Thursday, December 26, 2013

Foaming at the lips...

I have just been witness to some of the worst magic on television I think I have ever seen. (Which says a lot considering the most recent Criss Fishing Rod shows) I am 90% sure at one point they just ran the footage backward to make the "magic" happen. I have never seen so much obvious (and bad) editing in a magic special EVER.

In my opinion good magic on TV died with Gary Oullet. Today we don't have magic shows, we have reality TV with some magic in it. The worst part is shows, like this and the other before it are HURTING magic. I don't mean outwardly. The target audience of these shows will like it or they won't, just like with live shows. However internally they are doing more magic than good. By using camera angles, audio editing, and other such nonsense you are effectively telling the future generations it's ok to not have skill and cheating at your magic is ok as long as it gets ratings.

"You don't have to work hard. We can fix it in post!" 
"Just stare at them until they react. Knowing how to perform is so passe."

I am sick of this shit. As someone who takes magic seriously as a performer and an artist, this makes me very angry. I have no respect for those in front of or behind the camera. The so-called consultants who allow this kind of bad magic and TV to happen can just choke on their own magnificent penis for all I care.

For those of you thinking "Well let's see you do better captain critical", my response to you is find me some TV execs with half a brain in their head willing to give people like me a chance and I'll be happy to.

Until then we get stuck with "master magicians"...

Friday, December 13, 2013


What do you say after ten years of keeping a magic journal on the internet?

I think the question is rhetorical...

Friday, December 06, 2013

Bubble Wrap

Did you know I write articles for Vanish Magazine? Welcome to education. Now watch this video and go read the article about it.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Haters gonna hate...

You ever get the feeling someone is out to get you?

Many years ago, shortly after the big green weenie started, I got banned for speaking my mind behind closed doors. (long time readers will note my disdain for censorship and the practices of the cafe)

Eventually I had to appoint an intermediary to take up random issues about my products on the forums. Well I just was told that he too got banned. This comes upon the heels of a thread someone else started about my new Overstuft effect getting deleted.

To whomever the ass clown is who apparently has it in for me, why not contact me directly and air your grievances instead of being a huge douche and hiding behind an admin position on a website?

There is a reason websites like this exist.

Update: A second post started by some random person about the aforementioned product has also been deleted.

"A paranoid is simply someone in possession of all the facts" - Spider Jerusalem 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tiny objects, big reactions?

One thing I cannot stand is when a magician makes a small item vanish (because that is the best thing they could come up with apparently) and then demand applause for it. It's even worse when they expect it to be a BIG reaction and just hold a pose until the audience gives them that all too often heard pity applause. (I am mainly referring to stage and manip acts here)

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing a simple vanish of an object BUT (and this is a big butt) it should further the narrative of the routine. It can't be done "just because". There needs to be motivation or a reason. If it's just for the hell of it you have a LARGE field of vision for people to back track to. As a stage performer you don't have the luxury of being up close and personal to misdirect someone. You gotta be sneaky.

PS - Can we stop vanishing or color changing or whatever you do to an object and thn just reproduce it because you have no other way to ditch it? FIND A WAY!!

PPS - I had a magic trick come out Friday.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Oh internet....

You get me.

It's amazing what you can find on Google image search sometimes...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Yelp and away!

For those of you who get them, do you read reviews or comments about your shows/performances? Do you get bad ones? Do you blow them off because the person is likely a mental midget as far as you are concerned?

While this is usually true of YouTube commentators, it might be a good idea to step back and maybe see if it's not them... it's you.

Listen to detractors... but only a little bit. Don't get angry and take it personal, especially if it's the lay public. They might just have a point and you are missing it. If you see the same complaint pointed out fix it don't just dismiss it.

Mind you if they can't spell basic words correctly you might just want to ignore it complete.

Kno wat I men?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Candle Magick

This must have just FLOORED people back then (magicians included)...

I often wonder what it would have been like to be alive in the era before these kinds of things were widely available. It would have been like not knowing magic at all.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Audio Addendum

A while back I posted my guide to running your own audio (seen Here). With the new types of interfaces the idevices adopted (the "lightning" charger) you might be wondering if my advice still applies. It does but be aware of this - Much like in magic, do no buy cheap knockoffs.

They make a lightning to 30 pin adapter but due to cheap unauthorized versions coming out of (just guess where. I bet you can get it in one) you need to be aware that a genuine apple made adapter, at this point, is the only one the ijet will work with.

Always ask for the real deal.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Known Unknowns...

Take a look around the magic community. The forums, social media, etc. Take a look at what some of the more "known" magi are known for. Now ask yourself this question: What do I want to be known for?

Do you want to be seen as an authority on a certain type of effect? Do you want to be perceived as the person who doesn't credit or fakes demos that nobody trusts? (I hope not) Do you want to have other seek you out for your knowledge about props or performing prowess?

Whatever you think you might want to leave behind, start cultivating that now. It will take you ten years to get proficient at something and/or be noticed for it.* If you have no desire to leave your mark on the magic world just disregard what I have said and go on about your business.

These are not the droids you are wanting people to remember you for.

*More or less. Your results may vary. Some settling may occur during shipping

Sunday, October 13, 2013

You will be soft rocked....

Dear magicians,

Please stop using really sedate background music for your trailers. It makes an otherwise good magic product seem really dull. If your demo makes me sleepy it equates to the trick being boring. There is better low key music that doesn't sound like a relaxation tape from the 80s.


The Mngmnt.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Technically Knock-Offs don't just happen in the marketplace. Another magician can rip you off and there isn't much you can do about it other than flood the market so they will just blend into the background with everyone else.

If the product is so good that other performers want to steal it then once you sell it more thieves will appear. I myself have had one of my own things reproduced overseas and I will tell you that the quality is TERRIBLE. Thus let me get to the point...

If you buy knock-offs to save a few bucks because you are a cheap asshole then you deserve what you get.

To be fair it can be difficult to tell because other people will use your demo, images, and whatnot to sell the unauthorized copies. However, if you are on a site where English is obviously not their first language you might want to not buy from them. There are clues everywhere. If the item is sold for 20$ everywhere else and they have it for 3$... you might just be getting screwed.

Your best bet is to go right to the source and, if possible, buy directly from the creator if you can. If not head to a reputable dealer. It's really not that hard. However, if you are lazy or cheap then, once more, you deserve what you get. If the deal is too good to be true...

it most likely is.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

That little red line...

In today's world almost EVERYTHING has built in spell check somewhere. It really makes me sad when I see spelling mistakes on a product that's being presented as professional quality. The fact that most trailers, books, videos, etc usually or should go by at least 2-3 sets of eyeballs before release and still fuck up huge fascinates me.

Why do I bring this up? The new trailer for Giovanni Liver'a effect Rope, Nut, Knot has a bit of an oops moment in it:
Even if English is not your first language someone should have said something before this got posted EVERYWHERE! Did Giovanni not see this before it went live?

Ok well I guess one little slip is fine. It happens. However...
HOW THE HELL DOES IT HAPPEN TWICE!? On his second product trailer for Salt and Silver the above screw up happens and I am pretty sure Eric Mead knows how to spell sophisticated so we can't blame him.

I am eagerly awaiting the third effect trailer to see if they just unleash the trifecta of "how the hell did that slip through"?

If you ever release any product make sure you get some people to preview it before it ever hits the eyes of the public. You don't need to look like an idiot and if you hire someone else to do it and they do this kinda stuff FIRE THEM...

Out of a cannon if need be.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Hey there my friendly neighborhood smappdoodles! I have not stopped posting just been busy lately. I have some posts brewing in my skull but for now I leave you with some required reading.

Just replace the word cartoonist with magician.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bizzaro.'s Guide to Running Your Own Music

I have been sitting on this for a while mainly because I was waiting for the newest version of an app I was helping Beta Test come out. That's right. I was helping to make something better and I was doing it FOR YOU! (and myself as well)

Let me tell you how nice and liberating it is to be able to run your own music without having to deal with inept techies who can't seem to understand the complexities of "pause" and "un-pause".

There are a myriad of options for running music from your pocket. They range into the thousands of dollars area to the low hundreds. A very popular one is the Show Cues App. However if you are broke (or cheap) then 90$ for an app seems like quite a bit. 

If you think that's not pricey enough, you can go the Media Star route. (The most modern version of the much coveted MP3 tech) This one is pretty swank as it can control your lighting and whatnot as well. 

However, if you are like me and just need some fades, pauses, and other random sundry features let me tell you what I have got goin' on in my pants.

Remote Broadcast
If you JUST need to start and stop music your first stop is the iJet remote control. (well that and an ipod type device.) Now before we go any further, let me set a few things about the iJet straight. You will see or hear some people bitchin' about how it doesn't work right. The fault is actually on both sides. 

The iJet buttons don't work if you just quickly press them. This is by design so it can't accidentally go off in your pocket. You have to hold the button down for about half a second. The problem is that I have found this information nowhere in the documentation. You just kind of have to "discover" that for yourself. So it's a mix of operator error and manufacturer omission. Once you are armed with this information, it makes the whole set-up work fine.

One of the cool things about the iJet for me is the fact you can tether up to 7 remotes to one device. If you are a weird anal retentive artist type like me and want to activate your music while holding a prop and not have to go to your pocket this is a great thing.

Speaking of remotes in your pocket, let me tell you about an old tried and true trick. If you glue some tiny fake costume jewels to the play button (and any other button you plan to use a lot) you can easily activate it from the outside of your pockets.

Go Go Gadget Go Button app!
If you need something a little more stout than just the default ipod playlists then I highly recommend an app called Go Button. It's much cheaper than the aforementioned options and has recently been updated with a much better functionality than it's first iteration. It's also the program I have been helping to beta test. Many of the features it was missing in version 1 have been suggested and implemented making it a much more complete show cue interface. One of my favorite features is the ability to customize your remote button's functions.

It also let's you loop, fade, and edit songs. Like any show cue program you can layer music tracks and other various helpful commands. For self-run music it's quite handy especially now.

(For those of you who just want to have your own sound person running your music you can use this for that too or use free programs like This One to run your music and sound effects.)

In Contusion...
You have many options to help run your music yourself. If you need it, drop the hammer on the expensive ones. If you are like me and have 40-50$ laying around to commit to such a project you can't go terribly wrong with iJet and Go Button. There will always be naysayers to every solution. It's up to you to decide for yourself by being a smart consumer. Listen to your heart...

and me.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Abandon ship!

Something a friend of mine did...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Those that don't...

This goes out to all of you who are frustrated about being passed over, overlooked, or otherwise looked down on because you are trying to do something that is outside the "norm" in the entertainment business.

Most of the time the people who are in power are there because they spent their time and energy to get there. If they had any talent or propensity for being a good performer they would not be hiring other acts that THEY deem worthy.

It's like film/music/theater critics. usually they think they know all about a subject because they went to school for it, studied it, or tried it and could not succeed so now they are an "authority". Of course sometimes people who actually know their shit get put into place to wield said power, but they usually do not do so on their own volition.

So just remember, those people who snub you because you don't fit in their "box", it may not be you (it could be but that's another post entirely). Just be patient. Your day will come.

And one day those people will be dead.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Table for one?

You know what looks like crap? A guy with a tiny table on a HUGE stage. The table is already kinda small but performing it on a huge empty stage makes it look even smaller.

Just something I noticed.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm over the underground...

Dear magicians,

You really can't call yourself "underground" if you release product to the masses. You just sound like an idiot if you do. We don't have an underground anymore really. The moment you put something online for everyone to see that's it you're done. You want to be a hipster underground, then only show people stuff in person. That's it. Nuff' said.

the mngmt.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Retro Fitting?

I have a friend who is trying to learn some magic to add to her collection of skills. She has some friends who are trying to teach her how to do a Biddle count. This kind of shit confounds me. Not that they are trying to teach a beginner an upper-intermediate  sleight. It's the fact that we, as magicians, are still trying to teach people shit from books written in the early 1900's. For fuck's sake Expert at the Card Table was written in 1902!!

We are telling people to learn from books that have the phrase "Borrow a gentleman's pocket handkerchief and bowler hat".

There have been great advancements on the techniques shown in those books. I'm not even talking about DVDs but OTHER BOOKS! I know magicians are behind the times usually but this is ridiculous.

When someone asks me for a book to start someone out with you know what I tell them? The Mark Wilson Course. (Not the small pocket version but the thick ass phone book looking thing) Sure it was written in the '70s but at least it's more current than Royal Road or Scarne.

I'm fine with people liking the books, getting material from them, etc but STOP trying to push your religion on others who are first starting out. Sure you should learn the basics but there are easier ways to acclimate them to that kind of stuff in today's world.

Hell the Klutz book of magic is a good book...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reaction Time

Let me put something out there in the ether: Just because it gets reactions doesn't mean it's good.

I could strangle people in the street naked and get a reaction. Doesn't mean people like it. I am sick of hearing performers trying to validate an act, joke, or effect-for-sale with the "reaction" argument. Outside of magic, you can get a reaction from a simple false transfer with a coin. Doesn't mean I am gonna sell it on a DVD for 20$.

We fool ourselves into thinking reaction is the litmus test of how good or bad something is. Sometimes NO reaction is better because that means you fried them so hard they can't think or move. It's kinda like after sex when you... sorry forgot who I was talking to. It's like in D &D when you roll a natural 20.

A lot of comedians get nervous polite laughter and assume they wrote a good joke when in reality their line about sleeping with their sister came off less like a joke and more like a confession. The same thing happens in magic. People applaud by habit. Do enough shows you will know the good reactions from the bad.

So the next time you have an effect you wanna sell or defend because you got people on camera cussing or ma and pa six-pack are impressed at your local Wal-mart step back and write yourself a reality check.

Maybe it's not just you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I'm pretty sure magicians are the only ones who think that levitating a balloon, bubble, or bird is magic.

Want proof? Ok. Overheard at a magic convention show while watching a performer do a levitating bubble trick:
Magician: "Isn't that cool?"
Magician's Wife: "Umm.. no shit. Bubbles float."

Draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Let the right ones in...

Let me tell you a little something about myself: I am very critical of my own performances. I am always looking for ways to improve my material. Even if it's something as simple as a cosmetic change on a prop or a look or gesture.

As I have mentioned in the past, the secret to being a better performer is to give a damn. If you care you'll work on something until you are content with it. An act or performance can never be done. There is always something to improve.

The question is how do you find those improvements? Simple. Go out and effin' perform!! The more you sail the boat, the more leaks you will find. The more arrows you fire the better your aim will be. The more cats you shave the umm... furrier your.. uh.. pants will get.... (They can't all be gold).

My point is every performance is a learning experience IF YOU LET IT. Some people just perform, collect their check, and go home. Every time you perform something is different. Something is better or worse. Something can be fixed. You have to pay attention to it tho' You must be like skynet and become self-aware! Don't be too lazy either. Be proactive! (I don't mean the acne medication either) If you can't get to it right away, make a note of it. Every cell phone has a way to make notes. Take advantage of that!

The more you perform, the more chances you have to fix things. The more you fix, the better your act will get. The better your act is the happier you (and everyone who watches you) will be. So the next time you see me perform just know that afterward backstage I will be taking stock of everything that just occurred...

and possibly crying.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Trailer hitch...

More and more I have been seeing magicians disgruntled at misleading trailers or effects making claims that, like a hooker with beer flavored nipples, might be too good to be true.

Some have taken a pro-active approach to call some companies and performers on their BS while others merely sit on forums and complain. A recent post about ANOTHER post elsewhere suggested magicians are cheap bastards (and they are) and if they figure out an effect from the trailer they won't buy it because the EFFECT is the important factor not the handling. Due to that fact trick trailers are having to be "faked" in spots to prevent said cheap-assedness from occurring.

My personal belief is that if your effect isn't good enough to hold up on camera without some tweaking then maybe you need to work on it some more or not put it out at all. Anyone who has been reading this journal the last ten years (Holy crap it's almost been ten years hasn't it?) knows that I will call attention to fake demos. I haven't had to do it as much because others have taken up the task as well and tend to get to it before I do which is great!

However, the fact it still happens just goes to say a lot about our profession. The biggest problem of course is magicians suffer from one inherent flaw... we're still only human. We like to get away with things when we think we can and when we're caught we don't apologize for inconveniencing anyone... it's because we are sorry for getting caught.

Mind you some people straight up refuse to admit to shinanigans when busted but ultimately the reputation damage has been done. Magicians People will bitch about anything given half the chance, but when you know that you can limit that percentage by just doing a little thinking....

and that might be where the fault lies.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Et tu Star Trek?

I was just watching an old episode of Deep Space 9 (don't judge me) and as usual TV has to go and poke fun at magic with lines like this: "Ah, he sounds like the right type. Painfully shy, introverted, a slight lack of confidence, just the kind of person who might want to dazzle the world with his magical abilities"

I'm not going to argue with it but do you see what we're up against... and this was the 90's! It still goes on. We are seen as jokes, hence box office flops like Burt Wonderstone. I doubt our profession will ever return to what it was at it's height (before TV radio and electricity) but there has to be something we can do so shows like Arrested Development stop poking fun at us as a whole...

Regardless of how painfully funny it is.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A little plug....

So recently I added a news feed to my storefront. I've got a poll up about a possible new product right now so if you have a second go take a look.

While I have you here I wanna talk about magic products. In the last year I was working with a couple companies to release a few products for various reasons. The main one was to see what it's like. It was... interesting to say the least.

Regardless, I realized something along the way to here. We see a lot of guys in magic who seem to only make their living creating and selling (at times mediocre) magic effects. They flood the market with whatever leaks out of their ears. While some of it has merit they are seldom fully formed ideas and need more work that just a webcam audience.

This led me to the revelation that if you release too much it ceases to become special.

Magic companies fall prey to this too. They pump out other people's tricks at an alarming rate and therefore the items that could have a very long life in the sun only briefly get to bask in the light before they get buried under a deluge of crap. Thus I have become very careful once again about what I put into the hands of others. I want to know if it's something they actually want or would like, not purchase as an impulse only to die a slow horrible death in the dungeon of unwanted magic effects (ie: a virgin's er... magician's magic drawer).

I advise any of you reading this who want to release product to heed my words. Don't let your babies grow up to be magical landfill...

or cowboys.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Learn from your mistakes...

Every so often a new product pops up in magic making claims that it simulate something that is "too hard" to do. You know where most of these products end up? Magician Limbo. They spend the rest of their days being bought, sold and/or traded at magic auctions or on websites. Eventually they come to rest in the back of a closet or buried under other regretful magic purchases in a drawer soaking in the tears of yet another hobbyist.

Why not save yourself the grief and the next time some shiny new toy claims it "makes you a pro without learning the skill" just go and learn the damn skill? Sure it might take longer but it's more gratifying, far more impromptu usually and it costs you nothing but your time (time you usually spend bitching on magic forums anyway).

Sure there will be that handful of guys who will effectively utilize this wonder gimmick and it might even be their gateway drug to learning the real deal but those mythical dedicated people are few and far between. Learning some actual moves won't kill you I swear...

And if does no one will know.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Supporting my weight...

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member" - Groucho Marx

Apparently the SAM has decided they want to get 2400 likes on their new FB page in the next 24 hours. Some say it's too little too late. I say why support an organization that doesn't support you?

There are a ton of magic organizations that want your money. If these groups have actually contributed to your magic life/ career in any positive way then by all means give them your moolah. However if you have been nothing but rejected and seen other others ignored by these groups due to their close minded good old boys club elitist mentality then why would you bother?

I am sure they would tell you it's for the good of the magic community. That's great but what if you shy away from the magic community or vice versa. Organizations are not for everyone (tho' they will tell you they are) and some come to this realization too late and after the damage is done.

I also understand some people love magic so blindly that they want to be involved in anyway they can to help magic. There are those who truly want to take these groups out of the dark ages but the problem is most of them are run by people who are between the ages of 80 and death. Until they are out of the picture younger guys with innovative ideas get pushed to the side, squeezed out, or ignored.

There is a dark side to the magic world and dammit if I have to be the one lone voice to point it out and take the brunt of their ire for the rest of you so be it.

Thankfully I am not alone.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Prose and cons...

Dear magicians,

Reciting or performing over the recorded track of a poem you did not write does not make you creative or unique... especially if you are doing it to gypsy thread.

That ship has sailed.

The Mngmnt.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wizard battle?

I hope none of you are friends with these people.

(Please note: this is actually a parody website and, Flying Spaghetti Monster willing, people like this don't really exist.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Damn that rap music...

So when I was younger and older magicians tried to give me "advice" such as "You can't wear that outfit, do that kind of magic, why not do something less weird etc" I always brushed them off. It wasn't because I didn't think they were right, but I knew that wasn't right for ME.

So it amuses me when I see younger magicians bite back at other magicians online when they put up a photo or video and they start getting said "advice" from those of us who have been in the business for a long time.

One such kid on a FB group started getting messed with for his performing outfit. I'm not one to talk about what one wears onstage because I fought long and hard to get what I like to wear to an acceptable level. However, today's youth seem to be adopting the look of "Justin Bieber on his day off getting high on a  friend's couch".

It's ok to dress in a modern style but you want to look better than your audience. My friend used to say, "You want to be the best dressed or most noticeably dressed in the room" This doesn't mean Versace but it doesn't mean Wal-mart either. I can't stress this enough to younger performers: LOOK LIKE A PERFORMER!

If you want to be taken seriously by anyone wanting to hire you for something other than house parties then find a look you like but find something (or have it made) that isn't like anything everyone else is wearing. Personally I am sick of the suit coat over T-shirt look. It's lazy not hip and not very original now. Don't believe me Google "College Magicians". I don't care how clever your shirt is, stop it!

Lastly, I know the hipster look is in right now but if I see one more kid dressing like This performing magic I am lighting your beanie on fire. I'm not kidding. I'm crazy...

I'll do it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Glad they didn't find my photos...

Anyone remember Bad Magic Photos do com? Yah it's kinda like that.

I blame Burt Wonderstone.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Slug trailer...

Over on the Magic Soup Kitchen there has been some interesting talk in some various threads. One thing came up about removing the fluff from magic explanation videos. People on the street screaming, 30 second intros (or more), and other extraneous BS.

Today I saw this trailer and I am immediately reminded of why I hate trailers like this. Right now I am out in the Grand Canyon doing a gig and the net connection is iffy at best. I have to wait longer than any sane person would to see anything happen because of too much artistic crap going on in the demo. I don't care how cold you are I don't need to see you sitting by a fire. Just show me the bloody trick. You are not Theory 11. Just get on with it!

Oh if that were my only issue with the video. I am usually put off by over-boasting in magic videos. Saying something is "the most" anything in magic is ridiculous. You don't know what I have seen. I promise you a self lighting match is not the "most" anything I have ever seen. Don't turn yourselves into a liar before I even buy the product.

While we are at it, let's leave out the phrase "reputation maker" too. That's just a bit presumptuous doncha think? I could stab a bunch of people and get a reputation for that. Not sure I wanna be "the guy who sets off fire alarms by accident".

As a last thought, do you think people put bleeps in magic videos even when no one said something offensive to make it seem more edgy? I wouldn't put it past most magicians. Personally I'd rather see a studio performance of the effect straight thru...

but that's just me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

22 blows to the head...

Courtesy of Pixar.

Many of these things can easily apply to magic.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Words of wisdom...

My friend Dwayne Andrew just posted this on his facebook:

"If I could actually pass a solid ring through another by suspending the laws of physics, I wouldn't start by showing that it can't be done. Just clanging them together does not prove they are solid. It just shows that you lack imagination and skill."

This falls under the same heading as "beating Houdini's record" with a strait jacket or any other stock presentation of an effect really. 

We have a bad habit of monkey see, monkey do in magic. If it works for them, it should work for us right? That's how they do it so that's how it must be done. WRONG!

Want to be more creative? Then NEVER do the same presentation as ANYONE else... no matter how good it is. Just keep going until you find your groove. It's easier than you think and more gratifying than being a clone of the rest of the magic world.

Be your own man... or woman.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Auto-erotic Prestidigitation...

Over the last year I have been delving deeper into the sweaty crevices that are the magic product market. Let me tell you this... I am not impressed.

While navigating various magic websites I realized that there is just too much magic in our blood stream and it's CHOKING US TO DEATH!

There is so much crap to wade thru that it's hard for someone to make anything that resembles an informed decision about what is good, bad, or right for them. Inundated every damn day with so much new useless magic.

"We have so many choices for so many tastes now" I hear you exclaim. That's all well and good but it still doesn't change the fact that so much good magic gets wiped out by so much bad magic. Oh sure a solid effect pushed by the right company will stay in the limelight for some time but so will some very bad magic. It's the bad that will let the stuff that is solid, workable and practical get glossed over. Much like beautiful artwork getting painted over with a coat of whitewash in the name of "progress". I for one am sick of it and no longer want any part of it. If you want me I will be over here in my own little corner playing with my (sponge) balls.

You'll know where to find me...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Like an Ani DiFranco song...

Sitting in an airport, thought I would whore myself out a bit. An old idea is finally a new product.

Here is the original version...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Do you have a flag?

Over on facebook a magician posted a video where she performs a mask to winged creature effect. In the comments a fairly well known magician couldn't help himself and make a snide comment amount that seeming familiar. He did this because he used to do a mask to dove effect himself albeit using a totally different method.

So this got me thinking about method vs. effect. In cases like this you can argue it down to "Well you are just turning an object into a bird just like (insert any number of people here)".  No one has the monopoly on any certain kind of magic for the most part. Sure some people are known to have "Squatters Rights" to an effect where they are so well known for it that anyone else doing it seems like a rip off but where do we draw the line?

In this case the two methods to accomplish a similar effect were entirely different. If you ask me (which no one did) it's whichever one is the most magical looking and gets the better response. Of course there is no real way to judge that as they are both solid methods.

If there is anything to take away from it all it might be this: Don't be a bully or a douche to others unless they are directly ripping you off. Otherwise you just end up looking like the bad guy and some weirdo might talk smack about you on the internet.

It could happen. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A gif-t...

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake...

I know a handful of magicians who feel they are not creative enough or don't think they can create their own material. It's not as hard as you think. Sure, there is no formula for it or everyone would be doing it but creativity is subjective and there are different ways to accomplish it.

With that in mind I have some videos for you to watch.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

More machine now than man....

So I was watching a youtube video of a dove act (I know, I know mistake number one on my part shut up) and when they used a dove tray I realized there is a way to get more magic out of it.

The problem with things that work on a hinge/spring system is they can look TOO mechanical. You are sacrificing a little bit for that visual change. Physics dictate certain things move and look a certain way when activated. As magicians we are limited by, what we perceive is, reality. So if we use the same mechanics the world is used to we may or may not fool them. Let's go back to the dove tray...

In the video I watched a young lady laid her glove upon the tray and it turned into a dove. Now aside from the random prop that was obviously big enough to hold a live animal we can dress this up a bit. Say you lay a cloth over the glove and make that gesture and suddenly the cloth starts moving. (Magic moment #1) and then you whip away the cloth it's a dove (Moment #2). By using the mechanics against itself we can delay the moment.

I personally believe anything that is mechanical looks that way and while it gets a reaction I don't think it deep down fools people. We see certain things happen in our lives and our brain can fill in the gaps. However if we can get something to look/react abnormally then we have magic. A good example is the card gimmick where the pips move to create another value. When done right, it's smooth and spooky looking. When people see something that can't equate it to their brain kinda short circuits and they truly feel that magic moment.

Sometimes things can be TOO visual.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Pretty... awkward...

Ok so this post might rock a boat and not make me some friends but stay with me on this. I swear it's positive... ish.

Anyone who knows me or has read this journal for longer than they should will know I am a big proponent of females in magic. I think the next step in public magic evolution is a strong magical femme on TV. However that gal should not try to do cardistry.

There is something inelegant about a girl manipulating playing cards.

Now before you send me any hate mail let me defend my case. Normal off the shelf playing cards are just not stylish. The imagery associated with them does not match up with the elegance of most females. It seems like a clunky silly prop to be fiddling with.

I am more talking about cardistry cuts and whatnot. Card manip on stage is a different thing and I have seen that done well. It just seems that the cards are an oxymoron to the imagery in my opinion. Hell a lot of the female magicians I know hate card tricks anyway.

If you are reading this saying "Fuck him, he's nuts. I'm gonna do it anyway" that's fine. However find some vanity decks that look interesting or fancy. Something that matches your personal look or ideals. Stray away from typical decks. I think this is one of the cases where a vanity deck would work well. Almost like an accessory such as a necklace or watch.

Correct me if I am wrong.

PS: New chatbox. Hopefully this one will work.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Knock, knock...

Just a little side note to any of you who support the Chinese or knock-off magic sites/products.

You deserve what you get.

My new years gift to you...

Scarlett topless. Not safe for work, but we're magicians so who am I kidding. (Also do your research on why she is sky clad from the waist up. It's interesting and might be important to someone you know)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Same old boring routine?

So tonight I performed close-up magic for the first time in a long time. My opening gambit was three tricks with a beer bottle (it's Vegas, what you gonna do?): A production, the bottle cap penetrated into the neck of the bottle and then the cap vanished in a puff of smoke and re-appeared on top of the bottle.

Why do I tell you all of this? Because fuck you that's why It's because I want you to think about how you can take some one trick effects and turn them into something that is a piece in a bigger puzzle.

It's not hard to take those things you have and find a common thread to make them all play nice together. Not only does it help flesh out a full presentation piece but also makes you look like a better performer because it seems like you thought all of this out... even if you haven't.

So my challenge to you is to sort thru all of that one trick pony BS you have that you don't use and see what you can build with it.

Think of it as magic Legos.