Friday, June 25, 2010

And a bottle of....

So I was thinking to myself the other day, "I want to vanish a green bottle that's not some weird beer no one drinks." (I actually prefer to vanish a soda bottle as I don't drink, but when you work nightclubs and bars, beer gets a better reaction.)

So I thought of an idea I figured I would share with you my dear readers... you lucky buggers.

First off get yourself a Beck's Nielsen bottle and cut the top of it off... you know, the protruding lip part. Now go find yourself a Heineken bottle and set the two bottles next to each other. Trim down the neck of the Beck's till it's about the same size as the neck of the Heineken (without the lip part) Now glue the lip you cut off the Beck's bottle earlier and glue that sucker back on.

From here there are a few ways to get yourself a label. Peel off a real one from the a Heineken bottle. This label will need to be replaced a lot however as it will become decimated over time and use. If you are resourceful, you can make a label that bears close resemblance and have it done on vinyl OR print out one on the cloth sheets they sell that you can run thru your inkjet printer. However you so choose, slap that puppy onto the bottle and voila'! You can now vanish a bottle no one else has.

The moral of this story? Change the facade of a prop that uses the same function and people will think you are cooler than you really are.

Works on America's Got Talent....


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Better than who?

There is a weird elitist vibe in magic. If you don't do the right pass or know certain of tricks some people will actually look down on you. This to me is just silly. There is no, and I repeat NO formula for creativity nor success. Sure there are things you can do or avoid but for the most part it's just you and me against the world people.

Surround yourself with like minded people who share your vision. This is a sure fire way to keep yourself focused and help combat that homicidal urge that can creep into the back of your brain. You know the one. That little twinge in your skull that tells you to jam a magic wand thru the skull of the next armchair magi that says your cups and balls suck.

Don't let the man get you down kids.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Guys... for the love of all that is pot holey, please please PLEASE stop saying ok (or any derivative thereof) at the end of every sentence in an instructional DVD. I was just scrubbing thru a video and EVERY time I stopped all I heard was "M'kay".

If I wanted to be talked to like that I would move to South Park.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leveling up!

This was originally going to be this week's column for iTricks, but I glommed onto something else for them and decided to save this tidbit of wisdom for you. Who loves you baby?

Have you ever seen a magician with a prop that you may very well own and yet they get better reactions with it? Is it because you might very well suck as a performer? Could be, BUT it’s likely their presentation of the effect has different layers to it. It’s not just what you see on the surface, but the bits of business and tiny details that make it more appealing.

It’s a lot like creating a costume. If you are very faithful to the design and add on the little details that make the character who they are, it will seem like a whole and complete picture. If you choose to just go for the bare bones of what you see and is there, then something is off or it just looks... ok. It’s because when those little things are there you don’t notice because it blends so seamlessly. However, if they are indeed missing, you notice it. Maybe not consciously, but something is amiss.

This can be applied to magic in many ways. By applying something as simple as a quick aside or quick visual gag or pun, it seems like much more than it really is. Even something as mundane as professor's nightmare or linking rings. All it takes is a look or a wink. A good bit of music editing or just a voice-over. Take something and make it you. Then, when it's yours, no one can take it because you are the best version of yourself out there... or at least should be.

Until they perfect cloning that is.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Different is good...

I get into an argument with a friend here in Vegas about being different from time to time. He says that a magician producing steaming piles of poo would be different... but it wouldn't be good.

First off, how does he know? Second, anyone could make that argument for the standards too. I hate hypothetical situations for that very reason. You can make up ANY scenario to back up your point. Sure, different isn't always good, but on the other steaming pile, it can be GREAT!

A lot of times people will jeer you and try to tell you what you're doing is wrong or won't fly because no one else has done it. It's not proven and therefore is shite. Well, I'm here to tell you that trying to stand out tempered with some common sense can be highly gratifying. Maybe not for your pocket book, but when you hug a dollar bill, it doesn't hug you back.

So for those who get bombarded on all sides about you doing some classic of magic in a variant that fits who you are or your vision of the art you create, tell those naysayers to go take a flying leap into a meat grinder and then eat them up. In the end of it all, they will be the ones revering you for being able to do something they can't.

If everyone listened to the pessimists, we wouldn't have the awesome things we do today... or the really stupid things too.

It's a fair trade.