It's been a few weeks since I've been active here on my blog. Actually I really haven't been too active on the social network. For the past couple of years I decided that in the early months of the New Year I would take a mental break from the social network and free myself from social network stress and the constant need to upload a picture, video, post....It seems at times a competitive thing us humans think we have to do in order to be accepted by our peers and cliques. If you think about it there has been social networking way before our time. We just figured out a way to make it faster and stream across the world and into other countries instantaneously.
In the caveman eras they have been using tablets way before us. In fact writing on walls and slats was their main source of communication and socialization. I really don't have enough experience or education to go deeper into this, I'm just sharing with you the basics of what I learned from school.
Barnaby's restaurant. I've been there for about 20 years now. WOW! time flies. As I was working the tables one night I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a "KNOW IT ALL" I'm sure you magicians know what I'm talking about. The "Know it all" that insists on knowing every magic effect you do. He/she will even narrate you moves and slights. They are excellent watchers. In FACT! they are excellent hand burners. Most of the time they are wrong with what we are doing, but many other times they are correct as well. This is when we have to be very careful of what effects we do so we don't have to run into the situation like I did.
One night at Barnaby's I was performing the cap through bottle effect. There was a small family of about five. 3 boys, 1 girl and the mother. Two of the boys were the "KNOW IT ALL" type. After I was done performing the effect the effect one of the boys said "I watch a lot of youtube video. Let me have you (P- ---G) I knew at this point that I was dealing with a "KNOW IT ALL!" and no matter what I do they will challenge it. These types are very dangerous to deal with and almost impossible to entertain. No matter how good you are in their mind they are looking at your magic as a challenge. They want you to feel like you can't fool them.
After a few attempts of performing various effects I decided to give the table a polite goodnight and move onto the next table. I decided to take a break and go to the back of the kitchen where I keep my magic gear.
I couldn't stop thinking of the kid who was rudely calling out my bottle effect. I think this is where ego gets the best of us magicians. As I was in the back of the kitchen going through my gear I couldn't help thinking about the "KNOW IT ALL!" kid. I felt that I had to prove my magic skills to him as well as everyone else at that table.
So I went into Macgyver combat mode. I actually have an emergency kit that I take along with me on my shows. In that kit I cary.
4. Fishing line
5. Duct Tape
6. Electrical tape
8. Super clue
10. Sewing kit
11. Dry clean cloth
12. First aid kit
There is a few more, but you get the idea. I started going through the emergency bag and I came up with a different method to make the cap penetrate the bottle without having a - - space ----
I tried it out a few times and it worked like a charm. I then went back towards the table and purposely went to pass it up when I was surprisingly stopped by the mom. I think she was picking up on how I was slightly irritated when I was at there table earlier. She apologized and asked me to do more magic. I was actually predicting this would happen as I was purposely passing the table up. I decided to do the bottle again. I said to "You know what? earlier you insisted that I used a _ _ _ _. I'm not sure really what you were talking about. You see I took the _ _ _ _. off so now I don't have anything on." I'll do it again. I showed the bottle cap to everyone and then picked up the bottle. I clearly brought the bottle cap up toward the bottle and BAM! it went clear through. The two "KNOW IT ALL" boys jaws about dropped. It was a felling of prevailing. The sad thing was is that they still had the arrogant cockiness. So again I politely removed myself from the table.
With some people you just can't win. Sometimes it's better to just eat up your ego and pride and move on.
One of the things that kept echoing in my mind was when the kid said "I saw that on youtube" It seems like this is going on a lot on youtube as well as other video websites where young kids are revealing magic effects and ripping into them. They will rip into them and talk about what a rip off it is and that they could of made that. My mind frame is? "Ya, but you didn't!" There are many effects that I bought that I could of made myself, but I don't think that. Instead I think about the cleverness and hard work that went into making that magic effect. Being a magic inventor myself. I have come to appreciate all the little things that make that effect. Everything to manufacturing, directions, video all the way to packaging.
One of the other things I'm concerned about in the magic industry is "Magic Product Video Trailers"
The other day I was showing one of the regular customers at Barnaby's my new magic effect called "Sew WHAT" the customer wanted to see the new effect that I came up with.
As I was showing the video I they asked what some of the words meant that was coming up on the video?
You know, the magic jargon that comes up on many magic videos that say such things as
1. No TT neede
2. No strings
3. No D_ _ space _ _ _ _
When this question was brought up by my regular customer it made me think how it could be very easy for laymen to come across some of the jargon we use and simply Google it and land on a website where the gimmick is being exposed and explained.
The thing is, many magic videos use that jargon about certain gimmicks not being used. There is a reason for that and that is because the video is what sells the effect. It doesn't really matter if the video is low or high budget. The end result is. Is it good and is it a product I would want? Putting text in various portions of the video explaining that such and such gimmick isn't used adds to a potential sale. Especially if the viewer is unaware of how the magician is accomplishing the effect.
Many of us inventors are posting our products not only on youtube, magic websites, but also on our own personal social media pages where we have a mix of family, friends and magic network. I'm considering starting a new profile just because of this.
What is your thoughts? Do you think that revealing names of gimmicks in videos is a problem?
Do you have a solution or idea? if so please comment here. I think in the social era it's going to be more and more difficult to protect our art.
It feels like our ART is becoming more and more challenging, but I guess all we can do is concentrate and reach out to the ones that do appreciate it and maybe perhaps try to educate them a little on our art.
Thanks for visiting and please leave your comments on any of the above in the comments area.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Posted by Faces Of Magic at 8:00 AM
Thursday, January 30, 2014
This is one of my magic effects that I created a few months ago 2012,
I was playing with the "- - - - - - Tube" (I put lines in the word to protect any non-magicians that may be surfing this blog) I always thought it a was a visual effect.
Finally after some time I found the right material to do the job. What did I change you ask? well I came up with a way to make the silk handkerchief fly out. So instead of just pulling out the handkerchief that just magically changed color, it now flies out of the tube. a INSTANT, VISUAL effect. You can even add confetti to the silk handkerchief so when it shoots confetti slowly falls with the handkerchief.
Their is other applications you can use. Such as making a snowstorm effect. You can take a paper napkin, make a snowflake out of it. Put the paper napkin into the tube. Next make a magic wave and the paper snowflake turns into snow falling down. It's a beautiful effect. You can also use the Turbo Tube to transform different colored handkerchiefs a birthday silk or Christmas silk. It's a great way to finish a show.The shy is the limit.
Why did I invent this effect?
I wanted to challenge my imagination and creativity and see if i could come up with a new, fresh version of the effect. I think it's a great way to take old effects and bring them to life. I'm sure their are all kinds of different effects that we can give a breath of fresh air to.
The other thing that I really like about the "Turbo Tube" is that you don't need any co2 cartridge to make the handkerchief or confetti shoot out. This is awesome because you don't have to worry about the extra added expense of having to replacing cartridges.
You can purchase "Turbo Tube" at my website Imaginator Magic or you can purchase at you favorite participating magic shop.
Here is a brief description of "Turbo Tube"
"Use Turbo Tube to vanish, restore, reappear, color change,make confetti burst high into the air and more. The Imagination is up to you! The Turbo Tube is a great utility prop that you will use in every show!"
Features and Benefits
•No co2 cartridges required
•Just load the silk and release on your command.
•Can shoot up to 6 feet in the air.
•Use up to one 12' inch silk.
•Use in a snowstorm routine. Can be loaded with "Snowstorm of China" snowstorm.
•Make a silk burst into Confetti/Streamer
•Use as a color change or silk appearance.
Posted by Faces Of Magic at 8:01 AM
Monday, January 27, 2014
I've been back to practicing my thimbles today. I would honestly say that today I put in about 12 hours of practice time. It's very cold here in Chicago, about 30 below. So instead of going out to my studio and jacking up the heating bill I decided to make my kitchen into a makeshift studio.
World Class Manipulation DVD Library Volume 1,2 and 3
I have all volumes and I must say it's a great investment.
After studding Jeff's Manipulation dvd (Which by the way is now just thimbles, but also cards and coins) I wanted to explore more thimble experts and I had the privileged of finding Shoot Ogawa.
Here is the first video that I discovered on youtube with Shoot and his thimble routine.
After studding Shoots thimble work I next moved onto Joe Mogar's thimble work. Joe sells a nice set of thimbles packaged with a dvd. Joe has some real nice moves and insight on thimbles.
Joe has his own custom thimbles that he had made. I remember talking to him on the phone a few years ago because I had some questions about his thimbles and dvd. Really nice guy.
After exploring and learning from the pros. I started cumming up with my own style of thimble work. Some many times as magicians we get caught up with trying to be like our idols in magic. I saw one magician at a resort. I could immediately tell who was his idol because the way he talked, carried himself as well as body language screamed out Copperield.
As artists I think we need to take a step back when we find ourselves being some one else. We have to put in the hard work and investment into ourselves so we can find ourselves. The only way to accomplish that is to do other things besides magic. What else do you like. Movies, music, bungee jumping, sports? Take the things you do besides magic and incorporate them into YOU!
Right now my number one choice in thimbles is Vernet. I've tried several brands, but these just work the best for me. As a thimble manipulator/worker you I suggest you try out different brands to see what works and fits best. What works for me may not work for you.
Fakini also puts out a nice set of thimbles. If you want a nice bite and grip on you thimble work. Give these a whirl.
Here is a nice classic video I found with thimbles with Peter Pitchford
I'm not sure how far thimble manipulation magic goes back. If you know could you please make a comment below this post? I would love to know.
Here is a fun video I made a few years back when I was exploring and trying to find myself.
Here is another one at a Chicago nightclub
That's about it here magician friends. I'll add more material and video on thimble magic as I find them.
Here is some interesting history on thimbles.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
sewing. Usually, thimbles with a closed top are used by dressmakers but special thimbles with an opening at the end are used by tailors as this allows them to manipulate the cloth more easily. Finger guards differ from tailors’ thimbles in that they often have a top but are open on one side. Some finger guards are little more that a finger shield attached to a ring to maintain the guard in place. The Old English word þȳmel, the ancestor of thimble, is derived from Old English þūma, the ancestor of our word thumb.
Han Dynasty ancient China (206BC - 202AD) was found in a tomb in Jiangling, and it could conceivably be assumed that thimbles were in use at this time also although no thimble seems to have been discovered with the needle. The earliest known thimble — in the form of a simple ring — dates back to the Han Dynasty ancient China also and was discovered during the Cultural Revolution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in a lesser dignitary's tomb. Oddly, neither the Romans nor the Greeks before them appear to have used metal thimbles. It may be that leather or cloth finger guards proved sufficiently robust for their purposes. There are so-called Roman thimbles in museum collections, but the provenance of these metal thimbles is, in fact, not certain, and many have been removed from display. No well-documented archeological data link metal thimbles to any Roman site. According to the United Kingdom Detector Finds Database, thimbles dating to the 10th century have been found in England, and thimbles were in widespread use there by the 14th century.
brass. Medieval thimbles were either cast brass or made from hammered sheet.
John Lofting established a thimble manufactory in Islington, in London, England, expanding British thimble production to new heights. He later moved his mill to Buckinghamshire to take advantage of water-powered production, resulting in a capacity to produce more than two million thimbles per year. By the end of the 18th century, thimble making had moved to Birmingham, and shifted to the "deep drawing" method of manufacture, which alternated hammering of sheet metals with annealing, and produced a thinner-skinned thimble with a taller shape. At the same time, cheaper sources of silver from the Americas made silver thimbles a popular item for the first time.
Thimbles are usually made from metal, leather, rubber, and wood, and even glass or china. Early thimbles were sometimes made from whale bone, horn, or ivory. Natural sources were also utilized such as Connemara marble, bog oak, or mother of pearl. Rarer works from thimble makers utilized diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.
Advanced thimblemakers enhanced thimbles with semi-precious stones to adorn the apex or along the outer rim. Cabochon adornments are sometimes made of cinnabar, agate, moonstone, or amber. Thimble artists would also utilize enameling, or the Guilloché techniques advanced by Peter Carl Fabergé.
Originally, thimbles were used simply solely for pushing a needle through fabric or leather as it was being sewn. Since then, however, they have gained many other uses. From the 16th century onwards silver thimbles were regarded as an ideal gift for ladies.
measure spirits, which brought rise to the phrase "just a thimbleful". Prostitutes used them in the practice of thimble-knocking where they would tap on a window to announce their presence. Thimble-knocking also refers to the practice of Victorian schoolmistresses who would tap on the heads of unruly pupils with dames thimbles.
Before the 18th century the small dimples on the outside of a thimble were made by hand punching, but in the middle of that century, a machine was invented to do the job. If one finds a thimble with an irregular pattern of dimples, it was likely made before the 1850s. Another consequence of the mechanization of thimble production is that the shape and the thickness of the metal changed. Early thimbles tend to be quite thick and to have a pronounced dome on the top. The metal on later ones is thinner and the top is flatter.
Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London. In the 19th century, many thimbles were made from silver; however, it was found that silver is too soft a metal and can be easily punctured by most needles.
Charles Horner solved the problem by creating thimbles consisting of a steel core covered inside and out by silver, so that they retained their aesthetics but were now more practical and durable. He called his thimble the Dorcas, and these are now popular with collectors. There is a small display of his work in Bankfield Museum, Halifax, England.
Early American thimbles made of whale bone or tooth featuring miniature scrimshaw designs are considered valuable collectibles. Such rare thimbles are prominently featured in a number of New England Whaling Museums.
During the First World War, silver thimbles were collected from "those who had nothing to give" by the British government and melted down to buy hospital equipment. In the 1930s and 40s glass-topped thimbles were used for advertising. Leaving a sandalwood thimble in a fabric store was a common practice for keeping moths away. Thimbles have also been used as love-tokens and to commemorate important events. People who collect thimbles are known as digitabulists. One superstition about thimbles says that if you have three thimbles given to you, you will never be married.
Known thimble makers
- Avon Fashion Thimbles
- Wicks (Inventor USA)
- A Feaù and René Lorillon (French)
- Charles Horner (UK) (1837–1896)
- Charles Iles (UK)
- Charles May
- Anthony Stavrianoudakis (GR)
- Gabler Bros (German)
- Henry Fidkin (UK)
- Henry Griffith (UK)
- James Fenton (UK)
- James Swann (UK)
- Jean Levy (France)
- Johan Caspar Rumpe (Germany)
- Ketcham & McDougall (USA) (Out of Business 1988)
- Meissen (German)
- Roger Lenain (French)
- Samuel |Foskett (UK)
- Simons Bros Co (USA)
- Stern Bros & Co (USA)
- Waite-Thresher (USA)
- Webster (USA)
- William Prym (Germany)
Thimblettepaper cuts as a secondary function. Unlike thimbles, the softer thimblettes become worn over time. They are considered disposable and sold in boxes. The surface is dimpled with the dimples inverted to provide better grip. Thimblettes are sized from 00 through to 3.
Cultural referencesIn the Parker Brothers board game Monopoly, first created in 1904, the thimble is one of the eight traditional metal game pieces used to mark a player's position on the game board.
Thimbles are given as gifts in Peter Pan, who thinks thimbles are kisses.
In the 1992 movie Batman Returns, Catwoman, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, used thimbles to create the base of her claws.
The popular TV show and comic strip Popeye was originally called Thimble Theatre Starring Popeye.
The character Elizabeth in the video game BioShock Infinite uses a thimble to cover her severed little finger.
Video montages and series of clips are often called "thimble collections."
Auction recordsOn December 3, 1979, a London dealer bid the sum of $18,000 USD for a dentil shaped Meissen porcelain thimble, circa 1740, at Christie's auction in Geneva, Switzerland. The thimble, just over a half inch high, was painted in a rare lemon-yellow color about the band. It also had tiny harbor scene hand painted within gold-trimmed cartouches. The rim was scalloped with fired gold on its bottom edge. The thimble now belongs to a Meissen collector in Canada who wanted it for its lemon-yellow color.
During November 1994, Sirthey's saleroom yielded a one of a kind Meissen thimble bearing an armorial coat of arms at the price of GBP 26,000.
On 13 June 1995, Sotheby's sold a Meissen thimble adorned with two pugs for GBP 10,350.
Posted by Faces Of Magic at 7:24 PM