Archive for February, 2012

The Trick Brain

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012


 

 

The Brain is an amazing computer

When people ask me what appeals to me most about magic, I find that the statement I refer to the most is:

I like HOW magic works, but I love WHY magic works.

I like my methods and all the sleight of hand I’ve learned over the years, but I love learning more about the complex nature of the mind and how easy it is to really fool someone.

The video above also states something else that I’ve always believed in. The hand is not quicker than your eye, your brain just can’t truly focus on more than one thing at a time. As advanced as we like to think we are, it’s is almost impossible to genuinely pay attention to more than one thing at a time. Of course over time as you gain more exposure to that which is dividing your attention you’re able to train yourself to switch rapidly back and forth but there’s limits to even that. This is why a missing a stop sign can happen easily for a new driver who is so focused on the road in front of them, anything off to one side is easily missed. But as you gain experience you’re able to drive, listen to the radio, talk and still stop when you should.

The hand is not quicker than your eye, your brain just can’t truly focus on more than one thing at a time.

Your brain is a wonderful thing filled with unimaginable power, but it will also betray you without you knowing. If you’re not actively paying attention to something you’ll miss a lot of things. Referring back to our previous example of driving, have you ever wondered why cities will put up a new stoplight but not turn it on for a few weeks? It’s because they KNOW that your brain thinks that there’s no stoplight there, and they KNOW that if they were to turn it on without giving anyone a chance to get used to it’s presence the accident rates would rise dramatically. Over a period of time, it gets noticed and when they finally do turn it on, you’re ready. This is how your brain tricks you, and it’s how magicians use that knowledge to fool you.

Knowledge truly is power, but only if your brain co-operates.

Magic Isn’t Just About The Tricks.

Monday, February 20th, 2012


Magic Isnt Just About The Tricks.

The picture above represents what I strive for as a magician. I work hard everyday to accomplish this in every show. It represents why I perform.

For many years, I thought magic was easy; I thought that as long as I did “good” tricks that nothing else mattered. I spent most of my early years  hiding behind my magic. I didn’t allow myself to create a bond with my audiences– I was distant, scared, and unrehearsed, yet I still considered myself a professional.

It took me speaking to a broadway actor that began my journey to better myself and my act. I was told flat out:

“Dude your tricks are amazing but you as a performer, well you suck!”

That hit me really hard and I didn’t understand why he said that to me. I had better than average slights, I was always told I was funny. What was it?

Soon after this conversation I began looking at some of the greats, not just in magic but in acting, comedy, broadway, you name it. I quickly realized that people remembered them, not because they were just funny, or amazing, or great actors, but instead they were remembered because they had character. They had developed a character and worked constantly to improve, learn and grow. Something I had never done nor thought of. It was time to make a change.

I tried to make characters up, I tried to be other people and in the end, for me, my character was me!

The person I had been looking for was with me all the time. Mind you it wasn’t as simple as just me going on stage and doing what I do in everyday life. I had to be honest with myself. I had to realize that not everyone is going to like or accept me. I had to realize that I had to be ok with who I am before anyone else could. For the next few years, I wrote scripts, I did open mic nights, even free shows. I did anything in my power to perform as much as possible for as many different people in as many different situations as possible. In fact, I stopped doing magic for a while and did stand up comedy.

I always considered myself a comedian but doing stand up quickly taught me that there is a HUGE diffrenence between being the funny guy and being a comedian. At another time I’ll tell all of you my stand up comedy experience, but for now I’ll continue with the topic at hand.

What I learned through these few experiences changed the way I thought and approached everything. I began looking back and earlier performances of myself and remembered being ashamed of what I was doing. I was ashamed for being so naive. To put it in different words, I learned to make toast and eggs and went out calling myself a chef. It was humbling and one of the best things that happened to me. To this very day, I still work hard to make my show even better. In the end, I want my audiences not only to be amazed but to leave my show more than satisfied. I want what I did for them to be a fun, enjoyable, and amazing experience that they have NEVER had before. I don’t want there to be anyone else that they can compare me too. I want to be something different, something that they have never seen and never will again.

There is something to be said about the people that are legends. They are unlike anything that has ever been and no one else can do what they’ve done the way they’ve done it. That’s why they’re remembered. That’s why they’re loved. They realized that being a magician isn’t just about fooling people. Magic isn’t just about the tricks.

I know I will accomplish my goal and I’d like to help you accomplish your goal. Let’s work together to change the face of magic.

Leave comments below as to why you do magic and what you get out of it. Also don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and me by tell me things you feel you need help with. I’ll do my absolute best to get you going in the right direction.

Your voice matters. Let it be heard.

-Xavior Spade

Confinement and Satellite Change – New Magic with that Minty Fresh Feeling

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012


Confinement and Satellite Change   New Magic with that Minty Fresh Feeling

We LOVE Tuesdays at Ellusionist. It’s when we get to share the newest bit of awesome we’ve been sitting on with you, and we know in turn – you’ll take it out and share it with the world.

This Tuesday is no inception – with two INCREDIBLE effects ready to be downloaded straight to your computer – meaning no waiting on the postman to arrive to get started. And after you watch the trailers of these two – we know you’ll want to get started right away.

Shot on location on the streets of Toronto, Phil DaCosta’s ‘Confinement’ is the cleanest signed card to impossible location we’ve ever seen.

A signed card is lost in the deck, and having been unable to retrieve it, the magician forfeits all that he has in his pockets to the spectator. A business card, a wristband, a sharpie – and a sealed pack of gum. As the spectator makes to walk away with his prize, the magician stops him, asking for a stick of gum. With a look of INCREDULITY, the spectator tears off the cellophane, opening the pack – and there, sitting amongst the sticks, is the SIGNED card.

This is one of the only impossible location effects we’ve seen where there’s justification in the discovery.

Satellite Change by Ben Prime is one-handed card magic without the fishy jerkiness or bulky cover of most card changes. The Satellite Change is as free-flowing as water; One card instantly transforms into another in a heart stopping moment of unbridled eye candy. This is one for the move-monkeys, so crack those knuckles and Get Started.

The Passing of Ken Krenzel

Thursday, February 9th, 2012


The Passing of Ken Krenzel

Ken Krenzel was born and raised in the Lower East Side of New York City. His life-long passion for magic and all things magical began at the age of 7, after he saw a marionette show at his elementary school and continued up into his eighties.

At a young age he became a charter member of F.A.M.E. (Future American Magical Entertainers who was ran by Peter Pan The Magic Man (Dr.Abraham Hurwitz). Some names in his group would later become major players in the magic community such as Frank Garcia, Al Goshman, Jack London, Harry Lorayne, and George Schindler.

As Ken’s life progressed he eventually pursued the study of Psychology and earned his Ph.D. In addition, he published material in various magic journals: The Gen, Genii, Hugards’s Magic Monthly, Phoenix, MUM, Hierophant, Kabbala, Epilogue, New Jinx, Apocalypse, and The Minotaur.

Harry Lorayne, who published some of his work in The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel (1978)  said,

“When Ken Krenzel performed the material in this book for me I knew then and there how good it was, and what a great contribution it’d be to the art I love – card magic”

There are so many contributions that Ken Krenzel has made to the magic community it’s almost too much to list. Due to his contributions among many other things New York City voted Dr. Ken Krenzel the Dean of the Parent Assembly on October 3, 2011 by The Board of Directors of the SAM Parent Assembly #1.

Below are some quotes from some of us here at Ellusionist:

Ken Krenzel was one of the nicest, most straight forward people I’ve ever met. I wish I would have had more time to get to know him better. He will be missed.- Eric Jones

To say that this post sums up Dr. Krenzels life is not true to say the least. He’s touched countless lives and inspired countless magicians, myself included. During my journey into magic I stumbled upon his video called The Pass. From that day on I began a new journey to aspire to something I had never before knew existed–smoot, flawless beautiful magic sleights. Krenzel inspired me to never settle for less as he never did.  -Xavior Spade

 

Dr.  Ken  Krenzel, Dean of the Parent Assembly, passed away the afternoon of February 8 at the age of 85.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, February 10  at:The Passing of Ken Krenzel

Boulevard – Riverside chapel at

1450 Broadway in

Hewlett NY,11557

Directions To Boulevard – Parkside Chapel

Rabbi Noach Valley will officiate and George Schindler will  perform the broken wand ceremony.

 

From all of us here at Ellusionist to all of Dr. Ken Krenzel’s  family and friends, our most sincere condolences. He will be missed

 

-Xavior Spade

 

Sorcerers Safari 2012 – Unfettered Magic Mayhem

Monday, February 6th, 2012


 

Sorcerers Safari 2012   Unfettered Magic Mayhem

 

So it’s 2012 and there are so many things happening this year that it’s almost too much to list. However, maybe it’s time to begin making plans for the summer!

We’re proud to announce that Ellusionist is a sponsor of this year’s Sorcerers Safari in Canada!

I recently had the pleasure of talking to the founder of the Sorcerers Safari, Mike Segal. The first thing I will say is that he is VERY passionate about doing this for the youth in the magic community. Throughout the years he’s rounded up some of the biggest names in magic for an experience unlike anything you’ve experienced before. For one week in the summer (August 27-September 2) campers will be immersed in all things magic and fun.

Having a line up like they do it makes me wish I was a kid again just to be able to experience what it’s like to be surrounded by my heroes who are there to help ME in what I’m trying to accomplish!

I’m going to run through some of the things that go on at the camp but for more information please head to their website at www.Sorcerers-Safari.com.

 

This camp is packed with topics ranging from simple sleight of hand all the way to magic as a business and even magic theory!

 

This struck a real chord with me as you just can’t get that type of access to people of this calibre at a convention. Let me give you a few of the names that are part of the Sorcerers Safari;

  • Aaron Fisher
  • Lee Asher
  • Shawn Farquhar
  • Greg Frewin
  • Wayne Houchin
  • Eric Leclerc
  • Ben Train

And the list goes on and on….

This year the FISM Champion SOMA will be on the list of guests. Keep in mind that the guests may change but will definitely grow, as time gets closer.

So what does that mean for campers? Well it means an unheard of opportunity to actually spend an entire week not only learning from but also hanging out and just jamming with everyone! Man, I really wish I was a kid again. They even go as far as to assist the parents of campers find accommodations nearby if they’re worried about their little Houdini being too far away!

The point is that this is a WONDERFUL opportunity for you or your children who are aspiring magicians to have access to something that very few people do. If it weren’t for Mike Segal and his dedicated staff, none of this would come to pass.

Registration is easy and more than affordable for the week of unforgettable experiences and life long friendships made. We here at Ellusionist are proud to sponsor and honored to assist someone doing something truly amazing for the magic community!

Later this week I’ll be interviewing Mike Segal and he’ll be talking about the Camp and more. If you have any questions, we would like to help get them answered, leave your questions submitted below and we’ll get the info. Also as more information comes up about the camp we’ll be sure to update you as well. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter. Secrets come from everywhere Sorcerers Safari 2012   Unfettered Magic Mayhem

 

-Xavior Spade

 

For more information please visit the Sorcerers Safari website:

www.Sorcerers-Safari.com

Also Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellusionist

And on Facebook : http://facebook.com/Ellusionist

There will be some amazing things happening this year and some opportunities for all of you to get some cool shizzle!

Your voice matters…Let it be heard!