Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So I've learned that magic is easy real easy. Performing is hard. Really hard. So I've been looking into acting and directing and stage craft. Anything that will help me onstage.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Butterfly Idea

The magician while trying to perform is plagued by a fly. Magician stops effect and tries to snatch the fly out of the air. After a few failures the magician succeeds. Holding his hand triumphantly before him the magician un-clenches his fist and a butterfly flies out. Magician apologizes for the interruption and goes back to what he was originally doing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cups and Balls Idea

So this idea came to me while I was practicing the cups and balls. My brother was there drunk and kept messing with stuff. One thing he kept doing was lifting the cup on the end. So what I'm thinking is you have a stooge play a drunk come up and lift the end cup to reveal the ball early, you take the cup back and pick up the ball. You put the cup back and vanish the ball. The drunk picks the cup up again to reveal the ball. Repeat a few times getting angrier each time then in the classic style of the stooge you beat on him and toss him away. Finish routine from there.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Loops vs IET

The first loop I ever broke wasn't due to performance  its was just sitting there loose on my wrist. I reached down without looking to pluck off what felt like a loose hair. And there went my loop. At three bucks a piece I can't be that careless with them. But with a spool of thread I've already tied and lost twice as many as I could buy so right there I'm well ahead cash wise. I have used name brand Loops and I can say that its much cheaper to tie my own with no noticeable difference in quality. I also like that by tying my own I can control the size so its not a one size fits all loop.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kard Klub from Ellusionist

So I knew going in that Kard Klub was all based around the Two Card Monte effect, but I was more interested in it for its claim of being aimed improving ones performance skills. I have the same complaint for this that I had for Stigmata, cheap case that broke. Other than that the DVD was fine physically. So I have thought about learning the Two Card Monte, effect maybe it would be easier to apply the lessons of the DVD. I could even make it work easily with my character. But I just don't like the effect all that much. So I'm not going to be doing it. However in addition to a few moves worth learning there is a lot to be gained from this DVD. Of course Brad Christian teaches the Two Card Monte, that is just a small part of it, most of the DVD is clips of people with various skill levels performing the the Two Card Monte and then re-playing the clips with Brad Christian pointing out where they were good and where they were bad. For example one performer gets so caught up in playing with the spectator that she gets bored and ends up messing up the effect. The performer lost his ability to manage his audience with his goofing off. Although I felt that while it wasn't when he wanted her to turn the cards over, if he had just rolled with the punches he would have been fine. When the trick goes south he just folds up, his whole body droops, its obvious to everyone that what happened wasn't supposed to happen. He was done with all the secret moves though, the part he was at was a final build up before the reveal. So there was impact lost there, nothing he can do about that, but if had just went about the routine from the reveal no one but another magician would known that wasn't supposed to happen. While I don't care for the Two Card Monte I do like that using one effect throughout the video makes it easier to compare and contrast performances. In addition to the DVD I got a little booklet and access to the private forum. The booklet is nice, it's mostly re-iterations of the info on the DVD but it does have the routines and I've found it easier to learn a routine from a written source. The forum was active at some point in history as evidenced by the fact that at the time of this writing, it goes back 18 pages but its pretty much dead now. The last time someone made a post in it they had to post in the general forum to get attention drawn to it.

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

That's a trick deck.

Due to the specific nature of this blog its probably safe to say that you my reader have been to a forum of some sort for magicians. However just in case you have not allow me to illuminate you as to a constant theme that pops up over again. There are basically two groups, one group says that if you use any deck of cards other than Rider backed Bicycles your spectator will think that you are using a trick deck. And the other group is sane, I'm kidding but the other group doesn't think that it has anything to do with the deck. I am of the second group and I believe that if the spectator thinks you are using a trick deck then it is your failing as a performer that caused this.

I only use Rider backed cards in two instances, practice and gaff work. The only time that I use Rider backs in front of  spectators is when they have the most reason to be suspicious. I mostly use Artifices now and before that oddly colored decks produced by MagicMakers INC.

I remember that cards existed before I got into magic seriously but I can't say that I remember their backs, and rarely were they expensive Bikes only serious card players would buy those. I can remember one back. When I was about 10 I got every trick deck at the Dollar Tree. One of which was a marked back deck and I had to memorize the secret markings. So that back kind of sticks out in my memory.

You know that if you go to your nearest store that sells cards, they have decks that only cost $1. They are complete crap when it comes to handling but they will work for any card game you could want to play. Now if you need to manipulate cards then you want bikes. Did you also know that right next to the Bikes, there are decks with much more interesting designs for a comparable price. Coke-Cola, Spongebob, Micky Mouse, Star Wars, are all represented in card form at my local store. My mom plays solitaire and she has two deck of bikes that I gave her after I no longer needed them. One of them is that silver deck Bicycle put out.  She has two other decks one has American flags on it and the other Battleships. My sister likes card based drinking game both of the times she went out and got a deck, she did not get bikes, she got Micky Mouse and Spongebob. I left a deck of red backed bikes out on a table one day after practicing and my mother asked me if it was one of those expensive decks I got online.

So if its not the cards that make people think you are using a trick deck then what does that leave? It leaves the performer. More so it is the performers character that leads the audience to believe that it is a trick deck. If you can't find anything in your performance character that leads people that way maybe its some of the real you slipping through. How do you feel about tricks and gimmicks like that? Me personally I'd rather do it all through slight of hand if I could. Which is probably why people come to that conclusion when watching me instead of the trick deck one.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The three shell game by Tom Osborn

The Three Shell Game
by Tom Osborn

This is quite a good buy. It should be the more expensive book. It starts with the history then the equipment. Then the moves and it turns out there are a lot of them. It also talks on a bit of the psychology of the shell game. The there are the lessons and I think that's where this book sets it apart. There are ten lessons, I suppose a more modern manual would call them exercises. The lesson a practices to get used to handling the shell. They are unusable for a routine or exhibition. For example the first lesson doesn't use a pea it simply moving the shells around to get used to the hand positions. The next lesson is about getting into and out of position as you reach for the shells. The lesson get progressively more difficult but they build your skills. After the lesson are the routines which is more patterns that could be strung into routines and I think they are more for the actual running of the con than for a magic or exhibition. The ones I read relied heavily on sucker moves (moves that look secretive but are actually to be seen).

I'm really glad I got this book and I think that after the Introduction to the Shells DVD this is a must have for shell workers.

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