Monday, June 23, 2008

Are you Finnish?

I favor the French personally but that's besides the point. (Also, these people are besides the point, but that too is besides the point.)

So on another forum I tend to hang out on too much, a finger was pointed to This post where some wanker asked a question and it devolved into what it usually does.... jaw flapping drivel. Now I am not without irony because let's face it, I do my fair bit of mandible moving on this journal, but hey, you don't have to read it so Nyah!!

However, that's not the point. The question that was asked was "How do you know your act is finished?" I immediately had an opinion on this. (What a shock I know) So since I won't sully my good name on that board, I shall instead wax poetic here for all to see. (ew!)

A live act such as those that we perform in the magic world can ALWAYS evolve and change. It is NEVER finished. It can be in a state of content completion. It can stay the same for YEARS. However, due to random stimuli we discover new or easier ways to handle and effect. Perhaps we crate a moment or bit of business that works better than something we already have. Old ideas can be re-introduced and cycle in and out for the purposes of experimentation.

ANYONE who thinks they are a master of their craft and their magic don't stink and therefore has no need to change any further or evolve is an uppity dick who has no right to call himself an artist. Everything is in a constant state of flux. Magic, dance, theater, life, business, dogs and cats.. LIVING TOGETHER!! Er..sorry.

Regardless, you may have a routine that has been the same since before Gawd, but there is ALWAYS a chance to tweak it. Even if it is un-perceivable by anyone else but you. You might change the timing to make a bit or line funnier. You might reword the same joke to have a better impact. The only way TO become better is to be open to change an d not be afraid to experiment. If you are afraid to fall, you will never soar high with the other.

I think I made my points don't you?


Saturday, June 21, 2008

I sense a theme...

There are these websites online that have compiled lists of the more commonly agreed on magical effects.They are as follows:
*Penetration (Sounds dirty don't it?)
*Prediction (Think Menatlism, but you knew I was going to say that right?)

So most magical effects can be pigeonholed into one of these categories right? WRONG!! While traveling down one of our highways here in Dallas in a moving truck with Aaron Stone, we got on this topic. I decided to try and fit a few of the effects I have created and use into these here above slots.

I came up empty. Thus I stumbled upon a new category that needs to be added to this list. I like to call it (drumroll) Forced Visuals. What does that mean you ask? Simple. It's a non sequitur that takes what people know and uses it against them. It's a prop that does something they know said object cannot do, but yet does it anyway. It is a forced perspective of the mind using visuals that may or may NOT mesh with their established reality.

Many of my favorite performers use this technique to entertain throngs of crowds all the time. Some people might call this sight gags or throw aways. It goes much deeper, usually on a psychological level that most people could not put into words nor would they want to because only people like me think about this kind of useless crap!

I need to get out more I think.


Friday, June 20, 2008

I don't want to start any blasphemous rumors...

But I think that Itricks has a sick sense of humor. (Just kidding guys. I needed something to tie the song lyric to the post.)

Anywho, if you believe what they say, then next Tuesday you will get to see my grinning visage on a show that I personally can't believe lasted this long. In celebration of this... um.. thing... I have decided to dispense some advice should you ever find yourself in a similar position. (missionary?)

Having been on two TV contest shows (And possibly a third if I'm lucky) I want to throw a few ideas your way. First thing should be a given, but try as I might some poeple need this idea beaten into their damn heads. Be Professional! Seriously. There is nothing worse than a performer who does not conduct himself in a way not becoming of a person who does his art for a living. (hunh?)

In the same vein, don't be a prima donna dick. (or cunt if yer a chick. You are not excused from this article just because you have breasts. Sorry. Also, if that word offends you.. deal with it.) You cannot.. or more accurately, SHOULD not go into a place such as a recording studio and expect to be treated any differently than the rest of the cattle and then throw a fit when they don't bend to yer every beck and call.

Also, be nice to the other performers. (Who return the courtesy of course) This is a PRIME time to network, meet other people who know people, hand out cards, etc. You never know when knowing someone with a similar or differing talent might come in handy. If you treat them like crap, (And vice versa), then you will be known as that arrogant performer who no one wants to work with. This goes for the people running the show. They can edit yer sorry ass out like you never existed.

From a magician standpoint, it is also a good idea to go perform some minor miracles for the other non-magical performers who might be in their 3rd hour of stale donuts and false sincerity. Go cheer them up and be sociable. Free samples are never bad in these situations. Also, from a magician standpoint, don't be discouraged when they don't pick you out to advance or win. Magic takes it from behind in most contests... on or off TV. Remember what you are REALLY there for: Name Recognition. The more people who know who you are, the more pull your name has, the more you can charge down the road. Also doesn't hurt to pad your demo reel with some footage of you on national TV.

So to re-cap: Be professional, DON'T be an asshat, hand out free samples, and make nice with everyone because you just never know.

Experience is ALWAYS the best teacher.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

According to this product, you can conjure up tears in an instant. I say why stop there. Get this:

and have the whole ROOM in tears!!

They'll never forget you.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Another word for Thesaurus?

So I got to thinking about something the other day that may or may NOT help you become more creative. This one definitely ranks high on the list of "theory". (No need for a number behind that. It's too low on the list.) Anywho, on to my point. (yes I have one and not just on the top of my head) Ready for this one? Vocabulary!!

(Dramatic pause)

Crack open a dictionary and look up words you aren't familiar with. Here is a good exercise: Go to your Myspace account and look at the update mood section. Go thru the lost of moods and see what all of the ones you don't know mean. Here is a good place to go -

Ok so now that you have stopped looking at me like the RCA dog, allow me to explain. If you don't know what something is then you can't know what it does. The more ways you can interpret the world around you and recognize the terms, the better you can visualize the mechanics or props you might need. This in turn will help you be more creative as you are armed with the proper knowledge to add two and two together and get... 5.

I told you math was hard.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Chicken Dinner!!

Sorry, flashbacks from watching 21 (Did that movie come and go or what?). Anywho, we have a winner for the BAMF! contest I started last week. It seems Andy has been stalking me on my other sites and figured out that I finally got a license to Kill.. er.. drive. (for those keeping score I am 29, so you do the math cuz' I suck at it. 2+2=fish ok?) You may think it's sad or funny, but you should hear the embarrassing stories.

Enuff of that silliness, he wins a manuscript of how to accomplish this miracle of magical craziness (Assuming he can understand my writing). Speaking of which, I am considering marketing this thru a third party publishing house. I don't expect it to tbe the next big thing BUT I think people can use it as it has gotten HUGE reactions for me. What do you think? Answer the poll to the right!! Be heard in 08'!!

Tomorrow, advice on a way to be more creative. All it takes is a book. Think it over and I'll be back.

Math is hard...


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Card tricks for the close-up impaired...

Some of you might recall a post made a while back about a local bar we have been performing a variety show at. Well tonight was our first time at the new venue, (Protip: When a bar starts screwin' yah, go find a new place close-by... but don't forget to take your crowd with you.) Anywho, tonight I didn't have time to swing by the ol' HOD (House of the Dead for those of you not in the know) and grab the props for what I had planned tonight. I got caught up being an extra in a film being shot here locally. I won't say what it is, but it had Ron Jeremy in it, and if you know who THAT is... you need to spend less time on those sites.

So back to my point (As if these posts EVER have those!): Can you entertain a crowd of people in a stage setting with JUST a deck of cards? Yes you can!! (Not yes YOU can, but it IS possible. Chances are you might be one of those who is the magic equivalent of someone who couldn't get laid in a female prison with a fist-full of pardons.) Now card in hand is NOT stage worthy. Neither is triumph or any of them knuckle busting effects you have worked so long and hard on just to end up with carpel tunnel and an impressive book collection. When it comes to magic on stage with cards, simplicity is your friend.

What effects might play well in that situation you ask? My two go-to tricks in a pinch (Or goose) are mouth card and cards to pocket. Card in Mouth has inherent humor as anything done with the mandible area tends to be funny. (If you are working a bar crowd, the zipper is the same way.) Cards to pocket, (where the whole deck ends up in your empty pocket save for the one they selected), also has built in humor. It builds as the cards just keep coming from the previously shown empty area. With the right drunk audience member and a deck of cards you can create something that no sleight of hand move will ever accomplish... you can actually be... dare I say it.. entertaining!!

These are not the ONLY ones obviously. They are however two simple effects that always tend to please and garner laughs. (I say always, but there is some ass klown out there who I am sure is the exemption to EVERY rule) Mind you, with the right presentation and patter ANY effect can be entertaining. The best thing to do is find a trick that leaves the mechanics on the sidelines for a bit and allow your personality and improv skills to shine thru.

Don't you wish they sold canned off beat and improv on a stick?


Sunday, June 08, 2008

I want you monkeys to see this and learn a lesson once and for all.

Did you see that? It was a Miser's Dream effect... done silent.... done different. Watch where and how he gets the laughs AND how he gets the magic done. Just because you may know the method, does that make it any less effective? No. Just because it's a plot device you are familiar with, does it make it any less entertaining? No. Is it simple and effective? YES!!

How many of you out there think you could do something like this? Magic, entertaining, AND engaging? Put yer damn hand down, it was a rhetorical question. This video is a prime example on how magic can be fun, easy, and most importantly, MAGICAL!!

Now go home and study because I expect a 3 page report on why you suck!! Don't forget to use the Firefox Spell checker. Otherwise you might mispell a word like rhetorical.

I know where you live....


Friday, June 06, 2008

Another contest?

Sure why not? I have a new effect I have been toying with (It is a card effect, but a damn good one) and if you want to be the lucky mofo to know how it works WAY before I tell anyone else about it, then you have to riddle me this Batman: What did I procure today (or whatever day you read this) that anyone who knows me would never believe I would EVER get?

You are not allowed to answer if you already know. The only hint you get is that it's not a magic effect.

Update: Here is footage of the effect I am working on.

It's made of GoesfastTM.