Archive for August, 2011

Ellusionist on (Sorcerer’s) Safari.

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

We’ve packed up the Jeep and we’re heading off to Canada. Eric’s sitting in the back seat, Jason’s kickin’ in the front seat, what seat will I take? Probably the one aboard AirCanada actually.

That’s right, Ellusionist is off to join the campers at Sorcerer’s Safari this year, where our own Eric Jones is the special guest teacher/performer/councillor. The Director of Sorcerer’s Safari, ‘Magic’ Mike Segal said of Eric “He simply loves magic and would be a perfect fit for camp and the kids. And there is no better way to spend time immersed in the art of magic than with one of your heroes. Who doesn’t love Eric Jones? He’s awesome!” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Mike.

Sorcerer’s Safari is a magic camp run for 8 to 20 year olds, in the Highlands north of Toronto. This year it runs from August 30 through September 4th. Joining Eric as a councillor this year are such other great names of magic; Wayne Houchin, Lee Asher, Eric LeClerc, Shawn Farquhar and many more. You can find more information about Sorcerer’s Safari right here.

Keep an eye out for our updates on Twitter and Facebook about our own time at camp. We’ll be sure to bring everyone back a PineCone. Or something. Eh?

Shin Lim’s ShinSplint kicks up your card magic to another level

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Inspired by the work of Guy Hollingworth and James Chandler, Shin Lim has come up with ShinSplint, a beautiful, clean inversion effect that left us like deer in the headlights when we first saw it.

Based on nothing but your skill, your audience will see four cards turn themselves over in your hand, one by one. Not really your hand, actually — during the “watch this” moments, the magic happens in your fingertips.

No fancy movement, no finger-flexing or flourishing here. All they see is you tilting a fan delicately. And despite how slowly you move, the end result hits them in the eyes. It’s that good. Prepare to hear a lot of people say, “What the…”

Shin, who is a multiple award winner from the IBM, FISM and WMS. has developed a twist on the inversion plot that people will demand to see again. It’s impromptu — there’s no gimmicks or gaffs here, only your skills. It’s flexible enough to work into your presentations — use it to lead into a Travelers or Collectors routine. Or just do this, and leave them in a state of awe.

ShinSplint is available as a download right now.

Our Biggest Release in 5 Years and what it’s got to do with Magic Live

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

That, is Eric Jones – demonstrating a little something we’ve codenamed ‘That thing’. ‘That thing’ happens to be our biggest, exclusive release in 5 years. It’s been developed  in house by our very own Jason Brumbalow, and it’s been kept under wraps for the last year. It enables you to do things that no other ‘that thing’ has done before – and it arrives in store in just over a month’s time. For Magic Live attendees though – it arrives for you, Today. To quote Apple – this changes everything… Again.

This year’s Magic Live marks the 20th year of Magic Magazine, and the 5th year of the convention itself, and having been to previous years – there was no way we were going to miss an anniversary year. We’re set up in the dealers room at the Orleans Hotel, drawing straws to see who’s going to be manning the booth. Who’s going into watch the shows. Who’s going to watch the lectures. Who’s going to stack a plate full of lobster-sized shrimp at the famous Las Vegas Never-Ending-Buffet Tables and bring it back for everyone else. Yeah, the important questions.

This year we’ve got some new Swag to giveaway to a few lucky Magic Live attendees who pop their head in and say a friendly ‘Hi’ to us at the booth. Us being Jason Brumbalow, Eric Jones and Peter McKinnon. Oh – and some guy called ”Brad Christian.” You might have seem him on a DVD… or ten. Swing by and get your name in the draw – we’ve got some Gold Arcanes, Red Artifices and a few extremely rare Gold Artifact coins to giveaway. We’ve also got some new, 100% Biodegradable, nicely printed bags so you can cart away your goodies – either those you win, or those you buy at our table. The guy who makes them said they’re made out of Potato Starch… They got us hooked – but we think they could do with a little salt.

So if you’re in the area, come on by and check out ‘That thing’. Check out Eric’s bottomless palms. Ask to see Jason’s surf rash. Rub Peter’s amazing technicolor beard (we hear it’s the genius behind the camera work) – or ask Brad how he’s managed to get by so long without an iron at home. Magic Live runs from August 14 to 17, at the Orleans hotel, Las Vegas.

Magician uses skills to get thieves arrested; other handy things we do

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

David Alnwick is the MAN. Dude used magic to get some thieves arrested. He recognized some thieves while performing at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, called the cops then stalled one of them for five minutes by performing for them. Kirsty Topping, of the Daily Record, has the full report. Our favorite part was when Alnwick said this:

“I have to confess I took great pleasure in asking him ‘Is this your card?’ at the precise moment he was ushered into the back of a police car.”

Stones, he’s got. The story got us thinking about other things a magician’s abilities could do if put to the test:

Catch liars: We can instantly think of three TV shows based around this very concept. But, you know the old saying — you can’t BS a BSer. Magicians are familiar with how people react when they lie, so spotting them isn’t too difficult for us. That makes us very handy when dealing with salesmen, government officials and other magicians.

Think on our feet: Tricks go wrong, and we have to recover. Some crashes are less painful than others, yet our audience has no idea we goofed (we hope.) That comes in very handy for way too many situations to name, but one of the most practical applications would be negotiating awkward social situations.

Learn anything: So, it might not happen as quickly as Neo learns jujitsu, but magicians are pretty good at hitting the books and putting knowledge into practice. That makes us incredibly valuable around the workplace, for one.

Plan the perfect date: If magicians can plan out a full routine on a stage, or pack their gear in their pockets so well they can handle a strolling gig, how easy is it to plan the perfect night out for a special someone? Way too easy. Picking the right restaurant, planning the right things to say and charming her is like breathing to magicians. And if anything goes wrong, read the second bullet point again.

What do you think we missed in this list?

New York Magicians : Sparks of Life

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

New York Methodist Hospital

New York Methodist Hospital is looking for some altruistic magicians to donate a little bit of their time to help patients in need. That is all. They’re looking for magicians who can give moments of astonishment to entertain patients who could do with a smile, in both the rehabilitation rooms, and the infusion center where they receive chemotherapy.

We think it was Patch Adams who said something about Laughter being the best medicine (mainly because most of our research starts and ends with Robin Williams movies). We also think he was wrong, or at least – not entirely right. Laughter’s important, but hope and wonder is where it’s at – and we think Magic gives patients that unique gift that no other artform can. Which is why we’re asking if there are people in our community who are willing to donate their skills to New York Methodist, even if it’s just for a few hours.

You can make a day of it. See Sunny Brooklyn. Catch the F Train. Miss the F Train. All that stuff. For further details and to apply, get in touch with Amanda at New York Methodist, here.

We’re very much behind the ‘using our skills to help others’ bit, so as a thank you to those who go out of their way to donate their time, we’d like to send you a little something too, as a token of our appreciation. We’ve got 5 such tokens to give away. It’s nothing compared to the appreciation you’ll receive from the patients, nor is it as good as the gift you receive yourself for helping others in need, but – it’s a gift from us because we truly would appreciate your contribution. We’ll be in touch with New York Methodist to get the details of those who graciously volunteered and brightened the day for their patients.

Did you know?…

Jason ‘JBone’ Brumbalow, lead designer and VP of Ellusionist, spends a few hours on Fridays as often as his schedule allows, performing magic for children at the local hospital. Read more about it in this post. Even if you’re not based anywhere near New York – take a day and go visit your local hospital. Volunteer to perform some magic for the patients.You’ll get as much out of it as the patients will.