Monday, January 23, 2012

Tricks vs Effects.

I'm not sure who originally said it but in one of Ellusionist's videos Brad Christian says something along the lines of "If you know 100 card controls and one reveal you know one trick. If you know one control and 100 reveals then you know 100 tricks." No for the purpose of this post I'm going to define tricks as methods and effects as what the spectator perceives. For instance the Erdnase color change is the trick, the idea that one card chnged into another is the effect. So you could do the Erdnase and then do a snap change and to you it two completely different things but to you spectator you just did the same thing twice only one was more flashy (while we'er on the subject I think my favorite color change is the Svengali color change by Dai Vernon).

It seems to me that every time I turn around there an effect I just have to know that I have to learn a new slight or subtly for, but I feel that what I need is more effects that use the tricks I already know. And I know its possible cause when I read Life, Death and Other Card tricks by Robert Neal one of the thoughts I had was 'this man is in love with the Elmsly count.' There were a lot of effect in that book that used the Elmsly count, but to my mind they were different enough to be separate effects.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Personal update.

In order to move the frame of my magic up to my face and away from my crotch (not that I'm not proud of my crotch I just want to help people to remember me and not just the magic) I am trying to learn the Elmsly count with the cards held vertically. Pain the bum because the way of holding  the cards vertically for the count is way different than how I hold them for the horizontal count.

Monday, January 16, 2012

An awesome thing about magic.

One of the awesome things about magic is that I always have a deck of cards on me and sometime I'll sit in a public location and practice. Well at least twice now someone has come up and wanted to show me a trick. Which was awesome, I quite enjoy it and so far it has ended up with me applying my magic knowledge and being able to add another effect to the vault.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A inspirational video and a new feature.

So I've decided to make Friday a day of inspiration and to start this off another video from Joe Diamond.
And from now on Fridays' posts will either have video or pictures or just quotes of an inspiring nature.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interactive Magic with Joe Diamond

Joe Diamond is a rather creative mind which is excellently showcased in this and his other interactive magic videos.  As you can see in the video title this is his third one so if you want to go back and check the others do it but be warned they require you supply your own props.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hand Care

So on the card handling forum I frequent you find a thread every now and then about how to get your hands the right state to handle cards. You see them more often at the start of winter when hands start to dry out. Now there are  usually several theories about what to do, but most of them are short term what to do just before a performance.

Solutions I've seen include

  • Lotion your hands up before performing
  • Don't lotion your hands up it will dirty the cards
  • Use hand sanitizer before handling the cards.
  • Hand sanitizer contains rubbing alcohol which will dry your hands out worse.

Once in a while I'll see the correct answer or at least the one I consider correct. So what do I think is the correct answer. I believe the way to have performance ready hands is with a hand care regimen. Now I know most magicians are men and so are opposed or unfamiliar with the idea. But as I see it the only way to have supple skin is to do like the ladies do and work on it every day. As such after I take a shower I apply lotion to my hands way up past the wrists most of the way up my forearms. I go so far up the arm because some of the things I do require the spectator to hold my wrist and I want it to be as presentable as possible. What all this does for me is insures that any time I pick up a deck of cards my handling won't suffer from dry hands. By the time I pick up a prop there is no left over residue on my hands to ruin anything. I have to say this method works for me, though your mileage may vary and all that.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I don't post on Holidays

I don't post on Holidays but this one is special. It's my birthday. What did I gifts did I get? How did I celebrate? I have no idea, this post was typed last year. Ha! Any way happy birthday to me, happy Saturday to every one else.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Interesting article.

If you intend to be a professional and don't subscribe to a few blogs you need to, they are like the trade papers of yesteryear. They help you keep up on news about the industry and usually have some interesting articles. I do have a blogroll on the side of my blog with blogs I recommend. But I found the following article in my blog feeds a few days ago and thought it was interesting. In it a magician publicly trolls a pioneer or radio transmissions. I just have to say that while Marconi got all the glory his work was just that of Tesla repackaged.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What do you do with a broken Hot Rod?

Fix it duh, but no see what happened to my plastic Hot Rod was that one of the plastic jewels fell out and was lost. What to do, what to do? Replacing it was not an option so what I did was pop out all the jewels and came with some new patter for it. Now this patter is not the best I know but I'm still going to share it and maybe someone out there can use it in some way.

"How do you change the world? Well some people would say that you have to get out there and help everyone every chance you got. Others would throw money at the worlds problems. Me, I believe that all you have to do is believe the world is a better place and it will change to meet your expectations. Here let me show you what I mean. *produce gem-less Hot Rod and show both sides* I have this stick with all these holes in it. What I need you to do is believe that each hole contains a gem. Are you believing it? *cause gems to appear* See all it took was some belief. *pocket Hot Rod*"

Monday, January 2, 2012

Practice: Mirror vs Camera

Magic takes a lot of practice, there's no avoiding it. But how do you check yourself? In the mirror or with a camera? Well I began learning a short routine of card vanishes. The routine lasts about 30 seconds and involves vanishing a card 3 times. As soon as I had the motions memorized and could do them without stopping to think what to do next I started using a mirror (I got to that point sitting at the PC watching the video of how over and over again). I stood in front of the mirror watching myself do the whole routine over and over. Once it looked good I literally turned 90 degrees away and tried it out. It was like the ground had fallen out from under me I could not do it at all.  Without being able to watch my self I just could not get through it without messing up and I had been so sure I was ready to perform. It was like starting all over again. Luckily I had the muscle memory already and it was more like training my brain to handle it. In the mirror I was simply watching my hands from another angle no different than had I just stayed at the PC. So I practiced it over and over again without the mirror and this time to check my self I used a video camera. The video camera was so much better. Watching myself on video meant I was not busy thinking about what my hands were doing and could pay attention. The first thing I noticed was that I was speeding through one part much faster than was necessary from "magician's guilt" most likely. I could tell that just watching it on the camera so I filmed myself doing it more slowly and it looked so much better. Then I put the video up on the computer and watched it slowed down to .33x speed which is silly but it lets me really examine my moves. Another thing I like about the camera is that I can watch the video without worrying about what I'm doing so I can see it more like spectator would.

So what to use? Well I would like to take a trick and only use the camera to check my self and see how I feel it impacts my progress but to others I'd say use what you have but if you are going to use the mirror make sure you're doing more than watching you hands from a different angle or only use the mirror sparingly to check your progress.