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.