Saturday, 29 November 2014

No Matter how you Squeeze, You can't get all the Juice

Time man, there is just not enough of it. I did not use all of my holidays last year so I might book some time off to finish things. A lot of things to finish, of varying subjective importance.

I have songs I want to complete (not too important to do so but I like to write).

Three short stories to finish (again not the end of the world but again I like to write.)

I need to read some magic books but I do find them hard to read. I do not want to seem that I am making excuses but I want you to have some background colour. I am dyslexic. I does not slow my reading but it makes it hard to read magic books. It the weird drawing of hands and them trying to explain the moves you need to make with your hands in text. 

"Start in biddle grip, then with your left hand take your 4th finger and pull the card with the 2nd quarter of the tip of the finger. Bring your finger clockwise while with your right hand thumb pressing on the top of the card. After your left 4th finger has made half its movement push the card up with your thumb. "

Now that’s was not any real world sleight of hand I know of (be funny if it was) but it was to give you an idea what it can be like. At least with a video you can see if you are doing it right. You could spend days practicing the wrong way to do without realising.

My freelance work is going as good as I want it right now. I have a full time job you know, sights and sounds to imbibe and fun times to be had.

So yeah I might take a holiday to get work done. Don't you normally take them so you do have to do work?

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Slot Machines

I saw this guy Click Here man.....
For the second time. I am not one to look up to people. My definition of a hero would not fit yours. People are people. That’s what I see him as, a guy who lives his dream and fights for it. Just in the amount a day he practises shows his fight. Isn't that what a hero is? Not in the sense of "that guy is my hero" but "that is a hero". If I was one to look up to people and put them on a pedestal, he would be one of them. But I am not.

As a hero you it stops being "people are people". You become a symbol, an aspect of yourself. I and my friend Jin talked the other day about becoming a legend and being seen as righteous. He is a guy who deserves my respect, no argument. But he is a guy and I will treat him as such, isn’t that the best way to show respect? To try and connect to him on a level which is human, not a symbol, aspect, concept, idea, perception?

I don't look up to people because I respect them, I like to see people eye to eye.

Well that was my way of saying I think this person is a great magician, and from my two times meeting him he seems like a good guy with a lot of lessons he has learned. That are there for anyone who is just willing to listen.

I went to a seminar to see him speak. One of the best things he talked about was speaking without words. Magician can end up narrating the whole trick as they do not know what to say and feel that they need to fill the space.
"I would like you to choose a card. Now it was a free choice right?"
"Now I want you to put the card back, now the card is lost and there is no way I could know where your card is and what is it could I?"
"Well if I pick up a random card like this, and spin it? It becomes your card"
"Wow, how did you do that?!"

Now it makes sense that in a trick you need to do a lot of proving. Now if I have a card in my sleeve, I need for the people watching it not to know it is there. If I do not have a card in my sleeve I still need to prove it is not there. People who think they know how the trick is done take away some of the wonder of the trick. Now do not think bad of them, even before I did magic I could see how tricks where done. I tried my best no to see and enjoy it but I sometimes saw. I wasn’t trying to ruin the trick for myself and many other don't either.
Simple logic. If you are going to make something appear in your hands you need to let people know your hands are empty (if they are or not). Now Michael did an epic coin trick where he showed us his hands where empty without words. Great. People lie with words. Great liars can lie with their body.
What I mean by this is that people expect words to be deceptive but not body langue. The mouth can lie but the eyes don't. Also it’s great because you don’t over sell the fact. They see it. They do not need to be told and the mouth can worry about saying more fun things like slot machines. The greatest thing I saw from that was proving the fact after the trick is done. I never thought about that. In my head once a tricks over down to the next one. Ok I sometimes link tricks into a routine but again after the routine my mind is on the next one.

Some of the best things are simple. Also simple doesn't always mean easy. Simple doesn't always mean basic. He showed the power of simple misdirection through the power of tension. He showed them to make you moves natural. Some slights wouldn't make sense in the context of a trick, so make every move like what you would do if you could really do magic.

The point is he talked about great things. Things I have made post about. I wanted to ask questions as I felt he had only tapped the surface. Time wasn't with us and I know I would of been there for at least 10 mins with the questions I had (it’s not good to hog the time either.)

What the best thing about him on stage is that you can see that he loves what he does. But on the other side he is so welcoming and sharing his love.
I think everyone has had this and I feel I’m guilty of this myself. Talking the ear off someone about something you love and not realising how they are rotting away with boredom? That’s the knife edge of talking about your interest, your terms can go over their head. You want to explain something quite funny but you need to spend 10 mins teaching them so they get the context.
Again he doesn't talk about how much he loves magic, he shows it. He makes you want to know more, see more.

I don't do heroes, you will never see me star stuck. I will though ask to share conversation over coffee and cake.

Monday, 10 November 2014


I'm writing a short show, an idea to perform in some social clubs to get so theories concrete.

I want people to open up to me. I want a playful atmosphere in my show. My aim is to play some games, now the problem with games is that well as a magician I can win every time. Why put someone through a game that they know they will lose. Why have them playing the part just to show how great you are when you could do that while they sit back. Now being a magician out can do it the other way. Make them win. Again what is the point when in the end of the day they will know that they had no control over the events and it was your choice who wins or lose.
I am asking question that need to be answered. What I am not doing is saying any of these are a bad idea to do. What I will say is that it is a bad idea of you do not start thinking about these questions.

I like to perform Out of this World with the fact that I will give them false positives and tricks. It is an effect where the person sorts the cards out face down into reds and black without looking at the faces of the cards. The game has two sides. It is a challenge for both of us. For me it is to trick them into putting the cards where I want them. I look at the cards and say what colour the card is (I'm not always honest) and they decide what colour they think it and I put it on the pile. Their job implicit. They are there to make it hard for me. They are impressed if I get it all right and feel like they have some kind of effect on the end result if I get one or two or three wrong. There is a reason for them to be there. I could not do this without them. They can't lose, only I can. I tell them I will lie when I look at the cards and it becomes playful not competitive.
It give me and the person up with me time to talk, open up that person so hopefully the rest of the audience open up. I can do this with random people in the audience as well.

This could be boring as the whole set up for the trick is for me and the person up with me to sort cards. If I used the deck I would ask them 52 times to which colour they think it is. I feel that the spaces in between are the best bit if you know how to use them. That’s what I want to learn here how to use them. Make the trick funny, make it scary, make it something. The trick will speak for itself anyway. All the cards will be sorted. I need to trick to speak for the whole show. More importantly I need it to speak for me.

When someone makes a song, they take their thoughts feeling, opinions and experiences and mould them into lyrics and tunes. The music speaks for them, a part of them, and a part of their life that they lived.
Magic does not have to be any different. It needs to speak for me. A part of me. The part of me that likes to play.
The in between parts. I will use this to show them what kind of show it will be, who I am and to break the ice. Magic I feel is a more personal art form. Well it should be. You not sing at people for them to listen, nor are you playing a role in a story while people just watch. You intact with people, talk to people. So use everything you can to deal with the people at hand, don't just use them for no point. When you ask them to pick a card etc just that time, what can you add to make it more than just picking a card. Sometimes there isn't anything you can add, but without questioning it there will be always nothing
 I am not fixing a problem of time with this trick. With tricks that have a long set up you need to try and keep the energy. I want that time for my show, I want that time where people are slowly sorting cards. I am not trying to fix this 'wasted' time between start of trick and the reveal but I am putting it there.

Opening a show. Man I can not think how I will start it. I know the points I want to get to and the things I want to do but I do not know how to get there. I will find out, I will get there in the end but oh well.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Two Time Watch Joint

My friend had a show.

What a good show it was. He spent of a year and considering this is his 2nd real stage show (we did some before but together and duo, but I would find it hard to call it a show. It was more two dudes at an open mic)

Shuffling Philosophies. It was recorded so if he permits then I will edit it all together and make him look like he knows what he was doing.

Shuffling Philosophies. He means to show his way of life, his philosophy. His hopes and dreams, wishes and flaws. Most of all he wants to show he is human. Well that coming from my own mouth you would have to ask him for yourself for the truth, but if I am wrong I would like to think I'm not far off from the truth.

My friend cares for people, but in a weird way. No hugs or words of any really comfort. Nor happy lies or sad truths. He wishes to make sure people live their life as one should (well at least how he believes one should). To strive for something, live for what you love. The show is about showing just that and getting people to consider it (again my own words).

He told stories, shared ideas, talked to a pack of cards.

I had fun (I will not talk for everyone else). I would like to say I do have a bias but it is a weird kind. Of course I will see my friend as good, but I look for every flaw (that how we roll). I did not see many flaws. In the moment I focus on the good side of my bias. How good it is and after I assassinate his work and rip it apart. The balance is trying to stay in the middle and not think he is better than he is and not to only focusing on what wasn’t great that all the good would be washed out too.

- All that was just my way of explaining that I am a little biased to his work but you can trust when I say it was good.

He stated he was not a magician. Now you may think "how the hell can you do magic tricks and not be a magician?" well for one they are just card tricks, mind reading tricks etc. People labelled themselves magicians and it stuck. Just like a graphic designer might say he is a visual brander or web designer. It is still graphical design. Designing graphics and yes they are not lying or anything when they label themselves as something other than a designer of graphics. It is the difference between a painter and artist.

If anything he is just a performer, who uses cards but more than that he is trying to put on a show. Anyone can do magic. Takes time but anyone can do it. It takes a mind set to do art, or a craft. It takes a mind set to be a showman.

I think and again I am speaking for him is that he is just a guy who loves his craft who would like to show his love for it. He is a person who know how he wants to live and wants to live off what he loves. He doesn't pander to the audience, as in he will not just go the easy way out that would make him loves by the masses. He does not want to be loved by them at all. He wants them to like the show not him but he does want them to understand him.