someone told me stuff goes in cycles. Well I say after almost 40 years of stage magic as an influence, this whole damn close up street harassment better not last that long. There will always BE stage performers, but with little mass influence on the public, it's subtle nuances may very well fall by the wayside and become merely pages in a book or pictures on a screen.

I'm just a tad worried thaz all.

(Who sez yah have to be cheery on a holiday?)

Friday, November 17, 2006

What exactly is magician hell you ask? Well today it's This Guy.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

"For the summer that's once lost now is gone..."

So I'm here listening to this tune and there is a line that made me think about our activity in magic. It goes as thus...

"For your world won't change while you sleep" - Flogging Molly

It's true too. If you take a passive casual observer stance to not only magic but life as well nothing will change. Your magic, your achievements, anything really. You can sit at home and practice your faro or double lift. Watch video after video, read book after book on magic and technique.. but if you don't go out in the world and practice your art it's just gonna stagnate.

If you take an aggressive mindset to change your life, magic, or people's viewpoint no matter what it's for then you are at least changing something even if it's just ONE person's mind. I have encountered a few people who don't like magic for one reason or another. Sometimes cuz' they have seen a poor performer or.. ten. If you make an effort to get out there and show these people a better world then.. your their world.. and your might just change a bit.. and for the better.

Life... and magic... is not a spectator sport.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ok so I was perusing my fiends list on LJ (Yes I am a dork) and someone actually made a somewhat poignant post (for magic anyway). Below is my response for your viewing pleasure.

"So yer asking if magic is there a way to make magic memorable and not just some cheap party trick? Indeed and it doesn't have to be emotional or even an in depth story. I've been doing magic for.. umm.. too long to count on all my extremities (You figure it out) and can tell you a few of the ways I know of to keep magic with someone forever.

1. Do something impossible. Truly impossible. Levitation is not actually in the category cuz' they can dismiss it with any number of answers.

2. Vanish something and never bring it back.. ever... but this only works if incorporated with the #1 or...

3. Use something that makes it personal for them... something that gives them an anchor if you will.

Now I shall explain. First I will address #2 and 3 together. Vanishing THEIR lit cigarette. Not yours.. but theirs. You take something they connect with personally but not enuff to be mad if it goes away. It's disposable attachment. Vanish it and NEVER bring it back.

An example of Number 1 is Michael Close's moving pothole effect. To move a hole around at will IS impossible. With the incorporation of their house and street in the mix they will never forget the trick and keep that card (And who you are) forever.

Let's see #1 and 2 together now. Swallowing a four foot balloon and never bringing it back out makes you unforgettable. Why? Allow me to explain. People need closure in their lives. If something goes away it MUST come back.. this is why we have a problem with death cuz' it won't be back but we try like mad to make the memory remain. Thus if you never bring something back that has an impact that gets stuck in their minds and they will never forget who you are.

Also the best way to make magic memorable is to be memorable yourself. Anyone can do cheap tricks... but it takes real skill to give them a reason to care and remember. Be a face and you will have a name."

I'm especially proud of that last line there.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's not over till' the horizontally challenged woman croons... the sideshow tur might be fini, but the onslaught of photos is'nt. Keep checking back every so weeks for more photos and amusing tales. Texas always looks better everytime I go to the east coast. So here I am back near the internet and as usual the parade of magical craziness must swagger itself in front of me. Someone watch This video and tell me what he is selling. Seriosuly. It sez gimmicks but I am leery of a guy trying to use a demo reel as a selling point. At least he's happy.

"How can you be more than happy? To me, this sounds like a dangerous mental condition. We have to put Dave in mental home. He was -- more than happy." - George Carlin


Monday, October 23, 2006

Well it's been an odd couple of months here on tour. Thought I would take some time to regail you kids with some of my thoughts. Anyone seen the new Jet Li movie Fearless? Personally I have to be in the mood for Kung Fu movies. I wasn't the day we saw it. Twasn't bad tho'. There is a bit in the flick that I decided to equate to magic.. and thus it follows.

In the movie there is a fighting arena and Jet Li sez something to the effect of "When you are down there (On the ground) you are merely watching, but up here... it is life or death." That's very true of magic as well. When we watch it is no consequence, but when we are up on that stage we either live by the art or die by it. The term dying on stage holds water. If you stink on ice then you will kill your career, your audience, and your magic. You have to be the best you can be to live and flourish.

Hence another problem with street magic. You are on their level and therefore the threat level of failure is lessened. You want to impress me... try doing stage magic and becoming an engaging performer. Only then will I be impressed...

and want to kill you on the field of battle.


In other news: Can't Please Everybody.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore...

I wasn't PLANNING on making another post so soon. However it has been commented in this journal that I do not care for LIES in magic demos. We might all remember the Glass Mirage incident hmmmmmm?

Well it seems Mr. Coin in Can (Great idea) and Stigmata (Not too bad) creator Wayne Houchin.. the Bruce Cambell of magic.. I mean seriously.. he has a huge chin. He needs chinderwear... *ahem*

So his newest descent.. is something going around called Indecent and boy howdy is it. If you watch the demo, and you know ANYTHING about lighting, plastics, video editing, or ziplocks, you might just notice something odd. I will not expose anything outright but I will say this....

"Wayne Houchin you are a Bastard!" Thaz right... you heard me. You used video editing to show a trick do something it cannot do. (To a point) I think you have been hanging out with Criss Fishing Rod too much because his poor editing is rubbing off on you. I think people should be warned about things like this in hopes it will cease and desist. We get lied to on a daily basis.. folks don't need any help.. especially if it's for the sake of a few bucks.

I am very opposed to magic demos that use editing to make a trick "see what the audience sees." Bite that!! Be honest. In a place full of liars the honest man stands out.. (Ok and gets ridiculed sometimes. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.) I just think it's shite. Seriously... and if Mr. Houchin sees this and wants to A: Talk it over.. cool. B: Prove me wrong.. fine. or 3: Be a dick to me in a nasty email be warned.. I will post it here. (For like.. all 5 of my readers to see. Yah..I'm a threat.)

The problem with doing the right thing.. is that sometimes.. you do it by yourself.

Ok first off... ever seen those ads that say "YOU COULD BE NAKED!"? Well This chick took it to the extreme.

WARNING!! If you are offended by nudity do NOT watch this. If you are offended by nudity and watch it anyway, don't hold me responsible. Blame the Canadians cuz' it appears to have been done in Montreal. Glen.. I'm looking at you. (Yes I did watch the whole thing.. I just wanted to see where it was obviously going.)

Ok so now that I have tainted your spank bank, let's talk about something. I choose you jigaboo... no wait.. wrong show. Ever see someone show their hands empty... A LOT... before doing something? Like the "Lookit my eeeeeempty hands" move before card manip takes place? Maybe the "Look at the this perfectly ordinary empty box that is ordinarily empty and totally empty" speech? We in the magic field call dat, Don't run if yer not being chaste.. er.. chased.

I call it "people are dumb but give them some freekin' credit". It just don't roll off the tongue as nicely as the other one. People have eyes. Sometimes they work. If they are going to give you the common courtesy of their attention don't insult their intelligence by showing them an empty box or cup and then telling them it's empty. See I believe people have gotten smarter to a degree when it comes to magic. It is far more a part of American Culture than it ever used to be. People get exposed to it almost daily in some places. We forget that they no longer fear us as gods. We can't trade them shiny beaded necklaces for their gold anymore.

People can see something is empty. They can see something isn't empty. We need to stop trying to take them by the hand and instead let them follow us. They can walk on their own. Take advantage of that. Use what they see and know against them... don't give them suspicions or reason to doubt you. (This also goes under the category of use normal items not magic props so it's less suspicious in some people's minds.)

It's a thinking seeing world out there. They comprehend what they see and believe what we tell them... I mean we are the politicians of the entertainment world. We lie to them, they believe it and they love us for it. Just like the real gubment... only tell them what they need to know to be happy.

It's a bright sun shining day.. if we tell them it is.


By the way: It's that time again. I will be going on tour with the sideshow troupe this Fall. Activity here will slow down since internet will be very sparse. You can keep up to date on the tour at the Sideshow Journal. Thanx and be careful out there.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Almost forgot: The 2006 Bizzaro Promo video is now online. You can see it here for now. Remember kids, in this business it's all about whoring yourself to the highest bidder...

And then some.

Ever seen that T-shirt, "Fuck you I'm from Texas!"? If not, it's ok. It's pretty accurate to within a 16th of a centimeter. Anywho...

Over on someone else's new blog (Forgive him, he's Canadian. We love him still.) there was an interesting conversation involving him and one of magic's more well known names as of recent years.

I know for a fact some people have a problem with their material being slagged upon by others online. (I admit I have gotten that way once or twice, but soon dropped it.) I am not akin to gossip on this journal, but the exchange over on Glen's journal with Daniel Garcia bring up a good point.. and far be it from me to not exploit someone else's misery to make a point.

The new effect TRICYCLE, (aside from having a silly ass name), is an effect where the name of a persons card appears printed on the card box. You can look it up on Ellusionist yourself if you really care. Glen sez: People will notice the printing and when the box dies, you gotta shell out 20$ more. Daniel Garcia sez: FUCK YOU... more or less.

Now here is the deal. People don't pay attention, thus no one will notice the card box is different from any other card box they have ever seen. However, it's not entirely magical to just go "Look here!" Some people might just surmise that you made them pick that card. Most won't. If you showed the Bicycle logo normal then rubbed it and it changed THAT would be more magic. The gripe about paying another 20$ for a specially printed card box is legitimate. In this case you are paying more for the gimmick than the secret since the secret is part of the trick description. Personally I would just print out yer own sticker label and put it on the card box. No one will inspect it that close. I promise.

Ok so Garcia handled the situation a little poorly true. If you release material into today's magic community, you have to expect flack. It's just the way it is. It's no reason to go off on someone just because you feel that everything you release is golden. I'm not saying he thinks that. I've known him for years (Not well but he at least will talk to me.) and he's generally pretty nice. So if that is indeed him (And the magic HATE ball says that the chances are good) then he needs to chill out a bit. He's not the first person to have their magic printed box trick bad mouthed openly. (I'm looking at you David Oliver.)

So the point here is.... (Drumroll) People don't pay attention. The trick will work. Will it be the next 3 fly or card warp? Not bloody likely. It's just another tool being sold to a bunch of other tools. We need to stop thinking like magicians so much and also get over ourselves sometimes.

I'd like to buy the world a coke...


Monday, August 14, 2006

My girlfriend (yes, I date. Stop snickering.) once told me I was perfect. I told her, "No such thing."

Now from here I could wind this entry down the dark and tedious path of the magician Too Perfect theory... but I like the 5 people who read this thing so I won't. Instead I will talk about something that will keep me from working most magic conventions.

Hello. My name is Bizzaro and I don't have a competition act.

It's true. I don't believe in that perfect 8 minute act. Never will. I have a three and a half minute act where I produce, multiply, and manipulate eyeballs. Thaz as close as I'm gonna get. Why you ask? Lemme tell yahz...

Many magicians work a good chunk of their life working towards a "competition act" then the rest of their show is fairly trite. Store bought illusions, props, patter, etc. They work so hard on this one act they figure the rest can be common fare I dunno. Personally, I believe the magic world would be a better place if magicians would work on their ENTIRE show. My show is geared so that EVERY aspect of my show is fairly unique if not in prop then presentation. I want people to leave my show saying, "I liked ALL of it."

Now I have said in the past that this journal is not about ME, but my thoughts. In cases like this (Or when I am being a shameless whore) I have to use myself as the example. It just kills me to see a unique magic act followed by.. a duck bucket.

So since I work towards entertaining real people and not just magicians and myself I will probably never win a magic competition. Thaz fine with me too. I have heard from many of my non-magical fiends of competition acts they have seen at various venues and just didn't get into.. nor did the rest of the audience. So as a warning and plea work on your WHOLE show...

and for the love of whatever deity you subscribe to.. try to have a personality that goes with your duck bucket.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Consistency: Noun - Agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole.. According to anyway. This is a major problem I feel of most magic acts... especially competition acts. Your overall theme gets lost and muddled if you just throw in magic for magic's sake or to eat up time. Want an example? Check out this dood.

Midway thru he abandons his focus prop and starts messing with silks (We know how I feel about That) and other things that do not fit in with his act. A rubber ball? Well maybe. This is a good example of an act for magicians.

I used to have a lot of excessive props and magic in my eyeball act just to make it longer. I realized that by adding canes, silks, and other stuff I lost the focus of the act. If you are producing canes.. keep it up. Make it make sense. If you live in a bubble, you too can make your act unique and sensible. Of course, everything you see on TV and online seems to say otherwise hunh? Who yah gonna believe?

Don't answer that.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

While I am waiting for this footage to render, let's talk about light magic shall we? Specifically little hand help contraptions to create and manipulate what appears to be balls of illumination. I of course refer to D'lite and Finger Fazers. I remember when D'lite hit the market, Oh.. my..god. They were the hottest thing going. I got mine and said "Ah". It was clever (Which is more than I can say for some of the stuff on the original teaching video) and soon everyone was doing it... unfortunately.

When I say everyone I mean EVERYONE. Even non-magicians because they were selling these things (As well as knock-offs) in malls and every tourist trap magic store. They became so common they appeared on an episode of Taxi Cab Confessions and from what I heard they exposed it on the show. After hearing about that from too many people, I put them away. (Well that and the originals had problems with the contacts breaking after a few months of hard core use.)

Jay Scott Berry (Who looks better with short hair if you ask me) decided to go his own route with Finger Fazers. They were brighter and allowed for much more visual stuff, such as dropping the light from one hand to the other or swirling multiple lights around in a goblet. Downside? Couldn't show your hands clean at all times.

Now there was a time when kids didn't get drugged up, wear candy, and suck on pacifiers. (The 80's) Throughout the 90's, Raves became a big deal and nothing makes a candy kid go "oooooh" more than pretty light. (Except maybe a massage) Thus these kids with more LSD than sense collected every light up toy and tool they could find and wave it around at each other. Now hold on I am getting to a point here.

Working the nightclub scene I got to see much of this and hear about much of it. The problem with light effects like D'lite and ESPECIALLY Finger Fazer (For those who know what it is) anyone in that crowd day or night were not impressed cuz' they either KNEW what it was or assumed what it was. Thus their effectiveness had worn off in certain circles. The adult TV crowd and the young hip rollin' crowd.

(Deep movie announcer voice) Now it is 2006... and those things are long forgotten. *koff* That TV show no longer is running, the raver kids grew up, wised up.. or got tossed in jail and are just NOW getting out. Regardless, the time is nigh once again to use these effects. D'lite has gone crazy again making bright colors, ones that change color, and even a nifty little bouncing floating light thing. (Let's face it compared to D'ring, ANYTHING is good. Personally I miss D'rose. I had one. It was fun.) They are made better, they break less, and possibly have more battery life. Finger Fazers haven't changed much that I know of. They have no reason to.. they worked. (From a distance anyway)

Light magic is a great way to get people's attention for strolling, and they look pretty onstage. No go forth and be fruitful, (Not fruity. I know some of you can't help it tho') Plunk down 30 bucks at yer local brick and mortar and go brighten somebody's day...

Make them.. *Snerk*.. see the light.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Let's talk about silks baby. Let's talk about you and me.

Discussing the use of silks and whatnot the other day with the person who is fourth down on my links list. Someone once told me that silks and the like are only a magicians prop now and they don't make sense. This made sense to me. As a society we no longer cart around hankies and silk scarves on a daily basis. Once again, equipment leftover from a forgotten time. How can we as an entertainment art move forward if we keep living in the past?

I can understand the use of silks or cloth for certain things, don't get me wrong. (Mind you, without silk magic Duane Laughlin would be out of a job.) Silks were very popular with Chinese magicians cuz' the Chinese actually made things from silk. Magicians use them cuz' they compress right nice and often sport colors not found in nature. Fuscia.. I mean really?

Ok so let's talk about a very popular item in magic. It makes NO sense, is easy to make yet expensive, and a bitch to reset. The Silk Fountain. Yes that little eruption of colors that never seems to end. The BEST use of one I have seen is by a girl named Yumi from Japan. Her act is floral themed (Card manipulation petals, etc) and her silk fountain fades from white o pink and becomes what effectively looks like a big ass flower bouquet. (in comic book guy voice) Best... silk fountain.. evar!

So, silks... useless cloth or dated magic prop? You decide.


Monday, July 31, 2006

So a local Magi has a cookout/pool party every year at his casa for any entertainers in the area... visiting or indigenous. (If you get the chance to see inebriated magicians perform DO IT!!)

Anywho, we were graced with the presence of Steve Bedwell and his lovely wife Krys. Nice people and VERY tolerant of our antics. For those who don't know who he is, shame on you. He put out a video many years ago (VHS if that tells you anything) that was called No M.D. Required. It has many great bits of business and some killer effects like "Re-Boxed". (worth the price of the tape alone)

He also released a few other effects and booklets such as "In over your head" (rope magic+paper balls over the head=hilarity) and "Thick Shtick" (Advice on thick cards and their praises.)

So in the spirit of pimping cool people, go to his website.

Also in a week's time Misty Lee dot com will have a face lift. Go Check it out then.

And what the hell... go to my site and buy some shit.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, yer cool, fuck you, I'm out!

Ok so we all know that magic websites whose ego is bigger than their resolve have a habit for banning people. Makes em' feel all high and mighty and feels like a warm hug from their mother.. not that they know what that feels like but regardless. A friend of mine all the way from Canadia was recently banned from Ellusionist. (You know the people responsible for the black tiger deck, a metric assload of card magic DVD's, and encouraging 14 year olds to spend their money on "Street magic" before they discover girls and spend all their money on that instead.)

Regardless, he was banned for something as simple as This... oh and this. Some people have no sense of humor. ACHTUNG!!!

In other news I recently found out that The Magic Soop Kitchen (Speaking of people who ban people for silly ass reasons) deleted a whole post about the Gay Games in Chicago. No reason has been given but my friend has a theory... and I quote, "I don't want them to think I like sucking dick.. I mean I do but I don't want them to think that. We better delete this post."

God forbid someone try to enlighten you goobers with something outside your comfort zone.

< /Rant >


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Let's talk about that photo shall we? This is something I believe strongly in and I am riding a fine line. (You know that line. The same one that Jarred guy from Subway rides every time he walks past a bakery.)

I had a few people ask me, "wouldn't it make more sense to be in front of a different background?" Kind of. Lemme esplain'... no not enuff time. Lemme sum up. (This sad moment brought to you by Mandy Patinkin.)

If I was to place a different background into that photo it would become a magic photo. I prefer it to be a funny picture. One of those things you look at and go hunh? Why not you ask? Simple. I don't do a trick where water shoots out of my hat.

And that right there kids is the point. I am strongly opposed to photos that represent you doing something you cannot and do not do in your shows. None of my promo photos are photoshopped to represent something I don't do. I see a photo of a magician holding in their hands their assistant's head and the body is sitting in a chair I know something is up. (I don't care if you do that Andre Cole Head Mover Illusion or not.)

This is just a rule I live by personally and hate to see others do. It looks hokey. Much like good digital effects in movies, image manipulation shouldn't be noticeable. (Believe it or not there was very little PS'ing with the above photo. Just some color correction and I moved the shower curtain over a bit. You should see what it originally looked like.) To paraphrase something Brian Brushwood once told me, "I have plenty of good magic. I wanted good theater." (In reference to his stigmata presentation.)

Me? I have plenty of magic photos. I just wanted a funny one.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How I feel about some of the amateurs I have met or talked to...

I'm not really a jerk... I just don't like you.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

The sincerest form of flattery...

Watch this...

First I want to say that in a magic routine, it's the details that make all the difference. Watch his act. There are a few VERY subtle things he does that I personally have not seen anyone else do really. There is even a steal he does that blew right past me and watching it again makes me wonder... if someone is going to go thru the trouble to rip you off, why not study the little nuances that make their stuff work.

Even good counterfeiters and forgers study every little tiny detail. Why should magic be different. (Well aside from the legality of it all). First I don't recommend ripping off ANYONE's stuff. If yer gonna emulate someone's ideas tho', learn what makes then great.. and what makes you.. not.

Classics are that way for a reason kids...


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Criss Fishing Rod!!

Wow two posts in one day? I must be bored..

Ok so this is too funny to not put here. Ever taken say, song lyrics, translated them to korean and then BACK to english.. it sounds like crappy goth poetry (Redundant). However this is what google did to a translation of the write up for my book Helter Shelter. And I quote...

"Just in time for Halloween (2006), Bizzaro. To The Optical illusionist and Fire Cat of Studios bring you the roofridge resource book on the subject for one OF the most unusual classics OF magic around. The Razor Blade illusion Mystery. Performed by some OF the top names in magic look for as the Amazing Johnathan, Vito Lupo, and Criss fishing rod this is the roofridge time anyone has peered deep into the subject ton bring you to information on the various methods used tons accomplish this wonderful effect. Included inside acres discussions on the best places ton buy razor blades, what child OF fake blood ton procure, and the right child OF props ton use. Weighing in RK 36 pages, photo illustration, and A dozen different applications and methods for performing the Razor Blade illusion, this is A must have for anyone looking tons of ADDs something unique tons your act."

So from now on Criss Angel shall henceforth be known in this blog as Criss Fishing Rod. (If you think mine is funny the one for Zombie Re-Animated is just as good. Here is the page it's from and Here is the english version.

Ok folks as you were...


Friday, July 07, 2006

I miss the 80's....

No really. Back when everyone was so coked up you could get away with most variety entertainment acts no problem. Hell why do you think Carrot Top made it so far? (ok he's actually kinda funny but still) This is what talent in America has come to folks. Some of the stuff on the other videos are impressive but geezus. It's like that 30 seconds to fame debacle all over again. (Yes I was on that show... no I'm not proud of it either.)

Also can I ask you what the hell is up with some people's choice in music nowadays? Mind you in shows like that they make you use their music usually for copyright reasons (Blame ASCAP and BMI.. fuckers.) However most magic demos and show off vids are a lot of Limp Trisquit and equally annoying bands. I like a myriad of music but come on.. whatever happened to upbeat music? Does anyone even remember the 80's who is into magic nowadays? Most of the music was about partying, hookers, drugs, and having fun. How did we go from the Beatles singing, "I wanna hold your hand" to Trent Reznor wanting to "Fuck you like an animal". I fear for our future sometimes.

Could be worse. Could be burning us at the stake again...


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ok so while we had some really good entries for the "What do two people have in common who had nothing in common" contest, the answer I was personally looking for did not get reached. (The answer for those who care is: They are both DEAD and still making money and having stuff released while they are 6 ft under!!). So to make up for this I have a back-up contest.

Out in Ohio I think someone has erected a supersized savior.

I want you to take this image and whatever photo manipulation program you have
and turn it into something funny.. like this..

It doesn't have to be magic related but it might garner bonus points if it is. Next week sometime whoever makes me laugh the most gets.. something.

So get to it!!


Monday, July 03, 2006

Odd stuff my friends say...

"I feel like I spend all my time hooking wires up to a computer and ya never know if the cords good or not"

What is she talking about? Well in her case it's about voice acting and making connections and whatnot. In this business it's tough too. Nowadays it's not what you can do, it's who you know. It's always been like that but now more than ever since the entertainment business is so easily accessible. Not just buying props but making websites, video, graphics, propaganda... all of it. There was a time when a slick promo kit meant something. Now with desktop publishing going on the cheap, anyone can make something look nice.

It's the price of progress. Scanners and printers and computers are affordable. Good Video and graphics software are still high end but thanx to the invention of file sharing anyone can get a hold of this stuff. Thanx to the internet people have instant access to learning tools and guides to use said programs. DVD and CD burners make it easy to make your own media quickly. We are truly an instant gratification society. (In more ways than one.)

Charlotte Pendragon once told me that most booking agents don't need or want a slick package anymore. Just a n 8x10, video, and maybe a resume and testimonials. Sometimes the problem with being too slick is you look suspect... and like everyone else. It's the world we live in and since we compete not only for attention span but we are up against special effects not dreamed of 50-100 years ago we have to be unique and relentless to be seen or heard.

Making a computer work is far easier if you ask me.


PS: I am gonna end the Dai/pac debate this wed. So get yer answers in now. If no winners I have a back up contest you can do.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ok so we got a few more replies to the controversy. All of them true AND funny however not yet what I am seeking. If no one gets it.. I'll do something. Here is what I have so far.

"Both smoked copious amounts of weed." - Can't verify that one.. with Vernon anyway. However he was Canadian so...

"-Both of their last names have 6 letters?
-both of them have their pictures posted in Bizzaros blog?
-Both of them are dead?"

"Both of them were gemini's" - Now THAT is doing yer homework.

"They are both dead... They have that in common" and another vote for dead and buried.

I'm so very proud of you guys by the way. Not just for replying, but for admitting you read my journal. But seriously folks.. You read this for one reason. To hear what I think about magic because it sure ain't for my charming personality or good looks. So let's talk about something.

The Black Widow. The brand new toy on the magical market. Making lots of hype and boy does it look good. It claims to render much sleight of hand obsolete. So here is the pros and cons of this in my jaded eyes.

-Looks damn good


-Long sleeves required. (At least the raven could be done with short sleeves)
-Fooking expensive
-One trick pony
-Easily accessible to the mainstream market.

Can you tell I'm not gonna buy one. See I believe magic is an art and by practicing not only my skill but presentation and performance skill I can further it and do the same thing for cheaper. Someone once told me you don't have to be the best.. but you DO have to be the first. If someone sees the linking rings done by someone else and then they see you yer gonna be that "other" guy.

"I saw this guy do this once before. He was AMAZING."

So with everyone buying this item I would rather stick to sleeving. I mean if they are gonna be there anyway might as well. Most of the people who will use this will do the AssHat thing. Walk up, do the trick and walk away. Good way to get them to remember YOU. Making the magic the focus only gets you so far in my opinion. So while this looks good the smart ones will use it sparingly at just the right moment in the structure of a much larger routine. Personally I don't wanna be strapped down with a thing on my arm and anchored to me screwing with my mobility. Give me that old time religion.

I sense magical masturbation on the horizon. More time in the bathroom in front of the mirror than with actual people. Hell I thought the raven was a great item... for spare parts anyway.

I can't wait till' the next great white hype.


Friday, June 23, 2006

While we're waiting for more people to answer my Vernon/2Pac contest, here is a little something for those of you who may have wondered where we got the term SmappDooDa. Go to and click the link near the bottom of the explanation. Now you too will see how it came into this world kicking and screaming.

By the way I did get one entry so far and I quote:

I have two answers.

1. Both got a lot of pussy during their hayday.

2. Nada fuckin thing.

I can't make this stuff up folks...


Sunday, June 18, 2006

What do these two men have in common?

Email me your answer and if it's the right one I will email you something back worth at LEAST 10-15$.

Who's yo Daddy foo?


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ok so I have said before that Magicians reside right below jugglers and somewhere above certain mimes on the ladder of entertainment. Two of the biggest applause getters in the business are juggling and fire eating. Most people have tried juggling and know it's hard. Most people know fire is hot therefore it must be dangerous. If you wanna throw in dove magic you can but it is cheap applause.

Regardless, my point is... this will get hired over most other novelty acts. Why? Cause' they know/ think it's more impressive.

I sacrificed a social life for this?


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Card to.....

Jean Pierre Vallarino appeared on WGM back in the day. While the camera angles were not his friend, he did some amewsome stuff. If you hop onto your friendly neighborhood torrent program you can find him performing better on Cabaret Du Monde (A french TV show).

Anywho, in the search of the best and most impossible card to wallet effect, I think his newest needs to be mentioned. Poche A Poche, (which I assume is french for something... I suppose I could look it up but hey, I'm lazy), is a very convincing way to have a signed card go to a wallet. Watch the demo and you will know what I mean. The method is one of those, "Dammit why didn't I think of that first" kinda things. The principle can be applied to many other ideas I feel however.

Check it out it's a pretty thing.


Friday, June 02, 2006


I always thought urethra sounded like a Godzilla monster... don't you? Anyway I think I figured out where Criss Angel came from.. check this!

Who remembers this show?

Yah me too. I liked it. Remember this guy?

Well think about it.. who does he look like I ask you...

Don't see it yet? How about this...

Hmmm.. see I think no one has seen him cuz' he grew his hair long, went on a drug and drinking binge aaaaaand now...

Do you see it now?


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I been putting this off for a while but while I am sitting here watching this further installment of The Mindflake I figure I should comment. Now I know all of the magic blogs will be filled with stuff about these new eps and new season. Well guess whut? Not mine.

I have watched all but half an episode of the first season. (The radio prediction episode and I can tell you without watching it he gets it right. Must be my scaaaaaary psychic poweeeeers wooOOOOOOOooooo...) My probs with the first season appear to be the same probs with the next season. Edited all to hell. The believability of this show, as a magician, is very suspect. Once it becomes obvious he uses confederates, then everything is suspect.

A lot of people think he's using LOTS of actors. He's actually just placing one or two people in a large crowd... duh. The problem with magic TV is that it is OVERLY contrived. If the right variables happen.. or you pay the right people off then anything can happen. All magic TV is edited and a bit slanted towards the subterfuge but after The Asshat, it went downhill.

I had to turn off Criss' first episode of season one cuz' it was so badly edited and many of the first season was recycled stuff from his other specials. I sat thru them just to see him perform much of the stuff he pays other people to develop. I know some of it was real, like the hooks, but much of it was just total.. bullshit. (Another TV show, but we're gonna leave them out of this.) I also learned he liked to remove his shirt any chance he could.

Anywho, Criss Angel is helping bookings, making weirdos in magic sheik, and giving Johnny Thompson work. Seriously tho', so far these first two episodes did what they said. To make more magic, and do less build up. (It is nice he is going back to the basics and traditional.. kinda.) However his crew acting surprised when he does stuff is just silly... but he has a nice mirror table.

Screw it, he's on TV and we're not. Thaz all we can say.


(PS:It seems he is trying to be more himself and lose the gawth-ish make-up but why is he trying to look more and more like the lead singer of KORN?)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ok kiddos. Time for me to actually offer up some words of advice instead of enlightening thru my charming power of hate. In this little essay I will be offering up advice on two things seldom talked about and usually overlooked.

First let's talk about bidness... bidness cards that is. What is the most important thing on a business card? Aside from your name, they need to know what you do. Are you a juggler, children's performer, corporate entertainer, etc. Too often we as performers forget that just because WE know what we do others have NO idea. It needs to be concise and to the point. Do not list EVERYTHING you do. Pick a program and go with it. Also, for the love of whatever deity you choose, do NOT put performer for "All Occasions". No one knows what that means. Walk around for open heart surgery? Who needs a mime at their barn raising... seriously? (Who needs a mime anywhere for that fact.)

The last thing you need on your cards is a way for them to contact you. Phone number, email, website. Quiz: Which is the most important? Thaz right the phone number. It needs to be big enough that someone with bifocals can read it. The rest can be a tad smaller. Your name and the phone number should ALWAYS be big enough for them to read. Also don't clutter up your card with shitty clip art or overload the card with too much pretty graffic. Sometimes.. less is more.

Now once you book that all important show with yer neet clean and oh so impressive easy to read bidness card what do you do when something breaks, snaps, frays, or just plain DIES! Thaz what this next bit is about so listen closely you monkeys.

Someone once commented that if you travel or tour AT ALL you need an emergency kit. When I heard this at a young age I wasn't doing any touring so I didna care as much.. however NOW it has proven to be a grand idea I tucked away in the back of my melon. What is in this travel case/bag you may ask? Well I shall illuminate a few of the essentials for you.

Needle and thread - Black mostly but other colors if you feel you might need it.
Tape - Duct, electric, metal, double sided, etc.
Tools - Screwdriver kit (Small), normal screwdrivers, needlenose pliers, etc.
Hot Glue Gun - TRUST ME!
Adhesives - super glue, etc...
Cutting implements - Scissors, xacto blade, etc..
Random crap - Band-aids (Trust me), nuts, bolts, batteries, lighter, hair tie, matches, and whatever else you think you might need at the drop of a hat.

This kit doesn't have to be large, just large enough to carry what you need to repair a prop or yourself. You can also put all of this in with your make-up if you use any. Never rely on the fact someone might have what you need. I have learned that in this bidness the only one you can usually rely on is yourself... note I said usually.

Oh a little tip for you close-up kids. If you are gonna work as a professional invest in clear nail polish. Before a show, walkaround, corporate, or whatever make your nails all shiny. It makes you and your hands look better.

So there you go. Three tips from me to you.

Your fiendly neighborhood Bizzaro.

Friday, May 19, 2006

It has been often said that in the entertainment world magic is one of the only arts where you can buy your skill. You can't buy ballet shoes and call yourself a ballerina nor can you buy a paintbrush and say yer an artist. People can see yer fool of shit if you suck at it. Even a musician can be heard to be bad if he claims otherwise. However you can buy a deck of cards that does all the magic for you and still be a "Magician".

Chilling thought eh?

To quote the singer Voltaire, "He looked like a gay Captain Morgan".

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Eric Mead once commented to me that something he tells most younger magicians is "Learn to talk about something other than magic". I couldn't agree more.

There is nothing wrong with focus. Really. However you ever seen or been to a Star Trek convention? You put a mass amount of people into one spot that has only one focal point of interest and you get some reeeeally scary people. Magic is lucky in that the magic we create is just a piece of a larger puzzle. The quandary of how to entertain not only ourselves but those we encounter in the real world.

Many magicians who are very well known in the magic world have other jobs that, in some cases, pay them way more than magic does. David Regal is a comedy writer. Simon Lovell is a writer for TV. Paul Harris is a theme park designer. Yes Paul Harris. Anyone remember when he was a barefoot, wandering the planet like Cain from Kung-fu, crashing on couches, not paying for his dime-bags kinda guy? Well that man is making so much more money not only designing but also producing stuff. (Like other magicians material. I thought ellusionist was the one behind the big Blaine effects push. Nay it was Mr. Harris. All those DVD's are EVERYWHERE. He's gonna make a mint.) I figure he's got some nice shoes by now.

Anywho, it's ok to have other interests. Really. Even girls.. hell even GUYS. Whatever floats yer proverbial man in the little boat. Luckily enough for those of us who brave magic conventions there is a mass level of interest in magic and not just ONE kind. I don't think I could handle nothing but a dai vernon con. Or a marlo-thon.

I would rather be pecked to death by ducks.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

If you are overly sensitive and have no sense of humor... then why are you even here in the first place? I mean uh.. Don't read this next thing!!

My friend asked me what Channing Pollock died of. I said I didn't know but that they killed his doves so he'd have something to do in the afterlife. ZING!!

You know it's sad. Not ONLY did I forget to post after I got out of the shower I forgot what I was gonna talk about... so in celebration of that, LET'S MAKE SOME SHIT UP!!

Once upon a time there was this little boy. He wanted so very bad to be a great magician. He worked his little happy ass off. Working everywhere he could. Night clubs, strip clubs, women's prison family days. Anywhere he could get the experience. Once he had enough experience he leveled up.. wait.. once he got enough experience he started charging more money. As he grew older he wondered why he wasn't working as much as some of the no talent hacks he saw on TV. Alas it seemed he had become too good for his own good. His creativity had been his downfall. Luckily enough at a young age he realized no one who works their butt off in the entertainment business doesn't get acknowledged until their late 20's early 30's.

Eventually that day came. He got his own magic TV special, wowed the world, and as a joke tried out some new material he never thought ANYONE would buy. Well it had quite the adverse effect. He acquired a myriad of magical followers and doppelgangers. He was praised publicly and damned privately. (By jealous wannabe's whose only magical trick was fitting 10 pounds of suck in a 5 pound bag.)

Fame and fortune was his. He was remembered and emulated for many MANY years after his death. He was called one of the top influential magicians of his day. His famous last words quoted in many a magical tome. "Magic be not art, but life."

Little known to very few were his TRUE final words....

"You know it was all a joke, right?"


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An email I received by a faithful reader (ok I dunno HOW faithful. I have heard people have seen him romping around town with those other trampy blogs) told me about the "immediate" release of the effects Blaine performed on the TV special along with a few that got edited out. As he said, "And you know what's sad? A lot of those look pretty damn tempting to me." Sadly he is correct. The shoelace thing is cool and the spike thru foot is amusing. (Not as amusing as the price tag tho' geez. Someone is right proud of THAT!) So Ellusionist is doing what any normal red blooded american capitalist company would... making a buck off the innocent and naive and helping that old "The first rule of magic is keeping a secret" thing.

As I told my reader.. Ellusionist should just put a header on that page, "Soon to be available for download on yer fave bit torrent program!"

Where am I and why am I in the handbasket?


Monday, May 08, 2006

The tale of a whore and an Asshat

I got voted one of the top 30 finalists for the USA characters welcome thingy. Now they are voting for the best. So VOTE FOR ME AND LOVE ME!!!! (Sings to self:)"I'mmmmmmmm a filthy whoooore"

Now onto our second story of the evening. "mulatto man almost drowns to death while New York watches and cheers like cattle" Yes the Asshat did a two count it TWO hour special only to FAIL on national TV. Ok ok I got that out of my system. Now to be fair I think him not doing it was a BRILLIANT idea. He has overcome all of his other challenges he has done. To screw one up shows he is human and gets sympathy and more press on his side. So kudos to him. Now mind you I don't think we needed two hours build up for this but.. whatever.

Out of the tricks he did (Which was what.. FOUR in two hours) I liked the shoes tying themselves trick the best. That HAS to be a Paul Harris thing. He loves shit like that. I can see it for sale soon. Mark my words. Then some Belgium guy will get all mad cuz' he did it on TV and then they bootlegged his one page flyer he made in 1967 and.. I digress. Honestly I enjoyed the street magic on this one ore than ANY of the other ones. More believable and amusing.. I mean the teeth thing.. that was effin' hysterical!! The bending the bars.. was lame. I admit it. The glass breaking cards was nice.

So all in all... I would have liked to have seen it done in 30 minutes like this: Magic tricks, a little build up, Blaine doesn't beat record, outtake of Criss Angel whipping it out and peeing in the fishbowl with Blaine in it. (Criss Angels next big thing.. "I will hold my breath for over niiiiiine minutes in a giant bowl full of white zinfandel.")

So our tale is over.. hope you enjoyed it. Salude!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Someone made a VIDEO .review of Helter Shelter. Go figure. I like the idea. Reviewing thru video. I think it's an idea that can catch on.. fire


Monday, May 01, 2006

"I am but a tool. We all have this gift.. some are just more full of it than others." - Harry Anderson (More or less)

Someone recently asked a good friend of mine (Who he is teaching magic to that asked him this by the way), "Why did you LEARN all of this stuff? Do you ever actually use it?"

His first response was no, but after a discussion we came to realize that yes.. as magicians we do use EVERY single move we ever learn. I don't mean we use them ina routine, or use them in our normal working routines... but we do use them. As what you ask? Coasters? Bookmarks? Profilactics? Nay.. as reference, teachings, and education.

There are a great many moves created daily by amateurs and sleight happy teens with nothing better to do cuz' they have free rent. Some are good... some really aren't. Sleights, color changes, controls, false cuts and shuffles. There are a ton of them. (Lee Asher has three I can show you right now along with about five of my own.) They all serve a special function at the right time. We use them (Read this next line three or four times. I'll try and talk slow.) When... we... need... to.

That's right. Whatever makes the most sense, uses the most moves, or is the most effective at that point in time for the effect to take place. To us the magic happens when we do the move. The magic REALLY happens to them 1-5 minutes down the line. Sleights and moves and controls and alla that are merely a vehicle to get us where we need to be.. They are NOT the destination or focus. (I hate those cars) All of these moves we learn are tools to create. Not magic. We make the magic ourselves.

I have always kicked around my standpoint on just how much you should learn in the way of sleights. After much deliberation I think I finally have my answer. Learn as much as you can. I don't mean learn 20 variants of the double lift *Cough*GrEg WiLsOn*cough*. Play with them and then do the one YOU like that fits YOU. However learn a bit of everything and don't go out looking for them. Let them come to you naturally. TO search out info will only drive you mad. It will come to you when you need it most much like some odd sleight of hand karma. (I once had my dogma get hit by someone's karma.)

Learn as much as is necessary... and if it can't be found.. make it up!! If you are not happy with what you find there is nothing wrong with creating something that works for you. Even if it's not a magician fooler, if it works on real people, that is all that matters.

It's your thang.. do what you wanna do.


Friday, April 28, 2006

I like bowling ball magic. It's a weakness. It is uncharted area in many cases. There are however some great unique effects using these heavy props in the magic world. The most well known of course is the bowling ball from briefcase and Kevin James' version with the sketch pad. I have heard tales of something Shaun Farqhuar does with a balloon popping and a ball falling out of it. I have my own unque creations as well. It's a fun item to play with but a pain in the ass to cart around. A new item hath recently come out and I am here to make you awares.. to take the red bowling ball.

A new effect hit hocus-pocus recently but a talented New Zealander turned kanuk named Paul Romhany. You can see the video it is the production of not only a bowling ball but a bowling pin as well. The price is a tad steep but from what I have gathered from it from material costs it's not too far off.

That is the Bizzaro product watch for today. COme back soon for tips on how to bake a cake in the shape of kansas.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

I was recently at the local version of Knights of Sleights here in the DFW area. Ran into someone who not only reads this journal but actually LIKES it. Amazing. I have always stated that I started this thing not for my own ego or to get noticed but to try and post my feelings on the magic world at large and have a place to keep them that might help others and give them something to think about. I dunno how many read this crap and I don't care I'm just glad the ones that meander their ways here enjoy themselves as much as I.. um.. enjoy myself.. hmm.. let's move on.. this is going a direction I dun care for...

So at this same gathering I was talking to someone I have known for sometime out here who is damn good at close-up fer shure. He said he's kinda at an impasse with magic. Basically he sees no reason to keep going with it or go thru some of the hassles that come with creating new material or touring seedy night clubs. Now I know that is not for everyone, but it does go along with my theory that you should do a lot of things at least once. Touring is an experience very few have the patience or insanity for. (Why do you think bands take so much drugs and liquor into their body?) However, there is NOTHING like experience kids. It makes you a better performer, more educated in the world around you, and spreads your name to other areas and let's face it.. there's no cream to get rid of name recognition.

If some of you are ever at a point in your life where you fore see you starting to fall out of favor with your chosen love then get out of it, or change your perception. When you no longer do it for love (or ego stroking like for some) then don't harm yourself or your art anymore.

Mind you, inspiration and direction can find you when you least expect it.


"I've never been in love, but I stepped in it once." -Undimmed

Monday, April 10, 2006

A week or so ago I posted about something and then deleted it because I felt it wasn't really relevant. The main aggravation of the post was magic demo videos and how as magic consumers we have gotten used to and almost expect to be lied to by dealers and performers. I felt a new product warrants a rehashing of this.

Watch the video for the effect. If you figure it out then you will understand what I am saying, if you don't I'm not gonna tip the method out right. (I already make enough people mad with this journal.) The problems I have with this demo video are the same I have with a lot of them AND with a lot of magic specials. It's not what you see... it's what you don't see.

There is a gimmick involved (It says so in the video) so me saying that isn't gonna tell you much. However the video editing is done much like many others are done. With hip urban techno beats and wild wacky inflatable tube man action!! In otherwords jerky and hard to follow. In this video's case that is to it's advantage. The first effect is nice but he does "ditch" something off camera. Hmm seems fishy. The second effect uses a camera cut to TOTALLY lie to you. The effect the way they are presenting it would be IMPOSSIBLE. (Why do you think it needed a camera cut) aside from the fact that while being magical.. it doesn't make a lot of sense to just "do". On the third I can't even tell what the hell he's doing or what the effect even is.

All in all I cannot say for the price I am impressed since there is so much subterfuge involved with the demo. Sadly this is what we as magicians have come to expect. Dishonesty from those who would want our hard earned cash so we might earn more to waste on products we did not devise ourselves. It's a never ending cycle of lies, laziness, and consumerism. Do I sound bitter? Don't worry I'm not...

On the inside I'm creamy nougat.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

This is off topic but..not. I saw one of my fave bands tonight. Who might that be you ask? What kind of a thousand monkeys banging away on a thousand typewriters kinda music does Bizzaro listen to? Probably not exactly what you think... or even expect. First off if Cowboy Mouth EVER comes to your town go see them. Even if it's not your bag their live show makes you feel better no matter who you might be into.

Their songs talk of getting over your old lovers.. with a vengeance. Life lessons to be heard in lyrical format and a damn good time. The lead singer, Fred LeBlanc, not only beats the hell out of a drum set but sings like a fiend without losing breath for two hours. On one of his albums he has a song that is my personal anthem. I highly suggest you listen to this song. It's titled Be Whoever you Are and I HIGHLY recommend following that advice in magic. Don't be afraid to be whoever you are. Don't try to act suave if yer not. Don't be something you are not. Just let yourself go and be your own person. You will reap the rewards both on and off stage. (If yer really an asshole, find a way to make that work for you on-stage. Work on it off the stage tho')

That is my little bit o' honey.. er.. advice for you tonight. Be glad to be alive and have what you have. Tomorrow may never come and you don't want your days filled with regret.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Some Restrictions May Apply

With the recent post about not doing EVERYTHING an effect can do, let's discuss an interesting way to accomplish this. This idea makes no sense but stick with me. Impose Limits. That's it. By limiting yourself on an unlimited resource you create something at it's base level. You are FORCED to use the most powerful and direct approach. Allow me to explain...

In my multiplying eyeballs routine I can't do all the fancy flourishes and moves that magicians seem to get off on and that can't be seen from the third row anyway. By having a pattern on the balls I use I limit myself to find the best and most visual way to not only show the front and back of all the balls, but also produce them cleanly and clearly. Technically it's also harder to manipulate a ball with a pattern on it... however only magicians would know or care about that. Regardless, I get rid of all the flourishes, confusing repetition of moves, and get right to the point. Remember: I perform for real people, not magicians.

So by limiting yourself, imposing restrictions, and staying in your "Reality Bubble" (Talked about elsewhere in this journal) you can create magic and routines unique to you and the most direct and to the point and even the most logical performances. By telling yourself you won't repeat a move, you have to mix things up. By restricting yourself from doing "Another damn card trick", you will perform something unique. How many guys have you seen do ace assembly's and pick a card-lose it-find it tricks? By ONLY doing more visual magic or off the wall effects you too can become not only a better performer but a unique performer that no none can copy.

The possibilities are limitless.


Going out to a few things on the web, first I totally believe in pimping your friends. A good fiend of mine since the summer of 95', Jeb Sherrill is releasing his two DVD set Zombie Re-Animated. It's not a crappy B-movie. For that you need to see Terror Toons. In it you will taken thru Basic, intermediate, and crazy advanced moves including the elusive Foulardless Zombie To see a preview go to Sable Magic dot cawm.

So that being said I wanna say that a woman's place is in the kitchen.. practicing her double lifts. (I think I have seen some soft core porn start that way come to think of it.) Seriously tho' has been established as a place to go for femme fatales interested in learning the magical arts and I for one could not be happier. One step closer to getting away from that crap "Girls can't do magic." Hopefully that site will actually help the La Femme Nakita's of the illusionary realm.

Speaking of which if any female magicians actually read this journal, (You know.. out of the like 3 readers I have), then contact me. I have an interesting idea for a coin miracle that I think a gal could pull off better than a guy. Something I saw in an old Tarbell actually.

How's that for helpful?


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sometimes you feel like a nun... Sometimes the pope.

You know it's odd just how un-appreciative some people are in magic. They clamor for a demo of something then they do nothing but bitch cuz' the demo isn't what they wanted. "It's too dark, it's obvious how it's done, it doesn't look like magic". Gimmie a break people. If you can't see past your own ignorance then you need to get out of magic or perform more so you can realize the potential for certain items.

The most recent amusement came from the usual suspects at the magic cafe. (no offense to Kevin Spacey) A recent posted video for an aforementioned new product was chided by some for not showing a "perfected full routine". Instead they opted to show the versatility of the gimmick and some of the many unique ideas you could accomplish with it. Performing ONE routine would not show the diversity of the illusion cuz' you CAN'T shove every effect into one routine, no matter how much some magicians seem to wanna try to.

The other problem with putting up an actual routine on a demo video is that there are some.. ok.. MANY who are too lazy and unimaginative (or believe they are) people out there who will just copy a person's routine and not devise their own. They also tend to think that the routine someone else does or is expressed in the instructions is the ONLY way to do something and only props you can use. YAY!! Let's all be GENERIC!! No not everyone is like that but...

For every one person who sees the light, they leave hundreds more alone in the dark.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Modus est in rebus

There is a new effect soon to hit the market. I have had the chance to play test it as one of my friends got ahold of it. It is a variation on an old principle with some new twists. In it indeed a stage effect, but more than that it is a utility device for stage. Now I am not talking about a ball dropper or cigarette dropper.

Is it a hold out? A blackhole? A magnet? Nay it's merely a ball with a unique hook up. Because of it's construction it enables you to do odd and neat things with it. This got me thinking about how too many magicians get a hold of an effect that can do many things and then make a routine that incorporates it all. This is wrong. I'm talking Roseanne Barr in a g-string wrong.

Why you ask? Ever heard the saying, "Once is entertainment, twice is education"? This applies but in a different vein. Take for example a floating effect. Any floating effect. This is the audience chain of thought. WOW what a surprise - that's amazing - I wonder how that's being done - where's the string?

This can be broken down to ever 5 or so second intervals. By 30 seconds of an object being airborn they get an idea, get bored, or get skeptical. Just because something it can DO everything, doesn't mean you should. It all boils down to what works best in the routine, for your character, and for the maximum impact.

So in short when this effect, or others like it, come out don't beat a dead horse with it. Let it be a surprise... not tedium.

There is enuff of that in magic already.


Friday, March 24, 2006

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the moneychangers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers, and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade."

Indeed. It's a merchandising extravaganza!! Many new products in magic come out day to day. Some good, some bad. Whatever ails you, bound to find it on the internet you are.

Let's take a look at a few of the most recent and non-suck offerings. First up one of the best kept secrets in mentalism (until there was more money to be had) is getting weirder and weirder. Cerebro, for those who don't know, is to help you implant messages in people's minds by merely touching them. (not just a snappy name for an X-men toy) You can also receive messages depending upon your use or version purchased. Once omni-directional speakers are perfected it's gonna be a scary mind-readin'' world.

Speaking of technology this goes under the category of "why didn't I think of that?" Well that's an easy answer for me, I don't own a cell phone. However This little toy is a great idea and anyone who knows anything about cell phone toys to keep the bored entertained can figure this out instantly but it is still a good idea.

And now I present to you... Why?

Now for those who know who he is Kozak is a bad ass. His manipulation and magic is (or was last time I saw him) top notch. This DVD is a must have I feel. (Who loves Bizzaro? I have a birthday coming up soon.)

So there are my top picks for stuff you might wanna look into. As my friend is often noted to say, "There are some things people want more than money."


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ok this is kinda random I know but bear with me. On the new Mindbender trick being sold on E-llusionist, there is a part of the video where ol' Brado goes off a twinge about how because this is such a good secret and trick you shouldn't be trading it on the internet and whatnot. If it was you, you wouldn't want someone doing that to your material etc etc.

First off if you are just trying to sell something for money and not to contribute to the art that is a crappy attitude to have. Many people in the same field share their tips, tricks, and techniques with people who they feel are worthy. In magic the only test or worth we have is if the check clears. So when these people crow about not sharing stuff cuz' of one thing or another it makes me think about how much musicians get screwed by record companies and the people who really get PO'd are the big businesses who are afraid of losing their parking spots. I'm not saying I am a total advocate of video piracy or sharing but there are a few proven truths that apply here. 1. Truth and upright goodness have been instilled in many of us since our youth. Mix that with the fact that a lot of individuals in the world can barely spell bit torrent or even work it is high and material is relatively safe.

Secondly, you can NOT stop people from trading information. From the moment they invented recordable media, people have been making copies for friends, showing them, sharing, and learning. Books are the early form of the internet. Put them ina library and anyone looking for that information can find it. In today's world, we can just do it a helluvalot faster.

If you don't want to have people not paying for your stuff and giving to other people then consider not putting it out there where anyone can get access to it. (Impossible I know but my point still stands) Channing Pollock died recently by the way.. I am sure he took many secrets with him. With the innovators gone, we are left with nothing but doppelgangers.

I think a plea not to trade magic information would have been better coming from the creator of an effect.. not the guy making money off it's sales... but thaz just me.

Bizzaro. - Alienating himself from the magic world since 2003.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Holy Hell Batman!!

So in an effort to produce a person without a gudy painted illusion, we resorted to a bastardized version of the Victory carton illusion. Many people commented how no one has done it in years or seen it. (We added our own little touches however.) Speaking of old stuff being new remember to look thru them old magic books... and by old I mean Tarbell. I found a few intresting concepts in vol.5 I am gonna toy with here soon.

Remember: Once everyone stops doing something, it becomes new again.


Monday, March 13, 2006

I was just thinking about this in the shower. (I know you wanted to hear that) About how a magician will look a trick and sneer and be all like, "I figured that out in 2.2 seconds. Big deal." When Shirt Happens came out a lot of people reacted like that. It still looks cool. Remember, not everyone is as jaded as you are.. or me for that fact. Tee hee.

I sell an effect on my website that, to real people, not those imaginary people, is a frickin' miracle. They love it. Magicians see it and just say "Ooh well I could make that" well duh. You can make a lot of magic but they disregard it since it doesn't fool them.

Think about the first time you saw invisible deck performed... or a thumb tip. I remember the FIRST time I saw an ITR in action. I FREEKED out. Levitation.. who woulda thunk it? I got one and was still AMAZED at the contraption. Over time we forget that feeling and you have to remember how to forget. Forget what you know.. or think you know. (Name that movie quote) Learn to think like a non-magician. I've said this before but hey now I have examples!!

It doesn't have to be magical.. to be magic.

Remember that.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

A quick bit... some people have never seen the razor blade illusion performed. Tim Ellis has one of the most straight forward versions around. Check it out.

That is all.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Squeege that third eye...

Ah I miss Bill Hicks. However don't miss this Unusual idea that wacky Aussie Ben Harris is releasing soon. The claims are you can open a hole in your head that sun can shine thru.. or yer hand, or other body parts. It's not entirely centered, but it is an unusual idea to be certain. I cannot fathom how it works off the top of my.. ahem.. head. For 20$ tho' I am sure it will be all the rage. Congrats to him. Congrats to anyone who gets constant access to sunlight.. like us Texans.

Sucks for people in Seattle tho'..


Friday, March 10, 2006

You can't please everybody...

That is today's lesson kiddo's. Now you can aim to please 3/4's of the people by doing the same old trite crap that is proven to sell. That usually works. I know for a fact the things I do don't appeal to everyone. (Magicians especially) Example: Posted on The Magic Cafe by two gentlmen. One I have heard of the other.. well he has a confusing website. (I'll let you figure out who is who)

David Parr: "For some reason, it seems rather difficult to track down coherent and useful writing on this effect. I'm in the process of putting together a review of Helter Shelter, a booklet dedicated to the razor blades, for another Web site. Alas, coherent and useful are not much in evidence in this booklet."

Harley Newman: "It's a mishmash of material, all of which can be found elsewhere, done better. I'm rarely disappointed with books. Even a good rehashing can offer good insight. I usually reread new books a couple of times, and have an ongoing pile of rereads. This went straight to the bookshelf."

Ok now I am all for people having an opinion, and hey I don't care if they dun like my book. Free will and alla that. I could sit here and defend my product but why bother. It's what they think and they are more then welcome to express how they feel. (Just as much as I am to point a big red circle around it and say "Looky here!!") Negative comments are a common thing to hear. .. especially in magic. Now while these two guys didna like my magical offering, I know of many more who did. That's the way it goes when you put stuff out in the open for people to see.

Hell, shows like South Park some people don't like it, but genrally for every one person who dislikes something, there are 10 more who do favor it. See?

Craig Newman (No relation): "I would like to say thank you for putting such a piece of material out for others to enjoy and learn. It was a fun read..."

So if anyone ever gets you down for not liking what you do just remember what ol' Bizzaro sez...

Let's see you do better.


(yes yes I know what yer saying. "Gee if you don't care why did you make light of it?" Simple. I'm just a bastard and I wanted to. Don't like it, don't read it. Go read one of the many other magic journals that brings you the latest in up to date magical gossip and foul mouthed ramblings. See? Can't please everyone.. and I don't plan on trying. Thanx - The Mngmnt.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Greetings kids!! Bizzaro coming to you live from CA. Sitting at my friend's Misty Lee and Paul Dini's hizzouse eating up their floor space and molesting their technology. Regardless, been having fun. I re-uploaded a video I did onto and on that site there is a big talk of the use of copyrighted music. That subject can be a HUGE pain in the ass so here are a few tidbits from me about it.

First off there are a buncha royalty free CD's for magic out there. Some REEEEEEEALLY suck while others ain't so bad. Of course one of the more well known is Opus 1. If you wanna go a tad more pricey but a bit higher production value check out Illusionworks (That you have probably heard on ANY major magic special in the mid 90's).

When it comes to using music on stage you are generally safe to use whatever you want unless you are high profile. Then you have to go thru groups like ASCAP and BMI (Or ASScap as I call them). Do yourself a favor and look up copyright laws on music. It's very informative and annoying. If you can have your own custom music done. Jeff McBride did that and he NEVER has problems cuz' he has the rights to use it. Generally the problem comes into play when you are selling something and wanna use copyrighted music. They want a cut too. Not the bands, the company that holds the rights. The bands who perform the songs usually get NIL in a kickback compared to the record labels and whatnot.

One of my fave ways to get usable music is to find local bands who are not signed to a label. Ask their permission to use it and there yah go! Works like a charm.

Anywho, I must away, we have to buy stuff to make props for a show, so be well and remember.. Bizzaro. Luvs you.

But not you.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

For those of you who care I was opening up for Sylvester the Jester this weekend out here in CA at Theater West. He has added some new material including a bit with a puppet and a rant about unleashing your "Cartoonity". If yer in the SoCal area go see this show! If you dress as a cartoon character or in a costume of some kind you get in for half price. Pass the word around that Sylvester the Jester encourages you to dress up and play along!!

Just what the magic world needs if you ask me.. people to fooking loosen up.


(PS: I am still out here in CA till the 21st. Any of you local Magi's wanna hang lemme know.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Just got this in my Junk Mail Folder...

"The introduction of Heineken Premium Light marks a groundbreaking moment in Heineken USA?s history and also the light beer landscape. To celebrate the arrival of this unique Luxury Light beer, Criss Angel has designed a death defying escape that will amaze and spellbound his audience.

Heineken USA is inviting domestic light beer drinkers to ?succumb to smooth? with the national launch of Heineken Premium Light. The Company has commissioned Criss Angel to introduce the brand to New Yorkers and to the country with a never-before-executed stunt that will capture the ?surprisingly smooth? essence of the brand and leave audiences amazed."

Now I assume the weird question marks are hotmail's doing. However I want to know why in a Criss Angel Newsletter they talk more about the smooth taste of a beer and not the magician. There is a word I am looking for but I'll be damned if I can think of what it is.. *Cough*SeLlOuT*cough* but hey nothing sez let's get drunk and do something stupid like magic.

If you ask me Heineken is just the red neck beer of Scandanavia.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A riddle within in a mystery wrapped in a tortilla with some cheese.

Hey it's time for some more kokeyed advice from your truly. A friend of mine and I had been discussing the difference between doing magic for magicians and for non-magi's. One of the major problems with some magicians especially the younger up-and coming ones is they get so into magic they immerse themselves in magic and magicians they forget what the real world thinks.

Real people don't give a damn about how clever your ace assembly is. Laypeople don't call it a coin trick or a rope trick. It's just magic to them. Mundanes won't judge you as a person if yer pass or double lift is shite. As a matter of fact you'd be hard pressed to find a time when someone is REALLY wanting to care about what your doing sometimes. If they are looking at your hands when you do a top change, pass, or whatnot then I have news for you.. it's not them... it's you.

Ahem.. regardless, doing magic for magicians, as my friend says, is a puzzle. Especially in ones in "the know". If you fool them they might enjoy it sure or appreciate it.. but they ARE trying to figure it out. They can't help it. It's the nature of things. Most real people want to figure it out but don't have the knowledge. Their assumptions are based on what little they DO know about magic where a magician HAS the knowledge to figure it out. (And hey possibly rip the idea off from you.)

Now there are a few real people out there that will try to explain everything away. Some CAN figure out puzzles really well and can see thru a lot of basic magic and sleights. There are even those who HATE to watch magic cuz' it makes them mad they can't figure it out. It's ok to let that happen. As a matter of fact if they do watch and you fool them then kudos to you. To fool a know-it-all or entertain an anti-magic is a good feeling. Yer gonna have to bone up on that social interaction thing tho'. Don't be a magician. Be a human. Learn to interact socially without magic. It comes in handy trust me.

Now magicians.. if you are doing standard fare or a store bought or classic effect yer best bet is to not fool them but entertain them. In many cases a lot of magicians will NOT show their original pet effects to other magi's as they do have a habit of stealing moves, handling, and patter. It's just the sad truth. Heck depending where you go some groups of magicians are negative as hell. They will tell (And show) you 10 different ways they already know that's better than that new idea yer working on. Don't listen to those guys. They are bitter hobbyists... usually.

So go ahead and create new tricks and moves that appeal only to magicians if that's yer thing. It helps the pros and ambitious in the long run.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

I feel it is generally my duty to post about certain new products when they are unusual and especially if they are overpriced. Now I am all for removing body parts but charging 70 bucks for a butcher knife and fake finger... thaz a tad silly doncha think. I am sure this is to keep it out of the hands of the "Curious" but how many people can you see doing this in the kids and church shows.

"Praise Jesus or his thugs might do THIS to you!! If you believe we can restore it like a leper! Pass the collection plate!!"

I'm not saying it's a bad idea.. I'm just sayin'.. that's all.


Monday, February 13, 2006

I just can't help myself...

Ever since I heard about this guy this is all I could think of...

Mind you there is a similarity I can't quite place...

If you don't get this joke.. then it's not for you.. and it's a shame you don't know your musical history.

Spook Club has me answering questions on their forum this week so if you ever had anything odd to ask me then head over and fire away. Be warned my repsonses can be wordy as I have a lot to say.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Well congrats go to Glen in Canada. He won the Sleightgeek Razor Blade contest. He gets a free copy of my Helter Shelter book. Many thanx to Sam Blankenship and chris for having me on their radio show. Hope I didn't prattle on too terribly much.

Also just decided to patronize (I mean buy something not make fun of) the Fearson/Angelo Carbone Shirt Happens effect. It's amusing to be sure but a few of the appications I think would be a litle undesired for those of us out of shape furry types... however it has many other brilliant applications. Color change shirt to name one. The best part is the bonus access to a video on how to make a seance cloth for dirt frickin' cheap. This is one of those "Why didn't I think of that" moments. So for $6.95 it's worth raiding your paypal balance.

Now off to edit footage of a girl who can fit inside a suitcase. Toodles.