Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cut Off

I got no Internet anymore... Damn I need to get that fixed!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Old Time Magic.


Some June McComb for you...

And yes, check out the other hundreds of videos at

Comic Time #23

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Just A Sunday Post #30

It is kind of interesting. I CANNOT SEE THE VIDEO. I get an error message telling me it contains content that belongs to Sony Music Entertainment. That's bullshit. I do not care for the music. Just mute the damn thing, but let me watch the video. It is card stuff done by Shahin who's website seems hacked. (DO NOT CLICK THAT, TROJAN)

I don't know if he knows that this website is hacked...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Bizzaro Has A Point!

"I have met a few magicians in my life who actually don't care if they flash while performing. They do nothing to fix it nor do they change anything. At that point, they are just there for themselves and the self-gratification it gives them. Let me tell you why it's bad to flash people." [...]

Read the rest!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Rant

I hate the Holiday Season. I hate Christmas. And there is just one reason. Nothing works. Nobody has got time, shit is not getting done and everything is closed.

Really, all I want is my regular kind of thing. But no, stores are closed and I cannot buy my bread and butter. In fact I have to take that sort of stuff into consideration and buy stuff in advance. Damn that. I still expect some money from clients. But they are not to hand out the money till after Christmas. Because nobody is there during the freaking three days of Christmas. But this year is worse. the 27. is a Sunday making me wait even longer for anything. So let's assume my clients get around paying my fee on Monday. I still won't have the money on my bank account until next year.

Because near the end of the year everything slows down. It actually goes to a dead halt. All in the name of peace, love and understanding. That is a good hippie message, but shouldn't this be the message throughout the whole year...? Just saying.

And what about magic shows? During Christmas I never had a magic show. Ever. So I naturally assume that nobody does. Or just a few. And after Christmas. Same thing. Poor souls which celebrate their birthdays between Christmas and New Year. They will never have a magician perform at their day of the year. But then again that could be a good thing.

And what about my friends? They got no time, because they need to be with the families. I am alone... I could visit my family, but I learnt that staying away from them actually adds to the harmony in my family. And even if I decided to go it would be difficult, because Christmas is during the winter time.

Why the hell is Christmas during winter time? Icy roads, trains are late, overall traffic is a disaster. Couldn't there be a more convenient time? How about October?
In fact most Christmas stuff is in the stores in the beginning of October anyway.

Christmas seems to be a holiday that devours so much time and does so little. WTF... Seriously, wtf.

No that I got all of that out of my system. To those of you that do celebrate the birth of that little kid, that later died and came back as a Zombie... Merry Christmas. And for those who are offended: Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just A Sunday Post #29

Isn't it said, that, when searching YouTube for "good magic" this video comes up first?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

KORBINIAN - Pasteboard Lunatics...

Hello world.

Every now and then I have serious doubts about my profession. Most magicians base their repertoire in large parts on cards. A fact, which I find quite surprising, since nothing else looks more like tricks. Okay except glittery or shiny boxes and feather flowers, I hate feather flowers, those people should have these stupid flowers shoved up somewhere.

But back to the topic, take out a deck of cards and the people know immediately your doing tricks, not magic, if well presented it will look like magic but nevertheless people will know for sure you are a trickster, not a real magician.

I don't even want to talk about, that most people do the same tricks, like the Ambitious Card... I just want to ask why everyone is just doing tricks, not magic. I think people are impressed, fooled, maybe even entertained by card tricks, but they will always be sure your doing tricks.

It is just a thought, but would a real magician, if he where to entertain in a restaurant, do card tricks? Or would he make the bowl of soup levitate, summon demons and all this other fancy stuff. Yeah I know no one would like to have a demon at his dinner, but shouldn't that at least sometimes be the goal to strive for, to make magic more like magic and less like a puzzle or a trick.

Best wishes and nice holidays.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Filler Post

How many magicians do you need to screw in light bulb?

Eight of them!

One to screw in the light bulb,
one who thinks he has a better method,
one to criticise the the method of the first,
one who believes the presentation needs work,
one who changes the method and sells it,
one to buy the new version, sold by the former one,
one who thinks that all others are stooges,
and finally one who saw a flash in the end.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why? Why So Ugly?

This goes out to the designers of magic props. Why do they look like a magician's prop?
In other words, why is there suspicion built in directly from the start?

Sometimes this approach makes sense. Pretty much all sucker effects fall into that category.
But most often this is a stupid way to go. Glitter and the boxy nature of most magic props kind of give away that there is a secret built in, ergo attention is directed towards the prop and not the magician.

So who gets the praise after the effect? The prop. And rightfully so.

I have seen Jeff Mcbride doing prop magic on his lecture "StandUp DVD"
It was horrible. Really. Aside from the fact that I think Jeff Mcbride really goes a little overboard, when he is outside of Las Vegas.

So here is my stupid idea of doing a Square Circle without all the colour, glitter and pomp.

Imagine the following scene. A little girl is missing her kitty Mr. Biggles. All she has is the bright red collar of Mr. Biggles.

So what does the magician do. He takes a card board box that has been laying around in some street or backstage
and unfolds it. Then takes a second box. Puts both together drops the collar inside the boxes. A second later. Mr. Biggles is back into his collar.

Hmm Mr. Angel... that would suit your style a lot I think.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WMF Steve Wyrick

Have you seen this man? Another over the top performer who acts like a prime time David Copperfield. Full of romanticism, dreams and illusions. Yeah I am close to vomiting.

Why is he a Weekly Magic Failure? I'll tell you why. For being a dick, that's why! I do not know if this is true, but according to Courthouse News Service "Franz Harary claims that he and Steve Wyrick agreed to swap elaborate props in 2006, Harary giving his 'Water Tank Illusion' prop to Wyrick in exchange for Wyrick's 'Appearing Airplane Illusion' prop."

The story goes on: "Wyrick gave him a broken, useless prop that had 'been left to rot in the desert sun for a number of years.' Harary, who intended to lease the prop to other magicians, says he is out about $100,000 for repairs and lost profits."

Does this sound like a nice deal? Of course not. Those stories tend to be over dramatised, yet it let's Wyrick stand in some shady spotlight. I always thought something is wrong with this guy. And a few of you actually suggested him to be a WMF. Rightfully so. The Las Vegas Sun states: "The closure came as little surprise, as lawsuits filed earlier this year against Wyrick over unpaid bills indicated business wasn't good for Wyrick and the performers who contracted to use his stage."

So it looks like Wyrick has a gift. The gift of bullshitting other into believing it is worth to support this man. More as it unfolds.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Annual Magic Failure

A while a go I made a survey letting you guys vote who is the Magic Failure of the Year 2009.

Number 3: Steven Youell

Yeah our favourite troublemaker of the magic café got third place. For those of you who don't know. Steven Youell is a self proclaimed authority on card magic. I have read one of his ebooks. Ironically he sent it to me after I made him our very first Weekly Magic Failure. And all I can say, it is the most awful piece of magic literature I have read. Most bad stuff at least has some entertainment value. But this had none. The routines where boring and the methods needlessly complicated. Expect one thing... In there was a really nifty way of glimpsing a peeked at card. I really liked that.

But that is not the reason he was awarded the awesome title WMF. No he got it because of his behaviour on the magic café. The owner of the magic café Steve Brooks is a good friend of Steven Youell. And that gives him certain powers. Editing powers. Steven Youell denied that in a few conversations I had with him. But I do not believe him. I heard so many first hand stories of friends of mine, of threads disappearing or being closed with Youell having the last word. And he sends out private messages threatening other users not to mess with the mighty Steven Youell. (I have screenshots to back that up)

Steven Youell was the very reason that this blog exists. We needed a second opinion.
Anyway, I remember that Steven Youell was sick for a while. Steve Brooks even send out a public message asking everybody to purchase Youell's lecture notes, so Youell can use the money to get well. Wow a sales pitch based on the premise of a sick man. Now that is sick. Anyway, he got third place. And well deserved I might add.

Number 2: Shawn Farquahr

Remember him. The winner of this years FISM. Boy was that some good time. He was a magic failure because of his attitude. (which was way before FISM) Basically what he does, is thinking of himself as the "shit". As the best thing that happened to magic ever. My thinking was , that he falls asleep each night thinking "I'm so great, I'm so great, I'm so great"... and there are a few hints that back me up on this one.

He is a name dropper, a habit that I deplored many, many times. For instance, he did a lecture and on that lecture he said that he could not tell who his client was, but it was in the white house. Why would anybody say that except to crave attention. And he needs that attention so badly...

So is he a bad magician. No, he is not. He is decent. Most of the Weekly Magic Failures are not awarded for being bad. Mostly for being liars, cheaters, cowards, schmucks, stinkers and that sort of stuff. (Hell, I awarded myself for being a Meany) So Shawn basically got the title WMF for being cheap. For all sorts of things. Example: In a promotion video, he actually has the balls to have his ego stroked, by having the song "Stand Up (for the Champion)" by Right Said Fred being played in the video. Wow, that is bad.

Anyway, later that year he was awarded the title World Champion by the FISM-crew (which from now on I will call the "bunch of crazy lunatics") Now that was the ego boost this man really didn't need. And he won with an ambitious card, basically. You know that song by Sting called "Shape of my Heart" which is a great song. And cards are named throughout the song. So naturally a perfect song for magicians. So Shaw produced those cards according to the lyrics. And it would have been a beautiful routine... if it wasn't for the fact that Shawns performance during FISM wasn't all that great. Yet the bunch of crazy lunatics failed to see this and awarded him the prize he craved so much.

I was hurt when I learned about this. The FISM that I liked so much turned into a charade. Damn it. Well Shawn got only second place here... as usual.

Number 1: Criss Angel

I never got around the fact that Criss Angel is written "Criss" instead of "Chris". And that the word "Angel" looks exactly the the Germany word "Angel" which means "fishing rod". Funny isn't it? So "Chris Fishing Rod" got the first prize in my stupid little contest. He is the genuine Annual Magic Failure. But why?

In case you live on the other side of the moon, "Chris Fishing Rod" is the host of a show called "Mindfreak" a show about him. He has got that nice emo look going and more gold on his body than Mr. T in his good years. Making him a Weekly Magic Failure was kind of a no brainer. The joke was about him actually being more woman than man and the thing that made him WMF was that he was seemingly unable not to do any camera tricks or rely on stooges. Fact: most of his magic happens in the editing room. Where crucial parts of the performance are cut, giving us a false impression. It was impressive, yes, but it due to the public nature of this Television Show warped the image of magicians.

I do not know why he won the little survey of mine, but I assume it is about all the magicians out there who are pissed about being asked about "Chris Fishing Rod". He made such a heavy impact on the laypeople, who wanted the same kind of experience from any magician, who were unable to deliver that kind of magic.

So for crapping on other magicians "Chris Fishing Rod" got first prize.

Congratulations to all who contributed so much bad magic. I hope you are luckier next year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

KORBINIAN - The dealer crisis...

Hello folks in digital wasteland,

today I want to talk about our most favorite individuals in magic. The dealers, who provide us with our drugs, with the wonders to which we are addicted.

Until last year I worked at a little shop, supervising the magic corner and selling magic tricks. So I got in touch with quite a lot of magic dealers and I still like talking with them. But in the last years most of the time when I am talking with them , they start to complain about everything. Their customers, the internet, other dealers and all this other shit. Oh I forgot, most of their hate is directed towards China, this evil country, so full of copys.

But firmly believe this problem is selfmade. For years the dealers deceived their customers, selling them tricks they never needed or could perform. And now the customers went of to buy in the internet. How did this come to be?

Simply because they bought their tricks because of the texts in the catalogue, opened the box, just to find out, that it was a piece of crap, unperformable by anyone.

But now the situation has changed, now we can look at demo-videos before we spent our money. So the situation seemed to change in favor of the the customer, but how deceiving the things can be.

Now we are confronted with videos, which are edited, so they deceive us more than any text before. And even more, some people even really lie. For example this really nice fellow Hugo Leclercq, a collegue of the famous Kevin Parker.
He posts a video on this wonderful platform of self-advertisment, youtube, of a selfinvented pencil through bill penetration, which he calls Illegal, another topic about which I could rant for hours, and parallel he starts a discussion in this other platform for lonely nerds, learnmagictricks, about this trick. And if you read the discussions going on there, there is only one possible way to accomplish this miracle. To have a hole, which you can transfer anywhere you like. A real miracle. Such a shit.

So why is anyone wondering, that the customers started downloading magic tricks. For years dealers ripped them of with their tricks. Now the customers strike back. Yes there is a lot of collateral damage, not all dealers or inventors sell that much crap, but as long as dealers sell the crap alongside the good stuff, how can the customers see the difference.

And a last point. Most magicians don't buy tricks to perform them. Most just buy tricks to know their workings. So since most of the present market seems to be dominated by DVDs just teaching secrets, they are easily stolen. Try to download a head chopper, or even a pack of cards. But this unfinished ideas, which flood the market, are just ideas and they can easily be stolen.

So to you dealers, begin to treat your customers with honesty and they will buy from you again. And I know not all of you are scoundrels.

So have a nice weekend.


Friday, December 11, 2009

WMF Daniel Madison

This weeks WMF is the very untalented Daniel Madison who clearly needs to learn to enunciate. English is his first language right? But at least he is not as bad as Kevin Parker. Anyway, here is a clip of the very untalented Daniel Madison.

Did you notice it? The crappy handling of the cards prior to the tearing of the corner? There are much more natural ways to show a card with a missing corner. Weird isn't it... because I have seen the very untalented Daniel Madison doing fancy looking sleight of hand.

So why the difference? I do not know, but I recognize the signs if a magicians doesn't think his stuff through. And the very untalented Daniel Madison is a typical case. I do not even know how he made it into the Theory11 list. I would not hire a magician who looks like a hippie who is stoned out of one's head and is in desperate need for a hair cut. And what is up with all the black and white? Artistic choice, if so, not my taste.

Okay, I gotta give him one thing. He does have the physique that makes me fear him. I bet he could beat the shit out of me. More than he can do magic. That is for sure.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Not To Do A Video

Let's say you got an great looking effect. And you wanna sell it. This is not how to do it:

Shaky camera, footage all blurry, way toooooooooooooooooooooooo much shit going on that distracts from the effect. Too long, too desaturated, too boring.

A lot of attention went into the sound of this video, adding a nonexistent sound at the moment of the effect. But the picture got the ugly treatment.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wasting The Wonders

I admit it. I waste effects during the show. Meaning, that I do something that is really "strong" and then not waiting for the applause but going on quickly.

Here is the reason: if you were a real magician, those things would be normal to you. They would be no wonders, nothing spectacular that deserves applause. You would just do them, because you entertain with them.

Doing that creates two things.

1. The audience perceives you as someone who is larger than life. You do not need to celebrate each effect, you do not need applause every time. In a weird way the magicians appears more modest. The act also seems less interrupting and the flow is much nicer.

2. If this is nothing to you, what is something to you? Strangely it will seem that you are capable of doing much more than you do. Leaving them to wonder what else you might have up your sleeve. So this creates natural interest. It makes you seem more in tune with your character which is a magician.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just A Sunday Post #28

Alright... A female doing magic... not bad... decent routine, unique style, good looks, fitting character, clear structure, filthy subtext, Portishead, personal, not every ones taste...

Damn, she is so much better than most male magicians. Including me.

Her name is Diana (I think) from Magic Theater DiArchy which is a big candidate for another WMF... as both of them Diana and Arvydas copy other magicians acts. In the short clip on the HOMEPAGE you can see lots of stuff that has been done by other magicians. Spot the acts could be a nice drinking game. But I will go into that a little later... for now I leave you all with this nice rope act.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Comic Time #19

KORBINIAN - Expand your consciousness

Hello and good saturday,

today would I like to ask something. How many of you guys go to a museum or listen to contemporary music? Do some of you inform themselves about political issues or are interested in movies?

I am asking, because I made the experience, that we magicians are incredibly confined to magic. And I firmly believe that as artists, which we all want to be, we must be open and responsive to the world around us.

In the book about Milt Kort, he wrote how great magic is as a hobby, and of course I believe it's true, but in the next thought it reminds me of those martial arts guys, who not only train sports but also a way of life. Which is not a problem, as long as I don't forget there are other people with other lives and other ways of living out there.

So what I want to say, is simply get out, get a life and listen to the people around you, so even your magic could improve.

Best wishes,


Friday, December 4, 2009

WMF Laurence Miller

There is a DVD out called "Bicycleman" by Laurence Miller. There is a trailer for DVD. Take a look:

Looks promising doesn't it? Well yeah it does. But it is not.

I will sort of leave you with that...

Only 6 of the 24 moves are taught. DVD running time is only 40 minutes instead of the advertised 1 hour and 40 minutes. This is such a rip of. And Laurence Miller seems to be a shady character as well. One of the black sheep in our family. Stay away from this product, stay away from the guy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clearly Crap

Layperson aka normal guy: "It is oh so obvious. The coins vanish up his sleeve all the time. And that is where they come from. If it would not be so, he would roll up his sleeves."

Jay Scott Berry. I respect the artist, but this routine is really bad. What performance conditions are required to get away with some of the more angle sensitive and broad moves, yet is close enough to see the half dollar. And the transformation from clean to bloody coin is hard to see.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It was inevitable!

Magic Failure of the year is... Criss Angel. 61 votes (25%)
Second place: as usual Shawn Farquhar. 59 votes (24%)
Third place: The one and only Steven Youell. 40 votes (16%)

Nobody got over 50%, meaning that nobody was bad enough to unite a whole half of the voters against him. I was surprised I only got 12 votes. Nobody got no votes.

There is a prize coming up.