Saturday, February 28, 2009

Show us your best peacock...

There has always been a big debate in the magic community about flourishing compared to hiding your skill. There are people who temper the magic and flourishing. However, those who remain hardcore into it, are really just showing off for other magicians.

Watching the above video, there were some pretty things (Even one I had to back up a few times to catch) however, a lot of it was hard to follow and if someone who knows what's going on gets lost, think about how non-magicians would feel... and for anyone who isn't sober, fughedaboutit. I have called this style of magic "magical masturbation" and I stand by it.

You are just playing with yourself. Ruffling your feathers as it were to look pretty. IT rarely adds anything to the magic or performance. Just because someone goes "wow" when you do some complicated flourish, just remember, people say the same thing about juggling and fire eating. It's impressive because they can't do it and it looks hard. It's not that they are impressed with the trick itself.

To a degree, I agree that showing off too much can lessen the impact of magic to some people. If you can fling cards around like a dervish, then slight of hand should be NO problem for you. Most non-magical types think we do things that are just too fast for them too see, why perpetrate that already ridiculous and trite saying.

So just remember, while you are spanking it over the latest flourish DVD, when in public try to keep it in yer pants. Like I tell my girlfriend...

Less is more.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

I think they named this trick after a girl I used to date...

(A real post coming soon I swear)


Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is not at ALL what I thought it was...

Oh well.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Style vs. Character...

And there in the shower it hit me.... Style Vs. Character. Some have one, some have the other. (Some have neither too) Sometimes they meet in the middle. It was this thought that opened my eyes.

Every so often a thought comes to you from one simple thing you might see or read and you smack yourself in the head and think, "Why didn't I think of that sooner?!" Let me explain to you what I am talking about.

Some people have a performing style while others have a character they portray onstage. (some would even go so far to talk about the difference between character and chariacture, but let's keep this simple hunh?) Some prime examples of characters are Sylvester the Jester, Rudy Coby, and Simon Drake. They play up the characters they have created for themselves to convey their particular ideas and views. They use costumes, scenarios, and even manners of speaking to create a different persona that lives in their own world on stage. These are the people who have become magic innovators and helped everyone look at magic a little bit differently.

Now here is the one that might surprise you a bit. Prime examples of people with a style are magicians like David Copperfield, Houdini, Amazing Johnathan, and Lance Burton. They are themselves on stage but have a certain style of performing that is personal to them and them alone. (Tho' by now thy have created so many imitators, their style has been copied, but never duplicated) These people have been the major inspirations to magic on a whole and helped bring it to the public eye in a positive light.

I'm not saying people who are characters have no style all their own, or vice versa. However one will stand out more than the other usually. There are those who have mixed the two. However, in mixing them you make them more subtle.. which some might say is better. However, that is neither here nor there. Jeff McBride, Kevin James, and Penn and Teller have mixed character and style to a great success. They don't rely on one or the other to make them recognizable. (I'm not saying the others listed above DO, but one does tend to stand out more than the other in those cases.) The mixture of the two gives you a nice blend of magic and performer.

Neither one of these is better than the other and it's up to YOU to figure out which one is the right path to follow. Now if you don't feel you have one or the other, and are just standing on stage being a phony smile and stick on head producing Cd's, doves, or canes for no reason, you might want to step back and re-evaluate your magic motivations sometime soon.

The bottom line is you need to have something that sets you apart from the rest of the herd in crappy rented formal wear. They might be able to take your tricks, but they'll never take who you are.

Don't dream it, be it....


(Special snuggly hugs and manly pats on the ass to Chris Lyle for planting this seed in my head. Good game.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No Homers Club...

I am always a amused by magic sites that have a "magicians only" section on their website. Offering up their products to "magicians only". Problem is, it's not. Any schlub can go onto that site and get that magic trick.

A long time ago, in an internet far, far away magic sites would actually quiz you on your knowledge to let you into the magicians sections. Now, we don't care. We'll take our money from anyone and sell our secrets to whoever wants to learn them. Even people who have seen us perform somewhere and want to do what we do and then call themselves a magician because they ignored the "magicians only" sign on the door and now can do some two-bit card trick.

We naively assume that people will stay out of something because they respect what we do. Man you people are high on drugs. We all know that stay off the grass means let's play soccer.

Do us all a favor and be a bit more discretionary when it comes to who you schlep yer products to in the future hmmmm? Not everybody can be exclusive because if we all are...

then no one is.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Multimedia abounds!!

We live in a society where we can check our email, traffic, horoscope, and even play the ocarina all from the comfort of our cell phones. However, magic is still behind the times. Some people thought it was a "radical" idea to include a webpage with performance video of the material I put into a Linking Ring Magazine Parade. Oooh... I'm a rebel.

Regardless, we can embed video in e-books and yet so many don't bother to take advantage of this. The list goes on, but hey... far be it from me to judge your lackluster knowledge of the world around you.

I bring this up because I am testing out a new implement of distraction on A chat box. When I am online, you can yammer with me without having to be signed in to anything. If I am not around, leave a message I'll get later.

If people dig it, I might actually set up a weekly live chat.. well.. because I can.

Sure I could go all crazy with it and use chat rooms, and video skyping and alla that.... but it's just a toy.. a toy I CAN CONTROL MUHAHAHAAHAHA!!

Baby steps...


Saturday, February 14, 2009

What do I think about on VD?

I think it's about time we stopped using so many crutches in magic. Stop falling back on things just becasue some people have done them so long they have been deemed "Classics". Just because a lie has been told for so long it has passed into the realm of truth doesn't make it any less a lie.

Stop doing egg bag just because you can. Cease your prattle with the clinking things and stop cupping your balls. Let's stop moving backwards. How many times can we see instant-magician? How many times can we sit thru hypno-disc presentations where only a few people see the damned sailboat? When do we stop dancing in the snow?

At some point your bank account will no longer dictate your title. One day we might move forward and make this an art again. Eventually those people who have preyed upon us to believe that magic is only done certain ways and bred our inbreeding beliefs into us will be GONE! Dead and buried. Those days will be glorious... but by then, we'll all be too dead to notice anyway.

One can always hope.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

3 minutes to fame...

Rudy Coby to this day still stands by the belief that with three minutes of strong original material, you can do almost anything. (I threw in the almost.. just cuz') I agree, but there are some factors to that.

We're not going into what those might be, however I use this example to illustrate a point I just made to a younger magician wishing to give his talent show observers the willies. After some material choices I said to him, "If your material and performance is strong enuff, you only need a few minutes of their time to be remembered forever."

This saying is very true. When I was younger, I would always try to over-do it, magic wise, when I met new people. (Many older people STILL do this and should be beat about the head and shoulders.. and the pert plus.) There is a reason the phrase, "Always leave them wanting more" still gets tossed around like a cheap prostitute. It's TRUE!!

You don't need the gaudy boxes, trite doves, or over-sized fan blowing yer hair to make an impact. Shawn Farquhar brings down the house with a deck of cards and the right music. (Mind you BEFORE all of this he does some bigger things as a lead up, but he doesn't need it) All it takes is the right attitude, presentation, and in one man's case... four legs.

Never leave them wanting less...


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Putting the cocky back into cocksucker...

Well that title outta lose me a few readers.

Regardless, what is it with magicians and our inability to just be impressed or give compliments other than "OMG! YOU GONNA RELEASE THAT!?" We will watch someone do a magic effect and if it fools us, we won't say a DAMN thing. However, if we know hwo it works we blather something like, "That was good but I saw you unzip your zipper on that erdanase" (paraphrasing of course).

It's even worse on the internet. Our anonymity gives us the power to say things like, "great vid keep it up i knew what happened to the change but good cover". We just HAVE to let everyone know that we were NOT fooled AT all, but we will be using that routine sometime in the near future without your permission. Can't we just say, "Good job, so long, and thanks fort all the fish?" (again, paraphrasing).

The only time a phrase even CLOSE to "I see what you did there" was funny or appropriate was in this movie:

What the hell is wrong with us?



Thine art a wizard..

This was posted on one of the forums I hang out on. Thought I would share.

Thank you Baldric.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Old skool...

Do we take magic for granted? I think sometimes we do. Especially the newer generation doesn't bother to question or care where their magic comes from. All of the people that we revere as greats helped shape and mold that which we do now.

Think about the first time someone used a Nielsen type bottle to vanish... or when Fantasio first started showing off his candles and canes. People must have WET themselves! Now we sell off our original magic and a frantic pace all in pursuit of a dollar or two. We rarely keep things to ourselves. At least the other guys held on to their secrets till they had won some awards and got recognition. Then they shared the secret with us all.

We aren't as easy to impress anymore because we have "Seen it all". Well that's not true, but as magicians, we need to know what came before us. If not for the sheer history aspect of it, for yourself. So you know what has been done and whose toes and shoulders you are stepping on. How do you go about that? Easy! You go to a place like This that has done that research for you!!

Free your mind and your pants will follow...