Saturday, June 30, 2012

Oy Vey! Dan Harlan.... What are you doing!

Dan Harlan's releases are hit and miss. Here is a big fat miss:

What's up with the missing personality, the half backed tricks, the badly executed tried and true tricks, the obvious palms, the unmotivated ditching and stealing of props, the constant fumbling...

Yeah... I would not put that anyone's repertoire.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Felching that Cunt aka Fucking Coins!

How is that for an offensive title? There is a DVD out. Called Fucking Coins, by Philippe Bougard and Clement Kerstenne two young Belgian magicians who seem to be full of little ideas how to spice up old coin work. They are far from being good, but that's doesn't stop people from releasing stuff. (Weapons of Mass Destruction comes to mind. Yes I read the whole darn thing.) But naturally people get excited not because of the content, but because of the title. It's offensive and vile.

The cover art for the DVD is is a lady pressing her boobs together to support a coin for crying out loud. But first... watch the trailer:

Offended by the magic or just the title? He was flipping the bird near the end only to produce a coin. People who are offended: Grow the fuck up! Offensive words have a function in any language. They are meant to offend people. The masses get polarized. In those who take it with the grain of salt and laugh about it and those who are easily aggrieved. Like Michael Rubenstein. There is a lengthy tread over at the Green Monster about the DVD. Mr. Rubenstein had the following to say:
As a parent, I would not allow my child to purchase this, and as an adult, I wouldn't buy it on principle. I am guessing the producers are from another country, and perhaps (extending a long leash here) they don't understand the implication of the word. Perhaps they think its hip. This is why we get names like Ninja, Stealth, Jet. But that word? It's a slap in the face. Certain words, swear ,racist, or otherwise, have no place being used in our profession. I can only imagine the backlash if I used a French, Italian, or German swear word intentionally in a title. Freedom of speech gives them the freedom to call it whatever they want, but I for one hope our US distributors do not sell it. A lesson should be learned here.
Well I assume he's not the target audience for that.
If I wanna offend, words like "fuck" are a great asset. But I don't have to rely on those. I can use really nice words to tell others how bad they are. I got a whole blog devoted to that. But I can use really nasty words to mean very positive things. "Wow, the was the best fucking ride I ever had in my entire life."

There is no bad language. There is only you who can stand stuff. But words? Really? Words? Four letters, strung together is a "slap in the face"? No it's not. Some people love to swear, it makes them feel liberated from the straight jacket known as formal speech.

And maybe, just maybe that feeling of liberation is the sole motivation to call that coin DVD "Fucking Coins." Being free from those old dusty plot, from the same tried and true patter, from coin mold that Michael Rubinstein and folks feel so comfortable in. It's two young Belgian magicians, who freed themselves from the box. Now they are thinking outside the box. And they did that with a mission statement: "Fucking Coins"

Both Philippe Bougard and Clement Kerstenne obviously love coin magic. But they also very obviously don't like the old school approach. So they added fire, visual moves and some young rebellious attitude.

You can argue about that. Not about the title.

So did they succeed with the DVD? Not really I think. Watch this:

They have a lot to learn about coins.

But wanna know the real reason why the DVD is called "Fucking Coins"?
Suddenly people talk about it!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quote of the Week

“Magic is a powerful art
that can support a weak performer.” – Ricky Jay

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's been bothering me!

I gotta give Jay Sankey a bit of credit. When he came up with the "Three Ring Circus" it was a smart move to use real key rings. They are instantly recognized as a normal object and people know about their properties...
They know that they can be linked. That brings any linking routine into a believable realm. Yet the links look magical, making that precious "suspension of disbelief" much easier for the audience.

Now if you are going to do a linking ring routine using tiny little rings, I'd say go for the "Three Ring Circus" by Jay Sankey.

Knowing that the Magic Makers' version sucks major ass.

Dear Magic Makers.... or better dear Rob Stiff. If you gonna steal at least steal correctly. You ripped of the design of the Mystery Box by John Kennedy and you managed to created a product that looks cheap even in your poor attempt at advertising. But I guess people will buy it anyway. They will probably look past the tell tale handling and give two shits about the actual designer of that particular box.

Same goes for your "Magic Cartoon Deck" Not only did you manage to not get the credits straight you even tell a flat out lie. You say: "Based on an original effect in the same playing card flip book format with an animated magic top hat and dove flying out from 1954 and 1959 by Educards of Canada"

That maybe true but is not the inspiration that you had for real. You just copied the Card Toon Deck. And you even did it wrong. It is supposed to look like you just doodled on the back of the cards. In your version the drawings are clearly printed on. The white color gives it away that it really isn't any normal deck, but a special magic deck, therefore making the effect worthless. Again.... if you gonna steal at least steal correctly.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

WMF The Cactus Boi

The interesting thing about this young man is not that he is exposing or making a tutorial on a card flourish, no it's his serious laziness on research. First watch the video. The first 40 seconds should be enough:

So what do you see? A normal fan? Yes! There is nothing, I repeat nothing unusual about this fan. A regular standard two handed fan. This is pointed out to the young man in the comments.
"sorry but has i see it's a freaking thumb fan"
to which The Cactus Boy... sorry, Boi replied:
"*facepalm*. Do you actually know anything..? Like, at all?"
Cute isn't it?

So the next commentor asked:

"What's so fuckin' unusual at this "ordinary" fan?"
Our young magician replied:
"Well, the technique hasn't been used before (or not to my knowledge) and the fan itself looks like a pressure fan, you're just doing less work and not applying the full pressure to help the cards go around. I can do the pressure fan with ease now, so I don't use this move much at all anymore."
Dude! The technique hasn't been used before? To his knowledge.... well that means his knowledge is worth jack shit. Yet he goes out doing tutorials... how about reading books first.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gee that brings back memories!

I believe I saw this cartoon before I ever saw a magician. That clearly shaped my understanding of what commercial effects are. In fact I remember seeing the part with the endless silks tied to each other and I loved the method.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dear Magic Makers

Spell "Fred Kaps" correctly. If using that name is supposed to be a homage to the fanatastic Fred Kaps, at least make the effort of researching how to spell his name. Lame!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Quote of the Week"

"As I show you these cards, I want you to think of a card and remember the number at which it lies. Now take the deck and deal it into two piles. Pick up one of the piles and perform a Down & Under Deal and then take the last remaining card and insert it down into the other packet at the number you remembered earlier. Take that packet and place it behind your back. Spell your name - one card at a time - and place the new top card reversed in the centre of the packet. Your mother is a whore."

T. W. talking about
Aldo Colombini's handlings and patter

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Card Manipulators listen up!

Has it ever occurred to you that purposefully dropping a single card, stepping on it and producing a fan of cards from the sole of the shoe really doesn't make a lot of logical sense?

How about just one! The one you dropped!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Get help!

Today I'm gonna give you some real good advice. Seriously! I have come across so many magicians and I noticed one thing: They all wanna do everything by themselves. The have no skill programming a website, yet they tinker around until they got a website that looks like shit. They have no photoshop skills and end up with something like this:

Take a look at how others do some stuff that they cannot do. They get someone to do it for them. They hire some expert or ask a friend. The result most often is professional. Get a director if you need a good stage show. A choreographer to help you move. A speech trainer to help you patter correctly. A writer to write you monologue/dialogue. A professional photographer to make nice pictures in proper resolution. A guy who can paint or recreate your props, so they don't look store bought. Whatever it is you can't do, there is somebody out there who can. Get help!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This grosses me out!

Posted by "Gr8gorilla" on the Magic Cafe
"So today I washed my Goshman Color changing ball to jumbo square. I swear to you, each one of them doubled in size. The Square won't even fit in the box it came any longer without being compressed. Is that normal for super soft sponges? Do they always grow when wet or moist? It was so noticeable that I could almost imagine an effect where the ball was moistened and grows before your eyes...."
That's disgusting... Don't you wash you balls each time you use them? They get dirty when people touch them. Those sweaty balls... but that's not the point... Ball to jumbo square? Really?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's Kieler Woche Baby! Yet Again!

Today was a fun day at the Kieler Woche. Today I ran into "security". The first time in seven years. I was finishing my show and then I got approached by two really tall guys with big black vests telling me what to do.

Them: "You have to know that you are allowed to stay here... but you must not ask for money."
Me: "Wait what? I didn't ask for money, I told them if they want to they can pay me.
Them: "No mention of money, if they put you something in the hat, that would be okay."
Me: "Alright"

I have to mention that these guys really were nice about it. So I did my next show. Instead of mentioning money I just took off my hat and placed it on the table. Telling my audience if they want a business card they can come up and take on. By now there were five security guys.

Them: "Sorry you cannot hand out business cards either."
Me: "Really? Man you're breaking my balls. Can I at least mention my website."
Them: "Nope, nothing that is commercial."

So I asked them where exactly their "power" to tell me what to do ends. They said at the end of the ferris wheel. So I went there and the place was shit...

So I was thinking, who are those guys and how exactly are they allowed to tell me what to do. On the official Kieler Woche website they clearly state that no permission is needed, and that the only rule is not to gather too many people so the other people can still walk freely. No mention about money and all of that bullshit.

So I went back to my old pitch. Right in front of the police station. I recalled that the police had no problem with me being there. In fact if somebody wanted to do music there the police told them not be play here. Not so in my case. Last year the head of the police stepped outside of the station to ask me for a business card.

So I went into the police station asking about this year's regulation. Turns out that the area around the police station belongs to the police station. They can allow or forbid anybody they want to. The security working for the city has nothing to say on that particular patch of land.

Knowing that I set up my pitch again. As I was doing that the lady in charge of that part of the Kieler Woche walked by. I though damn it... I should talk to her. So we talked... and I got the official statement that I'm allowed to ask for money.

I did two more shows, clearly asking for donations. Then it started to rain.

I'm looking forward to a sunny day tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mongrel Passing

There is a discussion on the Magic Cafe concerning the Mongrel Pass by Steven Youell. As you all know the Mongrel Pass is an improvement on the classic pass. Making the classic pass even better. One really dumb magician, his name is Andrew fails to see that.

That Andrew guy maybe smart, but Steven Youell is smarter. And therefore Steven is right and Andrew is wrong.

Also look at all the guys praising the Mongrel Pass. This should convince you, because all of the other magicians on that thread join into the praising of the Mongrel Pass. Naturally they must be smarter than Andrew.

Take that Andrew!

And a bunch of smart people following a smart man can only lead to smart outcomes right?

I'm dumb. I saw a video demonstration of the Mongrel Pass by Steven Youell. All I remember is the noise, the noise, the noise....

The Mongrel Pass compared to the classic pass is like giving a baby battery acid instead of milk, claiming that it is good for the infant.

Aside from the issue... looking at the thread over at the green monster (I will not link, as that usually leads to the deletion of the thread) Steven Youell is getting back into his best shape. He is masterful at  getting others to fight for him. Instead of fighting Andrews arguments, he fights against the man. These ad hominem attacks don't serve the purpose of the discussion.

Here is how it usually works. There is thread about some topic. Steven Youell's work is mentioned in some way. If it is good Steven Youell will agree, if it is bad Steven Youell will fight and round up all of his "yes saying" buddies to agree with him. The person having made the negative statement will be attacked (sometimes even the argument) and then after there are enough post to make Youell the moral winner (as if that is an issue) Youell (most of the time) makes the offer to let that tread die. The person attacked usually agrees.

Then everything goes back to normal.

I wish I was as smart as Steven Youell.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Quote of the Week"

"Show a trick to a child,
and you will make him happpy for one day.
Teach him a trick.....
and he will ruin the art of magic."


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WMF Tim David

Tim David is a magician who somehow thinks he knows a lot about magic. Enough to teach it. And of course he is above moral debate and ethics. So he is free to spoil magic secrets and he makes it really easy to get them. Via video.

The sad part, he isn't alone. He is one of many, many lost souls. But I think he has not lost it yet. He may still turn the wheel around and drive the car back to the road.

On his website he has a section he calls Free Magic Tutorials.

Readers of my blog will know where this is going.

Magic exposure. He's teaching stuff he didn't come up with. Why? I don't know. This in fact is the question that drives me crazy. Why would anyone want to teach magic. If you are a creator and you want your creation out there to be appreciated by the magic community I would get it. But this is not the happening in Tim David's case. He is clearly not targeting the magic community, but luring in new wannabe magicians.

Don't we have enough losers among us? Just saying.

I know about the human need to communicate knowledge. And I also know that a certain type of human feels the need to teach. But with magic something is at stake. The secret. Giving out any secret means that you had to think about doing it. Otherwise you didn't see it as a secret. Teaching a magic secret for free means you regard it as being irrelevant in any moral debate.

It might be that Tim David has not stumbled upon the issue but no... on his website you'll find this:
Teaching magic is different than exposing magic because teaching magic is good and exposing magic is bad. Tim vehemently opposes unnecessary magic exposure. “Stop magic exposure.” – Tim David
A little too black and white for my taste.

A secret has professional value. You have to understand that. A lawyer (at least here in Germany) is not allowed to give out free advise. The same way that a guy working at the gas station is not allowed to give out free gas. Simply because the "advise" and the "gas" have a value. Doing so would hurt all of the other professional lawyers and professional gas station owners. That's why laws are in place to protect the value.

In magic that doesn't exist. If a guy like Tim David gives out free secrets he is hurting all of the other professional magicians.

A value is a construct in a very strict business sense; tossing out all moral and ethics here. If you are the only one owning something, no matter how much it is worth, you can set the price. (Monopoly)
If everyone has it (or has access to) the price is disparaged. The value is lowered.

So giving out secrets for nothing has the value of any idea nullified.

Tim David: Stop eroding your future income doing professional magic. You claim to be a long time, full-time pro magician. How about you act that way and recognize that the secret is best kept secret.

PS: Bullshit...

There are more effects. What about Transpositions? You seem not to have thought about it enough. Don't you read my little theory nuggets of wisdom?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

As a side note!

Holy fuck something awesome has happened. How can I tell you without telling you? Let's say it this way. A certain someone has decided to have a website. That someone didn't even have Internet before. Not only that. That certain someone has decided to sell stuff. That makes me happy.

Is it magic related? You bet. I don't know if I can talk about it. So I'm being all fucking cryptic about it. So nothing to see here. Move along.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Busy right now, here's a treat!

When I started with card magic this was one of the first things I learned. But I didn't need a gimmick. I was so 1337 back then. Times have changes.


Aside from that... put him in a lab coat and he can talk about medical problems. Power house medical problems. Rudy T. Hunter... If you magic career is fading here is an option:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

clever post title

There is the good old bite coin. And there is a bite cookie out there. But seriously who bites off cookies like that?

Also, is there ANY good change bag routine out there? Only seeing shit so far. Any... I'm desperate.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Did you ever notice that

most "Any Card to Any Number" are NOT "Any Card"
almost all flowers look different from the stuff magicians produce
a slip cut force makes a noise that can be heard from across the room
magicians when seated stand up from time to time; Elmsley Count time
so called pro tips from professionals most often are basic socials skills
there are always the same people in any L&L video. (I'm talking about the magicians, not the audience)
Daryl uses very preaching patter when performing
Jeff McBride has gone way past his prime and belt size
Dai Vernon died 20 years ago
some young magicians understand more about magic than you

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Do You Know How To Do The Color Changing Deck?

If not check out this nifty Howcast video tutorial.

Actually I think this brilliant. The video promises a great trick. It seems legit, as lines like "Most magic stores have these" make it feel well researched by Howcast. Then the execution is so bloody awful with no convincers, no setup, no payoff... that all you feel is utter disappointment. Suddenly you don't wanna know anymore magic secrets. We need more of these.