Blog Archive

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some new Thimble moves

So for the few years or so, probably more like 15 years. I've been studying the art of thimble magic. Why out of all things thimbles? Well it all started, like I said about 15 years ago. I was trying to find my way in magic like a lot of us magicians. I tried doing magic with cards, rope, coins, but I just wasn't feeling the LOVE! And frankly the only thing I was good at with money is making it disappear.

Then one day as I was going through my magic library. I came across a unopened dvd of

"Jeff McBride's World Class Manipulation - Volume 1 - DVD"

 I was immediately sucked in. Jeff was doing so unbelievable manipulations with thimbles. I knew right there and then that this was what I wanted to do. I started seeking out every book, article, dvd, even vhs tape on thimble magic. I studied all the different aspects, moves and techniques. I've even came up with a few of my own original moves.

My other influences are Shoot Ogawa  and Joe Mogar

 Many magicians told me that I'm wasting my time with thimbles, that the audience can't see them. I didn't care because when you're passionate about something you love. You don't stop. You do it because you love it. You do it because you're good at it and it makes you happy. Some of the moves I created have taken me five years to perfect.
 I'm constantly thinking of different and creative ways to introduce thimbles into my magic.
I will be performing my original thimble routine "Master Of Thimbles" at the "Wonderground" on August 20th, 2015.
I hope to see you there.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mark Presley gets his own theater?

 This post was from several facebook posts I made a few days ago as well as commented on my own post on the progress of a  theater that I might potentially have. Here is the recent posts about me talking about getting my own potential theater. 
June 2oth, 2015 - 11:20 pm
 Is it fate? So I'm at a resort and discovered they have an old theater  that hasn't  ben used in years. I asked to take a look at it and it needs a little TLC.  I go to the front desk and ask the nice woman working if there is anyone I can talk to because I had a question. She said "Ya! the man behind you sitting down is the new owner" I walked over introduced myself and the next thing I know I have a meeting set up for Monday to talk about a possible show. It's funny how fate works.

I always had a dream to have my own place, my own theater.  Please send positive vibes,advice and wisdom my way. I'm new to this, but it isn't the first time I made a cold contract deal. In the early 1990's I had a cleaning business. It's what I did to help pay for all the magic illusions I have. My first cleaning contract wasn't even planned. In fact I didn't even have a cleaning business yet. I just happened to make a cold phone call, happened to reach a restaurant business just opening up. A few days after that cold call, I'm sitting with a bunch of suits and closing a 18,000 deal. Not bad for someone that didn't go to college, didn't take marketing or sales classes. I just do it. I hope I can get as lucky as in the 90's. DREAMS happen thorough persistence and motivation. Fingers crossed.

 June 22nd, 2015 - 9:15 am
 Here I am in the lobby just minutes from possible knowing if I get my own theater. Today I will be sitting with the resort management and getting a tour of the theater. SHHHHH! don't tell anyone, but the other night I happened to see some maintenance people who I managed to let me get a sneak peak of the theater. In magic you always have to be one step ahead,

 June 22nd, 2015 7:50 pm
Update! Well it looks like my "One Step Ahead' Comment on my last comment paid off. Remember I said in my last in my last comment that I managed to get a SECRET PEAK of the theater from a couple of maintenance guys that happened to be walking by me? 

Well when the owner and head person of marketing escorted me to the theater the following day, They couldn't open the door. When the maintenance guys opened the theater they day before I observed how they got in, so I had to kind of hint to them how to get in. It went something like "Hey maybe you should try and see if there is a door behind the box office" LOL! they went around the corner and VOILA! They got doors open. 

It was so dark in there I could hardly see. I manged to find some old lighting laying around. I plugged it in and to our amazement, it worked! The owner and marketing person seemed to not really have any knowledge of what the equipment was or what it was used for. My first thought was "What happened to this place?" although it's a nice theater, this place needs some TLC. About 5 years ago this theater was booming. It's like everyone just packed up and went. Overall it has a lot of potential. The owner is very interested in doing a magic show there. I will pretty much have the freedom of getting the place looking the way I want as long as it fits the budget. 

The walls in some spots need drywall patches, paint and the owner said he's going to get an electrician in to get the electric working so I don't have to point a spot light out the decrepit sound and lighting room. There in a sound and lighting board that I found in the sound and lighting room. I'll have to check to see if it works. I also let the owner know that I would have to have access to the theater at anytime of day and night so I can put a show together and have rehearsals. 

The owner also told me that he might be able to provide me an assistant for some of the illusions I plan on doing. He told me that the resort has a on premise "Tilted Kilt" and told me that he could probably get me one of the models with no problem. And to make it even better,  I will be able to get free accommodations for my family and I when I'm doing shows. I made it very clear that my family comes first and that I actually had to have a meeting with my family before I could even meet with the owner and marketing person and get an okay approval. 

So so far this looks promising. It may take several months to get everything lined up. Today I was going through my warehouse and looking through possible magic effects to do. Now I'm even more confused. I have so much magic that I don't even know what to do with. 

I pulled out some Fakini feathers that I had stored away, which for a non-magician, means nothing, but for those in the business, you know the beauty in the effect.

Well I got to run. I have much to do.  Such as finding some nice magic to perform for this venue, writing a script for the show and finding some royalty music.  Please subscribe to this blog and keep up to date on the progress, photos and more....


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Have you ever purchased a magic effect and ran into the challenges of trying to figure out what the heck to do? It's right up there with trying to figure out what exactly the blue palm palm connected to the red palm palm on the short string which is connected to the yellow palm palm on the long string that is connected to the green palm palm is used for. WHEW!

How about his? You finally get your magic trick in the mail and it literally is in another language. OH! and how about this.... The directions that you received for your magic effect is blurred out, a section cut off or it looks like it's a 340 generation copy. Just a few weeks ago I had to get the help of Tim Felix- Owner of just to understand the working of the Siberian Chain Escape.

Thanks Tim for all your help! He's a real pro.

I can finally rest my eyes trying to comprehend the effect. I give a lot of credit to the old timers in magic. They didn't really have much tvs back then. DVDs, VCRs, Betta Tapes, youtube, maybe cassette tapes if they were luck. 

They had hardcore paper instructions and by some miracle they figured it out. And if they didn't they would write actual letters to friends or invite them over to help.

In a lot of instances magic instructions were made to be hard to comprehend for a reason.
They were made that way so it wouldn't be easy for someone that wanted to just learn secrets of a magic trick and not work for it. So they made the directions very vague.

Usually you would have to find a magician higher up to help you. And only then would that magician help you if he thought you were serious about learning the art.

Where will magic be in 50, 100, 500 years from now? Will it exist? Will our planet be like "Mad Max?" will our technology be destroyed and we no longer have youtube video on magic, websites....?

What will happen? does anyone have a back-up plan for preserving the magic?  Maybe a time capsule filled with Tarbell Books wouldn't be a bad idea. Will the future know who David Copperfield is? or will technology be so far advanced to the point that magicians will be laughed at? They might think something like "Magicians would make a feather float?" why?

So the next time you have trouble understanding directions. Maybe they weren't meant to be understood. Maybe the directions itself has the power to pick and choose who will comprehend it and who won't.


Sunday, May 24, 2015


Those of you that don't want to hear that it's not always the performer it's the kids.  LEAVE NOW!
Is the room clear? okay good. Now I would like to vent out on how I have been dealing with little know it all punks who feel like because they saw a youtube video tutorial on how to do a magic trick they KNOW IT ALL! Have you ever had that happen? I've talked about it before in some magic groups and let me be clear on a few things. For some magicians who are right up there with the kids and seem and seem to be a  "KNOW IT ALL" I've had some say "Well you must not be a good magician or else they wouldn't be treating you like that" For some of you that have said that or think that, perhaps you are a late blossom of  youtube.

I am good at what I do. I have worked at a restaurant for 21 years and "YES" some kids can be ASS HOLES. They watch a few youtube videos on TT, palming, Svengali deck and as I'm performing magic at their table they call out what I'm doing or should I say WHAT THEY THINK I"M DOING! For the most part it's really not the kids fault it's their up-bringing. Usually they have asshole parents, asshole brothers or sisters, asshole friends or maybe they just picked up on the art of being a asshole somewhere else.

They don't have the proper support and encouragement, nor are they even taught about how to behave. Especially in public.

I'm overall a pretty laid back nice guy and don't like ranting and using such workds, but sometimes in life things just need to be told as is.

I could here some reading this blog now saying "Oh my! he's saying these things on a blog? what about your image what if people who want to hire you see this" Oh well! all the better. Maybe that will help filter the ass holes that might want to hire me.

I don't know about you, but I want to do shows for good people. People who enjoy and respect what I do and if someone is going to judge me for being truthful  then I don't want any part of it.

So why is "youtube the killer of magic?"  for some people that post the "How To" youtube videos, it's for views. It's all about the numbers. If you have a lot of viewers and subscribers it can be quite lucrative on youtube aa well as other social nedia websites. You can get sponsors and actually get money to make videos.  For some magicians they teach magic on youtube because they genuinely want to help. They have a passion for it. Others just want to take a cheap shot and get the views, subscribers and money.

And then their is the losers who reveal magic because, well. They are losers.  Who knows, maybe they didn't ever make it to the Magic Castle or on the Worlds Greatest Magic. They are bitter people who want to thrash their anger out on destroying our art and exposing it.

So what happens is you get these kids that go on youtube, look up a trick and now WOW! they are a friggin magician. Alright! congratulations. Now they go on youtube after less then 3 minutes or practice if you're lucky and they are  ripping the trick apart on how stupid and easy of a trick it is. Yep! that's right little runt. If it's so easy why didn't you think of it? appearenly if you watch a youtube video that teaches a trick it makes you a instant pro and so knowledgeable of magic.
I guess youtube is the modern day book of "Easy to DO!, REQUIRES  no PRACTICE! Be a MAGICIAN INSTANTLY....

I'm seeing more and more of these kids coming into the restaurant as well as in shows. I had several magicians express their experiences as well.  As I'm actually performing a magic effect, they will start to point out things I'm doing, or like I said think I'm doing.  What they don't know is that when you are a good magician  you can actually fool them on a trick that they are so positively confident they know.  In one case I was at a table of kids. For the most part they were well behaved, but as you know it only takes one to ruin the party.  This kids was one of those "KNOW it All's" he even said "Oh! you have one of the TT" as he said that I dislodged the "TT' and it went ino a FP at the same time bringing both of my thumbs up in a Fonz style position for the little shit to examine. His eyes got big like WTF! I just love those moments.

Another moment was when I was, again at a table full of kids. This one kid wouldn't stop and even after I politely asked to keep it down, he persisted on narrating everything I do. I couldn't even do my card effect because "MR KNOW IT ALL" said that I was using a "FARO DECK" LOL!  It was a regular deck of cards. I finally snapped and said "Okay! since you seem to know more about this trick then I do, you do it"

THE KID: "Oh, I can't do it"
Me: "NO! you just said you can do it"
THE KID: "Well I can't remember"
Me: "Aw! you can remember! you just told me how it was done"
The KID: "I don't remember"
Me: I motion a clap to all his friends at the table "Come on! you can do it! everyone give him a round of applause!"
The whole table of kids clap. The kid quickly changes his tune, I do a few more effects, and then thank them for their time and then I'm on m way to the next table.

After that the boy was quite. I can just hear some of the fumes firing up from magicians reading this.
"How could you!" Well my friends sometimes you just have to call things out on people, put them in their place and teach them that they they don't always know the answers and that maybe they should not be so quick to try to explain how a trick is done.

The old approach of "Well we shall not do that! That is wrong! We shall not do that to the children!  and treat them like that" doesn't seem to fit in today.

Maybe 30, 50 years ago that would work. the old respect thing, but respect is gone. We are on their turf now and in order to get respect we sometimes have to go a little further in the "BALLS ZONE" So it seems.

Heck! I'll have kids that are on their cell phones, handheld video games and ipods while I'm doing magic at the table. I can't compete with that! how in the world am I going to compete with a electronic device?
I'll be performing magic at their table and they won't even look up or acknowledge me.

That is until I changed my game myself. I started to change the way I approach them. The way I handle myself. I don't feel good about the art of magic when I get these feelings of kids just not caring anymore about magic.

One of the things I did was if I saw a table of kids who had their cellphones, ipod, pads out. I would get my "TT D Light " (SPECIAL CODE - WINK! WINK!) I would have the TT D Light on my - - - - and I would reach at their screen and pull a "BLUE LIGHT" from their screen. I would then say "Hi I'm Mark Presley, I'm the magician here this evening and I'm sorry, but I just powered down your electronics.

I'm going to do some magic to them all in a moment and so if you can put them in the middle of the table and I will do some magic to those items." The kids put the electronics in the middle of the table. I go into my magic bit and when I'm done I thank everyone for letting me entertain them. As I'm walking away I'll usually have one of the kids say.. "Hey! you said you were going to do some magic to these things on the table"

Me: "Oh yes! I forgot. The magic trick was for me to get you off your ipods while I was doing some magic for you. As you can see it worked." I take out my "TT D light" and reach toward the screen with the blue light. The kids see the blue light hit the screen and I say "It's all powered back up again. Have a magical day."

The parents usually get a big laugh and they are also impressed at how you got them off the videos games, due to the fact that even they can't do that.

Now I would like to wrap it up by saying that for the most part kids are pretty attentive to the magic. Not all of them have the rudeness attitude as I was describing earlier. In fact I'll even have some parents ask their kids to put away the electronic devices when I approach them. Some parents will even correct their attitude if they start going into the UN-polite zone.

I would love to hear form you in the comments some of your stories on the "KNOW IT ALL'S" how did you handle it? Do you have any suggestions on how to handle some of the challenging situations?
Please share your story. It would be nice to know that this is a REAL thing that the HARD WORKING magician has to face. Sure I could hype myself up and talk about how great I am and that all my audiences are GREAT and AWESOME so that I can appear well seasoned and that I'm so good that these things never happen.

Truth be told. They do happen and I feel that when we can bring these challenges up front, it embraces us and supports us a s magicians and helps us understand that we are not alone. Maybe you have gone through these challenges. What can we do as magicians to turn things around and not only perform good magic, but make us better performers when dealing with these up-rising situations of the "KNOW IT ALL'S" Please tell your story or make a comment.
Thanks again for reading my blog.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

McBride Mystery School. Gets A+

Okay, I love Vegas, but I really miss my wife and my son. I can't wait to come home and give them both a kiss and a hug. On my off times of magic mystery school, I've been reading and in deep though of where I want to take my art. The most important thing is family. They come first, my love for magic second. I have learned so much at the Mystery School that I attended.

When I first entered the school. I knew immediately it was magic before I even entered the school. The door alone is magical. As I walk into the school I'm overwhelmed with incense burning, candles flickering, magic books galore and magic props scattered throughout.

 I was greeted by the teachers that are know to be the best in the world. I met people in my class from all over the world. One man from Germany, He told a story of his recent service in the military. He experienced  a solider, his friend right next to him get shot and killed. It was a eye jerking moment as the whole class learned each of our stories on a personal level. Here is this young magician, a soldier, here at the Mystery School going for his dream after all of that.

At this school we all had something in common. The love of magic and being able to take our gift and make it into a more meaningful art where we can hopefully use our gift to move and inspire others. I feel like a different person.

In Las Vegas things can literally be a life of deception. As I was walking through the strip. I was overwhelmed by how many homeless people were on the streets begging for money, people handing out business cards of woman on them saying "Would like  a woman for tonight" I decline the offer and as I'm walking past I say "No! I'm too expensive"

I'm really thankful that being in the heart of SIN CITY that I'm sharp and have a clear head. With that being said. There are people that can be very successful here in Las Vegas and not fall into the trap of deception.

The second day of class we went to the Underground and I was luck enough to be asked to perform close up magic before the main show started. I performed my butterfly in a BOX effect right there only feet away. I got such a great response from everything I did.

Jeff opened up the Wonderground as Clyde McBride, a St Patricks Day themed character. It was a awesome show. The great Cody Clark did some wonderful close up magic and got rave reviews.

Overall my experience for the Jeff McBride Mystery School has been nothing, but a moving and positive experience. It's not all about learning as much magic and getting as much magic as you can. It's about finding your soul and finding out who you really are. Some magicians really don't know what the schools is all about and some people get wrong or misconstrued information on things that people don't even know what they are talking. Fir those that want to raise the bar of their performance and make your art life changing. I highly recommend the McBride Mystery School. The teachers, McBride, Tobias, Larry and Eugen all get a A+. Way to go! You can't appreciate what the school is all about unless you experience it yourself. When you join the clouds will part, the sun will shine through. Just like it will help you shine though and your eyes will open to a new kind of magic. THE MAGIC OF GIVING!
-Mark Presley-
AKA- Imaginator

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My first Toastmasters class

Tonight I decided to join "Toastmasters" for those of you who may not know what Toastmasters is. It's an organization, a club where you join and practice public speaking. I thought it would be great for my magic because I really want to be able to have both strong magic as well as a presentation.

Well here are my thoughts on the first day of class. I was quite impressed. "Toastmasters" is well thought out and organized. Tonight I got a chance to hear and see three speakers in the class. The first speaker talked about the poor people in Brazil where they live in a place called "Favela" which is a fancy word fro slums. 

Only a few hundred feet away are high rises with huge balconies. Each balcony has it's own pool The people in "Favela" don't pay taxes . They actually have their own grocery stores. They made their own little city made out of whatever material they can find. Wood, metal, tarp. Another speaker talked about the high taxes in Illinois and came up with a solution of the high taxes using an example of a layered cake and how each layer represents a income bracket. The last speaker talked about immigration and the positives that we don't hear about. Why immigration is good and how they help drive the economy. Overall I thought the speeches were good and it really gave me a clear perspective of what Toastmasters is all about. At the end of the class the Toastmaster panel gives you a rundown on what was good, strong, needs work and the "Ands" and "Ums"

My first assignment that I had to do tonight was to pick a index card from the toastmaster. On each card was written an animal . The toastmaster set up a scenario. The scenario was that Noah was boarding animals and he only had room for one more animal I had to talk and convince Noah why he should pick me and not the other animals. It was designed to be improve so it will help us think fast I picked the card that said "Snake" and so it went something like this. "Helooooow ahhh Noahhhhh. I think you shoulddddd pick meeeeee...ssssssssssss, because I'mmmmmm a snakeeee.....ssssssssand I'm slitheryyyyyyy and if you don'tttt pickkkk meeeeee. I willlll squeezeeeee youuuuu. sssssssss, so think about it....." I was told that I did pretty good for my first time. 

As magicians I think that our props are sometimes our security blanket. We let our props speak. When our props are gone. It's a different story. My first assignment is to speak about myself. I will start video taping and posting them on the social media and this blog. Each video will be numbered so you can follow up on my progress. One day! Mark my words! I'll be on "Ted Talks"

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

facebook Magic Competition Directory- OPEN NOW!

I have always had a passion for magic competitions. I think they benefit in many ways. It's not all about winning an award. It's about perfecting your art and learning about what your strengths and weaknesses are. Through the years I found it quite challenging to keep up with upcoming magic competitions. People have a hard enough time remembering what they did yesterday let alone remembering details of an upcoming contest.

After some thought I decided "Why not start a facebook group for magic competitions"? a few days later the "Magic Competition Directory" was born. February 19th, 2015.
The reason I created this group was so that it could be a little more easy for magicians to join and look at any upcoming magic competitions coming up. Anyone that is having a magic competition. Whether it be a club, organization or private contest can join the group and post their magic competition info.
Magic Competition Directory

Now for some people. They might ask. "Why would I direct people to your group and not my website or facebook group?" Well that's a good question and here is my answer. You can do both. If you are having a convention where you are hosting a magic competition. Why not make it easy for people to find your info. Besides, networking outside your social network can benefit you in reaching new audiences and potential customers.You will also of course be able to link to your website and facebook group. So it's a ALL WIN SITUATION!

This group will one day be an established and well known group for all your magic competition info.
Group members will not only be able to view upcoming magic competitions, but they will also be able to post pictures, videos of magic competitions that they  have participated in.

This group will also eventually have downloadable magic competition applications that you can download and fill out and then send back. Anyone that is having a magic competition can upload a pdf flyer or application for anyone interested in participating in your contest. 

I will also have files you can download such as "Contest Scoring Sheets" as well as some advice on how to win a contest.

The sky is the limit! I hope you will join my facebook group as well as share my group, "Magic Competition Directory" with your friends and spread the word. Right now the group is in the early stages, but you can join and look over some of the pictures and videos posted of magicians showing off their PRIZED POSSESSIONS.

Thanks again for your support. Please visit the facebook group and read the description for more info. 

Mark Presley

Monday, February 16, 2015


Do you have what it takes to make a magic video? If so this may be your magic calling. I'm looking for a magician that would be interested in performing a magic routine that I have choreographed. The routine has two different magic effects incorporated in it. The magician I'm looking for most have strong stage presence and have experience with a "Losander  FT" having your own is a plus. The other effect is a effect I created which I will tell you what it is once I feel that I have found the right candidate. The right candidate will get my effect I created, performing rights to my routine, brag rights and will be credited and promoted on my websites, blog any social media.

The magician I'm looking for can be either a male or female magician. They must be able to tap into the feel that I'm trying to portray in the magic effect performance. The magic candidate most be outgoing and be able to share ideas. Artistic freedom is open depending on if it fits into the story of the effect. If interested please fill out the form below. I have a goal of getting this project complete within 8 months. If you are a magician and you live in Las Vagas. I will be out in Las Vegas in the middle of March and if you're selected. I could possible film your performance of my effect during the duration that I will  be out there.

Again please fill out the form if intereted and I will contact you and fill you in with more info.
Thanks! and have a magical day!
Mark Presley


Magician Wanted




Sunday, February 15, 2015

Making inventions out of TRASH!

 I really think it's amazing how people can come up with creative ways to invent things with simple everyday objects. Recreating a purpose or new idea is where the magic lies. I remember as a kid. I had to learn to be creative on my own. In my time era as a child. I didn't have computers, electronic games, internet and social media where the imagination and creativity was actually in the electronic devices, not my brain.. I believe this is what helped me develop my creativity. It wasn't till much latter in life that I discovered my full potential of actually creating and developing magic inventions to sell to the magic community.

When I was a kid and I was bored. I would find myself looking around the neighborhood and trying to find whatever I could to pr-occupy my mind and take myself to another place. One day I found a shopping cart. I stripped the frame and made a go-kart out of it. My friends and I would take turns pushing each other in it. It was a great way to pass time.

On another occasion, I found a empty refrigerator box. My friend and I would cut out windows in the box and pretend we were in a spaceship. Some of the best times were simply using whatever we could find around us and use it in a world of inventing and make believe.

I often wonder how the youth today is able to tap into their creativity. Do they take their creativity for granted? is the age of electronics and social media making a distraction where they can't or don't even know how to tap into their creativity?

Or have they evolved way pass the go-karts and cardboard boxes?
In the age of youtube,  magic and young kids not having any clue about being loyal to the art of magic secrets. I wonder where does our art lie? What kind of future does magic have? Thousands of years from now will the advanced people be looking and laughing at us and saying "They used to do what?" Will it come to one day future archaeologists digging up lost states and countries and finding TT, cups & balls and chop cups and trying to make sense with our ancestors who have primitive drawings that were drawn on slate? Will all the books, dvd and vhs make it through to the future?

Will magic survive? as long as we have IMAGINATION! Our ability to create and invent will continue to grow and become more advanced then ever, but in order to do so I think we also have to think simple and "Out of the BOX"