Monday, August 3, 2009

WMF Steven "The Card Mechanic" Warren

Take a look at this! It is an Ambitious Card routine. The performer, Steven Warren, seems to be absent-minded. Loud breathing, hesitation within the routine, as if he thinks of the next move. The sleights have tell-tale signs (about the same level as Shawn Farquhar) and the presentation is not creative. You can tell because he uses common magic patter like: "When I snap my fingers..."

Is this a Failure? Hardly! But this young man runs a website called Card Mechanic. He dedicates lots of videos teaching laymen sleights and tricks. Because in the FAQ's on his site he clearly states: "This site was created to educate laymen and magicians alike in the world of magic."

Yeah right!

His skill is not good. I have seen great "cardicians" and I have seen beginners. Steven Warren belongs in the later category.

On his website he says the following about him in third person: "Steven has been doing street magic and card cheating (educational only) for years." Of course: Street magic = no paid gigs. And card cheating (educational only) means, he would never get away with this in a real setting. So I would not consider him a working performer. Just a dude who loves card magic.

He thinks he can teach. I think he cannot.

Steven Warren! You are WMF.

EDIT: Obviously Steven takes magic seriously, and has taken away the trick section on his website. He still explains sleights but out of context, so people who struggle with a written instruction of the sleight have something to refer to. It is reasonable. While I still think that lots of his "skill" needs improvement, I must say, if the only purpose of the videos is to make the concept of a move visible, then it works. So he no longer is a weekly magic failure. The awesome title "WMF" is revoked and he cannot bear it anymore.


Bill said...

Sounds like he is doing a bad Philip Seymour Hoffman impersonation.

Steven said...

Hey! I thought that impression was spot on!

Gavroche said...

About the website. Although it might sound weird, talking about yourself in the third person isn't as odd as you might think. It's quite common in the publishing world. Authors are expected to write a bio about themselves in the third person even though it's usually blindingly obvious they wrote it. Also, the "educational only" note was intended to show he didn't do anything illegal like using card cheating in a casino. Whether he could get away with it can't be deduced from the writing alone.