Sunday, December 29, 2013

Episode 8 "Freaky Body Illusions"

Click here for a more detailed review

As usual if you have something you want reviewed, then let me know. Are you a creator of a cool magic trick and you want and honest review? Do you have some weird prop lying around and you want people to know about it? Shoot me an email! I will review everything I get.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

He PETA check this out:

Just think about how you would accomplish this. And then you pretty much have the method!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Naked Magicians

So you know this producer of the Illusionists? His name is Simon Painter... he has been working on just one more show. The name of the act: "The Naked Magicians". The two magicians starring in this production are Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne. The later one is no newcomer to this blog. Actually the later one has the website GOSPELMAGIC.... Seems a bit weird that he is now doing a naked act.

I guess the idea of the act is that they somehow never fully show you the goods. That's the gag. And I'm sure that is a great gag for a certain target audience if Simon Painter had decided to rape another form of art and not magic.

But first, let me treat you with this:

Feeling distracted? Did you notice there was some magic in that little routine? Probably not. You were too confused! And that is what is happening to everyone watching the video. It isn't about magic, magic is just a tool. A side gag if you want to. And that makes me sick.

I'll give you an example to make my point more clear. Let's say you are a comedian. You are a good comedian. You have shows all around the country. It took hard work to get there. You learned about comedy, you took lots of falls, but you always got up. You know how goes.

And then suddenly a fucking idiot gets successful with really cheap stock jokes. Some jokes he didn't come up with. But the audience doesn't notice, as he undresses during his act. Having the right target audience makes this guy an instant hit. You would be pissed. You worked hard on your act. And just adding a gimmick makes this guy successful.

Luckily the act with the naked magicians has not yet had it's premiere. Let's really hope the act fails.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Product Fail ShaSEXpeare

Let me tell you about a product that I have only seen in a German magic store. It's called "ShaSEXpeare" by Polish magician Arsene Lupin. What you get is 18 pieces of thick paper with pictograms of plays by William Shakespeare. And they are of a sexual nature. The thing is that you show those pictograms to the audience letting them guess the play while they are laughing at the not so subtle sexual double entendre.

And there we have a weird little problem with the target audience. Sophisticated people - knowing about the works of Shakespeare - will find little to no enjoyment about the sexual connotations of the pictograms.

And those who do find enjoyment, care or know little about the plays of the English writer.

Also there is no fucking trick. It's a comedy piece I guess. For 60 Euros. 60! That is 82 dollars!

And the dealers advertisement text is written in the worst possible way.

Das sechste Piktogramm hat eine geographische und eine erotische Komponente, was jedes intelligente Publikum sofort registriert.
Dann geht es mit 12 Piktogrammen weiter, die konsequent erotischer Natur und immer wieder aus den gleichen Teilsymbolen zusammengestellt sind. Jedoch – und das ist anders als bei der klassischen Verkehrgeschichte – weisen Sie ab dem ersten dieser Bilder darauf hin, dass ab jetzt jedes Piktogramm den Titel eines Theaterstückes von Shakespeare darstellt! In der Abbildung rechts z. B. sehen Sie das Piktogramm „Ein Sommernachtstraum“! Diese Erläuterung macht dem Publikum besonders Spaß, da es in diesem Moment einen Abfall des Niveaus befürchtete.
Ab diesem Moment ist es dieser wunderbare Kontrast, der diese Sache so reizvoll macht. Sie erzählen keine wie auch immer „schlüpfrige“ Story! Alles findet ausschließlich in den Köpfen der Zuschauer statt! Diese dürfen Piktogramm für Piktogramm das zugehörige Theaterstück nennen, dabei Ihren bildungsbürgerlichen Level zur Schau stellen – und beweisen gleichzeitig, dass sie exakt verstehen, was Sache ist!
Es ist nicht nötig, dass die Zuschauer Detailkenntnisse über den Inhalt der Dramen haben. Eine simple Titelkenntnis der bekanntesten Shakespeare-Dramen reicht völlig aus! Und wenn die Zuschauer den Titel nicht erraten, nennen Sie den Titel: Keine Schwachstelle, sondern ebenso reizvoll, da das Publikum hier mit Spannung den Titel erwartet, nachdem es „ganz selbständig“ die erotische Situation bereits erfasst hat!
Wenn Ihnen insgesamt 18 Piktogramme zuviel erscheinen, können Sie das ein oder andere – vielleicht etwas weniger bekannte – Shakespeare-Drama auslassen. Der Fortschritt in der Präsentation wird dabei in keiner Weise beeinflusst oder geändert.
Auswendig lernen? Nicht die Bohne! Die Titel der Dramen stehen auf der Rückseite jeder Karte, in Englisch, in Deutsch – und falls Sie mal in die Gegend kommen, in Polnisch! Die mitgelieferte Erklärung erläutert alles, was Sie bei der Präsentation zu beachten haben.
Let me translate the best parts:
"The sixth pictogram has a geographic and an erotic component, which is immedeately registered by an intelligent audience."

"These explanations are good fun for the audience as they feared a drop in the niveau."

"At this moment is is the great contrast that makes the presentation so interesting. You don't tell them a saucy story! Everything happens in the audience's minds! They may call out the corrosponding play in each pictogram and thereby show off their following educated middle-classprinciples - while proving at the same time that they understand what's going on!"

"Memorizing anything? Not a scrap! The titles of the plays are on the back of the cards"

Holy Crap!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Laymen's truths

Here are a few truths about magic and magicians that you might wanna exploit in your act:

  • Magicians tell each other secrets with oaths of secrecy
  • You practice 8 hours a day
  • You are incredibly fast
  • You pull a rabbit from a hat
  • You steal money and watches
  • You twist balloons
  • Most of what you do is done with misdirection
  • The rest is done with mirrors
  • The hardest trick you do is the best trick you do

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yes it got made!

My fucking idea has turned into reality:

More than two years ago I posted this:

And now there is this:

Now I want credits, royalties and all the other bullshit that belongs to me. Me, me, me alone. Of course they done it all wrong. A facedown version would have been much more subtle. But hey...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Honest Question!

Let's say you are a magic publisher. You publish books, DVDs and tricks. A creator gives you new material to sell. How should the revenue be split?

50/50, 40/60, 30/70 or 20/80? Who should get the most? The publisher who offers the framework for selling, and deals with the shipping, handling and advertisment, or the creator who actually came up with the idea that is being sold?

Tell me!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Stop, just stop alright!

Dear magicians, could you please, for the love of whatever is holy to you, stop posting every single magic show you did. Seriously!

I know that you are proud that you do so many shows. I know that you think that a social network is exactly for posting such shit. Well it is. But it also tells something about you. That you are so desperate to get praise for your work that your inferiority complex shines through. And that is a sign of a social loser.

So stop! Just stop!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hey Boys and Girls

Do you want to come across as socially awkward? As someone who has trouble figuring out the line between what is okay to do and what is not okay to do?

If so, become a magician.... no wait, even better... become a Street Magician. I'm not talking about busking, which is time honored and requires you to be alert and to manage people. No! I mean Street Magic, the kind that David Blaine made popular.

Strangers on the street love nothing more than being stopped by a young person with a deck of cards in his/her hand. "Hey, I'm a magician, and would you love to see a card trick? If you don't I will either run amok or commit suicide. Whatever!"

So the stranger, who is just a friend you haven't met, thinks long and hard about the things you're about to do and figures that a card trick is probably the least horrific scenario. Probably!

Card tricks it is then. You do some crazy flourishes... of course not as fast at in those YouTube videos you watched, and then ask somebody to pick a card. After that graceful display of skill the stranger surely thinks that you are not capable of finding the card, after it has been lost in the deck. So you do your perfect pass and pull out the two jokers from the pocket. "Look three jokers. One on my right, one on my left and one in the middle." Those two jokers then trap the selection in between then. "OMG you must be a wizard." is the what the stranger says after careful consideration as what to say. The stranger's initial thoughts on how to respond where: "So what? You found my card. My uncle Jeff does a similar trick with 21 cards" and "What a pitiful little creature attempting to be one of the grown ups, I should say something that doesn't offend the magician, and something that can be understood as something positive." So "OMG you must be a wizard" is the final response.

If you are getting that particular dismissive reaction you are on your way. Optional choices would be: "That was wonderful!", "I have no idea how you did that", "You should be on TV", "Not bad for your age", "I wish I was that good with my hands", "No fucking way man"

But if you really want to know if your magic is good: Give them a show and ask for money. Busking tells you where you are.

Extra points if one of your tricks involves an iPhone.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Filler Material!

Let's be honest! Every single magic show needs filler material. You simply cannot have just great pieces, as in that case nothing would stand out. So technically a filler would be a framing to make the center piece stand out. And also to fill the time, hence the name.

So it is a good thing then that so much material that is sold nowadays is just filler. Marcus Eddie's uTurn comes to mind. A great looking trick, but not show stopper. But a perfect prologue routine to get into the Linking Fingerrings, which is a show stopper. Especially in the awesome Harry Anderson version of the trick. (Yes, check out "Wise Guy", it is that good)

But it's also a bad thing that so much material that is sold nowadays is just filler. Marcus Eddie's uTurn comes to mind. A great looking trick, but not a show stopper. This is the sort of stuff that should be published in conjunction with a great follow-up routine like the Linking Fingerrings. Especially in the awesome Harry Anderson version of the trick. (Yes, check out "Wise Guy", it is that good)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Look At The Emperor's New Clothes!

Some good magic for a change. Jeff McBride a clear winner in my book. He truly deserves the title Master of Illusion. Just watch how energetic he enters the scene. That energy clearly moves over to the audience who is entranced by this entry.
The Jeff produces a large beautiful silk cloth from a golden fan. In a burst of confetti. I cannot tell how excited I am. I have no idea how this was done. The silk cloth surely came from nowhere. And the fact that it is a dragon cloth symbolizes the dragon within us.
That dragon fury is brought center stage with an artistic somersault. Then he walks back to the huge box behind him to pick up the cloth again. And then it happens.

Boom suddenly he transforms into the famous Pink Dragon of Flamingonia. Where the hell did the huge shoulder pieces come from? I have no clue. Then the dragon dances in a rain of confetti and rainbows. No doubt this means the love of the Pink Dragon towards mankind.

And then the transformation is complete when Jeff produces the mask from thin air. Sure it looks like he purposely went to his huge box behind him and picked something up, but this is not the case, as it would be cheating. And his transformation gets an additional kicker as he breathes fire, symbolized by the streamers.

And then the posing... critics might bash him for that, but no this art. It's an art form you dumb motherfuckers. The posing needs to be as the audience needs time to catch some breath and to come back to earth.

The snow storm in the end is a truly deserved emotional climax in the end, as you can see by the audience reaction. Especially the little girl on the right near the end of the video.

And to those who say this is shit, you are just haters and are jealous of the success of Jeff.

This is an example of a bad trick.

There is nothing you can do to make this better. This atrocity was brought to my attention in a German forum by somebody who did his version of it to music. I didn't even get the effect there.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No Way!

The Green Monster actually fixed the search engine.... no way!

What's it been? More than a year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fed up!

I dunno how to say it, but I think I finally lost hope. Hope in the magic community as a whole. Some get magic, most don't.

Example. I saw a magician doing a terrible presentation of 2ITH1ITP. With sponge balls. The execution of the sleights was horrible and the patter. I thought that he completely trusted in the fact that the build in structure of the basic routine will save him in the end. Turns out it wasn't the case. He actually thought his sleights were deceptive. He actually thought he fooled everyone. How do you tell a delusional person that they are in a delusion? You can't! Outside of the delusional bubble it is easy to see what is wrong. But inside you are unable to.

Like telling a Christian that his believe in an omnipotent power, that knows all about you and that takes care of you, as long as you are nice, is nothing more that the belief of a child that Santa Claus is real.

So in this case I gave up telling him, that if he would close his hand a little later it would be a better sleight. I didn't tell him that referring to the sponge balls as tomatoes is not a good way to go. Because even if he improved upon that routine he wouldn't get magic.

Over the weeks I have met several of these people. And I finally understood. Among the tons of painters out there, there is is only one who is an artist. But a huge fuck ton of those painters would claim they are artists and they would honestly believe it. You could hold an abstract painting of Piet Mondrian next to their version of cubes and lines. They wouldn't see the difference.

They paint something abstract and would call it up to part with Picasso. The fact that Picasso had a classical education as a painter and that his skills as a 14-year-old was alongside the renaissance painters does not matter to them. Their work is the same.

So we see a magician attempting a Color Changing Silk routine with the patter of Billy McComb failing in both regards.

Failing to get the routine right, and failing to see that they failed to get it right.

So I decided to do my part. I will not feed these people anymore. No more free magic from me. No Christmas presents for you. Andrew: You were right!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wrapping Up Peter Loughran Week

What a week it was. We got to see a whole bunch of products that are flawed from the start. The reason I chose products that Peter Loughran makes and sells should be obvious. But sometimes the obvious needs to be pointed out.

There are several ways to create magic. But before every completion of a creative process there is the "hit or miss" issue. Sometimes a creative idea hits a dead end and would be perfect in a different universe. It fails. It can fail for many reasons. The effect could be difficult to understand. The method could be unreliable. The underlying principle could be not deceptive. The idea could be unoriginal and been thought of before, thereby making any claims of intellectual ownership futile. The intuitive solution has not been taken care of by "cancelling of methods". The intuitive solution is the actual solution.

The products I featured over the week are a mix of all of the above. They simply have not gone through a rigorous filtering system of a "friends and family alpha". Or at least not enough.

I don't know what it is exactly. Maybe everybody is way too nice towards Peter Loughran sugar coating any criticism, if at all.

Everyone who is working in some sort of creative industry needs feedback. Honest feedback. Because eventually we come up with a great idea. A really great idea. And it turns out, that it is shit. But the creator didn't see it as he was too in love with his little creation to see.

I have created my share of magic. But I tend to create routines for other magicians. Thereby having a specific goal. I try to take the essence of their personality and tailor it to the routine, by choosing the right prop, the right premise and the right plot.

I can imagine, that if you are creating a general product and you have to leave out character and premise and all of that, you tend to end up with a very generic product. So it is difficult to stand out.

In that regard Peter's products stand out. They have a unique bulky look with lots of aluminium framing.

But I maybe all wrong. After all my filter could be broken as well. So I'm calling you out. Everyone who has ever bought a product of Peter Loughran. Tell me about it! Tell me, if it is reliable! I suppose they are. Tell me, if it gets you the desired reactions you have hoped for! I really want to know. Use the comment section, shoot me an email or write about it on Facebook.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Peter Loughran Week: Thumb Twister

I was honestly surprised to find an instant download among the products of the master of illusions. Also no video? So this has to be the sort of trick that you can do instantly as soon as you see a demo video!

Let's quote what's happening from the website:
"The Thumb Twister effect is simple, the performer will snap his thumb backwards with it trapped between the knuckles of his other hand's fingers, apparently breaking it from it's joint, and then proceed to twist the thumb 360 degrees in full circle and then back again, gaining you freakish reactions!" 

Wow that sure sounds original.
"Do not confuse these with finger illusions of old, these are completely original illusions designed by Peter Loughran"
Maybe I'm wrong. Well maybe the video quality will be HD and it will be taught by someone who's able to teach.
"The video is far from a Hollywood production, however it will provide you time with Peter himself in a humble, up-close and personal setting, doing what he does best, and that's teaching original new magic."
Damn it I'm wrong again. But at least we get the usual over the top, trying to be charismatic posing of Peter right?
"Filmed in Peter's product warehouse, you'll get to see another side of Peter with his off beat humour and will enjoy the entertainment value of the video as much as the illusions themselves."
This is not my day obviously! I should get this. Or a copy of Magic for Dummies, changing the stretching the thumb routine taught therein to accomplish the outlined magic trick by Peter Loughran. In fact buying the book would get me even more magic. In Peter's Thumb Twister you'll only get one trick!
"In addition Peter will also explain and perform 2 other amazing visual finger illusions that he has created including the hilarious Severed Finger of Death, where the performer will sever his finger in full view!"
Gee what a bargain!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Peter Loughran Week: The Mad Scientist

Look at the promo picture. LOOK AT IT! It says "NEW comedy micro illusion". What a big fucking lie. But maybe I'm too harsh. Everything can be comedy right?

But maybe I should tell you first what this trick is all about.

Two test tubes on a tray. In one you stuff a silk, claim that it will go to the other side. And the rest I better quote directly from the website. It is too glorious not to be quoted:
"The performer places a large playing card in front of both test tubes and explains that the silk will teleport on his queue from one test tube to the other one that is elevated off the tray with a clear view underneath the thin mini stand. The performer makes a magical gesture and says that the silk has indeed teleported and he will prove it by checking the tubes himself. He looks down and says "Yep it has indeed teleported to the other test tube. But the hard part is to make them go back." He makes a magical gesture and this time removes the cards to show that the silk is back in its original place. The audience screams to see it again but this time they want him to remove the card.
The performer does just this, he throws away one of the cards, and places the other one in front of the test tube containing the silk and then says he will make the silk teleport once again. He then picks up the card but also secretly picks up the silk so it is hidden behind the playing card, and places it in front of the other test tube that is resting on the mini stand. He secretly places the silk into this test tube and immediately removes the card. They audience screams that they know how he did it. This time they want to see done with no cover at all.
The performer obliges but tells his audience that they better not blink or they will miss it. He makes a magical gesture and sure enough this time, the silk VISIBLY vanishes from one tube and INSTANTLY re-appears in the other tube which is isolated off the tray on its own stand."
I hope you get the brilliance of this "stock routine" There is nothing new about the structure or the jokes. The only thing new might be the method. But that shouldn't matter to the audience. You cannot hand out or even lift the test tubes. They seem stuck on the suspicious tray. But watch the video. I cannot think of a better way to get you not to buy this.

Now you may wonder what the this micro illusion costs. Well it is "Affordable", that is what the website says. Just 350 dollars. Get rubber string, two pins, a piece of tape,a piece of silk and two tubes. About 2 bucks! And the tubes could be examined. And if you wanna go the sucker route, then you could switch the tubes and even turn around as additional phases.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Peter Loughran Week: Anything Floats

"ANYTHING FLOATS is a new concept created from the inventive mind of Peter Loughran who has created over 50 original effects and illusions for magicians all over the world. ANYTHING FLOATS allows you to end completely clean! It allows you to use random borrowed objects that need no preparation whatsoever, and uses no traditional methods such as threads, strings or magnets, so you never worry about a thread breaking again!"
Interesting a NEW concept. No threads, strings or magnets? What about wires, sticks, tape and a controlled erection?

Does the last one weird you out? It should, because that's what it looks like.

Seriously! (The actual trick starts as usual about 40 seconds in) 

And I love what it says on the website:
"Imagine being able to borrow random objects from a spectator and float it right then and there, on the spot, close up or on stage at any time during your act."
Close up! CLOSE UP! Has Peter Loughran any idea what close up magic means? This item, has a serious angle issue. You can only see it float from the front. From the side it doesn't "float". Performing close up means you have people right and left of you. Sometimes even people watching from behind. There is no way to do that trick in a close up setting.

Now it might be a misunderstanding of what close up means. Maybe the Master of Illusions meant that the viewer can be really close to the front of the performer. In that case the statement would be true, but it is misleading, making this a marketing lie.

This is the sort of thing that Michael Ammar does as a joke (Rising Card), but it is not, I repeat not a thing that should be sold separately.

So could it at least be a stage item? Sure, but there you can work on a much grander scope. Okito's floating ball comes to mind. For less than 50 dollars, which is the price of "Anything Floats". But who am I to rip this apart. Just a close up guy! I know nothing about illusions.

Tommorow: The Mad Scientist

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peter Loughran Week: Stabbed

In case you don't know what an "intuitive solution" is: It's the solution to a trick that a spectator comes to first. A good example would be the vanishing coin. The intuitive solution is that the coin went up the sleeve. That solution can be fought against very easy. Just roll the sleeves up. Now most often the intuitive solution is no the real solution, however sometimes it is the case. Linking Rings comes to mind.

But no matter what, the intuitive solution must be fought against, as it ruins the show, even if it is not the true solution. If people think the coin is up your sleeve, even though it is not true, that you have done something wrong.

Having said all that please watch the trailer of Stabbed from the Master of Illusions. Just remember to skip ONE MINUTES and 40 SECONDS into the video to see the effect:

Great isn't it. 40 dollars. A proud price for a blood soaked sponge!

I should point out that I don't know how this is done. I'm offering my intuitive solution here. In fact not just mine, but I had two none magic friends watch this trailer. And after I got around the usual "I want those minutes of my life back"-comments they told me that they think it is just a bunch of rolled up napkins. "What about showing that there is nothing underneath?" I asked. "Oh he just grabbed it as he was lifting his shirt!"

So do we have a undeceptive mess on our hands? Nope, no one who didn't buy this!

So what should this look like? Well first get rid of the T-shirt. The skin needs to be pierced. And there are many other version out there. Like the Pin Needle through the Hand by Steve Fearson. Or Flesh Wound, which I even perform myself.

So there are options to avoid Stabbed. I suggest ALL of them.

Tomorrow: Anything Floats

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Peter Loughran Week: Splattered

Let's start lightly. Splattered is The Master of Illusions's take on the classic Square Circle. I don't get how the Square Circle is still around. Wait cut that. I know why it is still around, but it shouldn't be.

So what makes Peter's version different from any other Square Circle on the market.


On the website he says:
Some notable improvements over the cheaper existing models on the market:

  • Proper material used on the inner tube for maximum decpetiveness
  • Themed art to allow proper story telling for today's modern performer
  • More deceptive than cheaper models that no window grill is needed, making it much more magical to the audience giving them a clear view inside at all times
  • A beautiful felted base that elevates the prop so the audience always has clear view under the prop(an important detail often missed with other models, because without this, the audience often thinks there is just a hole in the magician's table that the items come from.
  • Tricked out in polished aluminum, for not only cosmetic reasons, but also to protect the corners and edges of the prop, so it becomes practically indestructable
  • Beautifully built and light weight compared to the cheaper models, no detail was missed.
  • Each one is numbered for authenticity

I've seen many versions over the years. Even some good looking ones. This is not among them. Take a look at the picture. is my sense of taste really that far off? So the "Themed art to allow proper story telling" part of the ad is really confusing then. The design of the Square Circle really only allows one type of story. And not even a new one per se.

No window grill, so the audience has a clear view of the inside? Really? There is nothing to see except suspicious blackness. I don't think that is an issue.

And having each one numbered for authenticity? As if there will be a giant rip off period of this particular design. And how is having them numbered and improvement over cheaper existing models on the market?

And here we get to the heart of it. "Cheaper existing models"! This little retard baby costs 275 dollars. I'm not kidding. So you pay a quarter of a grand to pull out a bunch of pieces of silk worth about 20 bucks.

Are you familiar with the various tube productions? There are cheaper and more deceptive methods out there. I have to admit that in terms of amount of production items nothing quite beats the square circle, however with every spring flower you also pull out parts of your dignity as a performer.

Tomorrow: Stabbed

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Something spooky to come!

If you have never seen a promotional video by the Master of Illusions Peter Loughran, then you should. It tells you all that is wrong about a promotional video.

Here is a quick check list to be as bad as the Master of Illusions

1. Very little contrast!
2. The intro takes about 40 seconds!
3. Bad 90's techno music or any B-material!
4. The font used is Arial!
5. No HD, in fact never go above a 480 resolution.

Ah what the hell, it has been a while. In 2009 I had a great run with the Peter Loughran week. Time for a revival!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Episode 7 "The Turbo Tube"

Click here for a more detailed review

As usual if you have something you want reviewed, then let me know. Are you a creator of a cool magic trick and you want and honest review? Do you have some weird prop lying around and you want people to know about it? Shoot me an email! I will review everything I get.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This really needs to stop

Having learnt magic the classic way I can say I'm happy with that. It has taught me the value of books. It has taught me that a throw away idea can be included in a book. Maybe a few sentences briefly outlining the idea. But with a clear statement that it is just an idea and that the author is giving it out, so somebody more talented is able to turn that idea into a full routine. Basically it is the author admitting, in a very nice way, that he is not as talented as he hoped. Being humble and all.

And then times changed and those throw away ideas become a five minutes endurance marathon with the most pretentious of all characters.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Easter Egg

Funny easter egg on Denis Behr's website. Go to the archieve and search for "Strange Travelers"!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One for the Mule

You gotta love those complimentary books from the publishers, that they send out for review purposes.

It seems like the publishers were not as confident as the author of the book. Please, please, please make an interview with HL! The scope is limited, but please?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Is this magic?

What is this? Really? Have I gone so far off the common ground that I cannot tell what magic is supposed to look like?  I ranted about the McBride phenomenon several times, but this is new. During an urban techno party this might be cool. But in every other case this is insulting magic.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Self Leviation by Shim Lim, Jose Morales and Paul Harris

Are they really trying to sell the Balducci? Really? And who? Shim "I don't fake my magic demos" Lim, Jose "I know a two handed cut where you have to blow on the cards" Morales and Paul "I put my used to be good name on every shitty product" Harris.

If this is serious I should release a DVD about the key card principle. I didn't come up with it, but I would make money doing so.

Cash grabbing parasites!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


If your forum has 160 categories you are doing something wrong!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lesson of the Day

Let's say you do the Pegasus Page. If you forget to let the spectator remember the page number of the book, you essentially mess up the trick.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gimps vs. Noobs

Once in a while a question what I'm doing here. Openly criticising other magicians... Sounds like bullying a bit. But then I get send a video by my mother. She is an older lady, but knows how to operate her phone. She recorded another magician performing. And she send me the video, so I would get a chuckle. Well I didn't. It was the god damn worst performance I've seen in years.

And I realized something. There are noobs and gimps. Both words are used in the video game community. A noob is a newcomer, who makes wrong decisions, because he is inexperienced. A gimp however refers to a person that is in the business for a long time and still doesn't get it.

Magic is full of gimps.

So here are some pillars of magic. Knowledge, insight and skill. You need to build these pillars all at the same time and work on them equally. You need to stand on all three in a balanced way. Otherwise you "gimp".

Means your knowledge of magic history, about the principles of magic, entertainment and methods.
Means you get magic. You get what it is all about, what your place in it is, who you are and who you aren't.
Your actual sleight of hand, your ability to talk and to perform.

Think about your magic friends! What are they missing? And then do I dare to say it.... do some self reflection! What are you missing?

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Youtube is full of people unboxing magic and other products. So I decided to try it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jay, read this!

I'm sorry to ride this train for so long, but I found this comment on Youtube by Jay Sankey, and it's worst piece of bullshit I ever read:
"The so-called 'secrets of magic' are not the real secrets. It's what a performer DOES WITH the 'secret method' that makes him or her a real magician. In the early days of cinema, the techniques were mysterious and kept secret. Over time, the value of those 'secrets' diminished and people focused on what they DID with the tech. Hopefully, the same thing will happen with magic."
You Jay Sankey are gravely mistaken! Here is why: Magic has one huge problem with the suspension of disbelief issue. Movies are a different beast and cannot be compared with magic. In movies or theater the audience is willing to suspend their disbelief, if the movie is good. The audience is willing, to accept for the duration of the movie that all the issues and problems of the characters are real. If in a theater play of Peter Pan the main character is flying, you can see the wires that he is hanging on. But the audience is willing to not see the wires. They know the wires are there, they see them, but they choose to ignore them, in order to continue being enchanted. Kind of how religion works.

In magic it is different. If something floats through the air, people will look for threads or wires. It has something to do with the too perfect theory, postulated by Rick Johnsson. In his initial paragraphs he states that the audience cannot stand not having an answer for a problem that is presented to them. And that they will find a solution, even if the solution is clearly wrong. So if they catch a glimpse of a piece of flying dust above the floating object they will think they saw a thread.

The intuitive solution can actually be disastrous in trying to establish any illusion. So that needs to be cancelled. If people know what an Elmsley count looks like they will see the Elmsley count each and every time no matter what the "performer DOES WITH the 'secret method'" even if no Elmsley count is used.

And that is the main reason why magic secrets should be kept secret. Your analogy about cinema is fucking nonsense. 

You Jay are doing a huge disservice to magic. The art that you love, the art that made you a name in the business. Please don't make the mistake assuming you know all about it, therefore you can rise above the time honored rules of magic.

Keeping a secret is hard, but it is smart to do it from a business point of view as well as from an artistic point of view.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Top 5 magicians who have disappointed me!

People love lists. A personal list. You may disagree!

5. Simon Lovell, for dealing with Magic Makers!
Simon Lovell is an interesting fellow. When seeing his material I see a hint of genius... A hint of, not genius itself. It always feels he is not showing how great he truly can be. And that makes him interesting. However he made a deal with the devil more than once. This time: Magic Makers. As you all know Magic Makers is the company that has some peculiar timing when it comes to releasing magic. Usually after a product hits it well on the market, Magic Makers comes out with a similar product, crediting very old sources to prove that their release is not a rip off. It is a mystery to me, why Simon Lovell deals with such folk. Also, he won a Merlin. It should be a sign of a good magician to openly refuse accepting the Merlin.

4. Harry Lorayne, for becoming so full of himself, that his shadow is way longer than the man!
It is no secret that Harry Lorayne's ego is way bigger than Harry Lorayne. This can work in ones favor. Dai Vernon and Ed Marlo are good examples. But not so much in the case of Harry Lorayne. His contributions to magic are numerous, yet tooting your own horn for so long becomes a tenuous experience for the others. Just look over at the Green Monster; Every single post is advertisement for his books. There is no helpful contribution whatsoever. So why post then, if you have nothing to offer? In addition to that, Harry is a master of adoring himself with borrowed plumes. Publishing other peoples material he has managed to make his name pop out more than the ones he is writing about.

3. Jerry Sadowitz, for adding no more!
I love his material. His card magic is among the finest you can find. Well thought out, clever methods, devious plots. And there is this ever growing hate of Jerry Sadowitz towards the magic community. He got betrayed in the past, people stole his material and I can understand how the hate started. So it is natural that he is not offering any more ideas to the magic world. I get that. But I am disappointed that a brilliant mind refuses to spark his ideas around in the hope that it might ignite another flame of brilliance by another magician. Understandable? Yes! Still sad though!

2. Gary Kurtz, for not returning to magic!
He is one of the many talented magicians who has turned to the other side doing mentalism. And he does it quite well. Yet his magic was great and so magic lost one of the great makers of magic ideas. And lately he has dropped of the edge of the world completely. His website has serious functionality issues. Videos and pictures are not working. So what happened?

1. Jay Sankey, for having sold out completely!
Yes he did! Jay has realized that he can make a lot more money selling to kids than selling to magicians. And that makes me sad. Money seems to bring out the worst in humans. Something is broken with Jay. I really hope he gets it fixed as I still think he still has the creativity and the potential to become even more than he already is. In my act I use three Jay Sankey routines. Three! That's more than any other artist.

Monday, October 7, 2013

WMF Jay Sankey ... for now

I always had this weird stance on Jay Sankey. One the one hand I admire his creativity albeit it's full of rehashing, but on the other hand his business conduct seems more than fishy.

But this new trend of his makes me award him a title. Basically he had let himself down to deal with the scum of the magic community. The exposers on YouTube. Maybe Jay doesn't know, though his technical abilities make me doubt that. He should clearly know that the people he deals with are maybe not mean spirited towards magic, but clearly disrespecting the secrets of magic and the creators who have come up with those.

I don't understand why Jay even bothers to mess about with them? Is he possessed by the spirit of attention? Does he need to crave admiration so much that he goes there? I really hope I'm missing something here.

While the boxes are rolling in

What's up with all the dancing. Seriously, I wanna know. Why dancing?

I understand the need to fluff up a illusion show in order to hide the fact how little material there really is. But there are so many other options. Like juggling, singing, comedy, some feat of skill, a cool story, a laser show, poetry, martial arts or a music performance.

My theory: The assistants are dancers. And they only agreed to work in the illusionist's show if they can show off their stuff as well.
But my theory falls apart, when seeing that singing is often fluffed up by dancing as well.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

No surprise I guess!

Copying entire acts is not a trait that is unique to magicians. We are not even unique in that regard.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dear Comedy Magicians

How about actually being funny!

Thanks to Youtube I have seen plenty of them. And I learned something. Stocklines are apparently enough to call yourself comedy magician.

So here is a test. If you take away all your magic from your act, would you still be funny enough to stand alone. If yes, the title of Comedy magician is just. Otherwise just call yourself a magician.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hey you why you no...

I got a few emails of a few people asking me questions:

Why don't you post as often as you used to?
Good question. I got lots of things to do. I never did as many magic shows as I do now. And the little time I have left I have to work on new material.

Why don't you award the WMF anymore?
Because I feel I have nothing to add anymore. Always the same thing. Feels like a fucking deja vu. Oh another one exposing magic secrets. Oh another one having an ego way to big for the guy. Oh another one screwing his costumers. It feels redundant to write about it anymore.

Maybe I have grown up. Finally! Maybe my initial anger has gone. Weird what a few years of blogging does to oneself.

But maybe you wankers shouldn't ask. It's my fucking blog! Hell, it's a mystery to me, why so many of you read this.

That being said... Here is a thing that pisses me off:
Magicians who are too lazy to actually learn sleight of hand. Seriously I met one of them. Not able to do a proper double lift, yet he poses with fans of playing cards on his business card. I asked him if he does any coin magic, to which he showed me the worst French Drop I've ever seen. And he expected verbal accolades from me.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Card To Pocket by Daniel Madison

I was gonna do a video rant about this, but because I'm sick and I lost my voice here you go with a written version.

The culprit: The new trailer for the card to pocket routine by Daniel Madison. Without further undue, here is the trailer.

Breath in and out, in and out. And repeat after me. This trailer is so flawed, so amazingly flawed. It could possibly be the worst magic trailer of all time.

Here are some points:

1. Madison says that this is usually the only card effect he ever performs! Really, so all of his other releases are rubbish? Way to start a trailer by indirectly down talking your own "achievements" in the past.

2. Could they possibly pick a worse spectator? The first lady looks like a whore of the street. In fact the whole setting is dirty and unsettling. It just feels like the neighborhood you don't wanna be in. Great, sell you product by advertising it by having it sticking out a pile of shit!

3. The audience reaction s to this supposed show stopper and reputation maker is piss poor. Yes this may be a real life reaction but this has nothing to do in an advertising video.

4. The camera doesn't know where to point the focus.

5. The routine itself (that little that is show) is horribly constructed. The spectators are instructed to do weird things and they obviously have trouble deciphering the mumblings of Daniel Madison.

The problem does not come from the incompetence of the makers of the video. They clearly know how to shoot a video and how to sell magic. This is clearly a directorial decision. Sure there are plenty of worse video out there, but the badness comes from technical inabilities or from a gross misunderstanding of either magic or marketing. If this piece of trash routine is supposed to be the crowning go to routine of Daniel Madison then I clearly wonder about his state of mind.

And what is it about the look of Daniel Madison. I get the hipster influence, but this is taking it to far. He is so fucking mainstream that his inability to understand current trends shows. The whole trailer gives me the creeps. There is some unsettling disease ridden quality to it. Who the fuck is the target audience? Kids? Hardly! Young gangsters maybe!

And name dropping your own name... that is a new low. Either that or he is a Pokemon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Has it come to this?

I'm unable to tell if this is satire or a real attempt to sell magic. Both paths seem to be leading to a dead end.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


The content of this blog has been rather thin lately. It seems like the maker of this blog has real world issues, that make it hard to post ONCE a week. Stupid fucker.

So let's fill this blog with meaningless stats! Search Keywords!

failed dynamo magician
geoffrey hansen magician
steven frayne fake
tom mullica death
best service is no service
celebrity smart ass
christopher wayne
dani d ortiz and cards
elmsley count

What does Tom Mullica and "death" have to do there. That scares me a bit.

weekly magic failure
dynamo magician fake
failed dynamo magician
is dynamo fake or real
magic failure
richard sanders rope magic
tony hassini
david blaine
dynamo fake

As you can see. Lots of "Dynamo" searches.

Now let's see where the readers come from:

Weekly Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers

United States
United Kingdom

Why is this blog famous in Malaysia?