Monthly Archives: July 2013

Why I Love Magic

I love magic! I do. I live and breathe magic. It is what I wish to do as a career. It is what I do when I’m out with friends or when I’m alone doing my own thing. I watch magic. I read about magic and I talk about magic. Magic magic magic.

So why do I love this art so much? Why does my wife think I’m married to her and my coins?

Well for me in school, I wasn’t particularly the cool kid (although I did have friends), I had crushes on girls (yiiip, if you are a female from school with me, chances are I had a crush on you at some point……..)but I was the “friend.” So magic really broke that barrier and before I knew it, everyone in my grade and a lot of students in school came up to ask me to perform, which leads to chatting, which leads to new friends.

On that note, I find that magic breaks the ice. If the crowd is an “awkward” crowd (the type where there is awkward silence with a little bit of talking), it really relaxes the group. If you find yourself in a crowd where people don’t know each other, magic is a great way to break any barriers and relax the environment for the new comers to feel accepted.

Magic also can break the barriers for the performer. Sometimes a performer might feel uneasy about a crowd. Magic seems to relax ME when I am in that situation. I feel if I go into a crowd of people who I do not know, they could judge me (because that is normal) and well what better way to be deemed by a stranger as a “frikken awesome magician”?

I believe that magic creates a space for adults to go back to their roots as children. In today’s world one cannot be seen believing in the impossible. Well you can but expect the “you are crazy” look on people’s faces. Magic provides a platform for adults to believe in the impossible… and it is okay! You won’t be judged or sent to an asylum. Adults get thrown into a world of impossibility and magic, and because according to Freud, everything stems from our childhood – adults love to watch magic.

I feel fantastic when I hear people laugh, gasp and scream from my magic. That means they are relaxed, having a great time and it all is possible because of the magic that I have shared with them. I try very hard to make my spectators feel they play as much of a role in my magic as I do. I try to give them the power. Who knows what sort of a day they have had or what trouble is waiting for them after my ten minutes of magic? At least when I walk to the next group of people I know that the previous group, for that little bit of time, left their troubles at the door and got to let go and have fun.

So, let me ask you: Why do you love magic? Feel free to comment below or go to my facebook page and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

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A Few Thoughts

So I have a few thoughts. I was reading the introduction to Juan Tamariz’s Mnemonica and the author mentioned something that I think every magician feels deep down in their hearts. He said that Juan made him feel like a layman. People often ask me before/during/after a performance if when I watch the stuff on TV do I go “WOW” or “How did he do that?”Wow

Most of the times I answer “no” because I am quite well versed in sleight of hand and even though I might not know how to do the moves, I know what moves are being done. Rarely do I exclaim out loud (maybe sometimes even a bit too loud) surprise because I have been fooled. And I guess it’s true – deep down I want to feel like that when I watch an illusion or a close up effect. Deep down we long to all feel like laymen. However sometimes, when I see an effect I do not know what was potting, I get a bit jealous because I wish I could do that. I’m sad to say Greg but that attitude will not aid in your success. You see magic that you don’t have a clue on the sleights used – embrace the layman and freak out and enjoy it. It doesn’t happen often.

Another thought: You have to perform in the trenches. I went to Vida E Cafe today to get some coffee (I work right up the road from one) and I performed some magic for the barristers and they were completely flawed. It’s true: performing in your bedroom, family and friends is one thing, however performing for stranger is the only way you as a magician will be able to better your skills. It’s not easy but it can be done and one must strive to always perform for strangers on a daily basis. You go to the shops – pull a coin out of the cashier’s ear, do a bill switch, make your credit card disappear and reappear. Those small effects leave huge marks on laymen and gives you the confidence you need.

Go out there and perform and embrace those feelings of being a layman when you come across a gem of magic.

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My Wish List #1 The 5 Points in Magic by Juan Tamariz

Ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to my first post going through my wish list. To recap for the new comers: I will post a new effect/dvd/book that I wish I could have. I will give some background as to why I want it, what it’s about, and a little about the author.

The Five Points In Magic

The Five Points In Magic

#1. The five points in magic by Juan Tamariz.

This book speaks about the five senses and how we use our bodies to fool the mind. Juan is an incredible author, performer and world class thinker in magic and the psychological aspects of it. Spain is lucky to have him. He is an expert in the art of misdirection.

Juan teaches that the hands not only deceive, but the eyes, feet, the body and the voice do as well. He teaches the performer how to spin a web of illusion for his audience and transport them into a realm that is specifically prepared by the performer. Imagine understanding the psychological side to magic and actually using it to your benefit! Beautiful!

Juan Tamariz

These five tools are important for any worker – stage or close – up. The thing that really sells the book to me is that Tamariz is an expert in both stage and close – up and the concepts are taught using that accomplishment to the reader’s advantage. He really knows his stuff. What is also special about this book (apparently) is that he teaches these concepts with real-life examples from his own repertoire. People at Penguin Magic have been raving about this book as a fundamental in any magician’s library. It is only $35 for a lifetime of inspiration.

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The Different Types Of Magicians Out There

I believe there are three types of magicians. I believe you can’t be more than one type of magician at a time, but you can be all three at some point of your magic career. There is no type that is better than the other but I do believe in order to maximise your potential, you need to know under which category you fall into.

The first type is the magician who focuses more on the technical side to magic – they like to create more than performing. This magician will sit all day and design gadgets to use in show. For them the thought of creating is more important than performing.

Create! It all begins with a thought… Just don’t hurt yourself lol

The second type is the magician who sits and hones in on their skills. Practice practice practice. 24/7/365 “do not pass go do not collect $200”. This magician’s skill has the potential to be in the league of the professionals whose DVDs we own. Unfortunately because of the amount of time they spend practicing, they don’t go out there and a) perform and b) get the shows

Practice makes perfect!

The third type is the magician whose skill level is not at the highest level but this magician goes and performs and gets the shows. This magician knows they need to work on skill etc, but they are able to impress the crowds with the skill they have.

“Alright. But it better be good.”
Perform for anyone who is willing to watch! Even your boss! Maybe work on the timing though 😉

A magician will go through all three stages at some point of their magical career. Each type teaches valuable lessons and there is no time limit per type. Each magician is unique and however long they spend creating, practicing or performing is up to them.

However it is important for each magician to be able to have the maturity and look at themselves and say: “hang on, I need to get out and perform my magic” or “I actually need to sit with the information that I have and start creating my own effects, patter, props etc.”

Looking at it from this perspective shifts the responsibility on the magician as THEY are the only ones who can actually pull themselves out of any ruts or low-points. When I see a magician with amazing skill and I feel a bit depressed because I can’t do that, I look at my magic and say: “Where is my focus? Is it on creating? Is it on performing or is it on my skill?” Am I happy to be that type of magician or do I want to change? The choice is up to me. It is not up to another performer or person to say: “Greg, stop practicing and go and perform” They can inspire me to move into another category but that is it. The choice of when to change and which category to change into is up to me!

You are the driver of your magic carpet. Where are YOU going?

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