Friends of Magic (The Society of American Magicians)…

There are somethings in magic that confuse me and somethings that don’t. The big one that makes total sense is the decline of membership in magic clubs. There are several reasons why, but the main one is the internet. You can get you gossip, see new tricks, etc online. The second, closely behind the first is most clubs are d*cks to younger people. Old people telling kids who are into flourishes that what they are doing is wrong. It doesn’t matter how you get into magic or what you like, welcome them into the club.

Last night I saw this ad from the Society of American Magicians for the SAM Friends of Magic:

I’m trying to figure out why think selling this is a good idea. It’s all stuff that should be included in your membership! This is like a “light” version of full membership, but being sold as an separate product. Is this trying to generate revenue or increase the Society of American Magician’s membership numbers?

I think it’s ultimately going to do neither.

Chop Cup Load…

Sometimes I think younger magicians don’t give old timers enough credit. The other night I was at a magic club meeting over Zoom and we got talking about chop cup. One of the older members showed us a really cool loading technique that I had never seen before. He used to use it when he did magic behind a bar. The best way to describe it was it was like the Sylvester Pitch done into the cup. It was a really great way to load the cup!

I remember being a kid and while I’ve always loved hearing old magicians talk, many times their moves aren’t very good. It’s not that they aren’t good, they’re just older techniques that have been replaced by better methods. It’s easy to have this cloud your judgement and quickly dismiss what they are doing or talking about.

An example of this is when I was a teenager, I could produce single cards from a back palmed stock in the modern way where you keep the stack behind your hand and peel off a single card. I remember talking about back palming with Mickey Hades and him telling me I was doing it wrong. He taught me to do it the old way of moving the whole stock to the front, peeling off a single card, and then reback palming the stock of cards. It’s a way less efficient way of doing it compared to the more modern way. I can still do it that way (not very well anymore), but more importantly it gave me time to chat with Mickey and that was fun!

If you’re a younger magician, or even an older one, don’t immediately dismiss a magician just because they are older.

Gozinsta-Shot!

I’m finally back home and I have some video of me doing the trick with the Gozinta Boxes that I had been playing with. The effect is a production of two cups and then liquid to fill the two cups. The beauty of the Gozinta Boxes is the misdirection, you can load anything into them. … Continue reading “Gozinsta-Shot!”

I’m finally back home and I have some video of me doing the trick with the Gozinta Boxes that I had been playing with. The effect is a production of two cups and then liquid to fill the two cups.


The beauty of the Gozinta Boxes is the misdirection, you can load anything into them. The first load, is easy as there’s not heat on it. The second one is still pretty easy to do and the misdirection is still very strong as people are reacting to the production.

Be Social…

One of the things that I think is important to do with magic is to be social. Hang out with other magicians, see what they are doing and learn from it. When I was starting out, there was no internet, so that’s how new tricks got around, someone learned it in another city and they … Continue reading “Be Social…”

One of the things that I think is important to do with magic is to be social. Hang out with other magicians, see what they are doing and learn from it. When I was starting out, there was no internet, so that’s how new tricks got around, someone learned it in another city and they showed you at a magic club or jam session.



Here are some of the highlights of the last meeting of the Seattle Magic Club:



Simply knowing what other magicians in your market are doing is HUGE. Personally, it let’s me know what tricks not to do in my show. It also let’s me know who someone is talking about if they saw a magician can can’t remember their name.



Magic Clubs…

Tonight is my local magic club’s monthly meeting, and I’ll be there. In the USA club attendance is down for pretty much any type of club, not just magic. I think the internet and all of it’s groups have created a sense of community, without ever actually meeting someone. For me as a kid learning … Continue reading “Magic Clubs…”

Tonight is my local magic club’s monthly meeting, and I’ll be there. In the USA club attendance is down for pretty much any type of club, not just magic. I think the internet and all of it’s groups have created a sense of community, without ever actually meeting someone.


For me as a kid learning magic, my local magic club helped me out a lot…mostly. It gave me a place to see people who were better than me, and learn from them. I know, you can do it on the internet, however I don’t think the same. Maybe from a technical level, but not a human level.


Magic clubs in retrospect also have given me a lot of bad advice…but so does learning from the internet. I think that’s part of the learning process, learning that some people love to tell you how to do it, when they don’t know. You need to realize who they are and unfortunately you don’t really realize it until you grow beyond them.


Personally I try to go to the magic club because I love magic. I also try to give back to a system that helped me a lot!

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about his before, and I’ll say it again, we live in an amazing time to be magicians. You can watch videos of old master magicians perform, or the new upcoming magicians on YouTube. You can stream a magic lecture from your favorite magician without leaving your couch. While all of … Continue reading “”

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about his before, and I’ll say it again, we live in an amazing time to be magicians. You can watch videos of old master magicians perform, or the new upcoming magicians on YouTube. You can stream a magic lecture from your favorite magician without leaving your couch.


While all of this is great, I also thing an important part of being a good magician is “jamming” with other magicians. Not just demonstrating tricks, but playing with magic. When you play and start “riffing” with tricks, some amazing stuff happens!

Go out to your local magic club, meet some people and start jamming, you never know when you’ll stumble upon the next big magic trick!

Local Magicians…

Last night I was at a comedy show and one of the comedians asked me if I knew a local magician. I said yes, and they had mentioned they were chatting with them earlier today.  One thing that came up was the magician said they had a hard time with the local magic crowd.  Right … Continue reading “Local Magicians…”

Last night I was at a comedy show and one of the comedians asked me if I knew a local magician. I said yes, and they had mentioned they were chatting with them earlier today.  One thing that came up was the magician said they had a hard time with the local magic crowd. 

Right now in the Seattle area we have a pretty active magic scene.  There are three national magic clubs, then a weekly magic meet up that’s not affiliated with any club.  In addition to that there are a couple of monthly “magic open mic” type shows.  

The magician that thinks the local crowd doesn’t support them, doesn’t go to any of these magic clubs or hangouts.  This magician frequently tries to get other magicians to hang out, HOWEVER it’s done in this way, “Let’s hang out.  Come to my show on Thursday, and we’ll hang out afterward“, and then there’s a link to buy tickets. 

If you want to meet the other local magicians, why not come out to one of the eight magic events that happen each month.  The whole “buy a ticket to my show to hang out with me” thing makes me not want to hang out with this magician. 


There are a lot of local magicians who have worked hard at building a magic community in Seattle, one that doesn’t require buying a ticket to a show.  In fact all of them have a component that’s free (i.e. you could attend and never pay a dime).  


The moral of the story is when you support the magic community, it will support you.  

Magic Clubs and Newer Magicians…

I love magic, and I love supporting magic.  I support magic wherever I go, by going to see shows, visiting magic clubs, visiting with magicians, and doing good magic.  One thing that gets me about magic clubs is a lot of the “old guard” are so set in their ways they can’t see past their … Continue reading “Magic Clubs and Newer Magicians…”

I love magic, and I love supporting magic.  I support magic wherever I go, by going to see shows, visiting magic clubs, visiting with magicians, and doing good magic. 

One thing that gets me about magic clubs is a lot of the “old guard” are so set in their ways they can’t see past their own biases.  This isn’t good for people newer into magic.  Frequently at one of the magic clubs in my area (there are three) when someone does a card trick an older magician will say “oh god, another card trick…” outloud for every one to hear. 


This isn’t good for magic.  People get into magic for a lot of reasons, and to tell them their reason is wrong hurts magic. It makes it less welcoming for new people.  

Also, the advice that is given to newer magicians is horrible.  One of the worst pieces of advice when someone tries something new is, “stick to the classics, they are classics for a reason…”   Whenever I hear that I want to ask them to take out their phone and tell me what kind of music is on it…is it classical?  Do they use a Acomputer…or stone a chisel (the classic method)?   

Jim Steinmeyer wrote an awesome book called, Allow Me To Give You Some Really Awful Advice.  


 This book should be required reading for all leadership and pretty much anyone giving advice about magic at a magic club.  They should also read Joshua Jay’s article from Magic Magazine called What Do Audiences Really Think.    

Jim and Joshua’s writings confirm and back up with data why 90% of advice given at most magic clubs is wrong.  Magicians need to be out there doing what they love, and innovating, not living in the 1970’s.  We also need to be positive to newer magicians and tell them what they are doing right, not what we like or don’t like.