Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WMF Lawrence Cummings



Monkeysee is the same as expertvillage and like expervillage monkeysee has a magician who spoils magic and cannot do the magic well.

Embedding the video has been deactivated, so here is the link It is a really bad performance of a "chopless" chop cup routine. His name: Lawrence Cummings

Just as our former Weekly Magic Failure Malik Haddadi Lawrence Cummings has no problem spoiling other people's magic (Professor's Nightmare, a Coin Matrix or a T&R with a Napkin including Sucker)

In the beginning of each video he claims to be a professional magician. He seems not to love his profession enough to respect it. I think this is worthy of being a Weekly Magic Failure.

Cummings gives neither credits nor does he use the correct terms. Naturally I assume he has little knowledge of magic. Yet he spoils (I don't call that teaching) magic. Damn!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wine and Cheese



I tend to oversimplify stuff and people. I have come to divide people in two categories. Those who are never happy with what they got, who strive for the next, best thing, who want to achieve everything that is within their reach. I put those people in the "red wine and cheese" fraction. The other fraction I would simply label "beer and pizza". Those people don't need much. They are happy with what they got. As long as they are not hurt and enjoy some pleasure they are happy.

On the one hand "wine and cheese" people tend to believe that their way of enjoying is much better that those of the "beer and pizza" people. On the other hand "beer and pizza" people also like wine and cheese, but see nothing better with wine and cheese compared to their beer and pizza. To them it is the same and it makes no difference.

Personally I think I belong in the later category.

In magic those two kind of people are very easy to differentiate. There are those who go to competitions who need constant reminders that they are still the best, while the other ones just perform and are happy about it. While a "beer and pizza" magician also likes to watch a magic competition the "wine and cheese" magician seems to think less of those magicians who do not take part in competitions and do not strive to be the best among everyone.

Try it! It works pretty well. You can easily put each magician you know in one of those two categories.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just A Sunday Post #42



Hehe, this is a mean thing to do... Imagine that someone has an incurable disease, like cancer. Tell him that you can cure them, by taking out the cancer from the body. All you need to do is having some bloody chicken parts palmed...

hehe, I bet noone has thought of this mean, mean joke before.... oh, wait....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

At least my throat ain't sore!



I just returned from a magic show. (Yes I am actually performing and not just raping magic) The performing condition were the following: Noisy place, two rooms in a restaurant. Both rooms connected by a wide and open doorway. A DJ playing German folk music old folk dancing. Drunk people on the tables. A bit like Oktoberfest. Perfect performing conditions...

In fact it was so loud that any patter was reduced to "Watch!"

And as I was working the tables I realized something. I was not able to create a situation in which my magic would have the most meaning. I had to adopt my magic to the atmosphere. So basically I did coin vanishes and reappearances and sponge balls with no patter. I ended with the cups and balls (2 cups) and went from table to table in such a way. 21 tables, no introduction, I had to approach every table cold. I hate that, but I really didn't care after the sixth table. Got out some business cards and was out of there.

On my way home I realized another thing. Almost all magicians I know would not have been able to do their show, because the stuff they do depends so much on patter. And they need forever to get to the point.

Am I one the right path? I don't think so. I just had to do the other extreme today. Just magic, with no introduction, no time, no patter, no atmosphere and no jokes.

It was a great experience. Maybe I should specialize.

Friday, March 26, 2010

WMF Mentalism Peyman



Just in case you have not come across this young Spanish speaking fellow who promotes himself by the name of "Mentalism Peyman": He is a fine example of a really bad magician and a really immoral dealer.



For quite some time he has been spamming the magic community with his emails, offering rip offs of magic effects. Naturally without consent of the legit owner of the rights. If you take a look at the shop on his website you will see that he actually sells the Laser Illusion that was originally created by Steve Fearson. Steve Fearson sold the all the rights exclusively to David Copperfield.



Just look at his snarky, contemptuous look in the beginning, followed by a bad execution of the effect. Or to quote a friend of mine: "piss poor performance by a lousy, worthless example of a human being."

One might condemn such behaviour, but obviously he has not stopped with this approach of exploiting magic in such a way. How come... my assumption: Because it works. People actually pay him money. So, Mr. Peyman might be a parasite, but only because we, the magic community, feed him.

Let's put an end to this.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Damn, Bizzaro Rocks!

I gotta say Kudos... If you go to his blog check out the video on top. That is a nice card routine. A really nice one.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ultimative Booktest

Effect: From a bunch of books a book is chosen, any page is opened and any passage selected. The spectator is asked to read that passage and remember what is happening. The whole time the book is handled by the spectator and his choices are completly free. The book is ungimmicked. Then the mentalist recites from the spectator's mind the exact content.

Method: Force the book of choice to that one spectator. That is the easy part. Here is the hard one... before the show you actually remembered all the content of the book. Each passage must be memorized. Now you are set and the rest should be obvious.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I am getting more and more stupid

As it turns out James Randi was wrong and Uri Geller is the real thing. This video is proof of that. ;)





Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Randi For The Win




Let's quote James Randi

Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.

I’m gay.


If saying it makes you feel better... good for you. Seventy years keeping a secret... well it is more than most magicians are able to do. Congrats ^^ ;)

Just A Sunday Post #41



Glorifying the Egg Bag

Saturday, March 20, 2010

April is coming up



It is almost one year. So here is an announcement. April will be the month of magic winners. Every two days a magic winner will be featured.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cough, Cough!



I got this stuff called crazy slime. It is a black slime that you can play with. I was thinking how to use it in a magic show. Here is the result:

Cough it up: "Smoker's cough, sorry... gee all the tar."
Even works as a nonsmoker "Oh boy, passive smoking still does the trick!"

Imagine this as a little funny bit during a health convention. Or during a cigarette routine.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WMF Ben Salinas



I got an email today with a link to a video. In that video I could see, Ben Salinas from Pennsylvania doing a really bad version of Gene Anderson's Newspaper Tear.


That in itself is not a bad thing if you like bad magic, BUT he sells this on DVD.

Aside from the fact that I doubt he has the rights to do so, I really have a hard time to believe that anyone can learn from such an untalented magician. But let's not judge a book by it's cover. On his own website Ben Salinas advertises with this video:



Let's breath in and out slowly... And repeat after me: "The palms are not hinted at with the unnatural look of the hand palming the sponge ball. This is a good routine with the sleeves all the way down."

That doesn't help, right? And it doesn't help either knowing that Ben Salinas is the teaching drone of Magic Makers.

Arrrrrrrrrr, he is just so average, yet he obviously feels proficient enough to teach magic.

I will not dig into the possible psychological motifs for such actions, but just judge the actions itself. Bad magic taught to magicians. A friend of mine actually sent me the Modern Coin Magic 4-DVD Set (Magic Makers) which was advertised as the video version of J.B. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. It was such a disappointment. Having read Bobo and having learnt the sleights from the pages I expected much more. Instead we got this:



Mind you, the production of the DVDs is actually pretty good. But if Magic Makers would have chosen a performer who could actually do all the sleights, then, and only then Magic Makers would have had a product that they can actually be proud of.

But instead they got Ben Salinas. Serves them right.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yecch



Aside from the fact that the vanish of the ring is done via my ultimate gimmick called camera tricks, is this an effect that one wants to perform?

He even sells this on German ebay for 29,50 Euro, about 35 dollars.

Damn!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just A Sunday Post #40



Did you order your Jerry Nugget's?

If not here is your last chance. On the 15th, that is tomorrow Lee Asher sells this year's bulk of 60 decks. Of course he does this in order to not flood the market to keep the price of the decks high. (a not so perfect deck still sells for 75 dollar)And a high price means Lee Asher gets a ton of money with very little work.

In the business we call that way of doing business "white scam", because it is legal and everyone knows about it. Of course those cards are not interesting for any performing magician, just collectors might find them interesting. And as long as they are willing to pay such outrageous price they will and Asher and his dubious friend, the world's largest owner of the Jerry Nugget's reserve continue making money that way.

Is that a bad thing? Well from a business point of view, no. From a moral point of view, no, as no harm is done to those not paying the price. So what is the big deal...? Nothing.

But this might be interesting: A whole sealed brick will be sold via lottery for just 4.275 dollars. I call that a bargain. And because the white brick is sealed you cannot tell if it contains Jerry's or not. If you open it to check it out you reduce the value instantly. Awesome.

Reminds me of Schrödinger's cat. This is a really, really good scam. Lee Asher, I tip my hat. You are a really good magician, but you are an even better hustler.

Come to think of it... I think the maker of the original "Future Mental" died. I got some (5) copies in mint condition. I'd sell them for 400 dollars each. Wanna make a deal?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fake Fruit



I read a magic history book the other day. It told the story of a magician who did a trick with a vanishing egg. The performer made a big deal out of the fact that the egg was unboiled. Obviously that condition mattered to the audience, as it eliminates possible solution how the vanish might be accomplished. The story goes on. The egg he was showing around turned out to be boiled. And it was not the fault of the magician. It was the fault of the housekeeper. She thought it was wise to boil the eggs first so if they break it would not be such a mess. As cute as that anecdote may be it made me think about conditions in magic.

There are lots of conditions that matter. Rolled up sleeves comes to mind instantly. But what are others?

How about drinking glasses that are actually made of glass. A real drinking glass, gaffed or not will be handled much more delicate (and therefore more real) than a plastic glass. How come that it matters? Well I am not quite sure. But I am aware that a glass actually made of glass sounds better feels better and elevates the quality of the act. And that matters.

For years I made fake fruit appear at the end of my cups and balls routine. And I thought it was good. Then I switched to real lemons, because I forgot my fake lemons. Right after I made them appear I felt the need to state that those are real fruit. I did not do that before because I could not hand out the fake fruit. And people actually came up to me and asked to see if the fruit was real. And I gladly handed out the fruit and I even let them keep it. And that suddenly raised the level of my performance. I was shocked.

I heard other magicians before telling others to use real fruit but I did not believe it. Well I can only assume that my plea is unheard too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WMF Ellusionist



I was so wrong... I was holding some black cards in my hands today. I played around with them. They were so smooth with the ultra elite finish. I hit the streets and approached some strangers. I got some weird looks when I asked them to show them a few card tricks. But then I showed them the extremely cool cards and they said: "Oh my, you are so cool, please show us some card tricks so we can at least have a little taste of the mega cool paradise that you are obviously part of, before we return to our mundane life." And then I realized another thing. Passes and flourishes become self working. No practise needed. I was so dumb, I underestimated the cards so much. The stock is not only the best in the world, but also chemically treated to heal my skin rash. In fact during the performance the blind could see and someone yelled "Hallelujah, we are in Heaven."

I did the Ambitious Card and David Blaine's Two Card Monte. And I finished the show with a trick that used some of the cards from that gaffed card set that came along with the cool cards. I did change the patter a bit to suit my own style. Instead of the suggested "Look" I used the word "Watch". That makes it my own.

Right after the show I was invited to a party. A special party. I was told to bring condoms and the cards. I cannot wait. So, no bad words about Ellusionist. Ellusionist made me cool.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ellusionist is still the best



Hmm, as it turns out ONE good post about ELLUSIONIST is not enough to get a free deck of cards. I got a hint by an insider (Brad C.) that I need to do a second one. Here it is: Ellusionist is the best magic dealer that is out there. They are much better than T11 and all of the others. And I am not ironic here I really honestly believe Ellusionist is the best thing that ever happened to magic. How can I prove that claim. Well I cannot that is my problem. Doing a blog that is cynical most of the time makes my words sound cynical and not honest at all.

Well I know how to get around this... I just write the opposite.

Which is coming up tomorrow... make sure to link it very often, so it ends up very high on the google list.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Check Mate



Do you know those public places in a park where old people play chess? You can have so much fun with invisible thread there.

Just play mental chess.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just A Sunday Post #39



In case you guys have magic friends on a different continent than yours, please be considerate when you call them. It might be really early up there or really, really late. No matter how great the news... sometimes I just wanna sleep.

Yes I am talking to you Steve... congrats to your marriage anyway^^

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Korbinian - Blackpool Freak Show



Hello Folks in the Digital Wasteland,

sorry for taking such a long break.

Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the World largest Magic Convention, taking place in the wonderful, quiet Blackpool. Never seen that much freaks at one place. But it was nice though.

Probably everyone who was also participating, will have his own opinion, about this event, but nevertheless I want to tell you about a few things.

The first thing would be the dealers hall. Wuhu, I've never seen that much rubbish, probably 50 percent of the dealers, were selling the same stuff, but on the other hand, if someone was digging deeply enough, there were real pearls to discover.

For instance Shoot Ogawa, who was often personally at his booth and demonstrating his stuff. Quite interesting material, performed in superb quality but a really nice person. But there was also this really saddening experience. Everything he demonstrated, could be bought. Even routines, he is currently using himself. Everything well thought through and incredibly difficult, just like we love it. But, even I don't know why, it makes me sad to see, that he is selling everything.

It seems to be a symptom of this fast living times. Develop something, perform it and then produce a DVD. Makes me sad. Some friend told me that Paul Gertner has held his routines nearly 20 years back, before he published them in a book.

So is it because he is just a good business man, knowing that magicians buy everything they see or is it because he wants his material to be acknowledged. On the other hand, when it is published, most magicians thinks it is old shit, just because it's already out there. So Mr. Ogawa is just protecting his material.

So whatever the real reason might be, I felt uncomfortable with it. That's it for today.

Best wishes,

Korbinian

Friday, March 5, 2010

WMF Malik Haddadi



Before I go on: There is a difference between teaching magic and just explaining it. The first approach is okay sometimes but the second one is not OK at all. There also is a difference between written instructions and video instructions. Written instructions take way more effort in order to be understood, video instructions take almost no effort to be understood. You can watch a video almost brain dead and still get the general idea of how the magic trick works, but with text this is not that easy. And finally, there is a difference between uploading your instructional video to YouTube or your instructional text to a blog. If you want to just know the trick the amount of work to read a longer text will stop most from doing that. Those who still do that work deserve the information. With video it is different. And if that video is on YouTube with everyone watching it with no effort at all in nice 3 minutes pieces I would no longer call that magic teaching... I would call it major spoiling.

And now to our weeks magic failure: Malik Haddadi

"...an Award winning entertainer with over 20 years or experience performing comedy magic, balloon sculpture, and juggling for family audinces." (The typo is not mine, it is straight from his website)

So he is not even a magician. He is a entertainer who takes magic stuff in order to entertain and not to "magish", to quote the always awesome Frank Garcia.

Malik Haddadi has appeared in many, many Expert Village videos.



And he doesn't even do it well. This is just the performance video. The explanation is there too. 20 years of experience in performing all of this have not taught Mr. Haddadi the lesson how to deal with magic spoiling! I am disappointed.

And there are tons of them:



Is this still magic teaching? I think not, this is spoiling. If those video would be harder to get... well... I might be convinced that it is true teaching (although bad one) but it is easy to get.

Some of the videos have almost half a million hits. Just saying.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Noteworthy? Not really!


I am wondering... Let's say a creator of a magic effect feels the need to sell his effect. He starts to make a DVD and does a trailer for that. Now he needs to edit the trailer because he feels that if he leaves the material unaltered other magicians will figure out what he did and will just take that idea without paying for the DVD...

Why a DVD? If it is just an idea that anyone with basic magic knowledge can figure out, is it really worth to sell? I think not.

And if the idea is good anyway, and if it makes a difference compared to the usual way of handling it... then why not do it in written form?

Just wondering!

Monday, March 1, 2010