Archive for category Humor
My wife loves to watch “deals” websites that specialize in children’s and moms’ stuff. Zulily is one of those sites that she recently ordered some items from. Now, I know, I know. It’s not magic related, but I couldn’t get over the thank you card they sent along with her order and I think there’s something we can learn from it. Here, have a look at it:
First of all, here’s a short comment on the design: all of the design elements work well to portray a store that specializes in baby and motherly products. It’s simple yet elegant and is soft and calming. The thing I really liked about it, though, is the copy around the edge of the card which reads:
A simple card isn’t quite enough to thank you properly. You deserve something extra. Please consider yourself high-fived and confetti-showered. We also did a happy dance in your honor. With spins! Still, we want to give you more. That’s why we put a Very Fun Thing on the back of this card.
Of course on the back they put a fun, short activity that you may or may not take part in.
That short bit of copy around the edge adds a fun, light-hearted human element to what would normally have been a bland, yet well-designed thank you card. Personally, I think it takes it up a notch to being remarkable and all it cost them was a little time and creativity.
Consider how we can add that human touch to our own materials. Sometimes all it takes is interjecting a little conversational humor.
By day, I work for a high end grocery store in southern California and we receive all sorts of products that come in to be photographed for our ads. One product was this Planters mixed nut bag that had us all in the office laughing our faces off!
Obviously, they were going for more of an artistic look, showing just some elements of Mr. Peanut. I’ll tell you though, the first time I looked at it I thought to myself, “This looks like a crime scene!” Maybe it’s just me, but I fought the urge to draw in a monocle just for completeness. Or maybe he was robbed at nutcracker-point for his monocle. I just don’t know.
Anyhow, there is a lesson to be learned here: look at your concepts and ideas from every possible angle and have others give you feedback on it as well before you finalize anything in print. Jussayin’.
I just had to share this with you all. I was at Target today and happened to walk through the bargain aisle. You’ll just love what I found!
Let’s face it. Not every magician is fortunate enough to do magic full time. There just happens to be a very large group of us that have normal day jobs that we wake up in the morning and brave traffic in order to get there, punch a clock, do menial tasks for eight to twelve hours, punch out and go home. And not particularly in that order.
Perhaps this is the very reason that there is a sub-genre in magic dedicated to “Office Magic.” Where do you think rubber band magic came from? There is definitely some awesome magic to be seen in the work place. Can you say Karate Clip? My friend Kostya even has a book dedicated to magic done entirely with Post-it Notes! (Which I designed the packaging for.) This isn’t quite what I’m talking about though.
What I am referring to is when you find yourself unconsciously performing slights and magic-like actions throughout your day. Some of these particular actions might even help your work-flow.
Squaring stacks of paper. Yup, you have a huge pile of papers, so what do you do? You square them up, of course! Just like you would a pack of cards. There really is no other way to do it than to expertly pinch the corners.
Springing the index cards. Ha! I caught you! I know that you like to spring a freshly opened pack of index cards from hand to hand. Oh, and you don’t stop there either. No, you even try to get a nice pressure fan going on too. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Just the three people that read my blog.
Rubber Finger Thingies. Apparently, they’re called “finger tips.” Who thought!? They’re those rubber caps you put on your fingers that help you turn pages. A word of advice; these make terrible thumb tips. Don’t even try.
Of course, I can’t forget to mention the “Unconsciously Palming Things,” but that deserves a post all to it’s self!
Is there any thing you do at your place of employment that I missed here? Let’s hear it in the comments!
I think that taggers and magicians are Sharpie’s two largest market demographics…and not necessarily in that order.
Sharpies are awesome! Aren’t they? There’s just so much you can do with them in a magical performance. Of course there is the obligatory having a card signed with the mandatory line of “This is the only card like this in the world, right? Unless you make it a habit to go around signing playing cards.” <SARCASM>We all know that a spectator will never be able to tell their card apart from all the others. That’s why we have them write their name on it!</SARCASM>
For the super-daring, you can always have the spectator sign their own money, inviting federal retribution. It’s a slippery slope though. I’d bet dollars to donuts that in a week that performer will be performing a Smash & Stab with the spectator’s hand in which it gets impaled on a, you guessed it, A SHARPIE!
We sure do love our Sharpies though. We buy them in bulk. We get the extra large ones for laughs. We get the extra small ones for laughs. We modify them for tricks and make them the butt of jokes! “Let me recap.” or “Careful! It’s a Sharpie!” We even buy nice decorative covers for them to make them look “sharp.” -groan-
It’s such a beautiful romance shared between a magician and a Sharpie. May they never part. (Cue romantic violin music.)
Have you ever emptied your pockets at the end of the day only to find you accidentally spent your “cigarette thru quarter” quarter? Sucks doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it is still a problem that we magicians have to be mindful of what coins we spend. It has gotten easier over the years, especially since half dollars are no longer really in use. We know right away that if it’s a half, DON’T SPEND IT! I guess that once coins become completely obsolete that the problem will correct its self. Of course we will still be using our out-of-date halves and silver dollars. See Stuff Magicians Like No. 2.
In the mean time, here are a few steps you can take to help insure that your “unspendable” coins are safe.
1. Take a look at the coins: many times you can tell one of your “unspendable” coins just by looking at them. Telltale signs of cuts or ridges will let you know right off that it’s not to be spent.
2. Feel the coin: if you can’t see one of the “tells” immediately, run your fingers over the coin and you might be able to tell by touch alone.
3. Drop the coin: if worse-comes-to-worse, you can always tell which coins not to spend by sound. Just drop it on a counter top and if you get a nice normal-sounding ring, you’re good to go!
I hope this helps. Oh, and isn’t it great that I got through this entire post without saying “trick coin?”
I was reading The Magic Newswire and came across this post about The Magic Circle preparing to sue EU over forced changes to playing cards. Since this revolves around the design of playing cards, I thought it would be an appropriate post.
Read the full story here for a great laugh!