Archive for October, 2011

Picking magic for your presentation: Kranzo shares his secrets

Monday, October 31st, 2011

If you’ve never seen Nathan Kranzo perform, you’re missing out. Whether it’s a quickie vid of The Card that Can’t Be Palmed or a full performance of his Mind-reading Crotch, every effect gives Kranzo’s personality a chance to shine. Dude’s funny.

In addition to being crazy creative with magic (lookin’ at you, Box Monster), Kranzilla has a great sense of how to fit his personality in with his magic. Whether it’s mentalism or a sleight of hand display, or using a close-to-self-working deck, he finds what works for him and builds on it. That’s a pretty big deal for mentalists — many of those performers find themselves stuck between the extremes of Derren Brown tricks of the mind and Uri Geller mastery of invisible forces, and don’t see any middle ground.

Kranzo has some lecture dates in November scheduled across the country, where he talks a little bit about that and much more. If you’re close by, the lecture is worth the drive. We caught up with Nathan during a recent lecture in Kansas City. After his lecture, he talked to Joe Hadsall about comedy with mentalism, his thoughts about finding tricks that play big and more. He even teased a little bit about his upcoming project, Boondock Mentalism, coming soon from Ellusionist.


Hiding in the smoke: Orders include sneak peek of upcoming deck

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

We’ve said a lot about Pure Smoke and your chance to get it is almost here. You know it’s revolutionary, you know it’s a hit with names such as David Copperfield, Cyril Takayama, Nathan Burton, Jeff McBride, Michael Weber, Bill Malone, Mathieu Bich, Eric Jones, Daniel Garcia and more, and you know that the version you get has upgrades over the version they got.

If you still have questions, you can still ask them in the official Q&A thread on the Performance HQ Forums.

But when you order Pure Smoke, your package will include a sneak peek of Ellusionist’s next deck of custom playing cards. No. 3 in the Signature Deck series has an amazing level of intricacy and detail: Maybe you remember Jason Brumbalow raving about how well the U.S. Playing Card Co. printed these. The decks are gorgeous, and you can get a first look inside your package. You might say the level of detail is infinite.

That won’t distract you for too long, though. Once you get Pure Smoke in your hands, you’re going to love what you’ll be able to do with all the thick, vaporous smoke — especially during Halloween. Your mind is already filled with possibilities, isn’t it?

Artist Interview: Vince Caso says magic a catalyst for other ventures

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

“Magic is a catalyst that got my mind working in the area of self development because you are able to see such a variety of people on a consistent basis … see the ups and downs, the way people are, the way they behave, the way they act and how their minds work.”

Like many of our first customers, Vince Caso caught a commercial for Ellusionist during a David Blaine special. From there, he became a prominent member of virtually every flourishing community, including Handlordz and Decknique, and became a regular performer at the legendary Magic Castle.

But Vince is first and foremost an actor. He got his start at 13, landing a lead in 2007’s “Humble Pie,” starring alongside Mary Lynn Rajskub, William Baldwin and the Oscar-winning Kathleen Quinlan. Currently, he plays Bladezz alongside Felicia Day in the web series “The Guild,” which in its current season has featured a star-studded cast of cameos.

Funny thing about magic, though: It pops up in everything you do. That’s the case for Caso, who brings his card handling to his character. He talked with us about how magic affects his acting and his self-development business, how he landed the role on “The Guild,” how magic became a part of his character, why he’s more of a LePaul guy than Erdnase guy and what it was like to perform magic with Neil Patrick Harris for Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion.


Smoke signals: Jason Brumbalow talks about upcoming Pure Smoke

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

In about two weeks, you’ll get the chance to get something that has been in development for almost two years. And it’s something that Ellusionist Vice President Jason Brumbalow is really proud of.

Pure Smoke, Ellusionist’s new smoke system, is a major upgrade over virtually every smoke delivery system on the market for good reason: It’s more compact, easy to use, economic and the smoke it delivers is mystical and mysterious — it looks like it’s straight out of a computer-animated fantasy movie.

But the system didn’t happen overnight. In this podcast, JBone talks about the design behind Pure Smoke, its debut at the Magic Live Conference, some of the improvements since that debut and some of the crazy ways magicians are already using it. Also, Jason dishes about some new products coming out before the end of the year.


Artifice Second Edition now available: New design adds border to back

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Believe it or not, there was some serious conversation about giving the first edition of Artifice playing cards a border, before they were released a few months ago. But in the end, they were left off. Vice president and card artist Jason Brumbalow had an idea about the vibe of the deck, and it turned out to be a winner. Additionally, the lack of a border was a tribute to the great card sharps of yesteryear, who preferred borderless cards for their second and bottom deals.

But when the demand for borders on the deck got louder after its release, JBone and Lee McKenzie went back to the drawing board. They worked for weeks on how to add a border without taking away from the deck’s style.

Mission accomplished. Starting right now, you can see the upgraded Artifice Second Edition. It features the same basic design of the Artifice deck, only with an intricately etched border that incorporates the deck’s design. It also keeps the beautiful, rich inks from the blues to true metallic silvers, the same face design and the same quality card stock encased in our Performance Coating. The class and sophistication of the deck remains, but the functionality improves for those of you who prefer borders. And judging from the feedback we got, there are a lot of you.

Make no mistake: This deck exists because you asked for it. Your demand pushed us to look outside of our own box and raise the bar in deck design. We thank you for that, and for your support.

The new Artifice Second Edition is now available. Grab your decks today.