The Magic Whack

Monday, February 28, 2005

Rare video footage - The INVENTOR of the Ambitious card.

According to this excellent resource Who's Who In Magic, the inventor of the Ambitious card was a french magician called Alberti who was around in the late 1800's. I expect others would disagree and suggest other names, but one thing is for sure, none of us would expect the inventor of the Ambitious card to caught on video.

Meet Dwayne Andrew, star of his own show 'Night Magic' and apparently the inventor of the Ambitious card trick. If you click that link you can watch almost 10 minites of video of Dwayne in his own show. Now let's not get confused here, when I say 'his own show', I don't mean that this guy has his own TV show - although he tries to make out that's what the clip is. I mean a show that he paid to produce to make out he is a big star, when really he's a fat twat who does a few tricks quite badly.

But the video is worth watching - if for no other reason than it's a laugh.

He claims in the introduction to have 'created' the ambitious card trick, I figured he meant he'd added some special ending to it and that's what he meant, and so gave him the benefit of the doubt. But then when he finally gets to perform the ambitious card, he actually says 'And now a trick I invented called...' Then he goes into a bulk standard, run of the mill, too many double lifts version of Ambitious card and finishes with a very below average card to pocket (and watch how long the fat cunt keeps his hand in his pocket for while loading it. And he fails to even credit the card to pocket ending, which we all know belongs to the legendary Martha Stewart.

But let's not dwell on his total lie about inventing a card trick that's been around longer than lieing itself, there's so much more to pick on...

In the opening credits a series of words flash up onto the screen, 'Magic', 'Entertaining', 'Professional', 'close-up', 'slight of hand' (yes he really spells it that way), and finally 'unbelievable'. Well one out of six aint bad I suppose.

The opening trick 'Vaudeville Aces' is shocking. It's worth watching just to hear the worlds worst impression of WC Fields, May West and others. Not to mention some of the most crap jokes you'll ever see crammed into one magic(?) routine. Oh and watch for his technique on the pass, I watched real close and couldn't see the technique (the pass stood out a mile).

He also does a terrible one in the hand, two in the pocket routine with nuts and bolts, I think it's the Doc Eason routine only Dwayne manages to make it look non-magical and non-entertaining. Watch the amazing final vanish and then ask yourself 'would that fool George W Bush?'

His ring on string is also awful. At one point he says "at this point some people say 'why does all the magic happen in your closed hand'..." I guess he's hard of hearing, what most people really say at that point is "Do we have to stay to the end of his act?"

If he really shows that video to people who might be interested in booking him for a show - how does he get any work?


Overpriced drivel

For someone who threatend to stop putting out new work due to piracy, Kenton's sure churning out bucket loads of overpriced nonsense still...

You got to love this paragraph from the description of the Dunninger card trick he's put out...

The mentalists concentrates and attempts to project the card out of the deck and into (say) the spectator's shoe. The spectators go through the deck that has been in their hands the entire time to find that their card is now truly gone from the deck! "Your shoe is too easy" says the performer, "How about we put it under the carpet or... no... under the plant over there"!

Yep, the specators shoe would have been way to easy eh?


A mentalism blog.

Here's another blog that you'll probably enjoy, it seems to be aiming directly at mentalism rather than general magic and the author makes some great observations.

Mary's Beard

I was going to write about Kenton Knepper's latest rant on online-visions but he beat me to it and agree totally with his views, so be sure to read the post about Playing cards and mentalism.

I'll add him to the links list later today.


Friday, February 25, 2005

Free Psychological trick.

Here's a trick you can make up yourself and try.

It's totally psychological and is based on the work of Derren Brown and Banacheck, so it might not work all the time. Having said that, I've found the hit rate pretty damn good.

So that you can best understand the trick I am going to perform it right here and now.

To perform it I am going to show you a series of symbols and then I want you to think of just one of them. Then I'll show you a second symbol chart which is identical except your chosen symbol has been removed.

If it works on you and you want to try it on other people, simply print the symbol charts onto card and carry with you in your wallet.

I find it works great at church meetings and bar mitz·vahs.

OK, here's chart number one...
Look over the symbols and let one pop into your mind...

Now concentrate on your symbol....

I am going to erase the one you are merely thinking of from the chart and then show you the chart again.

I am getting a clear image now...

Focus, concentrate...

Yes I am getting it...

This is rubbish isn't it?

I mean I'm not really getting anything because I wrote this before you even began to concentrate on one.

I guess I should have performed it as a prediction trick instead really, that would have made more sense.

But magicians don't care if it makes sense do they?

OK, screw this, here's the chart with a symbol missing.

Did I get it?

Why not leave a comment and let me know.


P.S. Have a good weekend - I'll be back Monday.

I guess anything is impromtu if you carry the props.

Check out this thread on the MagicCrape, basically someone asks 'If someone came up to you who knew you did magic and asked you to do a trick, what would you do (impromtu)."

Check out the genius reply by user 'fishsticks', who says "I'd make a rose appear and then do a card trick that really fools them".

I can accept a lot of us carry a deck around, but does fishsticks walk around with a rose concealed on his person?

Anything is impromtu if you got the props with you, but how likely is it?

Personally I'd do Harbin's Zig-Zag illusion because I carry it around with me whereever I go and always have a trained assistant on hand.


Semi Automatic Card tricks.

I recently got hold of a couple of the Semi-Automatic card trick books by Steve Beam (vols 3 and 4). I have to say that it's just as well he's got a lot of guest contributors for those books because if it was just his tricks they'd be awful.

I think that most of Beams tricks are called semi-automatic because after you performed one a member of the audience opens fire on you with a Beretta 391.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Richard Kaufman's sense of humor...

Here is an example of Richard Kaufman trying to be funny...;f=6;t=001526;p=1#000005

Is it any wonder it took him about 45 years to find someone willing to bear his child?


Another magic blog worthy of a mention...

I've just read through the contents of another magic blog and its hilarious. Go check out Pagliacci - there's some excellent stuff there.

One of my favorite posts on his site is this one:

I'll be adding this blog to the links list in the next day or so.


Dean Dill - A New World

There's no doubting that Dean Dill has some good ideas. Most well known for his 'Deans Box' and his highly acclaimed gospel routine for Goshmans sponge dingdong, there's no doubting this guys talents.

But you've got to seriously question his latest release which is a joint product with Michael Weber.

It's called 'A New World' and is a version of the Paul Curry classic 'Out of this world' although I believe the patter has been changed and the original segregation and apartide jokes have been removed.

I don't own the trick, but the effect description was enough to put me off...

For more than twenty years, Dean Dill and Michael Weber have kept their original method for Out Of This World a secret. Their secret can now be yours. Discover A New World. The Paul Curry classic made perfect, plus special gaffs, secret marks, hidden codes, subtle cues, and a built-in memory-free version of the Aronson Stack. The deck includes a photo-illustrated instruction booklet that details the effect and method created by Dill and Webber. This trick is a must have!

Let's consider "out of this world." The original used a regular deck with a little pre-arrangement. Later variations provide a way to go into the routine with a shuffled deck at any time. The original knocks people for six, packs a punch and works well.

So why does anyone want a method that involves gaffs, marks, hidden codes, cues and some stack?

How is this an improvement on the original?

Which would you rather do;

A) perform some card tricks with a regular deck and go straight into out of this world.

B) Perform some tricks, do a deck switch and perform a trick that could be done easier and without having switched the deck?

$29.95 to work harder - how pointless is that?


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Some of the best advice on buying magic.

I want to give a quick mention to Not just because they've just given this blog a much appreciated mention, but because of the blog post 'No Bad Reviews' which gives some the best advice you'll ever read on buying magic.


Kenton Knepper not releasing material due to piracy.

I was reading on the 'Three cards short' blog that due to illegal copies of Kenton Kneppers work being sold on ebay and being made available for free on file sharing networks like limewire he is not going to release any new work.

I am not in favor of piracy at all, but its nice to see some good has come of these illegal activities.


I have no idea what this is, can I buy one please?

I was browsing through the delightful (?) magic crape today when I came across this thread...

It starts off with someone saying they're having trouble with Lee Asher's Losing control. They don't say what it is or what it does in the post. Someone replies suggesting searching the cafe as its been discussed before. Then the real gem...

Magicianguy4life posts:

Hey! I'm not familiar with this trick so could somebody please give me a link where I could buy this trick? I was also wondering is it impromptu or a "gimmick"THANKS!)

So let me get this straight. He has no idea what they are talking about, he doesn't know what it is, and no one at any point has described what it is or does... And he wants to BUY it.

So just on the off chance 'Magicianguy4life' ever comes by this blog, I have a special offer for him:

I have a trick, its good, send me $30 and it's yours.



Bill Malone


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Classic Crap.

Last night I got together for a session with a few local magicians, we have a small group that gets together every two weeks and we take it in turns to hold the session at our house. One of our new members held it for the first time and during the evening was telling us how he learnt the classic force but it doesn't work too often.

When we asked how he learnt it, it turned out he'd got the 'classic force instant download' from Penguin Magic.

We all gathered around his computer and had him play the video explanation.

No wonder he wasn't having any success. It really had to be one of the worst explanations of the force I'd ever seen.

Oz Pealman basically says 'The key to this force is timing, whack the card against their finger'. And then does a really poor demonstration of what he means.

There is more to the classic force than just timing. There are three key ingredients. One of them is timing, the other two are confidence and attitude.

The good news for him was that we were able to give him some pointers and in very little time he'd got the basics down. I spoke to him today and he'd found a few friends and family members to do some tricks for and was hitting the classic force almost 100% of the time.

The way Oz teaches it you'll probably hit 75% of the time, of which 50% wouldn't appear to be you thrusting a card into someone's hand.

What's really funny is how Oz then goes on to demonstrate what to do when you miss. Actually, 'funny' might not be the best word to use there, 'sad' is probably more accurate.

He says that if you miss you should take the card they picked and lay it down, then go for another classic force, if you miss a second time then lay that one down and do a riffle force. You now have two or three cards face down on the table. Now do equivoque (magicians choice).

How would that fly? 'Here pick a card, now another, now say stop. Now put your hand on any one... ok we'll use this one.' Gimme a break.

To make matters worse, Oz clearly has no idea how to do Equivoque properly and he might as well just push the one he wants forward and say 'we will use this one'. He is as subtle as the proverbial fart in an elevator.

Is it any wonder that we see so many bad magicians at conventions if they're learning their art from useless teachers like this?


Monday, February 21, 2005

Seperated at birth

Marty Feldman

Jerry Sadowitz

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Spot the Difference

Glenn Bishop

Benny Hill

Friday, February 18, 2005

A riddle.

Question: What's worse than a gospel magician at a convention?

Answer: Two gospel magicians at a convention.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

If you ever put out an effect, book or dvd.

If you ever have a trick of yours marketed, don't get it reviewed by Online Visions. Because any magician worth his salt is going to realize from the existing reviews that Shane doesn't know a good trick from a terrible one.

Go look at what he has reviewed and how many things get 10 out 10. Then work out how many deserve it. Maybe a handful.

I think those who got good reviews at Online-Visions either has something good and Shane just happens to like, or they've met Shane and given him a blow job.

Here's some examples: - That's 9 out of 10 for 'One and Only' by Paul Harris. Now while Harris used to put out some good ideas, this one isn't worth the money at all. The One and Only is just equivoque, an envelople thicker than Steve Brooks and a bunch of double face cards. It's the exact idea anyone would first come up with for this effect and then cast aside as a bad idea. Heirloom gets 10 out 10! Why? Its trash. A cheap wallet that isn't good enough so you have to go buy the decent one as an extra, a bunch of photos, and a letter that says 'I will be off by one'. Sure its an improvement on Kentons Kollossal Waste Of Time, but its still a prediction that you have to confess to being wrong 2/3rds of the time. - Cigarette up the nose gets 10 out 10 too. This is the old shrinking wand idea stuck on an elastic pull. A two year old could come up with a better idea than this. I'm guessing that Gary Kosnitzky swallows. Ben Harris's Alida gets 9 out of 10. It's a fucking ear plug you balance a card on. It's not magic, its just shit. - 9 out of 10 for a DVD full of effects that can be done many ways, now apparently 'improved' by the use of sticky tape - give me a break. Most magicians realized as soon as NFW was released that tape and cards is a crap idea. - 10 out of 10 for a terrible, obvious idea from Adam Grace involving a small piece of glass and a dry erase pen. - See Cellini the offical hobo of magic doing a bunch of old tricks that aren't his. And again Shane gives this dross 9 out of 10.

I'm not saying all the stuff Shane gives a good rating to is terrible, but the ones where he gives a great review to a piece of shit really tarnish all the other reviews.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

If you need one of these you need a new career.

Check this out...

It's an old gag that's been sold for years through dealers. Abbot's used to carry it years ago, and now hocus pocus have remade it.

If you need to hold up a sign to tell your audience when to clap you're not being funny - you're just being crap.

"Use it as a running gag" - if you need it once you're going to need it right the way up to the end of your act.

Seriously, if you are using one of these - quit performing until you learn some GOOD magic.


P.S. Since writing this, Magic Mafia kindly left a comment which points out that Hocus Pocus didn't re-make this, it's an imported item. I stand corrected and I am just adding this note because not everyone reads the comments.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Impossible 1 to 52 - A better method and its free.

Have you seen Impossible 1 to 52 by Eduardo Kozuch? Here's just one of many dealers who are selling it.

Now what you'll get for your $30 is a gaffed deck that has a bunch of shim cards. If you can figure out where to put a small magnet on the card box based on the number the spectator calls out and then tip the cards out carefully so the correct shim cards hold other cards back in the box, could result in the trick working out.

Remembering which side of the box to put the magnet, where to position it and then getting it right is hard enough, then tipping out the cards without it looking iffy is a bigger challenge.

There are many methods for this kind of effect in print, most of them not too hard to do and all of them better than this.

Plus... go read that description, and think 'one way force deck' as you do. There's a free method.

To be fair, what the descriptions don't tell you is the spectator can see all the cards are different, etc. But why not have someone count down keeping them all face down, let them turn over the last one after a bit of build up, and while they do just switch the deck. Sure beats screwing around with magnets and memorizing what goes where.


Friday, February 11, 2005

Early Year Book photo found.

Dave Neighbors - Now

Dave Neighbors - Then

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cardiologist Deck by Tom Medina.

Here's the secret of getting a trick marketed.

1) Take an old, tried and tested idea.

2) Make up an obvious trick with it.

3) Add some over the top flourishes.

4) Put the instructions on DVD (most magicians can't be bothered with reading).

That's what king of the geeks Medina has done with this deck. If the marketing was honest it would be called 'Tom Medina's ideas with a Mene Tekel deck.

To be fair the routines that come with this special gaffed deck are not too bad. But its a little over the top that someone is basically re-marketing the mene-tekel deck (which can be found in the $10 book 'The encyclopedia of card magic') for $30.

To help cover up just what this is, the Demo on penguin magic site is just a guy doing a bit with the deck and then a whole sequence of him masturbating tossing the cards about doing more flourishes than that the buck twins on crack. Then it cuts back to the goofy looking creator of the effect doing a small part of another routine with it.

Basically if you make or buy a mene tekel deck and then learn to juggle you'll be saving yourself $30.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Jay Sankey - Creative but not in the ways you think.

There is no doubting that Sankey is clever and creative, but some of his methods of being creative are known by another name. STEALING.

Jay has two marketed effects out that are total rip-offs of tricks that were first sold in the 70's and 80's.

#1 - Killer Key

Killer key is a very clean transpo effect in which a key placed in one hand changes places with a coin placed in the other.

The clever gaff does all the work for you and the handling and overall effect really is super clean.

However, this effect is not Jay's. He's basically stolen a Roy Baker idea that was being sold back in the 1980's. Here is an ad from a magic magazine back then...

Key Boodle

#2 - Three Ring Circus
You can see a demo of this at Penguin Magic, and on the demo Jay rants about how he tried to think of a way of making the linking rings make sense, etc. Then he bangs on about how good HIS idea is. In reality he just stole it.

Again here is an advertisement from a magic magazine from the 1980's for a trick called 'Ring-a-ding rings'...


Now Sankey has gone a little way with the presentation, what he does is somewhat better than the routine described in the ad. But does Jay credit poor old Harry Reeve?

Of course Jay has been clever in choosing who to sell the effect through. He's chosen Penguin Magic who have no morals whatsoever and don't give a rats arse about crediting or plain idea theft.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Never mind Tiger Decks...

Everyone's gone mad over those 'tiger decks' just because they are black instead of white and its a bit of a novelty.

Well here's a scoop for you. We've found exclusive information and pictures of the extra rare 'Tiger Magician'. I wonder if everyone's going to want to become one of these?

Here's the link: Tiger Magician

The good news is - we found the complete kit so you can set yourself up as a 'tiger magician' and really look like a kick-ass mo-fo when you go out on the street with your Tiger Svengelli deck (yep, ellusionist have made one). Here's the kit you need to transform yourself...

Turn yourself into a Tiger Magician Kit

Monday, February 07, 2005

Off by one.

Why do so many magicians and mentalists rave about the work of Kenton Knepper? He sure puts out a lot of over-priced crap and most of it isn't even usable.

One of his worst ideas must be 'off by one'. It's ridiculous to play the part of a magician or mind reader and then show a prediction that is wrong and then follow it up by showing a piece of paper that says "I will be off by one". Surely if you knew you'd be off by one you'd have put the eight of hearts as your prediction instead of the seven.

Here's an idea, stick a ten of clubs in an envelope, ask someone to name any card. If you hit it then you have a miracle, if you don't then pull out a piece of paper, have them open it and read what it says. "I will be wrong." Taaaa-darrrr.

Better still, throw down any card at random from a deck (don't even look at it yourself), have someone name any card, and turn it over. Again if you hit it then take a bow. If you're wrong then just hand them a piece of paper that says "I am a shitty magician."

As magicians we have dozens of ways of producing an accurate prediction. A pocket card index and palm into a Kaps wallet would work great for example, but a lot of magicians can't be bothered to learn such as an advanced technique as 'palming'. But even if you're scared of palming there are still lots of ways to achieve a spot-on prediction which is what a magician or mentalist SHOULD be able to do. So why then do so many bow down and worship Kenton for coming up with one of the most piss poor ideas ever?


Saturday, February 05, 2005


Why do some magicians still think D'lites are magic? Lay people can buy them in novelty stores and even if they've not seen one its still obvious as hell.

Do a d'lite routine to a lay person and they'll say 'cool light up thumb'.

They are not magic and if you think they are you're an idiot.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Rob Stiff and Magic Makers Inc

There's a lot of ranting going on on the internet about how Magic Makers Inc are plainly ripping off other peoples ideas and effects and selling cheaper versions.

And there's complaints on the forums too. My question is this. How come when its really obvious that these guys are rip off merchants does a guy like Simon Lovell use them to put out DVD's? I've read Simon Lovells books and the one thing that's clear is that Lovell is a stickler for crediting. How can he maintain that crediting is so important when he aligns himself with a company who are stealing in a bigger and grander way?


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

1994 must have been year of equal opportunities.

I just watched a video that was released in 1994. It's a guy called Dave Neighbors, this is the video -

Now there's no doubting this guy has some talent, but I'd bet that A1 only put that out at the time because they had to make it look like they were equal opportunities.


What's wrong with magic today?

Question: What's wrong with magic today?

Answer: Magicians.