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.