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!