Saturday, January 30, 2010

A real update eventually.. until then...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh by the way, for all of our readers on the east coast...

I will be lecturing for the Washington DC ring on Feb. 3rd and then the 4th-8th I will be in Mystic, CT performing AND lecturing at the Clown City convention. (I get to be the equivalent of the juggler at a magic convention yay!) \

If yer nearby come say jello!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tell us about it Janet...

This last week was spent helping my friend revamp his website. We had a few conversations about a great many things. One of them included something I know I do and I noticed he did a bit too. Dunno if this is a (back to) normal thing, but I figured I would talk about it as it seems like a good step towards creativity and hashing things out when you are working on new routines.

There are times I will have a new idea in mind and be describing it to friends (or anyone foolish enuff to stand near me for long periods of time) and I will add things that were never in the initial concept. By acting it out and trying to paint this visual picture that they can understand, little details and ideas just seem to flood forth.

So as an exercise, the next time you have some new shiny thought in your big smooth brain, why not tell a few people about it first and see what tumbles from your gaping maw. You might just work out a better method than you had in mind, or come up with some bit of business that adds to the routine as a whole. You'll be surprised what you can come up with when you just go with the flow.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Dear magicians of the world,

Stop doing that damned "hands together, thumbs up, arm twist" bit. It's played out. It's over... like disco and Monica Lewinsky.



PS: My girlfriend can do it better than you anyway.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's all same in the end?

Since I came to Vegas I have been working more and more in the world of stand-up comedy. It's a good time had by all and many of the traits of comedy are shared and/or mirrored in the magic world.

Take for instance theft. Jokes are lifted willy-nilly (or maybe it's willy-nelson?) without giving proper credit or any remorse for the crime. It's very similar to what some in the magic fraternity deal with... except a line is much easier to steal than a trick because jokes are take no money or practice to use. (Which isn't entirely true, but try telling THAT to a hack)

That however is not the focus of this post. Not by a long john silver shot. This is about the end... of your routine that is. All too often I have heard an audience member know the end of a joke before the joke slinger tells it. Why is this? Perhaps they have heard it before? Nay! It' because the punchline is too predictable.

The same goes for any magic act. If the audience gets to the conclusion of an effect before you do, the jig is up.. and gone! This means your material is trite, predictable, and easily forgettable. What's even worse is if they ste up a BETTER ending in their mind than what you actually do. At that point they are more clever and amazing than you.

There is an upside to this line of thought however.

You can use this idea to turn the tables on those smarmy bastards. Take something that is INTENTIONALLY predictable and turn it on it's side (and thereby putting them on their asses). Take what they and/or assume and use it against them! If they think something is going to vanish, make it transform. If it's supposed to appear, make it something they don't expect. Many magicians have used this to their advantage. It works especially well with other magi who KNOW the tricks. (If you have ever seen Fantasio perform his Funtasio routine, you know what I mean))

If your magic is 2+2=4 then change up the equation so they never see it coming.

I prefer 2+2=fish myself.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hand jive...

I dunno what it is, but almost every female magician trying to palm a ball or small object in their hand looks awkward and cramped.

This is not a dig at anyone's skill or performance, it's just something I have noticed. I have no idea why, but I have some theories.

What are your thoughts?


Monday, January 04, 2010

In the first place?

At a lecture I was doing, someone brought up a good point during my creativity/character portion

The first method you devise for an effect might not be the best.

His reasoning is that the first choice might work and be the most logical, but because of that it might also be the most logical for a non-magician. That can also be the problem with anyone who has a little bit of magical knowledge. Nothing serious, but they know a magic or have spent too much time snooping the internet and happen to know what a double lift is.

If you don't get the reaction you want from a routine, it might be time to take another look at the method you are employing.

Couldn't hurt.