Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Further Expand Your Magic Horizon #02

Here is a bit of magic wisdom for you guys:

If you know 100 methods to contol a card, but only one to reveal it, you show the same trick 100 times.

If you know 1 method to control a card, but 100 to reveal it, you show 100 different tricks.

If you know just one 1 method to control a card, it better be the best one.

Well, look at that....

Does Dan Harlan get the Stevens Treatment?

I have such a deja vu right now. Is it so hard to believe that two people come up with the same idea around the same time? Is it so hard to believe that the wheel may have been thought of many times? And is it so hard to believe that one doesn't have to be a genius to create the trick?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Right To Reply

Nice to hear a Russ Stevens on the issue. He had time to think about it and to make up his mind. Not in Shawn Farquhar's favor. Personally I changed my mind too. Part of it. I still believe that the strength of ANY shape of my heart routine is not the magic, but the music. It is a wonderfully cheesy piece of music that people react too well to. If you take away the music you got two boring routines. Showing me how important music is and how music is an open gateway to our emotions.

And about the aspect of theft: I see two people. One caught in a lie, the other one bashing him. You decide which is which.

Edit: It was brought to my attention that some readers may have no idea what this is all about. Briefly: Shawn Farquhar won FISM in 2009 with a card routine that uses the song "Shape of my Heart" by Sting. Aside from the fact that I personally think that the award should not have been given to Shawn Farquhar, because it was a god awful performance, it created an interesting debate. The main idea of the routine (producing cards as named in the song) seemed to have been stolen by Shawn Farquhar from a UK performer named Russ Stevens. In 2009 there was quite a bit a debate about it, that mainly started from this and cardmans blog. The magic news website iTricks wrote about it and things got started. Ok... that was just a brief update.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #88

I am moving today, so this post was actually written yesterday... Well anyway, as I was packing my magic stuff I found a box of magic stuff that I haven't used in all those years, yet I kept it for some strange reason. It took a deep breath and then I dumped the whole box into the trash.

As it was falling I saw glimpses of stuff that I used as a beginner. Weird brass tubes with colored sticks. A coin (actually an old D-Mark) with a slit in it. A pen and a matching pen that was slightly bend. Many, many playing cards. Gaffed cards with shit glued to it. Lot's of rubber bands and a nice hollow needle with a hole on its side. Then a few really badly rotten sponge balls and few packet tricks (Star Gazer, Gypsy Monte) a CD with Music that I used for my linking ring routine and much more... man I won't miss any of that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

WMF Brendan Mon Tanner (revoked)

*sigh* How come that a lot of Australian magicians seem to follow the Matt Hollywood formula to get better hits with google? Case in point: Brendan Mon Tanner

One of those magicians who works everywhere. I certainly understand the desire to get filthy rich. I also understand that to reach that goal on has to got basically say fuck you and good bye ethics... but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Brendan has tailored sub websites to pretend he is from a specific area in Australia.

Australia is big. Really fucking big. To claim to be from everywhere is a bit overdrawn.
And of course Brenden also does everything: Family, corporate, comedy, Las Vegas and circus style. Do I need to mention that he "specialises" in every segment.

So the question is: Is he any good?

Well I see nothing original, nothing that sticks out of the bland mishmash we call illusion shows. And while I certainly see nothing that hurts magic it sure doesn't bring it forward. Brendan seems to be one of those guys who is into magic not because of the magic, but because of the money. If he could sing, he would be a singer, if he could do any other art he would do that. This is what biologists call a parasite.

And naturally his business side of things reflect that assumption. I might be wrong and he is a totally cool dude, but I doubt that.

So he is this weeks magic failure. Why? Well, because claiming to do all and everywhere is a false promise. And that I don't like.

(May the fifth 2011) Edit: Brendan may no longer carry his awesome title. Simple reason he fixed all the websites. They now clearly say he is a magician based in Sydney. I hate it when magicians fix themselves and force me to write this little editorial here. Anyway aside from that Brendan seems to be a cool guy with a sense of humor. Former failures were often pissed off threating me with legal charges (The Twins, Rob Matthies, Jack Moyer to name a few). But Brendan simply said... yeah sort of true, let me fix it. I like that. So Brendan... What I wrote above is no longer true. I still leave so I don't censor myself, opening the doors to many many more "requests". I wish you well with your magic journey.

PS. Lightning in promo pictures are so 1997.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Further Expand Your Magic Horizon #01

Here is a bit of magic wisdom for you guys:

If you do magic with coins, you must use your own.
If you do magic to coins, you must not use your own.

Magic Regrets 08

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snap Illusions Yet Again

I feel the need to point out Richard's comment in a separate post:

I am interested in people who would like to join my planned legal action against Snap Illusions and Jack Moyer FREE OF CHARGE.
Please read my posting #241458 - 03/22/11 05:10 AM in the Genii Forum

or contact me directly at

Actually Funny!

Thanks to Niklaus for this

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

List Time

If you are a layperson (that is the common magician's term for normal person) and you don't know if the performer in front of you is a magician, here are a few tips to spot him.

1. Wear shiny vests
2. And Bow tie
3. Carry a deck of cards
4. Have a piece of silk sticking out of the breast pocket
5. Have a cocky attitude, overblown ego
6. Attire that messes up your gaydar
7. Sweatshirts with tribal stuff on it (so 2004)
8. Childlike behaviour
9. Own sponge bunnies
10. Showing you a trick, even though you said you don't like magic
11. Pockets, Pockets, Pockets... all full
12. Low self esteem
13. Rolling their eyes as you mention Criss Angel or Harry Potter
14. Will use the term "cutting edge" a lot
15. "Pick a card, any card"
16. He shows his empty hands a lot
17. Blows against his fist
18. Male, often alone
19. Will automatically try to get you to make love to him if you are female (close up)
20. Will automatically try to get you to make love to him if you are male (stage)
21. Hates jugglers and says how overblown their ego is,
22. Will use stock jokes and pop references (perferably from the 80's)
23. Has a bunny or playing cards printed on the business card
24. IBM has a totally different meaning to him
25. Owns fake body parts
26. Loves to tear apart other magician's acts, even spoil the method
27. Thinking they got a mission to free the world from charlatans
28. Knows the difference between mentalism and mental magic
29. Can name 30 magicians instantly
30. Has a real job

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #87

I get a laugh out of this one. And maybe you do too.

That you Aaron Ducker for making this one.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Did a little research (that means I googled him)

Joe Power

Question for you guys: Is he just a con man or deluded enough to buy his own story?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WMF Magic Mike

I condemned this before. Magicians setting up websites which are basically mirrors of a main website. Mostly with tiny changes. That ensure that you rank higher in the google listing. I also wrote quite a bit about the usage of other magicians names in the own advertisement. (See Rob Matthies)

Now this weeks failure is a combination of both. His full name... don't know. But here is his website.

and that is just the main one. If you take a look at the bottom you will see links to all his other mirror sites.

And if you click the first one and scroll down to the bottom you will find this text:

No, today is not the day when we tell you about the stories of Magic Mike. There are lots of them, but they will be told some other day. Today we will talk about another important Australian magician: James Galea.

It may be difficult to think of an Australian magician. When you think of magicians, you probably think of someone with a top hat, a swirly moustache with a French accent. It does not have to be that way. James Galea, one of the most accomplished close-up magicians of the world, is living proof that you do not need to be a Frenchman with a swirly moustache, or a flamboyant American in Las Vegas, to be a great magician.

This famous Australian magician started his studies at 14 years of age, and is the living proof that practice makes perfect -- since he practiced his tricks for 8 hours a day. (Put curiosity aside, it turns out Galea's mentor, an Australian magician himself, was using his "powers" for evil. Using sleight of hand to cheat in high stakes poker).
By eighteen years of age his magic was so good that he got to perform at the wedding of the Australian millionaire James Parker. Parker, son of the media mogul Kerry Packer, could probably have booked David Copperfield had he wanted to, but being chosen for the wedding was quite an honor for the young Australian magician.
A few years later, in 2002, Galea was declared the Australian magician of the year in the category of close up magic, and he went on to achieve fame and fortune in America; heading up his own shows at the Magic Castle in Hollywood and the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and later returning to Australia in order to make his own six part series "Urban magic."

A show by the Australian magician, called "I hate rabbits" premiered in Sydney in 2008, and is still quite successful today, with sellout crowds and nation-wide broadcasts.
"Galea elevates familiar tricks to a new level thanks to charming showmanship and audience interaction". “Rip it up”, says the reviews of his performance at the Adelaide 2009 fringe festival. Actively challenging the crowd to unmask his tricks via the use of a live HD camera feed capturing his every move, James reveals in breaking his own rules, mingling with the crowd and delivering more card tricks than a credit scammer."

With scammers in mind, Galea is also co-writing the movie "Lying cheating bastard", the history of infamous con-man Jimmy 'the Cricket' Garcia. While the plot is not exactly related to Australian magicians, it has several elements that make it resonate with the experience of Galea -- in the world of gangsters and cons where the finest trickery is often required. However, the result of a botched card trick onstage is plain embarrassment, while a botched trick at the gangster’s den is often paid with life.

You can probably hire Galea too, since his website has a section dedicated to corporate customers and explaining the concept of corporate magic. However, chances are you won't be able to book the young Australian magician for your company picnic or your kid's birthday party. His usual clients include giants like Microsoft, Ford, Telstra, Disney and IBM so unless you have thousands of dollars lying around and your kid happens to love card sharks, you should probably stick with Magic Mike.

You might as yourself... Who is James Galea?

But let's be real for a moment. Magic Mike is clearly trying to use the success that James Galea has to get his own google rankings up. That way I think, he hopes to get more bookings. What a team player this Magic Mike is. What a good example. WMF for him!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello YouTube

I know that it isn't YouTube's fault, that Germans cannot watch any video with copyrighted music in the video. But would you at least still let me watch the video in silence. If the audio track is copyrighted by fucking SONY, UMG or whomever at least let me see the video part of the video. Also there is no way to tell if the claim that content belongs to a certain big nameless company is just. As I cannot see anything except this pathetic "we are sorry" screen.

I am basically forced to use proxy shit in order to watch a minute of card magic. All because the maker of the video was too lazy to speak and because the German GEMA asks for 12 cents per video. Which is ridiculously high. Understandably YouTube said "Fuck You" to the GEMA and simply made copyrighted content unable to be consumed via regular means in Germany.

And this gets out of hand quickly. Let me explain. I was watching a video. Ten minutes of a busker doing his act. In the video in the background there was a pop song playing, for a few seconds, in no relation to the act. Regular street noise. The next day I tried to show the video to a friend and I couldn't watch it as fucking UMG claimed they own the content in the video. They owned fucking nothing.

Again it is not YouTube's fault, but at least let me watch the video.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Buba and Buka

You have come across this right? This is Buka from Russia. (To my knowledge he doesn't live anymore)

But did you know that he was the lesser half of Buba (also not among the living anymore) and Buka? Both were from St. Petersberg. Here is Buba:

Now you know what place magic has compared to juggling. Remember that next time you make an indifferent card turn into the selection expecting to be treated like a god among men.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #86

Ah the Magic Cafe. Love it or hate it. Here is someone who hates it. Click ME Well to be more precise, someone who hates Steve Brooks. So if you need to get off some steam... you can share your story there.

Well and here is someone who loves the Magic Cafe. Click ME too. Oh wait that is something different.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kinda Sad

Topas is a good magician.... but he is getting older. That's normal. But trying to hide the fact by wearing a bandana is kind of sad.

Same with other German magicians. Like Florian Zimmer. Hopefully not a trend!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Learning a card trick a day is hard. Instead I should do reviews of magic DVD's...
Oh yeah, that would be cool. Wait. Even better. I should do reviews of Youtube Exposers. Or just review downloadable and illegal magic shit. Nah... too much work.

Doing a Wizard Review must be hard too. They gotta watch the crap. So I guess when watching piles and piles of shit a Calen Morelli DVD must seem like gold. Maybe I am too hard on Craig and David.

PS: At what point in time did iTricks become a "What Andrew Mayne is doing today" website?

What a bunch of...

Man Craig Petty & David Penn are just pathetic. In the most recent Wizard's review they go all out saying how professional they are.

Both get all over Helder Guimaraes' disclaimer on his DVD called Red Mirror. (at the 4 minute mark) Basically Helder said that he wishes that the routines on the DVD are not just copied but instead understood as inspiration to create great card magic yourself. Craig and David go all out on the fact that you cannot do the routines due to the disclaimer and what is the point then of the DVD. Craig then says that he would like to do the routines but he cannot. What a moron!

Seriously. I have never done a routine that I saw on a video exactly the same way. I always see it as an inspiration. And so does EVERY professional. No professional has the desire to copy an entire routine. Helder certainly understood that. Therefore the disclaimer is nothing more than a plea to be more fucking professional. But Craig doesn't understand this.

So the DVD gets a low rating by David because of the disclaimer. Damn... just like a little kid.

Well at least we are in the same boat about Michael P. Lair who does a wonderful job selling the same idea over and over again. Kudos to both of you tearing Mr. Lair a new one!

Again... David and Craig seem to love gimmicks. Craig seems to think that gimmicks make up good coin magic. David doesn't even know the name of the plots of the effects he is reviewing. Both are not professionals but kids trapped in a grown body and they love toys and hate anything that prevents them from playing with their toys and for some weird reason they are able to generate money doing reviews of magic products that they certainly don't have sufficient knowledge nor wisdom to do.

And should one of the guys read this: Professionals don't copy other peoples tricks without adding and taking away from it making it their own. If you have the desire to do a trick they way it is taught you certainly are not a professional...

WAIT... it has just come to my attention. The word professional has a different meaning in Germany than in the English speaking countries. In the English language a professional only refers to making money with it. It has nothing to do with "how good" you are doing so. In German "Profi" means that you are good with it. Even though you might not make money doing so. In that case... I take all of it back.

Craig and David are professionals. They are just bad professionals. Any good amateur is way above them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Magic Regrets 07

You Can Tell

Christopher Wayne.... About a year ago he started an ambitious project.

Luckily the project died and only one video was released. But you can tell that his heart was in the wrong place.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WMF Christopher Wayne

Christopher Wayne is an Australian magicians who calls himself a "Celebrity Magician". And he is this week's magic failure. Why? Exposure! But not on the Internet, but on national television.

This might be beginners stuff, but it still is unacceptable. Millions of viewers now know about the back palm. If he had exposed something of his own I wouldn't mind, but this is not his to expose. I assume that Christopher Wayne wouldn't call it exposure but teaching to inspire a new generation of magicians. Bullshit!

The sad thing is this. He actually is a decent magician with the ability to entertain a crowd of people even in the rain.

He doesn't even need to resort to exposure. So why?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Talk To Them Normally!

Why does he talk to an adult women like he talks to a little child. I know that the trick is for little children, but the assistant on stage was an adult. So he could have talked to her normally.

And as for that matter, why do people don't speak to children in a normal voice? Try the following. Don't change your pitch or speed. Talk to children they way you talk to other people. Over exaggerated emotional speaking voice is okay for children under the age of three as they cannot differentiate between the tiny changes that we put into our words to convey emotions. But once they have a passive vocabulary they are and should be able to understand when they are spoken to.

Most of the time speaking to children in that way seems to be laziness on the part of the adult. The adult wants to make sure the child understands that when you say "Kevin, get the ball!" it is not misinterpreted as a mean thing. They want to make sure the child understands that this is a positive thing.

But think about it you can use your normal voice and make sure the child still understands your emotional value by adding content. Instead of saying "Kevin get the ball!" in a overly friendly voice say "Kevin, would you please get the ball for me! Thank You" in a normal voice. A child older than three years will understand both: The command and the emotion that is conveyed.

Robert Baxt seems to have this problem in general:

I don't even know if he uses his real voice at all. But his performing voice is unnatural. Matt Hollywood, Shawn Farquhar and quite a few others seem to suffer from the same sort of problem.

So use your normal voice! The voice you use when you talk to your wife. And if there is emotion to be delivered, try doing it via words, not via higher pitch.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Did you watch the video yet?

Yesterday's video was the Wizard Product Review of February 2011. The regular hosts of that show are Craig Petty and David Penn two fans of magic. Let's not call them magicians. And here is what they did in that video. They hyped Calen Morelli's DVD Function 9 into heaven saying that it is the best DVD of the year and that Calen is the second coming of Tommy Wonder.

I can understand how they come to that conclusion. But that also tells me at what evolutionary step they are when it comes to magic. I took a look at that DVD in question because I wanted to have an opinion of my own about this. And here is my review of the DVD. It is a good DVD for beginners. No more than that. Calen has a card under the shoe routine. I can honestly say that most venues that I perform this would not be good to do. I work surrounded, meaning that there are even people behind people watching. Naturally the first row blocks the view and that is the reason why most of my magic happens at chest level. Having a card appear under a shoe is equivalent to a man with a large hat sitting in front of you in a movie theater. So I do card to pocket. Card under shoe can be done only with few people watching. Card in pocket can be done anytime, anywhere, close up and on stage. So why should a professional even bother considering to include a card under shoe routine? And if that professional had a reason, he would also have a better structure than the one suggested by Calen Morelli. Craig Petty and David Penn seem to have missed the point in their review. And they seem to miss a lot of points in general.

If you keep watching the video, even after they insulted Tommy Wonder post mortem they do a "funny" bit (13:30) where they have Jonathan from World Magic Store read a little bit that they removed all products by Joe Monti from their website, basically because Joe Monti calls Craig Petty and David Penn fags in a YouTube comment. While I certainly think that the comment of Joe Monti is not helpful in any way I cannot help to notice why he thinks that way. Craig Petty and David Penn certainly seem gay. Maybe it's the English accent, maybe it's the metro sexual look. Somewhere along those lines there is a closet. Both simply don't come across as straight. But hey whatever float your boat. I'm not judging life styles here. But banning Joe Monti's products because he hates Craig Petty and David Penn is childish. No wait actually it is not, but announcing it in public is.

So to end this tragic topic. Craig Petty and David Penn are fans of magic. They like gimmicks, they are not very organized about they magic thoughts which seem to be all over the place and they certainly are into whatever the flavour of the month is. They are magic consumer whores and in no way serious magicians who's words may have some value. Take it with a grain of salt.

I am writing this because quite a few of you suggested to give my weekly award to both of them. And while I see alot of failure all over the place, I cannot help to notice the lack of magic.

PS. Craig Petty looked better when he was still fatter.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #85

Starts at 1:20, ends at 10:45

That's more than nine minutes of "Arschkriecherei"! I know that you none German speaking folk will google it!

More on that tomorrow.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

EMC kept their promise!

Who would have thought the DVDs that were promised by the makers of the Essential Magic Conference are actually arriving. Took them a while but now they live happily ever after!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The ShockWave

So Peter Loughran has done it again

40 seconds before the video gets to the point,
intuitive solution is the modus operandi,
not new, as Robert Houdin even did something like that (even using electricity)
choppy movements telling everyone what is going on,
big fat suspicious board
*sigh* why does he even try?

just two hundred bucks...

Or you strap a magnet to your knee. Works with any surface, full control and way cheaper.

PS: Is that grin considered being smug?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WMF Dana Fleming

It is always interesting to know why an experienced magician, like Dana Fleming exposes magic. Why? Really why? What interest could an experienced, full time working magician from Virginia have to raise another generation of competing magicians? Is it about wanting to teach? If so why does anyone want to teach?

I think it is to show off. To show that you are cooler than the rest by being to able to pull of certain sleights. Maybe you don't get enough credit for your skill, that needs to be hidden. After all that is the nature of magic.

Like this:

Dana Fleming may want to teach magic. But this is just exposure. How do I know this? Well, he is also one of the moderators (name: magick) of Learn Magic Tricks Forum the biggest magic exposure forum in the world. (Owned by David Castle) So that alone removes any doubt in my mind that he has "serious" motifs.

Kind of said, that Dana Fleming doesn't get enough recognition that he "has" to get that sort of fame. Dana... here is one thing you can be proud of. This weeks magic failure award is yours.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Observe this!

Ever noticed that magicians with large hands create lots of methods and sleights and those with small hands create plots and premises?