Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Modus est in rebus

There is a new effect soon to hit the market. I have had the chance to play test it as one of my friends got ahold of it. It is a variation on an old principle with some new twists. In it indeed a stage effect, but more than that it is a utility device for stage. Now I am not talking about a ball dropper or cigarette dropper.

Is it a hold out? A blackhole? A magnet? Nay it's merely a ball with a unique hook up. Because of it's construction it enables you to do odd and neat things with it. This got me thinking about how too many magicians get a hold of an effect that can do many things and then make a routine that incorporates it all. This is wrong. I'm talking Roseanne Barr in a g-string wrong.

Why you ask? Ever heard the saying, "Once is entertainment, twice is education"? This applies but in a different vein. Take for example a floating effect. Any floating effect. This is the audience chain of thought. WOW what a surprise - that's amazing - I wonder how that's being done - where's the string?

This can be broken down to ever 5 or so second intervals. By 30 seconds of an object being airborn they get an idea, get bored, or get skeptical. Just because something it can DO everything, doesn't mean you should. It all boils down to what works best in the routine, for your character, and for the maximum impact.

So in short when this effect, or others like it, come out don't beat a dead horse with it. Let it be a surprise... not tedium.

There is enuff of that in magic already.


Friday, March 24, 2006

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the moneychangers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers, and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade."

Indeed. It's a merchandising extravaganza!! Many new products in magic come out day to day. Some good, some bad. Whatever ails you, bound to find it on the internet you are.

Let's take a look at a few of the most recent and non-suck offerings. First up one of the best kept secrets in mentalism (until there was more money to be had) is getting weirder and weirder. Cerebro, for those who don't know, is to help you implant messages in people's minds by merely touching them. (not just a snappy name for an X-men toy) You can also receive messages depending upon your use or version purchased. Once omni-directional speakers are perfected it's gonna be a scary mind-readin'' world.

Speaking of technology this goes under the category of "why didn't I think of that?" Well that's an easy answer for me, I don't own a cell phone. However This little toy is a great idea and anyone who knows anything about cell phone toys to keep the bored entertained can figure this out instantly but it is still a good idea.

And now I present to you... Why?

Now for those who know who he is Kozak is a bad ass. His manipulation and magic is (or was last time I saw him) top notch. This DVD is a must have I feel. (Who loves Bizzaro? I have a birthday coming up soon.)

So there are my top picks for stuff you might wanna look into. As my friend is often noted to say, "There are some things people want more than money."


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ok this is kinda random I know but bear with me. On the new Mindbender trick being sold on E-llusionist, there is a part of the video where ol' Brado goes off a twinge about how because this is such a good secret and trick you shouldn't be trading it on the internet and whatnot. If it was you, you wouldn't want someone doing that to your material etc etc.

First off if you are just trying to sell something for money and not to contribute to the art that is a crappy attitude to have. Many people in the same field share their tips, tricks, and techniques with people who they feel are worthy. In magic the only test or worth we have is if the check clears. So when these people crow about not sharing stuff cuz' of one thing or another it makes me think about how much musicians get screwed by record companies and the people who really get PO'd are the big businesses who are afraid of losing their parking spots. I'm not saying I am a total advocate of video piracy or sharing but there are a few proven truths that apply here. 1. Truth and upright goodness have been instilled in many of us since our youth. Mix that with the fact that a lot of individuals in the world can barely spell bit torrent or even work it is high and material is relatively safe.

Secondly, you can NOT stop people from trading information. From the moment they invented recordable media, people have been making copies for friends, showing them, sharing, and learning. Books are the early form of the internet. Put them ina library and anyone looking for that information can find it. In today's world, we can just do it a helluvalot faster.

If you don't want to have people not paying for your stuff and giving to other people then consider not putting it out there where anyone can get access to it. (Impossible I know but my point still stands) Channing Pollock died recently by the way.. I am sure he took many secrets with him. With the innovators gone, we are left with nothing but doppelgangers.

I think a plea not to trade magic information would have been better coming from the creator of an effect.. not the guy making money off it's sales... but thaz just me.

Bizzaro. - Alienating himself from the magic world since 2003.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Holy Hell Batman!!

So in an effort to produce a person without a gudy painted illusion, we resorted to a bastardized version of the Victory carton illusion. Many people commented how no one has done it in years or seen it. (We added our own little touches however.) Speaking of old stuff being new remember to look thru them old magic books... and by old I mean Tarbell. I found a few intresting concepts in vol.5 I am gonna toy with here soon.

Remember: Once everyone stops doing something, it becomes new again.


Monday, March 13, 2006

I was just thinking about this in the shower. (I know you wanted to hear that) About how a magician will look a trick and sneer and be all like, "I figured that out in 2.2 seconds. Big deal." When Shirt Happens came out a lot of people reacted like that. It still looks cool. Remember, not everyone is as jaded as you are.. or me for that fact. Tee hee.

I sell an effect on my website that, to real people, not those imaginary people, is a frickin' miracle. They love it. Magicians see it and just say "Ooh well I could make that" well duh. You can make a lot of magic but they disregard it since it doesn't fool them.

Think about the first time you saw invisible deck performed... or a thumb tip. I remember the FIRST time I saw an ITR in action. I FREEKED out. Levitation.. who woulda thunk it? I got one and was still AMAZED at the contraption. Over time we forget that feeling and you have to remember how to forget. Forget what you know.. or think you know. (Name that movie quote) Learn to think like a non-magician. I've said this before but hey now I have examples!!

It doesn't have to be magical.. to be magic.

Remember that.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

A quick bit... some people have never seen the razor blade illusion performed. Tim Ellis has one of the most straight forward versions around. Check it out.

That is all.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Squeege that third eye...

Ah I miss Bill Hicks. However don't miss this Unusual idea that wacky Aussie Ben Harris is releasing soon. The claims are you can open a hole in your head that sun can shine thru.. or yer hand, or other body parts. It's not entirely centered, but it is an unusual idea to be certain. I cannot fathom how it works off the top of my.. ahem.. head. For 20$ tho' I am sure it will be all the rage. Congrats to him. Congrats to anyone who gets constant access to sunlight.. like us Texans.

Sucks for people in Seattle tho'..


Friday, March 10, 2006

You can't please everybody...

That is today's lesson kiddo's. Now you can aim to please 3/4's of the people by doing the same old trite crap that is proven to sell. That usually works. I know for a fact the things I do don't appeal to everyone. (Magicians especially) Example: Posted on The Magic Cafe by two gentlmen. One I have heard of the other.. well he has a confusing website. (I'll let you figure out who is who)

David Parr: "For some reason, it seems rather difficult to track down coherent and useful writing on this effect. I'm in the process of putting together a review of Helter Shelter, a booklet dedicated to the razor blades, for another Web site. Alas, coherent and useful are not much in evidence in this booklet."

Harley Newman: "It's a mishmash of material, all of which can be found elsewhere, done better. I'm rarely disappointed with books. Even a good rehashing can offer good insight. I usually reread new books a couple of times, and have an ongoing pile of rereads. This went straight to the bookshelf."

Ok now I am all for people having an opinion, and hey I don't care if they dun like my book. Free will and alla that. I could sit here and defend my product but why bother. It's what they think and they are more then welcome to express how they feel. (Just as much as I am to point a big red circle around it and say "Looky here!!") Negative comments are a common thing to hear. .. especially in magic. Now while these two guys didna like my magical offering, I know of many more who did. That's the way it goes when you put stuff out in the open for people to see.

Hell, shows like South Park some people don't like it, but genrally for every one person who dislikes something, there are 10 more who do favor it. See?

Craig Newman (No relation): "I would like to say thank you for putting such a piece of material out for others to enjoy and learn. It was a fun read..."

So if anyone ever gets you down for not liking what you do just remember what ol' Bizzaro sez...

Let's see you do better.


(yes yes I know what yer saying. "Gee if you don't care why did you make light of it?" Simple. I'm just a bastard and I wanted to. Don't like it, don't read it. Go read one of the many other magic journals that brings you the latest in up to date magical gossip and foul mouthed ramblings. See? Can't please everyone.. and I don't plan on trying. Thanx - The Mngmnt.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Greetings kids!! Bizzaro coming to you live from CA. Sitting at my friend's Misty Lee and Paul Dini's hizzouse eating up their floor space and molesting their technology. Regardless, been having fun. I re-uploaded a video I did onto www.magicvideodepot.com and on that site there is a big talk of the use of copyrighted music. That subject can be a HUGE pain in the ass so here are a few tidbits from me about it.

First off there are a buncha royalty free CD's for magic out there. Some REEEEEEEALLY suck while others ain't so bad. Of course one of the more well known is Opus 1. If you wanna go a tad more pricey but a bit higher production value check out Illusionworks (That you have probably heard on ANY major magic special in the mid 90's).

When it comes to using music on stage you are generally safe to use whatever you want unless you are high profile. Then you have to go thru groups like ASCAP and BMI (Or ASScap as I call them). Do yourself a favor and look up copyright laws on music. It's very informative and annoying. If you can have your own custom music done. Jeff McBride did that and he NEVER has problems cuz' he has the rights to use it. Generally the problem comes into play when you are selling something and wanna use copyrighted music. They want a cut too. Not the bands, the company that holds the rights. The bands who perform the songs usually get NIL in a kickback compared to the record labels and whatnot.

One of my fave ways to get usable music is to find local bands who are not signed to a label. Ask their permission to use it and there yah go! Works like a charm.

Anywho, I must away, we have to buy stuff to make props for a show, so be well and remember.. Bizzaro. Luvs you.

But not you.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

For those of you who care I was opening up for Sylvester the Jester this weekend out here in CA at Theater West. http://www.theatrewest.org/sylvester.html He has added some new material including a bit with a puppet and a rant about unleashing your "Cartoonity". If yer in the SoCal area go see this show! If you dress as a cartoon character or in a costume of some kind you get in for half price. Pass the word around that Sylvester the Jester encourages you to dress up and play along!!

Just what the magic world needs if you ask me.. people to fooking loosen up.


(PS: I am still out here in CA till the 21st. Any of you local Magi's wanna hang lemme know.)