A lot of our customers ask us which deck of playing cards they should pick, and our answer is usually the same. Because all of our decks have some of the best stock, finish and handling in the business, we recommend that people choose the deck that best fits their performance character.
That’s a fancy way of saying this: Match your style.
Not everyone can use a deck of Arcanes in black, for example. The iconography lends itself to a darker, more mysterious style. Someone who seeks an elegant, refined design will lean toward Artifice, and someone who sticks with table demonstrations will be best served with a deck of Dealers.
We encourage people to treat deck selections like clothing, in a sense, because the same philosophy applies to wardrobe. And that’s something you should be carefully considering, because part of entertaining is looking the part. Nothing enhances your appeal and professionalism like the right wardrobe (consider it your costume), and a magician who does not dress like a pro will find it difficult to score repeat bookings.
We’ll assume you’re familiar with the basics, such as pants, and get right into advanced-class material — you should be thinking about accessories. These enhancements to our clothes also offer performance advantages for the right kinds of effects, as well. (If you really must know what we think about pants, we highly recommend wearing them.)
Whether you are selecting a wardrobe for professional gigs or you want to dress to be magical anywhere anytime, here’s four accessories you should consider as part of your performance character:
It’s hard to find a facet of magic that Luke Dancy is unfamiliar with. And that applies to things that have nothing to do with magic — seemingly.
Luke has more than 25 years of experience as a magic creator, consultant and performer. But his magic has also helped him found a marketing company — he is the founder of Social Mischief. It’s such a great fit that it makes us wonder how more magicians haven’t dived into the field.
“I’ve talked to a lot of friends in the marketing world and it seems to be a natural fit for me as I create magic for other magicians and for television,” Luke said. “It’s really no different than creating a campaign for a brand or specific product. Marketing for me is a way to exploit those creative ideas and thoughts for the business world.”
Luke brings his marketing magic to Ellusionist: Last week he joined our staff as marketing manager. He’ll be actively involved on our website and social networks, fueling new promos and interacting with customers.
Think about how long you’ve been into magic, and all the arcane, obscure material you’ve hunted down. From memorization techniques to NLP, from gambling cheats to elaborate gaffs — look at all the material in your library and rate how complicated they might be.
Got it? How many of those books or videos are intended for beginners?
Seriously: Got a copy of Card College? Crash Course in Card Tricks? Tarbell? Royal Road? When was the last time you looked at one of the basic beginning books and reviewed it with an experienced mind?
We know of at least one group on the Internet devoted to going back in time. Members of the secret group are revisiting Roberto Giobbi’s “Card College,” all five volumes, and making videos based on the principles taught. Their goal is to get a deeper understanding of the magic taught within.
And the first step was Vol. 1, where sleights such as the thumb break, step, overhand shuffle and ribbon spread are taught. Tough stuff, eh? Yet these experienced card workers, most of whom have regular paying gigs, devoted the time to holding a pinky break.
It’s genius for a lot of reasons, but four main ones stand out:
We’ve long complained about the awful treatment that “America’s Got Talent” has given to magicians. And we’re pleased to see that the U.K. version, “Britain’s Got Talent,” is nothing like its American counterpart.
Namely because the show just introduced us to a magician who got our attention. Meet Darcy Oake.
Be honest: How long did it take for you to realize he was doing a dove act and it was cool?
The Canadian magician has wowed on the show, impressing the salty Simon Cowell, who said that Oake is the best magician they have seen in eight seasons. He’s impressed a lot of us at E, too, for a number of reasons — mainly, because he had us riveted throughout that short routine.
“He did for a dove act what Blaine did for close-up,” said Brad Christian, Ellusionist founder and CEO, who also said there’s a lot to learn from this short video:
~ His appearance. The street wear set him apart from other stage magicians, because he had a style we can relate to.
~ Check out the restrained routining. Everything is precision, yet relaxed and confident. No flashy moves, no gestures, no dancing. When he holds up an egg, you know it’s an egg.
~ There’s a lot of confidence here: Because he is relaxed, he doesn’t NEED to have the big flappy arms and wavy fingers that most stage magicians use. Because of that, he commands attention — and we pay it.
We can’t wait to see more of Oake, and to hear how he does in the show. We agree with Cowell: He could win it.
One of the more enigmatic cards in the deck is the joker. Its designs far exceed the Aces of Spades that usually command a deck’s attention. Jokers can be sublte or strange, restrained or resplendent, workman or wonderful. Though we’ve long been known for our killer designs for Aces, we have always been partial to the joker card, because of how we contributed to the card’s evolution in the deck.
A little history first: The common suits in a deck of playing cards are French in origin — spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds are variations of the tarot deck’s batons (wands), cups, swords and coins (pentacles). The French streamlined the tarot’s four court cards per suit to three — the jack, queen and king.
It’s great to see Chris back on TV again. There seems to be tonnes of magic going on in the UK but strangely very little in the US. Apart from the odd Blaine special. It will also be interesting to see exactly what he shows in this series, because revealing magic is not something I believe he will really do.