Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #96

The following is an interesting approach to 3 Fly. Basically it's from the performers point of view.

I don't know if this is going anywhere, but when it comes to combining magic and YouTube this seems to be an interesting way to go. You could have it filmed from both sides. Each time changing the methods accordingly. To a layman's eye this might seem honest.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

DCT actually teaches me!

Wow, doing a card trick every single day really makes you appreciate and cherish all the cardicians before oneself. Also you learn so much. This is an experiment that I recommend to everyone who really wants to know about card magic.

Also you learn to put certain creators into perspective. Larry Jennings for instance. Creative guy with great creative output. But in terms of structuring... well let's say others had to improve his work. I feel he covered structural flaws with his insanely huge hands. He could finger palm playing cards. So a palm was often his choice of method. More often than it should be.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Instant Snow

Question! What was first? The magic product or this?

One for the Trolls

It is rare that you have an opinion and have a 180 when thinking about it for a long time. When I was looking for additional writers two years ago, I made it a condition that they use their real name. To me hiding behind a screen of anonymity was a coward's way out. If you had something to say, say it and stand behind it. With your real name.

I had long discussion with people who do use pseudonyms. One pointed out, that a pseudonym is not really hiding. As one tends to use that fake name all the time. Lots of writers in the past had pen names. Magicians all over the world use pseudonyms to distinguish their real personality from their stage personality. Slydini and Dai Vernon come to mind.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
Oscar Wilde

And that is also true. Lot's of people are pissed off by Harry Loraynes constant advertising over at the Magic Café. If you talk out loud against it, you'll get banned. So why not create fake accounts and live out your freedom of speech.

Sure the use of a pseudonym is the way to get a life as an Internet troll. But be honest: We have matured enough to spot a troll and ignore him. If this is your main concern about not using the real name, then it is a weak argument. There are plenty of reasons not to use the real name.

So I have come 180 on this, as you probably have noticed by giving that freak Barry Solayme author rights on my blog.

However I will keep using my real name, as I am a magic troll. And if I verbally slap you, I want you to know where that slap was coming from.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hey Ugly!

Here is a truth a lot of magicians need to know: If your looks don't support your character, you should change at least one. In most cases it means you gotta change your character.

I really don't wanna rip on thy highly skilled Eduardo Galeano, but his nerdy appearance simply doesn't fit the romanticized style he is going for:

For a few moments he seems to lose the "dorky" expression he seems to keeps having the whole time. That's when I buy it. But most often, I feel that he is a boy pressed into a suit. Also his energy level as he performs seems way too low. Especially near the end.

I know that this is a matter of taste and all. And probably a lot of you will disagree with me. This could be due to my own failure of not knowing style when I see it, but most likely it is your fault, because you are a magician. And magicians have a high fail rate when it comes to looks and such.

Think about it. You probably know at least one magician who acts like a female heart throb and a well behaved squire, when their looks simply do not meet that goal.

I know what I'm talking about. I'm a fat guy, doing corny jokes. Doing a romantic manipulation routine to Morris Albert's Feelings with Fantasio candles would make for a great basis for a comedy routine, but not for serious drama.

Yet I see lot's of performer attempting such a thing. If you look ugly, don't hide... finde the correct character that suits your looks. Juan Tamariz comes to mind. Or Dani Daortiz with his thin hair and the belly. But neither one tries to be a lady kind of guy when it comes to character. Both are highly skilled, knowledgeable and I admire both of them very much. They found their niche. Now find yours.

Monday, July 25, 2011

WMF Bronson James

I am surprised to still find different reasons to award my little blog title to someone. This one goes to Bronson James (It's his first and middle name), an 18-year-old man who really doesn't give a crap about crediting. Wanna see Criss Angels's Airtight? Observe!

It's not like he doesn't know any better. He knows, he says he knows it's Jay Sankey's effect. Here is a direct quote of him:
"like i said before in the comments i know it is but more people search for criss angel and not jay sankey ok just business"
So we are talking about a young man who willfully ignores the creator to get him views on YouTube. Why did he even bother to call it "Airtight" then? Wouldn't "Criss Angel's Awesome Balloon Trick" also do the trick?

This is really interesting. A young man, takes a routine that isn't his, omits to mention the creator, getting himself views with a name that promises a great bunch of clicks. Is the view count everything nowadays?

I remember that one magicians, who actually thinks, he is popular with the YouTube crowd because his video got many clicks.

Also rereading the comment of Bronson... "ok just business" what business? Does he think he can make a business doing such crappy magic? Is he referring to the fact that YouTube asks to advertise, once the video gets 5000 views? And is he planning to get rich from the few clicks?

I don't get it. Can somebody point me in the right direction to I may see the issue from a different point of view?

So we got Bronson James a musician/magician who adorns oneself with borrowed plumes. That is nothing new. But to willfully falsifying credits is new. Not mentioning any creator I would have gotten. But dragging Criss Angel on board, who to my knowledge never performed Airtight is a new class. By the way: David Copperfield would make much more sense as he did perform the effect.

AND now... let's do what I usually do over at the Daily Card Trick.

Airtight by Jay Sankey

Richard's Almanac by Richard Kaufman
The Collected Almanac (Vol.1 No.15)
Page 137 et seq.

Sanky Panky by Richard Kaufman
Page 106 et seq

Personal Comment: Starts as the usual pick and sign a card trick. But it gets weird quickly. Encasing the deck with a balloon is really something the audience reacts to greatly. Then pulling out the signed selection from the balloon without harming the balloon is great. But then handing out the balloon and the deck... we are talking about a finisher to a card act. I really like it. Also it's a nice way to get rid of your old incomplete decks.

Difficulty: 2/5

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Have another one... and one more!

Adopting to new technology is always something that any people struggles with. The internet has definitely changed our social life. Everything can be and found within seconds. "How does the Zarrow Shuffle work? Let me google that!" A few seconds later I find a tutorial.

And as much as this blogger hates exposure, he knows that somehow he has to learn to live with this. (Referring to me as "this blogger" and speaking of myself in third person is a technique I stole from Andrew. Just google it!)

Seriously... I know a whole bunch of older magicians who are telling you the same story over and over. "In my days we had no access to the magic. I spend two years to save up for the Tarbell Course in magic. I had to drive to the big town to get my fist pack of Bicycles. I had to work for my knowledge. I had to beg and pay older magicians to share their secrets with me."

All of that is true. So I get the frustration when today, you don't have to move your lazy ass to know everything about magic.

But herein lies hope. The sheer abundance of magic knowledge is way too much too handle by anyone. They read about the "Convincing Control" learn it and move on to the next thing, without even exploring its possibilities. So you can still fool them, you can still be better.

This is true for all sorts of knowledge. Take a look around. There are step by step instructions and tutorials on just about anything. How to paint, how to play guitar. And you can watch all of these for free. If you take a brush or a guitar you will realize that it isn't that easy. And that you need to work.

So there might be dozens of really good tutorials out there on teaching you how to do the Retention of Vision vanish. But if you can do it properly, you can still fool people with it. And if you change the coin for something else you are almost reseting the thing.

Here, have another secret, and another one, and another one, and another one, and another one. How about another one? Oh, btw, do you still remember the second secret I told you about.... oh wait, here is another one. More than you can swallow, more than you can possibly digest. Yet your hunger for secrets makes you eat up every single piece of shit that we feed you. Here is another secret. It's shit, but you can't tell the difference from the good stuff that you know. And another one.

I grew up in East Germany. My childhood was characterized by a socialist regime. I was a Young Pioneer and the Thälmann Pioneer. And living under such regime was much different. A lot of political information were not available and were suppressed. Later the wall came down and Germany was reunited. Suddenly information was there in abundance. And that's when I learned a truth. If you wanna keep an information from spreading, you can either suppress it OR you can publish it with many, many more information. That way it is really hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The internet is a social phenomenon, as well as a technological achievement. It's not gonna go away. The secrets are all out. We have to learn to live with that. I chose to nominate those who do the spoiling and award them my little blog title. Also I keep performing my magic. I do little changes here and there, to hide my methods. I use old and proven techniques in creative new ways, (A shuttle pass can be used as a vanish.) I love the internet with all it brings.

I wonder what the kind of new technology will be that I will be pissed at when I am old. Imagine they discover magic! Boy, that will put us out of business!

Friday, July 22, 2011

On Creativity

There seems to be a common misconception on how an idea is brought into the world. We usually think of geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci who could conjure up complex ideas that are perfect the way they are.

That is not how it works. Any creative process starts with a brain storm. Basically every single idea you have is treated equally. This is the first step were people tend to fail. They get a thought and then dismiss it as being stupid and forget about it.

If you think of a magic trick for example people claim they start thinking of the effect and work out the methods later. An while this is generally true, it is far from being complete. Sometimes you have a nice method. And that method makes you think of many applications, creating new effects.

Let me give you an example. I have a split coin. While playing around with it, I realized I could fit an expanded shell over it. Then I played around some more, realizing, that when you have the gimmick in split condition, you can fit one half into the shell and the other half over the shell. The shell is basically sandwiched between the gimmicks. That "coin" can be handled quite naturally. you can show the front and then "split" the coin in two. and because the shell behind it becomes visible, there is no gimmick to be seen. It looks eerie and is fun to do. So that is when the coin fusion plot started to go off in my head.

What if I didn't bring my gimmicks? So I started working out a non gimmicked version. The result of that thinking has become the first few phases of my coin routine. So you see it started with a gimmick, which led to a method, which created an effect. Then the gimmick and the initial method became worthless (although I am sure Craig Petty might wanna sell that whole routine) and I got a solid routine that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

So creating magic is not that hard, if you do not oppress your own ideas. Sure 99% will be crap. But think of it as an idea dump. Whenever you got a creative spark, go back the the pile of ideas and see if you can manage to put stuff together. We all have this drawer of magic crap that we have bought over the years. Why not put that to good use?

And I forgot the biggest part. The best ideas are the ideas of others. Let me explain. You are just one person. With limits. The best magic ideas I ever had was when brainstorming with other magicians. Not with the kind of magicians who filter all their thoughts, no... the kind of magician that lets out every single word that comes to his mouth. And those words may spark off ideas that you would have never had.

I remember talking to another magician one day about Two in the Hand, One in the Pocket. We talked about changing the props. Instead of sponges or coins we thought about using nuts. So then one thing led to another. What could the new prop do? Well hazelnuts are great to manipulate. They have the right size, are organic and familiar. They are above suspicion. Walnuts are a great too for the same reason but you can have stuff in there. How about starting with a hazelnut, splitting it two and three and then doing Two in the Hand, One in the Pocket. (although at that point you don't have to do that anymore) In the end you are down to one hazelnut again and you transform it into a walnut. Then you could break the walnut and inside is the hazelnut. Oh wait... you see what's happening here? I write down a few I ideas I had in the past and now I think of additions.

Let's rewind a bit: How about are down to one hazelnut. You place that in your hand and then bring out a walnut. You drop the walnut into the same hand and when you open it, only the walnut is seen. Then you break the walnut and inside is the missing hazelnut.

Fuck that... forget I said anything. How about not using nuts at all? How about using buttons? They work like coins and, you could start off with a piece of cloth from which you drop the coins. The cloth is placed to the side. Now do a routine with the buttons. Maybe even Two in the Hand One in the pocket. At the end of the routine all the buttons are in the pocket. You reach for the cloth and proceed to put the buttons back in the cloth. You claim that you will vanish the buttons. People may peek into the cloth and will see the buttons you placed there.

But the vanish fails. Instead something else has happened. As the cloth is opened the buttons are seen to be sewed on.

Anyone with basic sleight of hand knowledge could work out the methods required within seconds.

But why stop at sleight of hand...?

Here is another idea for the ultimate card to wallet. Here is what the advertisement would say:

The wallet is placed on the table and opened up. In the one of the transparent compartments is a card. Just the back is being seen. "A prediction" the magician claims. The wallet remains open at all times. From a deck of cards a card is picked and signed on it's face. It's a free choice of the card. The card is lost and attention is brought towards the card in the wallet that has been there the whole time. The magician picks up the wallet and his empty fingers reach into the transparent compartment and he pulls out the card. The compartment is definitely empty, there is no place for a "dummy". The card is turned over (no switches at all) and it turns out that it is the signed selection.

Sounds good? How about combining the atrocity that is WOW (the face down version) by Masuda with a regular Mullica style wallet? The "cover" vanishes as soon as the real card is in. Now build that thing and sell it for about 140 dollars! Suddenly the plastic nature of the gimmick becomes an advantage.

Being creative is not that hard. Just don't force yourself to come up with a perfect idea. Sometimes it takes year to realize you can put two half backed ideas together making a much better trick. Here is an example. I used to do the standard matrix with the coins and the cards. I never liked the cards. Why cards? They got nothing to do with the trick. Then I used coasters. But the card/coaster always seemed to float on a flat surface. Also there was a noise issue on a hard surface. My routine changed over the years. Why the square layout? Basically it is all about the coins going under the one leader card. So I naturally I got rid of three of the cards and used just one.

At the same time I did a routine with a small frame purse. A coin would vanish and appear inside the purse. And then I put the two routines together.
Suddenly it solved all the issues. The purse makes sense, as the coins are there from the beginning. No more loose coins in the pocket. I used the purse instead of the card. There was no more "floating". The metal frame of the purse made a natural sound when placed on a hard surface, perfectly masking a sound of secret coin work. Also I had a kicker finish of the coins vanishing from under the purse and ending up inside, naturally ending and reseting the routine.

So was this creative...? I guess so. A small step for a man, but a giant leap for practicability.

Here is another thing. I have this table that I use on the street. On the table I have a cloth covering the table. Wind blew away the cloth. So I put a big rubber band around the table making sure the cloth was secure. Then I did my sponge ball routine. And at that point time it got really windy. So instead of placing the sponge balls on the table I put them under the rubber band. Natural thinking, but looking at it, how the rubber band seemed to split the ball I thought of the "Splitting the ball" move. I had a sponge ball palmed at that time. So I pinched the ball on the table with thumb and index finger of both hands and mimed pulling the ball apart. In reality I just pulled it free from the rubber band bringing the other sponge ball into view. It actually looks better than splitting it with the finger.

So this was a creative input by accident.

So here we go the with the inputs:

- by thinking about methods and effects
- by talking to other magicians
- by changing the props
- by combining ideas / existing props
- by accident

Now make of that what you will! See Andrew... you are not the only one who can write long articles. Hehe!


I am not kidding as I write this. The video below is actually much more entertaining than the ultra stylish T11 clips. I get a kick out of this. Clearly a rehearsal video from a man that loves magic. It clearly fails in the skill/showmanship/editing department, but watching that I get a sense of honesty that I miss so dearly is so much magic I watch. There is effort and thought in the routine. Perfect grandpa magic.

There is certainly not enough magic understanding in the routine to persist compared to the pros, but certainly love and enthusiasm for magic. And that is what magic should be about. This my friends... is a spark that is still glowing.

Check out John's channel there are more "gems" like that.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

They only come out at Night

A fan made video of Hans Klok's female helpers.

Why is the Internet so creepy?

An Experiment

I'm doing an experiment right now. I am writing a review of the Wizards Product Review as I am watching it. There are few points that speak for that way of doing it. First, I only have to see it once. Second I am familiar with that show, ergo I know that it's gonna be crap. Okay, enough stalling, let's do this:

First effect they discuss is Tool by David Stone. I just love how they simply brush aways the genuine concern one might have that it might be too obvious that the card case is the modus operandi. They simply state that nobody suspects the card case. Bullshit. This is a genuine concern and there are ways around to take away the heat from the card case. But those are not addressed by the two reviewers as they don't even see a problem. They probably give it a high rating, so far not a word of critic... after all, they need to sell those.

Oh and another great thing. Craig states that the drawback of many color changing deck routines is that they are not visual that the actual color changing is not seen. Pardon? What color changing deck routines is he talking about. Those where the deck changes color in the end as a kicker. Those are not color changing deck routines... anyway. Then they show a clip how visual it actually is. Guess what the deck is tapped with the card case and the back of top card of the deck changes color. Lol... a simple Erdnase will do the trick as well.

Oh, it's worker of the week. 92% and 94% what a surprise! Should be calling it "Seller of the Week!"

Next, Devin Knight's "Four Told": Craig feels the need to do this effect. It takes ages. No entertainment at all. If the real routine takes that long you better have showmanship. The effect gets 91%/93% interesting...!

Up next, some contest shit.... skipping...

Then Daniel Cros' "25 year of Magic": Suddenly they are full of praise for that guy. Last week they torn him apart. Craig even admits he's been unfair last week due to the fact that he doesn't like flea circuses. So he is basically admitting that his opinions are based on an emotional level. Which puts every decision into perspective. Craig Petty likes coin magic with gimmicks. So no matter how crappy, any product will get at least a decent rating. Closing words by Craig were not to expect new stuff from the DVD, but to like it anyway. 75%/82% ... This whole rating system is crap. What exactly differentiates 80% from 82%. Those numbers are clearly pulled from their asses.

Finally "New World" by Dean Dill and Michael Weber, a gimmicked approach to "Out of this World". Really good trick. If you don't work the impromptu version. But I feel this is more of a magicians fooler... no wait it is not. As it doesn't fool magicians. They simply go like: "hmm, that is clever" basically what both reviewers did.

Summery: This wasn't an episode that made me mad. It was boring. Sorry to have bothered you dear readers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WMF 52Kards

*sigh* I have gone over this many, many times before. Exposure is bad, as it tears down the image of magic, as it reduces it to mere trickery, is disrespectful to the creativity and wishes of the creator and overall seems only to serve the purpose to makes person exposing seem great. The last one is not true, as the praise and social feedback that the guy gets usually comes from a group of people, that treat magic disrespectful and have not at all understood what it is all about. Also it's an age thing. Young people tend to rebel against everything. Naturally they rebel against the claimed standard of magicians not to expose secrets.

So I am willing to give teenagers a bit of a slack when it comes to exposure. But not in this case, as the guy in question is clear an adult with the responsibility and all that bullshit!

Enter 52Kards a man from High Point, North Carolina. He studies electrical engineering and is far from being a irresponsible human being. Also he is a magician with a social life so it seems. A magician with fairly good card skills. (His Zarrow is way better than mine)

So he is exposing magic. One of the items in question: The Anniversary Waltz by Doc Eason. He explains it in detail. (The version also using a double backer). I know that Doc Eason knows about it. I know that Doc Eason wants it taken down.

So we have a dilemma here. I do a trick (not exposing it) and Jerry Sadowitz manages to get it removed. 52Kards does full on exposure and Doc Eason can do nothing. I think we need some sort of denouement for this type of situtation.

52Kards's comment after being called out for the exposure on that trick:
"Sure seems like the magic industry did a good job on brainwashing you! I can't blame them, its more money in their pocket! I don't think there is anything unethical or immoral about teaching a card trick. In no other field do you see people attempt to restrict the passing of knowledge the way that some magicians do. It truly fascinates me."


It's not about the money, its about respect to the creator. If he wishes his material not to be exposed, you should really think hard about respecting the creator. If you don't I guess there is not moral arguing as there is not moral obstacle preventing you from exposing the magic that you like to people that will praise your disrespect.

Usually exposure is done by saying that it is teaching. Why should you teach people a trick? Sleights I get. Seriously. If someone has trouble with a French Drop, a tutorial might be a good way to get rid of the trouble. But if you teach a whole One Coin routine you do too much. Disconnected from the effect I have no problem with magic stuff being taught. But if you go into the realm of whole routines, you are no longer teaching what people have trouble with. You are willfully exposing magic. And I cannot bear that by being silent about it. That's one of the reasons I have this blog.

This weeks magic failure is 52Kards.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can Jerry Sadowitz do that?

I had a video online over at The Daily Card Trick. Jerry Sadowitz wrote me an email wishing that I remove the video, as it is material that he uses. I set the video to private so basically nobody could see it. Jerry Sadowitz seemed OK with that compromise. Now the video is removed due to a copyright claim by Jerry Sadowitz.

Here is the thing. It was me in the video, not Jerry. The material although based on his effect had alterations. By alterations I mean I changed the whole damn method. So basically nothing save the effect is by Jerry Sadowitz.

As much as I like the man, I do have trouble believing he can simply take down my content. Thoughts?

EDIT: OK I got things worked out, turns out this was a case of "weird" timing. Jerry filed the copyright complaint against my video, before contacting me. But I got the information from YouTube after both of us had reached an agreement. It took him a while to get my email address. Within ten day my video should be back. But I am going to respect his wishes and make the video unavailable to almost everyone.

My NEW look!

Hi Folks,

Now I may have been around longer than the great wall of China (which I designed, by the way), but never let it be said that Barry Solayme isn't "down" with the kids. It's a fact that the younger stars of magic still look to Yours Truly as an icon not just of magic, but of fashion also!

Now if you compare the photo above to the portrait on my blog, you'll notice a couple of subtle differences. I'm talking Facial Fluff and Headgear, people! Don't get left behind, this look is "where it's at"!

A couple of hep young magicians, J-2-da-M and B. "Biggie" Smith, have already taken my advice. And let me tell you, their popularity has NEVER been higher!!!

Now I know they might look "scary". To some. But that's because they do "street" magic, and you folks have to be careful out there. It can be like the trenches sometimes!!

I remember one time, I was in downtown Albany, and a couple of "Wiseguys", as we used to call them, came over to see a trick. Well, they made out they were dentists, or lawyers, but I knew better. Anyway, after a couple of dozen of my ACAAN routines, I happened to mention I knew Charlie Luciano, and that it was because of ME, Barry Solayme, that he got the name "Lucky". When I looked up from the cards, they had already disappeared... Some folks know how to handle themselves out there on the "street", but it is NOT for the faint-hearted. Believe it!!!

Anyway, young Roland seems to have got the idea, if you check out his picture below. But Roland, you still need to work on the image a little bit. Make it more "Snoopy Dog Doggy", and less... well, friendly. I know you won't mind my mentioning it!!

This is Barry "Badabish-Badabong" Solayme. Comin' right at ya!



Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gyrater by Devin Knight isn't bad!

Hilarious... I shouldn't do it, but it's a guilty pleasure. I watch the Wizards Product Review. This week they tore apart Devin Knight's effect called Gyrater. (starts at 12:15 and ends at 14:09. They go on trash talking this until 18:40)

And I agree, it's a god awful piece of magic, but what both Wizard's idiots missed is, that this is a brilliant comedy routine. The patter is about never having had a childhood friend so instead the magician trained a card box to be his friend. He calls it Casey. Then the card box does tricks. Like "staying" and "playing dead" and "chasing it's tail." Upon the last command the card box spins in the magicians hand.

This is comedy magic. And the patter is actually really great. In fact it's what makes the routine. David Penn is cracking up as Craig Petty delivers the patter, yet fails to see the entertainment value it would have for laypeople. Both these guys are idiots.

My guess why they failed to see this is, that the patter of this trick is very unflattering towards magicians and doesn't put them in the most awesome spotlight as a cool dude. Some magicians seem to have problems with not appearing god like.

To take apart the own image is one of the harder things to do. As it makes you appear like a weak human. It actually makes you appear more honest and less like a hypocrite hiding behind magic secrets. And that is something that people like David Penn and Craig Petty cannot endure. Therefore they fail to see the comedy and value of Devin Knights little magic gag.

And that's why they fail to be great magicians. And good reviewers. Maybe, just maybe, they don't fail at being likable human beings.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WMF Art is Infinity!!!

Copying something successful is a natural thing to do I guess! but you can copy well and insanely stupid. Take a look at the Ellusionist logo... It's cool.

So naturally it get's copied by people who might have thought nobody would notice.

Bad magician, bad magician!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I miss my Magic in a Dance Show!

What's up with illusionist and dancing. I never quite understood the connection. Do I need to dance too if I do my street show. Will that help me get bookings. When I go to a magic show I expect to see magic, not dancing. Otherwise I would go to Riverdance.

Yes, magic happens, but the dancing is clearly time filler. And that is true most of the time. I understand the eye candy function of a female assistant. And I also understand that she needs to wear very little clothing, because without it the magicians seems rather pale.

To me this is the same as wearing a Rolex, having a big car, an Apple and a big fucking dick. If you need that... maybe your magic is what needs the pimping. Just saying. This is not about Jan Rouven, this is more a general thing about illusions shows. Loud music, mostly the most recent hit, fireworks near the end and lots of dancing. I miss magic.

Here the dance is actually quite motivated:

PS. I am not even trying to go into this whole issue about feminism and how badly it is treated in a magic show as the females, even though often powerful are without character and without purpose aside from the eye candy and the torture devices!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Introducing MYSELF!

Hi Folks, Barry Solayme here!

I thought it was time this blog got a touch of class: Solayme style. Now most of you will know me already from my many books on magic (if not THEN BUY THEM NOW!!!), and my long running monthly magazine, 'Armageddon'.

I've been in the business longer than you people have been alive, and I think it's fair to say that I've influenced all the greats, from Hofzinser through to Blaine. And they haven't always given me credit.

Now I promised Roland I wouldn't go stirring up any bitterness, but let's just say there's a guy over in Sweden who should be watching his back...

Anyway, more of that another time. For now, I'm just saying "Hello WMF", and I look forward to sharing my wisdom and reminisces from time to time. After all, not many people actually 'knew' Erdnase (least of all Wesley James, that goddam hippy). But here's a clue: if you take S.W. Erdnase, mix the letters up, take some away, then add some more, well... it spells BARRY SOLAYME!! Just a little hint.

Keep practicing,


Watching Oz Perlman's Born to Perform Card Magic for the very first time!

Never took at look at that. Now I am. Right now I am in the section where he talks about "Be Honest, you know that it is not Two Card Monte" by Brad Blaine...

He shows the two black aces, both are visible: "I want this image to sink in their mind... this is the retention that you want them to have"

To me it sounds like a man who really has trouble finding the correct words. A reshoot was obviously out of the question, as they needed to pump this video out as quickly as they could in 2003.

"'Where do you think the Ace of Clubs is?' They go bottom or top. As soon as they say that, I say 'How many times did I just move that over?' That's instant eye contact. As soon as you say 'how many times did I just move it?' everyone looks you right in the eye. When they look you in the eye you turn over the top card."

When I do it, people don't look me in the eye. Sorry I cannot share that statement. I cannot say that it works. When I ask that question they still burn my hands. They can't all have Aspergers!

Even though Mr. Perlman says in the beginning that this DVD is not containing filler material... the LePaul Spread is taught. What is this doing on a beginner's DVD?

Finished watching this. It really seems like a rushed product. I'm glad I never bought it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Writer's Call!

I'm looking for new writers.... rants mostly. If you think you can come up with a magic related rant once a month my email address is somewhere on this blog.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Holy Shit

I didn't think my little rant about three books would generate that much discussion. I am surprised. But guys, don't get me wrong. The fact that I don't see the genius in the Professor doesn't mean I think there is none. It just hasn't clicked yet. And I am afraid it never will.

Personally it is not a joy to read Vernon's material. It's rather painful. This maybe due to Lewis Ganson's writing style. I am sorry, but Jon Racherbaumer, Richard Kaufman, Roberto Giobbi and even Harry Lorayne are so much better writers. Hell even Marlo was much more enjoyable to read than Ganson.

But this whole thing led me to compile a short list of thing to watch out for when writing up magic.

  • Don't start with the history of a trick. Start with the effect (as briefly as possible, cutting out all that will be clear anyway in the cause of the routine.)
  • Go directly into the method. Explaining the setup first.
  • Include the patter in the method section, but make sure to "tell it apart from the rest"
  • No variations in the "method" section.
  • No credits in the method section (you can put a tiny number on it, doing the credits either on the bottom of the page or on a separate page.)
  • Explain the purpose of a move if it is rather complex. If you need to do an "Underground Elmsley" twice at least write that it only serves the purpose of making sure all the card remain in the same order, while hiding the face up card under the pretext of counting them again for the audience.
  • If you have four coins in your hand but the audience thinks it three coins. Write it like this: "Place the three(4) coins into the right hand." That way I know to add the palmed coin. The same goes for card magic. "Show the Four of Clubs, turn the double face down and place the Four of Clubs(QD) face down on the table."
  • After the technical part you may go into the history aspects, explaining even further little things and variations.
  • Always remember that people read the technical part of a routine usually with card, coin or whatever in their hands. So make sure that when they need to turn the page at least one hand is free. Again, during that phase you don't wanna go into long theoretical discussions about the purpose of the moves. People got stuff in their hands.
  • Add situation checks along the way.
That's all I got, if you got more, or if you disagree you know where to put it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I don't see the Genius of the Professor

I read "Dai Vernon's Inner Secrets of Card Magic", "Dai Vernon's More Inner Secrets of Card Magic" and "Dai Vernon's Further Inner Secrets of Card Magic" by Lewis Ganson back to back. And I just don't get it.

When magicians speak of "the Professor", Dai Vernon they most often do it in a very bumsucking driveling way, as if that man was the Messiah of magic. A prime example of that is Roberto Giobbi.

What do those people get from those books what I don't get? Yes, they are interesting to read. Yes, I do get to know a lot of secrets, mostly about and from gamblers. In terms of history these are fascinating books. In terms of effects I get pretty much nothing from the books. Most routines revolve around gambling themes and those which don't are boring. It might just be me, but I also feel that a few of the effects are needlessly complicated both in method and structure. Overall the books are very dry.

I got serious buyer's remorse.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Just A Sunday Post #95

Hey, wanna see an act that is totally not deserving masters of illusion:

I got a Nintendo DS... I know what it means to do timed action. My twitch skills are not up to par with FPS, but enough for simple platforming. Back to the topic.---

Jeff McBride is playing nothing but a video game here. Timed action to keep up an illusion. The illusion that Jeff McBride is a top player in the business. And as impressive as it might seem. Any 11-year-old will be as good as him within one day of practice. And the toys of the 11-year-olds are even brighter and more noisy.

Jeff McBride is doing no magic here. He's just playing with toys.