Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WMF Harry Lorayne, Not Really!

Who the hell is Harry Lorayne and what has he become? I used to know Harry Lorayne only as the publisher of the "Apocalypse", a magic magazine which ran monthly for 20 years. This was only possible through the constant input by other magicians who regularly contributed their magic creations to be published by Harry Lorayne. While reading it two things became obvious. 1st: Harry really has an eerie ability to teach magic in written words. 2nd: He is absolutely full of himself. The way he "improved" on the tricks of others and constantly referred to his "mind" and his "knowledge" and that he is rarely wrong were not signs of modesty.

Modesty is a word that totally not describes Harry Lorayne. Here are some others: Understatement, dignity, frugality and discreet.

Harry has always been a loud mouthed, opinionated man with an ego problem seemingly driven by inferiority complexes. But also a man who is smart, a workaholic, a very good magic teacher and someone with a great understanding of magic.

And that is just what I get when reading the Apocalypse. But things changed radically so it seems when Harry got an Internet connection. And a whole new ugly side of Harry Lorayne was brought to my attention. His hustler like behavior at the Magic Café. Almost every post he does is a sales pitch for at least one of his books. So you can add sleazy salesman to the list. That is my opinion, simply because that is not a way a fair seller does business.

It seems like Harry Lorayne has not understood how the Internet works. It is not well placed advertisement if anyone can see the spamming of:

"Out of This Universe and Impromptu Out of This World, both in The Classic Collection, Volume 1. How "in the world" can you go wrong?! HL."

"I taught the Curry Turnover Change back in my first book - in 1962, been using it ever since - and it sure isn't obvious in my hands - or in the hands of others all over the world, etc. Please, speak for yourself - and you might even pick up The Classic Collection, Vol. 1, go to the Close-Up Card Magic section, and learn the move. HL."

"You can find my The Scoop Change in the Reputation-Makers section of The Classic Collection, volume 2."

"My The Lorayne Force is surefire - Martin Nash used it ALL the time."

"Yes; on Volume 1 of my 4-volume "Best Ever" DVD set, my Lorayne Force is used for a "sandwich" effect - the basic move is taught there. HL."

Enough is enough... I heard that when we get older the ability to filter shit gets weaker and weaker. If this is so, Harry has lost it.

He is just a naked man with no more secrets. His character traits are open for all to see and all we see is a grumpy old man who seems unable to cope with the fact that he is not the Messiah of magic and that his prime is over.

So is he a WMF? No... I pity him.

And to those who are pissed off at him... here is a saying my grandma used to give me: "Before you take an advise, take a look where the advise comes from." The same holds true for nasty comments and just mean spirited words.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Getting a mass email unasked is Spam!

Jordan Gomez just send me an email pimping is upcoming release of a DVD on CD-Manipulation. It was clearly an email not directed at me personally, but a newletter type of email. I didn't sign up for this so I call Spam on this one...

Anyway, the email led me to this video:

You can tell that a lot of practice went into the sleights and the constant smug grin!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

WMF Harry Lorayne

Just for a change.... here is an experiment:

Use the great comment feature below to tell me why he is or is not a Weekly Magic Failure?

My own thoughts on this will be disclosed later.

I changed the comment options, so anyone can comment.... for a while.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oh The Technology!

First WMF this year was Chinese magician Van. Van is a copy cat of German magician Timo Marc. I was not able to provide any evidence aside from a photo that compared the two.

Now there is video:



This is seriously cool!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Magic Regrets #11

Lol, that Sands of Arabia thing is kind of neat I thought. Until I saw a live performance of it and watched the audience. Some didn't seem to understand the effect of the separation. The only thing that was clear as the day was that dry sand came out of the water.

So who is the magician?

There is certainly a place in magic for Sword through Neck and the Head Chopper and all of these tricks. But once children are involved it better be in some sort of "good" context. The following short clip provides no context. So I would like to know more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Doesn't It?

"Stick your ring finger all the way into the pinky break. Now get ready for the flourish mentioned earlier and you are all set for the first of the many climaxes to come."

Sounds kinky!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #92

Clothes for magicians? Actually a good idea I think. It's called a costume.

For good looking fashion check out Heinemann in Hamburg

Scroll down a little and take a look through the gallery. Have a laugh or two.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fee Management

Here is a pro tip for you performers... If you are booked to do magic at a wedding. Some stand up and then close up. Don't let the client give you your fee in between the act.

If you get the money, mentally the act is over. It is really hard to continue your show after that and usually leads to you leaving early. Which is highly unprofessional.

Also have a pocket just for the money. Don't put it into your bag of tricks or just any pocket. I lost my money that way one show. Whoever found it got very lucky.

Also... carry napkins with you. Why? If it happens you'll be glad you got them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Damn You Jerry Sadowitz

Enjoy the video as long as you can... Jerry Stuff seems to vanish... just like coins.

Damn you and your creative genius. I thought I was alone. I thought I was clever. Turns out you have been doing that exact bit that I do years before I was born.

What am I talking about.... Fan the playing cards towards yourself and remove one, the back facing the audience. Ask a spectator to name any card. Most often the card named will be different from the one in your hand. If not, you got a bloody miracle. However most often the trick goes on like this. "Wrong" as you turn over the cards. Patter about what a great trick it would have been and that one day you will get it right. Until then you have to resort to Plan B. That line should get you enough time to cull the named card under the cover of putting the first card back into the deck. Then palm and produce the named card as Plan B from a pocket. (Jerry used to produce the card from his fly, which is totally not my style.)

Anyway... I just can't wrap my head around the fact how great he is about structuring routines with all the misdirection and direction. All without losing focus of the effect and all with minimalistic "work".

Great magician... too sad he didn't over expose himself to the magic world... But then again, that is one thing what makes up a great magician.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I love reading books on magic for children. Often they contain the same stuff, but once in a while you'll get one of those self working charms, that needs little tweaking to turn it into a full stage piece that will fool and amaze at the same time.

"Das feine Gefühl" by Jochen Zmeck, published in "Zauber-Abc", is such a piece. The effect is the following: A deck of cards is shuffled and them put into an unprepared top hat (nothing hidden under the brim) then the hat is covered with an ungimmicked piece of cloth. Then the spectator shuffles the cards by shaking the hat. They may even peek inside to make sure everything is fine. Then the magicians reaches inside the hat with an empty hand and "feels" the cards. He names the card that he has and takes it out. It happens to be the card. And that is repeated a few times.

If I would be a magic dealer I would state the following. Self working, everything may be borrowed and examined, no peeking, empty hand goes in. The card is named before the hand comes out. The magicians may be blindfolded. No one ahead, no one behind. No magnets, no string, no markings on the cards. The cards and their order may even be openly predicted before any shuffling takes place.

Now here is where creativity comes into play. Instead of cards you could use photographs or whatever. The method could allow for the most clean handling you can imagine. This is a mentalist's wet dream. In fact imagine a newspaper being torn into pieces then the pieces get shuffled. You reach in and pull out a piece, then the next and then the next. They fit right next to each other. The effect is that you feel the torn edges and basically find the matching ones. OR: let a spectator pick one, then you quickly reach in and find 8 more. When assembled the eight pieces will form a ring and the spectators piece fits in the middle.

I love how such a trick flies of in so many directions at ones. And it's easy as hell.

Read children's magic books. They are not concerned about method. Just plot. And that should be every performing magician's goal.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #91

If there is one move I really like it is the one phase in a regular dancing cane routine by which the cane is swung around the back of the head. Most performers do this automatic ducking action. Just cute!

Also, wanna see a piss poor performance by a magic dealer?

Seriously.... keep the cane straight! Since nobody can be fooled with the method (key word: flow-wand) at least dazzle them with beauty.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

You got Hassinified!

Watch this average magician... Not bad, but not good either. Would you guess that he is the "Illusionist of the Year"? I'm not shitting you.

"At just 24 years old, Gulf World's Noah Wells is the youngest magician in the United States to win the coveted Merlin Award. It's the highest award in magic. The award was presented to him Wednesday night by Tony Hassini, the chairman of the International Magicians Society, the world's largest magic organization."

This is getting more and more absurd. Tony Hassini... he is such a hypocrite, by making the world believe it is about skill, effort and not money.

And you gotta love the uneducated press who mantra-like repeat whatever is told to them via the press release. (I worked for a newspaper for several years. Trust me local journalist know very little about anything save local politics.) "Highest award in magic" yeah right. In your face FISM!

Blogger was down

for the last few days. Now it seems to be working again. But some comments got deleted. Sorry about that. Blame Blogger, Google or the rest. Just like the rest.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wondering about

Isn't the effect like 20 years late? A Polaroid? Really? Neat idea! But too late. Unless Instant cameras are modern again and I wasn't told. Meh!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WMF Magic Steve

A young man from the Netherlands. With little to no creativity... Check out his demo reel:

Does it feel familiar? Does it ring a bell? No... "Real Secrets of Magic by David Stone" He copies the effects, the angle, the whole framing, even the background. Even the bumpers are copied. Magic Steve even took the music from the DVD. This is no longer an homage, this is theft. (Love how the video at 2:05 says "unique, trendy and creative")

Of course he steals from others as well, but think about what kind of person he must be in order to shamelessly not be creative and unique. Most are uncreative because they fail at it, not because they do not try! But here we have a lazy and magicians who simply doesn't seem to give a shit about being original.

Well at least you got a nice title.... it's called Weekly Magic Failure.

btw, does the top photo remind you of something?

Pro Tip For Zack Mueller

At the two minute mark of the video below he praises that weird ass Torn and Restored card by Blake Vogt as his favorite Torn and Restored card that he has seen yet!

We all know how it works, therefore we all know that Blake Vogt's horribly retarded brain child called "REF4M" needs to be saved from it's misery. And I assume Zack Mueller knows this too. He maybe young, but he ain't stupid.

Maybe knowing the Blake Vogt in person might wanna make one not bash him for his creation, but anyone with a decent sense of magic and morality would at least not mention this abomination at all.

Since Zack Mueller is praising this grotesque, blatant ugliness of a trick it can only mean one thing. Theory 11 told him to do that.

At that makes him a Theory 11 whore.

The sad thing is this. I think of Zack Mueller in very high regards. I think he has an exceptional skill at comedy. Both in timing and delivery. Not many magicians seem to possess that gift. He also seems to be very relaxed as he performs and has this aura of naturalness. As this demo video below shows.

Maybe he needs to update the reel to adjust with his age.

Sorry Zack, I kind of like you, but you screwed the pooch on that one! If you wanna be a car dealer, be a car dealer! But maybe I am wrong and you got a good reason why you think that Blake's little trick is a good trick.

Next time keep your integrity by mentioning the product but not choosing sides.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #90

What's up with Jay Sankey nowadays?

Eight minutes of bullshitting:

Bending the Real. At first I thought.... Bending, is that just another word for magic trick? Then I read his blog:

"A bend can be shared in almost any form and medium. A push-up bra is a bend. A magic trick is a bend. A practical joke is a bend. A forged painting is a bend. Even a puzzle or riddle, shared with people in such a way as to mislead their thinking, is also a bend. Bends can be shared for many reasons. To impress, amuse, control, humiliate, flirt, amaze, connect, and even inspire. It depends on the bender, the situation, and who the bend is being shared with."

So a bend is a deception then?

"A bend is a deception."

Oh, thank you Jay for making that clear to me. But I do have another question.
What is the difference between a magic trick and a bend?

"Bends are only possible thanks to a combination of people’s everyday assumptions, the bender’s understanding of the ‘blind spots’ of most people’s awareness, and a familiarity with techniques and principals designed to explore, exploit and even celebrate these ‘blind spots.’ Shared at the right time and place (and in the right spirit) a bend can be a truly transcendental experience."

So there is no difference then? Well I thought so.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Am I alone thinking that modesty is trait that one should have to not come across an ego driven dick? If so, the following words have no meaning:

CENSORED's ego seems to be way too big for this little man. All from his website: author, humanitarian, consultant, type-A personality, actor, magician, mentalist, keynote speaker, photographer, videographer, designer, marketeer, inventor, publisher, social scientist, historian, medic, seasoned traveler, adventurer, veteran, entrepreneur, business leader, black belt, tactical instructor, certified crew service weapons expert, CQB instructor, and close protection specialist.

Guess what I am all of the above too. Also a dog trainer, a horse whisperer, a guy who pays 50 cents in a dollar store and spoon straightener.

Seriously... I can tell why his website speaks of CENSORED in third person most of the time. If that would come straight from the horse's mouth "hubristic smarty-pants" would come to mind. (I know because I am a horse whisperer.)

But aside from all "he is wantonly trampling on the intellectual property of a number of magicians and mentalists, including John T. Sheets (he’s ripped off the Quantum Bender) - and Richard Osterlind"

You can also play a little game... name the artist and the product that he "borrows" from while browsing through his online store. If you are right, you have to drink. A sure fire way to get wasted.

CENSORED, you are this weeks magic failure. But I am sure you won't mind, as your website's trivia clearly says "He has a very self-deprecating sense of humor about his life. He doesn’t take himself nearly as seriously as it seems."

Oh by the way, in your long list of what you are you forgot one thing: better-than-you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Is this Animal Cruelty?

I really cannot tell!

Aside from that the act is littered with unique ideas. Watch the fur coat thing (starts at 4:44)

Should I tell PETA or not!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #89

What the hell is this?

How do you do sell an torn and restored card effect where the restored card cannot be handed out? This is the fucking point of any Torn and Restored routine. But I forgot that Theory 11 put that out. If it would be practical it would be called Practical 11.

My bad, carry on!


A few changes...

Sathya Sai Baba is no longer a failure.... simple reason. He died.
Harry Lorayne winner title is split. Winner is the Harry Lorayne before there was any Internet that he could act like a dick in. The Internet Harry Lorayne will get the WMF title soon.

If you got a quality magic rant.... send them to me, I might post them with your name of course.