The other day I popped into my social media and it suggested I be friends with this guy. He’s rocking the “Yellowface” to do the linking rings. This a super lazy presentation approach, and definitely not a modern one. He puts on the outfit to do the Linking Rings.
Let’s take a step back and look at him trying to honor Asian culture. He didn’t do any research on it. There’s no evidence that the lining rings came from china (source: Genii online). So aside from the rings being from China, why is he wearing the clothes? Based on this article which reviews him doing the rings, I can’t find any reason why he’s wearing that robe in his presentation. I hope he wasn’t using any of the “I learned this from a great Chinsese magician…Fu Ling Yu” lines.
We as magicians need to move past this sort of stuff. You can do the Linking Rings without putting on robes.
I will say that I do have an out of context view of what’s happening as I’m just seeing a facebook picture, however the article I read seems to confirm what I’m thinking. In my heart, I hope he’s doing a thought out presentation that’s respectful…
A while ago I picked up a used copy of Howard Hamburg’s D Lecture notes. One of the things the mentions in it was that Dai Vernon didn’t like was kicker endings. Vernon’s thinking was here’s the trick I’m showing you, and now here’s something completely different that doesn’t make sense…ta-dah!
Now let’s fast forward to a magic video that was posted in a facebook magic group recently. Watch this:
Did he get your card?
He didn’t find mine.
Now let me tell you what’s wrong with the video of the trick:
First of all, he didn’t find my card! If you tell me to pick a card and don’t find it, I don’t care what else happens, it’s going feel unresolved.
Next, the switch out of the pocket is sloppy. It may work in a in-person context where you are talking to people, but not in a video with zero presentation.
Finally the reveal of the fan of cards changing is just bad magic. When the hand holding 4 cards drops out of frame multiple times and for an extended period of time right before you reveal the change, it’s just not good magic.
Add these up and it’s a bad presentation of a trick.
This trick needs a presentation that’s not a promise that will be unfulfilled (unless you get lucky). Also, t he performer needs to be aware that their need to keep their props in frame. It doesn’t matter if you don’t need to drop out of frame or not, it detracts from the magic. Or if you do need to move out of frame, try to hide it and don’t to it immediately before the reveal.
Most magicians have drawers full of magic that they don’t use. Stuff they’ve bought and for whatever reason ends up in a drawer never to be seen again. I used to have that, however a couple years ago I decided I was going to actually use all of my props…at least a few times. I’ll … Continue reading “Use Everything…”
Most magicians have drawers full of magic that they don’t use. Stuff they’ve bought and for whatever reason ends up in a drawer never to be seen again. I used to have that, however a couple years ago I decided I was going to actually use all of my props…at least a few times.
I’ll do the tricks from the “magic junk drawer” at about a dozen times. The goal is to learn what I can from the prop before throwing it away. Occasionally I’ve been surprised and something that I thought was junk became a keeper.
I think the reason a lot of good tricks end up in drawer is because the price to prop ratio is bad. What I mean by that is if you paid $50 and they gave you a blank card your mindset is that it was a rip off. The trick’s value when performed could be much higher!
However the majority of the tricks are simply bad tricks that someone either loved enough to sell…or was greedy enough to sell a bad idea. Bottom line is that if it doesn’t work for you after you’ve done it about ten times, don’t keep it!
It always cracks me up when magicians complain about a magic trick becoming too mainstream. Certain magic tricks become “pitch” items for magic shops. They become pitch items for several reasons, the mains ones being that they are visual and easy to do. Most of the tricks pitched magic shops are things like Svengali Decks or Scotch … Continue reading “When a Magic Trick Stops Becoming a Magic Trick…”
It always cracks me up when magicians complain about a magic trick becoming too mainstream. Certain magic tricks become “pitch” items for magic shops. They become pitch items for several reasons, the mains ones being that they are visual and easy to do.
Most of the tricks pitched magic shops are things like Svengali Decks or Scotch and Soda, both easy tricks and fairly visual when done correctly. Then there are tricks that are just visual, but have a high profit margin, like the UFO Floating Card. This is not easy to do, but the profit margin is soo high, even if you get a few returns it’s no big deal.
Then there are tricks like D’lites, which are visual, and easy to do. They took off, and there were pitch carts in malls selling them. They’re a great trick…but not longer a great magic trick. They’ve become just another toy, here’s a version being sold for a few bucks:
Every kid has seen these, and guess what, so have parents. If you have a D’lite in your show and aren’t using it in some very unusual way, you are just showing your audience a toy. Essentially you are up there playing with a GI JOE.
This is not magic.
TLDR: Be better than every 8 year old in your audience and drop your D’lite routine.