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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Quote of the Week

"Hey guys, I've been doing card magic for around a year now and I have started making my own tricks"

Hey as long as you don't get the stupid idea of selling them you're welcome!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

And within there lies hope!

I wondered, if Marlo and crew have had access to today's modern networking technology. What would they have done with it. Would the crew have spent that much time together in Marlo's kitchen, or would they have been doing stuff endlessly via Skype sessions. Would Vernon have traveled across the world just to meet a gambler who was in the know of some "moves". Or would he just study Youtube for that stuff.

As much as I see the disadvantages I also see the advantages of modern technology and magic. And that gives me hope somewhat. As long as the myth is still out there, that true magic secrets, the "real works" are still kept secret and are surely not found online for free. Did I say myth? That's not what I meant. Forget I said anything.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Please help the guy out!

Harry Lorayne needs money. Right now he's selling a whole lot of stuff at the green meanie.
Among the many items:
Entire Xerox of Wm. Miesel’s Moe and His Miracles - $12.00
Entire Xerox of Simon Aronson’s Shuffle-bored - $11.00
So it's okay to sell xeroxed copies now?

Edit: Okay, after a few of the usual suspects complained to Harry he had all of the follow up posts removed as well as the suspect entries in his list. So does he understand the general problem now? I doubt it!

Friday, 31 August 2012

On Copies

A few days ago iTricks ran a post that I failed to notice, until now. Here is the quick version:
Mike Voltagio claims

“All of my illusions are designed by me, then custom built,[...] You won’t see my illusions anywhere else in the world. I’ve taken classic tricks and put really new spins on them to the point where they’re actually fooling other magicians. I like to push everything to the extreme.”

Then iTricks asked "would a random audience member know an original, custom-built illusion if it bit them in the face? Would they care?"

Here is my simple answer. Of course not. What kind of stupid question is that? The audience doesn't give a flying fuck as long as they are entertained. But this isn't about the audience. It's about the moral integrity of the performer. If he can live with it, so be it. If he can't like Mike Voltagio he will create his own magic.

The sadness lies not so much in the fact that copies are out there in abundance, but there bad copies are out in abundance. Young people who think that if they emulate Blaine, Angel, Piff and Copperfield they will be as cool as them.

But not only that, You wouldn't believe how many versions of Michael Ammar are out there. Or how many Daryls and Christians. (The last one referring to Brad Christian)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Mongrel Passing

There is a discussion on the Magic Cafe concerning the Mongrel Pass by Steven Youell. As you all know the Mongrel Pass is an improvement on the classic pass. Making the classic pass even better. One really dumb magician, his name is Andrew fails to see that.

That Andrew guy maybe smart, but Steven Youell is smarter. And therefore Steven is right and Andrew is wrong.

Also look at all the guys praising the Mongrel Pass. This should convince you, because all of the other magicians on that thread join into the praising of the Mongrel Pass. Naturally they must be smarter than Andrew.

Take that Andrew!

And a bunch of smart people following a smart man can only lead to smart outcomes right?

I'm dumb. I saw a video demonstration of the Mongrel Pass by Steven Youell. All I remember is the noise, the noise, the noise....

The Mongrel Pass compared to the classic pass is like giving a baby battery acid instead of milk, claiming that it is good for the infant.

Aside from the issue... looking at the thread over at the green monster (I will not link, as that usually leads to the deletion of the thread) Steven Youell is getting back into his best shape. He is masterful at  getting others to fight for him. Instead of fighting Andrews arguments, he fights against the man. These ad hominem attacks don't serve the purpose of the discussion.

Here is how it usually works. There is thread about some topic. Steven Youell's work is mentioned in some way. If it is good Steven Youell will agree, if it is bad Steven Youell will fight and round up all of his "yes saying" buddies to agree with him. The person having made the negative statement will be attacked (sometimes even the argument) and then after there are enough post to make Youell the moral winner (as if that is an issue) Youell (most of the time) makes the offer to let that tread die. The person attacked usually agrees.

Then everything goes back to normal.

I wish I was as smart as Steven Youell.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Fred Change

So there is this new magic seller. As always they don't care about making you a better magician, but about getting your money. But I gotta admit the Mystic Factory has a nice look going for it. And by that I mean it looks like all of the other usual suspects.

And one of the first items is the Fred Change by Andrew Csirmaz, a technical variant of a color change by Salvador Sufrate. Needless addition... well actually it's a subtraction. By changing the angle back to the normal mode the method becomes way too apparent. This is a typical case of a step backwards. Not unlike Dirk Losander who took the idea of Tommy Wonder's Floating Birdcage and when back to the ball design.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Winner Michael Ammar

It is April. In celebration of this blogs three year existence, the whole month will be winner time. Only the coolest and best members of our elite circle of nerds will be featured.

Today: Michael Ammar

There are those who are born performers and then there are those who are born teachers. The later are seldom.

Michael Ammar has been around for ages. And you can tell. Watch his looks, as he teaches his Encore stuff and compare it to today. You can see time at work there.

Watching him perform makes me think of better performers. His girlish laugh which doesn't stop his grinning. All too much for my taste. But I do appreciate his perverse ability to teach magic. He somehow seems to know what the core things are that need to be taught and what doesn't. I have seen magic teachers who go way too much into detail and those who don't teach you at all.

Another great thing is his choice of material. There is always a little stroke of brilliance in there. One moment you think, what the hell? Really? A grown man with a balloon. But then it turns into a magic fest. Two years ago David Letterman had a "magic week". Michael Ammar was one of the guests. Somehow Michael Ammar chose exactly the right material for that very special gig. Observe:

There you can see it all. His laughter, the grinning but also a freaking good choice of material for that event. Not over the top, but also some risky things to keep oneself alert and "present".

Being a good magic teacher also has some risks. That being the many clones of Ammar. You can tell who learned mostly from him. They move the same and their way of relaxing is the same. Ammar's performing character is nothing to strive for. But his own material and the ones he chooses to teach are  top notch. Bravo.