Archive for April, 2011

Timely training: Cram in extra practice during these downtime dead spots

Friday, April 29th, 2011

It’s said on every magic video, by every mentor and almost everyone on the face of the planet: If you want to do magic, you have to practice. Magicians seem to respect that more than the average practitioner, however. We hear it as a warning when we first start learning, we have it crammed down our throat when a mentor calls us out on a flash. Yet we keep pushing, practicing, rehearsing, because we know that practice is a critical part of being a magician. (Because, let’s face it: Your Center Point could use the work, right?)

We’re always looking for better ways to practice, and better places. It’s not easy to quarantine ourselves in our magic workspaces, sneaking in double lifts and passes when no one is around. We’re always on the lookout for ways to INCREASE our practice time. If you’re looking for more places, try these out: (more…)

Harry Blackstone Sr. : Magic Legends presented by Lee Asher

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Harry Blackstone Sr. MAGIC LEGENDS presented by Lee Asher

Harry Blackstone Sr. (1885 – 1965), was a famed stage magician and illusionist of the 20th century. He started doing magic at the age of eight after receiving a magic kit for a birthday present and seeing a performance by the great Harry Kellar.

Blackstone Sr. began his career professionally in his teens (1904) and was beloved as a USO entertainer through World War II, billed as The Great Blackstone. Following Houdini’s death, Blackstone would become the most well-known magican in the United States of America.

Eventually he would retire from touring in the 1950s, but would continue to make television and other appearances for the rest of his life.

FACT 1: Harry Blackstone Sr. appears in his own comic book series.

Harry Blackstone Sr.’s shows mixed small-scale slight of hand and elaborate prop-based illusions, and he pioneered such now-classic routines as the buzzsaw illusion, dancing handkerchief, floating lightbulb, and his unique frames of paper illusion where he would smash his hand through a framed sheet of paper and withdraw various objects, livestock, and even his wife seemingly out of nowhere.

FACT 2: His son Harry Blackstone, Jr. would follow in his footsteps and became a famous magician, too. Harry Jr.’s wife, Gay Blackstone, still keeps the family name in the public eye.

Watch rare snippets of Harry Blackstone Sr.’s stage show – right now!

If you find all of this very interesting and want to learn more about Harry Blackstone Sr., visit his official WikiPedia page. Also, spend a few moments visiting his official virtual grave.

Use of Ellusionist logo not authorized in any ‘revelation’ shows

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

It has recently come to our attention that a magician on a TV show in the Philippines is allegedly revealing magic effects and methods under the banner of Ellusionist — specifically, while wearing a hat bearing the Ellusionist logo.

We have heard reports about a rerun of “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed” dubbed into the Pinoy language. We have also heard reports that magician Bearwin Meily (pictured from one of his previous shows, “Thou Shalt Not Blink”) is involved in similar segments that reveal magic tricks, including some close-up classics. Because he is allegedly wearing the Ellusionist logo, it creates the impression that we endorse or sponsor his efforts.

Ellusionist has yet to see such video, or to hear from Meily himself about the nature of the show. But from the amount of letters and e-mails we’ve received from our Pinoy fans, we feel it’s necessary to make a statement frowning on any such revelation shows.

Ellusionist does not condone, sponsor, endorse or otherwise support any sort of exposure that reveals methods simply for the sake of telling secrets. We do not authorize the use of our logo, training materials or products in such efforts or productions.

Such revelation we consider the highest form of disrespect to the legendary geniuses who created and performed such effects or illusions. Magic has a long history that stretches for centuries. Our current artists build upon the works of those giants even today. While Ellusionist is a company that makes instructional videos, those are produced in cooperation with, or give full credit to, any creators involved. They are produced for the sake of passing on the art of magic to willing students who want to perform and give a sense of awe and mystery to their audiences.

We have been involved in TV shows before, such as VH-1’s “Celebracadabra,” and we know the intense effort it takes to protect magic secrets and methods. Our company or its employees would never agree to any sort of sponsorship or affiliation that exposes magic tricks in such a reckless manner.

Meily has produced and starred in several successful street magic shows, such as “Thou Shalt Not Blink” and “Stealing Minds.” He has had prior friendly relationships with Ellusionist and its staff. So we hope these reports about him exposing magic tricks are simply rumors. We hope that is not what Meily is doing, and we look forward to him setting the record straight with us.

Perform great, win big: iPad up for grabs in Facebook contest

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

In case you haven’t been to our Facebook page lately, get there quick. We’re pushing 24,000 fans and growing quickly over there — quick enough that we decided to give our Facebook users a chance to win a unique prize.

Up for grabs: A loaded, pimped iPad (1st gen.) that features custom Ellusionist artwork and all of our produced videos, including classics such as the Crash Course and Ninja series.

The rules are simple. Blow us away and beat the competition, and the iPad will be yours. All you have to do is give us a great performance. We’re looking for something outdoors, something with a good crowd, great reactions and incredible magic. Other than that, the door is wide open for your idea of the perfect presentation.

To enter, “like” us on Facebook then click here for the rules and to submit your entry.

Speed networking session cures magician’s fear of title

Monday, April 18th, 2011

We’ve all been there. You’re in a crowd and a bunch of people start introducing themselves. They tell you their name and their trade. When it’s your turn, you say your name, but then what? Do you say “Magician?” “Illusionist?” “Mentalist?” Do you combine terms, such as “inspirational magician?” Or do you not even go there?

You’re not alone. Michael Kent has felt the same thing. (Although, arguably, he has three titles: Comic, magician and smart@$$.) According to a blog post on his site, he talked about his own qualms with saying “I’m a magician”:

“When I was young and first studying magic, it was difficult to determine at what point I WAS a Magician. After I had mastered one trick? Three tricks? One show? One year of performing? Later, the issue became whether or not I wanted OTHER people to call me a Magician. I always thought being a Magician made me look nerdy, and I wasn’t okay with that.”

But that was then and this is now. He can say proudly, “I’m a magician.” And it’s all thanks to a speed-networking session (kind of like speed dating, except for business professionals to market and network). Because he didn’t have the time for explanations or excuses, he found that the rest of his communication helped fill in the blanks:

“I would let my personality, my appearance and my rapport with them tell the rest of the story. Maybe THEY would go home and say “I met a Magician, but he wasn’t like other Magicians.” I don’t need to tell them that. If I’m a Magician who’s also funny, I would tell them “I’m a Magician” and simply BE funny. Otherwise I’m not telling them the truth.”

Kent’s blog post is a great read that’s worth your time. What are your issues? Can you introduce yourself as simply a magician? Do you still feel that awkward tug of embarrassment or dread that someone will comment about kids?