Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The old saying

There are a few saying in magic. "Never repeat a trick!" and "Don't announce what you are about to do!"

Honestly those are beginner's tips. The reasons why you should not repeat a trick is that people would know what to expect and be on the look out for things that would expose the method. Same goes for rule number two.

But what if the trick can withstand a repeat? Be it because of changing methods, or because the method is so darn good, that nobody will figure it out? After all, a good old ambitious card is nothing but repeating the trick. In fact repetition makes the effect stronger.

Not announcing what you are about to do also has the built in assumption that magic should come as a surprise. Well suspense is the exact opposite and it is darn good. Try combining the two for maximum impact. If you do the cups and balls, try showing one of the final loads before you start the trick. Even say, that you will try to sneak that lemon under one of the cups near the end of the trick.
That way you build up a lot of suspense. Yet the surprise will still be there after revealing that you had four final loads. You get the best of both worlds, if you announce what you are about to do.

Another saying in magic is the good old: "A large action covers a small action" and too many magician seem to believe that. A little too much. So that they rely on that fact and believe something they do is convincing. That being said...

Monday, August 27, 2012


Edit: Crap the Bottom Palm was faster... what an idiot.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Dis is vedy vedy vedy easy."



I'm so fucking exited. Blake Vogt is about to release something awesome.

But I wonder if it will be better than REF4M.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WMF Robin Matrix

A young magician from the Netherlands. His stage name is Robin Matrix. He has a nice looking website and seems like a professional magician.

Looks can be deceiving.

He is selling magic. That in itself is nothing bad. Nor good. But the material... if it would be his own creations, or his refinements on other's creations all would be well. But this is not the case. He is selling Card Warp (Roy Walton) for instance.

Or the good old Snap Change (Ed Marlo), the Card from the Mouth (With Bill Malone Subtleties) or the Crazy Man's Handcuffs (Michael Ammar). For 2 Euros.

It's not his material! He isn't adding anything new! He is making money of other peoples ideas. He's a magic parasite.

Now but that isn't all. He also has a free section, basically exposing material that isn't his. Among those: The Penetrating Straws and the Cut and Restored Balloon.

I don't like that, I don't like that at all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mad Props Dude

I have seen many XCM videos. This one is full of really cool ideas and unique displays. Pred, "a dimensional traveler" is pushing himself to the limits with cardistry!

I like it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Magic Industry

The term "Magic Industry" kind of invokes strange imagery. I always think of something Roald Dahl would have created. A weird, strange, twisted place. Some Oompa-Loompas working on a big card press, manufacturing the next crazy card deck. Next to that a big table with some more Oompa-Loompas sitting and drawing the next designs on a big canvas. Somehow this factory is located within a big industry complex near the North pole. Next door is a bunch of elves making square circles and painting them, "detting gizzy" from all the fumes.

Of course upstairs is a big conference room. And on a large table sits Santa Claus and across from him Rob Stiff, both arguing about what to produce next. After cards and coins and sponge balls... what's next to exploit. Both can't find a solution, but that is when Brad Christian comes in offering the following bit of advise: "Guys, you need not think think in props, but in gimmicks" And right he is. After the magnet and the smoke the mirror is next to explore. "Is there any magician out there specializing in mirrors?" Santa asks. "Yeah I just checked the forums... after all that's why we have them... there is a young man, no older than 17, he has uploaded two videos that fool people." "Are they any good?" "Dunno, they look good!" "Alright then you have yourself a deal, get that kid, promise him a reputation, they let's hype his name and publish 'mirrors deception'."

Rob is confused... "And what about me? Can I publish that too?" Santa just rolls his eyes. "You do what you do best. Get your drone working, Ben needs work. Knocking off is your gimmick... stick to that."

"Yes master!" Rob says bowing down crawling out of the room.

Downstairs the elves have finished with the square circles. The reindeer are ready for shipment.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Please help the guy out!

Harry Lorayne needs money. Right now he's selling a whole lot of stuff at the green meanie.
Among the many items:
Entire Xerox of Wm. Miesel’s Moe and His Miracles - $12.00
Entire Xerox of Simon Aronson’s Shuffle-bored - $11.00
So it's okay to sell xeroxed copies now?

Edit: Okay, after a few of the usual suspects complained to Harry he had all of the follow up posts removed as well as the suspect entries in his list. So does he understand the general problem now? I doubt it!

No table

Did you ever try to rework most of your closeup material so you are using no table at all? I suggest doing that. It gives you a whole new perspective on your repertoire. And a lot more freedom. Coins through table becomes coins through spectators cupped hands. Suddenly the trick has a new interactive level that invites communication instead of stock patter.

Certain card material becomes interesting. Ace assemblies are now seen as the convoluted card tricks they are. And reworking them forces you to get rid of the piles and straight to the point.

Of course there are limits but an exercise worth doing. It makes you aware of a lot of unnecessary stuff. And being aware is the first step to fixing it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Copies

A few days ago iTricks ran a post that I failed to notice, until now. Here is the quick version:
Mike Voltagio claims

“All of my illusions are designed by me, then custom built,[...] You won’t see my illusions anywhere else in the world. I’ve taken classic tricks and put really new spins on them to the point where they’re actually fooling other magicians. I like to push everything to the extreme.”

Then iTricks asked "would a random audience member know an original, custom-built illusion if it bit them in the face? Would they care?"

Here is my simple answer. Of course not. What kind of stupid question is that? The audience doesn't give a flying fuck as long as they are entertained. But this isn't about the audience. It's about the moral integrity of the performer. If he can live with it, so be it. If he can't like Mike Voltagio he will create his own magic.

The sadness lies not so much in the fact that copies are out there in abundance, but there bad copies are out in abundance. Young people who think that if they emulate Blaine, Angel, Piff and Copperfield they will be as cool as them.

But not only that, You wouldn't believe how many versions of Michael Ammar are out there. Or how many Daryls and Christians. (The last one referring to Brad Christian)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Drunk Philosophy

I know that I shouldn't write when I'm drunk. But my head is all spinny and I can't sleep without feeling like on a merry-go-round. So here it goes anyway.

Maybe I got it all wrong maybe, just maybe my whole perspective on social behavior is all messed up. For years I've been preaching the value of being humble. That could be all bullshit. Take a look at the folks who are successful. Humbleness is not a character trait that is valuable when it comes to success in any field. In fact it seems to be an obstacle. I mean how could you be famous and all when you're a down to earth person? Maybe you need some megalomaniac tendencies to survive on the top?

Just maybe...

Yet if so... could one be not humble and still not be an asshole about it?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Illusions.... BORING

Video in general is not good for magic. But it is especially bad for illusionists. You can see the bad paint jobs the wiggles in the stair section of an illusion. And you can see the actual secret in big HD.

I didn't notice the bad stuff at 1:34... but rather how endlessly long the actual illusion is drawn out.

Monday, August 6, 2012

OMG How does he do that?

He must be a wizard or sumthin' Im sure the big ass sleeves have nothing to do with it. Let's watch the whole thing. Yeah I'm sure the sleeves will not be suspicious at all.

Let's be serious. His heart seems to be in the right place. His setup is professional, his looks, his manners all nice and harmless. But does this bring magic forward? Hardly. A layperson watching goes like this. "Oh sleeves, oh magnets, oh no actual effort" in a way this little video meets all the requirements of the common prejudices against magicians.

But maybe I'm underestimating the man. This might all be a great scheme to make people believe all the lies about magicians, so when he actually performs he rolls up his sleeves and does a French Drop.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quote of the Week

I watched Tom perform this - for me, and other magicians. Most were fooled by the "vanishes." I wasn't