Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh man that's 144!!

Explain to me how it is that a unit of measurement became a description of how icky something is?

Regardless, we're back once more to give the guys on itricks something to talk about. There is a saying in magic, "If you find something that works for you, buy a fuckton of it.". Ok I am paraphrasing there a bit, but it's true. In magic, you will find some bit or bauble that works for your show or performing style and then it will break and they won't make them anymore.

It happens to all of us. Some great effects have faded into obscurity because of it. You find something that fits your show or personality. The it falls out of your bag somewhere after a show and BAM!! You're screwed...

And not in that nice, "leave the money on the dresser and get out" kinda way.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

I am all for performing and the use of sharpie markers. However, when all you do is attach something to a pull and then say you "created" it, that kinda irks me. Attaching a reel, rubber band, or elastic to a common everyday object does not make it a creation nor a new idea. Now attach it to a hamster and have it turn to butterflies.. THAT'S an original sin.

This is, again, the problem wit the new generation of magic. They don't need books anymore cuz' of the internet, which tends to omit details such as history and ethics.

I think I am going to start the "Headless Magician" series. That's what magic seems to have become. Guys with no head.. which is no big deal as most have interchangeable noggins anyway. With the lack of personality and unique presentation, you merely become that "person what does stuff with cards."

Just like every one else.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We are truly living in a renaissance. As much as a bitch about the saturation of street magic and the loss of our beloved stage craft, I will admit that the lean towards the odd and illusions on the cheap make October a more worthwhile time for us all. Magic has seen a great influx of spooky creepy craziness in the last few years. Let's take a little look shall we?

In the stage category we have pretty much ALL of Andrew Mayne's stuff. Gut Buster, Bisection, Pocket sawing in half, and a handful of many others. Of course there is always the old standbys like needle thru arm, arm choppers, and the ever versatile Razor blade illusion.

Close-up wise we have some lovely little things to consider. Flesh wound (You carve a little piece of yourself up and heal it), SAW (Embedding a string thru yer neck. Great for those of us who don't have enuff skin to do needle thru arm), and even the over-priced one where you cut off yer fingertip with a knife. (Can't recall the name) One such tis the season kinda item of note is the new Go Eat Worms by Dan Sperry. A transformation of gummy worms to real worms in your spectator's hands. Great for those annoying kids in the power rangers costumes.

So you have no excuse to get out there this season and make some magic happen. You could have your very won show for a very low price if you act now!!

Or you could just sit at home and hand out candy to kids who could care less for your double lift. Yer call.

It's the great pumpkin Charlie Brown.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

The smell of De-feet

Ah the sweet stench of success. In This Case, it's a magic demo video. First off, I don't get the products name in relation to the effect. Must be a limey thing. Secondly, the video edits out VERY important details. At least Richard Sanders had the Canadian bacon bits to do a full take of his Interlace effect.

So, being the magical demo video watchdog I am, I say for shame. I also say for shame as I have been doing this same effect for years and don't have to go to my pockets to make the trick work.

Carl Cloutier is rolling over in his grave... even tho' he's not dead.

He's prolly just rolling over in his bed.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Over on the Theory 11 boards, (where I do tend to lurk, offering up my own twisted nuggets of wisdom to the youngins'), someone asked who people's influences were.

Now no offense to some of the names that popped up, but to the kids who list their influences as Daniel Garcia and The Asshat.. they need to severely look into their history.

Their site does an interesting thing right now. Every Sunday, they open up the floor for debate with a subject they have let you think about for the week previous. I am ALL for philosophical musings and heated debate in magic. The worts part about it? I couldn't get there in time to add my thoughts before it got locked up. I guess it's a good thing I have this journal here now isn't it?

Their first post was, "What is wrong with magic today?" (I refuse to comment on the irony of this topic on a website like Theory 11) Now I didn't sift thru all of the ramblings of the learned magis, some of whom are in the age range of some of my t-shirts, but as far as I got, I never saw anyone mention one of my gripes.

I feel one of magic's greatest succubi is the... wait is succubi even a word? Screw it. It is now... anyway... it's that magic, along with much of the rest of the world we live in, has become terribly jaded by capitalism. Now don't get me wrong, commerce has to exist in some form or another in this world for it to function. Problem is we live in an instant gratification society (As I have mentioned nth times on here) and we can get what we want when we want it.. for a price usually. Magic is no different my friends.

Books, videos, and effects previously created a week and a half ago on a webcam... all for one low price.. of your integrity and resolve.

Going back to the previous topic of influences. My list is fairly short and some might say unconventional (But not surprising if you have seen my show). The likes of Penn and Teller, Rudy Coby, Amazing Johnathan, and Sylvester the Jester have made my ideas of magic distort and twist over the years. They use magic as a tool to create art. Much like a painter uses a brush or a dancer uses their body, magicians have a choice to let their skills create an interesting, thought provoking, or challenging scenario... but they usually don't. They are content to buy the latest greatest shiny bauble and perform it like everyone else. Hell it's easy to get and requires no real original thought of your own. Why not take the easy path?

After doing some dabbling in the magical merchandise world, I can say that I do see how easy it could be to set aside your scruples and sell your mediocre magic wares and make a quick buck off the uninformed and naive. I also hate to say this, but that could very well be you.

And it probably is.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Silence is deafening...

As magicians we STRIVE for applause and recognition. What happens when we DON'T get a reaction? We question the material, the presentation, and ourselves.

If you KNOW for a FACT that it's not any of those there is only one other option: The effect is so strong, they don't know how to react. Gregory Wilson strives for this effect. He says it is better for them to be silent than applaud.

I thought about that for a while and realized he is right. The problem is we have a switch in our heads that flops from analytical to not-so analytical. If we are thinking we are not reacting. If we are reacting we are not thinking. This is why many magicians do moves on an off beat of a joke or a question. Multi-tasking in the mind is a skill unto itself.

So if you KNOW the material is strong enough to stand on it's own and they don't give you a standing O, don't fret. Just eat it up. Stand there and soak it up until the right moment. When that happens is up to you. Let's face it. If you just faded away in the middle of the street and appeared behind them... I don't think they would be laughing and screaming and chanting your name. They would have to stop... think.. and then think some more.

Silence is golden my children. Love it, learn it, make it your own.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

What's in store?

Well it looks like the most talked about thing in magic in a very long time turned out to be an online magic venue for people who most likely DON'T need the money. If you don't know who magicians are, then you need to get out more. (or research your art better)

This comes around to something I have been saying for a bit now. We all knew street magic would eventually be on the decline in some way or another. Stores like Ellusionist and Penguin are no longer pumping out products left and right. Hell Ellusionist is pretty much a DVD/specialty cards shop at this point. The Asshat has faded into the background. Oh sure he does stuff still, but he does not hold sway like he used to. Want to blame that on Criss Fishing Rod? Go ahead. Let's face it tho', at this point they could get ANYONE to stand in his place as almost all of his effects are staged and fake as hell.

I digress. So the street magic is kind of lulling itself to sleep and now Theory 11 comes along with a bizarre mix of old skool close-up guys and new street magic kids. (I will save judgment on their new effects until a later date. I need a few more details first) I dunno if this is gonna be a good thing or a bad thing? Only time will tell.

Until Theory 12 come out that is.