Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kinda Sickening

Over the last few months I have bought several magic collections of magicians that have passed away. All the sets had one thing in common. A disturbing thing. Playing cards with nude images. Some much more explicit then others.

The set in the picture is harmless compared to what I got.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Brain Bushwood is an Asshole!

"Okay, what's he done now" you're asking! Well Scam School of course. So he exposed the Grands "Million Dollar"-bill mystery from the Tarbell books. "So what?" I hear you saying. "We have come to accept that this little turd reveals magic principles that he didn't come up with." I tell you this:

HE REVEALS STUFF HE DIDN'T COME UP WITH!. He has no permission to reveal it to the masses. That fucktard didn't even change a bloody thing about it.

Look Mr. Brushwood. You are free to spoil any magic you created. If it builds of the the creativity and genuis of others so be it. But do not, DO NOT, reveal it for the sake of revealing it.
I really don't know how much pressure is really is to come up with new material for a regular show. But if it forces you to fuck magic in the ass. A craft you seem to love, then you have gone too far.
I really have no idea how you justify this! I really would like to know.

I'm going ape shit here, because I do have this particular trick in my act. And I think it is one of those cool little gems that is so great, because it is so great on going around the intuitive solution. This is good magic. And you fucked it all. In the ass. Anal rapist Brushwood.

The thing is. You have a likable personality. You may even be the nicest guy around. But you are not doing magic a favour by doing what you do.

I saw a long stage show of yours on frauds and fakes. That was good. You spoilt nothing, yet you managed to entertain. But this recent outburst of exposure of yours is no better than the Masked Magician.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Not that hard!

Magicians, man up!

Start making decision that make you look like a real man.
You are wearing a jacket, a shirt and a tie... you're half way there.

Now get rid of the Jeans and become an adult who wears trousers and not just pants!

Leave the boy with all the toys at home. Let the man with the magic become you!

Aside from that... a really good coin trick! I love the premise and the method. Straight forward and to the point. Strong and cool. I love that!

But the sleeves need to be up!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why? Why Shin Lim, why?

Didn't we do this one already? Nope this is new.

Shin Lim, has a trick out called "The Switch". Here is a brief description from the horse's mouth:

From the creative mind of Shin Lim: THE SWITCH is the cleanest way to switch a folded card for a spectators signed card.
Imagine placing a Mystery card on a table, in someone's hand, in a clear box, well... anywhere. This is done in full view of the audience. You then have a another spectator select a random card and sign it. On your command you cause their sign car to vanish completely from the deck. The spectator is asked to open her hands, the mystery card that the spectators has been holding the entire time is opened. It is the signed selection!

THE SWITCH is the cleanest way to switch a card because there are no boxes, no envelopes, etc. Words cannot describe how clean the switch actually is.
And now the video:

I assume this gets deleted so here are the main bits: The folded mystery card is placed under a spectators hand and another spectator is handed the deck, so he can choose a card freely. That card is the Eight of Diamonds. Then the same spectator is given a pen to sign the card. Then a cut and we see the card being signed.... well not really, we see the pen moving, but not the actual signature. Only when the signature is finished the card is show bearing said signature. (this will become important) With no further cuts the card is placed in the pack in an outjogged position. What follows APPEARS to be the DB spread control, a bottom palm, a mercury fold, a palm and then the mystery card is unfolded to reveal to be the signed selection.

Appears is the word of choice here, as all these steps are faked. Let's compare the signed selection and the mystery card in the end:

They look very close to each other... Well just to make sure I put both images into Gimp and placed one image over the other, adjusted angle and size, then I changed the transparency of the top picture back and forth to compare the two cards.

Do you see that little bow? No, well here it is:
It is different. Ergo it is a different card. (also the end of the line and the cuve of the "J")

So if he uses a different card, that means the whole control, the palm and the fold are faked too. And that is hilarious. I took a look at the control in the video and there is no finger movement at all. And there should be some. Little, but some.

It also means the card was not signed in the shot. The signing was faked as well. Probably with a pen that doesn't write.

But here is the question: WHY? Seriously... Why. Only that the card on the table can be picked up more cleanly then it could be done in real life? Hardly, as the routine could be done for real and it wouldn't look much different.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Did you ever notice...

...that there is no "rule" for laypeople how to applaud during a magic act? With songs it's easy. After each song there is applause. Same goes for speeches.

But magic? Sometimes it is clear when to applaud. But a multi phased rope routine?

Take a look at the following aspirant of magic. I'm not commenting on the act at all. Just listen to the audience. You can feel their desperation to have some indicator on when to clap and when not.

See the dilemma? Good! Now there are a few ways to get around this.

The first way would be not to care about applause. That way you don't need to indicate anything. But this let's the audience in a weird state. Like in a sitcom without the canned laughter. "The Office" is a good example. It forces people to make up their mind, if the scene is funny or not. In magic this would translate the same. The audience would be forced to think for themselves if the trick deserves applause or not. And therein lies a flaw. Most often the audience has no frame of reference to evaluate the seen magic.

The second way is the obvious applause cue. Usually spread arms and a slight indication to a bow. That works well in any stage setting. A good routine is constructed to end up in applause cue. However in a close up setting this is not advised. A mere "Thank You!" will suffice. However this could become tiresome after only a short while. So the audience needs to be conditioned. So by all means, tell your audience when to react in the beginning. Not with words. Maybe do a certain small gesture along with your initial "Thank You!". And then later you just do that gesture.

Hopefully, this has been a constructive post.

Monday, February 3, 2014

On Premises

Here is a constructive post (it's rehashed, but the other blog is no longer available)

Coming up with a premise for a trick can change the impact of a trick drastically. So I play this little game, simply called: "Same trick over and over again". The plot is a coin vanishing in the left hand and then being reproduced. The structure is that the coin is transferred from the right to the left hand three times (two times the condition the audience) and on the third one the coin is gone. Sticking to that plot and that structure there is only room left for premises. So playing that game means I need to make the same trick different each time without violating the plot or structure. Here is what I came up with:

1. Three ways to make a coin go form one hand to the other.
Here the conditioning is part of the premise. "Arc" and "Straight Line" are very easy to understand concepts. And offering a third version to make the distance even shorter has some real world implications. That is why it works well for a not so drunk crowd.

2. The doggy stick story.
This is just great for kids. I've done it many times. It has a "pretend" element, it refers to an outdoor activity and has a funny outcome. Poo jokes are funny for kids.

3. The shrinking coin.
This is my least favorite. But instead of doing this with a coin, do it with a bill. Rolling it up and press it into the fist. When you open it up it will look considerably smaller, because of the wrinkles. So on the third time vanishing the bill - sorry I meant shrinking the bill - so it cannot be seen anymore makes sense. Then reproducing the bill/coin by stretching it is a neat finish.

And some more:

4. The Camera Trick.
This works well with a single coin, but imagine the effect is has with stuff like Three Fly! It's a tongue in cheek presentation and should be presented as such.

5. The Sucker Bit.
This is pretty old school. But as you can see you can work in the old gag into the plot. Technically it's not a sucker trick, as the sucker element is missing, but it feels like a sucker trick, as the function of the gag is that people think no magic will occur, lowering their expectations. That makes the final "travel" so strong. Works great with drunk people.

6. The Invisible Coin.
Here the coin doesn't vanish, it doesn't shrink or hide. It's just invisible. Sometimes I prove this by tapping the invisible coin against a glass creating a sound. You need a relatively sober audience for that. Each time the same freaking trick seems different. And whenever I create some magic sequences that I like I try to get away with it again, without it being an obvious repeat. This is when a different premise comes in handy. So that makes the game that I play a valuable asset in my creative toolbox.

Hell, even more:

7. The Déjà Vu.
As you can see that changes the effect drastically. Suddenly the coin didn't vanish, but somehow reality seems to jump back. I think this is a good example how a changed premise (structure and plot remain the same) changes the overall perception of the effect.

8. The Wishing Well.
I like this one. You could even include fancy color changes. The wishing well routine by David Williamson is such a great trick. And wishing for money bit is actually a nice subtext justification why you the great magician do not do magic that is meaningful, like world peace.

9. The Toss.
Let's be honest this is just to milk time. But I like the covering the eyes part while at the same time hiding the coin in a motivated action.

I hope you see, that just changing the premise can really make a difference. 

And to clear up some words!

Premise: Why it happens.
Plot: What happens.
Structure: In what order it happens.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

How to put Facebook status updates in relation to reality!

Whenever somebody is posting something about what or where he has a magic show, substitute it with "Look how great I am! Please look!"

That way you see the desperation growing!