Monday, April 29, 2013

One for the Magic Producers

Magnus Asbjorn makes an interesting point in his latest blog post. He says that the habit of not buying a trick because you reverse engineered it forces magic producers to create misleading/faked videos advertisements.

Well I got a way to work against both... Yes you assume right. This is gonna be a constructive post!

How about offering more than what is shown in the video trailer? Not just a one trick pony, but more. The sample best be something that they can easily figure out. That will be an advantage instead of a drawback. Because they see the effect and see how it works - assuming the sample is something good and usable - they will naturally be curious about the other stuff that isn't shown. And this where the business comes in.

The rest cannot be reverse engineered as it not shown.

There is also the issue of illegal copies that is inevitable when dealing with downloads. But there is a simple solution for that as well. Do not offer it as a download. Seriously. Send the costumer a real DVD.

Although thinking about the last bit. A DVD might also be copied and uploaded to the Internet. All fairly easy.

But you know what is really hard to do. To scan each and every page of a book. And even if somebody did all the work, much fewer would read it, because reading is so hard.

Or to sum up the whole post in just three words: Sell more books!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pro tip for all you mentalists!

As the German readers of this blog will know there was some kind of bad experience about German mentalist Jan Becker.

Basically he decided to do a headline prediction of one of Germany's biggest newspaper. When asked how he predicts this, he answered that he basically just thinks about what kind of headline he would like to read.

And then the tragedy in Boston happened. The resulting headline was "The Terror in Boston"

So this went bad for Jan Becker, as his statement how the prediction came to pass and the actual headline kind of tell an awkward story. Also, even if he had not made that statement, still the question would come up, why he was in silence and not telling everybody about the upcoming "Terror".

The actual prediction read as follows: "The Terror in (word with B)"

So this is a pro tip for you mentalist out there. If the headline is something really bad, then FAIL for once. Don't use it for PR!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Have you seen the trailer to Coin Through Glass by Alex Ward?

Here it is. CLICK ME!

Now I have a few questions:

  1. How exactly is this supposed to look?
  2. Are you kidding me?
  3. You think I'm retarded?
Interesting how desperate Ellusionist must be to sell this. Hey guys! Don't forget your reputation! This little that is left!

Monday, April 22, 2013

WMF Matt Wayne

When it comes to magic exposure there are numerous reasons and motivations by those exposing. From the honest desire to bring magic to the world (Which of course is a fallacy! As there is no magic, and why does explaining magic bring that to the world?) to the mean spirited exposers who just spoil magic secrets for the sake of it.

But the "teacher" is a rather unique fellow. We are talking about a magician here who loves magic so much, that he wants to teach it. Last year I made an audio rant about those people, who basically are imitating their heroes in order to share the same fame. In lack of material and audience they reach for the YouTube audience. The wrong audience of course.

This is where we get to Matt Wayne. I know nothing of the guy, except for the exposure of himself over the Internet. He is one of the magicians on Howcast. And he basically exposes magic secrets under the delusion of teaching it.

I have told myself not to waste time with those men anymore, as many have been featured on this blog in the past. But Matt Wayne seems to be the symptomatic embodiment of the problem. His thinking about magic and of himself is just far away from reality.

I'm going on dangerous territory here making assumptions about Matt Wayne based entirely on the footage and the advertisement of him. But he chose to have those out.

Let's start with his website. It seems like the usual magicians website. "Matt Wayne is an American magician, actor, producer and television personality best known for his work and skill as a performer of close-up magic." These are his words. And readers of this blog should know my stance on claims like that. Actor, producer and television personality. I'm sure that every little statement can be backed up by evidence, yet it is hyperbole. Being a Boardwalk Tourist on CSI NY is not acting.

I have had my share of appearances in media. Radio, Television, Movies... you name it. Yet I would never dare to call myself an actor. Because I cannot act. Neither can Matt. He comes across as a quirky man. A social accident like many of us.

Does he seem like a unique figure to you? Nope? Did you spot the name dropping?

So what evil does he do on Howcast? Nothing harmful I guess. Coin work mostly. And technically bad coin work. With the emphasis on the wrong explanation. Is it hurting magic. No!

But the illusion of grandeur in a pool of mediocrity does hurt magic in the long run.

Yet Matt Wayne does advertise himself as a magic teacher. If this is teaching magic, then magic is not a good form of art. Reminds me of that painter who wanted to teach people how to paint via YouTube. But his paintings look like crap. (The video went viral about a year ago, still cannot find it. If you find it let me know)

The only thing missing is the selfwritten Wikipedia page.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Random Stuff

If people ask you not to release something, maybe.... just maybe you should not release it! Also two minutes of my life I won't get back.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Altruistic as I am!

I have to direct your attention away from my humble self and towards a person who does wonderful things for the magic community. His name: "Convincing Control" obviously a clever pseudonym or a cruel joke by a mother who had a serious thing in the past with a certain magician known in Chicago.

Convincing Control has a Facebook page and I really urge you to go there.

His gimmick: He basically looks for false advertisement in magic advertisement. He is doing a favour for all of us. Kudos.

PS: Not only go there, but "like" the page as well, so new post appear in your newsfeed.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Social norm?

Can somebody tell me, why in advertisement for certain magic tricks the creator is often said to be "one of magic greatest thinkers"?

It's eerie.

Also, why do so many magic trailers often show the magician walking lonely down an ally. Are magicians supposed to be loners?

Monday, April 15, 2013


Some costumers are just dumb.... wait, let me back up a bit.

There is this good old routine of the "Vanishing Bandana". An audio track is running. A voice is coming up telling you to teach you how to vanish a bandana. But the magicians mishears the instructions and instead tries to do it with a banana. It's a classic routine by now.

Now this gag works in English quite well. In German... not so much. Banana and Bandana are very close. The German words are "Banane" and "Bandana" So technically the routine could be done in German. Except for the fact that nobody knows what a "Bandana" is. Seriously, nobody knows. The native German word is "Kopftuch" which means "head cloth" which totally describes a bandana. And "Banane" and "Kopftuch" are clearly different words.

Now still some German magicians perform this routine using the Banane/Bandana gag and wonder why it doesn't play that well. And a German magician/voice actor (who is unable to speak proper German btw) is selling this routine.

Some costumers are just dumb.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


There are essential questions, that arise the second a member of our community decides to end everything. Questions like: Are we too harsh? If the answer is yes, then the next question, the issue of guilt, comes to mind.

Are we guilty of driving members into a realm where they cannot defend themselves anymore?

We can look for very specific cases, like Kevin's case. Or we look for a very broad scope.

Personally I have to shy away from the details and look everywhere at the same time. Never lose the whole picture!

And the first question from a wide point of view needs to be reevaluated. Are we too harsh? The answer is "No". We are the product of a community that is all, but being honest! If we were honest, harshness would not be an issue.

And I wish I would have the ability to put into proper words what is in my mind.

PS: Will the Magic Cafe Moderators finally grow some and leave the thread online? Or will they chicken out of any honest discussion as they have done some many times? We could use more honesty guys. And sometimes flames hurt. And sometimes that is a good thing. Grow up!

Monday, April 8, 2013


Pretty much every year I took off a month between March and May. This year is no different, except that I haven't written a whole lot of articles (Winner Month) ahead of time. This is much more problematic that I would have anticipated. I was thinking: "No big deal, I write two posts on one day and schedules them so they appear two days apart from one another, giving me 4 days of no blogging before I have to write two more posts."

If you noticed: I haven't gotten around writing anything. The main reasons is that I have too much shit to do right now. I even had to put all of my other blogs on hold. I really hope that by the end of April all of the shit has sorted itself out.

So did anything exciting happen in the magic world? Well sort of.

This is a nice read on the topic of fraudulent ad's: Green Monster Link So basically Ellusionist made false claims in their advertisement. And the discussion is about if it is okay to "fluff" the advertisement.

Also talk about an Ukrainian magician with no understanding of fashion. His name is Alexander Alexander. A mentalist who claims that his powers are real. Just look at this video and cry a little. The Moscow Magic Club awarded him a medal for 30 years of "Service to Illusions". Yeah right!

So it will take a few more days to get back to proper blogging...

At least I tell you about it, unlike the unreliable bastard that goes by the name of the Smiling Mule, who quits blogging and then comes back with no mention that he in fact was travelling the world looking for someone who actually could do the correct Erdnase Top Palm!