Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hey magician, leave those kids alone...

This is a post I have been sitting on for a while.

Someone associated with the SAM (which stand for "Some Are Magicians" I think) in an online podcast asked for ideas on how to get younger people to come to magic conventions. The problem with asking something like this is they are going to get many answers, but will ignore the ones they don't agree with even if they are right.

My one big piece of advice is actually hire people younger kids wanna see. No offense to Johnny Thompson, but how many conventions a year does he do? Why not do some research or maybe even ask who they younger generation would care to see? Who would they shell out cold hard cash to go hang out with in person? Why not fire these close minded gits who don't know jack about the modern magic world and just keep hiring who THEY want to see?

This brings me to other sad truth about all of this... The younger generation doesn't need conventions anymore!!

They have skype, facebook ,and even online lectures now. They no longer need to shell out cash they don't have to interact with performers and friends. They don't need a dealer's rooms. They can get all they need on the internet. If your convention cannot offer up something they can't get elsewhere you will NEVER get your numbers up. There is no incentive anymore.

This is one of the many reasons so many magic conventions have died over the last year. We don't need them. Evolution is weeding out the sick and old. Oh sure you still get younger kids coming out who are actually serious about the craft, but your hobbyist market is done for unless you can deliver and let's face it, most magicians could barely deliver a pizza.

Time to grow some thumbs or get left behind.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Suck it up...

Saw this on Jeff McBride's twitter - "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." ~ Albert Einstein

There is a good lesson here and a story. I recently resurrected an old idea I have been toying with for almost a decade.  I would come back to it and see if there was a way to improve it. However I didn't know what it needed, I just knew I would know it when I saw it. The other day I finally got it. It's visual and easier than the original concept.

The moral? Don't give up. If you believe in something or if you just REALLY wanna do it don't give up. It might take you half your life but one day, if you are patient enough, you will get it.

It's all just a matter of time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Get down on it...

Let's say you come up with a great idea for a trick. You don't think anyone but you would like it so you keep it to yourself and eventually get bored with it and it fades into the back of your brain. A few years later you see someone else releasing the same idea and making money off it. Now you kick the hell out of yourself for not being a whore and selling it. What do you do hot shot.. what do you do?
Well there isn't much you CAN do. Oh sure you can bitch and moan on the forums and to your friends. It might get you somewhere but chances are you will look like an idiot. You just have to sit back and let it go.

However, I think this is one of the factors that started the "get to market" first attitude of many magicians today. They are afraid they will be left behind or ripped off so to protect their ideas they are forced to sell it and therefore devalue it a bit. It's a fine line a magic creator walks. Mind you if they are a truly creative person losing one idea to someone else is not that big a deal because by the time everyone is catching up they are still 3 steps ahead.

It can be a frustrating ho' however.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Marked Man

So the winner of the Marked Man contest is Brendan Croft from Australia. He was sneaky and got the closest to guessing how many posts this blog had.

For the rest of you, feel free to go to and purchase the new DVD for yourself!

While you're doing that, let me regale you with some thoughts I have on tricks like  the ones I have on the MM DVD. One thing I am sick of seeing is when magicians sell one effect that is a 10 second thing that would work great as an opener or bit of business in the middle of a routine. However these little fucknuts can't spell the word routine let alone put one together so they just slap something together without road testing it and try to make a quick buck.

Usually these things have merit but weren't thought thru enough. Regardless, something that lasts the blink of an eye is not magic by itself. (Unless it's DAMN good) By adding these little moments into your existing effects you can create a more thought out picture that makes you look like a competent performer...

Even when yer not.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I, card trick...

What does magic look like? No one knows right? However we all have a picture in our mind of what it should look like and it's always different from person to person. One will think that something appearing should fade into existence. At the same time another will picture it just blinking into existence.

I don't think anyone will argue that the former seems more mystical or mysterious. The problem with the latter is it can very well end up looking, well... mechanical.

The problem is we have seen things move faster than our eye can track. It can easily be dismissed by a certain "something". Sure it might still get a reaction but I'm not sure it looks magical in the end. I have seen a few tricks on the market that suffer from this mechanical feeling. It's like a sleight done too fast. It will look like a move. How do you fix this? Perhaps with a wave of the hand or a magical gesture or some moment that looks like YOU caused this to occur and not a rubber band.

To each they own...

Friday, April 13, 2012

I feel the same way...

While you count the posts here is some amusement

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Write on!

In the name of technology and progress on April 15th the "Marked Man" CD-ROM will be going away. Don't be sad. Wipe those tears from your eyes little Timmy. We are replacing it with a brand new DVD!!

20 ideas using Sharpie markers and even tips on sleeving (including something I've never shared). It will also come with a double ended sharpie marker gag. (Demo Here)

Thus I have decided it has been far too long since we had a contest and now Dun dun dunnnnn the time is NIGH!! Riddle me this Batman - How many posts have I made in this blog since it started?

The closest answer wins a free copy of A Marked Man. Contest ends April 14th. First person closest wins. GO GO GO!!

Ever seen the movie Sneakers?

There is a great moment in that movie that I have never really seen in another film. The main character is thrown in a car trunk and can only hear the road on his way to the baddies place. Later he is dumped off somewhere and heads back to base. It's there that his blind friend asks him "What did it sound like?". They narrow it down using the sounds he hears and hijinks ensue.

The reason I bring that up is because I want you to engage in a little exercise. Go grab a couple of magic props you have that serve no real purpose other than to be magic props. Sit them on a table in front of you. Stare at them hard and think to yourself, "What do they LOOK like?"

Find a way to make these innocuous props make sense to you. When they serve a purpose or resemble something people recognize, it's then you are free to create something new with them and perhaps find your own way to somewhere unknown.

This kind of exercise will help you down the road when choosing new props or tricks to perform. If you can't justify it's existence then maybe you should leave it be.

You might just change your world.