Recently I’ve seen a new phrase appearing on magic message boards in reference to low cost versions of marketed effects - generic magic. I must admit that even though I’ve been involved in the industry for decades this combination of words was new to me, so I was certainly intrigued. After careful study and research, I now fully understand the definition of this new bit of magic vocabulary.
It means knock-off.
Let’s not sugar coat this issue. There is no such thing as a generic version of the Kennedy’s Mystery Box, Masuda’s Wow, or Losander’s Floating Table - just to name a few. They are knock offs, theft of intellectual property...period.
It’s not illegal, it’s just unethical and more importantly - it’s just a dick move.
I don’t mean to be vulgar, but I find the topic a vulgar one. It amazes me that there is even a discussion. Spare me the refutations that this goes on all time in other industries. That straw man holds no weight. This is NOT other industries, it’s magic. A tiny and frankly, delicate “ecosystem”.
You can help make it a healthy one or you can poison the stream to save a few bucks. You have more power than you think, wield it wisely.
This charming and diabolical effect from Chris Congreave is one that I can see being used by countless performers. It’s commercial and strong enough to be part of a professional’s show - but easy enough that it can be mastered by most new comers. The story line is wonderful and it can open the door to real and sincere interaction with your spectator, creating a truly genuine magical moment with your audience.
The basic effect will require a palm BUT the dvd features three no palm methods. Among those, is a lovely approach from Mark Bendell in which the freely thought of card is found in an envelope - in your wallet - and remember that’s using NO PALM!
There’s also a killer idea using an old effect from Mark Leveridge’s called the Utopia Card Frame - I’m certain this idea will make magician’s scramble to find one. I also really liked Lee Smith’s two takes on the routine as well. In one approach, he uses his cell phone to introduce the picture of his child (which means less to carry) and in the other he offers a great reason to hand out your business card!
You get the blank face cards needed to assemble the routine, multiple pdf photos of the child with the playing card, and (of course) the dvd that shares all the info. This is a real world worker that I think any magician would be happy to perform.
Get the full details on Childsplay by clicking here.
There is no doubt that the “Bill to Impossible Location” plot is well traveled ground. It has been explored in and out, by generations of newcomers and working pros. It’s hard to bring something new to this table. But sometimes a good chef looks at that table and starts experimenting with the ingredients. A touch of this, a splash of that, a little longer in the oven. Then he tests that recipe with countless diners – makes changes and tests again. Until finally, those ingredients are transformed into something new and delicious.
Chris Randall is a good chef.
The Inception builds on the shoulders of many greats from Doc Eason to Steve Spill, and Bill Malone to Scott Alexander. But in the end, the result is all Chris.
Chris covers everything you could ever need to know - the shape of lemon, the type of knife, the best kind of marker, and much more. These are details honed from an endless number of performances on Freemont Street in Las Vegas. A routine that has literally been built to withstand the tough crowds of the neon jungle that is Sin City.
The fruit prep is fast and the load is even faster. One of the clever things that Chris has done is change “the moment” making it very hard to know when the dirty work is done. If you saw it performed live, I think it’s very likely you would miss the load. The DVD covers how to work this crowd killer virtually everywhere – strolling, stand up, and stage – it’s all possible. There’s also a great bonus section featuring Q&A with Scott Alexander (creator of the popular Final Answer routine). DON’T overlook this! There are some valuable insights to be gleaned here and not just about Bill to Lemon.
All in all, an excellent approach to a timeless classic - and one that will easily be making it’s way into the acts of many working pros.
Get the full details on The Inception by clicking here.
I trust that all our friends here in the U.S. had a fun and festive Independence Day celebration. And for all our friends outside our borders, I hope you had a Happy Wednesday!
The 4th is a day to enjoy the company of our family and friends - to share great food, laughter, and good cheer. But more importantly, it's a time to remind ourselves how lucky we are to live in country that provides us with such abundance and opportunity. I've always believed that being an American means you have a responsibility to be worthy of that fortune. Hamilton Fish, an American statesman and former governor of New York State said, "If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace."
Sounds like a solid plan to me.
A modern day take on a prop made popular by the late UF Grant. The original version, Mystery of the Pyramids, was invented by Don Potts and has now become almost impossible to track down. Even when it does appear on auction sites, it tends to go for sky high prices. This new release has been made to look similar to a “candy roll” – a great idea that opens the doors to kid friendly presentations.
The prop is well made and comes with an extra wrapper for the tube. The instructions are a bit sparse - but in all honesty the handling is so straight forward and simple, there’s not much to explain.
Some people will say this is more of a puzzle than a trick, and I suppose an argument could certainly be made for that. However, I personally think it makes a great running gag for a kid shows. You can return to it several times and each time the “candies” get the best of you. I often give the trick a bit of “finale” by removing the red “candy” from the stack and covering the remaining stack once more. I then proceed to vanish the red “candy” using a Devil’s Hank held by a child. Now I ask the child to slowly lift the tube, which reveals that the red “candy” has returned to the top of the stack! I find this adds a nice bit of closure to the routine and puts the magic totally in the hands of the child.
Lots of room for fun with the new edition of a true kid show classic.
Get the full details on Sweet Treats Wonder by clicking here.