Sunday, October 31, 2010
Just a little rant about one sleight. Which is a really nerdy thing to do. Case in point: The Spider Grip Vanish (aka the Spider Vanish, "The Sphinx" in 1919 credited to Walter Gibson.)
Most magicians I have seen are doing it wrong, by not embracing the psychology behind it. Here is the main idea. The coin is taken from the one hand and tossed to the ground (or up, which I think is much better) and it seems to vanish in midair. However the hand not having tossed the coin remains in a suspect position. Naturally the audience suspects the coin to be hidden in there. That hand is then relaxes causally and by that is shown empty. Done right the spectators have no idea where the coin is.
We all know that the coin is put into classic palm of the hand taking the coin and making the other hand the suspect after the vanish makes the spectators assume the coin is in the "clean" hand. Which naturally means they make the "dirty" hand free of any allegations. So this is a very cool concept for a vanish with a build in dramatic structure (as little as it gets).
And most are doing it wrong as they do not toss the coin, so it dissolves in mid air. They do not celebrate the disappearance properly. Most of the time, they jerk their hand to the ground and then opening the "clean" hand way too soon.
So here is what you wrongdoers need to do. After the coin is secured in classic palm, actually mime tossing the coin into the air and follow the supposed path of the coin and "realise" that the coin has gone at the same time as the audience. Meanwhile keep your "clean" hand in an awkward position, BUT not too much. If it is too much the audience will recognize it as some sort of obvious attempt to fool them. It needs to be casual. So the audience actually falls for it. For me it helps to have the hand naturally but with the thumb pressed against the hand (like a thumb palm). And all you do is hold that hand stiff a little too long. Then, and only then, when the audience has all the suspicion on that hand (and off the "dirty" hand) you casually open it. Don't make it a sucker moment, unless your character supports that.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Hey wanna learn magic tricks. Go to Magic Tricks Exposed
Again one of those websites that is all about bullshitting and trying to make money from other people's creations.
"Who Else Wants To Learn Easy, Amazing, Magic Tricks Exposed. Effects & Illusions That Will Turn You Into A Magic Mogul With Your Friends & Family,
Really? Come on, it's not possible. Becoming a Magic Mogul (buzz word) almost overnight (misleading promise) is not part of any serious magician.
Also the whole website has the common "Affiliate Commission"-scam going, which is a really cheap way to get at least one more buyer and one who does free advertisement.
The one in charge is a guy who calls himself Simon Crack, apparently a "Fellow Magic Enthusiast". And aside from the usual unethical stuff, here is another interesting way to cheat you to throw out your money. One the Private Policy page it says:
We also have several affiliate advertisers and sponsors that include, but are not limited to:
Some sponsors pay a monthly fee for the advertising. For others, if you click on their ad or text link and buy something, we get a little commission. Unless we’ve reviewed the product, none of these companies pays us in any other way.
I certainly doubt that Jay Sankey would pay any money to Simon Crack to keep his website running. Same is true for the Trickery, Ellusionist and Ebay. So Simon Crack uses other's names to makes his filthy business seems legit.
Tim Ellis researched this more than two years ago. That means Simon Crack is still doing it.
Of course Simon Crack doesn't show you his face. Which is natural for any scammer.
Also none of the material he teaches is his. He steals, lacking creativity and originality. This video shows him doing magic. Well done right?
You can sign up and get a free trick. This is what you get, when you sign up for the free trick. And since all the books are ebooks you can download them for free from your favourite torrent site.
I actually did and took a look. Weak routines, which will not turn you into a Magic Guru over night.
I particularly like this bit from the long, long blurb:
1. Magic is easy to learn and doesn't take years of practice to master. (It's true, but professional magicians don't want you to know this!)
2. The best magic secrets are closely guarded by the professionals, so they can look better than you when they perform. (Until now that is! :-)
3. You can start learning magic at any age young or old.
1. Yes it does.
2. No they are not.
Two lies and one bit of information which is irrelevant. Call that honest business conduct? Nope.
That is why Simon Crack from Ipswich in the UK is Weekly Magic Failure.
PS: Does this Money Back Guarantee actually work?
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Isn't that interesting? Two videos, same effect, same force card. Independend creations? I think not.
Sold here for 9,95 dollars.
Sold here for 17.95 Euros (about 22.20 dollars)
Jesse Feinberg vs. Markus Bender...
creator vs. copy cat...
fat man vs. fat man...
the fight is on. It's on I tell ya!
Sold here for 9,95 dollars.
Sold here for 17.95 Euros (about 22.20 dollars)
Jesse Feinberg vs. Markus Bender...
creator vs. copy cat...
fat man vs. fat man...
the fight is on. It's on I tell ya!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I usually get a few responses, but this surprised me. I got 15(!) emails from magicians thanking me for making Matt Hollywood a failure. Seriously, this guys seems to be pissing off quite a few of you.
My gf pointed out one thing this morning. If I, a guy who's never been to Australia can find out all these details, then Matt Hollywood must be pretty dumb, as he is not hiding his malicious behaviour in any way.
So eventually it will backfire. Hopefully.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Ever heard of Matt Hollywood... well if you are not an Australian, probably not. But he seems to be the shit over there. Seems to be.
But he is not what he makes himself out to be.
He does a card sword routine which apparently is an exact copy of a routine that Mark Kornhauser does.
Matt uses it without consent. Not making it his own is lazy and could be considered theft.
He also copies Kornhauser's Little Man comedy bit.
Matt has a website called Sydneymagician which used to be a website just about Matt Hollywood, although he is not from Sydney. He is from the Gold Coast, Sydney is way more south. (btw: His office in Sydney is still a construction site.)
Later the website was changed to include other magicians in the list. Each link brings you to the main page which has just Matt Hollywood listed and Ace McDermott (the mentor of Matt). So technically, if you are looking for an Australian magician, let's say Phil Cass you might end up on this website and you cannot get any details about him. Well a few might stop and just take that Matt Hollywood. Phil Cass was not asked to be listed on the website, nor did he give any permission. What does this mean? Matt Hollywood actually uses other magicians names to get booked. In nature there is a good term for that. Parasite!
Also, Matt does multiple bookings. He gathers all the possible bookings and then decides to which to go to. Then he calls the other clients and tells them he is sick. That really makes him unreliable. Also two years ago he was booked for a wedding for 3000$ (Australian Dollars mind you), two nights before the show he sold the show to another magician for 600$ who then sold it to yet another for 400$. That is low. Really low behaviour. So naturally Matt Hollywood got kicked out of all kinds of agencies.
So what does a smart, young man with a business plan do? He made up his own agency. Boastfully called Australian Speakers and Entertainers Bureau. It is totally fake. The only magician listed is Matt himself. Sad isn't it.
But wait, there is more. At Melbourne Magicians (again Matt is from the Gold Coast, and Melbourne is even more South) no actual magician from Melbourne is listed. But if you are from Melbourne and want to be listed it says:
Would you like to be listed amongst Melbourne’s Leading Magicians?
We have strict qualification criteria including skill, interpersonal skills, product knowledge, stage presence, professional presentation skills and more. Please send your name and details with your website, show reel and speak with one of our team players to organise for a viewing and official feedback of your performance. For those who qualify, it is a yearly fee of $495.00 and a $375.00 joining fee application.
Now this is just a scam. You don't pay money to be in an agency. They pay you, by booking you.
So far, Matt Hollywood is a Thief, a Jerk, a Parasite, and Blowhard. Now add Scam Artist to the list.
But there is even more. He also saturates the Internet with himself by having tons of websites, acting like he can be in more places that one at the same time. I don't like this behaviour.
According to his own claims and website Matthew Thomas, sorry Matt Hollywood is Australia's Champion of Magic.
This title doesn't exist. (However there is a title called Champion Magician of Australia, which was awarded only twice to Peter Rodda in 1976 and to Loris Purcell in 1980) The only things Mr. Hollywood ever won was 3rd prize in the close up category at the 28th Australian Magic Convention in 2002, 3rd place in Strolling Magic in 2000 and 1st place in the close up category in 1998. Matt claims to have won awards in Germany. I checked. He won nothing major. Although I must admit there is this weird habit of some local circles to hand out little fake certificates to children. They look really neat. And I assume Matt's German skills don't go beyond "Guten Tag" and "Gesundheit" so he might have misunderstood that.
So add liar to the list...
Now his technical skill. Is he a good magician? Well no. I have seen a few of his stuff. Most is self working store bought stuff. (At least he can backpalm ONE card)
Here have a look at one of his many appearances at the Shak, an Australian children's television program
Stock jokes, no personality, no skill and no good routining. So add bungler to the list.
Matt used to be a police officer and I don't know why, but every single police officer I know who does magic (I know 5 of them) is an greedy asshole. Coincidence? Might be.
But hey, Matt if you should read this. I will give you a German award. It's called Weekly Magic Failure. You can keep it.
This just in:
I checked out the business mastery course. It says: BE AN ASSHOLE!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
When I was a kid, bragging was a really looked down at. Today it is different. You need to be aware of you skills! It means that you know where you are good at and where you are not. Knowing that helps to set realistic goals.
But way too many magicians have way too much of an ego to set up realistic goals. Mostly due to a gross misjudgement of ones social, technical or business skills. A good example would be former WMF Steve Wyrick or former WMF Peter Loughran.
Modesty seems to be a thing unheard of by those guys. They can do everything and for everyone. Honestly, I think you are a much better human being if you underestimate, rather than overestimate yourself. Of course knowing your skills would be best.
Where am I heading with this? Well, people with such a boosted ego will fall eventually. I wouldn't cry about it, but they do take a lot of people with them. Most of the time. And they don't deserve to be a victim.
Some magicians actually think they are the Messiahs of magicdom. Some even have a perma-smile and like purple.
I have this magic buddy here in my town, he is 25 now and his performance skill is bad, he still lives with his parents, has no education and no personality. Watching him perform makes you cringe. Yet he has a professional looking website, which says that he revolutionized stage magic at the age of 16. Really? He spends a lot of money on useless junk, surrounds himself with status symbols like an iPhone and wears clothing that would make those queer eyes green with envy. He seems super duper professional. And he will get bookings because of that. But that's it. No repeated bookings, except senior residences. (He seems to click with the aging folk).
I talked to him about setting realistic goals and he listened. But I feel that it has not changed him at all. Now he actually calls his phone number "Event-Management-Bureau." It's the number of his parents home. Sad isn't it.
But I feel, that this young man will fall one day. And I do my best to help those who fell for him and fall with him.
I urge you to do the same, encourage others not to do business with you local nice-kind-of-guy-asshole magician. And help those you fell into those traps.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Here in Germany we have one magician who saturates the Internet so much you would assume he lives anywhere in Germany. His name: Simon-Alexander Buchhagen or Simabu as he calls himself. Here is his his main website: Simabu
But he has more:
http://www.zauberer-kiel.com/ and that is not even all of them.
So far all the websites are clones of his main one, only difference being that they are tailored for a specific region of Germany. Which is all of them. But he also has websites for almost all kinds of venues. Children, Corporate Events, Birthdays, Weddings and there is even more.
He also has several blogs all linking to a specific tailored website making sure the he is to be found on the Internet. He is listed in almost all free artist listing that there are. (Not to mention in every single category)
Is this good business? Well it must be, but is this a nice thing to do? Well if you are in for the money, being nice doesn't count, but if you are in for the magic it should.
This guy acts like he can do anything, anywhere. Well, is he any good?
Well I couldn't find any video. Which good, as it prevents me from tearing Simabu a new one.
You know what would be worse than that, having fake offices in all kinds of cities. But I am getting way ahead of me. More to come.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Awards are taken too darn seriously all the time. Don't forget, an award is nothing but a made up title attempting to compare certain work.
Every single award that is in existence was made up at one point in time. Even the precious title "world champion" that some hold up oh so dearly is made up. Just like the Merlin.
Some awards tell you about actual work, as they are given out solely based on effort. This is not the case in magic. You may argue about this, but no award in magic is actually worth anything as it is handed out from magician to magician. Michael Grasso's participation on AGT is actually much more valuable in terms of telling us about actual effort than any FISM-prize.
Simply because the aim of magic is not to have the best double lift, but to be liked by the audience doing magic. Naturally any award in magic should be handed out by a lay audience.
Knowing that makes it a lot easier to see past any award claim by any magician and see the real truth. And that is also why Shawn Farquhar is a good magician, but not a world champion.
But that being said there is also the other side of the coin. Awards are given because the people giving out the award respect the magician getting the award. And that is not true if the person getting the award is also the one who made it up.
And that only happens, because we take ourselves and each other too fucking serious. Lighten up. Don't take any award seriously. Not even the Weekly Magic Failure. Some are just way too pissed about it. Like Malik Haddadidududa who actually claimed in an email that my little post harmed his business side of things. I told him that his videos do a far better job than I do, but this is just a case of someone taking my little made up award and actually assuming it has any validity.
My grandma gave me a great advise many years ago. "Before taking any advise, check from whom the advise comes from." The same is true for critic and awards.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Oh, I got something for you. Believe it or not, I do have other hobbies than just magic. One of the hobbies is Pen & Paper RPG's. A nerd hobby, but I love it. So naturally I stumbled upon the greatest comic on the web which often deals with RPG's. I present to you O Abnormal's Commissioned Comic.
The Colombian artist O Abnormal does three comics a week and all of them are funny and well done.
He also is great at doing rants about every day stuff.
I urge you to check out his website and read about the ongoing adventures of the Elf, the Dwarf and the Weretiger as well as O and his friends.
I just love the little Colombian fellow. He also does a podcast, called "Cheesecast" with Dern (from Hello with Cheese) where both talk about all kinds of nerdy, geeky stuff.
I am full of praise for O and his work and I want you all to see the work he does. His skill is very, very good and you can see how he works as sometimes he does little videos, where he explains what he does.
All of you might not care at all, because you are magicians, but sometimes it help to have other interests aside from the ultimate search for the best card control.
Friday, October 15, 2010
San Diego might be a really nice town, but it is cursed as every bigger city. It has magicians. Corey Burke is one of them.
I could go on, about him exposing magic secrets and such... but I have done that way too often lately.
No credits. (Nick Trost for the trick, Marlo for the count)
His YouTube Channel is full of that stuff.
But what bothers me most is his reasoning for explaining all of this. He starts explaining why after 40 seconds.
We need magic now more than any other time before in history.
People need to laugh
they need to smile
and they certainly need to feel that anything can happen
and anything is possible.
And I want you to be the one to help them feel this way.
OK... Let me ask one thing! Why?
Why do people need to laugh?
Why do they need to smile?
And why now more than any other time in history?
I am not really a history buff, but aren't we much better off than "before in history"? Is there a "need" to laugh? And who is Corey Burke to make such an assumption?
I know that magic can make people laugh and smile. But wouldn't a comedian be a much better person to do this? Why spoil magic? And besides: People who would benefit from such a "Magic Task Force"? Only people who are desperate. And I know what can be done about that.
So is Corey Burke suggesting that he does a job like Tom Verner and Janet Fredericks? If so he does a terrible job. And I doubt this.
I'll tell you what he is doing: He is trying to lure in common people to make them buy the magic shit he offers on his website.
Doing business is okay with me, but doing it by false pretences is low. Low enough for me to award him Weekly Magic Failure.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Haven't you heard, Jay Sankey's "Hardcore" is out... wait no, it's not: 'HARDCORE' starts shipping world-wide on OCT 20!
But let the hype start. The demovideo tells me nothing. No Routine is shown. Just some detail on the routines:
Originally scheduled for a Theory 11 release, Jay's 'Climber' effect is a perfect example of a truly original effect AND a truly original method. Dip a drinking straw into a can of soda. Press the tip of your finger over the top end of the straw to trap a few drops of soda at the bottom. Then watch people freak out as you cause the trapped soda to slowly RISE UP THE STRAW. Immediately hand out the straw to be examined (no switch required.) 'Climber' is the ideal magic effect for the school cafeteria, lunch room at work, parties and more.
Leave it to Jay to combine one of the world's most popular sports with something so ORDINARY as a post card to create a STARTLING close-up production. Jay structured the handling for maximum ease and practicality. Guaranteed to rock both close-up and stand-up performances.
A totally fresh approach to bending a borrowed coin, featuring an outrageous new visual that leaves the usual collection of magic bends in the DUST. Jay even teaches you step-by-step exactly how to make this fascinating new coin gimmick in just a few minutes with tools you'll find in any tool box.
A devastating, two-phase 'dance' involving a borrowed ring and two unprepared drinking straws. A completely impromptu, in-their-hands heartstopper, it's also dead easy to perform. Any ring. Any 2 straws. Any time.
A freely selected and signed card MELTS through a plastic baggie, with the deck AND even the hand holding the pack, SEALED inside the baggie! No gimmicks, no suspicious moves, no bad angles. Combine it with your ACR, card to wallet or Jay's 'Paperclipped' effect. Keep the unprepared baggie folded in the back pocket of your jeans and always be ready to end a close-up set in STYLE.
A wonderfully organic transposition with a LETHAL kicker ending. Remove the metal tab from a can of soda. Slip the tab inside the can and have a helper hold tightly to the can. A moment later, cause the tab and a borrowed dime to switch places in a flash of fire. As for the knock-out finishing phase...we'd don't want to ruin the surprise! Completely impromptu, this hard-hitting routine is going to quickly find its way onto your A-list.
An off-the-hook effect with a borrowed dollar bill that ends with a truly SICK souvenir people just CAN'T get over. 'SPIRAL' includes a very fresh approach to corner switching you are destined to use with playing cards, business cards and more.
An inspired combination of a torn + restored card CASE with a devious 'time travel' effect. During the detailed explanation, Jay blows the dust off a little know false cut + teaches you Herb Zarrow's renowned false shuffle.
Featuring an extremely clever, double-duty gimmick, 'Entranced' allows you to make almost any small object visually appear inside a box of Tic Tac mints with the untorn, factory seal still in place. Jay teaches two full routines including a mentalist effect with a borrowed coin and a magic effect with the corner torn from a playing card.
Learn the secrets to transforming an ordinary rubber band into an amazing magic tool capable of revealing playing cards, people's names, numbers, dates and more. Keep the band wrapped around your card case or wear it on your wrist, and be ready to astound people at a moment's notice!
THE MAIN ATTRACTION
A 'very heavy' torn and restored handling of a signed playing card. Completely impromptu. No gimmicks, duplicates or set-up of ANY kind. A holy grail. A totally bullet-proof 'worker.'
Okay, that seems like a lot. But let me balance the hpye a bit. You will get a a DVD and some gimmicks. Each one has is in the pocket to start with. You then will switch it in with a Shuttle Pass. And you'll do the same in the end, only in reverse.
You will try one, maybe two effects and you will use none.
Right now I am doing busking at a fair. It's a cool place to be but doing money is hard. Parents stop with their children, then, after a few minutes the parents leave as they see a opportunity to be without their kids. The result is a whole crowd of kids and just two adults. In terms of money this is a dead end.
Also if kids are around it looks interesting to other kids, not to adults. Ergo it is not working. Here is a solution: Use a sign! And it says, "No Day Care Center!" Works fine...
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
From the Magic Café's owner Steve Brooks himself:
Just a quick heads-up that we have taken the Café Search Engine off-line, at least for the time being.
That said, you will temporarily be unable to do searches unless you make use of Google, etc.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
So? I hardly noticed, the search engine was way outdated. When I typed in any words and hit enter, nothing happen. Naturally I hit enter again only to be told that after each search you have to wait three days to do another one.
I always used the Google search, it was way more accurate and even displayed the cached information of threads long deleted.
I encourage everyone to do the same.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Ed Alonzo is this week's failure. Sadly I might add. He is a really good magician, a likable character and a really funny guy.
But he is a sell out too.
I seriously doubt that Ed has the moral rights to expose the head twister in a cheap way. The trick was invented by Joe Karson (to my knowledge, please correct me if I'm wrong) who also invented the Zombie.
the advertisement says:
The Grand Illusion Set has some of the best tricks we have ever made in it. In fact, many professionals use these tricks in their shows right now, yet they're simple enough for an 7 year old to do!
You get a Neck Cracker, a Psychic Deck, 4 Linking Rings, The Coin Paddle, A Magic Card Box, a Mystery Box, a Toast Prediction, a Rope Illusion, a Bite-Out Cookie, a Disappearing Streamer, The Prediction Frame, a Special Tongue gimmick and a Special Secret Gimmick! The set also comes with it's own performance table which transforms with just a simple flip into the classic Head Twister Illusion!
If you bought just five of these tricks with the DVD instructions, they would cost you $120.00. With the Grand Illusion Set you get all of it and so much more!
Just as with all of the Fantasma Magic kits; this fantastic set comes with a written instructional manual as well as a DVD with many of these great tricks fully demonstrated to make learning them a breeze. Hosted by award winning master magician (and funny man) Ed Alonzo! He was voted Magician of the Year by the Magic Castle and you may have seen them seen on TV and on tour with Brittney Spears!
All Fantasma Magic kits come with the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the largest magic organization in the world, seal of approval.
I love the first part.
In fact, many professionals use these tricks in their shows right now, yet they're simple enough for an 7 year old to do!
Isn't that a nice thing to say. Reducing magic to this. Sad, sad, sad. I guess the story to this went as follows: Fantasma Magic wanted to sell yet another magic kit. But this time they wanted to add a poster child. Ed Alonzo was willing to do it. Money makes the world go around, world go around....
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Taking drugs is cool. It let's you see things differently. Granted most of what you see differently is crap and makes no sense once you get out of the delusion, but during the trip it is cool and the most wise thing ever.
I don't say take drugs, but what I am saying is, drug your audience! Have you ever seen a magic act with LSD in your body? It's one hell of a magicial experience.
And when you apply the drug in the drinking water, that you kindly offer your audience, they won't even know what hit them. They can't stay addicted, as they are unaware what caused their temporary loss of sanity and they sure have one hell of an experience.
Is it legal?... well, it depends what drug you use. Frankincense is what the church uses. And it works great. Find a legal drug and you are fine. But don't tell anyone about this awesome idea.