Friday, September 30, 2011

So Geryn Childress is a really weird fellow!

He used to be a WMF (read for yourself)

Then he wrote me an email:
Hello this is Geryn Childress, the guy you blogged about as the owner of, you have your information all wrong, I purchased the magic site off ebay from some kid who was selling it, I'm new to the whole online business thing and it took me awhile to learn all the outs and ins of running a business online and once I realized the material wasn't authorized to be on the site I took it off, I thought all the material that came with the site was okay to be there, once I found out it was so I'm just informing you that you have so much stuff wrong on your blog, that's not even my picture dude, Lol! so please update your information. Look forward to your response.


When I was writing the article on Mr. Childress, it clearly said you would get all the illegal content. He has changed that since then, although I have no proof, as I'm not paying 25 dollars a year.

Now he fights back like a little schoolboy: Take a look at this!

He actually claims that I have been arrested for having child pornography. Man that's a new low. I have been called a Nazi, an anti-semite, an asshole and a horrible human being, but this is way too low. There is personal opinion and there is hate speech.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

About Theory and how it "feels"

Man I love it if any craft is pressed into theory. It's our never stopping desire to find patterns and to us those patterns to better ourselves in our craft. I read a book some years ago about poi swinging. The book was for beginners and it basically gave most of the common poi swing tricks some names. There was the "car going forward", the "car going backwards", the "sun", the "butterfly" and a few more of those. These names helped to understand the movement and the rhythm of the many tricks. It was a good beginners book. And I can say that I learned from the book the basics of poi swinging.

Later I went to a jugglers forum and they ripped apart the book. This guy (the author) dared to put theory into poi swinging. According to the jugglers, poi swinging needs to be an emotional experience. You gotta "feel" the moves. You can't describe them. (Of course you can.) You have to figure it out by "becoming the ball on the string."

It was very esoteric. And that seems to be true for most jugglers so it seems. You gotta get the right "feel" and very little theory seems to be in use. And those who do get shunned and spit on by the juggling community. Unless of course you are a big name. Then you get praised.

Anyways: I am here to argue FOR the side of the theory haters in the juggling community. I have no doubt that those guys can juggle. I have no doubt that they "felt" the learning process. And I have no doubt that some magicians are better left off not having to deal with theory.

According to science there are many different ways we learn. Modular learning is what most of us do. We watch others and then we can do it ourselves. This has nothing to do with understanding why it works. Somehow I think that by watching countless performances of others you might actually end up being a pretty good magician yourself, without stealing the acts. This doesn't mean you understand what makes up a good act. But you end up having a pretty good "feel" about it.

The Modular learning was the main way to go in the very early days of magic. If you wanted to be a magician you had to get a master. And if the master thought you are worth the training he would teach you by imitation. Not by teaching about theory. Most often the master themselves had very little theory on their own. They just had a pretty good "feel" about it.

Naturally this approach is not for everyone, and it should not. Some just feel better about their act when they know why it work. Or most often why it should work!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Steve Miller Band

And I wanted to forget all about that period of time:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Skype Chat Log

[00:37:58] Friend: hey
[00:38:34] Friend: how is the wire different from the previous T11 format where they had artists sell tricks? Isn't this the same? "artists" selling stuff?
[00:38:49] Roland Henning: well the difference is this...
[00:39:01] Roland Henning: you produce the trailer, you pay all the cost making the video
[00:39:05] Roland Henning: you have all the work
[00:39:11] Roland Henning: and theory 11 cashes in
[00:39:18] Roland Henning: that's the difference
[00:39:32] Roland Henning: T11 has no work
[00:39:48] Friend: ok. Makes sense. Yeah that's a difference.
[00:40:07] Roland Henning: except offering a platform, (which they have anyway) and paying the servers (which they do anyway)
[00:40:18] Friend: smart
[00:40:21] Roland Henning: and getting 40%
[00:40:28] Roland Henning: of each sale
[00:40:28] Friend: not bad
[00:40:35] Roland Henning: yeah great business idea
[00:42:22] Friend: i might have an idea or 2 lol
[00:42:40] Friend: just need some really nifty camera and music...
[00:43:10] Roland Henning: and editing, don't forget editing
[00:43:22] Roland Henning: if people can see how it works they will not buy it
[00:43:51] Friend: yep
[00:47:00] Roland Henning: do you mind, if I post parts of our little chat over at WMF (your name taken out of course)
[00:47:08] Roland Henning: because it#s funny
[00:47:38] Friend: sure
[00:47:44] Roland Henning: thanks

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Oh my, this can't be misunderstood at all. This picture must be magic related. Yes it is: Click Here!

Well let's see what this leads up to. At least Alexander de Cova is know for releasing outstanding magic. Kudos where kudos is due.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Get Gigs & Keep Clients

One side of a professional magician is the business side of things. And one of the smartest business decision I ever made was to admit to myself that I suck at doing business. So I outsourced my business and got me a manager. And by that I mean my gf took over and does all the scheduling and pricing.
But not everyone is so smart. And some might actually have business skills and even like doing that. Learning about how to get gig and how to talk to clients and how to get higher fees for your work is information that doesn't fall from the sky. You can get books on how to create promotion material and how to cold call businesses offering your magic service. But you still need to find out how to apply all this available knowledge to magic.
This work has been done before so one would be stupid not to benefit from it.

A few weeks ago Theory 11 started "The Wire" a marketplace where magic creators can sell their stuff. Theory 11 takes 40% of the sales. Which is a huge amount. But that shall be discussed later. In the General Magic section an eBook is sold. "Get Gigs & Keep Clients" The author: William Draven. He is no stranger to this blog. In fact he used to be a Weekly Magic Failure for exposure. Since then he has evolved a lot. To a point where he actually knows what he is talking about.

A few weeks ago he approached me, asking me if I review books. I told him that yes I would, if I can be totally honest about it. So he send me the eBook that is now sold for 24.95 dollars via "The Wire".

I read it. I read the whole darn thing. And I hate it. I totally hate it, yet I ask you to get this!

Here is why. Basically this book tells me all the things I am doing wrong on the business side of things. Now I need to change my business cards, because they contain my address and all of that shit.

Also the book tells you in a very unflattering way to become a telemarketer and to cold call businesses to offer your service. It tells you how to avoid talking to the wrong people and how to get and talk to the right people.

The book is very upfront that way and gets to the point quickly. The whole book is constantly telling you not to think like a magician, but like a business man. And I hate that. But I see the necessity in that. If you wanna be a professional magician, that means making money with what you like doing most, you gotta do something that your probably won't like doing at all.

It sucks all the fun out of the magic in a way. But I have no doubt that the techniques offered in this book (85 whooping pages) will make you a more successful magician in the long run.

Sadly very few will actually buy the book. Hell, if I hadn't got the book for free I wouldn't have got it. And sadly "The Wire" is probably be the worst place for this valuable information. For a few reasons. First: It's a book. "The Wire" consumers don't read books. They want it all in nice video chunks. Second: It's theory. There is no new gimmick offered. No magicians fooler. Not even pretty pictures (OK, a few) Third: It's not about magic. It's about magic business. Now think about it. Who in the right mind will want that...

Well only who is "in the right mind". So I do something that I rarely do here on my blog. I am telling you to get this book. I am telling you to read it and to apply this to your professional business.

I don't get paid and yet I am endorsing this product. I am actively telling you to get this book from a guy whom I introduced to you with the following lines: "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you. Really, Fuck you Wayne Phelps, aka William Draven. Fuck you and your greasy hairdo."

The book is that good.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Angry Man of Magic - “By your favourite method”

These four words fill me with more dread than the equivalently enumerated phrases 'George Bush is President', and 'Gary Glitter Revival Tour', put together. At any point I see these words in the instructions for a trick, or within the pages of a book, I instantly know I've been short changed. The demo video looked like a convincingly free choice, but when I read the half page of cheaply printed waffle from a emotionally-diseased bubblejet printer and see the phrase “by your favourite method” my heart sinks as low as Granny Mildred's tits!

They then have the audacity to print, "such as the cross-cut force”.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

Don't get me wrong, I like the “cross-cut force” as much as the next socially retarded, sleightly inept (geddit?), magician - but I bought this trick to learn something new. Whether it's a new sleight, new method, or new presentation. I didn't pay to be told that the sleight you used was someone elses that you can't discuss.. “but here's another that's just as good”. Why? Because the sleight you're telling me about isn't as good as the one you used in your advertising. If you don't have the rights for the clever sleight, ask for them. If you can't get them, show the promo video with the force you're explaining so myself (and other prospective purchasers) know exactly what we're buying, and not something else. Magicians should be tricking their audience, not their customers.

Oh, and if you're excluding the force instructions because you can't arsed to type them up, then you're a lazy bugger, and you should probably be releasing it on DVD only, through Ellusionist, instead.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Now this is pathetic!

And for just 20 dollars this can be yours.

Is there no quality control? You know... a dude... sayin' like it is! Saying: "Dude this is shit!" Let's hope the quality control with "The Wire" that Theory 11 has put into place is much better. I heard some good things about it. (Also some bad stuff, but I'll save that for another time.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

WMF Otvos Alexandru

My Romanian sucks, so it could be that I got the wrong dude. But I'm pretty sure I'm right. But I am prepared to rewind this whole thing. Enough disclaimer.
Last week a Brazilian magician from Argentina got the weekly title. Now it's a guy from Romania. His name: Otvos Alexandru. The reason: The same as past week.

Technically this is out of my usual MO, yet this is magic related due to the methods employed. Otvos Alexandru is a man who runs some sort of agency. He does perform too. One of his performances:

Seen that before? Having a Deja vu? Need I add more?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

About Old Sleight Of Old Hands

Today was weird. I just returned from a gig. Lot's of people and one old lady in particular came up to me telling me that she used to be a magic assistant. I was interested and talked to her a little longer. It is so weird to hear an old lady (she is in her 80's) talking about a magic era long past. How she was levitating and how that darn thing never seemed to work properly. She use the proper terminology and then she showed me a retention of vision vanish with a coin that she worked on for many years.

It was an interesting move. Basically she was clipping the dollar sized coin between her index finger and middle finger. Then she twisted the finger, so the middle finger would be on top of the index finger. That put the coin into a very exposed and stylistic position. Then she placed the coin into the other hand which she was holding above the finger clipped coin, somehow managing to thumb palm that coin in the process. Basically, what was so bold about the move was, that she released the coin the second it went into the other hand... and gravity made the coin fall into the thumb palm. I have never seen that sort of a coin vanish. She claims she come up with this. And I have no reason to doubt that.

It was done so beautifully and gracefully that I was in awe. Her really old finger, barely able to carry the stuff she bought that day could still do that sort of finger flicking action.

I asked her if she ever did that on stage. She told me that the guy she worked for would not have appreciated that sort of work from his assistant.

What a weird day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

About that Pervert Magician

I got quite a lot of emails suggesting magician Shane Wright to be a Weekly Magic Failure, for having had sex with a twelve-year-old girl. HERE IS THE STORY. I will not do so.

He is not a magic failure... but a human failure. There is a line I need to draw somewhere.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Wonder

Was it difficult for the animators to take a five finger flourish and to apply it to just four fingers?

come to think of it: The Simpsons are always kind towards "sleight of handers"

Monday, September 5, 2011

WMF Raimini

I found out about this guy a few hours ago. Since then I have been browsing and researching. A face palm is not enough. Yesterday I posted this video by the French pantomime Jérôme Murat. A unique living statue act.

Raimini ripped him off:

And that was what I wanted to post initially. But then I found out about his great website: He actually has a online magic story integrated in his promotional website. On that store he's got stuff to sell. On of the items: The Thumb Tip. A nice big picture of it, and a description of a trick that can be done with it. So not only is Raimini ripping off, but also exposing.

But if that doesn't convince you that he deserves the title Weekly Magic Failure... this will. His promotional video. I won't say anymore words.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #97

Jérôme Murat's Statue act. It's not new by any means, but I hardly see anybody doing something quite as beautiful. Nice combination of Zombie, third hand and switching between them.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Peter Loughran's JITTERS

Peter Loughran can't help himself can he? The promotional videos for his products are always done with a shitty ass camera. Boost the contrast, use proper lighting, use HD! Well aside from the video (Keep the into to 5 seconds) it is again a case of false advertisement. At the 2-minute-mark it tells you that the item uses no electronics. That is no true. I am sure they are referring to the plancette, but it seems to refer to the whole board, which doesn't look like a simple board made of wood.

Well I always thought that at a certain point in our individual magic evolution we get out of the magnet phase. Peter is still stuck in it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WMF That Cigarette in the Wrong Context

There are places for cigarette magic. Nowadays those places get more and more outlawed and socially unacceptable. What was okay 20 years ago could be totally not okay today. Case in point Lance Burton and part of his bird act. Does he still do it? If so, does he still drop the cigarette and crush it with his shoe? That is such a disgusting habit. Imagine someone does this in your living room. Right on the wooden floor. A dirty ash stain. This was never cool. Yet there seems to be no problem doing it on stage. Watch: 1:47, 2:44 and 3:25...

I do get why Lance wanted his smoke... it adds a mystery. And after all: Magicians are all about Smoke and Mirrors. Well how about magic solution to where the smoke comes from? Just saying!

Another example is Argentine magician Mirko Callaci. He is doing cigarette magic in a kids show:

Really? Really? I ranted about this before. His act is beautiful, aside from the smoking. I love how he produced a flower from the cigarette smoke and smells on it, pretending it smells like a flower. It doesn't work. It takes me out of the magic.

Again, it doesn't mean, that there is no place for cigarette magic. But you need the proper context. Barry and Stuart have a great little routine. Or even David Stone.

Cigarette magic is not dead, but in the wrong context it certainly is a failure. In the 80's everyone smoked. And that was okay. It's not okay anymore. I know there is the tendency of magicians not going with the time. But if you want a timeless act, take out the cigarettes.