Archive for August, 2008

XB2: What has you stoked?

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

De’vo vom Shattenreich’s Xtreme Beginnerz 1 was filled with so many crazy, over-the-top moves. The video has inspired thousands to look at a deck of cards in a completely new way.

Thanks to the upcoming Xtreme Beginnerz 2, we’ll never look at dice or pens the same way again, either.

So, what are you excited about? The talented guest performers (including Jerry Cestkowski, Daniel Madison, Angela Funovits and others)? Stacking dice in a deck of cards? Spinning a pen in your hand with the skill of a martial-arts master holding a weapon? Throwing a card with damaging power? New, insane XCM moves?

Keep in mind that teasers for XB1 didn’t reveal all the moves and flourishes in that video. There may something else that blows all those other things out of the water. Find out Tuesday…

Until then, what are you anticipating the most?

New playing cards help solve cold cases

Friday, August 29th, 2008

For years, playing cards have helped people multitask. With the right deck, players can identify an airplane by its silhouette, wanted war criminals and geographic details.

Chalk up another use: Solving cold cases.

Florida law enforcement officials have designed a deck meant to help solve unsolved murder and missing-person cases. The deck features 52 of Florida’s unsolved cases — each card has a picture and relevant case details. Each card also has an 800 number, which someone can call if they know anything about the case.

The decks are given to inmates and supervised offenders in Florida’s legal system, which is about 206,000 people, according to numbers in this news release published by WCTV. The decks are also for sale to the general public. From the release:

“People are often fearful of providing information on criminal activity – especially in a prison environment,” said Florida Association of Crime Stoppers President Steve Rowland. “Our greatest hope is to continue to gather the missing information needed to bring closure to so many grieving families in Florida.”

Previous editions helped solve two cases. The third edition of Florida’s statewide deck was released today.

Indian magician’s street-magic show catches on

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Photo courtesy Times of IndiaHalf a world away in India, street magician Ugesh Sarcar is making major waves with his show, “3rd Degree Burn.” The Times of India reports that Sarcar, who has already featured the band Indian Ocean!, taught Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra a few tricks for today’s episode.

His show appears on the Bindass network; its CEO said that Sarcar is making the first show of its kind for Indian TV. However, the show is not Sarcar’s first magic performances for the network. He used to do fillers and commercial promos. Incredible audience response, according to the story, is what triggered Bindass to give Sarcar his own show. From the article:

“I work with common man on the streets without doing an audition or looking at the qualification of the individual, which is an amazing aspect of this art form. It helps create the real big magic.”

From fillers to his own show. That wouldn’t be happening unless people wanted to see good street magic. That point is like an ambitious card routine in this blog, as of late: It keeps jumping to the top.

Bindass has posted a few clips from the show. In this video posted on YouTube, our gravebound friend from Ellusionist’s Bicycle Gaff Deck makes an appearance (video quality herky-jerky and not very good).

Spectators want to see more

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

We already know that David Blaine is going to put more magic into his upcoming ABC special, “Dive of Death,” than has been in the last few specials. As it turns out, Criss Angel plans putting more magic into season No. 4 of “Mindfreak,” on A&E.

Justin Robert Young at iTricks was at Angel’s building-implosion stunt. He snagged an interview with several of his creative team, including Ben Seidman, who said that two full episodes this season would be dedicated to closeup magic. From the Aug. 4 Magic Week in Review podcast:

“Although (Angel) is great at closeup, he hasn’t had all of the experience that other closeup magicians have had. So watching him work, starting out as a terrific (stage) magician, but then working his *** off to become a really amazing closeup magician has been great. It’s been inspirational watching the amount time he has dedicated to practicing, and he is learning things beyond a lot of closeup magicians.”

Seidman said to watch out for a trick where a deck is dropped in a pond. Every card will melt away except a spectator’s chosen card.

Over the last several months, magicians have criticized both Blaine and Angel about focusing more on stunts and less on magic. The fact that both of these powerhouse magicians making changes means the viewing public also wants to see more magic.

That means — and this ought to get you excited about hitting the streets — that spectators are hungry to see more.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there. Show them your art.

Fire , Money and Electronics – few of my favorite things

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Branded by Tim Trono

If you’re into playing with fire (better yet, flash paper) then put it to good use. How about burning your fingers so bad that they blister up right in front of your spectators? Not my idea of a fun Saturday night either, unless of course the blisters looked just like the card my spectators were thinking of. Enter “Branded” by Tim Trono.

Branded by Tim Trono


Extreme Burn – By Richard Sanders

It’s easy to get the wind pulled out of your sail when you break out a pimp-roll and all you have is a roll of one dollar bills. We’ll, I hope someone is watching when you give them a flick and they turn into all $20 bills, or $50’s…. yep even Benjamin’s are nice too. The bill switch is a classic, but this is so visual, it’s sick. Richard Sanders has turned ‘ye-ole bill-switch’ into an effect that is, bluntly, eye candy. Check the Extreme Burn demo.

Thanks, Richard. I’ve started paying cash with more and more stuff just so I can have the chance to do this in public. The credit card industry should be worried.

Extreme Burn by Richard Sanders


Magic with the IPhone

Iphones are obviouly capable of many things… camera, phone, camcorder, tv, computer, chainsaw, phaser,  baby pacifier, roach motel, the list just goes on. However, my favorite thing it can do, besides ward off evil spirits, is now magic. Iphone lovers, rejoice, you now have to keep an excel spreadsheet of everything your IPhone is capable of.

Seriously… I can’t wait to sit in the doctors office X-raying my own hand in the lobby. I’d better fake a cold.

Magic with the IPhone

Magic with the IPhone