Monday, April 29, 2013

Well I too smart to actually pay for an effect.

{This spot reserved for a link} I remember reading an article on how whether or not you were fooled by a demo of an effect should not be you're prime consideration on if you buy and learn effect, but I can't remember where or by who so if you know of it let me know.

There's this moron kicking up sand on various forums because he feels that the price of an effect is too much because to him it is super obvious how the effect works. He claims to have reversed engineered it and has video of him doing the effect on his blog which he has not provided links to.

This annoys me cause I feel this is why magic producers feel the need to make misleading demo's or to out right fake the moves so they don't have to worry about reverse engineering. Which lead people to feeling ripped off, a real catch 22 for make producers.

Personally I feel that if you didn't buy the effect you have no right to bitch, and if you work out your own solution with out buying it then you are to blame if it falls flat.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Not quite a real gig but good experience.

I've volunteered to deal blackjack at a fundraising event at a local club the first Friday in May. Not quite a real gig but it will be good experience dealing with people in performance like setting. I'll post about it afterwards.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Caveat Emptor or Bad Business.

So Ellusionist recently released three effects with price tags under ten dollars (Modulate, Chaos Theory, and Revoke) and watching their forum it seem that each effect has something not really explained that purchasers would like explained. E will not allow discussion of an expose-y nature, and they will not create a private forum for it either. Their advice is to try and hook up with other users that have the effect (never worked for me) or in the case of revoke to contact customer service because the creator of the effect offered some extra tips and that's how to get them. I think the real problem is that E refuses to create forums for specific effects they release because "They just peter out and so arn't worth the expense" to which I call BS. Nothing I know about technology (I have a college degree in networking) leads me to believe adding forums to the site would be all that much of an expense. And in the few private forums I've been in on the site there was good info to be had, which I feel justifies them. Once those private forums peter out they should have someone go through (I'd bet there would be volunteers to be had so no cost there) and curate them. Single out the good and delete the rest. Then the it goes from a private forum to a private supplement.

But that's not the point, the point is that each of those three downloads left something out that buyers felt was needed. Was this just oversight on the content creators side or did it have to be edited for time or file size (to save E on bandwidth). I can overlook the creator leaving it out for most reasons more than I could stuff left out to save a buck. I mean maybe Danial Madison assumed all those watching his video would know how to get the named card and half the deck in position, not necessarily an unrealistic assumption. But on the other hand maybe E said this video has to be under X minutes so Madison did not have time to teach the control needed. Either way with another cheap instant download available, I wonder what will be missing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Center tear issue

My issue with the center tear is "What do I do with all the confetti I just made?" I like the classic idea of burning them because it provides a justification for ripping up the paper, you ripped it because you're going to burn it. Problem is that it needs something to burn in and it's been a long time since I've seen an ashtray in a public place. Which is an extra problem because even if I did not burn it that is probably where I'd put the confetti.

I had though about sprinkling the confetti and staring at as it falls to divine the contents. I like the look and symbolism of it but it has a few issues the one pertinent to this discussion is that it still leaves me with a bunch of confetti to take care of that is now spread out on a table. Sweeping it up can not be good for the all powerful mage image I want to exude.

I don't want to dump it in my pocket because not only do I not like to put trash in my pocket but performing repeatedly would fill the pocket fast. Pocket space being limited as it is I doubt that the pocket would be confetti exclusive. I know the last thing I want to happen is for confetti to spill out of my pocket as I withdraw another item. I'd go from wizard to clown in a few seconds.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Useless sleights

A blog I dislike recently had an article about "useless slights", basically they felt that any slight that you don't have an effect for is a waste of time. Now I can see how for a beginner focusing on amassing slights over effects could be just as bad as trying to buy up all the secrets. I may be biased as I use slight of hand as physical therapy for my damaged hand but I think the more slights one can do the better. Sometimes content creators just expext you to know a certain type of slight, look at the effect I just reviewed from Danial Madison. They basically expected you to know how to locate a named card and pass it to the bottom of a deck. Or sometime you just can't do a certain sleight and you need to find a work around. As I just mentioned I have a damaged hand and part of that damage means I can't classic palm a coin. It's not a matter of practice there is scar tissue in key areas that makes it impossible and this is something I have to work around all the time in my coin practice and I get around it by knowing other slights or doing it left handed. Every sleight you can do gives you potential whether or not you have an effect that needs that slight.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chaos Theory by Danial Madison from Ellusionist.

An in the hands Triumph effect for five bucks sounds good right. I'm not sure one could say that was delivered here. Really it's more of a false shuffle for five dollars. The download glosses over one of the most important bits, getting the selected/named card into position. Madison basically says that he knows the deck so well that finding the named card and getting it in position is no problem. Well that's well and good but what about those of us that lack Madison level skills with a deck? Without the selected card part most of the rest of the routine taught is useless, so it is a bit of hurdle. That said, the false shuffle taught seems easy but it does require getting one hands used to unfamiliar movements, and made my hands sore. Specifically my index fingers which are not used to riffling cards. It looks like a cross of two table shuffles I don't know the name of, but have seen the instructions two. Once I get it down it'll probably be my go to in the hands false shuffle.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Effects of poor character choice.

I recently attended a show that was Burlesque, Sideshow, and a one man band all in the same show. Now the performer who could be considered the headliner of the burlesque troop did her thing. And after I asked my buddy what he thought. A bit about my buddy, he won't hesitate to say somethings good but when it comes to the bad he'll usually say something good about a specific part of something instead of saying anything bad. When I asked him what he though, he took that middle ground bs and said that it was well choreographed. Which means that he also did not enjoy it. It was well choreographed and well performed but it just wasn't good. We discussed it and we came to the conclusion that the character the dancer was playing did not fit the body dancing it. The character was the virginal coquette but the body was tatted up like a sailor. It sucks but just because you want to play a character doesn't mean you can. Don't get me wrong I have no issues with tattoos but if she insists on playing the virgin then she needs to cover the ink up. If she wants to display the ink then she needs to re-evaluate the character she plays. The juxtaposition of the character expressed and the tattoo is not addressed and in the end is just too jarring to be enjoyed.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Modulate by Dee Christopher form Ellustionist

A nice little card transposition effect, simple and cost effective (to buy, actual use may not be as cost effective).  It's visual and happens free of the deck. It's so simple that I'm surprised it's not in some old book, and it's not a magician fooler. I think that when seeing the full unedited performance at the beginning of the video most will know what's what. The download only costs $5, and it's feel like a rather versatile idea. Dee Christopher shows three variations on it. And regardless of what the ad copy says (though reading it after watching the download I think they may be saying something other than what I think the ad copy implies) I don't think it translates away from cards very easily. All the things that make it work with cards may not be present in other mediums. If two things look the same how will someone know that they switched places until the reveal. And so if you're using something like two index cards a different transposition may be better. My biggest complaint is hard to air with out exposing more than I'd like. But basically I feel really limited in the ability to repeat the effect for multiple audiences and I would have like to have seen that addressed because if Dee Christopher uses this effect with any regularity it must be an issue he has run into.