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.