Thursday, June 21, 2007

Repetition, part deux...

Before I talked about how doing the same thing over and over again makes you good at it. Now let's talk about choosing the stuff to DO over and over again. There is a lot of CRAP that comes out everyday in magic. Lots of it is a one trick baloney pony while others take way too long to reset or might be a tad cumbersome. (I'm looking at you ladybug from a drop of blood trick.)

Any pro table hopper will tell you re-setting is a blessing in your guise. Not only in effect but also pocket management. When it goes back in the way it came out is a wonderful thing. (That sounded kinda dirty) The reason I even bring up a lot of this stuff is recently I have been hired to perform daily at a local theme park and tend to do the same 10 minute set over and over again. (Gathering a crowd isn't the problem, it's getting them to go away.) If I had to walk over behind a wall or some such and reset some prop, it would A: Reflect bad on me and 2. Prolly piss off the people who hired me.

There is an old effect I used to do when I was much younger, but have had no reason to perform it anymore. I wanted to bring it back because it fits the character I portray. Problem is it required a rather annoying set up that wasn't always reliable. I put my strange melon to work and came up with a way to not only make it INSTANTLY repeatable, but also make it more believable and easier to perform as I can handle the props freely and without guile.

The reason I tell you this is that some effects, while NOT easy to reset or repeat, can be made to be so. You just have to teach and train yer brain to think a problem thru at every angle. If you want to do something, but can't find a way, don't give up. There is always a way. Nothing is impossible.. except for the things that are.

So when looking for your next effect or purchase in magic, think about where and when you are going to need it. How to bring it in and out of play and if it fits your character and flow of the show. When you can perform an effect relentlessly, day after day, with no futzing with a lengthy reset... that my children is when you are on your way on the path of enlightenment.

Reach Nirvana without that pesky shotgun.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Andrew Mayne has lost his damn mind...

150$... for THIS?

And some of you are going to buy it aren't you? You people make me sick.

I hope a midget saws your legs off.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Way of the future, way of the future, way of the future....

Repetition is part of our job as magicians. When you do a show on the street, in a restaurant, in a trade show, or in a setting such as a theme park or similar venue, you will be doing the same thing (With a few variations here and there) over... and over.. and over again.

It comes with the territory. The best thing about this is it will make you better, strong, faster than before. Of course you have to pay attention and enjoy what you're doing. This is where the art of improv and audience management comes into play. If you are one of the kind who gets ruffled easily if the crowd is messing with you, then you need more work and flight time. The best of the best of anything can filter out distractions or use them to their advantage.

This over and over again performance lets you find the best possible way to perform an effect and how to handle the crowd. What lines that do or do not work, the timing that gets the best reaction, and in some cases, when NOT to speak.

If you can secure a job where they pay you and you are not having to busk for tips then even better. The pressure is off of you and you can focus on the task at hand. Mind you performing in any of the aforementioned venues is working the trenches. It tests your resolve, skill, and definitely your patience.

The problem with most of the magi "Street" youth today is they are looking for the next big thing to make them an Asshat. A good bit of advice from any old worker is It is better to do four things well, than do 100 things badly". In this type of situation it is favorable to make an act that will be the best it can be that you can slip new stuff into and out of at will to keep it from getting stale as well. Having a few stock lines and using the crowd as your main source of lines and jokes is also a good idea.

By doing repetitions like this you will gather a rolodex of lines, moves, and tricks you can use at your disposal and make them seem like they are fresh and new, but in reality, you can cull them forth from your brain when they are needed.

Why do I feel I am repeating myself?


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gone Fishin'...

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine earlier tonight about your favorite rocker/goth/emo/poser, Criss Fishing Rod. About his performance style and exposure hurts sideshow and magic. I said I disagree and here is why...

First off: He is enabling weirdos to be more tolerated due to exposure thru the sheep machine that is the media. People will call up agencies wanting someone like Criss, but they can't afford him. They will be directed to the nearest sideshow performer or demented magician.

Secondly: No matter how much you see stuff on TV there is NOTHING like seeing it live. Glass walking, fire eating, putting needles in your flesh? Seeing that in the comfort of your own home is one thing. Seeing it live, raw, and uncensored is a totally different animal. You can see, touch, hear, and even smell it. This is why sideshows and magic have survived for years and will continue to for years to come. People have a desire to feed their freek and they are lucky enuff to have folks like us to help them live vicariously thru others.

So despite how I feel about emo boy selling his artistic integrity for a buttload of cash, every negative space has a positive inside of it.

The lure has been set. Let's see who bites.


Monday, June 11, 2007

I had a fan of this blog (Who knew) clamor for something new. For those who feel the same way, sorry for the delay. We have actually been fairly busy believe it or don't. Blame Misty Lee for some of that.. and congratulate her. She has big things ahead of her but I will not spill it myself. Go join her message board and get the info from her directly.

Regardless, I do have a little thing I have wanted to post about so while I await a phone call, I shall share with you thusly.

I was in a local nightclub I frequent (And test out new material) and someone I am acquainted with... a non-magi mind you, exclaimed this, and I quote - "Magicians aren't overrated, just their Persona." With no provocation or anything. He just blurted it out. (After watching some magic mind you but still..)

What does this say to the rest of you? Think about it. A free thinking non-magician believes most of us have a personality that we deem higher than we maybe should... sound familiar? Are you one of.. THEM!?

It is true. We put a lot of self-importance on what we do. Sure magicians bring happiness to kids, and the sick, and the inebriated... but in the grand scheme of things do we cure disease or find a way to end hunger? Let's face it, these new clothes we have on don't really exist and I for one am not afraid to stand up and say that we're all just naked and lettin' it all hang out.

Sure magic has changed people's lives and blah blah blah. There are no absolutes in this world and exceptions wait around every corner to bludgeon the rules and steal it's wallet. That, however, is not my point.

Don't be so self important. Seriously. Accept your role as a cog in the great machine. We choose this life to entertain others and ourselves. Maybe make a little scratch in the process. If you can make one person a day smile then you're doing a good work. Even if you don't do magic to make it happen. This world is full of enough turmoil and asshats already. Plastic people, false faces, and fake body parts. Let's stand up and be real for a little while hunh? It's your call.

Stand and fight.. Hoora!