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