Bizarre Magick?

Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 in Blog, Musings | 3 comments

Had a phone call earlier today from someone commenting on the strange messages I’ve been getting on the About Magick section of this blog. (Click here to have look.) They seemed to be hinting that this was some peculiar publicity stunt I was engaging in. (Me… publicity?)

I can assure you that these are all genuine posts I have received. They’re doubtless produced by some kind of poorly designed blog-posting spambot and I should of course delete them immediately. Most of them I do delete, but some have been so odd that I thought I’d reply.

No answers yet though.

 

Read More

Why Steve Loves Magic

Posted by on Oct 24, 2011 in Musings | 1 comment

Received an email earlier from the inimitable Steve Faulkner. I think it’s worth reproducing here:

Here’s why I love magic.

Yesterday, along with a few other magicians, I was lucky enough to be performing for the Sponsors and VIPs at the ‘Manchester United Vs Manchester City’ match at Old Trafford. It was great and everybody was lovely. We tend to perform in the suites before the match, at half-time, and for about forty-five minutes after the match.

It’s that forty-five minutes that I was dreading, when I saw that the score was 3-1. Then it got worse. As I was preparing for the post-match session, I was informed by a teary-faced waiter that the score was 6-1. I obviously asssumed I had misheard and there followed a repetitive conversation which pretty much went like this:

“6-1!”

“6-1?”

“Yes 6.1… I want to kill myself.”

“You’re joking… 6-1?”

“Worst defeat here since 1926.”

“6  F*^&)ing  1!?” etc….

I then stood outside the box of one of the main sponsors, AON and was asked if I could “go in and cheer them all up”?

Brilliant.

I prepared, thought of my family, and went in. Now of course everybody was in a terrible mood and I was greeted with the usual, “If you’re that good can you change the score!?” I was honest and said something along the lines of, “If I was that good, I wouldn’t be standing here. Lovely as you are.” That got a bit of a laugh and broke the atmosphere a little.

I then went into the magic and the unexpected happened. They loved it. They laughed, gasped and reacted in the usual way that one would expect from good, strong magic (if I do say so myself). But more importantly, they forgot. For that eight or so minutes they forgot about the heartache, they forgot about the disappointment, and they pretty much forgot about everything. And when it comes down to it, isn’t that the point of entertainment? Whether it’s magic, comedy, dance, theatre, movies, Coronation Street or opera, we need those sacred moments when we forget. It’s easy to get jaded when you are a performer as we get so used to doing what we do. So I’m glad I’m a magician.

It’s nice.

Just a little shared thought.

Steve

A good thought to share. Thanks Steve. (Couldn’t you have cheered them up by reminding them that it’s just a game after all…?)

Read More

Learn How To Perform Magic Like Criss Angel!

Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in Lounging Around, Musings | 0 comments

“Learn How To Perform Magic Like Criss Angel and David Blaine..” Like most magicians with any kind of online presence I get loads of emails with this sort of heading. And I’m getting pretty sick of it. I have nothing again Messrs Angel and Blaine (in fact one of them has bought books from me in the past). It’s the sad concept behind the email headline that upsets me

It really is nonsense! Seems to me that if there’s a problem with magic today it is that people want to perform like Angel, Blaine, Dynamo, whoever… Surely those who take their teaching responsibility seriously should teach would-be performers to find their own style and ‘perform magic like’ THEMSELVES. There are already too many carbon copies of these people and not enough original artists.

Of course we all begin to develop an interest in our chosen art or craft because we are inspired by seeing leading performers. And perhaps it is natural at first to wish to emulate them. Although I would hope that, through our own good sense or the wise counsel of others, we quickly grow out of the ridiculous urge to copy them.

We can learn by watching the ‘stars’; and we should study them carefully. But we must aspire to move beyond copying their style or their tricks. We have our own particular strengths and weaknesses, our own character or persona. The character we play as a magician may not be our everyday self (all performers are actors to some extent?), but I would argue that it has to be grounded within and arise from ourself.

What do YOU think?

(PS. If anyone wants to learn to perform like Derren Brown, give me a ring. We’ve got a couple of books on NLP in the shop….)

Read More

Doublecross Sevens?

Posted by on Mar 2, 2011 in Musings | 3 comments

A question from one of our readers, Magical Mike:

Hi, Does anyone have any information on Tonny Van Rhee Doublecross Sevens (dominoes)effect? I’m not familiar with it. Thanks.

If anyone has any information post it here and I’ll pass it on.

Read More

Neuroscientists Look at Magic

Neuroscientists Look at Magic

Posted by on Jan 7, 2011 in Musings | 2 comments

Thanks to occasional visiting lounger Derek Brake for drawing my attention to an interesting article in the November/December issue of Scientific American Mind. Entitled Mind Over Magic it offers a neuroscientist’s perspective on the way magicians exploit loopholes in the way our brains perceive the world and direct our attention.

Most of us use these techniques without really thinking about them, but it’s well worth looking at what authors Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, with Sandra Blakeslee, have to say about what is actually going on in a spectator’s brain while observing magician and pickpocket Apollo Robbins performing some  simple close-up effects.

 

Read More