Archive for December, 2007

Criss Angel Live Show Slated for Luxor in ’08

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Criss Angel Alert

The third season of MindFreak brought a partnership between Criss Angel & The Luxor in Vegas. Recently it was announced that Criss will team up with Cirque du Soleil for a permanent live show at The Luxor.

The rumors I’ve heard over the past couple of years was that the only reason Criss wanted to do MindFreak was to get a live Vegas show. No doubt the TV exposure will help put people in the seats. It’s worked for Lance Burton, with far less TV exposure. Another rumor is that this fourth season will be the last season for MindFreak. I had heard that before the second season and also the third season, so we’ll see what transpires. It would be a heck of grind to do both!

Here’s the press conference with Criss:

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Dashboard Confessional “Thick As Thieves” Card Trick Music Video

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Thick As Thieves Video

Dashboard Confessional ran a contest on MySpace to have fans create a music video for their single “Thick As Thieves”. Fans voted and they recently announced the winner of their “Thick As Thieves” music video contest. If you haven’t seen this video, it’s an amazing display of sleight of hand set to the song lyrics. Kind of like Sam The Bellhop meets the video for Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues. If you look at the video at about the 1:15 time mark you will see Ellusionist’s Shapeshifter by Marc Desouza.

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The Next David Blaine Stunt

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

David BlaineIf the rumor is true, it will be interesting to see how David’s production team will make this next stunt entertaining. The rumor is David Blaine will attempt to break the world record for staying awake. After being buried alive, frozen alive, standing on a pole for days at a time, this next feat doesn’t exactly make you want to run to your Tivo. After all 12 year olds have been attempting this for years!

David obviously feels he has to prove something to himself. He doesn’t have to prove anything to us. Ok, we get it, it’s dangerous. Physicians study David after these feats, and the research may be beneficial. That’s fine, but is watching someone in a bowl of water or not eat entertaining? You can stay awake for days on end on your time, we just want to be entertained.

With his first feats there was a certain air of mystique around them. Buried Alive had the Houdini connection. But the last two – starving for 44 days and sitting in a big goldfish bowl for a week, well it doesn’t have the same awe factor.

Here in the states, we didn’t see the Above The Below special, so I don’t know how much magic was on it, but the last special had very little magic, maybe 5 effects in two hours. Two hours of build up, little magic and he missed the world record for holding your breath underwater.

Since he’s staying awake anyway, maybe they will make it entertaining and actually have him perform some magic so the rest of us don’t fall asleep. The effects that were cut from his last special would be a good start.

Don’t Get Caught in the Hype

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

No Hype ZoneThe magic retail business seems to be reaching a breaking point, however I thought that two years ago and I couldn’t imagine it continuing at that pace. Well it has, and it’s even accelerated.

With all these new products and new “dealers” trying to get your attention (along with the established dealers), we’re starting hear the outcry of “hype”. Customers feel that the product didn’t measure up to the advertising or hype they feel they got sucked into.

On most of the magic forums, the hype tends to be created by the consumer more so than the dealer. Take any Three Fly thread for example and you know what I mean. The dealer/creator puts out the marketing for the effect and the feeding frenzy begins with questions, speculation, and almost a demand for the method.

We’re a predictable market, especially with certain effects – levitations, Three Fly routines and anything “underground”. This predictability came back to bite us in the butt recently with an over-hyped self-levitation that was a ruse for a magic DVD rental company.

So what do you do to prevent yourself from being caught in the hype? It’s simple actually. First take a step back and look at the product objectively. Why do you want to buy it? Are you really going to perform it? If so, does it meet your performing criteria? Does it fit your character, meaning can you really see yourself performing it? Or are you buying it just to know how it works?

This happened to me recently with an effect that came about about two months ago. I love the effect. Everyone who owns it gave it great reviews. I actually added to my cart a couple of times but hesitated buying it and in fact still do not own it. I know how it works, I think the method is clever and meets my performing conditions. However I have no clue as to how I would present it. After thinking about it for a couple of weeks and tossing ideas around for a presentation, I came up with nothing and realized this was just going to sit in the drawer.

Eugene Burger has a technique he uses before he places a new item into his act. After giving the routine the necessary amount of practice & rehearsal and when he feels it’s ready to go in, he waits. He waits another two weeks and gives the routine another two weeks of rehearsal before putting it in.

That is something you may consider for an effect you’re thinking about purchasing, but maybe are not sure about. Give it a couple of weeks and think about how you may use the effect. It may save you from getting caught in the hype and buyer’s remorse.