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As Pierric stood backstage before his FISM-winning close-up act, much of his life flashed before him.
The 48th Annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show honored and entertained in just over two hours.
Thoughts and actions on creativity and problem solving from a dedicated magician and researcher.
A background in magic helps Mike Elizalde create special effects for movies, and more.
How do you turn your act into a show? A theatrical backdrop will get you to the next stage.
(Available for subscribers only at M360)
Eighteen products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Jared Kopf, Jim Krenz, Francis Menotti, Peter Pitchford, John Wilson:
Framework by Tom Frame
I.D.D. by Chris Rawlins
Jack by Rus Andrews
Buried Alive Every Afternoon
Burned Alive Every Evening: The Life of Lester Lakeby Julie Schlesselman
Symbol by Steve Cook
Priceless by Michel Huot and Richard Sanders
Calculated Risk + by Michael Murray
Premise and Premonition by Luke Jermay
Hello Sucker starring Harry Anderson
Numberic by Taiwan Ben
Forces, Peeks, Stacks & Gaffs by Scott Creasey
Undercover Matrix by Mariano Goñi
Nine by Luca Volpe and Alex Le Fanu
Jump by Jordan Victoria
Killer Window by Brancato Merlino
Psycho by Iñaki Zabletta
The Vanishing Ring by SansMinds Magic
Lucky Card by Magic Tao
Throughout the text of Mel Mellers new book, The Travelling Trickster, Mel gives his advice on all aspects of performance, including audience management, misdirection, how to put an act together, creativity, the six rules of comedy, practicing, hecklers, and entertaining children and families. His routines and ideas, most of which are simple to do, include the two effects excerpted here: Card Plucking and Eye Test Mindreading.
With a reputation as a “magicians’ magician,” Daryl’s ideas and techniques have been presented in books and on video. After more than thirty years, the 1980s cult-classic publication For Your Entertainment Pleasure is available again, with brand new photos, new layout, and additional material. This work is a fine example of Stephen Minch’s early writing, and the material showcases Daryl’s transformative imagination, helping set the tone for what card magic would look like in the ’80s, and beyond. While the book focuses on card magic, here we present one of Daryl’s signature sequences with coins.
The Best Trick Ever is inspired by a Robert Harbin effect in which he balances a cigarette on the blade of a knife in an impossible manner. My take on the effect changes it to a feat of equilibrium. And by switching the cigarette to a soda straw, a whole lot of handling procedures open up. Harbin loved tricks that could make you look like an expert at balancing or juggling, and I’m sure he would have loved this.
This month’s mentalism item is a pocket effect you can carry with you and perform anywhere you like. It’s an effect with four cards bearing the words Fantasy, Illusion, Dream, and Myth. A spectator makes a series of choices and performs several actions in her imagination. Inexplicably, she then discovers that her imaginary actions have somehow transformed reality! There is in fact a series of five increasingly strange climaxes, all reinforcing the notion that imagination can become reality. As a final twist, the spectator’s own name magically appears on one of the cards, which you then give to her as a souvenir.
I missed out on something really cool — the golden age of kid shows on TV, shows like Howdy Doody, The Magic Land of Allakazam, Kukla, Fran & Ollie, The Paul Winchell – Jerry Mahoney Show, Time for Beany(Albert Einstein’s favorite television show), The Pinky Lee Show, The Shari Lewis Show, The Soupy Sales Show, The Chuck McCann Show, and many, many more. These children’s television shows, which aired from the late 1940s to the mid-’60s, were very popular. Howdy Doody sold more television sets than Milton Berle. Soupy Sales was on The Ed Sullivan Show the same night as The Beatles. If you are a serious kid show performer, try studying the golden age of TV kid shows; you’ll be amazed at what you can learn. You’ll learn about character, personality, and how to connect with an audience. The pacing may feel slow, and they can appear dated, but I promise if you sift through all that, you’ll find real gems of valuable information.
The point of inspiration for this routine was Nick Trost’s marketed item, Twisting the Aces. Jon Racherbaumer showed this to me, and I remembered a challenge he gave me years before: to perform Vernon’s Twisting the Aces with no Elmsley Counts, just spreads. Some published versions use spreads but need a displacement count to set up for a clean display. Other spread versions use variations of the half pass and are angle restrictive, particularly when seated. This routine eliminates these drawbacks, allowing you to perform each twist straightaway, seated, and surrounded.
Most of us stumble through a career in magic depending on who calls when, and what pays how much. This is not what an entertainment manager might call “a guided career.” Nonetheless, there will be new magic stars arising, and it seems to me that the most likely new stars will fill vacancies that have been open for a long time. We already have a Criss Angel and a David Copperfield, and a handful of other prominent and promising national magicians. Those jobs are filled. The next big magic star must be “none of the above.” Why audition for a job that doesn’t exist? So if you are considering fame, consider this piece of advice I received from Fortune Palace Restaurant: “Well-traveled paths rarely lead to great rewards.”
For centuries, rehearsing magic in the mirror has been the norm. It’s understandable; you need to see what the effect, sleight, or technique looks like in order to be able to refine it. However, mirror rehearsal has a serious fundamental flaw: it makes you multitask the processes of performing and reviewing. When rehearsing in the mirror, part of your brain is focused on performing the sleight or routine that you’re working on. Meanwhile, your brain is performing the entirely different task of assessing how what you’re doing actually looks. It’s like texting while driving — you’re going to do both sub-optimally because you’re trying to do both at the same time. Thankfully, the 21st century has given us a vastly superior alternative: a video camera.