Friday, August 31, 2012

Remember, remember...

I think vanity playing cards have now passed from novelty to the collector's market. The reason for this is there is now a market for them. With every new release I get the feeling magic companies are just pumping cards out for the hell of it sometimes.

A recent item had this as part of their ad copy: For the misfits, the rebels - those who challenge us, inspire us; those who say maybe when others say “no” - let the games begin. Enjoy the Rebellion.

Ok first off let's back that pretentious train up a bit. It's not the occupy movement or the 70's. There is nothing challenging about a stack of paper. Second, wouldn't a better rebellion be NOT buying the cards when everyone else will be? This kind of idea is about as rebellious as shopping at a Hot Topic.

It's just a deck of cards guys not a protest song. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's just that easy...

As an exercise in creativity, watch this:

See what he did there? He took a trite effect that makes no sense (spirit hand) and put a story around it. (Yes then he beefed it up a bit but that's not the point)

It's not that hard to look at a magic trick or item an figure out for a way to have it make sense.

Be the ball...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The AGT thing...

I will try and forgo my usual ranting about how America's Got Talent is a BS show that only exists to make money off singers. However this current round of "Get on the show from Youtube" magic has kinda irked me. 

First off, if you read the rules of the youtube submissions it stated you had to submit something filmed within the last year. Two of the submissions dated as far back as 1996. I would have let this all go if not for the fact I already knew one of the performers had been in talks with the AGT producers about being on the show. it seems they had to upload a YT video as a formality and were already a shoe in. I can't prove it but I also can't prove the existence of the flying spaghetti monster yet for some reason I still feel the touch of his noodley appendage in my life.

I know the show is supposed to create drama and all of that but the fact people still believe it is a totally fair show is beyond me. (Have you ever noticed how the judges outfits seem to change through the course of a show? Could it edited somehow? Naaaah) If you watched the last three magi that came on last night's show, you might notice the two who got panned the most were the ones who spent tireless hours creating their own unique props and routines and the one who made it through is doing a store bought effect that, granted he put his own touches on, not something he put his heart and soul into. 

As an aside a friend of mine callously said that "This goes to show just because something is different doesn't mean it's good. Give me Channing or Gabriel any day". (Actually he said something far more insulting but I am paraphrasing) I think classics have their place, but their days are numbered my friends.

The "judges", and I use that term lightly, have NO place to actually judge anyone aside from the fact that someone put them into that position and gave them that title. Something they themselves did not have to work for. Something in which they are merely doing for a paycheck and a free ride. It makes me ill that this show is still on the air and taking advantage of performers from all walks of life, adding to the dumbing down of America and entertainment, and basically shitting on hard working individuals who don't need their scripted bullshit.

To be fair tho', the performers did know the job was dangerous when they took it...

It's like the chicken said.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Call me fish meal...

Saw a quote on my Facebook (oddly by a chewing gum company) that I feel should be shared with the magical world.

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” - Herman Melville

Friday, August 10, 2012

The learning channel...

They say you should learn from your mistakes or you are doomed to repeat them. I say we should learn from our performances. For me every major performance is a learning experience. There is always a line that can be made better, a joke that could be told differently, a method that can be tweaked, etc.

I'm not saying that every time you perform you should walk away with something. That card trick you did for that waitress may not be a lightbulb type moment... but it could be.

Over the years I have learned from and played upon my mistakes as well. You can't ignore the tiny details because it is those things that make up the big picture.

So pay attention to your shows lest you are doomed to repeat them...

in hell.

Friday, August 03, 2012

I'm riding thru the desert...

A couple of things today my merry band of followers. One a new issue of the free magic magazine Vanish is out. I have a whole page to talk nonsense in it. I suggest you read it cover to cover.

The other is a wee bit of a contest. I have been updating the handling on an old idea and don't have a good name for it. (Some of you might remember it from the February 2007 Linking Ring parade I did) So if you devise a name for the effect I like not only will you learn it for free before it's officially published anywhere, you will get a credit for the creation. So have at thee!!