Posts Tagged Stuff Magicians Like
What do magicians love more than their cards, coins and other performing materials? One word: Pockets! Especially for close-up workers. I doubt anyone knows their pockets inside and out more thoroughly than a magician. After all, we do have to have a place for all of our magic stuff when we go out, right? (See Stuff Magicians Like No. 4.)
Truthfully, pocket management is as much of an art as magic itself. There is something beautiful in being able to have pockets loaded with props without looking like it. Add to that having places to ditch items without fear of them clanking into other props, letting your audience know what you just did, is just amazing. It takes careful planning, routining and a certain finesse to make everything seem above reproach. Of course, on the other hand, you have clumsy magicians constantly rummaging through their overstuffed pockets looking for their hot rod.
I bet we all have a favorite pocket or two as well. On the top of the list would probably be the Topit. I know that I really enjoy the coin pockets in my suit jacket. My runner up is my left breast pocket, where I like to ditch my jumbo coin.
I can also think of a few tricks that depend on pockets. Um…card to pocket? Coin through pocket? Two in the hand, one in the…POCKET? Oh and what about the awesome color changing pocket trick? Okay, I made that last one up. But actually if you think about it, the pockets would theoretically change color in a quick change act where the clothes change too, right? So where would all these tricks be without pockets? They’d probably end up in that weird “Beyond” section of Bed, Bath & Beyond.
So there you have it. Pockets are just as important to the art of magic as magic. Savvy?
(The idea for post came from William Draven over at The Magic Session Lounge.)
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?”
Okay, here goes. What’s with magicians and mullets? For a while there, it seemed like you couldn’t perform magic unless you had a nice luxurious mane of mullet! And we wonder why magicians aren’t taken seriously.
Personally, I think the mullet single-handedly sabotaged public opinion of magic. Mullets are, as you know, alive and have their own evil agendas. They seep into the heads of their wearers and turn the brains to mush. At least that’s what my grandmother said…or maybe that was TV, I can’t remember. I was too busy watching the tube, but that’s not important right now. Mullets are what’s important right now.
As I was looking for photos of magicians with mullets on Google, I thought that having one was a requirement to work Vegas, but then I couldn’t find a photo of Lance except one, below, with a phantom mullet. (Perhaps somebody can find one and post it in the comments.)
Anyhow, here are some of the photos I found…for your viewing pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »
Some of you may know that I’ve been running another blog of Magician Humor called “Stuff Magicians Like.” For now it makes more sense for me not to spread out my writing efforts over multiple blogs. Besides, I think that these little interjections of humor will add nice contrast to the “seriousness” of graphic design and branding.
I’ve already imported them and you will see them if you go back in my posts or view the “Stuff Magicians Like” category.
So there you are. You’re waiting in line at the bank and someone walks in behind you. You glance up briefly, just long enough to notice that his shirt features an Ace of Spades. Your inner dialog begins and it might go a little like this:
“This is the perfect! I just happen to have some cards here. I have to perform a trick for this guy and it has to end with his chosen card being the card that he’s wearing. It has be a little elaborate though, so as not to make it obvious. Maybe I’ll do an ambitious card, then have the kicker be that he knew what card he would choose today. Or maybe I’ll…” Of course, by the time you decide what you’re going to do, you’re called up to the next available teller and your chance is shot.
I think we’ve all been in this scenario. The card is usually an Ace or a Joker. The coolness factor increases, though, if you notice that that they have a tattoo of a card. Then you can add some jokes to the mix, like, “I see you’re on the patch. I should get on it too, I’m up to a pack a day.” Whatever you do is sure to be a memorable moment for the unsuspecting spectator.
I’m not quite sure where I was going with this post, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll be keeping your eyes peeled now for “potential forces.”
Magicians might seem like they are the most vain people on earth. We always have to stop to look in a mirror.
The truth is, however, we’re not checking out our reflections to see how good we may or may not look. We’re actually checking out our pass, our retention vanish or our top change. It’s true and no magician is immune to it. We’re always practicing, always palming, always working on a move so a mirror that just happens to show up is a great convenience.
Oh, and it doesn’t have to be a proper mirror either. We’ll work with any reflective surface we can find. Car window? No problem! Blank TV screen? No problem! Sunglasses of a motorcycle highway patrolman? No problem! …okay, that last one might pose a little bit of a problem, but you get the idea.
There’s all kinds of mirrors out there, go out into the world and find em!
I think that we’re all guilty of this one. How many times have you been out with friends and you suddenly realize that you’re palming something without even noticing? The most common form of this is back palming your movie tickets. In more advanced cases you might find yourself classic palming random small objects like pen caps, bottle caps, SD cards or buttons (while still attached to your clothes).
It’s not difficult to see how this happens; in fact it’s surprising that it isn’t more widespread. We train our hands over and over and over and over again to learn certain moves so that we don’t have to think of doing them in the middle of a performance. That’s where the problem lies. We don’t even have to think about the moves; they think about themselves. It’s like they become their own entity, completely independent of us. This is where we can get into trouble. We could be at a store and “accidentally” palm a pack of gum and not even realize it until we get out the door with our other purchases. Oops!
Other “independent entities” to look out for are: spinning your cell phone or iPod like you would a card, squaring a stack of papers like you would a deck, and practicing wand spins with a pencil.
All I’m saying is…just be careful out there. Okay?
I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “It’s not what we know but who we know!” Therefore it’s always impressive when we mention a famous magician we might be acquainted with, whomever it may be or however well we may (or may not) know them. We always try to make it sound as impressive as possible, yet still nonchalant. It might go something like this: “I had lunch with David yesterday. He wanted to run something he’s working on by me.” Your friend says, “David? David who?” To which you reply, “Oh, Williamson. Sorry.” I mean, what other David could it be? Well, there’s Regal, Blaine… it couldn’t be Copperfield, could it?
We always do it by just using their first name, too. Yup, first name basis, my friends. That way when someone inquires, we make it seem like they should have known all along. “Jack gave me a call. He wanted to know if I could do a week at the Castle.” Or “I got an email from Michael. He’s doing a strolling gig in a couple weeks and needed another magician.” Very off the cuff, yet impressive.
Anyhow, I have to get going. Kostya just called me and I think he wants to talk about some design…