I am heading out to Lima, Peru with my buddy Joshua Jay for what I hear is the biggest magic convention in Latin America. It’s called FLASOMA. So my blog is going to be kind of on the low upkeep for a week or so. Don’t worry though, I am going to be shooting a shit-load while I am there. By a shit-load I mean if I could put loads of shit in a jar and somehow that is equivalent of having cool magic, then I would have a shit-load of jars. Literally.
Stay tuned, I will try to get a video of something up this weekend before I head out Tuesday, but it will be worth the wait.
But if you can’t wait, I suggest you learn the Snap Change from this kid. He is really good at it. I am not making fun of it, I want people to learn magic in the best way possible. Many of you will think after watching this that I am very sarcastic, but I am truely not. Really. I’m not. This kid is great. Really.
Sorry for the lack of updates. Just finished shooting a magic DVD of a great mentalist trick by Patrick Redford. So here is a quick video of what I am working on. The damn cascade control was something I really hated and for some reason I spent 3 months on this damn thing and its getting somewhere respectable. Now I am loving it. Go figure. After that is a trick that I do as a opener, I will re-shoot it and give my whole patter that I use which I feel is important but I just want to show you how i end the trick…that’s the other thing I am working on.
Oh, and sorry for my friend filming, he makes loud mouth noises for no fucking reason. Also forgive me, had a long night of drinking before hand so I have that “sexy” voice going on.
password is, What is the name of the trick that Bill Malone is known for. “___ the bellhop” all lower case letters.
remember to click on the link below to view in HD.
One thing that I notice about the difference between a mentalist and a magician is when it comes to risk. I always thought it was funny when magicians throw away effects that aren’t 100%. To a mentalist, not having 100% success makes them more credible. Ironic I would say. Now obviously you wouldn’t do risk for risk’s sake. The result of taking a bigger risk should make the impact if the trick greater.
I want you to try this effect out. It is a simple simple key card effect, but instead, you put risk into it. I will explain the effect, and you should be able to come up with a method fairly easy. Remember, it only uses a key card. nothing extra.
Effect: Spectator shuffles the deck till he feels it’s mixed. He sticks his index finger into the deck anywhere and pulls out a card and remembers it. Then he puts the selection on top and cuts the deck to lose the selection. The magician tells the person to shuffle and mix until he feels there is no way you can find the card. After the shuffles he puts it onto the table. The magician, who hasn’t even touched the cards yet, tells the spectator he will try to divine the color of the selection. He stares at the spectator and then says a color. The spectator confirms that his card is red for example.
The magician says ” I have two cards in my head that I think is yours.” He searches through the deck and pulls out two cards. “I have two cards, but one of them is yours.” He shuffles the two cards around then says “which one is it.” The spectator points to one, and the one he points to is the selected card.
Now, this sounds amazing right? Well it is, when everything hits. It doesn’t mean it is horrible if it doesn’t hit. It is only bad if you the magician deems it bad. So here is the “risk factors” to enhance this simple trick.
This is in thanks to Gary Au’s brilliant thinking. Many magicians when doing a key card effect always goes for the deck straight away and searches… This is a dead give away. Instead, guess the color of the card. Only a 50% risk. Infact, I don’t even care if I miss it. If I guess it correctly I say, “I knew it. I have a card in my mind…” pick up the deck and find it. If I guessed wrong I say “Really… I had a Red and Black card in my mind, so I guess it isn’t that color…” and still pick up the deck. The most important part is that you are giving a reason go to the deck. You have a card FIRST then find the card SECOND.
Let them shuffle till they go blind. First of all, they won’t shuffle that much. The mere fact that you are so free with it makes them less resistant. The impact of being so free during shuffling is well worth the risk. People tend to not shuffle that well to separate the key card too far. Besides, you eliminate one color before you go to the deck. For example, the selection is red. If there is some black cards shuffled in between the key card and the selection, you will know which card it is.
Lets assume the card is Red, but you see 2 red cards next to the key card. Easy, take both out and have them choose it. 50% again, but the effect is just as good if he didn’t guess it right. You said you thought it was two card, and you did pull out two cards. That is amazing enough. Just go on your gut feeling which hand of yours he would point to.
Try it out. By putting risk into your card effects you can make something pretty mundane into something amazing.
For more on this kind of magic, read “Absolute Magic” by Derren Brown. Da best in the biz.
Many people during the birth of the blog bitched and complained about me making examples of people doing horrible magic. They say that it is unfair for me to “laugh” at them behind their backs. It is true that I laugh at them for performing magic without proper practice or just plain common sense. It’s like watching this and blaming us, the viewers, for being “insensitive”. the person is just fucking stupid. While I wouldn’t say the person performing bad magic tricks is “stupid” per say, I think they really feel that anything they do because its sleight of hand will never get noticed by the laymen. How wrong they are.
Case in example. The masked magician. You would think he is some kind of bad-ass magician that has gone “rogue” to destroy the very foundation of magic. Watch how amazing he is and he even teaches it on his DVD! Roll Film.
So here is my question after watching this horrific clip. To all the critics, is it wrong to show this clip? Is it wrong to make a example out of this and show magicians never to do this? Granted he has amazing outs for pulling out the wrong gimmicked deck and fucking up the trick. Although I have NEVER seen anyone fuck up on the indicator card out AFTER they look through the deck to know where the selection is.
Maybe you say that the difference is that someone is just posting it on Youtube and that it didn’t get as much exposure as on TV. I would argue that TV gives you less exposure as it is only locally on a global scale. Youtube is anywhere you have an internet connection.
All I’m saying is that bad magic is BAD MAGIC. I am not personally hateful of the performer. Just like you would call the person trying to jump through a fucking basketball hoop an idiot, if you knew him, I’m sure at that moment you would be thinking about his health more than anything.
Constructive criticism is always hard to take if you are insecure of your ability, but we can not further our Art if we sit around and just say nice things to each other. I try to be as constructive as I can but there are people out there that want to be entertained too.
I guess the only constructive thing I can say about this video is that he has some fucking balls to stick through that trick. Oh, and he is an amazing actor when it comes to dramas. My inner child cries every time I see him act.
This blog used to be about this book, the mecca of hard moves. My inner child cries when I think of the book. It’s coming back ladies and gentlemen. I will again start my documentation of learning every damn thing in this book and helping anyone who has the book along the way. I posted many of them on my old Youtube page but I will re-shoot them and make them a little more official. Coming soon is probably the two moves that people don’t think is even possible, the Broadside steal and the Longitudinal Swivel Steal. Enjoy the old videos and look forward to the new ones.
Lets imagine that you practiced sleights to the point of perfection. Angle-proof and nothing to see. You have the mentality that no one will ever suspect anything that you did. Can the spectator still sense that you did something “fishy”? Think about it. Magicians always stress the perfection of sleights to the point that they don’t see any finger flashes, adjustments of the hand during the move. I agree with this 100%. There is something else that is just as important.
Speed of your actions.
What do I mean? When people do something that is bad, they tend to hide it. Either by doing it when no one is looking or trying to get the action over as fast as possible. The sleight of hand is suppose to withstand careful eyes, but we as human beings still do the same tendencies as if doing something dirty even though its hidden through the construction of the sleight. So you always see magicians change speed during moments of the move.
A very obvious example of this when false dealing cards. When you deal a 5 handed game and during the bottom deals you had to slow down to do the move, even though they don’t see the move, they sense the rhythm is off. Another example is during a pass. Your handling of the cards is so smooth and nice and then during the pass you have a fast jerk of the cards. Then all of a sudden, you are back your old nice ways. They can sense it. Trust me.
Now I am faulty for doing this, it is one of those things that you don’t notice until someone tells you. So I’m telling you. Figure out a speed that you are confortable performing at and try to stick to it throughout the trick. A big negative thing that people say about Aaron Fisher’s Gravity Pass is that it takes too long. It’s the same when going too slow. All of the sudden the spectator sees you “frozen” in time then resume.
Don’t take this for granted. You must take your performance speed with as much detail as you do about sleights and patter. When you watch videos of performances see if you can spot these speed changes.
What is a magician fooler anyways? We all know its done with sleight of hand. So what is defined as a magician fooler? Is it just an unknown principle that your friend performs for you that he read in a 1938 card trick book found in the basement? How about performing some variation or original sleight of hand that you never seen?
Darwin Ortiz said it best, if you fool a magician for 10% of the trick, you got them. From that logic, is it true then that magicians aren’t really fooled? Just puzzled? Obviously I have no idea how you separated the colors of the cards so fast, but there must be a method or principle that I don’t know about.
We all know that magicians will never say to some magician after a card trick, “What you did there is out of the realm of human physics. You sir, are performing true magic.” Unless he was really sarcastic.
So then really, a magician fooler is showcasing something that is beyond their knowledge of the art. They know that it is something they haven’t read or seen yet.
Here is the question. Is a magician fooler the same with a laymen fooler? Where does that line between magician knowledge and laymen knowledge start? What I mean is that do we really fool laymen? They get bigger reactions than magicians because they know less about the art, but the mere fact that they know phrases like “The hand is quicker than the eye” makes them acknowledge that it is something they haven’t read up on in a sense.
I’m probably not making any sense, but I guess the point I am making is “Does card magic, in general, have the inherent property of being seen as a puzzle or trick?” Can we ever get out of the that mold of being just sleight of hand.
Maybe the more important question is “Is card magic being labeled as sleight of hand a bad thing?” I don’t think so.