Monday, January 31, 2011

WMF Colleen Ballinger

There is a tiny chance you have heard of her before. She is not a magician, Colleen Ballinger is a singer. She created a character called Miranda who got famous by singing really, really bad on YouTube. Somehow that generated her a lot of fans and even fame.

So what the hell does she have to do with magic? Nothing really, except for this one:

As you can see, her character Miranda has put out a DVD with basic magic stuff. The material nor the DVD is aimed at magicians, but to regular folk.

This tears down magic. If you don't get the loser vibe as you are watching this video, then I cannot help you. Colleen could have had so many other arts to exploit and rape. So why did it have to be magic? Seriously, why?

Think about it. Don't we have enough losers? Now here comes "Miranda" with a DVD for laypeople, who might buy the product because they think it is funny, or because they have a weird fetish for "Miranda" and they give it to their friends. They watch it and say: "Ha ha funny, Miranda does loser stuff, how fitting!"

My view may be one sided here but I love magic too damn much as not to at least mention this. If in the 90s "Steve Urkel" would have sold a magic kit and a VHS, it would have been the same.
Shame on you Colleen!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Annual Magic Failure

2010 is over. And the following people have pissed off the readers of this blog so much that they get the title Annual Magic Failure.

3. Tony Hassini, 33 votes. Not only did he make up an award, the cool looking Merlin, no he offers it to several magicians and if they choose to accept it he charges money for it. An award you can buy. Great! Wait... no! It's an administration fee and travel expenses. My bad!

2. Justin Miller, 51 votes. Right after Justin was declared WMF I got a lengthy email from Justin Miller himself explaining his situation and telling about his view of things. Friends suggested not to answer the email. And it wouldn't be fair to quote the thing here. But here is a small fraction.
And to say there was "no recourse" is ridiculous and a flat out lie!
I have contacted everyone that did not get their products for whatever reason and I have made it right or tried to make it right.

Is this true? Is anybody still without product or money?

1. Rob Matthies, 65 votes. I gotta give Rob one thing. He tried and tries to fight back. But he does it poorly. Calling me an racist anti semite. Godwin's law says that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." It took Rob less than a week. And this means he has no more valid arguments. Which means I am right and he deserved his WMF title. There are good losers and bad losers. Rob is even worse. He is a trolling loser. Too bad he doesn't seem to understand what my complaint was. All he seems to hear are racist statements. Talk about a deluded soul.

More than 230 votes were given. That is quite a bit in our small magic world. Let's see what 2011 brings.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One More Day

Just one more day to vote for the Annual Magic Failure 2010. My personal favourite: Matt Hollywood. But then again, the choice is up to you dear readers. Who will go into the WMF-Hall of Fame? Vote, vote, vote!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Why does the English version of "Card College" by Roberto Giobbi contain different material than the German version "Die Große Kartenschule"? The German version contains Monarch's Quartette, the Englisch version does not. The English version contains The Dance of the Cannibals which is not in the German version. And that is just one example.

Feels a bit like Pokémon the red and blue edition.

Suddenly I feel like I gotta catch 'em all!

Edit: Monarch's Quartette is actually part of the English edition. But it is called "Metamorphosis". Talk about structure. Hat tip to Denis - the walking libary - Behr and Giorgio for correcting me.

Why does it have a different name? Only to confuse me I guess. Nope that would be too egocentric. But really, why does an effect get a totally different name, if nothing is done to change the effect?
Reminds me of the time, that "Be Honest What Is It" became "Two Card Monte"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WMF Paul Stone

Paul Stone is the guy behind Magic Cares
just so you know who he is. Magic Week released the following news:

News from Paul Stone: "I am delighted to release details of an exciting project aimed specifically at Magicians worldwide. Firstly, on 24th January we are launching Showstealers Vegas Link. This will provide a direct link for performers to Showstealers, established Las Vegas Entertainment Consultants and Show Producers.

if you email the address given in the article you get the following:

SHOWSTEALERS VEGAS LINK™ is a unique service offering magicians a direct link to Las Vegas, and the chance to be on the performers roster of SHOWSTEALERS LLC, established Las Vegas Entertainment Consultants and Show Producers.

SHOWSTEALERS LLC is headed up by Executive Producer, Paul Stone, an experienced Producer of hundreds of Corporate Events and Shows, amongst them in the UK, Shows at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Her Majesty’s Theatre and eighteen Shows at the world famous London Palladium Theatre, including the widely acclaimed ‘Tribute to Siegfried & Roy at the London Palladium’ in 2008.

Paul has produced Shows in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, Mirage, Harrahs, Orleans and the Suncoast Hotel & Casino.

Paul’s TV credits include Magic Consultant on ‘Best of Magic’ Series and Penn & Teller’s ‘Fool Us’.

SHOWSTEALERS LLC make no guarantees of future bookings but are constantly on the lookout for new and original performers for our ‘Variety Live’ and ‘World Stars of Magic’ Shows, Corporate events and various TV projects both in UK and USA.

SHOWSTEALERS LLC charge an annual $99 facility fee. This helps to cover administration charges.
Included in the price of our service, we offer USA Representation for overseas performers (outside the USA).
This benefit alone is worth many times the minimal cost involved (less than $2 a week), and you can use the SHOWSTEALERS LLC name and Las Vegas address on all your promotional and publicity materials. This carries huge value and gives you increased credibility.
SHOWSTEALERS LLC would handle subsequent entertainment enquiries for your services in USA and make a 15% commission charge on any fees negotiated on your behalf.
Please confirm if you are interested in linking up with SHOWSTEALERS LLC in Las Vegas.
We look forward to having you on board.

Best regards
Paul Stone
Executive Producer – SHOWSTEALERS LLC

I highlighted the highlights.

99 dollars that you might end up in a magic show. No legitimate agency will charge you any sort of up-front fee as if they were a real agency the money they'd make in commissions would more than cover their administration charges.

Paul Stone is advertising to British magicians tempting them with work in the USA therefore the commission on one single job would be considerably more than Stone's "annual charge". That means Stone thinks he won't get you a single job.

This sort of behaviour is exactly what Equity (the performers union) in the UK is actively campaigning against.

I call scam on this one.

Paul Stone would not get away with this one in the UK, that's why he does it in Las Vegas. And that's why he is this week's magic failure.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fix Your Search Function Already!

Hello Magic Café? I know you are reading!

Your search function is still broken. If I wanna search for a term, let's say "Peanut Butter Trick" and have "ALL FORUMS" selected (which is what I want)I get the following error message: "You must select a forum to search."

Am I supposed to seach in 146 forums individually?

Edit: As pointed out by Loki Kross in the comments, this works: Magic Cafe Search

Kinda sad that it needs to be outsourced. Why does the Café still have a search function?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #80

How do you tell people that their performances are probably not suited for their target audience? How do you tell a magician that his act is really bad. Is there a nice way to do it? I think not.

I do know a magician who is really, really, really bad. But I like that guy. So I have a hard time watching anything new he wants to show me. I know it's gonna be bad. I know he is gonna ask me what I think of it. And I also know that I will pussy out of this dilemma by saying: "I like it, but I think you gotta work on the sleights a bit more so it does not flash that often."
However: With people I don't know it is really easy to say it. So this goes out to Darryl Hutton: Your act is not even cool for the retarded! Really, watch yourself:

If you like it, something is wrong with you. Sure magic can be presented in a child like way, but not childish. And nobody like polka. Nobody!

PS. Here is another one. Not Darryl but equally bad. Is it OK to admit that you can buy magic in a magic shop?

Friday, January 21, 2011

I've Got A Surprise For You!

So it seems like that Eddie Fechter's "I've Got A Surprise For You" is a bad trick after all. Dang it!

But I'm not surprised, as I had this suspicion for a long time now. I never got my spectators to turn over the tabled card.

But... how the hell did Eddie "the genius" Fechter get his audience to turn it over? Reading about his life and magic might offer an answer. He did magic for drunk people and he challenged his audience to find out how he does it. And so I went out yesterday night and tried it for drunk people. And you know what...

...for the first time in my life they did turn over the tabled card. And they got the effect and I got great reactions. This effect (Wrong card on the table turns into the spectator's card after the wrong card is impossibly taken from the pocket) is an ideal effect for drunk people. So it seems. Something about it seems to resonate well with the twists and turns of a drunk train of thought.

So it is not a bad trick after all. Bad only most of the time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

WMF Snap Illusions.... again

I'm so glad I changed the rule that a former WMF cannot become a WMF again.

It's been a while but Snap Illusions is still in business. Jack Moyer, former WMF is still at it. But he is not to blame alone. All of the people working there are part of this.

What is this? Let me refresh your memory. Snap Illusions is a US company from Greenwood in Indiana. They build illusions. Those cost a lot of money. (from 1-5 thousand dollars each) A few people ordered, paid and waited for their illusion to arrive. After a few weeks they called Snap Illusion. And Snap Illusions replied that it will take a bit longer as something needs to be waited for. Sometimes the material that is needed is not there and Snap Illusions itself waits for the material. Other times the illusions needs to be painted, and painting an illusion seems to take 3 weeks and even more. (Well it's made in the USA, so I guess it is normal then)

That means that the buyer who already paid waits a few weeks more. Weeks become months and the illusion is not arriving. From the emails I got I did a little calculation. So far it seems like, Snap Illusions made more than 15.000 dollars using that scam.

One angry buyer even went so far as driving there to talk to them. But the address listed on the website doesn't exist. It's a UPS postal box in a strip mall.

So here is a word of warning. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH SNAP ILLUSIONS. Until proven wrong I claim that they are thieves, liars, scammers, crooks and tearing down the magic scene.

I do know of quite a few costumers who have positive experiences with Snap Illusions, but those seems to be almost entirely with in the small prop section.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dear Essential Magic Conference

Wasn't it part of the deal that viewers would get a bunch of DVDs? I know a few who still haven't gotten their DVDs.

Registering for the conference entitles you to several things:

* Access to the lectures as they are broadcast live on the internet.
* Access to the lectures as video on-demand immediately following the broadcast.
* A complete set of DVDs mailed to you and containing video of all the lectures and bonus materials generated by the conference.
* Ability to participate in the conference by creating your own Member Page on the EMC website.
* Ability to join in Question and Answer sessions and online interviews with our speakers.

55 Euros or 75 Dollars ain't much, but it shoud cover the shipping of flat light objects, even to far away countries.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nail Under Cup!

I can't watch this.... hurts so much

I thought the methods implied are fool proof. But it seems like magicians are worse than fools.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #79

Sometimes I think people need to be protected from themselves. Case in point: Wonder Bob

Tip to Wonder Bob: Do a silent act.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Problem Solving

Sometimes it takes very little to make a trick practical. In this case the good ol' classic by which coins appear under a card one at a time.

Problem: If you use no soft surface the secret placing of the coin will make an unwanted sound. If a coin is under the card, the card appears to "float".

Solution: I use no card anymore, which often cause motivation problems. I use the purse. Classic purse frame style. In the purse are some more coins, so putting the purse on a hard surface will naturally create a sound, by the coins inside and the purse frame hitting the surface. That sound naturally covers any secret load. And no "floating" is going on.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just as Expected

Two emails that are in my spam folder from Johnnie:

Hello Roland,

Thank you for responding to The Magic Touch. Your interest is
much appreciated.

I'm trying to develop a website that will be a Magical
experience for everyone and really teach you the insider
secrets that I used as a professional magician.

I'll keep you informed of our progress and send details of
our Magical Products and Courses etc. - plus bring you hints,
tips, lessons and magic news updates in a Magic Newsletter.

Just to say "Thank You" and to welcome you to The Magic Touch
Inner Circle, I've arranged a Special 25% Discount Off your
First Purchase, just to get you started.

GO HERE: >>>

And Click On The SPECIAL LINK....

I hope you managed to download your Magic Touch eBooks when
you joined our mailing lists, but just in case you had a
problem you can download them by using the links below :-

You can download the Magic eBooks by Visiting the URL below:
- - - - Have FUN!

You can also Join our Exclusive Inner Circle Magic Club
and get Full Video Demonstrations and Explanations to
a host Amazing Magic Routines, available in a Private
Members Area, exclusive to The Magic Touch Magic Club.

Join at:

Over the coming months I'll try to provide you with real
practical magic tricks, hints, tips and stories that I hope
you will enjoy.
You'll also discover many of the Insider Secrets that helped
me in my magic career.

Look out for exciting news about our new magic products,
in the next few days.

I'll put The Magic Touch Newsletter on a Special Webpage, so
that everyone can view the contents in full colour ONLINE.

You'll get regular emails telling you when the latest Newsletter
or Free Magic Tricks or Tips are up ONLINE.


Remember to Add my email address to your address book,
so that you don't miss out on any of the Magic.

And Check Your INBOX for your Basic Magic Tips.

IMPORTANT: If you can see the Link Below, Please Click
on it, as it will Confirm your request and help speed
the Delivery of your future emails and Magic tips etc.

Just Click On The Link Below:

Many thanks once again and I'll talk to you again soon.

Kind regards and magically yours,

Johnnie Gentle

PS. There's 30+ Magic Tricks and eBooks at Special Prices
for you at my Clickbank Website. - Take a look at: >>
>>> <<<

Helen & John Williamson
Health & Vitality Ltd. - Enhancing Life
For your Life Enhancing Products & Courses

You Can Get Free Magic Trick Video Tutorials at:
> > .

3 Jordanhill Crescent
Glasgow, G13 1UN
United Kingdom
John & Helen Williamson
Health & Vitality - The Magic Touch
Suite33, 3 Jordanhill Crescent
Glasgow, G13 1UN - United Kingdom

and the next one

Welcome to The Magic Touch - Inner Circle

Over the coming weeks and months I will certainly
do my best to share with you my knowledge and
experience of a lifetime of Magic.

You'll receive regular news updates, stories, hints
and tips and some great tricks that I hope will help
enhance your enjoyment of MAGIC.


Hello Roland,

Thank you for joining my mailing list and for your Interest
in The Magic Touch. You're now registered in our Inner
Circle, where I'll try to give you all the help and advice
you'll need, to get the very best enjoyment and thrill from

DAY 1 of "Your Five Days of Magic" is ready for you online at

The title is "TIPS on Beginning to Learn MAGIC"

I hope you enjoy it.

If you haven't already done so...
Here's your Link to download your Magic eBook....

I do hope you enjoy it and have fun with it.

Please pass it on to any of your friends and contacts or use
it as a FREEBIE to get prospects to your own Website &

PLEASE: Add The Magic Touch and Health & Vitality to your
email Address Book, so that your future Magic Newsletters
and tricks are not Blocked by any of your email filters.

Allow emails from: Johnnie Gentle - at The Magic Touch
eMail =

And I often use the email address -
eMail =

Please add these to your approved address book and you
will be sure that you won't miss out on any of our News.

Remember to tell all your friends about the "Five Days
of Magic" and tell them to claim their Magic eBooks.

See over 27 Amazing Magic tricks that You Can Do!
at: > >

Have a Magic time!

Kind regards

Johnnie Gentle

Helen & John Williamson
Health & Vitality Ltd. - Enhancing Life - The Magic Touch
For your Life Enhancing Products & Courses

You Can Get Free Magic Trick Video Tutorials at:
> > .

PS. There's 30+ Magic Tricks and eBooks at Special Prices
for you at my Clickbank Website. - Take a look at: >>
>>> <<<

The Magic Touch
3 Jordanhill Crescent
Glasgow, G13 1UN
United Kingdom

John & Helen Williamson
Health & Vitality - The Magic Touch
Suite33, 3 Jordanhill Crescent
Glasgow, G13 1UN - United Kingdom

If this goes on... damn!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WMF Johnnie Gentle

I guess you readers know how I feel about bullshit marketing techniques and about selling old stuff that little was done to, to make it worthy of reselling it.

Now put both together and you got Johnnie Gentle who runs a website called Magictouches. Near the bottom of that page it says:
Take a look at this Simple Magic Card Trick - The Four Ace Trick and
See How Just a Bit of Practice and a Great Presentation can Turn a
Very Simple Card Trick into an Amazing Miracle!.. Watch The Video...

Followed by a video of David Copperfield doing that card trick with the aces.

Now that is hyperbole, but it lures the beginner into the trap... And I am stupid that way, so I signed up for the free ebooks that are promised. This is what I got. The The Health & Vitality eBook. Yeah...

But a window popped up and I actually got free magic ebooks. Both of them explaining several things David Blaine did on TV. And for 7 dollars I can get more. More of the stuff that the writer did not make his own. When you read these ebooks you'll see that those were not made with the intent of teaching, but just of exposure.

So I assume Johnnie Gentle never read those.

But there is more. Johnnie Gentle also has another website, were he offers to teach magic. LearnRealMagic is the name and for as little as 12 dollars per month, less than the monthly subscription for World of Warcraft, all the magic can be yours.

What magic you ask. Well mainly stuff you have in Tarbell and all of the other old books. So why is Johnnie Gentle doing this? He seems like a nice guy. And two of the demo videos he put out have a nice rhyming patter. Sure his handling of cards is as crappy as mine, but he is in magic way longer than I am. And age is no excuse. The late Pat Page could still do excellent sleight of hand.

I can think of two reasons. First: He really needs the money and is willing to go through his magic library and sell out. Second: He just loves magic so much, that he wants to teach is so bad. And he is just covering the costs for video, server and all of that stuff.

My personal guess is somewhere in the middle. Less bullshit marketing and more transparency and he will be off my list.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #78

For all you magicians... This is a really good technique for the Misers Dream. Think about it! No more coin holders. You can do it naked and impromptu.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Guess I Am Missing The Point

The Culprit: Monarch's Quartette, the version by Larry Jennings and Roberto Giobbi. And this is how two cards are switched for two other cards. The cards to be switched are on the table. The cards to be switched in are on top of the deck. A break is held by the right thumb between the two cards and the rest of deck. The left hand takes the two cards on the table and turns both cards face down, so they are in dealing position of the left hand.

Now as attention is directed towards a third card on the table. The right hand places the deck on the two cards held in the left hand, while the cards on top remain in the right hand.

The whole switch is supposed to be unnoticed. Really? This is a bit too much of a discrepancy I think. I cannot imagine being able to create a misdirecting aura big enough so that switch goes undetected.

And I am certainly not a sissy when it comes to dangerous techniques.

"The better you are, the closer they watch" from Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz comes to mind. Conversely: The more boring you are, the better you get away with a technique such as this.

At least that is the impression I get.

So here are my questions. Do you use that switch? Do you actually get away with it? Are you boring? Or are you so damn funny like David Williamson, that the audience has a hard time to actually notice that there is magic going on?

Have I become so disconnected from the "commercial" view on magic that I don't see the genius in that technique?

1st EDIT: It is called the "Jinx Switch" which I should have know, but I am a walking libary of magic. Thanks to Denis for clearing it up for me that the switch acutally is workable. Which somehow makes the titel of this post fit. I guess I am missing the point. Nevermind, go on with your magic lives.

2nd EDIT: I actually couldn't believe that this switch actually fools people. So I went out and tried it. I just returned. To all of you who said it works... it does. Damn, damn, damn.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


My Chinese is a little rusty, sorry about that.

But Van is this weeks magic failure. (I think that's his name) Apparently he copies part of the act of German magician Timo Marc exactly. Timo Marc has a unique act and a very stylised character. Van not only copies his looks but also part of the act.

I know that China is known for making copies. But this is too damn close. The blue and orange, the big pockets, that shiny silky look, the whole over the top gestures. If you don't see any resemblance, check out this pic.

I suspect a conspiracy here. I think this Van guy is not really just a copy cat, he is a clone. I suspected China to do this for years. How else do all the Chinese look the same to Caucasian eyes?

So here is my complaint: How come I don't have a Chinese clone who does my work for me? I want my clone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Random Thoughts

Don't you just love it, when magicians write about themselves in third person on their websites. Normal practise I think. But writing about themselves in third person on Wikipedia...

My hands are never dirty. I master the principle of hygiene.

Don't you think it is lovely, when magicians start a certain trick as "an observation test" and never follow up on that idea.

If you cannot do a technique, you can still show off to your magic buddies, by never performing them, but by openly explaining it right away. They think you got skill.

Most comedy magicians are not funny. And most serious magicians are unintentionally funny.

Jay Sankey should stop explaining the Wave Change, as he cannot do it in a way that it looks good.

If magicians would start performing in looser pants they would not have so much trouble taking stuff out of the pocket.

If the method of a trick is more entertaining than the trick, the trick is bad.

Why does every DVD on basic coin handling include the back thumb palm and never shows a trick using it?

I love reading about magic theory, but not in the middle of a technical explanation of a card trick.

Doing a card palm on video is hard, as the camera doesn't look me in the eyes.

The more card tricks I learn, the more I appreciate the 5 card tricks that I actually do.

I get annoyed by the habit of some Magicians that are my "friends" on Facebook, who constantly tell all the world that they are "off to do a show" as if saying "look I don't suck"!

Monday, January 3, 2011

What's up with those?

More and more card magicians are wearing those. Each one seemingly under the age of 15. What's up with those. Does the colour point to sexual preferences? If so, what does the combination black and yellow mean?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #77

Effect: There are three gummi bears on the table. "Too bad I just like the red ones, no red one there." Then the performer changes each gummi bear into a red one and then eats them.

Method: Have one red gummi bear palmed. Pick up one of the three on the table and do a Spell Bound Move. Then switch it again before you eat it. Then pick up the next one and change it into a red gummi bear too. Then switch it again and eat the none red one. Do the same thing to the last one, but then eat both.

This is motivated magic! It is easy and makes sense. Easy to get into and you end clean. And you can apply this to almost all sweets. What more could you ask for?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

WMF David Martin

Another year, another WMF. This time David Martin,

If you mess up, which can happen and you are being called out for it, don't lie!

The video tells you all. Yet for some strange reason I feel the need to add a few things. David Martin says in the video that he is doing magic for over 25 years. This is strange claim. And most magicians do it. I got a magic kit when I was 4 years old. Does that mean that I am doing magic for 26 years now? Hardly.

If I am honest with myself I should say that I seriously got into magic 10 years ago. And others should do the same.

Also: Martin claims he does "cutting edge magic"! I saw some of his "cutting edge magic" on his website. Making a dove appear, changing a card for another and what you have seen him doing on America's Got Talent. "Cutting edge magic" indeed.

And of course David Martin is not just a magician, no, he is a "master illusionist".

I get why people overdo it when it comes to advertisement. But should it be that way?
How about: "Hi I am David Martin, my wife and I are doing a fun family show that is enjoyed by most people and yeah I'm the guy that messed up during AGT!"

PS. Wearing leather, doesn't make you "cutting edge"!