Posts Tagged ‘Cards’

Gaff System perfect for Calen Morelli’s use-everything style

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Most magicians stick to what they know — cards, coins, mentalism. Calen Morelli has no such restraints. He’ll use rubber bands, lip balm, water bottles, pens, cellphones, T-shirts, gum… anything that spectators are familiar with.

So when Morelli was invited to be a part of Ellusionist’s Gaff System project, he immediately thought of ways to expand and push gaff cards for effects that hadn’t ever been dreamed up before. Such as a torn-and-restored trick, which turned out to be the first gaff card he envisioned for the project.

“I remember coming up with this in my car right after the call with Brad, when he asked me to be a part of this project,” Calen said. “That idea excited me so much to see what else was in my brain for these cards.”


Calen started magic at 15, after watching David Blaine’s “Drowned Alive” special. He found he had a knack for it, and quickly outpaced the sources from which he learned.

So he started making his own tricks. Starting green, he undertook a yearlong project, where he would create a magic trick each day, and post daily videos of those tricks to YouTube. Called “365 Days of Magic,” the tricks he created gained a large following in the magic community — so large that before he got to video No. 200, he was hired to work for David Copperfield as a consultant.

He said that his unique approach to using atypical items came from a desire to be different and from a dissatisfaction with the material he had been learning. He said that expanding his horizons helped him stand out as an original among a crowd of card magicians, he said.

“I feel like doing magic with every day items is the simplest way to come across original to a audience.”

Even having landed a job with David Copperfield, Calen remains an active performer, filling his social networks with new performances regularly, and appearing with other online personalities, such as YouTuber Stuart Edge.

The grind of creating a trick a day taught him a lot about what works and what doesn’t, he said.

“I learned the process of creating a magic trick,” Calen said. “And how to very efficiently and quickly go from just a simple idea into a full, ready-to-perform effect … If a traditional method doesn’t work for my style or where/who I’m performing for, then it’s limiting me.”

That means Calen’s magic is particularly suited for gaff cards — especially a deck that pushes the boundaries of what gaff cards can do. Calen’s contributions include effects that transform a ChapStick into a chosen card and his favorite: The torn-and-restored trick he first envisioned.

Designed for use with our Emerald, Cobalt and Tundra Artifice decks, The Gaff System will be available on Nov. 19.

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Our cards look good in your pics

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

We are proud of the gear we make, mainly because our customers are so proud of it. Our playing cards, coins and other gear become objects of pride, inspirational items. And they respond by showing us some phenomenal pictures — so many that we wanted to share them with you.

With that in mind, we’re changing the focus of SUITABLE FOR FRAMING. Instead of featuring unique decks of cards, we’d rather feature your work. It’s only natural that we treat your art like a work of art.

1. Derek Hutchens via Facebook


FOUR POINTS: Essential magic gear as important as wallet, keys, watch

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

You’re a magician now, and magicians never stop being magicians. You may call yourself an illusionist, prestidigitator, close-up artist or urban shaman, but none of those titles matter. The bottom line is that you bend reality at your will, and you have a reputation for that. So be ready. Be prepared.

Granted, carrying your props around during dates, nights out or other social events may be difficult. It’s tough to manage a Howard Wolowitz-sized collection of sponge balls and magic bouquets in a pair of cargo pants. But there are four things you can have on you at all times in a variety of situations — school, church, work, whatever — and you’ll be ready to blow a few minds whenever you want.


PLAYING CARDS: Let’s be honest: You’re probably packing playing cards wherever you go anyway. Magicians have a special relationship with playing cards for good reason: There’s so much spur-of-the-moment magic that can be done with them. Think of all the impromptu tricks out there — even a simple ambitious card routine packs a powerful punch. There are many others that can be done with just a simple setup. Or, instead of making miracles, you can keep their eyes occupied with some flourishes.

CASH: There are many non-magical reasons to have money on us. But money can also be kept in checkbooks or on a credit card — we’re talking about cold, hard cash. Bills and coins can be used for a variety of effects. A coins across routine doesn’t need to be done with a Walking Liberty — regular quarters work just as magically, and even more so if they are borrowed. Get used to keeping some change on you: four quarters or half dollars is plenty. And Artifact coins always snare attention.

RUBBER BANDS: While some magicians go through the trouble of wearing a few Loops around their wrist, regular rubber bands can be almost as functional. There are a myriad of good linking and unlinking routines, such as Michael Ammar’s Crazy Man’s Handcuffs, that can be done at the drop of a dime. Other effects, such as U-Turn by Marcus Eddie, can use a borrowed ring. Or combine those with cards or cash for extra impact: Wrap a band around your deck for a phase in your ambitious card routine after you’ve done your work, for instance.

SHARPIE: This may not seem intuitive, at first. But having a writing implement with permanent ink is pretty handy to have. Pens can’t write on coins, and might not work on cards. Pencils are a no-go, no how. And other types of markers might have ink that beads and collects on the writing surface, instead of seeping in. Sharpies are different: They write on almost anything, and a signature adds a powerful punch to performances. And this particular Sharpie will set you up for even more badness.

If you’re not already packing all four of these things, consider adding at least one. It will encourage you get out of your comfort zone and learn a variety of magic, which will make you a more well-rounded performer.

YOUR TURN: Think that we nailed this list? Is there something that should bump one of these other items? Let us know in the comments.

FOUR POINTS is a regular feature that celebrates magicians’ favorite number by highlighting four critical bits of importance, awesomeness or otherwise. Send your suggestions to

Highly pursued LTD decks now unlimited, redesigned in blue

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The LTD deck is one of the most high-demand decks we’ve ever created. Ever since its release as a limited run of 5,000, we’ve seen people respond big-time to our promotions, and seen decks command around $100 on online auction sites.

The demand has been so high that we’re giving everyone a chance to snag the LTD look — in a way that protects the value of the original LTD, and gives the new deck a fresh, new look.

This is your chance.

Available now is the Blue LTD, a different look for a refined deck. Designed by Peter McKinnon, the Blue LTD has all the same features as the Red deck — same index font, same elegant Ace of Spades, same deep-red hue on the faces of the hearts, diamonds and court cards, same superior card stock with our signature Performance Coating.

What’s different is the blue color, and the amount of decks available. The Blue LTD is unlimited — there are plenty of decks available for everyone, and your investment into any red decks you own is protected. And if you’re lucky enough to own a few red decks, you’ll love the ability to do color-changing deck routines such as Chris Mayhew’s Fade.

What’s that? You don’t have a Red LTD deck, one of the only 5,000 printed? No worries. Buy 12 Blue LTD decks, and we’ll throw in a Red one completely free.

Anyone can get a regular deck of cards from a toy store or grocery. But the LTD deck is different. Its combination of modern design and superior quality makes it a high-end, luxury deck. It fits right in next to your Nixon watch, Burberry jacket and Hugo Boss shoes.

Sinclair seizes synergy: Magician uses routine to tie tricks together

Monday, October 15th, 2012

There’s a lot to learn from Aiden Sinclair. Sure, we’re stoked that he used three things you can find only here at Ellusionist. But the genius is how he strings them together. Watch this performance he gave on-air to WWAY-TV in Wilmington, N.C.

Go ahead, click that link. WWAY has some seriously crappy embed code in its videos, so we’ll wait while you watch.

Sinclair pairs solid technique with powerful story. He used synergy, a technique of combining effects so that they benefit each other (Editor’s note: Synergy is a concept near and dear to my heart). This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned him: He caught some buzz on the Ellusionist Performance HQ Forums for an interesting subtlety he added to an effect you all should know. But what impresses us is the performance he gives. Sinclair uses a paranormal theme in his presentation. See how he casually mentioned the age of the deck? Notice how the story, the spoken word, provided all the distraction and misdirection he needed?

In a nutshell, magicians like Sinclair are why we do what we do. Even with our playing cards, we’ve never been content to just put out simple variations of already tried concepts. We push our creativity to come up with themes that you can use to enhance your character, and weave your way into your spectators’ minds.

We want you to PERFORM. We want you to get the attention.

Just keep that in mind with all the stuff you see coming in the next couple of months…