Monday, September 17, 2012

Don't do the math...

If I ever added up the amount of money I have spent on buying materials to make props and try out ideas I would likely go mad. Then to factor in how much of that was wasted on stuff that didn't work would just cause me to go on a three state killing spree wearing someone head as a hat. (yes that was a Con Air reference. Get over it.)

If I was to stop and think about it all it might actually deter me from creating and experimenting. That, boys and girls, is one of the secrets to my creativity. Never give up and try everything.

The only way to learn is to fail. That is find the ways that DON'T work. Don't let the cost deter you (tho' do be smart and get the best deal. Don't just jump on the first thing you see. There might be a cheaper alternative. (Sometimes you just need a little patience.) Obviously don't spend money you don't have just for the sake of a magic trick, but set aside a little bit here and there if it's super important.

Just don't do the math...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pro Noun?

A friend of mine sent me this in an email today. Not sure if he was trying to tell me something but there is some real silly shit in this list. A lot of the stuff seems geared at being a money hungry a-hole but I will comment as I see fit.
If you think like an amateur and you want to book more corporate gigs (or any type of gig) then you’re going to fail. There is a huge difference between amateurs and professionals. I’m going to give you 15 different mindsets that pros have which allow them to get gigs while the amateur struggles.

1. Amateurs call themselves “magicians.” Pros consider themselves to be a “business.”
I can see how this is both true and not at the same time. However, if someone asks me what I do for a a living I am sure as hell not going to tell them I am a "business".

2. Amateurs focus on how many shows they do per year. Pros focus on how much they make per year.
Have you ever been around someone who ONLY worries about the bottom line? Man they sure are a fun lot to be around lemme tell yah.

3. Amateurs buy tricks. Pros invest in marketing material that improves their business.
Again, both true and not. I think a working pro does both if the material can benefit them.

4. Amateurs do marketing when they feel like it. Pros do marketing even if they don’t feel like it.
I think a working pro will market PERIOD. Most hobbyists won't even bother.

5. Amateurs talk about working on their “show.” Pros talk about marketing their show.
This is some big time BS. I don't know ANY pros who sit around talking about marketing their shows unless it's in a closed door meeting with a venue or their team of people whose job it is. A good performer NEVER stops working on their show.

6. Amateurs spend money they get from a show. Pros invest money back in their business.
They both spend money they get from shows. How else would they get money? Sheesh...

7. Amateurs hang out on forums. Pros are too busy marketing to hang out on forums.
Yah I'm just gonna leave this one alone because it was obviously written by an idiot.

8. Amateurs hang around other magicians. Pros hang around other businessmen.
I think someone just took and reworded some business pamphlet for some of these. That or they have NEVER spent any time around magicians in their LIFE.

9. Amateurs talk bad about other magicians. Pros do things for other people to talk about.
So does that make Criss Angel a professional Amatuer because he does both of these things at the same time?

10. Amateurs make excuses about why they can’t do something. Pros do whatever it takes to make it happen.
This might be the only one I fully agree with. Someone who takes the business seriously will never give up and keep pushing for that next show or opportunity.
By the way, you might want to reread the intro and the part I bolded. The funny thing is the article only listed 10 things. I guess pros don't have time to count?

What I got from this was that the person who wrote it only cares about money and has no regard for anyone who wants to create art and entertain. If you get to the point where this is the black and white way you see your performing career, just stop and go open a real business somewhere. Stop clogging up the already hardened arteries of entertainment with your stupid ass. The rest of us would like to work and stop having lackluster money-grubbing fame hounds making a bad name for the rest of us.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Wait... what?

Did Criss Angel REALLY  just post this on Twitter?

"Don't get how people steal material/image &look in the mirror-NO ethics"

This was my reaction:

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Magical Vs. Impossible

Dai Vernon is credited with saying something to the effect of "confusion is not magic". I want to add my own thoughts along this line to the magic world by saying impossible does not equal magical.

I think doing something impossible and doing something magical are two different realms. Much like we seem to lump all performing traits under the term "character" we seem to just fist every thing that is supposed to be magical into the category of "magic".

Much like my popular stance that coincidence is not magic so too shall this gem rest right next to it.

What got me thinking of this was watching the demo for an animated torn and restored card. I like to think that magic has a very defined clear cut effect to it. Tricks that I feel sit under the impossible umbrella are things that either don't make sense or are not magic in and of themselves. It's a very thin line I admit.

Usually magic is best when it serves a purpose or fills a need. Let me explain it to you using hand puppets and this little one act play I just made up.

Random Person: "Man I am hungry"
Magician: hand me that napkin (magician makes sandwich appear from empty napkin)
Person: "Wow that was amazing! Thanks!"

Magician: "Watch me take this sandwich and make it penetrate halfway thru this pane of glass"
Confused Person: "Um...ok."
(Magician fuses sandwich and glass as one)
Person: "Wow that was.. weird. Why did you do that?"
Magician: "Because I can..."

That might be a tad extreme but doing something random like the second example serves no purpose other than eye candy. Magic is impossible. Impossible is not always magic.

Does this mean all your magic needs to serve a function? Hell no! However the moments of magic should make sense to the task at hand. Ambitious card is magic. It is structured as such. Turning an apple into an iphone? Not so much. Doing something impossible "just because" may seem like magic to some but in the end...

it might just be damned silly.