Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Got time for some theory?

I often see the word "teleportation" and "transposition" being used for the same thing. Well it's not....

Let me explain by starting from the very beginning. The first two basic effects are "vanish" and "production". Basically something fades out of existence and then comes back. If you want to be all nit picky than you might see, that it is actually just one effect. One of them is just the reverse of the other. But keep in mind that those two effects are the two basic effects that the following will build on.

Transformation: So an object changes into another object. Think about it. When seeing this our brain could interpret this as two different events. The first one is, that two objects are in play. The first object faded out of existence while the other one appeared from thing air. All at the same place in space creating the effect. Now the second way to see this is the following: Just one object, which changes it's attributes. We just haven't see the actual change. And because our brain cannot easily decide which scenario is the actual case it makes up this third effect. Simply called "transformation".

Teleportation: Very similar to the transformation again we have two possible events taking place. The first one again is about two objects. At place A object A could vanish, while at place B object B could appear. Or the second was out brain could see this is, that the object becomes invisible and moves to the new location unseen to become visible again. In most cases both scenarios are thinkable and again our brain cannot decide which on to pick. So "teleportation" becomes the fourth effect in magic.

So if we call the first two effects in magic basic effects, then the next two, the transformation and the teleportation become effects of a higher level, as at least both of the basic effects are needed to explain them.

An even higher level of effects would be the Transposition: When two objects swap places, two possible events could take place. Both objects could simply be still where they are, they just transformed into one another, or the two objects teleported to the other ones location. Both cases are valid, our brain cannot decide which one, so the "transposition" becomes the fifth effect.

So you see that teleportation and transposition are not the same thing. Thank you for reading and sorry to have bothered you being a bitcher about a problem that apparently only I am seeing.

Bravo Andrew, Bravo!

Andrew, I can't think of anything to add to your wonderful post on the Splice issue. All I can do is link towards it... hopefully getting you more traffic.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WMF Chris Burton

It is interesting how a certain type of magician always comes up doing the same thing over and over again. Treating magic and it's secrets badly by disrespecting the value of it. Chris Burton is such a guy. His website Secrets of Card Magic is such a case.

Basically 25 years old Chris Burton is a sell out, offering magic secrets that are not his own under the pretext of teaching. Here is the simple rule about teaching: Teach your own material. If you teach other's material you need to get permission by the creator. If the creator is dead you have to wait for the copyright to wear off. Any book published prior 1923 is public domain. Also if the author is dead for 70 years the book tends to be public domain.

The stuff taught by Chris Burton is not his own for the most part. How do I know? Well I certainly didn't pay for the "8 phases of access" each costing 25 bucks to unlock it. But I had somebody tell me what's in it. What do you expect? Of course the standard stuff like the Snap Change and other shit that sells well to the uninformed audience. And I gotta give Chris Burton some credits, as it took a lot of work to put all of this together.

Selling out magic is too common nowadays. I give you an example: The key card principle is usually one of the first "cool" things we learn. Very soon the "cool" wears of and it is old and simple and even pathetic. So it is easy to dismiss the value that the key card holds. Chris Burton seems to dismiss a lot of value. So he feels eligible to both teach and getting paid for secrets that aren't his. Weekly Magic Failure for me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Angry Man of Magic - The middle lane magician

I got into magic seriously when I was in my 20's. That quite late by most accounts, but I don't care. I feel it has added a maturity to my character, and a depth to my understanding of the art. I'm happy to talk with the youngsters about the latest and greatest gimmicks; although I'm old enough to realize they're only adaptations of older principles... and their latest 1-trick DVD was a throw-away routine in a book from 30 years ago. However, the conversation doesn't always last very long, since they think I'm too long in the tooth because I haven't bought the latest XYZ on pre-release from Jay Sankey. Alas, I am spurned.

I'm also happy to talk with the elder statesmen of our art; those who worked alongside Canasta and have shunned technology since Gutenberg. Each day they pray for the death of the internet, and still haven't learned to work their DVD player. However, the conversation doesn't last very long, since I'm too young to have the original 1954 edition of a tome so dusty that it falls foul of health and safety, or that I learned a sleight from a DVD, instead of the original in the (now out of print) hyper-expensive collectors edition lecture notes that exist in a singularity within another universes time-space continuum. Alas, I am spurned.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

Am I such an objectionable person that no one wants to talk to me? Er no - because it's not just the conversation.

The youngsters haven't learned enough manners to wait in the queue without pushing, barging, or giving frat-boy aggravation. The oldsters haven't learned that age doesn't grant you the right to push to the front of the queue. Although maybe it should, perhaps they're so old they might die in the next 12 seconds if they don't get to the front. They have, after, got to pass comment on how Slydini did it. And better. And that they taught him.

The youngsters haven't learned that - I not knowing the name of a new sleight - doesn't mean I'm stupid. The oldsters haven't learned that I not knowing the name of an old sleight doesn't mean I'm stupid. They're probably the same sleight, anyway. And the only way I'll know this is if magicians gave proper crediting throughout (which they often don't), and I have read the exact same set of books that they have (which I almost never have.)

The youngsters haven't learned that the magical inheritance isn't theirs yet; they haven't earned it, there's lots of people in the bequeathal queue before them; particularly if it's not a self-working card trick from Ellusionist. The oldsters haven't learned their magical legacy is out of their sleight-weary, wrinkled, old hands. Magic moves on. They no longer own it. It's time they realized.

I'm beginning to come to terms with this. I am a "middle lane magician". It's just like driving a car where everyone on the road seems like an idiot - those going faster than you are un-safe idiots. Those going slowly are retarded, plodding, idiots. Except in this case, I'm not sure which are the youngsters, and which are the oldsters.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Splice you Opinion

Shin Lim may be a bright new light on the magic horizon. Maybe too bright... One of his products: Splice. With a nifty demo video:

In case it is deleted: A signed Eight of Diamonds is shown, twirled on the right hand middle finger to prove it's a single card. Then it is placed on the deck, and then placed in the middle. Magic gesture, and it's back on top. Near the end of the video this is repeated from a different angle. The only difference: The card is not placed on top, and then placed in the middle. But placed on top and cut into the middle via Charlier Cut.

Here is the caviar: The video is faked. A duplicate is used.

This issue was brought up on the Magic Café. Shin Lim replied:
Hey guys, Shin Lim here. This has been a move I've been working on for a while now, and I felt that it was a sleight worth putting out into the magic community. It's a move that can be done perfectly if practice is put in to it. So the answer is NO I didn't use two duplicates. All it took for dendrake to do was to crop my playing card a couple of milimeters up to make the signature look different. If you notice the end result of the second 8 was that the 8 on top looked faded on the edges, because of the "cropping". Guys, I would never do such a thing as to use 2 duplicates when the move doesn't ask for it(and because I would rather take the time to do a couple of "takes" and get the move right on camera, than to painstakingly forge a signature and make them look identical). It's an extremely clean sleight, and if you ever see me at a convention, I'll be more than happy to show you a live demonstration, including you, Dendrake.

Shin Lim

What a liar.

This is not new. I remember the time when Craig Petty faked a sleeving demonstration during the Wizard Product review. But that's a different story.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

He has come a long way

Mr. Mayoral has certainly come along way in magic. The act you are about to see from FISM 1994. A very, very lonely piece of magic. Full to the brim with symbolism. I don't think I get all of them (or even one for that matter).

The act is clearly nerdy in all ways. Even a bit creepy. Good? Well see for yourself:

What makes the ending even more tragic is realizing that this is a one person act.

Monday, November 21, 2011

WMF Keith Raleigh

Remember the time when stereotypes were funny?

Times have changed a bit and magicians need to adopt to the changing times. Some have not gotten the message. Keith Raleigh is such a case. Here... watch this:

There are more clips just like this one. The magic is decent, but the presentation is an absolute no nowadays. My childhood was full of racial stereotypes. We used the N-word made fun of Asians and gays. Today is different. That's part of an evolving culture. There will be times, when today's standard is in no way acceptable. But right now Keith Raleigh's alter ego The Great Ching Chang is in no way okay. So he will be this week's failure.

Friday, November 18, 2011

All you Open Travelers

Here is pro tip for you, if you do any Open Travelers (aka Invisible Palm).

DO NOT show your hand empty on the first card. Keep it palm down. Spread the fingers... leave the people wondering how exactly you palm the card. Even make a fist... then go down and conclude the first effect. On the second time you can show your hand empty. But only very, very briefly. On the third time you can be all "open" about it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't knock the creator of "From Nothing", Roland!

Whatever you may think of his revolutionary coin vanish, which I taught him BY THE WAY. The creator of 'From Nothing' deserves much praise. Much, much, much, much, much, much praise. But not as much as me.

Whenever I haven't got the C.U.N.T.O.M.A.T.I.C. strapped on, I always carry a spare plastic carrier bag, and a piece of fruit. Or a vegetable. 

Now that's what I call magic, folks.


Hydrophobic Fabric

I'm seeing a serious way to include this in an illusion show. Like emerging from a water tank with dry clothing.

Click this link to the main page.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Angry Man of Magic - Stop Thief!

My colleague has recently had a problem with theft. Of material. But not in the way you might instantly think. This is theft of props... at a gig... by the punters... punters who are expecting to be entertained with a few pieces of laminated cardboard and a rubber band, but will now suffer another card trick because one of their klepto klunt friends has walked off with the props.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

What exactly did this reincarnation of Forrest Gump's more stupid brother think he was stealing? This isn't the 'piece of cardboard to million dollar pot of gold' transformation that we've all thought suitable to bring to the working mans club. Nor is it something that can be resold on ebay for beer money. It's worthless to you, and everyone else.

Can you imagine the advert?

“Plez l@@k - mega magick trick!!! no idea how it works becuz I didnt' steel the instructions but sure YOU can work it out yourselfs. LOL. thanx for lucking” (all spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors are likely to be real, since he's the sort of person who puts the 'retard' into 'illiterate.')

In fact, to anyone other than a magician his haul is pointless. So why do it? Would you hang around the back doors at a rock gig, and nick Robert Plant's guitar if he turned his back to talk with another fan? (Actually, don't answer that - it was meant to be a proverbial question, but I realize I've just given you another business plan in your next 24-hour day release.)

We don't even have any money to pay a ransom. Was that your plan, Mr. Thief? Instead of pirating material from teh interwebs, are you on an exchange program from Somali and though that magic was the game to be in?

What Rainman doesn't even realize is that it isn't just the cost of the props. Sometimes it'll have a sentimental value (our personal prototype, or a gifted trick); or represent a great deal of time in manufacture or easing the product in until it's usable; or that we have to make rush purchases to get a replacement for tomorrows gig which is a 50 km drive north... while the only magic shop is 50 km drive south.

Hate. Hate them all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WMF Stemaro

Stemaro Magic is a German magic dealer. One of many... there is nothing spectacular about them. But recently they started a Magic Wiki... and it goes right into exposure territory. Among the stuff they explain in the name of "teaching and resource": The Spider Pen (pictures included), what Rubber Cement is good for and various card techniques. While this is not totally hurting magic it still is very, very unrespectful towards the magic secret. It is German, so I see little harm overall, yet having popular trends (like having a wiki for everything, iphone apps) applied to magic is wrong.

Please Stemaro... take that away, make it so, that it is no more.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Me sad! Me ranting!

Every single magic store / online shop that sells Kevin Parker's Revolution Coin Vanish should be avoided... Every single one. How can those seller look at themselves in the mirror? How?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Magic cannot stand on it's own. It needs to borrow from other arts.

I read a scientific study on the paddle move. Turns out that in this case a large action does not cover the small action. The "cover" comes from the speed.

After loading 25 sponge balls into a spectators hand you can basically stop the show for a few minutes.

Magic gimmicks make me feels like James Bond.

I'm addicted to the smell of sharpies.

Who knew that yellow rope is more visible from afar that white rope... I sure didn't.

I saw a magician once who still owned and used the first set of sponge balls he ever got. Outbreak alert!

When presenting a jumbo coin say this: "The coin is not bigger, the whole universe around it just shrunk." Funnier that way.

Wearing glasses and adjusting those once in a while gives you so much more cover when palming coins.

Does anybody know a way to force a butterfly, making it look like I just asked for an animal? No pre show!

I love my mini cards, when I hold them I feel like Larry Jennings.

"The Naked & The Dead" by Barry Solayme - LATE!

Just a brief message to all those who pre-ordered my new book, "The Naked & The Dead", an original title by yours truly. Unfortunately, there was a mix up at the print shop, who failed to reduce their print time to accomodate a late delivery of the manuscript. Talk about bungling amateurs, Jesus!

But to reassure all of you: as soon as it is ready it will be mailed directly to your homes, SIGNED to those who paid me extra, at NO EXTRA COST! That's right, folks, I'm not going to charge you for the delay, as I have a genuine respect for all my customers. I know, it makes the $89.97 you paid seem like a STEAL for a 54 page book with exclusive late deliveries!!!

And thanks to all who expressed concern for me during my sojourn in the Netherworld. I'm back safe and well, and you can read about it on my blog. I'll be writing it up into a eye-witness account, "Barry's Divina Commedia", by Barry Solayme. It's available for pre-order now!!! (PayPal the usual address)


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is this a precedent?

So Hans Klok got sued by his former sidekick Rafael van Herck for copyright infringement. The court decided that the claim was just and Hans Klok needs to pay the sum of 16.000 US dollars. The routine involves Hans Klok reaching through his sidekicks body to grab a glass of water off a tray, then smacking off van Herck's head momentarily. Here is a link to a Washington Post article.

Keywords of the article are:
Klok argued the tricks are no secret in Las Vegas — one was even used by Siegfried & Roy. But the court ruled Van Herck’s combination is unique.

Here you see a version of that at 2:53. (Not actual routine, but the whole setup.)

So does that mean it is possible that we finally have a precedent, that we can sue fellow magicians if they use just two things in the same order that we do? If so... is that a good thing?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Talk about bad

Here is the effect in a nutshell. You recharge a battery with your bare hands. in order to prove this you have a little battery tester that is used before and after the effect to verify the magic.

So here is the thing. If you need a tool, that is both uncommon and hardly understood by anybody not using those on a daily basis to make the magic noticeable, then something is wrong with the effect. The effect needs to be understood effortlessly. This is not the case here, making Recharger by Stefan Schroetter a crappy effect.

This should have never seen the light of day and been released.

The Worldmagicshop knows this, yet they dared to put this piece of trash in their shop. Why did they do it anyway? I am giving them the benefit of a doubt to assume that they are not stupid. But doing that makes their actions seem even more shady.

Greed can not be the sole reason...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

iTricks down?

Explain this!

YSM Round Up

Here are my thoughts on this: I just love what they are doing. Seriously. Here we have a whole bunch of Filipinos, no older than 16, totally being into magic. Are they good? Of course not. Do they hurt magic? No!

In fact this is what I would call a phenomenon that not new. But YouTube and stuff made us aware of that. A room filled with nerdy geeks, cutting cards like crazy exchanging thoughts and ideas and filming themselves. Sounds familiar?

I bet if the whole gang around Ed Marlo had today's technology similar videos would be floating around.

So what the Youth Society Magicians (what a dumb name) are doing is just kids playing around. Let them have their Super Kewl Club. They are not exposing magic, they are embracing it. In fact one or two of them might actually stay with this and become good magicians eventually.

Do you know the feeling when a kid comes up to you telling you all about dinosaurs and Pokemon? You may be bored and find it all stupid, but deep down you are happy for the kid, that he gets so exited about stuff. And this is why I just love what they are doing.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

YSM Day 5

Pasteboard Jerald is the last guy... and what a treat:

Spreading, Turning them over, cutting them like crazy. Then another spread and turnover. Then a fan, a riffle and another fan. Hey, another fan and finally a card is picked. It might feel like boring stuff, but it's called suspense. An ancient tool to make a show more cool.
Then another fan and the card is replaced. Riffle, Hindu, riffle shuffle. Then face up are shuffled into face down. Jerald is a mad man I tells ya... a mad man.

But then, then all the cards are face down again with one card being face up. The selection... Dude this is a triumph in card magic.

Friday, November 4, 2011

YSM Day 4

Longing Stare Dhongz is next... with some rope magic.

This dude dares to be different. He's so kewl he doesn't even need cards. Just rope stuff. And he even thought about the music. Some Indian sounding tune. Nice thinking Bro. I heard the trick is actually by a guy called Pavel. But that sounds like a fake name. Dhongz is much kewler anywayz.

And how does he do that. Making a knot like that. When I try this, I my knot actually is not a knot. Fakery some would say. But those are just dissing, lackin' respect.

Next dude tomorrow needs to top this. I bet he cannot do this.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

YSM Day 3

Extreme Arafat is next:

You can tell he's extreme... what am I talking about, he's xtreme and 1337. All those fancy productions are so hardcore that one would almost miss the nice display of cards in front to the close up mat. And watch that smirk smile he does sometimes towards the camera. That is true passion and skillz.

But Extreme Arafat is greater than the sum of his parts. Watch him dance before he goes into his greatest trick. Making himself vanish, without cover. In your face Criss Blaine, you can't explain that.

His video rightfully got 167 view... and he deserves much more, much, much more. Like twenty more or so. I just "liked" the video. I expect you to do the same. Word.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

YSM Day 2

Time for Trebor Z, formerly known as Crazy Robert. Here is his famous 4 Ace Trick:

Dude he's got serious chops. And he uses black cards. That's cool. Right bro? Teach those aces some respect. Show them who's boss. And the last ace... always misbehavin. Needs some manners. But Crazy Robert got it all under control. Just one invocation towards the ghost of Erdnase and everything is cool again.

Right on!

Now I gotta get me some changing rainbow pants.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

YSM Day 1

Let's start with Sexy Carlos.

Just marvel at his skillz. Whatever he might be missing, he makes up for it with attitude. That's how he rolls. First I was all like dude, he is an extreme beginnerz, then I was all like, no, he is and xtreme beginner, cutting the cards like shit.

Then he produces the aces. Man how did he know they were there? He's a witch or sumthin...

Also him loosing the aces was pretty convincing. You can tell that he's put effort in his work. Totally unique and all of that. All I can say is... Exxxxxit Liiiiiiight... We're off to never never-land.