If you are into Memdeck work as I am, you might be interested to know you can get the out-of-print Martin Joyal book as an ebook from Hermetic Press for $20. If you haven’t learnt a stack you might consider this, as you can learn the rules, and it should take you, as the name suggests, around 6 hours. Although you will have non of the advantages of using a stack with in-built features, so it might be worth reading round first. However the book also contains some great stack-independent routines such as a three deck ACAAN called Red, White & Blue. You can read more about the book on The Magic Cafe.
Woody Aragon has just published his new book, A Book in English, this is the accompanying blog, to showcase some videos and anecdotes. I have the book and haven’t yet made it past the tools/sleights section, that isn’t the books fault, it’s just that I can’t stop playing with some of the original sleights in this first part. The Separagon move is superb, I couldn’t stop smiling as I was working through it. I will be making my way through the tricks and will post a full book review shortly, but in short, buy it!
It’s very common to have customers ask how they can make there magic better. While there is no carved in stone formula, there are some practical steps you can take to improve your magic.
Five ways to improve your magic from Paul Richards of Elmwood Magic, courtesy of our friends over at The Magic Session. While there check the rest of the site, watch some of the On Demand Content, and head over to their new facebook page to see the new version of the site.
Helder Guimarães and Derek DelGaudio launch the Journal of Secrets with a manifesto that is well worth reading, and then reading again, then printing out and sticking in your magic den! Inspired by Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth it should be required reading for any magician, young or old, amateur or professional! Can’t wait to see where they take this site, and for the launch of The Ontology Project.
It’s about thinking carefully, seeing past the tricks and seeing what the performer is trying to achieve, magic is and always will be more than just tricks. The tricks are the bones of it, but it’s everything else which makes it watchable. We are not here as magicians to make you believe we are really performing the impossible, we are here to entertain.
An article from Chris Cox about a review of his recent Edinburgh Festival show, and the problem with people reviewing magic.
I have reviewed a lot of magic shows in my time, and I think I am guilty of the ‘list of tricks’ however my reviews where not aimed at the lay public, and as a magician I do like to read what other people are doing in their acts, but have tried to add a bit more of my own thoughts and feelings into my reviews.
I guess that is the crux that reviews are just that, one persons thoughts and feelings of a show, but I do agree that unless we can get past the tricks and look at the show/act as a whole then reviewing magic will suffer, certainly something I am trying to improve in my own reviewing.
Ohio State University Centre for the Study and Teaching of Writing interviews magician and author Joshua Jay. Fascinating, particularly the part where Josh shares some thoughts on the development of his own show, and giving the spectators a peek behind the curtain into the process of magic, a presentational concept I am becoming more enamoured with. Also check out the trick at the end, this might be a sneak peek at The Prism Deck coming out soon through Vanishing Inc.
Secrets of Magic Forum: Are you looking for a magic site with a solid community? At SOMF, we have everything, we do everything, we talk about everything. The rules are simple, help each other!
If you are stuck on a certain effect, can’t get a presentation right, or just need to ask a question, then sign up now!
We have forum sections on everything ranging from Presentation and Reviews, to Coin Effects and DIY Magic. You are entitled to full free speech on SOMF, in-fact, it is encouraged! We take a different view of magic online at SOMF, if you are interested in magic, or are learning magic, or even a professional, you should be able to ask for help and advice from other magicians, without fear of being told “You can’t ask that hear!”.
We are full of magicians ranging from Hobbyists to Professionals. We do get people coming in to just learn David Blaine or Criss Angel’s newest effect, but these people are usually to lazy to sign up in the first place, let alone read through the forum.
It is encouraged to try and help as many people as you can, and in return you will get help yourself. Need some opinions on your newest trick? Don’t have a solid presentation? Looking for that one effect to add to your repertoire? If you want to learn magic then this is the place. Please try and help other members as much as you can, and you in turn will receive help when needed!
Magic Video Blog: The Magic Video Blog was started in 2008 by a select group of magicians who love vintage magic videos. Their intention is to provide an amazing magic clip – every 24 hours. The more they can expose you to great magic, the chances of helping you improve your own magic will increase. In turn, the art of magic advances. And ultimately, that
John G Magic Blogspot: One of my favourite magicians John Guastaferro has just opened a magic blog, if you haven’t seen his products go to his product page do yourself a favour and order everything he has, then thank me later! You can see some clips on his Youtube Channel. John has some seriously good material that is both strong in construction as it is charming in presentation, and his DVDs are among the handful I can watch the performances from, again and again. I’m excited that John is making his way to the Session in January, as I look forward to seeing him lecture.
Melbourne magicians Kamal Bhushan and Dean Atkinson continue to delight audiences in their weekly Magic Mornings video podcast.
The show fuses informative magic reviews, clips, comedic personality and hilarious repartee.
You can watch at http://www.magicmornings.com.au/
The show also has its own online magic forum at:
Time to be Awesome is a new internet TV show from David Corsaro the latest episode is an interview with award winning magician Marc DeSouza and a discussion about magic competitions and what it takes to succeed. Marc was also gracious enough to show them around his collection of magic posters and perform an effect. Upcoming shows include a behind-the-scenes of “Monday Night Magic”, an
interview with NY Coin Magic Seminar producers Michael Rubinstein and David Roth and a discussion with Francis Menotti about theater in magic.
Recently launched Talentainer.com allows entertainers to post videos of their latest and greatest acts in hopes of landing new gigs. Since the site debuted, it has attracted award-winning comedians, magicians and other “event enhancers”.
Talentainer.com is a new video-centric website offering live entertainers an opportunity to showcase a bit of their magic, placing it before legions of event planners who are searching for world-class entertainers to populate corporate events and gatherings, to entertain stadiums filled with fans during half-time shows, to fill cruise ships with masterful entertainment, and to fulfill other venues.
Talentainer.com allows entertainers to post videos of their latest and greatest acts in hopes of landing new gigs. Since its debut on July 2008, the site has attracted award-winning comedians, mimes, circus entertainers, disc jockeys, masters of ceremonies and other “event enhancers” interested in giving the world a sneak peak at their performances, rates and geographic parameters. In fact, within weeks of the launch, a number of famous acts have signed on who have appeared before the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace and on “America’s Got Talent” and “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Overall, the entertainers posting profiles and videos on Talentainer.com are hoping to increase bookings and bring a smile to the world. Landing gigs has never been easier. What’s all the buzz about? Visit www.talentainer.com and find out!
Another story from BoingBoing about a paper just published in Nature Neuroscience about the way that magic tricks illuminate the inner workings of human perception — the paper is co-authored by five magicians, including Teller of Penn and Teller. You can read more in an article from The Boston Globe and the actual article can be found here.
From boingboing gadgets professional psychic Uri Geller and his company Explorologist Ltd., filed a DCMA takedown notice against the creators of a 13 minute YouTube video debunking Geller’s supernatural powers… a video which happened to contain a ten second copyrighted clip of one of his performances. Fair use, in other words.
The EFF representing Brian Sapient made Geller withdraw, and settled their legal battle and also they made him license the clip in question as non-commercial Creative Commons so as to freely aid the efforts of other skeptics.
Tomorrow marks a year ago on the 30th June 2007 that Jack Parker passed away. To celebrate his magic Andi Gladwin is running a week long Jack Parker Video Marathon. Every day he will share a video of Jack’s magic including videos of tricks that Jack only shared with two or three magicians.
Andi’s blog post tells you more and the video’s can be found here, with a great one to start the series:
I’ve seen some of these when Jack initially posted them to TSD but am still really looking forward to re-watching them, I remember at The Session Andi played a couple that I hadn’t seen in a while, and all over again I got that feeling of being totally fried and fooled with Jack’s magic, you too can have that feeling of being a layman again, by heading over to the Jack Parker Video Marathon for the next week!
Foreign BBC correspondent and magician Geoff Harrison has launched what is claimed to be the world’s first magic channel, tvmagicians.com.
The site, part of Global Digital Broadcast’s IPTV network Play TV UK, will feature magicians’ showreels, effects demonstrations, industry secrets and related material.
The site will host sub channels on jazz, independent films, nightclubs and other entertainment. Content will come from Harrison’s company TV World Productions and magic specialists Party PR, Club Chiva and Penguin Magic.
Anyone else here on Friendfeed?
In case you don’t know, Friendfeed is a new social site made by ex-google employees, you can see an introduction and explanation on Wikipedia:
Recently they have implemented a Rooms function:
I have setup a magicians room here:
If you are into any of the Web2.0 sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Google Reader, del.icio.us or any of the other 30+ sites that Friendfeed picks up, sign up for a Friendfeed account, add those services and then you can re-share that information or post it directly using the friendfeed bookmark into the magicians room, and share the magic based content you come across on a daily basis with all the other participants who can then comment and discuss the content in the room, I think its almost like having a huge collaborative blog that anyone with a friendfeed account can post too, pulling in content from these services or starting there own discussions, so you get the best of Youtube (you can watch the clips directly on the site), the best blog posts via google reader or tumblr or del.icio.us or people’s twitter comments or Flickr photos or Yahoo Upcoming events etc.
If anyone wants to add me on Friendfeed I am here:
And any questions on how this might work let me know.
Christiaan Lopez-Miro has a new gallery of photos on his site called Smoke and Mirrors, click on the Images link and then Smoke and Mirrors. In his words: These photographs are suppose to be about the moments between the performance. The moments when the magician is simply alone contemplating his/her own craft. They are meant to be very intimate photographs that confront the viewer.
It is aimed at anyone with an interest in magic and has been designed to put many magic videos in one place. They have designed the site so the videos are listed in specific categories, to help you find the video you are after even quicker! The majority of videos on MagicTricks.tv are hosted by YouTube.com
MagicTricks.tv also has a community facility, where individuals can sign up to be members of the site and this allows you to upload your favourite magic videos to display to the rest of the magic community. The videos available on this site are able to be linked to other social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.
One of the top advantages of using www.MagicTricks.tv is that the search facility has been specifically designed so it only finds magic related videos, instead of the YouTube search facility which displays all videos with relevance to the key words. Example of this would be, a MagicTricks.tv member types in De Kolta Chair – MagicTricks.tv only brings up videos where a person vanishes from the chair where as YouTube.com can bring up anything to do with chairs.
If you have a favourite magic related video, join the site and upload it today, they will be rewarding members for uploading their videos and number of views per month. Keep watching for more details on these special rewards.