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.