Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday personal update

So had some tech problems, missed a post. Oh well.

Magic wise I'm experiencing a lull in my enthusiasm and the patter I'm trying to memorize is proving difficult. When I get to a certain point my mind just blanks on the next part. Maybe I need to try harder or something.

I think maybe a job would help, it would certainly pay for materials till I can get out and perform for monies. But a good old fashion suck job would motivate me more to follow my passions.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What I learned from karaoke

So I agreed to be designated driver for my brother, not a big deal since I don't drink. But this did mean I had to go to the bar. Anyway it was karaoke night. So I decided to sing a song or two. I flipped through the book of options and picked one. I thought I knew the song I thought it would be easy. I was wrong, way wrong. For my first song I picked:

The first problem was I didn't realize that I was going to have to all the characters and the singing. So I stumbled through the first 3rd of the song. And I had the stage fright. Not hard to get singing for a room of drunk strangers. Like usual my stage fright manifested through a shaky hand not a problem while I'm singing, but a pain when I'm doing close up magic.

For my second song I picked.

The second song I picked I was more familiar with the words and the rhythm and what have you. So during it I had no trouble. Also just as the song started a guy came up and asked if he could do T-pain's part, I was like sure. So that was cool.

I had a good time.

So what did I learn? I learned that when you're performing sober in front of strangers it really helps to know what your going to be doing before hand. It helps a lot.

Friday, April 8, 2011

What Have I Been Up To

Magic wise I've been mostly trying to memorize the patter for the 3 shell game routine I'm learning. Its a lot of patter to memorize. Its a whole routine, it has to have more than "Look the pea jumps around" and it does. But I hope to have it done in the next week week and a half.

I have to memorize that and my brother is getting married and I'm performing the ceremony so I have to write and memorize that script. I'd like to also incorporate an effect into the middle one thats touching but not too distracting.

In addition to that I just got introduced to the hobby of geocaching. So I've been looking into that. I don't know if I will talk about my non-magic hobbies here yet or not. Magic's important and a big part of my life but its also my chosen career and that means its going to get monotonous. So having hobbies will help break that up.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Magic Maker's "Amazing Easy to Learn Magic Tricks" series Spongeballs

Magic Maker's "Amazing Easy to Learn Magic Tricks" series Spongeballs

What I paid: Nothing it was a gift from a friend but I believe it was ~$20
What I got: One DVD and a box of two inch sponge balls.

So the sponge balls were cheap, they feel cheap. When I took them out of the box the had flat sides. I spritzed them with some water like I would do for my one and half inch Goshman sponge balls and they dye ran out and colored my hands. They don't work very well at all.

As for the DVD this is hands down the best DVD I have gotten from magic makers. Well organized, well taught, good production value. Several moves and like 3 routines. The Benson bowl being my favorite. There is a lack of a real live audience which always annoys me. But for the most part each routine was performed with one spectator before going into the moves. After watching this DVD I feel I could with a little practice really amaze people with the spongeballs.

So would I recommend this DVD? I very much would but I would suggest that you go and get better sponges at the same time.

Would I get this for my character? Once again this is a no. I probably would not get this for myself unless I was performing for kids.

If you found this review to helpful or you thought it sucked let me know in the comments section.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Magic Maker's Hotrod Instructional DVD

Magic Maker's Hotrod Instructional DVD

I'll be honest I feel both screwed and not screwed by this DVD I'll try to explain as I go along. First What I paid: It cost $15 so with tax I paid $16.12 Not a bad price. What I got: I got one DVD and two hotrod gimmicks (the second allows a replay for the same audience) The gimmicks themselves were cheap pieces of painted square dowels. They were smaller and lighter than most Hotrods I've seen or handled. But on the plus side these were something I could make my self with a trip to a craft store. That said I lost both of mine and have not made the craft store run because I would rather get the larger heavier ones with gems.
As for the content of the DVD. There were 2 routines where the instructor performed just for the camera. Unlike on the shell game DVD by the Magic Makers this didn't annoy me as much because the amount of participation in a Hotrod routine is very little and can even be done with no participation from the audience. I  got this DVD to learn a specific move and I did learn the move I was going after and so I consider anything else I learned a bonus. Heres the part where I feel screwed. I feel that a lot of the "Hotrod moves" on this DVD will only work with the smaller lighter Hotrods that came with this DVD.

One thing I did like about this DVD is how it showed that study in different types of magic is useful. According to the guy on the DVD several of the moves came from cigarette magic.

So would I recommend this DVD: I would. For the price its good for anyone looking to learn the Hotrod or expand on what they know. The effect itself is a proven stunner. I mean that. More than one person has just been wide eye speech-less after witnessing this trick. It packs small and plays big which is what most close up magicians are looking for. Though I do believe the effect is weakened by the Hotrods that came with this DVD. So go get a good Hotrod if you're going to do this trick.

A side note: I bought this before I knew where my character was going. I would not buy this for my character. But I would still want this at some point because people are going to ask you to do tricks whether or not you're in character. Carry around a small hot rod and you're ready to fry their mind and go about your day.

If you found this review to helpful or you thought it sucked let me know in the comments section.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bizarre magic

There are many types of magic out there at least from the magicians perspective. Not so much to the spectator it's all magic to them. But back to magicians, from our standpoint magic is broken up into categories based on performance location (Close-up, parlour, stage...) type of props (coins, cards, silks...) performance style (geek, bizarre, mentalism...). Today I would like to talk about Bizarre magic.

What is bizarre magic? That is a hard question to answer, every magician especially every bizarre magician has a different answer as to what bizarre magic is. There is kind of an underlying belief to bizarre magic but other than that you have to define it yourself and work towards it. I personally see bizarre magic as more theatre than other types of magic.

At its simplest its good strong story telling magic. William Ligon said ""If ya ain't got no story, ya ain't got no magic." I feel that's a perfect summation of bizarre magic. A few days ago I posted a video of Chrisitan Cagigal doing an effect called The Gambler and The Stranger. Lets take that for an example (go watch it if you haven't) If we take out the story about the gambler and his foe; what's left? An effect where three cards change faces and then one turns into an unexpected third card. Sounds kind of weak, cause it is kind of weak. Now add in the story, you're following along and as the gambler loses more  tension is built. Then the three cards are laid face down and the gambler bets its all. This is the climax and you're so focused on whether or not he picks the right card that you don't see the final surprise looming just ahead. So you see how important the story is in that effect.

Now there are some themes that repeat themselves through out bizarre magic. The occult and macabre make big appearances. Various world beliefs pop up here and there. Monsters show their faces now and again. But it not about those, bizarre magic is about touching people and its easier to touch people with those. But its possible to have upbeat and uplifting bizarre magic as well. For instance David Parr has a wonderfully touching effect called "From the heart" Its a heartwarming effect about the transcendental nature of true love.

I hope this helps those interested in bizarre magic understand it a little better. If not I want you to know its a hard subject to write on.