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)