Saturday, March 31, 2012

WMF Harry Levy

This should come as no surprise. The magic news was all over that. So I spare you all with the long elaborated "Why" on this. Just in case you have missed the story: Link1, Link2, Link3.

 I guess this proves that magic dealers are after all human. Who would have thought? And humans make mistakes. Some are much bigger than others. Some cost others the total sum of more than half a million dollars. Is this a magic failure? No, not really, this is a human failure. But because a magician is the sucker here I put it on my list.

Shame on you Harry. The fact that you admit doing this, and that you plead guilty, doesn't make up for the fact that you were low life enough to do it. Here is my educated guess. The fact that he is admitting it and pleading guilty is not because he understands his wrong doing, but because it is the best legal move he can do.

So his "apology" is worth nothing. And his public "dismantlement" is more than just. No matter what kind of nice person he was to friends and family. Others didn't matter to him. Sad. But somehow a nice example of the common magician.

PS. I squeeze this here at the end of the week, as starting tomorrow will be winner month.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Angry Man of Magic - To the left. To the left


Because you have no rights! Not because I'm writing this from North Korea - where copyright law are as genuine as Olympic tickets for the men's wheelchair triple jump - but because those secrets that we hold so dear can not be protected under law. It's a set of instructions, and as such can not be secured. (It's the same for recipes, BTW.) You can protect the expression of the idea, but not the idea itself. If you didn't hear me first time, let me just repeat this for the hard of thinking : you can protect the expression of the trick, but not the trick itself.

But magicians (on magic forums, notably) still want to claims to have rights to tricks, and to discuss these points ad infinitum.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

The law governing the copyright in this area has not changed for many, many, years. Do you think it'll change because Dai Vernon showed you a double undercut in the lift, and told you that only you may perform it? Why are you citing a case of magician A asserting their "rights" over a trick that was settled out of court? It was settled out of court because magician A has a bigger war chest than magician B. No rights were exchanged, and none were proven. Stop using it to prove a point, as the only point it proves is that you're up inside yourself like a set of matryoshka dolls.

Phrases like "the only one allowed to perform this trick" are meaningless.

If you create an effect the only right you have are moral rights. They are asserted with kind words and loaded guns. Share the uniqueness of your work with the community, so anyone copying looks like the pale imitation they are. If you're buying an effect, buy only from the creator (or their agents) to keep your moral compass true. Don't encourage the immoral releases. But as a creator, accept the law as it stands and stop whining - or start training and work to change it.

In short...

If you want to protect the method - patent it, and hope it's original. (yeah, right!)
If you want to protect the presentation - copyright the script, choreography, or whatever it is you do.
If you want to protect the trick - I have some snake oil to sell you...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Puzzle Time

Let's play a little game. 
Look at the video. 
Spot the 7 mistakes! 

 Solving at the end of the week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Zombie Apocalypse

Are you prepared for the end of the world? When the biological warfare creates zombie soldiers and the goverments can't get rid off the outbreak? 

We magicians must survive. Not only because we are egomaniacs, but because Zombies are the perfect audience.

They stick in groups, you have their undivided attention and there are lots of them.

But unfortunally the brain of a Zombie lacks of short term memory and alot of other basic functions. So you need tricks that are short and sweet:
 - a coin production
 - a coin vanish
 - the reappearance of the coin
 - the transformation of the coin into a piece of brain
 - feeding the piece of brain to the zombies.

Until then, just practise with drunks. They are about the same. Just substitute the brains for a small bag of peanuts and voilĂ  you got a miracle.

Don't miss your chance to prepare.
The End is nigh! Just 4/(8-2*2) days left

Monday, March 26, 2012

WMF Dekui Fan

Any magic store not having a name on it's website I automatically label as untrustworthy fucker. Approachchina is such a website. And if you take a look at the website you know why. Rip offs of magic stuff. Real good copies. I know that some Chinese companies have specialized in doing that. Magic items are no different.

Stuff you can buy. The Joe Porper Card Clip, including the signature on the back of course. Using the standard whois-method the almighty Internet spit out the name of "Dekui Fan". I'm not sure if this is a Chinese name. I'm not even sure if they guy you see on the left actually is Dekui Fan. So if I'm wrong here please correct me.

Approachingchina does several things which are unholy in the magic community. They put no thought in creating magic. They just sell it. But not creations for which they have bought the rights to do so. (The Joe Porper Card Clip is a big give away here.) They use the likeness of famous magicians like Cyril. They sell rip offs and not the original prop. Thereby no money goes to the creator. (John Sheets Quantum Bender for 50 bucks, yeah right!)

The products probably are of really bad quality. Check out this interesting photo of a coin. Subtle. I see no gimmickery.
This is usually the case with most China knock offs. Simple reason. Production cost. In order to make money by selling it a lot cheaper they have to cut the cost. And that usually means they save by choosing cheaper material and/or having no quality control.

The legal situation about this is often very blurry. China is far away, yet their copy cat behavior does have real impact here. Any money spent on the knock off is not going to the creator who has come up with the idea in the first place. And to quote a magic buddy: "If the people buying it KNOW they're knock offs then obviously any moral debate is out the window."

So in addition to blaming Dekui Fan, I also award this weeks failure trophy to all the costumers.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jump, Jump, Jump Mr. Rubber Band

It really isn't about exposure. Those rubber band secrets have little value in the magic world. Yet they do have value. And the second you start exposing those secrets, you dismiss the value of the secret.

Why do they expose? I'm sure a few actually wanna help others to become magicians. Others seek fame and even others have been pressured into this with money or promises. I'm sure David Copperfield's reason to do that was not evil spirited. In fact in most cases exposure is done with good intentions. If you take a look at the "expert village" magicians you will see, that they want to help, get money and fame at the same time. But why is exposure the wrong thing to do to begin with?

It is all about the mindset? If you dismiss any magic secret, because it seems of little value to you, then you are guilty of being pride and too arrogant about your own position in magic. It all comes down to being humble again. Who the hell are you to decide what magic secret is okay to teach to the masses for free? (That's why I  am willing to cut Mr. Copperfield a bit of a slack, after all he is, and he knows that he is the biggest magician in the world. He has no reason to be modest, yet he is more humble than most magicians I know.)

Magic needs to be taught to evolve even further. But if you teach it with little to no context, then you are doing a huge disservice to magic. Magic as an art has little to offer. Just secrets. The way you structure and design your tricks has it's roots in drama and comedy. The way you frame and present your tricks are taken from the visual arts and the theater. All we got are our little, precious secrets. Even if it is just the little bitty with the rubber band jumping from finger to finger. Who the hell are we to decide that giving away any of our secrets is helpful to the art? We must be insane then. We are stupid.

So David, Bernard and Cyril are in great company!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

WMF Magic For Jesus

You eventually commit a sin in your life. And good deeds don't make that sin go away. Only the belief in Jesus will clear you from that sin and get you to heaven. What a lame ass excuse not to do good deeds is that? You can be a sinner all you want, as long as you live according to Jesus' teachings you will eventually be forgiven. And what did Jesus teach? Among many things this: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." [Matthew. v. 3.] So dumb people go to heaven? Unfaithful people go to heaven? If so, then this week's magic failure will definitely go to heaven.

This man, faithful as he is, feels the need to teach others about Jesus 'n Stuff. That alone is a topic to be covered somewhere else. The method to teach is to use magic. And this is where I draw the line. I absolutely don't like Gospel magic. And all because my beloved magic is abused like little catholic choir boys.

On his website he clearly states his mission.
We believe that God is not boring. Church shouldn't be either. We like going to church. You should too. And so should your kids.
If that is true, why does he use magic to do that? It feels like some sort of giant misdirection. Like luring the kids into church with the promise of a magic show, but then hitting them with dogmatism. And that is misuse of magic.

But that's not all... watch this:

So does this man live what he teaches? Well I can't tell, but he is exposing magic. All of the "performances" are by YouTube user "magicforjesus". But then I stumbles upon YouTube user "quintlox" who is clearly the same guy. And then he goes one explaining the TT and "Equal Unequal Ropes".

Interestingly "quintlox" gives great thumbs up to "magicforjesus" pushing the ratings of the video in a really pathetic and obvious way. Wasn't there something in the teachings of Jesus that refer to being humble? I could be mistaken.

Anyway: There is no name given at the Magic for Jesus website. What kind of Christian behaviour is that? Hiding the name?

Anyways I learned something about Jesus after watching our unnamed preacher. Jesus died for me. Like seriously. On that cross, bleeding and in pain. He died for all of us. He took one for the team. That means that I don't have to make any effort to get into heaven. Because he loves me. Even though he doesn't know me. Wow a platonic bromance. Nope, I'll pass.

I rather be good, because it makes sense to be good. Not because somebody tells me to.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dreams Are Weird!

This is the Magic Failure Patrol! Drop your deck of cards and raise your hands. Now walk slowly towards the officer with the ungimmicked handcuffs. You are arrested because you did bad magic. The spectators you held hostage with stock one liners and the promise of a great magic trick have been freed.

You will be given the chance to explain yourself. But no exposure! In order to prepare yourself for that hearing you need to work through the entirety of the Tarbell Course in Magic. You will be tested. If you do not see the errors of your ways after that, you will be brought before a judge. It's up to him to decide what punishment you will receive. If you get lucky, you only need to throw away all of your Ellusionist DVDs and you will be forced to read the Books of Wonder. However, if the judge had a bad day (most likely by having watched a bad magic show) you'll be taken into a magic camp.

There you will learn the basics all over again.

1. Don't suck!
2. Be likable!
3. Be humble!
4. Master your material!
5. Rehearse!
6. Toss the salad! (Don't know how that one got in there)
7. Honor your masters!
8. Don't steal tricks or lines!

Only then will you be allowed to touch a deck of cards again! Now follow me to the car!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Makes me roll my eyes!

This is too much, too much! The following is straight from some magicians website.

Censored is an internationally known polymath who believes his purpose on planet Earth is to serve others by being a loving, passionate, and powerful example of how to live a productive, meaningful, and positive life. He’s a prolific author, seasoned traveler, adventurer, entrepreneur, producer, inventor, veteran, entertainer, and speaker-just to mention a few.

He holds a Masters of Business Administration, attended law school, and is the only America to have graduated with a Masters of Global Security from the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom, at the Royal Military College of Science. He has an insatiable appetite for learning and personal growth, and continues to work towards other qualifications as time permits, including further post-graduate courses in eBusiness and marketing, and doctoral work in leadership and history.

Censored is also a reality television personality, presenter, actor, and as a practicing magician and mentalist, who has amazed audiences at private functions, corporate events, in the theater, and on televisions all over the world.

And while all that may sound really cool, he doesn’t think any of it matters a single bit unless he is using it to serve others. His true love will always be helping those in need; after wearing a uniform for most of his adult life, this dedicated humanitarian now volunteers his time to provide in-field emergency assistance and protective security services in current conflict theaters, former military operational zones, and in areas of extreme poverty, famine, or that have been affected by disasters such as fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and tsunamis.

Anyone reading this, with a bit of brain will know that all of that might be true, but that this is misleading. And a guy with such misleading intentions must either be a scam artist or be insane.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

WMF Dalton Wayne

Alright, another week, another fail. This week: Dalton Wayne. Who is Dalton Wayne you might ask. Only the most inspired, most bad-ass creator of magic that graced us by walking on this earth.

He also has a nice video camera and mad editing skillz. But more on that later. A whole bunch of his adorable figments of his mind on sale via the Wire. Among those we'll find Osmosis. Any small item like a coin or a key into a soda can. Just watch the video.

"Oh awesome, I'd love to do that trick… I wonder what's the creative method behind this, that allows me to do this without having a big hole in the can?!" Oh, wait. There is a big hole. If that would be the case, wouldn't it be misleading advertisement? Wouldn't the video suggest that the can is actually unharmed. It cannot be shown 360 degrees!

Dalton Wayne has a really good video camera and is really good at editing his stuff so it looks amazing. And trust me his loves video editing. On his YouTube channel he has this little piece of fake video:

The comments below are his fans asking him to publish it. Here is the secret. Final Cut Pro or any other video editing software.

A while ago Dalton Wayne used to be a YouTube user named "iwilleatthebag" and he still has awesome little videos online. Almost all are in artsy black and white. Copying the look and feel of almost all that insanely talented Daniel Madison has put out.

So I guess by now Dalton Wayne has at least found himself an image. That of a self-assured, flamboyant personality with hints of dapper fashion sense. Well whatever floats your boat. But here is what Dalton Wayne is not. A creative magician. He is really good at emulation. He pretends to contribute to the magic community. His stuff is poorly structured magic. First method that comes up usually is the modus operandi. His demo videos really make the effect look good. I think he should work for Criss Angel.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hey guys, I'm talking to you! You Tenyo Elite!

Jason Palter, Peter Loughran and Steve Brooks, yeah you. Aka JPS Magic Studios. What's up? Are you still around? I'm just asking because in August 2009 you wrote on your Tenyo Elite website:

We are proud to say that our first two Tenyo Elite releases (Fortune Sticks and Moonspinner) are officially in production and being manufactured as you read this!
And what a fun time that was. Both items I can still buy. Not that anybody needs metal version of cheap looking plastic tricks anyway. How did that work out for you? I really would like to know. The news post you made three years ago continues:
Our other two products (Blue Crystal and Soft Coins) will follow in a couple of months---to ensure that all our 2009 releases are out before the end of the year.
Too bad that both these items are still labelled as "coming soon". What's going on? Or was 99 bucks for each the Fortune Sticks and the Moonspinner too much?


Do you guys mind, if I switch the blog design from the classic format to a more dynamic version?

Like this: Weekly Magic. There is a poll on the right side.

Will you be able to adopt to the change?

Monday, March 5, 2012

WMF The Savronov Brothers

Alright. First Russian failure coming up. The Savronov Brothers. Ilya, and the twins Sergey and Andrey. They do TV work. Big time TV since 2002. Both in Russian and Ukrainian TV. Here is a sample:

Aside from the blatant ripping off, the poor staging, the snail pacing, the boring presentation and the oh so dramatic use of cuts, they recently got a show where they expose magic secrets. Amonge the secrets they reveal: The Metamorphosis, the Interlude, One escape from a obviously self build cabinet, one levitation and a suspension.

The point is, that it is done with not only disrespect, but with a certain hatred towards magic. They got good stuff out there. But they certainly didn't understand what magic is all about. Not the secrets...

But here is what annoys me about Twin brothers in Magic. Why the hell do you reveal the fact that there are two brother who could look the same if you want to? This needs to be the best kept secret in magic. Fail, Fail, Fail.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Internet Tarts


For those who punt their wares on the internet, willy nilly, like a bunch of cheap tarts, here's a message:

You fucking tarts! Get a frigging life already!!!

Whose "Haunted" is best? Whose "T & R" is best? Whose goddam ass-fucking ACAAN is best? 


Now get to fuck and don't come back, you stupid fucking fucks.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stuff that is Random

Imagine you had to work for your money. It took hard labor to get where you are now. Isn't your accomplishment much greater and more valuable compared to the guys getting their money from their parents?
Now substitute money with magic and parents with the internet?

So the WPR is back. And in my opinion they did the only right thing. Just go on, with an apology admitting their mistake. This is what they should have done in the first place. Instead of behaving like children with an empty couch and all of that.

Had a great idea for a trick. But I'm not gonna share. The secret is valuable.

Magic Dealers should have two videos out for any given trick. One can be the usual teaser and the second one should be a performance. From start to finish with no cuts. The camera may move, as the gaze of people shifts as well during a performance. If the performance exposes the method to the more knowledgeable, it is either because the method is weak or the performer bad.

If neither is the case, maybe this item should have appeared in print form.