Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's up with

Magicians on video, breathing heavily? Like seriously.... almost as if they have asthma and they ran five miles. Not talking about fat people. I know why they are breathing so loudly, but skinny magicians.

Spot the Moment

The name of the performer escapes me, but he does all sorts of demo shit. And you can tell that he's got the chops, so demoing a cheap self working trick is a downgrade in a humiliating kind of way.

Take a look at the following video. Skip to the very end, and you see what happens after the demo. You can see his fake smile fading and his true disgust comes through. You can actually see the moment his heart breaks as he realizes what sad, sad thing he's done.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Looking for a Change Bag?

"Looking for a Change Bag? Everybody needs a Change Bag! It's not just a great trick, it's a necessity in magic!"

Now I'm convinced, I need a Change Bag. A giant one! This is big enough to put a small person in. Imagine the possibilities... A somewhat reversed quickchange....

Just have two little people, One already in the Change Bag wearing the same clothes as the other little person who is assisting you all the time. Then for the finale, the little person climbs inside and voila the little person changes. Not the clothes but the person. This is seriously good material!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Stock Mentalist lies about Poll!

I love it when things change and you have to rethink your opinion over and over. Keeps you aware of your own actions.

Turns out I was wrong about a few things about the recent Paul Stockman issue. He did won the award for Best Mentalist/International Psychological Entertainer of the year.

Just kidding, not really? But there is some truth in that statement. SOME!

The UK Magic Magazine "Magicseen Magazine" did have a poll. The readers could vote by email. One if the categories was "Best Mentalist 2012". Paul Stockman got first place at that poll. Not an award at all, and certainly not for Best Mentalist/International Psychological Entertainer of the year.

So you see, he changed a few things. First he changed it to an award and then he changed the entire name of the thing. He also claims that "Celebrities, The General Public and Paul's peers voted to put him at the top." I don't think that any celebrities voted in that email voting. I may be wrong, but chances are slim.

There is bending the truth and there is lying. Paul Stockman took the low route and lied. And that is not acceptable in advertisement as it does two things. It discredits the performer but also ruins the public image of magic even more. The sad thing: Paul Stockman had something (a small thing) and he fucked it up by exaggerating it to the point it became a lie.

It's even kind of ironic how Paul Stockman uses stock photos of the Las Vegas sign as a background for himself. Stock mentalist comes to mind!

He also removed any mentioning/hinting that he ever performed for Ricky Gervais or Simon Cowell. Both of them hate magicians BTW. If he indeed performed for them, then he could have left the statements on his website. That is indicating that he indeed lied about ever performing for them. To his credit, he never explicitly said he did perform for them, but he strongly hinted at it.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kinda fast reaction!

There are three kinds of reactions whenever I do a WMF post. The most common one is to ignore me. And that works out for most performers. The second one is asking me if can take it down asap. Third would be going all ape shit and threatening me with lawyers and/or doing so. (e.g. Jack Moyer and "he who shall not be named" but his names sounds a lot like Hames L Dlark)

Guess what category Paul Stockman belongs to? Sorry to disappoint, but he simply asked me to take it down as some of what I claim is not true. I replied to further know what part is not true, to which he didn't respond, but instead stated that he wishes my post to be removed, as he did not give permission to publish it in the first place. Naturally I told him that I am aware that my post didn't require his permission and that again I am willing to hear his side of the story. Then he finally opened up a bit.

Before all that I had a talk with my girlfriend about it and we wondered a bit about a possible reaction. We thought he cannot refuse the fact that the pictures are faked, but he will probably argue that he indeed worked for some celebrities and that no picture was taken at that time, and that the statutes worked like a dummy in the celebrities stead.

And guess what. Pretty much that was his argument.

Now let's give him the benefit of a doubt and let all he is saying be true. That still is bad, bad practice. A practice not worthy of a successful performer of 15 years of experience.

He has taken down the relevant images. Which was the point of the post. So the prior post is scheduled to get unpublished in a few days.

Friday, January 16, 2015

WMF Paul Stockman

UK magician Paul Stockman may be not of the brightest lights among the magic community. But he has balls. Let me elaborate:. When it comes to advertisement you should not tell a lie. You may exaggerate a bit, but a lie is a big NO NO!

So what did he do you may ask? I'm getting to the point you impatient fan of the blog.

He basically took a few pictures of him an celebrities and put them on his website. So it seems.

In fact those pictures are fake.

Here is a picture of Tony Bennett and one of Sarah Michelle Geller. Both are wax figures and not real.

Paul Stockman took a picture while standing next to them. That in itself is not a pathetic thing. But to use those pictures in ones own advertisement is a low that I have not come across yet.

The following image is a screenshot from Paul's website.

You can clearly see the puppets there. The picture with Ricky Gervais (Spelled wrong on his website btw) is a great fabrication. And bad photoshop.

The original picture shows Ricky Gervais next to David Bowie. A facebook user placed them side by side:
The same dopey face you find in the picture with Simon Cowell.

Now I hear you say... .well, he at least doesn't say that he actually performed for these people. Well he says a lot of things on his website. One of the gems is this great line: "THE ONLY U.K PERFORMER TO SPECIALISE IN STAGE AND STAND UP PERFORMANCE." Oh really? The only one?

He also has a promo video. Around the 2:50 mark you will see this great image. The Headline reads: "Mentalist From U.K Performs for Tony Bennett in New York." Since the picture is a fabrication so I must assume the claim is a fabrication as well.

So I have to ask myself does a successful performer have to do this? A clear no is the answer.

In the news section of his website you can find this: "

We are thrilled to announce that Paul has won the award for International Psychological
Entertainer of the year.
The Stockman camp is still celebrating after finding out the news that they beat
Derren Brown to the post by just a hand full of votes.
Celebrities, The General Public and Paul's peers voted to put him at the top."

Oh boy his is wrong on so many levels. You never put another performers name in your advertisement! (Which is the point of his website) You never put yourself above another performer in your advertisement! Also: The Award for International Psychological Entertainer of the Year? What award is that? I dare to assume that award is fake. Please correct me on that if I am wrong. Also, why didn't Derren Brown win that?

I take 3 of them!

This is truely exciting magic. Endless wonders. If the magic sparkling comes with the trick I'll take 3 of them. Imagine the possibilities. Three Tube Monte! Where is the little yellow hanky? After that the finish.... you pull tons of stuff from the tubes. Wow.... Even the creppy smile at the end of the video needs to be in everyone's show.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

There is a metaphor in this somewhere!

The original Paddle Move
Lately I've been pissed off at people who truly believe an opinion is as worth as facts. As if they are equal.

I'm talking about magic. It was another magician's opinion that a large action covers a small one. While this is factually not true he created a trick which was utter garbage based on that.

His opinion was so much stronger than the fact that it did not fool so I had a discussion about it with him and it took me a while to understand that "the larger action covering the small action"-myth was the reason for his conviction.

So based on that myth he formed his opinion and stood by it in spite of contradicting evidence....

There is a metaphor in this somewhere!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pocket This! by Christopher Congreave and Gary Jones

How about a DVD review for a change. I ordered a few magic things the other day. An this DVD was in there as a freebie. "Pocket This!" by Christopher Congreave and Gary Jones. Never heard of it. Apparently "Professional Card to Pocket Routines".

Really? Lets see!

At first I feared it is one of those DVD's were the emphasis is on non palming techniques. Oh no, turns out this is real world material. With actually skill required.

This first thing I noticed is that both performers obviously have a performing background and that both are annoying. In a UK way of annoying. Christopher Congreave more than Gary Jones. One has to get used to this constant making fun of the other person. But if you look past it and see the routines you are in for a pleasant surprise. Repeated Card to Pocket, Multiple Card to Pocket and Pocket to Pocket. A few things are rather weak, like the Two Card Transpo by Christopher Congreave. His approach and solution to the problem has probably been created and done by every magician who plays around palming cards.

It is hard to watch that DVD in one sitting, because of camera man who had a seizure or something. Constant zooming in and out, and tilting the camera. I had to reduce the size of the window on my PC as not to get motion sick. This is atrocious.

But back to the content. By far the best routine on the DVD is Gary Jones' Repeat Signed Card to Pocket. I have tried my own version of that, but failed as it never clicked with me. Gary's version solves a lot of problems I had while constructing a routine. In his version three cards are signed and then appear in different pockets. Instantly they jump back to the pockets. The method used is pretty efficient and the structure gets to the point quickly. In the end all of the cards end up in a wallet. Solid workable ending. You can clearly sense that this routine is road tested.

My own card to pocket is very, very standard. First the signed card goes a few times, then the deck. Not on that DVD.

So would I recommend this. Yes, to all that are real workers and can stand atrocious camera work, loud and heavy breathing and the UK performing style.

BTW. There is no footage of them performing for real people. If you are bothered by that "issue" you are not a real pro.

Of all the free magic stuff that comes to my house this was surprisingly good and I would probably have paid for it.

I'm actually interested in more stuff by Gary Jones in particular. Weird how he got on my radar.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A few stories from a working pro!

Here are a few things that happened to me during the last few days. All are magic related.

1. I was performing at a house. Two rather large dogs were part of the family. They were not in the room for the show. I understood why after the show. I was still in the room talking to the people (as I usually take some time to answer some of the usual question) as the dog were being allowed back in. Everyone was told that the dogs were being trained right now. And part of their training is to react to clapping. They are told to go to the person clapping. But if the are right next to the person clapping the dogs get confused and start barking. Well I was then asked to do one more trick. A moment I'm usually well prepared for, so I did my thing. Right after the trick the guests started clapping, and the dogs barking. I left asking myself who was better trained. The dogs that did the barking or the audience that did the clapping.

2. Yesterday I was asked to do ten minutes of material, then the next thing was about to start. So I prepared by setting up my rope and some quick mentalism bit. As I was walking on stage it dawned on me that those two things are not ten minutes. I needed like four more minutes. I felt like a beginner, but show was about to start I had to wing it. I gained a minute by doing a warm up with the people and then going into my rope routine. I'm so happy to be able to do most of my act on autopilot. So as I was doing all the patter and the motions my mind was racing to fill three more minutes. Wasn't there a deck of cards in my back pocket? I was saved.... yeah a card trick would do. Which one? Dunno.... guessed I'll figure it out as I went there. So I reached into my back pocket "And now what you have been waiting for.... a card trick" But there was no deck of cards. But a 10 Euro bill. Fuck! But people laughed as I raised the bill in the air automatically. "A card trick that I am willing to bet 10 Euros on!" What the hell was I saying? I reached in the other back pocket. The deck of cards was there.

Then I got a stroke... a stroke of brilliance.... Years ago I did that one card trick, which is actually more a lie detector plot. Basically someone picks a card and I ask them a few questions about the card. They can lie at any point or they can decide to tell me the truth about the card at any point. It was up to me to differentiate between truth or lie and then figure out the selection accordingly. It is an okay trick but it never felt like there are any stakes about it.... until that moment where I held up the bill.

Suddenly it was about something. About me losing maybe 10 Euros. Suddenly my "reading" of the spectator's reaction to my questions became much more interesting and meaningful. And who would have thought that I had to shorten the mind reading bit a little more to fit within the ten minutes I had. This routine is now a keeper. A card trick that plays big, has stakes and is a self worker.

3. Today I did my usual show in the theater. And as usual I handed out my cards, using the usual patter. "Make sure the cards are ordinary, in the end I want you to say that the magician did it, and not the cards"
And as usual I keep an eye on the people checking out the cards. And as usual as I ask them all to toss those cards pack on the table someone "hides" a card. It is amazing how "badly" people do that sort of steal. Even when my head is turned I see it. Like a little kid hiding something behind it's back. I wanted to go through my usual out in these cases of gathering up the cards, weighing them carefully and announcing that one card is missing, which gets a good reaction. But this time I even saw the face of the card. I knew it was the 10 of Spades, but she thought I didn't even know that she had a card. So I did my weighing, "something is off" as I spread the cards face up on the table. "Look at that the 10 of Spades is missing" I looked around the table base, as it was possible that the card may have fallen down there as peopled tossed the cards on the table. She used that little time frame I gave her and secretly tossed the card back on the table. "Never mind, there it is."

I think I played that part very well. I could tell that people thought that I thought I made a mistake. But they clearly saw the card being tossed back on the table by the spectator. So my noticing of the missing 10 of Spades must have looked to them like a genuine skill.

At least I like to think so.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Nothing to gain!

If you ask a layperson to name a few famous magicians certain names come up more often than others. Dai Vernon, Ed Marlo, Roy Walton, Tommy Wonder and Michael Ammar usually are not mentioned. Instead we have:

  • David Copperfield
  • Siegfried and Roy
  • David Blaine
  • Dynamo
  • Criss Angel
  • The Masked Magician
  • Houdini
  • Gandalf
  • Dumbledore

All of these magicians have one thing in common.


Knowing that little bit should help you understand, why releasing magic is not a good way to get famous.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy New Year

I got an email.... "Hey cocksucker, have you died?"

The simple answer: Yes, yes I have. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, then Hades said "Καλημέρα!". Naturally I didn't get that. But he showed me around. I saw the pool area, the beer volcano and the true Magic Castle. Dai Vernon sat in the corner as usual ranting about magicians. Larry Jennings was drunk and his palm flashed.

I was confused. Hades showed me more. I wondered why Hades had red skin and horns on his head. Eventually we went past a picturesque mountainside. There was a giant gap in the side of the mountain. From that gap screams were heard. I demanded to see what was going on there. Hades hesitated and showed me anyway. Burning people being drowned in acid.... I looked at Hades. He shrug his shoulders. "I don't know..." he said "...these are catholics, they want it that way."

Then I woke up and it was 2015. Holy Shit.

The last few month of 2014 were busy, really busy for me, so blogging took a back seat.

So what is the news?

Dean Dill needs money for cancer treatment. That sucks. Both that he has cancer and that he needs money to treat it. The later would be unheard of here in Germany, where we have public health care. Still don't know why so many Americans are against it.

But there are countries where you are worse off being a magician.

Apparently a magician got beheaded by ISIS, you know that wacky little interest group with the mental stability of a three-year-old. I don't know if this is true, "The Mirror" has a bad report card when it comes to the validity of their articles. They even shoehorned Dynamo into the article leading to a possible misinterpretation, that maybe Dynamo was involved. I cannot tell if it was intentional or not.

Speaking of Dynamo...

...he has now found his way to the penguin lecture crowd. Dan Harlan who hosted that event must have been amused how this likable man shows off his pathetic card skill. Nothing shows more of his dilettantism than a live performance. Turning his unbelievable TV shit into a farce and showing the true hypocrisy.

I think 2015 has a lot to offer.