Friday, January 27, 2006

Just a heads up... the Book we unleashed upon the magic market, Helter Shelter is doing well it seems. So well in fact Bizzaro will be appearing on Saturday night 10pm central/8pm pacific to discuss it among other things. If you want to get a copy you can get it directly from us Here oooor persuade yer own local magic shop to order it.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

There is talk on and in a few places about "The Underground" which tends to be moves and effects that circulate between close-up guys and are tweaked, toyed with and eventually published. Kickback was one of those effects. It was neet too. Lee Asher was once a prod member of "The Underground" especially with his original Cooking with Lee Asher video. At one point, (When he had hair kinda) Jay Sankey was underground. (Or above ground since he is Canadian) A lot of time when these new guys surface their material they become like bands. "Wow this new band Bowling for Soup is awesome!" Sorry to bust yah bubble but they have been around since the late 80's here in TX. Korn was like that too. Heard about them when I was 16. No one else did till' many years later.

However in yester-year did not have what we have now... Teh Intarweb. Hard to keep a secret nowadays... and much easier to turn a profit. When it was all word of mouth and re-telling about an effect you saw, usually mis-remembered, magic effects were easier to keep hush hush. Now "The Underground" has people like Daniel Garcia in it, (Who I remember from before he was "the" Daniel Garcia), along with a great many others. People like Criss Angel are taking advantage of these unknowns and using their material in his show.. like the guy who developed Coin in Can.

Lecture notes are one of the last bastions of "The Underground". However people are now writing notes ONLY for internet release. Nothing wrong with that... just makes it more accessible. How do you make something underground in today's age? Limited Runs. Hard to think of doing when the almighty dollar is on the line.. but for some.. art is what is more important.(That and the fact you don't want every 15 year old ass klown doing your stuff.. badly)

Just remember. Saying you have kept something a secret from the magic world for X amount of years doesn't mean anything except you just haven't told anyone about it or performed it at a magic convention.

Wanna keep something hidden? Put it up for print in a linking ring.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bizzaro Product Review

Ok so this isn't terribly new but egads what is wrong with this picture?

Well for one it's not MUCH of a color change right? What about the sleeves? What about the collor? What about the fact it costs 175 damn dollars!! This again is an example of the secert does not exceed the pricetag. Someone sure is proud of this idea. Maybe if it wasn't so limiting. I dunno.. just thought I would bitch a bit. I'm done now...


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Change is good...

Someone was recently asking for advice on stage magic on one of my fave sites: Magic Video Depot. It's nice to see people still interested in stage magic online with the upsurge of little close-up workers being created by the Asshat and websites like Ellusionist.

Anywho, this is some advice I gave him...

"Glad to hear yer interested in stage magic. Too many close-up magicians. Regardless, when it comes to stage work it helps to know about everything. Make-up, movement, and basic theater like blocking and moving. It helps to have a character or at least a "Reality bubble" to create around. In other words you need a reference as to what you or your character would do and wouldn't do. I would never do linking rings as it doesn't fit my style or stage persona.

Your first effect should establish who you are and what you do. What your motivation is and your personality. You also need to decide is it an all talking show or is there music bits or is it ALL music (Which I suggest. It takes away a lot of the facade and makes you a better performer by trying to express your feelings and self thru movement and acting.. and you can perform it in any language.)

Learn as much as possible about the world around you. Don't stay in the magic world persay but bring magic to otherwise non-magical things.. apples, baseball bats, shopping carts. Use everyday items. The less it looks like a magic prop the more effective something can be. Don't be afraid to try new things and experiment. Just because you haven't seen it doen doesn't mean it can't BE done. The best attitude to have is Nothing is Impossible. Magic itself is a puzzle for the performers of it. "I want to accomplish this.. how do I do it?" and it goes from there. It all really depends on how you want to play it. Stage magic takes time, dedication, and practice. Be prepared."

While writing this I touched one something I want to go more into on here. The "Reality Bubble" concept. It's a place where your own self-imposed reality exists. Where you create your own world and the happenings inside of it all in one nice neat little sphere you control. This bubble comes in various forms for everyone.

Dan Sylvester in his creativity lecture talks about how he has used Sylvester the Jester to create his own reality and therefore his unique magic. The living cartoon persona is HIS Reality Bubble. Everyone's is different. Mine is different from yours. Yours is different from his.. and hers.. and theirs. Just because your view of magic doesn't match up with someone else's doesn't mean it's wrong or you are right. The world is big enuff for everyone's bubbles.. just try not to pop anyone else's. That stuff has a habit to come back and bite you in the ass.

Just like the blog. hee hee.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Bizzaro.'s Guide to Magical Photos

Alright kids time for me to show you the steps to creating the best magic photos you can for use on your shabby frontpage created website or yer favorite webforum avatar.

Step One: Take a photo of yourself somewhere in your parent's house. The bathroom is usually empty. Make sure you outstretch your hand in a mysterious fashion. Speaking of fashion make sure you are wearing your best outfit for this. You know, the one you wear ANY time you leave the house so people will know yer a magician. If you are a mentalist and don't look like a 12 year old better point to your forehead or put some bent flatware in your hands. For now this will do...

If yer a total tool try this one...

It works best when leaning out of a fast sports car you could never afford at a local auto dealership. Make sure you take this photo yourself for that totally hip do it yourself close-up effect.

Step 2: Since Photoshop is so easily accessible ala' any number of downloading programs and any yeehoo can try to use it remove yourself from the background ala' your favorite method.

Step 3: Now to set the mood... mysteeeerious. What's more mysterious than space? That's right NOTHING!! Just ask Gene Roddenberry.. oh wait, you can't HE'S DEAD!! Regardless, put yourself in front of what you have between your ears.. space.

Step 4: Now to add a bit of magic to the mix.. by adding special FX with our magic SPECIAL FX GENERATOR (Lighting thunder muppets etc..)

Step 5: As if that weren't enough, time to add a force of nature and hey, nobody understands lightning right? They're like microwaves. No one really knows how they work right Pinky? (NARF!) So hell why not add some of that!?

Step 6: We're almost done kids. Now to add the often overdone and goofy looking Lens Flare effect. [Filters - Render - Lens Flare]. It says, "Magical, kool, and lazy bastard all at the same time. Much easier than trying to time yer FISM flash just right.

Step 7: To show you are a master of all you survey better put in the all seeing eyes for that touch of creepy. Besides you have to fill in that empty space in the corner. Be proud. You are probably the first person to EVER think of doing that!!

Final Step: Are we there yet? You betcha! Just add that drop shadow to show yer more than just a two dimensional cut out.. even if you are in real life. Voila'! A masterpiece.. a piece of whut I won't say...

So what does this picture have in common with almost every other magic photo online? It tells you absolutely NOTHING about the performer, what he does, or who he is. Looks like every other generic magician out there. Nothing to make it stand out in the minds of the normal public or make them interested in getting to know the person. No real personality or character to speak of. Could be anyone. Hell he could be trying to peddle Scientology on us.

I did this as an example to show you how most magic photos turn out lacking imagination or creativity in the department of selling who you are. Try to find a way to stand out among all of the other balding, heavyset, glasses wearing magi's. (Sorry the long beard and creepy voice are already taken.) Try to find what is unique to you and your character. If you have no character.. or personality then fake it. However holding up a fan of cards or a dove doesn't tell us jack about you. Nor does holding a crystal ball or crouching down outside somewhere by some steps. Be an original and they will never forget you.

Speaking of magic do me a personal favor and please stop making photos of stuff you can't actually do in your act. (i.e.) holding your assitants head with their body in a chair. It is good practice to do as little image manipulation as possible and get it all in studio. When the time comes and you have to perform the person hiring you won't ask you, "So when do you remove your arm and juggle with it?"

I am only telling you this for yer own good. I'm just trying to help...



Wednesday, January 04, 2006

With the release of my new book I am having a contest at one of the more relaxed and laid back magic forums Head over there and you too could win a copy of Helter Shelter for yer very own!


Monday, January 02, 2006

The Magic Cafe has always been a big point of hilarity and mockery in Blogs since The Magic Circle Joik started. Necessity is the mother etc etc...

It's easy to understand honestly. You put a buncha people who THINK they know what they are doing in one spot and yer gonna get friction. I found someone has posted about the release of my new book. I have never seen a group of people so willing to pass judgment so fast. (Unless you count the xians.)

The DVD that guy is referring to was a fairly shoddy product. I saw it. Very little detail was given about the history or various methods used to achieve the razor blade illusion. We spent a good amount of time researching and accumulating ideas and methods without going too crazy. (There is such a thing as too MUCH information.)

The comment about Jim Rose is fairly true. He does use it quite a bit but that DVD also does not go into much detail either. I mean kudos to these guys for furthering the exposure for this fine illusion but much disdain to the uninformed masses of amateurs who know nothing about magic or it's history.

So in short.. don't be that guy.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Who invented it?

Two good places online to check that out...


and here.

SO FYI for your curious types.

Happy 200666.


PS: don't forget to look here too.