Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Randi Rains on your parade...

Today's guest column comes from a very talented prop maker and designer, Randi Rain

When I was asked to write something for this blog, it was suggested I write about how I am always “bitching” about magicians “bitching” about props that they have bought. Bitching is a magicians favorite past time, but I am tired. I am oh so tired. Like I heard from my mother all of the time growing up, “I don't know how much more I can stand.” So complaining about magicians complaining is not going to help, and I don't have it left in me to even try.

So I thought instead I would go a different route this time. I will attempt to explain to magicians how to buy their props so that they don't piss me off. It's really not that hard either. If every magician will follow two simple rules, everything will be just fine.

The first rule is to know that you are not a review board. You should never buy a magic item where your sole intention is really to go on the magic cafe and tell people what you think of it. You are not an authority. If you were, you wouldn't need to buy anything in the first place. Of course we all know that some stuff is just junk and thrown out there for a quick buck, and if that is the case it should be mentioned, but original items are not the same thing. Remember this part. If you buy an original prop from an original creator, meaning “one of a kind”, then you can't be an expert. Now you may have suggestions. There may be parts you would like to change, but going and telling the magic cafe world isn't going to help that in any way, shape, or form. All you have done is confused the whole thing and any progress on improvements that you would have liked has pretty much come to a halt. So instead, you should contact the creator, not complaining mind you!, but telling them what you wished the improvements would be. More than likely they will do them for you and the product will grow. See, pretty simple so far. Rule 1: You're not an authority.

Now the second rule is even simpler. This rule is, don't buy a piece of magic expecting it to make you a magician. If you can break down your reason of your purchase to, “this makes me a magician”, do not purchase it because it is not true. You should first have an idea. You should have a direction that you want to go. This way you can know what you need to buy. The key word there is “need”. For example. A routine that requires a vanish of a bottle would need such a prop, so therefor Neilson would be a good choice. So you go buy one. You should never buy a prop, such as the one in the example, and then expect IT to make you a routine. If you are one that does that, then you have know idea how entertainment works and shouldn't be attempting it. You should also go back and reread the first rule.

Now there is an exception to this rule, and that is where you see a prop and it triggers an idea. That happens a lot in people who know what they are doing. You see, people who know what they are doing are always thinking. Thoughts are flying through constantly even to the point of insanity some times. Those who are able to stay sane, organize those thoughts in little cubbyholes inside the brain. They are there waiting for the key that unlocks them, and sometimes that key is a new prop that they have discovered. You can plainly see that it's still a not expecting the piece of magic to make you a magician. It is a magician making the prop a piece of magic.

So many people, who call themselves magicians, buy pieces of magic on a whim. People buy on impulse. They have to have that new thing that they think will make them a magician. One could say, “they are like kids in a candy store.” Well, not really. They are more like perverted deviants in a sex shop trying to find out what new apparatus there is that they can stick in some orifice. It gets to the point of being sickening some times. That's not what magic is, but!.. If you must, because it may be a disease that can't be helped, reread rule number one. Rule 2: Have a need.

Those are the rules. Pretty simple in my mind, but maybe some people don't understand the “why” with these rules. Let me explain. I build, create, invent magic because people ask me to. There are people out there that want me to share what I can do with the rest of the world. That's because there are a lot of people out there with a need for me share what I can do. There are a lot of ideas out there and even more locked up in those cubbyholes I talked about earlier. Original creators are not out to scam anyone. They are not out to rip people off. They are just simply trying to make a living. No different than anyone else in this world. So remember this the next time you feel the urge to blab about some apparatus that didn't quite get you off hard enough.