Convention Podcast: White Magic Convention in Perm, Russian Federation
Fifteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Jared Kopf, and Francis Menotti:
The Magic Way by Juan Tamariz
Close Culls by Harapan Ong
The Floating Ball by Luis de Matos
Aurora by Scott Thomson
X-Change by Julio Montoro and SansMinds Magic
Noted 2.0 by Gary Jones
Travelling Deck 2.0 by Takel
Holy COW by Chef Tsao
Velocity by Rick Smith Jr.
Infallible by Mark Elsdon
The Opposite of People by Michael Feldman
Senses by Christopher Wiehl
In One: Blake Vogt
Although he is only in his twenties, Indiana native Blake Vogt has been making a reputation for himself as a creative consultant for many of today's most noted magicians, as well as establishing a performing career of his own. This month, "In One" features Blake's own descriptions of two of the many tricks he has created. His impromptu version of a Card to Wallet effect is performed for one person, yet adds an element of mystery for the rest of the audience, who think they know what is happening. T-$hirt is an almost instantaneous transformation of a dollar bill into an origami shirt.
The Monk's Way: Monkey in the Box
The now well-known footage of "The Invisible Gorilla" embodied the idea of intentional blindness. However, it was not the first time I had seen this idea used in magic effects. I thought, This is exactly the kind of thing Bro. Hamman employs in his work. I had seen it time and again as I began paying more and more attention to my audiences. In 2002, my colleague B.J. Bueno shared an unpublished idea that used full distraction to put a folded card into a card box. Why not do a similar thing more openly, more boldly? I thought, Perhaps the gorilla wouldn't be seen. It had to be called: Monkey in the Box.
Loving Mentalism: Sign Language
Being able to just look at someone and correctly guess his or her star sign is quite an impressive feat. Various methods have been devised over the years, the vast majority relying on having the spectator write something down or ruses such as a progressive anagram. This month's "Loving Mentalism" offers a different approach. It's a wholly impromptu way of giving the impression that you're able to figure out someone's star sign from just a couple of personality questions. There's nothing written down and no props involved. All you need to do is learn the script and you're good to go, anywhere, anytime!
Bent on Deception: To Script or Not to Script: That is the Question
It's back-to-school time! And for me, that means teaching. I'm starting my 25th year teaching at Emerson College in Boston. One of the classes I teach essentially functions as a sketch comedy group. We brainstorm ideas, write sketches, revise them, submit them, vote on them, rehearse them, and perform them in front of a live audience. It is hands-on, practical work. It also mirrors what I do with my act. I think of all my routines as one-person sketches, and they're sketches written in script form. There's been a lot of talk about magicians and scripting. Is scripting good or bad? I believe scripting is a great idea and a horrible idea at the same time. Let me explain.
Classic Correspondence: Lloyd Jones to Dave Fiscus (Part 3)
We return with Lloyd Jones' letter to Dave Fiscus, written in 1958. This third and final installment again represents a master's thesis on the state of the magic world in America during the middle of the 20th century. Lloyd continues to point out the pros and cons - well, mostly cons - of becoming a full-time professional magician.
For What It's Worth: The Great American Suitcase Act
When a great artist tries to create a great piece of magic, he or she must ask: Am I creating wonder? Am I true to myself? Does this separate me from all the rest? And yet some of the cleverest magicians I know, the ones who seem to work all the time, often ask themselves a different first question: Will it fit in my suitcase?
Walkabout Soup: The Great Australian Rope Drought of 2008
It's a well-established view that many of the best rope routines involve genuinely cutting the rope - which means they also involve keeping one's rope stocks topped up. Before 2008, that was easy. Rope was cheap. Rope was plentiful. Rope was so easily available that most people didn't bother keeping stockpiles of it. Then the dark days came. In early 2008, the factory closed. The Australian magic industry was plunged into a sudden and severe rope drought. Magicians realized too late that they had become overly reliant on a single supplier.