Wednesday, April 29, 2009


An awesome little trick. Try it!

Here is what you need to have set up. In you wallet, have one bill, permanently attached to your wallet with a rubber band. Then wait for winter.

In the winter you go to a beggar. His cold hand will be outstretched for he wants money. You get out your wallet and take out that gaffed bill. Put the wallet in your inside pocket. This will put tug on the rubber band. Now show him the bill making the hobo think of what he can buy will all of the money. Now fold the bill, and false transfer it into the other hand. Right after that, release the bill and it will go to the inside pocket. Now both your hands are empty. Open them as you say "Abracadabra"

Both of you will laugh.

Monday, April 27, 2009

WMF The Tudor Experience

Let's talk about Brian Tudor. The self proclaimed "best resource of anything that is modern in card magic". Well he is not. He might be able to do some nice looking flourishes, but his magic really isn't that strong. In fact he seems to miss the point that magic should look magical and not like juggling.

But this is not the point. This is about his teaching style, or the lack of it. He cannot teach. If you take a look at the promotion video of a DVD called "Heckler" you can see that the main idea is kinda nice. How to deal with a heckler.

And this also is the main flaw. First a heckler who is as bad as the guy in the video shouldn't be shown any magic. Therefore the whole subtext advise ("do magic even for those guys") is totally wrong. But back to his teaching style. Basically two things happen. First he does the moves and over the video of the moves he says, what he does. But his audio is recorded not on the spot, but way later, making the explanations off sync with the action. That makes it very hard to follow. Second, he reads off written words, very fast (because the moves are fast I think) and he mumbles all the way. And of course the instructions given are not clear at all.

Combine all of these and you got the Tudor Experience, making him WMF. 

Contains naughty words!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gospel Magic

One of the most creepy sections of magic is gospel magic. The messages are always so in your face and obvious, that it seems that no effort is made to incorporate it into the magic. I can do that too.

"There are many religions in the world. And of course we look for the right one. Because there can only be one. Here I got some cards, each card representing a religion. We got Christianity, the Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and lots more 'isms'. I am going to mix the cards face down and I want you to pick just one card. As if you had to choose a religion."

The cards (10 or so) are shuffled, but the Christianity card is controlled through out the shuffling. I suggest jumbo cards to show that you really mean business as you deliver your message.
Next, force the Christianity card but leave it face down.

"You picked this one. If YOU had to pick, your chances would be 1 in 10, but if you trust in God, our Lord, he will have picked one for you. And he will always pick the right one."

Turn over the card and show the cross on the card. (be sure not to have the card upside down)

"Although God doesn't reveal himself to us directly, the outcome of this is a clear sign of divinity at this very moment, at this very place. Praise the Lord, for he is among us."

Damn that is so easy...

And as a bonus this video:

Danny Ray, stealing Paul Gertner's Cups and Balls routine exactly. Wasn't there a line in the Bible about stealing. ;)

And if the punchline is "bearing much fruit" isn't fruit as a final load much better. Just thinking. But maybe I should start believing, less painful that way.

EDIT: I got a message from Danny Ray, according to him he has the rights to do this routine. I believe him. After all he is a Christian, and lying is bad. But that doesn't make the routine any better.

Monday, April 20, 2009

WMF Bill Abbott (revoked)

Bill Abbott is a Canadian magician who sells some of his stuff via this website. That is not the problem. But the way he sells some of his stuff is downright wrong. The Five Card Opener has no description of the effect. Even in the video is no mention of what is happening.

So we got 80 Dollar, that is how much he charges for not knowing what we get.

If you look carefully at the video, you see a part (about the middle) in which he counts five card and flicks the last one. This makes me think of 6 card repeat. But done with 5 cards. If this really is 6 cards repeat... well then 80 dollars is way too much. For the 80 Dollars you get the routine, the cards jumbo and normal (they better be gaffed for that price) and the container to drop the cards in.
Let's face it. All one needs is the container. Well not really.

The next effect is Blockbuster, Abbott has a nice effect there. The routine is actually pretty sweet. 3 cards are forced and a blank deck is used. But 40 Dollars. This is way overpriced. Everybody with a little magic knowledge can do this effect.

Now Chico, what the heck is that. Again I am not told what is happening, I just know what I am getting. All stuff that you can get in a One Dollar store... and he charges 350 Dollars. So I assume you are buying a complete routine. Now, why do I want to perform the routine of someone else?

Don't get me wrong. I think Bill Abbott is a good magician. I actually bought his "The Thing" But just the gimmicked cloth and an ungimmicked one. Here. That is all you need. You do not need the plastic box for 25 Dollars. (you can get it way cheaper in a lot of stores) You don't need the music (which isn't good anyway, but taste is different) and the routine, well... all of the moves on the "poster" that you get, can be adopted from an existing zombie ball routine, save one. One move that can be done with "The Thing" is that you drape the cloth around the invisible ball coming from the back. It looks eerie.

The demo video for Smart Ass is misleading. At about 60% of the video cards are spread by the magician and the spectators chooses one. It say no Force. It might be true for the particular part of this routine, but it misleads. It makes one think that the "No Force" statement is true for the whole effect, which is nothing but a celebrated force. I really hope that this is not done on purpose.

In closing: Bill Abbott's stuff is way overpriced and he really doesn't give enough information about the effects. I do not know the reason for this. It might be a simple mistake, or some sinister aim; I do not know.

Be he surly won a place in my heart for being suspicious, making him WMF.

If he had simply told us what the effects were, I would have kept my mouth shut.

Edit: He fixed his misleading advertisement and tells us what one gets. So no longer is he a magic failure... Maybe in 2012 he might be a magic winner on this blog.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Handy Guide to Dealer's Speech

  • a new principle = not as good as the old principle
  • limited = better version coming out soon
  • comes with everything you need = comes with the crappy routine
  • no skill required = mechanical device, which will fail in a real performance
  • no thread, magnets, wires = the only other thing remaining. Solution by process of elimination.
  • easy to learn = hard to master
  • some skill required = Double Lift
  • patter included = crappy script, that was not funny 40 years ago when it was written
  • fool magicians = doesn't fool lay people
  • underground material = the exact opposite
  • self working = will benefit from sleight of hand
  • some experience required = poorly written instructions
  • a new effect = old
  • visual = makes no sense
  • as seen on TV = impractical
  • reputation maker = to get the reputation to be like everyone else
  • beautifully crafted = ugly
  • handmade = expensive
  • impromptu = no it's not
  • extreme magic = flourish
  • perform it under test conditions = drunk people

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WMF Castlemaynia, Castlemaynia, Castlemaynyeah

Unless I am completely missing the genius of this I think that this is trash.

The item in question: Castlemaynia. By the one and only Andrew Mayne. The point of a card castle is not to look like a glued up piece of junk, but rather like a fragile construction. So the impossibility (magic) is, that it cannot be done that quickly. 

Mayne seems to be proud of this item, as his website shows (second from the bottom). Why?

I do not know, but I feel that this guy is kind of erratic with his quality output, that it leaves me wondering.

I am not saying Mayne is a bad magician, but he sure puts out bad magic for sale, making him this Week's Magic Failure.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

About his magic!

Steven Youell want's me to put down the picture of his. It is copyrighted and outdated. So HERE is just the link that I got it from.

Steven Youell doesn't wish that I link directly to his videos on his site. I respect that. So here is just the link to his web page that links to the video. 

And I must say, not bad. But as google member "b d erland" points out is screams move. It is not really visible yes, but sure as heck detectable.

I think that the point of a card technique that should not be detected is not to make it invisible, but to create an atmosphere that allows to do the move without fear of it being detected. If people do not burn your hands you can do a relaxed palm.

To me it seems that Mr. Youell puts his "magic thinking" into the wrong direction. Every move is completely invisible if nobody looks.

But then again the main critique on Mr. Youell is not about his magic, but about his behaviour, which is not tolerable. He is mean spirited and unable to deal with constructive criticism. Making once more obvious why he is our first Weekly Magic Failure.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

WMF Peki Fantasy Show

This is one of the many German magicians. Peki. His name is short and stands for Peter Kinnigkeit. If you take a look at this Flower Show you can see that the target audience for this show (his closer actually) are old people. 

EDIT: Original video not there anymore!

Do old people deserve this? I think not. They deserve better. Sure they seem to like it. But why?

Here is why, because they seem to know that they do not get any better. And this is sad. Even old people deserve a good show and not just 15 minutes of flowers taken from a square circle which doesn't even fool.

Admittedly the stage is full in the end which creates a nice display, yet everything else is bad. The coordination between the two makes me think that the word Team Work doesn't apply here.. That is why Peki is the Weekly Magic Failure.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Steven Youell is an authority in bad magic"

Steven Youell proclaimes himself being a magician.
Youell is not only a magician, but he loves to badmouth others. The Magic Café, the biggest magic forum in the English speaking world, gives him a platform to hype his own magic and to down talk others who think differently from him.
He is a friend of the owner of the Magic Café, and that friendship gives that man a certain editing power.
Well, we got a platform too!