Archive for December, 2011

Wrestler calls himself a magician in addressing criticism about headshots

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Steve Corino may wear wrestler’s trunks when performing. His stage is viewable for 360 degrees, and there’s no curtain. You can’t see wires, but you can see ropes. And he owns that stage when he wrestles.

But he says he is a magician. And he used some “tricks” in a violent match that got the wrestling world talking, and got us thinking about geek and shock magic — and especially one of the weirdest videos we saw all year from the Warriors of Goja.

Corino, a veteran of the ECW and NWA circuits, posted some interesting thoughts to his blog about chairshots and how they can be done safely. The post came after a particularly brutal match between Carino and Kevin Steen, as part of a Ring of Honor event. The match was one of several examples cited by a wrestling columnist who wrote about how chairs to the head were used excessively in 2011.

Recent advances in concussions and brain injury have led to widespread changes across the field. Keith Harris writes that chairshots to the head were supposedly banned from WWE and TNA wrestling leagues, and were have thought to be dissuaded in ROH. The deaths of Chris Benoit and Andrew Martin were caused by too many concusssions leading to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Harris writes.


‘Dying’ art? Indian magicians raise alarm in asking for status, funding

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

You know that debate that you see on magic forums, where someone writes, “Magic is art and magicians are all artists,” then a massive flame war starts? (The flames get bigger when flourishers get involved.) That’s an actual legal question before the Indian government. But asking the question brought up a bigger question about the status of magic, and whether it’s dying.

Vijay Raghuvir Bhopale, an Indian magician, has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court for the government to consider magic an art. According to a report in the Times of India, the petition asks the state government to elevate the status of magic to “art” and fund it the same way the government funds literary meets, drama and folk dance events.

Vijay is the son of the late magician Raghuvir Yadav. (Warning: site contains bad music, but no pause or stop buttons.) Vijay and his son, third generation magician Jitendra Raghuvir (pictured, with a portrait of Yadav at left), have performed in the U.S., Australia, Singapore and Thailand, and say they have received tremendous response from audiences. They are just looking for a little of the same respect in their native country. Said Jitendra:

“It is disappointing that the native country is showing an apathetic attitude towards magicians. If the government supports magicians, it will help remove superstition about this form of art among rural people.”

Interesting quote, there, about removing superstition. Jitendra was quoted at length in a report on, and elaborated about why he and his father filed the petition. Three reasons:

~ By declaring magic as an art, magicians get a boost to revive the art.
~ It will spread awareness of the “science behind magic,” curbing superstitions.
~ Unless there are concentrated efforts to revive magic, the art will “become a thing of the past.”

Does that mean the debate of whether magic is an art will be settled by a high court in India? Unlikely. We’re not exactly bothered by the notion of magic’s legal status. What is curious to us is the magicians’ notion that magic is a dying art.

Keep in mind that the Raghuvirs are expressing an opinion from what they see in India. We have our opinions, of course, but we want to know what you think. What do you see around you, in your neck of the woods? Is magic dying? If so, what are you doing to keep it alive?

Fix Santa’s slips: 15 percent discount in effect until Friday

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Did Santa not come through with a Pure Smoke? Not enough Infinity decks of playing cards in your stockings? Hoping to unwrap some Metal on Christmas morning? You can fix that. Pretty easily until Friday, in fact. Until midnight Friday (U.S. Eastern), you can take 15 percent off your entire order. Combine that with discounts you get for buying decks in larger quantities, and you might get up to 30 percent off of some items.

Merry Christmas to you, indeed!

Yes, 15 percent off is crazy. Not quite used-car-salesman-guy-on-TV crazy, but crazy for us. We hardly ever offer an entire storewide discount. So why the sale? Because you deserve a treat to yourself. And because we need to clear space in our warehouse — see, there’s a bunch of hotness coming in 2012, and we need to make space for it. Our moving project is your gain.

In any event, this is a chance for you to fix any magic-gift omissions. Fill your cart, then when you get to checkout, use the promo code “3DAY15OFF”. Keep that holiday glow around a few extra days. And yeah, holiday giveaway bonuses still count. We’re still throwing in bracelets, after all…

Three Ways to Spread the Magic of Giving this Year

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

We love our semi-distant relatives at Christmas. You know? The one’s you usually only see at Weddings and Family Reunions? The one’s who say ‘You probably don’t remember me, last time I saw you, you were this big.’ The ones who live halfway across the country, but still remember you at Christmas. And the reason we love them is not because of their distance (although with a couple of our relatives we’re thankful for it) – it’s because they’re the ones who are most likely to send a Christmas card, with either a check or a crisp $20 ensconced inside. Thanks Aunty Beryl!

Now while we used to take this money and invest it wisely, in things like candy, soda and fireworks, we’ve matured a little more… since last year. So, in celebration of that fact, we’re giving you a couple of different options for your Seasonal windfall. Got a lump of coal from Aunty Beryl instead? Not a problem, some of these places don’t require your money – but they’d appreciate your time.

Magicians are a fairly close knit community – we have to be. Secrets unite us, as does the sharing of knowledge and experience, which rightly leads to a sense of brotherhood. As such the below causes are those that are founded by, help out, or require the services of fellow magicians. We know that many of you already contribute in your own right – and we’re deeply appreciative of that, but for those of you who are buoyed by the Christmas spirit but unsure how to act, any of the below are as great a place to start as any.

Spread the Magic Foundation
Founded by Chad Juros in honor of his father’s dying wish, the Spread the Magic Foundation is a charity that spreads hope and inspiration to children battling cancer, through the power of magic. Chad’s story is one of inspiration, and while Chad spreads the gift of magic himself by creating live shows for children battling cancer in cancer hospitals, camps and foundations, he, and those at the foundation, are in constant search for assistance. You can help by donating funds, services or goods to Spread the Magic foundation, to ensure their work continues bringing joy to those who need it.

Senior Sorcery Program
Run by Canadian arts organization Magicana the Senior Sorcery program is designed to bring live theatre in the form of magic shows to the senior citizen community, particularly to isolated seniors in remote residences and/or community centers. The program empowers by giving seniors the ability to invite their family and friends to a special event. The program also aims to bridge generations by offering a group activity that all can participate in, enjoy together and to discuss afterwards. Senior Sorcery is win-win for all involved, providing an appreciative audience for up-and-coming magicians to show off their abilities and gain performing experience in live shows, for people who can greatly benefit from the experience. You can help Senior Sorcery in their work by donating your time as a performing magician, or the funds to assist Magicana in the development of these programs.

The SAM Magic Endowment Fund
Founded in 1986 by the Society of American Magicians (SAM), the fund is a non-profit foundation for the advancement of the Art of Magic. It was established by the Society to administer several charitable programs designed to promote magic and aid magicians. Through sponsorships for young magicians to attend Sorcerer’s Safari and the Jeff McBride School of Magic, program’s such as the Disaster Relief Fund – which assisted magicians in need during the Japan Earthquakes and Floods earlier this year, and the Houdini Fund – which aids ill or injured magicians with hospital benefits and recovery services, the fund is constantly changing the lives of others. You can help by donating directly to the fund, or simply by joining the Society of American Magicians, as part of your membership fee helps fuel the fund.

There are of course other very deserving charities out there, such as My Magic Hands and Open Heart Magic, among hundreds of others, and we’d be here forever if we were to list them all, but we do hope with the inspiration of the above, we can help you give just one more gift this Christmas. If you don’t feel comfortable giving to a charity this year, we certainly understand – instead all we ask is for you to go out and give the gift of a magic performance – your magic – to one person who can benefit. Bring a smile to someone’s day, whether they’re a stranger, a friend or a family member – It costs nothing of you, but can mean everything to them.

Merry Christmas guys. Go spread those smiles.

48 Hours Only: Giving the Gift of Gold… Arcanes.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

In our Gift Giving this year we attempted to top everything that’s come before – and we think we’ve done pretty well with our 2011 Holiday Giveaway and the release of our LTD deck as a free gift. We’ve also had a pretty full slate with releases ready for the Holiday Gift Giving – Infinity Playing Cards, Eric Jone’s rounding off the Metal series with Metal 2 & 3, our new iPhone app Premonition hitting the iTunes App Store, Chris Mayhew’s addition to the Ellusionist Family with Fade, Morgan Strebler’s Triumphant return with Liquid Metal 2, [Ed. There’s more from him coming soon – keep watching!] and of course our hottest selling product of the last 6 months – Pure Smoke.

In our gift-giving foray this year, we’ve tried to pay homage to the 3 Wise Men, and whilst we could replace Frankincense with a double LTD’s, Myrrh with Red Artifice – there was no way we were going to mess with Gold. So we didn’t. Until Midnight Thursday EST, all shippable orders over $75 will include a Free Gold Arcane Deck.

The Gold Arcane deck will automatically be added to your cart, provided the total minus shipping is over $75 – and there is at least one shippable item included. You will still receive all the other free gifts in your cart for which you qualify, as well as an entry in our 2011 Holiday Giveaway.

Just as a reminder – our warehouse is swamped, but we’re working overtime, above capacity and with extra staff – so we’re doing everything we can to get orders out the door as quickly as possible. To that end, by ordering today with UPS Next Day Shipping, you can still get your order in time to wrap it and get it under the tree. This is the last promotion we’re having before Christmas – so if you’re still unsure what to get that special person in your life… say it with Gold.

Gold, or Forks.