Ollie Mealing: Move-monkey is a good goal, but this one is better

February 24th, 2014 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under Artist Interviews, General


Ollie Mealing: Move monkey is a good goal, but this one is better

We all wear the badge “move-monkey” with pride. Ollie Mealing is definitely one, as evidenced by his work with Control. But if you’ve seen his YouTube videos, his effects are about so much more than doing a move. This is the thought process that helps Ollie create real magic.

I love chasing a new move, generally the more profound it is, the more interested I am in pursuing it – possibly because it leads to a greater sense of achievement or perhaps the idea of an unpredictable journey is too seductive to shake off. Regardless of the challenge, I find it to be a thrilling experience from the start – the discovery, the development, the accomplishment & the resultant new addition to your arsenal as well as new lessons learnt along the way.

Through this addictively satisfying process, it’s no wonder that so many of us consider ourselves as ‘move-monkeys’. While I think this title is beneficial, we should place focus towards becoming it’s older, wiser accomplice – an ‘effect-monkey’.

 

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INSIDE THE CARDS: Ace of Spades has a long history of being top card

February 22nd, 2014 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General


INSIDE THE CARDS: Ace of Spades has a long history of being top card

Most playing cards look the same from deck to deck. But the Ace of Spades is different. Aside from the backs and jokers, the Ace of Spades is usually the only card to feature a unique artistic design, depending on the printer of the deck. Some are simple as a paint sample, others are as ornate as a stained glass window.

Our custom decks of playing cards feature some of the most iconic recognizable aces in playing cards today. Our designs for aces quickly expanded into themes that encompassed entire decks, and that trend caught on like wildfire — today, collectors frown on new decks that feature only a custom ace.

We’re proud to be part of playing card history. But it raises the question: How did the Ace of Spades get to be so different?

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Ollie Mealing: First impression carries loads of impact for your performances

February 8th, 2014 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under Artist Interviews, General


Ollie Mealing: First impression carries loads of impact for your performances

The real work isn’t only in the sleights. It’s in your scripts, your presentation, your demeanor — everything. Ollie Mealing, the creator of Control and Recoil, knows this firsthand. The experience he’s built through performing for corporate clients and working with Derren Brown has given him a sharp focus on all of those points. In this post, Ollie looks at the first impression, the moment that happens long before you get a chance to do a single trick. (photo credit Benji Taylor)

I believe to best achieve an aim, you must consider every contributing step. The subject of expectation is a prime example. By considering the path and process a thought takes, we can intervene along the way and plant tactical seeds to encourage the desired expectation.

With that in mind, those first few precious seconds between performer and audience have always interested me. Upon first glance they’re trivial, forgotten moments, but upon closer examination they provide a foundation for either success or failure — by instilling an impression and consequently an expectation.

To understand how to influence an expectation to our greatest advantage, we first need to understand which factors contribute towards building an impression, of which there’s many. Inherently all these factors fall under appearance — the way you’re dressed, your body language, facial expression, hygiene, the way you talk, the words you use, if/how you shake their hand, if you’re holding anything — in fact anything sensible serves to form a mental image in the audiences mind. Understanding the messages (or subtext) these factors carry allows you to modify each one to ensure you are perceived as you both wish and require — not every situation will warrant the the same impression.

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SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Artist gives court cards modern looks

February 7th, 2014 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General


SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Artist gives court cards modern looks

Tomas Hlavaty appreciated how Daniel Madison altered the faces of Rounders and Dealers to include his friends. But the clothes they all wore seemed outdated and out of character.

So he changed the cards to give them modern looks.

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Artist gives court cards modern looks“I like the fact that Daniel put himself and his close friends into the design of the deck,” Tomas said. “I was thinking, how would he look on a card with his apperance closer to reality. And that’s how it all began.”

Tomas, 24, of Bratislava, Slovakia, is well prepared to do that. Working as a graphic designer, he has been an artist since an early age, and is a Deviant Art member with a large portfolio. That means he knew instantly how he would alter a card to match current appearances with all the details that inspire him on modern cards.

A King of Diamonds from a Dealers deck features an updated DM, complete with hair sans crown, V-neck and chest tattoo. And that was one of the first he did: A portrait of Laura London on the Queen of Clubs features a necklace and a full showing of her red hair. And a Jack of Spades features Gianni Vox with an Iron Man chest plate (a nod to G’s Tony Stark look).

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FOUR POINTS: These places will get you on the path to getting paid

January 21st, 2014 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under Four Points


FOUR POINTS: These places will get you on the path to getting paid

So you’re ready. Whether you’re following through with a new year’s resolution or a planned goal, you’re out to take your magic from practice to profitability. You’re ready to get paid for all your planning and work.

Time to make those cards pay for themselves.

It doesn’t matter what your plan for magic is, from building a list of clients in your town to making it big in Vegas. Before you can be the next Messado, Ollie Mealing or Adam Wilber, You have to start somewhere, and there is no substitute for the experience of actually performing for living, breathing people.

(David Stone’s Real Secrets of Magic Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are time-tested classics, and Ellusionist’s hardest-working worker Adam Wilber has filled up “Creative Magic” and The Worker Part 1 and Part 2 with great material for business-minded magicians.)

Drumming up business isn’t easy, but you have to start somewhere. At the beginning of your career, you may have to content yourself with making a reputation, not money. Which is fine, because that’s an investment in your future. Instead of performing for cash, make a testimonial or the ability to pass business cards/put up flyers part of the deal.

You have two goals:

  • ~ Get your name out there and let people know what you do. This is done through good old-fashioned networking (a fancy word for “meeting people”). Whether it’s a business card, flyer or an actual performance, you want to spread the word that you exist.
  • ~ Show people that you deserved to be hired. This is done through excellent performance and interaction — AND by being a great team player at the place where you work your magic. Hopefully you perform for people who love your work and hire you in the future. And a testimonial from the right person can seal a deal down the road.

Here are four places that would be good for your business cards, flyers or actual skills. Out of respect to any working magicians in your area (and yourself as well), you don’t want to use these options repeatedly — use them as occasional tools in your toolbox:

 

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