Posts Tagged ‘tricks’

Countdown: 21 Days of Christmas fills month with can’t-miss magic

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

We are off and running with our holiday giveaways and promotions, but because we appreciate you guys so much, we thought we’d throw a new one into the mix:

21 Days of Christmas.

Like a daily countdown until the big day, we’ll mark the nights Santa gets to sleep before he takes his worldwide trip. Similar to an Advent calendar, our 21 Days of Deals page will count down the days until Christmas with an outstanding deal. Except ours isn’t filled with itty-bitty bits of candy or cheap plastic toys.

Ours is crammed with magic deals.

Take the deal for day one — a combination of Window and Kaos for $39.95. Remember that Window, by itself, is $69.95. And this day one deal is one of the less lucrative ones.

But you’ll need to hurry. The deals will swap out at midnight each day (or while supplies last), and once a day is gone, the deal is done. Also, keep an eye on those bonus days. You’ll never know when they will open up — oh, look. One of them already is.

We hope you enjoy these 21 Days of Christmas. And from all of us at Ellusionist, we hope your holiday season is truly magical.

Gaff cards: Sign of sloth or skill?

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

One of the more interesting debates we hear in card magic is about the use of gaff cards. And usually that debate ends up in the display of an interesting contradiction: Some say the use of gaff cards makes card magic too easy, yet people find them too difficult or complicated to use.

This debate needs some definitions. Brian Parker, one of our Facebook users, pointed out a handy breakdown of two types of gaffs:

  • Unseen: In general, these are cards that aid in misdirection and/or enable easier sleight of hand. This group includes double backers, double facers, cards with differently colored backs, cards with multiple faces, etc., and usually should stay out of spectators’ hands or away from close inspection. (Trick decks would also fall into this category, but that’s a whole other blog post we’ll tackle another day.
  • Seen: In general, these cards are meant to be seen. The revelation of their existence is usually the climax of a trick — they are meant to be handed out. The fact that there is a card with a joker holding a chosen card, or a card printed with an iPhone’s home screen with an “app” that says “Your Card,” packs a surprise that magicians use to compound a routine (Personal aside: My first favorite was the three and a half of clubs. I got so much mileage out of that one.)

(Obviously, those classifications depend on how the card is being used in the context of a routine. A double backer could be intended to be seen or unseen, for instance.)
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The Trick Brain

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

 

 

The Brain is an amazing computer

When people ask me what appeals to me most about magic, I find that the statement I refer to the most is:

I like HOW magic works, but I love WHY magic works.

I like my methods and all the sleight of hand I’ve learned over the years, but I love learning more about the complex nature of the mind and how easy it is to really fool someone.

The video above also states something else that I’ve always believed in. The hand is not quicker than your eye, your brain just can’t truly focus on more than one thing at a time. As advanced as we like to think we are, it’s is almost impossible to genuinely pay attention to more than one thing at a time. Of course over time as you gain more exposure to that which is dividing your attention you’re able to train yourself to switch rapidly back and forth but there’s limits to even that. This is why a missing a stop sign can happen easily for a new driver who is so focused on the road in front of them, anything off to one side is easily missed. But as you gain experience you’re able to drive, listen to the radio, talk and still stop when you should.

The hand is not quicker than your eye, your brain just can’t truly focus on more than one thing at a time.

Your brain is a wonderful thing filled with unimaginable power, but it will also betray you without you knowing. If you’re not actively paying attention to something you’ll miss a lot of things. Referring back to our previous example of driving, have you ever wondered why cities will put up a new stoplight but not turn it on for a few weeks? It’s because they KNOW that your brain thinks that there’s no stoplight there, and they KNOW that if they were to turn it on without giving anyone a chance to get used to it’s presence the accident rates would rise dramatically. Over a period of time, it gets noticed and when they finally do turn it on, you’re ready. This is how your brain tricks you, and it’s how magicians use that knowledge to fool you.

Knowledge truly is power, but only if your brain co-operates.

Magic Isn’t Just About The Tricks.

Monday, February 20th, 2012

The picture above represents what I strive for as a magician. I work hard everyday to accomplish this in every show. It represents why I perform.

For many years, I thought magic was easy; I thought that as long as I did “good” tricks that nothing else mattered. I spent most of my early years  hiding behind my magic. I didn’t allow myself to create a bond with my audiences– I was distant, scared, and unrehearsed, yet I still considered myself a professional.

It took me speaking to a broadway actor that began my journey to better myself and my act. I was told flat out:

“Dude your tricks are amazing but you as a performer, well you suck!”

That hit me really hard and I didn’t understand why he said that to me. I had better than average slights, I was always told I was funny. What was it?

Soon after this conversation I began looking at some of the greats, not just in magic but in acting, comedy, broadway, you name it. I quickly realized that people remembered them, not because they were just funny, or amazing, or great actors, but instead they were remembered because they had character. They had developed a character and worked constantly to improve, learn and grow. Something I had never done nor thought of. It was time to make a change.

I tried to make characters up, I tried to be other people and in the end, for me, my character was me!

The person I had been looking for was with me all the time. Mind you it wasn’t as simple as just me going on stage and doing what I do in everyday life. I had to be honest with myself. I had to realize that not everyone is going to like or accept me. I had to realize that I had to be ok with who I am before anyone else could. For the next few years, I wrote scripts, I did open mic nights, even free shows. I did anything in my power to perform as much as possible for as many different people in as many different situations as possible. In fact, I stopped doing magic for a while and did stand up comedy.

I always considered myself a comedian but doing stand up quickly taught me that there is a HUGE diffrenence between being the funny guy and being a comedian. At another time I’ll tell all of you my stand up comedy experience, but for now I’ll continue with the topic at hand.

What I learned through these few experiences changed the way I thought and approached everything. I began looking back and earlier performances of myself and remembered being ashamed of what I was doing. I was ashamed for being so naive. To put it in different words, I learned to make toast and eggs and went out calling myself a chef. It was humbling and one of the best things that happened to me. To this very day, I still work hard to make my show even better. In the end, I want my audiences not only to be amazed but to leave my show more than satisfied. I want what I did for them to be a fun, enjoyable, and amazing experience that they have NEVER had before. I don’t want there to be anyone else that they can compare me too. I want to be something different, something that they have never seen and never will again.

There is something to be said about the people that are legends. They are unlike anything that has ever been and no one else can do what they’ve done the way they’ve done it. That’s why they’re remembered. That’s why they’re loved. They realized that being a magician isn’t just about fooling people. Magic isn’t just about the tricks.

I know I will accomplish my goal and I’d like to help you accomplish your goal. Let’s work together to change the face of magic.

Leave comments below as to why you do magic and what you get out of it. Also don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and me by tell me things you feel you need help with. I’ll do my absolute best to get you going in the right direction.

Your voice matters. Let it be heard.

-Xavior Spade

New releases make Metal an essential series on coin magic

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Metal, a signature video from a master prestidigitator, just went from an indispensible work to a must-have collection.

The next chapters of Eric Jones’ highly-reviewed Metal cover the next levels of coin magic, and take coin workers to new heights of beauty, structuring, routining and impact.

In Metal 2: Commanding Coin Magic, Jones goes way beyond basics. Filled with brilliant routines and live performances, Jones presents eight effects that take the basics of Metal and make mesmerizing magic. He also talks at length about pacing, blocking, redirection, looking natural and much more.

Metal 3: Guide to Gaffed Coin Magic puts sleight of hand to use with well-known gaffs. Standard trick coins such as shells and flipper coins go from gimmicks to heavy-duty tools, once you learn what a magician like Jones does with them. Also filled with performances and advice, the video includes nine effects that leave spectators stunned with the impossibilty they witnessed.

Metal 2 and Metal 3 are available right now. And for the next 12 hours, you could score in an extra bonus — you can get free downloads, or you could win sets of Artifact coins, including our rare Gold Artifacts. Or you could win an online master class with Eric Jones himself.