Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pillow fight!

Watch this, then stick around for some commentary...

I liked every bit of that until the production of the girl at the end. It's the same reason I dislike the shadowbox illusion (as well as a few others). Magical unexplainable stuff is happening and then a girl appears which can explain away so much of the actual magic. I think bringing an inanimate object to life is far more impressive than producing some rent-a-chick (or girlfriend/wife/relative) so why bother?

Bimbo is not always better...

Full steam ahead...

I wouldn't say T11 is trying to capitalize on a trend, but the guy in the video is the farthest thing from steam punk they could have gotten.

It's almost insulting to those who actually embrace the style.

You can decide for yourself.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A warm moist opening...

I always laugh when someone calls a chair or broom suspension a floatation. To me they are more of a puzzle than any other illusions out there. Kind of like some of my ex's. Nice to look at but they're not fooling anybody.

I also like the fact Jay Sankey thinks about magic. This means he is not afraid to experiment and figure out the hows and WHYS of something. Despite the fact he does flood the market a bit from time to time with product, he tends to know his shit for the most part.

A new Product Demo I saw recently addresses something I agree with. A good opening to your set, routine, etc doesn't need to be anything but visual. Something to set the tone and mood and character of what is about to happen following it. I also believe suspensions are not magic. They are not a trick in themselves. They are a quick visual that is a layer on top of the rest. Effects like Jay's or Rick Lax's Vertigo are a great way to get people's attention and introduce props or ideas you are about to utilize for actual magic.

Suspend your disbelief my friends...

With fans like these...

I'm kinda glad I'm not famous...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You're welcome...

In a few more sentences I am going to give you a gift. It's nothing tangible. Nothing you can hang on the wall. It's an idea. It's a GREAT idea. You can start thanking me now.

As many of you who perform "Easy Money" (Hundy 500, Prophet, Extreme Burn, etc.) the trick has some fundamental flaws. (Except for the original one that turned pieces of paper into money, that just make sense) The biggest one of course is why would you EVER turn them back into a lower denomination. I don't care what your patter it, it's dumb. The other is you can't hand the bills out (yes I know a few have come up with ways to do it but that's not the point).

I was in a restaurant last night and came upon a saying I have never heard before. It read as thus:

I then realized by quoting this line, (especially good here in Las Vegas), you not only have a reason to fold your money in half to execute the change, but you have the perfect motivation to just put it away in your pocket and move on.

Everything is now justified by just that one line alone. This my friends and readers is my gift to you. The gift of "Helping Your Magic Make Sense".

Now go forth and multiply!

PS: If you can't get enough of my ramblings, I did a guest column Over Here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Knocik it off....

A message to all the younger magicians out there:

Hey kids, I know it's a catchy tune and all but for the love of all that is holey, please stop using that damn Fireflies song. It's annoying.


The mngmnt.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Round and round...

Tomorrow we release our new training video! Do you want to teach your sponge balls some new tricks? Then go to and learn more!

Rattling the chains...

So my previous post tught me two things. 1. Andrew Mayne reads this (waves hello the Andrew) and was kind enough to offer a counter-point to my ramblings. And B. I need to be more specific in this thing sometimes.

Sometimes I start with an idea and I forget to actually point something out that inspired it, be it tongue-in-cheek or not. When I said I was happy about my stuff being ganked I should have elaborated a bit. (keep in mind this is half-sarcasm coming up) It's nice to see my stuff is good enough/liked enough to be ripped off with the likes of people like Andrew, Garcia, and many others who are revered for their material.

Does this make it right? That's up to you. As stated in another post this kind of stuff doesn't bother me. It's the world we live in now.

Kind of like a Genesis song...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

We have arrived...

Recently I discovered some of my magical offerings for download on a magic torrent site (No I won't give you the link). Believe it or not I am actually glad about this. Hell, I might very well be the only magician in the world who is. Crazy you say? Probably. Eating tacos right now? Definitely!

If you got to the big green bean you can find a lot of people in the ethics section bitching an orange streak about how they have been ripped off and pirates are the scourge of the this that or the other. Regardless of where you sit on the subject matter, one thing is for sure, those people are greedy.

If you sell to Murphys Magic then you have made a pretty good penny already off their initial order. (If it's a popular product you have no worries) If it's a download you are of course subject to overnight uploading, but the people who download it are unlikely to buy it anyway or even have the money to do so.

The way I look at it is thus: I would rather have people know my name and like my product to possibly buy future releases. If they like you and what you do they will show it to others and tell them about you. If you are just going to be captain bitchy-pants they will steal from you out of spite.

So be happy they found your items to have the value enough to steal. Then you can release something that ISN'T a damn DVD that they will be forced to buy.

Mmmm tacos.

Judge Dread...

I need to stop watching youtube videos of magicians because it makes me realize that if I was ever asked to judge a magic competition and give my feedback, I might make someone cry.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

and a drop of self-promotion...

As many of you know we have been working with Sponge Balls for the last few years. We have collected quite a few rescues and learned a lot about these little fellas. With that in mind we decided to release a training DVD. Want to learn more? Head over to Sponge Ball Breeding dot com.

You'll be glad you did...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Open says me...

Finally, something for the alcoholic creepy magic uncle for x-mas. The self opening liquor bottle!

Monday, November 28, 2011

That's not He-Man!!

I am glad there are others out there keeping an eye out for magic demos that are faked because of some insipid reason or another.

Some of you may know that I will raise some hell about people trying to pull the wool over the eyes of magic consumers. I really want to interview these people and get their take on why exactly they would resort to this kind of chicanery but none of them will own up to it.

I think if they just went "Ok yes you got me. I'm sorry", they might have respect instead of trying to cover their ass.

Don't support these people. They don't deserve it.

Boo this man!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Russian Attack...

So I was reading a review for the X-men First Class film and came across this bit of text:

"Having been in the writing game for a decade now, I can tell: you can indeed produce something good in a rushed fashion, if the deadline demands it and you have the focus; however, something great absolutely requires time for a creator to be able to step back, assess his/her work, and decide what improvements should be made. Revision is the key to brilliance. You take away that time from any creative artist, and the art is ultimately going to be diminished. First Class was no exception."

It reminded me of much of the magic released today. It is given very little time to sit and stew in the minds of the creators. "Hey it works on video and it fooled my mom. I think I will sell it on teh interwebs". The only difference between the above scenario and magic is that there is NO deadline for creativity in magic products other than the one you place upon yourself... which seems to be a few days in some cases.

So I put this challenge to anyone who is thinking of releasing an effect for sale only a few days after creating it. Give yourself a deadline. One that prevents you from releasing something before a certain date. Give it ample time to be played with, researched, and tested in front of real people.

Let's call this deadline "Shower Time". Decide how many showers it will be before you release the trick into the wild. This way it gives you time to think about the effect without props in hand. Let your mind solve the problems or ideas in a secure and relaxing place. Only then can you put out your latest "master" piece.

Just don't get shampoo in your eyes...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What has been seen...

Cannot be unseen...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What about now?

Walking in Brussels, Belgium tonight I had something run naked thru my head.

Forget everything you know about magic competitions, conventions, and really any performer no one outside of magic has heard of.

Now list me off ANY modern magicians that are well known who perform card manipulation in their shows… aaaaaand GO!

(Jeopardy theme plays)

Times up!! I can see your answer clearly in my mind. It's... Lance Burton!

How did I know that? Simple. There are no grey elephants in Denmark! It's also because he is the ONLY correct answer in the last 40 YEARS!! (also he is no longer working so there really is no answer)

So think about that a bit. Could it be it's a form of amusement relegated to magic competitions to fill time and scores? Might it be anachronistic and out of place in modern society? How about it makes NO DAMN SENSE!

Now to be fair when people see it done right (I can only think of two people who this applies to right now) they seem to enjoy it but on the whole there is a reason you don't see it in ANY Las Vegas shows right now...

Aside from the fact it's also hard as hell to do it well.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In yo face!!

I am going to make a video journal about this and go into more detail. For now I just want to ask all of these younger magicians if they know the companies who release their magic are screwing them over on the recognition factor?

Think about it: They put THEIR logo onto it and your face is rarely seen. No one knows who you are or what you look like!!

Something to chew on...

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It's no secret I really dislike photos of magicians with other well known magicians on working websites. No one cares ok?

Second, and this is for the pros, do something interesting in your photos people take with you other than look goofy and half smile. Sure it's a hassle to you but at least make some effort to make something that looks better than some half-assed yearbook snapshot.

You don't have to mug but at least stand up straight and pose a little. Grab a prop. SOMETHING!

This message brought to you by the internet on a train to Belgium.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I was hanging out with Alex Kolle in Nurenburg the last couple days and we did something kinky... we shared gaffs.

I carry a cadre of weird (mostly) card gimmicks with me in my close-up bag. (yes the stage magician had a close-up bag. Get over it.) It was a lot of fun because a hadn't messed with a number if them in over a year or two. Many of them just sit there to show friends or toy with when I am bored.

Alex has some pretty kool ones. Just ideas he made but never did anything with because he had no reason to use them.

I then had a realization about all of this. Serious performers know the difference between a gimmick and magic. There are far too many idiot kids out there releasing untested or unnecessary tricks into the world just because they are "cool".

Listen, creating is fine and dandy if it's for you but selling something to the mass heard of magic sheep just because you know it will sell makes you an evil fuck in my book. Collect these ideas and make a DVD with the ideas, or lecture notes, or Anubis forbid a book (gasp!)

Stop cluttering our vision with your inventions. Just because T11 gives you a place to sell it doesn't mean you should do it.

We need a magic "Better Business Bureau".

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Just do it!

No I am not having a psychotic episode that causes me to title my posts with old Nike slogans. I am merely giving you some advice.

Last night after my lecture in Frankfurt, I had a lengthy conversation with a magician about creativity and the like. In the middle of the talk I had a revelation and want to share it with you my demented disciples.

It is thus: The best way to be creative is to create. Don't be afraid to fail. Keep working til you get something!

As someone who comes up with ideas in various mediums I can tell you that they often do not look like what I want at the beginning. No matter how much I may doubt it I ride it out to see what's going to happen.

Sometimes when you make a new effect or move it might not do what you want but DO NOT stop. Keep making that prop or working on that slight until you get something usable!

Of course there are the times it won't work and you have to start over. Just make sure starting over us the only other option. On the upside you now have narrowed down one less thing NOT to do. Sometimes setting it aside and coming back to it is the better solution. Think of attacking it from a different angle.

Creating isn't easy but don't let if get you down. Never give up.

Never surrendeeeeerrrrr!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Under the wires...

Hey Google wised up and finally made a Blogger app. This way I can easily update from wherever I am, which in this case is Switzerland.

I have been keeping tabs on the new Theory11 idea that sat dormant for many years. It was such a source of speculation for so long it could have been a photo of two rhinos getting jiggy with it and the kindermagi would have been happy as punch.

Despite what I am pretty sure it was gonna be and what it became is neither here nor there. It is now here... For better or for worse.

This is yet another addition to our instant gratification consumer society. I believe with the ease and speed at which magic effects can now be released for a nominal fee it will drive the value of unpublished material way up.

Something that cannot be easily attained will be that much more clamored for. Along the same vein the low price of much of the glut of current effects released will cheapen the material made available due to the law of supply and demand.

So while any number of vapid 15 year old wannabes who could only amuse their mildly retarded housepets fill our lives with their "new" magic, I think I will just travel the world and spread my creations the old fashioned way...

Like Cain from Kung Fu.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ear Regular

So a Japanese company has put out a deck of "Irregular" playing cards. My first thought was "Big deal Bicycle cards already come like this sometimes".

You may think that is a joke, but the last deck I opened, one of the joker's back design looked like I was about to do Luke Dancy's "Misprint" trick.

Still kinda cool.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Leaking from the ears...

Today was a strange day on Facebook. Various friends posted three different articles on "creativity". While I disagree with a few of the things they suggest, I found one that amused me and thought relevant to this journal in particular.

And I quote:
"Cohen once showed a card trick to TV magician David Blaine. Blaine loved the trick but hated the presentation, saying it seemed too rehearsed. "People should feel like you're talking to them for the first time," Blaine told Cohen.

Polish your pitches until they're perfect, then add sprezzatura--the Italian concept of studied carelessness. Find ways to come across as organic and accessible, not canned and mechanical.

The poet James Dickey said he prepared 150 drafts of each poem--the first 100 to get it perfect and the last 50 to make it sound spontaneous."

A lot of performers suffer from too practiced. They do something so much it becomes as annoying as whatever phrase restaurants make people who answer the phone say. "Hello my name is so and so, thank you for calling Bob's House of Pork home of the Big Red Monkey Beat Down. How may I begrudgingly help you?"

Don't you hate that? How do you think your audience feels? If you are just going through the motions, stop using those motions... or that script... or that trick. If you are bored with it, they are too.

60,221,211 Italians can't be wrong.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Greetings Earthlings

In half an hour (7:00 PST Wed.) we will have our first Live Why Am I stuck In Magician Hell video Broadcast. Where? Here!

Thanx for watching. The plan is to do one every Wed. if I can help it. If you missed it, you can see it on the channel. If you have any ideas or requests let me know!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I am the Martin Luther King of Love tonight...

So tonight, I had a bad set with a routine I haven't been entirely happy with. I been racking my smooth brain about how to make certain aspects make sense and to make everything work smoothly. Well I am here to tell you a secret. Something that will help you in the future.

Pay attention to your screw-ups!

It is said that you learn more from failure than success. Tonight for me was a testament to that saying. After I got offstage I was going over all of the ways to fix the rough spots in said routine. I then hit on an idea to move the props to another receptacle (one that made sense) and fixed some inner workings. I am almost certain to say this will make the routine stronger and easier to perform. None of which would have occurred had I not been so upset about the performance.

So heed my advice: It's ok to get mad about a bad show, but think about what went wrong and FIX IT!!

Now I can relax...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guess what...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who do you want to be today?

I was talking with another magician at a party recently and we both came to the agreement that you need to be a person first and a magician second. Magician is a vocation, not a personality trait. Mind you some people try to substitute one for the other and it don't work like that folks.

Take away their deck of cards and some guys become a two dimensional cardboard cut out. No depth, nothing to say, and is about as useful as a used prophylactic. Here's a tip, get your head out of youtube and take a look at the world around you.

This also applies to those not able to "turn off" the douchey magician personality. Some guys are just egotistical nutsacks who really need a swift kick and reality check. Card tricks don't make you better than anyone. If you really must feel superior to people just buy a Macintosh computer (No that wasn't called for. yes I had to say it.)

So the moral to my story is thus: Be cool.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I love it...

when magicians keep links to their websites online in various places and the link doesn't work anymore. Makes me wonder if they work anymore....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's shake and bake and I helped...

Someone told me about a website where you can get all sorts of crazy stuff done for only $5.00. The idea of this amused me so I went to take a look and realized how bad an idea this is after I did a search for the word "Magic".

Undercutting people in price is an American tradition, but this is ridiculous.

You think there are people out there trying to teach others ballet or painting for 5$ to pick up chicks? Is it any wonder we are a joke to people?

Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The cost of living...

So this isn't so much a post as a question for some research: How much is too much to pay for a good magic DVD? Email me your answers ( or just throw it up in the shout box.


Sunday, September 04, 2011

Is it live....

First off:

Second, should I do a live video version of these posts? Would anyone watch or care? Tell me in the shoutbox to the right.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Just a Friday post...

Hey did you know we have a new DVD coming out? Well guess what...

Now yah do!

In my pants...

What the hell is wrong with us? What happened to holding on to something and putting it on a video compilation, in a book or in some notes. Why do we feel the need to fill the marketplace with these one trick items that only work for a handful of people.Things like this bottle production that fat guys could NEVER do.

Let's leave the stuff with limitations in the lectures ok guys?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hey big spender...

So today I needed to make a prop more visible from stage, however I needed something that would be flexible and durable. I only needed maybe a shot glass full but had to buy a large container to get that shot of yellow goo. So 9$ later my prop is finished and I have a huge container of tool dip that I have nothing else to do with.

This is the joy/pain of creating your own stuff and trying to make the magic better. However I am here to say to you now: Don't be afraid to spend the money on something you need!

Do you only need an 1/8th of a can of spray paint in a color you won't ever use again? Will it be worth it or make a prop better because of it? If so, BUY THE DAMN PAINT! It might seem like a waste to you, but it's actually an investment (and tax write off) that will make you look better in the end. O course if you don't have the funds to grab simple stuff like paint or whatnot, ask some friends. You never know what they have lurking in their garage. Also check online for cheaper prices.

Sometimes however, spending the money can't be avoided so you just have to save up to get that part you need. Just make sure you know FORE SURE it's what you need. It sucks to buy something that you can't use.

So the next time you grimace at that 5$ you have to drop on some bauble to improve a prop, just remember it's all worth it in the end....


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Now hear this!!

Are you sick and tired of sound men blowing a cue so simple as "Pause"? We all suffer from this affliction. However there is a product I have found (and successfully used) that will help alleviate all of this. It's called Ijet. If you own an ipod, iphone or an itouchmyselfwhenIthinkofyou then this is a must have to those who have music or cues in their act.

Now back to the show...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Snip, snip....

Dear magicians,

Please stop using your fingers like scissors to "cut" rope. It's insulting to the audience's intelligence and gives away the method. Find another joke that is not so tired and over-used.


The mngmnt.

PS: If I went back in time and Killed Tabary, what do you think modern rope magic would look like?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Who was that masked man?

I was recently at Magic Live talking with Steve Brooks (Yes THAT Steve Brooks) about the silliness of magicians and anonymity on the internet. Anyone who has been reading this thing for.. however many years it's been now, knows I will gladly own up to anything I say and defend it. If I didn't mean what I say, I wouldn't say it. Sure it might not make me many friends but if someone is going to get in a snit over something someone says about them on the internet, I don't want to be friends with those people anyway.

On the flip side, there is a certain bit of truth in being anonymous. (Just ask those anti-scientology people) You can find out just how they feel and get a better truth when they are protected. In some ways it's the only way for some people to be themselves... by NOT being themselves. It's an odd dichotomy. The main drawback of course is that if you get too mouthy and then found out, you can have a world of hurt brought down upon you.

So for you magi out there who think yer hot shit because you are a faceless entity in cyberspace just remember there are people smarter than you with better toys and if you push the line too far, you just might be in a bit of trouble for a while.

Now here's Tom with the weather...

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Fly you fools!!

Before I toddle off to my (very) late night gig, I want to share with you one of the thoughts that crossed my mind at the recent PCAM/CAM convention (Which was killer might I add).

I have talked about how we know the end of the trick so we forget that the audience doesn't also share this arcane knowledge. This fact tends to put us into a rut of crap performances and I hit upon a reason why...

We forget to make the journey interesting because we already know the destination.

we just want to get to that wow moment. Like an over-zealous teenager who tries to undo that bra too soon, we jump the gun and just leave the best moments flapping in the breeze as it were.

A lot of times stepping back from out material and looking at it as if we had never seen it before can be beneficial. Look at the build up (if there is any) as if you didn't know the end game. You might find some ways to make the outcome more interesting and the ride there more exciting. Let's face it...

Getting there is half the fun.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


In my lecture this weekend I tried to hammer home the ability to be creative is to put restrictions on yourself. If you have read my Creativity Notes then you know what I mean.

As an example, have a look at This. The makers of the short films were allowed to ONLY use the same 6 lines. This makes them focus on how to tell a story without saying too much.

As magicians we tend to be wordy bitches and rely and over-explaining things. Why not limit yourself to as little dialogue as you can and see if you can tell the same story. You never know...

It just might change your life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pick one please...

Hey, female magi, do me a favor. Please stop putting your "modeling" shots into your promo material. I know someone with a camera said they were gonna make you look purty.. and they most likely did but leave the non-magical shots on your facebook page or make a separate site for modeling stuff ok?

We get it. We know you have breasts and you are attractive. That will only get you so far... well in magic anyway. In life it will get you everywhere...

What was my point again?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mod and Fab...

So I have removed the polls featured and decided to try out a little tagbox on the right side. For those of you watching us from an RSS feeed, come by the real site and say hello.

More blather soon...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Are you threatening me?

Some of the best creative innovations start out with "What if?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm surprised...

Roland hasn't posted this before me...

Remember VHS?

I had a realization in my kitchen. No matter the format, there have always been mediocre magicians putting out shoddy videos just because they had access to the equipment. The only difference now is the cameras are nicer and the output if higher.

The moral of the story is magicians have sucked for a very long time.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Like yoda only cheaper...

Have you ever seen someone who advertises themselves as "So-and-so: Master Magician"? Of course after you watch their act you realize they are under some sort of delusional alien influence?

Here is a little something to gnaw on in your brain kiddies: A true master never says that he is.

This thought brought to you by Kung-Fu Panda

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Den of...

As I am preparing for my lecture in Tuscon tomorrow and looking over random notes, I came upon a thought I had jotted down in my phone.

Thieves are not competition.

Anyone who would purloin someone else's art will never be in your arena to pose a threat to you IF you are a true professional and truly want to make something of yourself and your career. If someone steals from you make sure they know you don't like it, but move on and become bigger and better than them. There is no better revenge than success...

aside from having sex with their girlfriend of course.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Isn't that my couch?

Dear magicians,

If you dress in an eccentric costume or play and eccentric character outside of the norm, please stop doing fucking card tricks. It's anachronistic. It doesn't FIT. You can probably use tarot cards or maybe cards made of wood or metal if you insist but they are out of place with a style of dress that is already out of place.


The mgmnt.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Waxing poetic...

I wish I could quit you...

Monday, June 06, 2011

Yo mama...

I think magic inventors charge so much for their products merely out of spite. Dealing with some of these people just makes you so angry you want to put them in the poor house for revenge.

Just sayin'...

Silver spoon and a paper plate...

So while I troll the cafe looking for amusement I came across This Thread.

After reading it I agree with a few of the other people on there. Let me quote a bit: "You want your magic spoon fed to you on a silver (expletive deleted) platter. He shows so many different effects and possibilities on the demo, you didn't actually think that's what you were buying is it? It's a utility gimmick and I got that right from the demo watching it ONCE. Have we become so reliant on other people just handing us a routine that we can't think for ourselves anymore? Maybe you should just step away from the "Buy Now" button if you are gonna just take your ball and go home when you have to think for yourselves every so often. Oh "boo hoo" I can't do this one thing. DO YOUR OWN THING!!"

I don't think I could have said it better. Have we really become this co-dependent? Who is to blame? The creators or the consumers? Fuck it, let's just start making up excuses so we don't have to take responsibility for our own stupidity. The sun was in our eyes, my parents didn't hug me enough, my parents hugged me a little TOO much, the dog ate my homework, I'm a bi-polar manic depressive anti-social midget albino! I CAN'T THINK FOR MYSELF!!!

I hope I made my point...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Old busted hotness...

So in an effort to spice up your lives, my store front has undergone a new look. It also has it's own home too at (Mobile version coming soon)

Also, don't forget, Helter Shelter; The Movie is STILL only 10$ until the end of May... so hurry up and buy it already!!

Friday, May 27, 2011


I used to say I weep for the future of magic. I have come to realize that magic will be fine. There are some very focused on magic only youngsters out there. Mind you they have no other interest and just create magic for the sake of magic. I now am afraid for the future of not magic... but entertainment.

Thankfully every so often I meet a youngin' that restores my faith in the fact that being a performer means something and that there is still hope for not just magic but the art of mass amusement as well.

So for those magical Che Guevaras of you out there, I salute you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


As a magic product releaser type person, I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt. If I could just will these products into being without any overhead, I would likely give the ideas away because I like to think they are good and that good magic should be out in the wild.

It's such a slippery slope I am on with my beliefs on magic capitalism and the product I release. I am in a love/hate relationship with the fact that this is how I make my living right now. It's great to have your stuff appreciated but on the other side of the double sided two-face coin, it kind of sucks that this is what it takes to get noticed in magic.

I have been at two magic conventions this week. I noticed something strange. If someone show you a sleight you have never seen, you don't ask them if they sell it. You might ask to learn it or if it's published somewhere. However, if you show someone a tangible toy that fools them and they have never seen, then they ask if it's for purchase. This is kinda fucked up if you ask me... which you didn't.

Isis forbid you do something killer that you aren't willing to part with for a tiny bit of your soul and some cold hard cash. In this day and age, everything is for sale and when it's not, people look at you like the RCA dog.

Just something to think about...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New version...

Dear magicians,

can we stop putting 2.0 next to every release you put out because you realized yer original sucked? Why not wait a while before you release it so you don't have to pretend yer a computer programmer?


The mngmnt.

Monday, May 16, 2011

pee ess...

I feel this way about the magic cafe sometimes...

Hidden in plain yogurt...

There is a concept in magic that I think takes more skill than any manipulation. It's using comedy as a subtlety.

If you find yourself trying to accomplish a move or maybe needing to get one object somewhere else all sneaky like, why not hide it in comedy.

Sometimes an idea requires something a little sneakier than just plain old misdirection. Sometimes it requires bawls. Having the confidence in yourself and your material to just blatantly make a joke of it. It's not a talent you can buy or learn from any book. It's just good ol' fashioned experience. So the next time yer stuck, make it funny.

Helps with sex too...

Monday, May 09, 2011

Quothe Jimmy Walker....


Ok so maybe I am paraphrasing a bit. I have been sitting on this thought for a while and since I haven't said much in a while, (and I am reorganizing my character and creativity lecture soon), I thought I would finally hash this ramble out.

Jon Armstrong has a concept he spoke about in (I think) Genii magazine a few years back and I also believe it's part of his lecture. He speaks of trying to figure out your super power. What can you do better than anyone else. You shouldn't be able to do everything on the same level.

While I like the concept I think it is going in the wrong direction... at least for me.

One of my creativity tenets is "magician, restrict thyself". So in the yin to Jon's yang (That sounded less dirty in my head) I offer this thought. Decide what powers you DON'T have.

I will start. I am not a levitator. I do not make things rise in the air. Plain and simple. I don't float shit... in any way. Not with my mind nor with some mysterious spooky powers. Period.

This concept will not only allow you to work on the things you can do, but help you filter out the stuff you won't do. Decide here and now if you don't play with fire... or multiply things... or possibly bend helpless flatware with your brain. Make the decision that you don't create life or pluck paste boards from the air now!

This line of thought is not meant to be an opposing view but more as an addendum to an already solid concept. They are essentially the same thing. One gives you options and the other hones those options to a fine point. The rest is up to you.

Anubis help us all.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I get by with a little...

So one of our fellow amusing wordsmith of the magic variety has a contest like thing going on and has asked me to help spread the word like an STD.

So watch the video and give it a thumbs up will yah? You'll be glad yah did.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Words of wisdom... now in song form!!

Yes I realize the irony of this video on this journal. Shut it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Can't find what you are looking for?

Make it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

With the proper amount of force...

As I get older and work more and more on stage doing stand up I find that some things in my perspective change.

Such as card forcing. If you can't do a classic force, then maybe you shouldn't be doing a trick where forcing a card is required. On stage I think the force has to come off as fair and open as possible. Slip force, hindu, or any other convoluted cluster fuck card handling just won't do.

Close-up is a different animal because you can still misdirect in close quarters. However if you work stage, you need to make sure it looks like you have little to no control over the pasteboard proceedings as possible.

Just a thought...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Puff, puff, bitch...

Someone pointed something out to me today that is very amusing. Humans are, by nature, contrary beings. We love hypocrisy even when we can't spell it.

The entertainment world (as well as the world in general) is full of people who do illicit things. Many of them indulge in some recreational cigarettes that johnny gubmint isn't too keen on. Mind you these are the same people who don't condone piracy because it's "wrong and illegal". I got news for you boyos who do this, you can't really pick and choose. You will, but then your argument will become invalid.

So the next time someone is waxing poetic about their loathing of people who download magic off torrent sites while passing around a spliff, call them a hypocrite and tell them to stop bogarting that shiz.

Then go pirate something of Eric Mead's just to piss him off.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Turn on the angry music...

Sometimes it irks me when people I know full well hardly do gigs and call themselves a "professional" this or that. In the states, I have heard the status of "pro" is defined as someone who makes most if not all of their living from some form or something or other. So I suppose if you do nothing with your life and do a performance once or twice a year and they pay you, that definition holds true. Ah loopholes.

In other places, I have seen it referenced that if you are proficient at something you are a pro. I know many people who are great technicians with cards but can't entertain a thought let alone a group of people. Does this make them professional? I say no. I'm not saying you need to be a ninja master of what you do, but you need to be coherent in as many of the aspects of what your job entails. (This of course is mostly geared to the entertainment business. Not a lot of lawyers or accountants throwing this term in front of their monikers.)

I believe it is up to you to decide but you need to be honest with yourself. Just because it sounds good on a business card doesn't make it right. Sure, you can lie to yourself but eventually you will be found out. The proof is in the pudding... or the yogurt or wherever it's supposed to be.

Put that in yer pipe and smoke it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I saw this on another magic blog and really liked it.

On another note: I am glad to see so many liberally minded magicians speaking their mind on the internet nowadays. I don't mean those armchair asshats over at the green weenie either. I am talking about people who don't like their language watered down. The ones who see something wrong around them and aren't afraid to stand up and tell someone about it... even if that someone is the internet. In some small part of my brain I'd like to think I helped someone realize they had a place to say what they wanted to online instead of some crappy forum full of amateurs and douche canoes™.... much like how the Magic Circle jerk originally opened my eyes to this zany outlet lo those many years ago.

One for my homies...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Clever title goes here...

Two things,

One: If you are into weird presentations for magic and possibly sacrificing rubber ducks to Charles Nelson Reilly, then check out this e-zine, Bizarro. I have nothing to do with it, I just find it amusing.

Bee: Someone named DJ just emailed me about the hidden cash post and my junk mail folder ate it... so could you please resend yo. Thanx!

As you were...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Can I get some change?

There are some plots I am not into in magic. The bill change is one of them. Seems like a waste of power. However, much like Tommy Wonder, if I get to thinking about something I will work on my own touches for it. In an attempt to make a more foolproof version of the old 2$ to two 1's effect, I came up with an idea I think is of my own design.

Since I will probably not do this in my day to day routines, I am going to proposition you my dear readers. ("20 bucks, same as in town") I need some people to go out and test this in real world conditions and report back to me. So the next 5 people who email me will get an explanation of how the bill change is done BUT only if they will go out and see how it plays for real people. Free magic and all you have to do is perform? That's right, I am a kind and benevolent dog.

So hit me up before this offer ends.

Operators are standing by.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I just happen to have...

Remember a while back when I talked about how illusions were getting passe' for the modern audience? How they might be fooled but they just don't care? Well I think I stumbled upon another area of stage magic where the world might have just moved past it all.

Prediction effects

I have always said I don't believe coincidence is magic. It's too perfect if you will. "I just happen to have your card TATTOOED on my leg!" I think when you bring out some bring pop where you made a "prediction" ahead of time and the props look like they have been professionally made is just not believable.

Oh sure, just like the illusions they may not know how it's done and clap at it, but do they really care? Sure there are exceptions. However on the whole, I think we live in a more jaded educated world where we are no longer burned at the stake for being witches and people know what we are doing is mere trickery.

If you want to argue with me that people still come up to you and believe you have spooky mind powers go ahead. Those same people prolly go to psychics and believe fairies carry electricity into our light bulbs to make them illuminate. Sometimes, you have to look at the source.

I think it's more powerful to write the "prediction" down in front of them. That whole "before the show" shit has to stop people. It's just insulting to the audiences intelligence. If you are looking for filler and have to resort to mentalism, then you just aren't trying...

or don't care.

Flawed Logic...

Earlier today an associate and I were talking about how if a performer is TOO nice, he has little to no authority over a crowd and can be easily overtaken. The performer could be very edgy or authoritative off stage, but if he is a push over in front of s crowd, it can backfire.

No one on this PLANET is 100% shiny happy people. Everyone has flaws. It's why we tend to like some people. We can relate to someone who has some rough edges. We like that.

Magicians try so hard to be above everyone else sometimes that they become off putting and unrelatable to the people watching.

Even the nice guy needs an edge. Not necessarily being a dick onstage, but being a little mischievous or having a slight twisted sense of humor. The audience begins to like you more because you are like their friends. A little... off.

So if you wonder why you might not be getting that reaction you want, maybe be a little snarky from time to time.

Sometimes being bad can be good.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Japanese for Umbilical?

Be amused people!

Friday, March 11, 2011

This title is for Andrew...

Anyone who knows this journal will know I am a big proponent of females in magic. Well Paper Crane has finally done something interesting. So good on them.

Spread the word and let's see what comes of it.

Mars Needs Proofreaders!!

Alright, well maybe not proofreaders per say. However I am looking for some very brave souls who are willing to go thru the last 7 years of this journal and tell me their favorite posts.

I want to compile a "Best Of" and make it into something that resembles a book (Along with some other bonus stuff nyuk nyuk)

Anyone who wants to undertake this can just email me the dates and/or posts they find to be their favorites. It could be because they are funny, informative, or thought provoking. In return you will get a free copy when it comes out and even your name in shiny letters somewhere in the collected tome.

So step to my literate minions!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choice of a new generation?

Jeff McBride hosts a weekly online session thingy every Monday. On there was someone I have known for longer than I want to reveal. He was asking people to suggest how they can get a younger crowd to come out to the magic conventions.

here is my suggestion: Get rid of the close minded ass clowns that you have booking the acts!! Far too often some has-been or wannabe magician has been put into a position of power and, as most do, abuse it by hiring the SAME DAMN ACTS YOU SEE AT EVERY CONVENTION!!

"I am hiring this act because I want to see him live." or "This guy is my friend. I should do him a solid."

These are the two scenarios that make the most sense to me because mental illness or retardation seem only slightly less logical. Hey, want to bring in a younger crowd? Here is an idea: Hire people you don't see at magic conventions!

Don't believe me? Let me paint you a picture. Last week of April, 2010 - Magic vs. Science at the castle (Or Magic Woodstock as some have started calling it). Rudy Coby brought in acts that had never or hardly worked at the castle and guess what? They had the highest growing April IN CASTLE HISTORY! Read that line again. Highest... Grossing.

So instead of blowing your budget on a few "names" why not line up some unknown talent. People on their way up in the magic world? Maybe some guys that the young kids want to see... gawd forbid.

If this is a trend you keep seeing and are sick of it too, let your voices be heard. Email, call, morse code your feelings to someone who might listen. They can ignore 1 or 2 angry letters but 100... 1000? That's a little more difficult. (I doubt there are even 100 people who read this, but you get my point)

So if some of you convention bookers happen upon this article by some chance, such as some disgruntled convention goes trying to open your eyes, don't ignore it. Look outside your own little close-minded tux and tails kinda world. Find out what the current generation wants to see and don't dismiss them because they are a bunch of youtube using window lickers (Even if they might be). They are paying customers you are IGNORING! Don't be that guy.

You know who you are...

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Damn the man...

Fight the power!

(Real rant coming soon I think)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So, you didn't believe me when I said dancing cane was dead hunh? You scoffed when I insisted that it had been adopted by ravers and hippies hunh? Well here is proof that even your grandfather can do it.

Yah and guess what? They are being marketed to the general public as a "Flow-wand". Dancing cane is over. It's done. Snap yours in half. Point the blame at whomever you wish.

Besides, they are all better at it than you are.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nice to see something different from time to time....

Magicians don't exist....

Just got done watching the movie L'illusionniste. It's a cute but depressing little film especially if you are an entertainer. It shows the decline of the variety arts in the start of the 60's. Back when live theater had to vie for attention against rock bands and TV.

Struggling is nothing new to someone who wants to be an entertainer full time but as I tend to say... The only ones who fail in this business are the ones who give up.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our good friend Christopher Lyle, who you might remember from his cameo role in our PSA video, shared a story on the big green.

Tis' amusing.

PS: (Stole this from WMF) This is retarded.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eat me/ Drink me

I believe that a lot of magic creators are not the best at performing their miracles. As someone who makes stuff I can attest that sometimes you get narrow minded about the one or two things it can do and you just kinda stop because it "works".

The reason I being this up is because I like magic with soda. Mostly canned drinks. So despite what Roland might think of him, Michal P. Lair has some clever stuff from time to time (And yes some of it isn't so much).

The first two things on that demo video I just linked to I like quite a lot. Very subtle and in the right situation can be very fooling. The rest... I'm not so sure about.

"In the right hands, that could be a miracle" - Roger Klaus to Steve Bedwell

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hey what's going on in France right now?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Dear magicians,

To those of you who think you can just get by on using animals and having money instead of cultivating talent...

Die in a fire.



Friday, February 04, 2011

Illusions of grandeur...

Looking at a photo of a "new-ish" illusion and I came to the realization that I think a good chunk of the public is over it.

I think magicians are, as usual, holding on to a tired concept for dear life in hopes it will bring them fame and fortune. All the while the rest of the world has moved on and left us in the dust. They want "reality", (or at least what they are spoon fed as reality), not big shiny boxes that take some suspension of disbelief on their part to make it work.

They want personalities to watch. They want to see stupid drama or interesting characters. People performing vivisection on themselves in some plywood prop just won't, pardon the pun, cut it anymore.

But I hear you clamoring, "Bizzaro you magnificent bastard, people still clap, ooh and ahh and even say they have no idea how it's done." Yah well most people don't know how a microwave works. You don't see them jumping to their feet when someone makes a pot pie do you? Getting a Pavlovian reaction from people and them actually enjoying it are two different things.

So sell those bulky boxes and spend that money on some acting classes or hire a director to make you more interesting. Still want to do illusions? Find a way around the box syndrome. Find a way to make YOU shine thru.

This... I command!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now that I have dipped my toes into the infested waters that is magic downloads, I thought I would toss my hat into the political ring. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Everyday things...

I never set out to create something that is either based on an old principle nor for release to sell. However, it sometimes works out that way. Hence my first official foray into the world of magic video downloads:

Right now it's 12 dollars, but soon it will jump up to $16 so act now!

ALSO: I am offering one free download to the first person who can tell me where the name "Threek" comes from.

So take a stab at it, you might get lucky... ZING!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Love me me , kill me, fool me, bore me...

I have a love/hate relationships with acts like This.

An act like this can be very entertaining and commercial, however I myself would never want to do something this reliant on sound effects timing. If just one things gets off you are screwed and it gives you VERY little room for improv or having fun with the audience. It's almost like you are performing at them and not for them.

The plus side is you look very polished and practiced, but if you go too far certain moments can come off as fake and forced. It's a fine line you must walk if you plan to do an act like this.

Sound good?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Commercial magic...

I was just watching a commercial where women were randomly handing each other yogurt. I understand it's all metaphor and theatrics to sell product, but it's also insulting to the intelligence of the person watching the TV. They don't really expect us to believe that being handed a cupful of bacteria by a stranger is going to illicit anything but strange looks and possibly security being called?

I don't watch TV for this reason. Commercials are dumb. Some are clever, but they are few and far between. ow does this apply to magic you ask? Well I will tell you Mr. Happy Consumer.

Think how annoyed people get watching dumb commercials that insult them on a mental level. Talking down to them, forcing them to believe ridiculous premises... sound familiar? Do you think the same people who dislike that kind of mental bombardment appreciate it when they are NOT watching TV?

Look at your magic... closely. Do you have any routines, patter, or tricks in general that could be off putting to a thinking person? (If you work solely for mental midgets then I suppose you can ignore this post but for the rest of you.) It's like I always say: I like to insult my audience, but not their intelligence.

Stick that in your idiot box and smoke it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Telling someone in Vegas you are a magician is like saying you are an accountant ANYWHERE else.

I forgot how fun and amusing it is to do magic to random strangers. If you haven't brightened the day if someone in the service industry in a while try it.

It's quite refreshing sometimes.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Snap into it...

I'm really getting sick of magicians starting their explanations with "Let's get into it".

Even our speech patterns are getting mundane now. Ugh!