Comments: No Comments.
Comments: No Comments.
Back up and ready to go.
Sorry for the delay everyone. I have been busy to say the least. I will keep my word of updating from now on but obviously can’t do it as much as I started out on. I will promise that every Sunday there will be an update.
I will also be using this place as my personal blog too. Photography, videos, whatever. But a magic update every Sunday.
I’ll try to line something up sweet this Sunday. Thanks for reading.
Comments: 6 Comments.
Vanishing Inc Magic
I can now say why I have not been posting lately. I have been filming and editing all the videos for the new magic website, VanshingInc. It is a new website created by Joshua Jay and Andi Gladwin.
Now I’m not a big fan of any of these magic websites but I can honestly say this one is different. Why? Well for starters they don’t carry shit just so they can sell it. They handpick the books and DVDs that they truly think is good for magic as an Art. You won’t see any vanishing milk from newspaper to light bulb in this website. Also, you actually see many heavy hitters in magic review the items on the website personally. There is no “I’m elite” status here with anyone working on the site. It’s just our honest opinion on things that we think magic should be and what you need to read to become better.
Even better, I have put up my color change that has been floating around the internet for a long time. If you haven’t seen my youtube video of it from a year ago, here it is below. I have made a video through VanishingInc that not only teaches the change but also teaches 3 other tricks with it. Get it here.
Yes yes, this is a plug for the website but I am not lying when I say this is a website has an anti-ellusionist feel to it. I for one am glad that someone finally broke the fucking mold.
Check it out and expect to see more posts. (hopefully).
Comments: 12 Comments.
Sleight of hand vs Gimmicks.
Once again to everyone, sorry for the lack of updates. For the last 2 weeks I had to take on a 2nd job. It is very demanding. Take a look.
Now on to a real topic that always bothered me. Sleight of hand vs Gimmicks. Magic has an inherent problem when it comes to effect/method. If the trick is done well the method should not be obvious to the laymen. So it begs to ask the question, does that mean that you can do ANYTHING as long as the effect stays the same?
Case and point. You can’t palm cards worth shit because you don’t practice. Is it okay for you to put double stick tape onto your palm and perform the effect as long as the effect looks the same?
Where is the line between putting effort into the art and short cuts. Now I guess calling Gimmicks a “short cut” is very negative but sometimes I really do feel that way.
A long time ago I was arguing with a magician about this subject. He told me that since the audience never knows the method, you can use as much gimmicks as you want because it will make it easier on you as a performer. Now that bothered me. I said back to him that even though the laymen never knows your method, it is still upon you to put some fucking effort into your craft and hone the skills.
He told me that doing that is masturbatory and just impressing yourself as a move monkey.
That hit me pretty hard. What he said was true. If they never know the method and the EFFECT is the same weither you do only sleight of hand or use only gimmicks, then does it make a difference what you do in your method?
I thought about it for a while and then it hit me a week later. This sounds really fucked up, but some how child labor came into mind. Think about buying a pair of jeans. Lets say that you get the same product if you had Americans working in a shop making minimum wage and also the same thing by giving it to some kid in India making only 1 dollar a day. Now, the END product is the same but the METHOD is different. The only difference here is that the clothing company can go public and tell everyone that they are legit like American Apparel. In magic, we can’t. The secret can’t be given away. So to me it’s more of a ethics question. Which is quite ironic since in magic we are lying through our teeth.
What really bothers me is the way that coin magic is becoming today. It seems when I started out, using an extra coin was all you needed in a coins across. Now it seems you can only do coin magic if you have a Triple Threat as a starting point. When did we start getting so lazy?
I’m sure there will be many people that will argue that gimmicks only come into the picture when we can’t go any further with sleight of hand. The reason we use shells is because it gives a better illusion that no sleight of hand could. I will agree with that. Granted I think the line is 80% sleight of hand 20% gimmicks.
I guess the picture I’m trying to paint here is put effort into your magic. It pisses me off when people say you should concentrate more on the presentation than the method. I would think you should consider both equally. Usually people who tell me this bullshit are shitty magicians to begin with. I have talked to someone who says the above and then tried to argue that the slip force, which he does horribly, is better than the classic force… I would say that his opinion isn’t so high on my list. Maybe it was because he did MagicK, not magic…
So my final thoughts. Work on your craft. Don’t be a pussy and use gimmicks all the time.
Next posting will be a video of me teaching you guys the opener that I use all the time. Thanks for keeping this stupid blog alive.
Comments: 10 Comments.
We do things no one can see?
Alright, I have been super busy in my real life lately that I have been not updating as much. So here is a small topic I want to talk about. I am always fascinated by the construction of card sleights. If you have read The Paper Engine this topic will sound very familiar. I think many magicians feel that just because a move is based on sleight of hand, it means it is impervious to detection. If you don’t believe me, then watch all the horrible Youtube videos of people doing magic. On the camera, it is glaring of faults during the sleight, but yet magicians still put it online for everyone to see. Why? They think the notion that the move is constructed to be hidden that it MEANS its perfect by default.
I hate when magicians say “Well, its good enough. They are laymen, they don’t know what I am doing.” That excuse makes by default, for me at least, that the construction of the move is horrible to begin with. Just the mere fact that you need to say that to other magicians is either you don’t practice enough or its just a bad move to begin with. Now I know that from time to time I show magicians sleight of hand that is pretty out of shape. Many magicians ask me to do Raise Rise but I don’t perform it much anymore and most of the time I chop through it. The main difference is that I would never show that to a laymen.
Now many will say, “Well… magicians know what you are doing, you can’t fool them.” This is true. But the difference is that when you perform a great control example, they will either be amazed that you can perform it so well or ask you to do it again. Just because they know you controlled the card to the top doesn’t mean they aren’t impressed by the way you performed it. But who cares about magicians. You are trying to fool the general public.
So before I blah too much longer, I wanted you to comment about what you feel about it. The biggest barrier for a magician is to realize that not everything he does is as “good” as he thinks. The next post will be about how to make that sleight of hand better. The truth is that it ISN’T the performance of the move that is important… It is, but what is even more important is how you get into the move and get out of the move. More on this later. Again, I appoligise for the lack of posts.
Alright, fuck it. I had some time. here is the video. Hope someone gets something out of my blabbing.
Password is Dai “______” all lower caps. If you don’t know this…. you shouldn’t be in magic.
Comments: 25 Comments.
New post soon
Sorry for not updating… been really busy. But I really want to talk about is how one gets in and out of a control. I will be discussing how I get in and out of the cascade control. What I find wrong with the way many people do theirs. Be on soon… Hopefully.
Comments: No Comments.
Peru Peru Peru… Claro?
Back from Peru and oh what a crazy city it is. The convention was a heavy hitter, full of magicians. Pitt Hartling, Juan Tamariz, Henry Evans, Jeff McBride… you name it, they were there. Well… don’t say Dai Vernon, he wasn’t there.
What I noticed greatly was the style of magic in Latin America. They like card tricks per-say but it is much different than the American style. Most people do card magic being seated with a close up mat. Lots of counting or math tricks for the average magician. So many were infatuated with me because I showed them something different. The cascade and cherry control were the hit of the convention. I probably had to perform it to literally everyone there and did it over 500+ times. It was quite surprising how many I fooled with the move. Probably 90% of the magicians there were using just the double undercut to control the card. Something interesting to ponder about.
Even watching the close-up competition was different. Many had full on characters to act and there were only a handful that did more technical sleight of hand. I was extremely happy that my friend Alex Linian won 1st place in the close-up card magic competition. As you know, he is the creator of the trick “Puncture”. After winning the award, he told me that the only other award he won was 4th place at Tannens magic camp. Quite a step up to be the best in Latin America.
The sessions at night were great. Although most of the time I was teaching someone the cascade or cherry control, I did meet a few magicians that has great hands. Pitt Hartling was kind enough to hang out and the 2 tricks that he did fooled me. It’s a good feeling to be fooled. Lennart Green even called me out to perform a few tricks for him.
I did film quite a few stuff, but for now I can not show any of it. In a month you will be able to see the footage we shot. We got Pitt Hartling, Alex Linian doing a variation of the one handed top palm that is incredible and also Ernesto’s controls and forces. I can’t say what they are for but the time will come and everything will be clear.
So what’s the video below then? Well its the short montage of what Peru is like through my eyes. I didn’t get a lot of footage but you can get a taste of what the city was like. Hope you enjoy. I know the blog hasn’t been really “fun” in the last few weeks, I will get some good shit on here soon.
Comments: 6 Comments.
Peru, here I come.
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.
Comments: 7 Comments.
Cascade control and a trick
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.
Comments: 27 Comments.
Taking a Chance.
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.
Comments: 7 Comments.
Why I hate retarded magicians.
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.
Comments: 8 Comments.
By Forces Unseen is back
Bring on the trumpets!
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.
Comments: 9 Comments.
Variation in speed.
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.
Comments: 4 Comments.
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.
Comments: 15 Comments.
Chad Rees does it again…
Happy New Year guys.
Here is another retarded movie. Don’t drink too much. I know I will. It’s my muse. Make sure you click link below to watch in HD.
Comments: 5 Comments.
Is the card really lost?
I find that one of the most crucial things that magicians take for granted is the process of losing the card back into the deck. Take the standard selection of the card and putting the card back into the middle and doing a simple pass to control it. Now between the card coming back into the deck and the control is a very short time. Does the audience really believe the card is really back in the middle? Does the fact that the card is in the middle enough to convince them that it is out of the magician’s control?
Maybe the bigger question would be does it increase the impact of the magic? Depends I guess. If we use the context of a simple selection/revelation type of card trick then I would say it certainly does. Examine the way you take the selection back into the deck. How much do you convince them that it is lost? Does a simple double undercut really do the trick?
I would say that handing the deck out for shuffling would be one of the strongest. But maybe your palming isn’t up to par. I find that a simple confirmation of the losing of the card a huge convincer. Let’s say while you are doing the cascade control you say, “Your card is somewhere in the middle that even you nor I would know, yes?”. Now I know many would say that the spectator would always say “yes” in a sense, but the mere fact of him/her saying it themselves is a big thing later on when they reconstruct the effect.
Remember that the magic trick is the “show”, but the most important part is how you color the effect afterwards. Take the David Blaine levatitation for example. He really only floats up 2-3 inches, but when he asks the person how high he went, his hands extended 2-3 feet. The spectator will remember it that way, and tell his friends that down the road.
It’s these little things that make an effect stronger. So next time try to convince the spectator more then you usually would about losing the card and see if the result is better.
Comments: 11 Comments.
Chad Rees Does…
Happy Holidays everyone. Hope you guys like the blog. I try my best to speak my mind about things I personally find important to improve the art of magic. But you may wonder, if Tony Chang wasn’t a magician what would he be?
I would deliver pizza.
On the side I would make extremely retarded videos. Check them out and happy holidays. Make sure to click on the links below to view in HD.
Comments: 3 Comments.
Dolphin hands = good color changes. Take that to the bank, senator. The blood bank.
Trust me, when it comes to magic, Mr. Seagal’s opinion is the final answer. So what do I mean by dolphin hands? I think the term (which I made up because i have a fetish for dolphins) describes how to successfully execute a classic color change.
The classic color change. While holding out the card in a classic palm, our hands assume the dolphin hand. It would flash if it wasn’t. That’s the easy part. The hard part is the ditch and what happens after the color change. The reason I feel that the last two parts are the most crucial is because if you do it wrong, the spectator can back track and figured out how you do it. The simple answer is to say that you had a card and added it on right? So how do we make sure they don’t go down that path.
The Ditch. So here is my thoughts on the ditch. The hand must stay in the “dolphin hand” position even after the addition of the card. As magicians, we have a tendacy of over proving the cleaness of our hands after doing something dirty. You know what I’m talking about. When magicians do a color change, all of us open our fingers up like we are doing jazz hands. It’s a very subtle thing but it tips off to the spectator that it was at that point where the card was added. Sure its a subconcious thing, but it is something we can avoid.
This is probably the main point of the post. Get used to having dolphin hands at all times. Why? If the magician’s natural tendency is to have closed fingers, then having a card palmed will not be out of context. Just like having your hands in finger palm gestures all the time while doing coin magic. Instead of having your hands wide open all the time and then close it when you palm something, it keeps your actions natural and doesn’t raise a subconscious flag in their heads.
What Happens After. Similar to the ditch, what do you do afterward? The need to disguize when the card was ditched is very important. Many people doing a color change will stop the waving, magic gesture when the ditch is made. Mission accomplished. The card has been changed. The spectator can feel the ditch because of this simple flaw. Many color changes (in the classic sense) have the magician fly the hand toward the deck to drop the card and then back up to expose the change. The simple change in direction is a major tip off when the color change was made. It doesn’t matter how much waving you do before hand, if the last motion the associated with the color change seems different, then its game over.
The main point is to keep waving even after the change. It’s all by feel of the color change so to speak. If you can’ tell when the ditch happens in the color change in its whole, then you are on the right track.
Ricky Smith has probably one of the sexiest classic color changes I have seen. He has taken all of the above to heart. He didn’t even need my help or know of my existence. check it out here. This is what you should strive for.
Comments: 1 Comment.
Cheng Lin’s poker change
Here it is guys, one of the most visual multiple color change out there. Sounds like a lie, but no gimmicks. This will be on the all new 9 DVD set by Paul Harris. We actually shot some of Cheng’s material for the DVD 3 years ago. long time to get something out. click on link below video for HD.
Comments: 15 Comments.
Chad Rees “the people’s magician”
Old video dug up from the grave. He does real magic. period.
Comments: 3 Comments.
Challenge #1 My version
Password is the answer to this. “Who’s name was the Olram Subtly named after?”
So I had an great response when I performed this to a laymen friend of mine. From now on I will call the above ACR routine as the “3ACR” and the normal one that I use all the time (basically Ammar’s version with the card going to the mouth on the 4th phase out of 5 phases total) will be called the “5ACR”.
Her reaction to the 3ACR, espically the ending, was literally something I have never seen before in any laymen. It wasn’t the typical “Holy shit! I don’t want to play poker with you because you should goto Vegas! That would be so cool since you know how to use cards really well. Wow! You would be so rich if you dealt cards in Vegas, but I would never play poker with you hahahahaha…”
The reaction was much more “deep”, if that is the correct word to term it. It felt as if to quote Paul Harris, She had the “Moment of Astonishment.” It was basically everything a Derren Brown want-a-be would want in a spectator reaction.
As we kept talking, I asked her what she liked about the routine. She said that this was very personal, there wasn’t a wall between us so to speak. What I found interesting was the fact that she was telling me back what I said during the performance. She would say things like “I put the card back in, and I even turned the card over.” even though it was me doing it the whole time. I wanted this routine to make the spectator feel the way I would if this really happened. I was pretty happy with the reaction.
Now here is the twist. I then showed her the 5ACR. After I was finished I asked her which one did you like better? She said the 5ACR. That hit me pretty hard. I asked to talk more about why. Her main point was the mere fact of me putting the card back in over and over but it got more and more impossible. Like the card jumping up to the mouth and ending with the bent card.
Then she said something that we all should pay attention to. She said, “This was very visual. It hit me visually, but I felt the wall between us. I felt like a spectator just observing what was happening. The (3ACR) was very emotional. I felt it down here (she pointed to her heart).”
She then thought a little bit more and then said “Actually, I really like the (3ACR) much better. The (5ACR) was good, but it was just a trick. The (3ACR) was much better because I connected with you.”
I then told her the saying that comedians have about wanting people not say that you have “good jokes” but that you are a “good comedian”. She admittedly nodded and said, “That is exactly the feeling I was getting.”
Now mind you, this is something I wouldn’t pull out to a complete stranger. The way I perform is very casual. Most patter I have is reactionary to what they say. After I do some of my openers, I usually get the usual questions of “How did you learn to do magic?”, “How long have you been doing it?”, “Whats your favorite trick?”. If those questions pop up, I know they are investing enough to the question for me to pull out these kind of tricks. It’s long, and many magicians would probably hang themselves than sitting through the trick. But I assure you that when the time is right, these kind of presentation and trick would be something special.
Thanks Bijou for letting me pick your brain.
Comments: 58 Comments.
Great Coin Work
Rarely do I get really impressed with coin magic, but Eric Jones is one of the best I have seen out there. I for one personally think coin magic is the hardest close-up magic discipline to perform well. There has to be a naturalness and smoothness that takes much more time and effort than any card trick. We all should support this guy. Buy his new DVD that just came out.
Comments: 8 Comments.
Challenge #1 Further Discussion
So I was surfing YouTube last night and decided to look at all the popular known magicians and how they handled the routine. Daryl’s routines were the ones that caught my attention. While he is technically amazing in any aspect, I find something odd with the routine… Roll Film.
Now before I go further, I want to point out that Daryl’s routine was probably influenced by the DVD he was making. I’m sure he wouldn’t of shown that many phases in a real performance setting. It was to show all the sleights he taught on the Ambitious Card DVD. I talk more about the performance in general, It has nothing to do with Daryl personally.
Now, what I noticed right away was how he showed the card has risen to the top. Daryl brushed the first reveal off very quickly. Most of the phases he brushes off. It felt like a throw away. The audience didn’t get to savor the moment. In fact, the audience were catching up the whole time. There is something to be said when you, the magician, isn’t surprised with the your own little miracles. I think attitude is key in making your audience believe the effect.
Daryl’s routine is what I mean by an effect that has gone too long. Does the audience care? What is the point of being fair and more fair through the effect. Why learn all these magical ways to get the card to the top if it wasn’t fair in the first place? When does it stop being magic and becomes a showcase of sleights.
Now people will argue that it doesn’t matter how many phases there are in a ACR as long as you keep them entertained. I agree, but I also think that its your entertainment that keeps the routine moving, not the magic anymore. It takes a back seat.
If you don’t think the number of phases matter in a ACR, then why don’t we do a 50 coins across? Where did J.B. Bobo and David Roth come up with that magical number 4? So is it okay to bring out a bag of half dollars and make them jump across 50 times, just as long as you keep them entertained? Where is the magic in that? Actually, it would be quite amazing if you did a backfire when you had 49 in one hand and 1 left in the other. (I have a method for that) ((This is a running joke… I don’t have a method for that.)) (((But seriously, I do.)))
The frame of these 2 effects are quite simple. A coin jumps to the other hand. A card jumps to the top. I think a major reason that a 50 coins across sounds stupid is because we don’t know 50 different unique ways to bring a coin to the other hand. On the other hand, (It’s a Pun!) we all know many ways to control a card to the top. It is that live long obsession of card magicians to find the next amazing control to the top.
So there lies the problem. How can we make a simple effect like that into something amazing. A coin disappearing from one hand and appearing in your other hand is quite amazing. Why not a card that jumps to the top? Just because we have a dick doesn’t mean we have to go fuck any hole we see. Just becuase we know many card controls doesn’t mean we have to show the audience everyone of them and then label it a trick. That Ho.
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About the content of the blog
I have been getting comments about magic videos on this website and critiquing it harshly.
So here are the reasons to my madness.
1.) Anyone who puts their magic performance videos onto a PUBLIC site, as in it’s not pass worded or private, I feel I have free range on critiquing it. I don’t feel there is any need to contact the person to get permission to put it on the blog as it seems obvious to me that the person wants everyone to see it. If the person did only want a selected few to see it, Youtube or any other public video posting site is a bad idea. May I suggest using VIMEO, they give you the option to password the videos and also gives you the power to not allow others to embed to their websites. If you did not want other people to comment about your performance then WHY put it online? You can easily skype with trusted magicians and workshop any ideas you have. If you put it onto Youtube, I feel you give me or anyone freedom to comment.
2.) No one in magic should get special treatment. We are all here to better the art and if the only reason people feel “bad” of me commenting on people who are known, well is it shame on me or them? If Dai Vernon (in his prime) was doing something bad, I would tell him it’s horrible. Reputation is based on your skills as a magician. You have to keep it up if you want to keep that respect.
3.) I show all my non-magician friends the videos before I put them on. In the end isn’t it the audience that has the final say if the magic was good or not? I show my non-magician friends these videos and get a feel of the are thinking. They always say the same thing. “What the fuck was that.”
4.) Many people think I am somehow immune to all of this. You should critique me the worst. I set a standard on this blog, I should hopefully back up my words. I try to walk the walk. I am not a master magician. Hell, who is. I call it like I see it.
5.) I use the videos to point out what I think are important for close-up magic in general. I am also here to learn too. I am a big believer in that you learn more from mistakes. If you think the only reason I put up these videos is to make fun of them, then read the comments under the posts. I am not alone.
One final thing. READ MY INTERNET LIPS. I do not hate any of these people personally. I am not a big fan of putting half-ass videos onto the Internet. You shot it on a camera, for god sakes make it perfect. There is a rewind button.
When I put ideas or anything half-assed onto this blog, I have the common sense to password it to keep it away from non-magicians. Why don’t you? There should NEVER be a reason to not have a near-perfect performance only on your public video account.
Comments: 45 Comments.
Challenge #1 Ambitious Card Routine
Every magician knows it. Every magician has a version of it. It’s the staple of any card worker. Besides the routine being a playground to practice your amazing controls to the top, the routine has lost its magic. Here are some problems I see with the routine in general.
Too many phases. I have seen magicians do up to 20 phases in a Ambitious Card routine. First of all, It ruins suspense and surprise that we all love about magic. Of course the card will come to the top… it has the last 19 times. A friend of mine, Gary Au once told me in a drunken haze that in order for magic to become a miracle we can’t dilute it. If Jesus H. Christ back in the days cured some person of their blindness (I know a method) it would be a miracle. If he then turned and said “…and for my next act…” and performed the water to wine miracle (I know a method) then he would be lessening the impact of the first act. I see it like this. If the audience can only go from 1 to 10 on the WOW Scale®. The first trick would usually be up to a 9 or 10 if they never seen good magic. If you keep performing, then the audience will only have your other tricks to compare to on the WOW Scale®. This is why I try not to perform to laymen when I have other magician friends around. Instead of the audience saying “Wow that was great!” They say, “Tony Chang was clearly the best out of all you magicians. Stop what you are doing please.”
The raping of the D.L.. Now don’t get me wrong this move is great. It is basically in every crouch magic card trick known to man. But the use of it in almost every phase of Ambitious Card? I personally think using this sleight and showing the card coming back to the top is the BEST method there is. Then why do it 5 times in a row? You dilute the impact it has to give.
So here is my challenge.
Create a Ambitious Card Routine that only has three phases and the last phase is the standard D.L.. This means there is no D.Ls until the last phase. I think it will be a good exercise to strengthening your magic without adding more phases. Make those three moments last. Make them different. Make them connect together as a single piece of magic.
I will be posting my version in a week. I have never given much thought to it, so it will be fun. Also give some good patter with it. If you talk about a puppy that lost his way home and the only way to bring him back to the “top” is to pet the deck like a dog… then I will kill you. Magically of course.
Comments: 49 Comments.
Sound of Magic
Ever accidentally drop a coin while doing a routine? Make sure you brush it off by saying “don’t worry, that’s the sound of magic.” Its funny. ha ha.
This kid has taken that joke to the next level. Make sure you turn up your speakers. Its hard to hear the sound of magic.
Comments: 4 Comments.
Prime Examples of Visual Noise
I wanted to talk more about visual noise in magic as mentioned in Lesson #1. I really want to stress the importance of having less tension and awkward moves just for the sake of the method. Laymen’s perception of magic usually boils down to a few things. We are “faster” than the eye and misdirection. It’s not good if the spectator says “Well you did it while I was looking away.” Even if they can’t figure out the real method, they will tell you that you are just doing sleight of hand (horrible at that). What other explanation do they have since all they see is you man-handling the cards. These are prime examples of having visual noise. Does it make the effect weaker? Would people even understand what is going on? Dai Vernon said it best, “Confusion is not magic.” Roll Film. Excuse my language. This stuff pisses me off. Please don’t do it.
you are god damn right. It is fucking confusing.
did you catch his “classic” pass?
Comments: 11 Comments.
I have a dream. The perfect Classic Pass.
This will be my diary on learning the classic pass.
I had never really thought about the classic pass before but the blog has given me a new excitement for this move. I will be able to share my thoughts and thinking process. I think the best way to learn from others is to also learn side by side with them. I am not a beginner in any sense but I am aware of the weaknesses I have with the move. Every time I post, I will post a video of me doing the classic pass. Hopefully looking back in a few months it should get better.
Whoever wants to tackle this with me please feel free to send me a link of you doing the classic pass. (preferably on vimeo and passworded). I will put your video side by side as this diary progresses. I think it will be a great experiment for all of us. So here is a video of me doing the classic pass as of 11.26.08.
Password is “What is a form of a pass/shift that the basic packet movement is opposite of the classic pass?” Answer is “______ Pass.” I mis-spelled it. It only has 1 “r” and 2 “n”
Since the new website. I need new people to have the “embed” option on. for now here it is.
If you guys think this is a stupid idea, feel free to express it in the comments. I feel this would be a interesting way to collectively try to learn one of the most difficult moves out there.
Comments: 32 Comments.
Push-off Double Tutorial taken off
I am taking off the tutorial because of the lack of credits for the move. I too hastly put the tutorial on without giving credit and references to the move. That is my fault and I apolagize. I will put the tutorial back on in the future when I find proper credit and also make it better and more refined.
Comments: 2 Comments.