Nov 16, 2010

"Sleight"-ly Heavy Magic

When I was starting in magic, I always believed that I should learn all the sleights to become very good with my craft. In time I learned these sleights and through the years, I favored those that looked more natural and much easier to do.

I remembered before that my DLs were really very obvious, until I worked out a way to make it look more natural. It even helped me do a perfect TL and now it almost goes unnoticeable even by the most scrutinizing viewer.

Now I've learned to abandon the other "fancy" sleights that I have learned (e.g. Clip Shifts, Hypnotic Cuts, etc.) for more natural ones and those that could be done slowly. I favored those, since in this way I could focus more on the presentation which is what magic is all about.

I'm not saying that we should all go for self-working and no sleights magic tricks, what I'm saying is that when it comes to sleights, the best ones are the ones you are comfortable performing with.

Sep 22, 2010

The 2 out of 8 rule

I've read a text by Scott Adams on his Book The Joy of Work. This is about bringing humor to the workplace. He cites that if there are 2 of at the 6 types of humor then it would really be funny. I think that the same rule could be applied to magic.

In Magic there are eight basic effects namely:
1. Production
2. Vanish
3. Transformation
4, Transposition
5. Levitation/Animation
6. Prediction
7. Penetration
8. Restoration

I think that a trick with one of these effects is good but having at least two effects in one trick makes it a powerful one. The simplest example is when doing a vanish and producing the vanished item in an unexpected place. Another example, when I do a coin transposition in a participant's hand trick, I could use a transformation first before revealing the coin has transposed from one hand to another.

However there are tricks that are exception to the rule. These tricks are usually of the prediction nature. Prediction alone is a very powerful effect. Adding the other effects only arouses suspicion when obviously applied and thus changes the whole nature of a trick.

In my opinion by combining two effects for a trick makes it a standalone piece that could be used for routines. However don't forget to add less powerful tricks, since magic is not all about powerful tricks it's about combining the right tricks to achieve a good routine. Adding the "in-betweens" makes a routine more interesting and more memorable to participants.

Sep 8, 2010

Performing for laymen

I really don't like the term "laymen" being used in a wrong by some magicians. It gives a sense of mediocrity and usually that what makes a bad magician. The term laymen was used to describe the people who don't know how an effect works and that's what give that false sense of security to some magicians. The "Don't worry they don't know" is really just a sorry excuse for not mastering the effect itself. Relying on that thought sets your mind to be okay to do mistakes that might reveal how the effect works in the process.

For this I thought that instead of thinking of doing it for "laymen", how about thinking of performing it for a magician? Always assume that they know what you are doing and in that way you would be force to do it in a better way. Putting this into mind, you would not fall into a false sense of security and your audience would find you more entertaining.

I hope that this have given you a better insight on how to perform better in the future.

Sep 6, 2010

Magic E-books for learning

I actually download a lot of e-books over the internet. Unfortunately not all are good material and worse some are really just a waste of money. I'm writing this post to give fellow magicians advice on the things to consider when buying an e-book.

Tip # 1: Always buy from a reputable site

Buying an e-book is the next best thing on how to learn from books. Getting it from a good website and not from torrent downloads, not only supports the magician who spent time and effort, not to mention cash, in building a great website, but also protects your computer from malware and other viruses.

Tip # 2: Don't get too tempted with the "blurb"

A blurb is more like a testimonial on what the book is all about. Mostly they are true but sad to say some are really exaggerated. Also be careful when reading an e-books description, what you should look for is the content of the book. Try to look if there is a preview of the contents and if possible a description on each effect in the book. In this way you could see what your money’s worth before buying the book.

Tip # 3: Buy a book that suits your level

Most e-books on magic either teach one effect (usually priced from US$1-5) and those that teaches a lot (from US$10-20). Usually I go for the one with more material as it offers me a variety of things to learn and usually it has better effects than those that teach only one. Also if you’re going to buy one make sure that you have a good grasp of the basics in magic as most of these books expect you to know already what the sleights that are mentioned in the book.
I hope these tips help before you go purchase and e-book.

Sep 5, 2010

The importance of knowing and doing well a lot of sleights or moves

I am currently reading two new magic books containing more advanced material for both card and close up magic. Reading these books made me realize the importance on how when I was just starting to learn, I tried to learn a lot of moves rather than the effects themselves. I invested a lot of time studying, dissecting every effect into each move, memorizing them and applying them to other effects (both original and adapted) so that it would be more convenient and natural for me when doing it.

I added a discussion on what I think are the most essential (most useful in a more exact sense) sleights that a magician should learn. I added the discussion since I am seeking more opinions and insights on what else should a magician learn so that he/she could improve his/her act.

I was really thankful that I learned the moves and practiced them a lot since it helped me understand new-learned effects better and made it easy for me to perform something new with minimum practice.

Sep 2, 2010

Product review: Sleight of Hand and a Twist of Fate by Joshua Jay

Image Source

I really think that Joshua Jay is one of the best magic mind out there. His effects are really stunning and the originality of his ideas really make it suit the magician of today. There are a total of nine effects on a 65-page e-book and I think it's worth every cent of it. Honestly, I think this book is suited for intermediate level magicians as some of the terms listed as well as the effects need a better basic understanding on the fundamentals of magic. The photos provide a good view of the methods, however the text related to it could have been explained more clearly. Over all this e-book gave me new insights as well as powerful effects that I will surely add to my repertoire.

The e-book is available for US$15.00 on Vanishing Inc Magic

Aug 16, 2010

My MAGIC Inventory

For the past few years that I've been doing magic, I never thought that I'd collect things related to it. I'm surprised that my magic stuff filled up one big box and I'm thinking of getting another one just in case my collection grows.

With all that I collected through the years, I shared the best and worst experiences in magic with them. I hope that someday I'll become better and share only the best with them.

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