Magic in Poland is becoming a habit.
I have just returned home from Poland – this was my second visit and it was amazing. I really love presenting Magic in Poland this is why I accepted the invitation to return.
My friend Michal Kulik invited me over to present my new Lecture “Synergy” for The Krakow Magic Session.
Michal and his partner, Michal Skubida, have been running these events for the last few years. Their goal is to raise the standard of magic in Poland.
I was privileged to be guest of honour and to present my show to the public as part of the weekend event.
Firstly, I presented my lecture to a full room of enthusiastic magicians. It’s amazing to me how far my reach in the world has become just through social media. All of these magicians were familiar with my work.
The following day was my four hour masterclass and it was a full on training for ten magicians. Everyone performs, no exceptions. With everyone performing, it means we can all provide creative feedback.
My Seminars are different to a Lecture. Seminars are about self improvement where as a Lecture is about imparting information. Students then have to take notes and apply that information to their data base of knowledge.
The Seminar is a safe space to receive feedback about style, technique, audience rapport and projection.
I was very impressed with everyone.
The evening show feature myself, Kulik and Skubida – one show, three magicians all called Michał – Polish Spelling.-
The Show was great and well received.
I really like Krakow and its people – I celebrated my birthday there so it was a perfect week away mixed with fun, snow and full blown magic.
I came away with a renewed sense of optimism about my life and craft and the direction I intend to take things in.
I plan on returning to Poland before the end of the year to see my friends.
A very Happy New Year to you all.
2018 has flown by and as I look back, I can see highs and lows and in-between it all, a period of real growth for myself.
I have travelled the world in the last 12 months and it has been wonderful.
My thoughts and feelings have been on a roller coaster with great magic, friendship and personal issues that life just throws at me.
All of which must be dealt with as elegantly as possible.
I am truly grateful for my friendships; they kept me steady during a very challenging time.
I am happy my magic and performances have been competent and effective.
Now that 2019 is here, what now?
Well, it begins with a mad weekend in Eindhoven at a convention hosted by Leo Smetser. In between that, I am organising my first every live webinar that will focus on teaching core skills in mastering card handling.
If you are interested in this, click on the Eventbrite Button below.
I will be traveling a lot in the first half of this year so please keep an eye on updates through this website.
Lots of exciting things happening
This Blog Post is long overdue.
Developing a script is not easy.
It is a miracle any of us arrive at what could be considered a creative presentation for routines when you consider we were not trained in the craft of script writing.
Script Writing is a Craft.
Consider for a moment how much we have to learn:
- Reading the routines from Books
- Deciding this is a routine worthy of our time.
- Mastering difficult sleight of hand.
- Testing our routines with very basic descriptive Patter.
Creating Patter for my routines was tough at the very beginning – I just didn’t know what to say beyond the classic phrase “pick-a-card-any-card”.
That phrase is the beginning of our script writing training.
My friend Mark Morris asked me to share my thoughts on this topic. I must be honest and say my thoughts about scripting has taken me forever to cultivate and I am still working on this.
What I can share with you all with some semblance of knowledge and experience are some guidelines to get you all started.
Ok, here we go:
Start off by creating a big note book just to write down ideas.
You don’t keep a journal?
Stop that nonsense and go purchase a Moleskin.
Keeping a journal is a gymnasium for your mind and imagination.
Are you kidding me?
This image is the inspiration behind some of my favourite routines and plots.
This is the foundation for all of my presentations.
So, get started, please.
Next, cultivate an interest in something other than card magic.
I love Photography, Traveling, Walking, Observing, Films, Hitchcock, Spielberg, James Bond, Batman, Star Wars, Jason Bourne, Jack Bauer 24, I am learning more about History particularly The Second World War and…LEGO.
I am student of Landmark Education, Personal Development, Dale Carnagie, Anthony Robbins and Napoleon Hill.
Many of these subjects have played a big part in my script writing.
Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this book.
This book is THE PLAY BOOK on how screen writers craft their Oscar winning projects.
I purchased this book because I was inspired by the fact that Darwin Ortiz thought so highly of it.
If you think the presentations for my routines are any good, its only because I spend more time now on script and premise than I do learning routines – I have enough routines to last the rest of my life.
My performances now are all about bonding and connecting with my audience. (more…)
In a previous post I asked “why do we do this”.
This has been on my mind a lot.
A recent performance I gave during my one man show provided all the answers I needed.
Sit back and enjoy this video, we have a lot to discuss in this blog post.
This post and performance is dedicated to my dear friend Jason Ladanye.
He is the best card man I have seen in the last 15 years.
While my opinion is subjective, my evaluation of Jason and his creative out put is based on spending time with him, enjoying his thought process, his technical ability, watching him perform to lay people and plus the fact I like him as a person.
I mention Jason in the context of this blog post because the routine in this video is his glorious creation.
It is called Lucky Charms.
Now, back to the point of this post – audience reaction.
This is the reason why we perform magic.
AUDIENCE REACTION IS EVERYTHING
There was a time when we all once gasped in total astonishment.
I can remember vividly when Alan Alan stunned me with his Rising Card.
I sat next to Slydini in awe.
I was completely blown away by Tommy Wonder, Albert Goshman, Fred Kaps, Harry Lorayne, Cy Endfield. And I am talking blown away by the feeling of magic.
It was uncanny, for a brief moment, I felt magic was real.
This video performance reminded me why I do magic.
It is my duty to give my audience the absolute best experience of magic I am capable of.
Anything less and I consider myself a failure.
In watching this video, it reminded me of the responsibility I have and the privilege of being a magician.
To give this gift away is a wonderful thing.
I must be honest and say when I was younger my ego was in overdrive – my performance was all about “ME”.
Now, it’s about creating a synergistic partnership with my audience.
I see my audience as my collaborators in my show.
Together, WE create the experience and atmosphere of magic.
It is imperative that we have at our disposal the strongest material possible.
We must also present our magic with a stylish, authentic and dignified presentation.
If you are serious about presenting strong magic then study the classic books, watch my DVDs, study the work of Darwin Ortiz and Jason Ladanye.
Jason’s new book is called GAME CHANGER.
Click on the image above or here to order your copy
Think about your magic for a moment, ask yourself honestly if your magic produces astonishment for your audience?
Now astonishment is not the same as amusement or curiosity, no, it is that child like state of wonder, enchantment and the feeling that comes with it is magical.
Astonishment is our natural state.
Our job as magicians is to open that door within our audience.
We are the key that unlocks that feeling and set it it free.
Our audience will thank us in the only way they feel compelled to – a standing ovation.
Thank you for reading.
With the arrival of my new DVD with Alakazam Magic, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about my Synergistic approach to Card Magic and Audience Testing.
I have a fairly comprehensive library, old books mostly. Some of the newer books are simply great, some of them even stunning.
Books like Lessons in Card Mastery by Darwin Ortiz and Game Changer by Jason Ladanye. These two books have really pushed this subject forward.
I also have books in my library which I feel haven’t.
I have delayed the publication of my book simply because my material has not pushed the subject forward.
I like to think my performances have contributed a lot this subject.
When I watch videos of myself, in most cases, I feel happy because my execution was good, my presentations are now more an authentic expression of me, my vision and life.
My creative ability, what little I have is more in line with a simple thought;
What can I do with this effect?
What can I communicate with this routine.
What will the audience learn about me after this performance?
I must thank my friend Chris Wood for that last question – it is a question I had not considered or even framed in this way. I was thinking more in terms of why should they care.
Over dinner last night, Chris dropped that question on me and it landed powerfully. Full credit to him because I said to him there is a blog post right there with full credit.
My creative expression comes alive when I feel and make powerful connections with magical principles.
My new DVD is an exploration into this thought process.
Many of the routines on my DVD grew out of these questions – one routine in particular is The Lie Detector.
In case you forgot it, here is the video again to enjoy.
This routine is a synergic combination of ideas from Paul Cummings, Mike Obrien, Larry Jennings, Alex Elmsley along with a devious moment from myself. This routine is a hard core FOOLER. It has caught many magicians off guard.
This is an example of how I create and design my magic. I look for gaps in the handling that can be made stronger. I look for a presentational hook to make them care or at the very least spark interest.
The next important thing is test drive my ideas. I am learning to trust my ideas a lot more now.
I had the crazy idea of combining two wonderful techniques together to create a truly stunning effect. The routine is called The Changeling – this never fails to generate a gorgeous response.
Here is a performance.
The lighting in this video is dam aweful – I apologies for this.
This video features The Changeling along with a routine from my first Alakazam DVD The Pathway to Excellence Volume 1.
As you can see, I have combined both routines together to create a monster showpiece item. This synergistic combination is beautiful and a tribute to Robert Houdin Metamorphosis.
My routine features modern sleight of hand techniques along with a strong presentation hook. The routine is a big hit in my stand up show.
Test driving routines is big part of being performance ready – this can take serval months before I feel this level of certainty.
Trusting myself, my technique and delivery is a constant work in progress.
This is a requirement for all of us.
My new DVD also features a stunning routine called Pasteboard Larceny MKII – The original appeared on my Penguin Lecture.
This revision is how I now present the routine. It combines ideas of SteveForte, Jason England and Darwin Ortiz into a stunning demonstration of Gambling and Card Control.
I do not consider myself a gambling expert. My audience will think so after watching this routine. The strength of this in the combination of ideas and how they have been routines together.
My new DVD is ready for order and immediate shipment.
Cost is £24.99
Order will be handled directly through Pay Pal.
Click on The Magic Button to place your order: