Posts Tagged ‘MindFreak’

Whether in magic or marketing, creativity a way of life for Luke Dancy

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

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.

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Inside Mindfreak’s mansion: Criss’ crib on MTV

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Via the Mindfreak’s Facebook page: If you’ve ever wanted to see the inside of his home, this is your chance. In addition to appearing during the American Country Awards (tonight) and at the Luxor for his birthday, Criss Angel will be featured on MTV’s “Cribs.” Look for the episode at 8 p.m. Saturday (U.S. Eastern).

Maybe we’re cynical, but we can’t wait to read what iTricks readers have to say about the inside of his home. We’re off to grab some popcorn.

Blaine joins Angel, Alonzo as magic kit-selling sellouts? Not quite

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

We’re going to pre-emptively snuff a spark before an issue becomes a fire — now that David Blaine is involved, this issue is likely to get debates going on magic forums worldwide.

Surely, you’ve seen the Mindfreak magic kits. Available from the ads on TV and from nationwide retailers, the kits feature a slew of street magic effects for beginners, intermediates and the “most advanced mystifier,” including several we are all familiar with. You can get “platinum” and “ultimate” kits — some include one of Angel’s levitations, and the kits also come with instructional DVDs.

Also causing some controversy is this kit featuring Ed Alonzo. Some, including About.com’s respected resident magician Wayne Kawamoto, have argued that the kit’s head twister is so poorly made that it is tantamount to exposure. Roland Henning, the chief of Weekly Magic Failure, goes a step further and calls Alonzo a sell out. (Yeah, Roland gets angry when we don’t send him free cards, but we still like him and his site.)

Now David Blaine is getting involved. MagicTimes.com in September spread the news that the street magic legend is releasing three new gaff decks. The decks are Blaine’s take on a stripper, Svengali and marked deck, but the key words in the story: “They are U.S. Playing Card Co. products that are being released to the general public.” Blaine has a publicity tour planned to talk about the decks, and they should be available sometime after Oct. 31 wherever Bicycle cards are sold.

So is the world falling apart for magicians? Does the appearance of magic’s biggest current stars on products meant for the masses mean we will have no secrets left? Are Blaine, Angel and Alonzo SELL-OUTS?

Chill. Take a deep breath, practice your pass. Take these two bullet points, and call us in the morning:

  • All these kits appear to be filled with gimmicked magic tricks that have been in mass markets for ages. Take that Mindfreak kit: From the sales page, it looks like he’s put his presentational feel on effects that my stepkid already has. The serious secrets of sleight of hand appear to remain intact.
  • But even if one of those 500 Mindfreaks happens to be a solid technique for a pass, remember: People like to watch US, not magic tricks. Even though these gimmicked decks have been available in mass markets, we know pros who still kill with them because they put the work, effort and practice into a truly convincing performance. The same goes for sleight of hand.

This won’t be the last time a magician makes it big enough to use his image to market magic products. Magic has been just fine ever since. So get out there and perform already. That’s what people want to see.

Bullets: Fisher’s ‘Engine’ session, Blaine’s stunt, Mindfreak’s next season, Letterman features magic

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Justin Robert Young over at iTricks is the man. He gives this blog and others credits and links for breaking the occasional story, but we don’t see anyone else giving him props for the stories he breaks three times as often. Dude put two and two together for a couple of biggies this week:

  • We don’t know about you, but we know where we’ll be on Saturday: Glued to our monitors. Aaron Fisher will be joined by Wayne Houchin and Steve Johnson for a special session about the book “The Paper Engine.” According to an e-mail, the free session should have plenty of time for questions and comments. The session starts at 12 p.m. Pacific on Saturday at aaronfishermagic.com (we’ll post a more accurate link closer to the session).
  • David Blaine was featured in this great interview with Interview Magazine. A bunch of people have forwarded this to me, but iTricks spotted the golden quote — namely, what Blaine’s final stunt will likely be. Although he isn’t forgetting about sleep deprivation, he plans to cross an ocean in a glass bottle. We suspect that the interviewer didn’t know the value of that quote.
  • Criss Angel’s Mindfreak will return to the A&E Network for a sixth season. iTricks made the connection that it would keep the hourlong format, although there was speculation otherwise.
  • We love Dodd Vickers over at the Magic Newswire, as well. That’s where we read that David Letterman is hosting a close-up magic week. We’re talking appearances from Steve Cohen, John Carney, Johnny “Ace” Palmer, Jason Randal and Michael Ammar. Consider us geeked. Guess Ellen DeGeneres is starting to get more influential than Oprah.

Bullets: Copperfield’s court date, Berg’s collapse, duo’s Internet tricks, Ludacris’ Mindfreak rap

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Been a while since we loaded the ol’ news revolver and fired some bullets:

  • A court date has been set for a model’s lawsuit, where a woman alleges David Copperfield raped her in 2007. Lacey Carroll (named because a criminal investigation was closed without charges being filed against Copperfield) has been granted a May, 2011 trial date for her civil lawsuit. The Seattle Times’ account has plenty of juicy details about the charges, which Copperfield and his lawyers vigorously deny.
  • Record-breaking card stacker Bryan Berg knocked down his beautiful rendition of The Venetian Macao. The sculpture, comprised of more than 218,000 cards, took about 44 days to build, but only seconds to knock down. Why do it? To prove there was no tape or glue involved. We appreciate doing the destruction himself, but STILL. That’s gotta hurt.
  • For our Brit mates: Barry and Stuart with BBC3 have developed a site for Internet tricks. Spotted by iTricks, the site features that creepy psychic test and another new “test.” Bad news for us Yanks: We can’t watch the explanation vids anymore. Boo.
  • We’re a little late on this, but if you haven’t heard the Ludacris song “Mind Freak,” featuring Criss Angel, it’s right here. Yeah, there’s some cussin’.