Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Last night here in Fresno, CA far removed from my days in Las Vegas. I played host on my block along with rest of the kids and parents for a safe Halloween night. The kids knocking on doors looking for candy. I performed magic and strolled along with the kids. It was a fun scary night for all. I even had a toy knife which played the Psycho theme when a button pushed. I even made a kid cry tonight. Opps! That's Halloween, sorry kid you wanted candy... Boo!
Anyway it was nice to be part of the group having some fun with folks that are your neighbors. Years ago a friend of mine would have lasers and fog in front of his home. I would love to do that but time was short to plan for it. Maybe next year. Either way I hope you made a bunch of kids happy last night .........BOO!
Here are 5 items I would be honored to have in my show, hope you agree.
The Orange Tree
Those that know of the history of Robert Houdin's Orange Tree will get a kick out of this. Magician enters with a sketch pad talking about his new work as a artist. First drawing is just a stick figure, second drawing a little better. The last drawing is that of a Orange Tree only no oranges. The magi then makes the oranges appear in the tree. Turning the pad sideways the oranges fall out of the pad. Very visual and you can even make it orange juice or othe fruit real or fake. This is the kind of magic I like visual and open for many types of performances. Amust have for storytellers or stage magicians
A Sucker for Magic
Our friend Paul Romhany has release yet another of his pet effects. Imagine working a private party all dressed sharp and wearing a necklace with a baby's sucker. Well there is a ice-breaker indeed. You can chat about how long you have been doing magic. Now comes Paul's clever series of magical moves and routines with the necklace and sucker. This is again one way of standing out in a crowd. Folks get to know that your the entertainment for sure. Here is one routine that indeed plays for kids and adults! A sucker comes complete with baby sucker, necklace, and DVD.
Finn John Close Up
Here is your chance to have a one on on session with the legendary magic of Finn John. On this DVD Finn shares some of his best kept secrets. His style of magic is visual and beautiful. Learn his inner secrets on both close up and stage magic. You will learn Finn's work on Elastic Thread, his zombie gimmicks, silk production. To me the price of the DVD has to be Finn sharing his Portable Soap Bubble Gimmick. It is a pleasure to watch a master work, but its more of a honor when the master shares his miracles with you.
Visual Encyclopedia of Contact Juggling
From Matt Olsen comes the most complete DVD set explaining the lost art of contact juggling. When I grew up this style was making a come back due to a amazing juggler Michael Moschen. Michael's hands did the wonderful glass ball juggling in the movie "Labyrinth". That is contact juggling!. In this 4 DVD set Matt has covered every aspect and the numbers of types of objects that make for a great contact juggling routine. I could not believe how much information is on these DVD's. A must have for the knowledge of a wonderful and visually stunning type of act.
Naughty and Nice 3 Rope Trick
Hocus Pocus' good friend Robert Baxt shares with us his take on the 3 way rope trick called Naughty and Nice. Here is Robert's 3 different routines for the Professor's Nightmare. One routine is a sweet family routine, then another is a bit on the naughty side. It is performed to music in a rhyming patter. Then the routine that has taken Robert to hundreds of trade shows around the country. This DVD comes with a great set of ropes for the routines as well as Robert's very clever routines.
Tonight lets chat about close-up kinda stuff. Since teaching the workshops at Hocus-Pocus I have reviewed many things we take for granted in our everyday perfomances. Take for example the very powerful but not used move the paddle move. Teaching the adults and the kids this great move made an instant hit with them. You can see that folks learned this very quickly. Then all the fun showing them to remove the writing off the Bic pen using this move. The classes learned about cocktail stirrers and how you could custom make your own paddles. The paddle move then lead into a teaching of the Flip move (Tarbell 7). With these two moves you can at anytime and anywhere make instant magic with everyday objects.
Then one card move that I personally need to put back into my performances is the slip cut or riffle force. Most of the time I use a Hindu Shuffle force, but sharing with the class I remembered how powerful a move this is. the version I like is to hold the deck in the mechnics grip a riffle the outer left side with my thumb, say stop, and slide that top card on the pack as it gets cut. Extend the hand with the deck foward as you move the top half up the arm. If you know one force then try learning this one just to be able to force a card in a different.
One of the goals in the class was to make sure that each person has a sense of being magical, ready to perform with not to much or no setting up at all. This became a lesson in how to use a coin or a ball and do a retention move. By "placing the coin" in the right hand and having it vanish. Then only to show the left hand empty and then producing it again in the right. Simple in thought but smoothness counts. It is perfoming moves over and over that they are not moves but just habit. No different then getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth.
So many times we rush to get the hot new magic but forget its the time spent to make it look natural. Take the time rehearse each move till you don't have to think about it. Not learning a routine so well would be like hearing a dancer counting out loud as she does a ballet. Not cool.
Take the time to "Be" with the magic you perform, so you can spend the other time "Being with the audience".
Share with me some of the moves and magic you enjoy. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now Practice, Practice, Practice!
Best Magical Wishes,