Archive for the ‘The Next Level’ Category

Next Level: E VP Jason Brumbalow talks about performing for kids in hospitals, upcoming works

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Usually, these podcasts are focused on you. Your goals, dreams, ambitions and skills in magic. This time, we’re encouraging you to look outside yourself and into your community.

Jason Brumbalow, vice president of Ellusionist, has a side gig: Every Friday he goes to a nearby hospital and performs close-up magic for kids of all ages. JBone said that he’s “selfish,” because he gets a lot out of these performances. But so do the kids — for a moment they are taken far away from their hurt, illness or situation, and that can make all the difference in their recoveries.

Jason talked about what it takes to perform at hospitals: What kind of magic to bring, what kind of training you need and how to go about getting one of these gigs. This topic is close to all of our hearts at Ellusionist — from the beginning we have been about moving people with magic, and this is a group of people who appreciate every minute of it.


And looky here: A little bonus podcast giving a preview for what Ellusionist is releasing throughout the rest of the year:


NEXT LEVEL: Michael Kent serious about comedy

Friday, April 9th, 2010

For many magicians, it’s enough to perform magic with no explanations, patter, banter or other talk. Others, however, want to get some laughs as well as amazement. But putting comedy in a routine is not as simple as it sounds.

Michael Kent is a master at getting laughs. His smartass personality gives his magic an edge that keeps fans engaged, impressed and energized. He is the life of the party during his shows, and that’s no accident. He figures out exactly what kind of reactions he wants, then sets his performance accordingly.

Kent stopped by to elaborate on his creative process, why humorous scripts might not be the best for close-up gigs and one of the best ways to guarantee that you get more calls for business. Enjoy:


During the podcast, we reference two of his routines. To watch them, click the jump: (more…)

NEXT LEVEL: Asher talks about magic books

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

It’s been a while — too long — since we posted a Next Level podcast, so we made sure to find a good one this time around.

Lee Asher has been blowing minds all over the world. He recently returned from an incredible lecture tour in Japan, and has created some of the most dizzying, deceptive sleight of hand today. We’ll put it this way: Virtually every magician I have interviewed mentions his Diving Board Double as one of their favorite double lifts.

His skill comes from his research background. Asher has read a tremendous amount of magic literature, learned from it and written many of his own works. He talked to us about that very topic in this edition of The Next Level — he discusses what kind of books he likes to read, how he breaks down a book and why there is no such thing as a bad magic book.


Keep an eye on this space over the weekend: I have some outtakes about Asher’s book collection and plans for 2010 that are too good to leave on the cutting room floor.

The Next Level: Shock master Sean Fields breaks down the bizarre

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Welcome back to The Next Level, Ellusionist’s portable mini-lecture series.

This week, we talk with Sean Fields, a fieldmaster of bizarre magic. Fields is a hands-down expert, having created Sick and Saw, but he has also separated himself with the way he has blended in mentalism with the messy.

In this episode of The Next Level, you’ll find out why he thinks you should watch the movie “The Wizard of Gore,” how to work up to bizarre effects in your routines, the differences between weird, creepy and gory and what experiment Fields decided to run in the midst of the podcast, necessitating a second part in the next few weeks.


The Next Level podcast: Justin Miller speaks about audience management

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Welcome back to The Next Level, Ellusionist’s portable mini-lecture series.

When we talk about Justin Miller, we usually geek out over his smooth handling of coins, cards, cordless drills … whatever dude touches, actually. But he’s also a fearless performer who can approach anyone and everyone. And, if you’ve watched any of his street magic, you know that he’s an expert in controlling crowds and managing audiences.

Audience management is a subject we’ve wanted to cover in The Next Level, ever since Miller mentioned the idea to us. With the announcement of the video contest winners right around the corner, we thought this was a perfect time to talk about it. It’s a longer podcast, but well worth the time.

Grab a notebook and prepare to take many notes. Miller is going to cover why audience management is not as simple as saying, “Look at this.” He’ll cover basics of anchoring, talk about how to handle hecklers and more curious spectators (and why they should be treated differently) and what to look for when choosing effects. Enjoy.

And keep an eye out for Miller’s new effort, WTF No Limits, which will be releasing the effects Smile and Cell-block. We’ll post a link once the site is live.