Friday, August 21, 2015

Bizarre magic not really it's own form of magic.

Theres an old post on here somewhere about what bizarre magic is but I've changes since then. The thing about bizarre magic is that I think it's more a theme now then a style. There are no bizarre magic effects. To me I've notice that most bizarre effects are just some other styles effect with a odd presentation. Take a look at one of the review I did recent for 3 whishes. It's a nice prop with a great story but it's just a copper silver trick dressed up nice.

I'd like to say that it as a style requires more out of a performer than other methods but I think that really most magicians are crud. Like Sturgeon's Law says 90% of everything is bad. Fact of the matter is you don't have to be good performer to do good magic. I remember at one party I was at this guy I don't know comes up to me and takes out a playing card out of his wallet and tells he's kept it there ever since I did the magic. I guarantee whatever effect it was I did was crap. But it was still amazing enough for this guy to carry a reminder and bring it up. I can do way better stuff now. So like all other forms of magic the better a performer creates more magic. That said on the whole most of the people I know that focus on the bizarre side are little more focused on acting ability than on a perfect vanish.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Props do I need them.

There is a saying that anyone one can perform Hamlet with a skull but it takes a true actor to move people with a canon ball. And while I know that I can use all the help I can get setting the mood I just love props as they are I'd own them even if I didn't want to perform. I like to set up little wunderkabinett style display around my living area.
Most of the props in that picture all except that planchette were made by me. None of them have an outright magical use, they're just for ambiance.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lebanon Circle's 3 Wishes / Lycanthrope Moon



3 Wishes 3 coins 3 effects. Turn around from ordering to receiving was not too bad seeing as it had to cross an ocean. And the coins, images fail to capture their beauty. I was one of the early orders that got extra practice coins which look like ones that were rejects from the plating process. I kind of want to plate one of the extras in copper.

As for the effects they are very clever and run the gamut from pure story telling to a bit knuckly. The first effect is appropriately called 3 Wishes, in it you tell the story of child that wanders into the woods and ends up face to face with a fairy who give her a choice of one out of three wishes which corresponds to a colored moons. The effect is based on Docc Hilford's Nightmare Coins which in turn is based on the ubiquitous uncle pulling coins from behind your ear as a child. I think the tale they give you to tell could stand on it's own without the effect. Though I feel it does have a down side, there is a chance that if you perform for a single person and they pick the wrong wish there is no good ending for the magic side. Lycanthrope moon is basically a bit of wolf lore that turns out to prove the participant is possibly a werewolf. It's interesting and straightforward but lacks the level of story telling in the first one. The last effect is listed in the pdf as a bonus. It's called Clair de Lune and it's move heavy by comparison, not difficult moves but they were initially awkward for me. It's about moon light and it's effects, you start with two silver moons that change one at a time into two gold moons and then end with one of each.

In addition to the coins there is a nice wooden box, I did have spot of trouble with the box it's held close by two sets of magnets one of the magnets pulled it's partner out of it seating but it was relatively easy fix. The PDF also cover some extra slights and instruction for a hold out. Under certain lighting conditions the silver and gold can be hard to tell apart, the PDF say this is intentional but I'm not a fan.

Definitely not cheap but it is important to remember it is actual silver and gold involved, it is also important to keep in mind you are purchasing a utility item, and that with some imagination you could have way more routines for it than just those provided. That said I am happy with my purchase,

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunless Sea's and a lesson it teaches

Sunless Seas is a 2D top down ocean exploration survival game with a focus on story telling. It's a rouge like, for those unfamiliar with this term a rouge like game is one where your characters death is the end of the play-through. With each death you start over and the world changes from what it was last time.

How is this relevant to magic blog, well as I said Sunless Seas has a focus on story telling and when you die you're faced with running stories you're been through before and you die a lot. Obviously you can make different choices each time and get a slightly different story but either way by your fourth or fifth time you find your self clicking through with the words barely registering. And this can happen in performance by the time you actually get out and perform you've probably said your lines a over a hundred times, told the tale to your mirror  over and over again. Time after time, and now you gotta do it again it's so easy to be meh.

This is doubly true if you're tired or upset, I know I just gone through the motions a time or two when I really want to not and I know my performance has suffered for it. Theres no easy solution it is up to you to find what you need to revitalize a flagging performance.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Inspire Friday

I did a tree reading over the internet and this an excerpt of what the recipient had to say. Seeing as I'm not anywhere near a master of tree reading, I find it inspiring in that it shows that getting out there and doing it is important as practice.

"The reading was very accurate. Somewhat creepy in a way like he's reading through my facade." - S. Silver in response to her tree reading.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bill Montana Penguin Live Lecture

I knew of Bill Montana from the bizarre forums I frequent, I knew him to be a stand up guy, he's just given away so much good information there. His Dark History and Pitch Book Posts are must reads. And he gave me a copy of his spirit bell book for free just because I was curious. So I was surprised to see all the negative reviews on his lecture. I checked on the cafe for reviews and found it to be a bit more balanced, definitely seems a polarizing lecture, people either loved it or hated it. So with that in mind plus my personal knowledge of the man I decided to get this lecture.

After viewing I can see why so many people hated it, but in my opinion those people are idiots. I think the biggest problem for penguin's audience is the lack of a line of standard easy to reproduce effects. Not everything he does works perfectly but seeing as he aims to be real, that's the sort of thing you have to expect from real life. A lot of what he teaches lacks the ta-da moment of the sort of stuff we normally see from penguin. What it does have is the potential for a deeper connection and impact. Take his Pulse effect, where two or more peoples heartbeats synchronize. What's more personal than your heartbeat. Take the effect away from traditional performance venue and over into say a private reading. You do enough readings on readings and you'll see the idea of doing a little something before the reading to help get on the same mental page as the sitter and in less esoteric books it's often some simple mentalism trick. Instead use pulse and at the start tell them that you need to get lined up with them then after say "Two hearts beating in unison and where the body goes the mind follows."

The lecture also came with two PDF's, The Lotus Flower and Psychokinetic Plastic. Both are wonderful ideas that we get to see in use in the video.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Demons in this day and age

This takes place back when I worked in a call center. So if you told me that there are still people that believe in possession by artifact I would think you were speaking of some back water second or third world locale. I would not think that person would be working for Apple in a state capital. But as it turns out one of the people on my team believes her niece and nephew are under the influence of a book of spells that belonged to her half sister's great*?-grandmother, who was apparently a witch (not surprisingly that an automatic bad thing ). To be fair the book is supposed to sufficiently spooky looking and the kid are doing some weird sleep walking stuff.

And two other people on the team have personally witnessed an exorcism.

And for those curious about the 2 cents I contributed, when I found her looking up what to do online, I suggested sage smudging and offered to take any witch touched items off her hands.