The Magic Whack

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mix Tape by Alvo Stockman

Here's a great way to waste $50.

Visit and buy "Mix Tape"

The Effect: Next time you meet a friend for coffee, as a gesture of friendship, you bring along a CD you made for them of some music you thought theyd enjoy. As you give them the CD, you explain to your friend that listening to someones music is a great way to get to know them. Theres something deep and emotional about music that exists on a different level from plain conversation. You ask them what some of their favorite songs are, in an attempt to learn more about them. If you like those songs, youre going to love this CD, you say, pointing to the disc they're now holding.

The rest of the afternoon coffee is no different from any other. When they arrive home and play the CD, however, they realize that they will indeed love the songs on it. They're the exact same songs they mentioned to you earlier during coffee.

To be fair the concept sounds ok and if you are one of those magicians who doesn't do tricks for real audiences but instead just blows large wads of cash on shit from dealers so you can try to impress someone into being your friend then this may be for you.

OK let's look at what others have apparently said about this miracle...

"Mix Tape is the kind of magic people talk about and never forget. This is a high quality concept and effect that I will perform." - Paul Draper, Mentalist and Anthropologist

I'm sorry who are you? Paul someone? Clearly you don't work for real audiences either.

"I love Mix Tape. It combines three great elements - magic, music and a natural way of performing. I know that every time you perform Mix Tape you will feel like you're presenting someone with a very special gift. I've never come across a routine so natural and so strong. Use this and you will be the wonder worker they talk about long after you have left." - Luke Jermay, Mentalist

Ahh Luke 'I publish the shittiest, unusable ideas and brain farts I can think of' Jermay. Clearly he is only bigging this up because he is whoring out a bunch of 2nd rate videos on Penguin magic in their instant download section.

"Mix Tape is a perfect blend of magic and technology, with a sneaky method you (and your audience) would never suspect." - Joshua Jay aged 12

You would think the criteria for commenting on a trick would be that you are a magician and not a boy scout who happens to know a trick or two.

OK so the three comments from d-list magi don't impress, but that's OK because the dealer splurge continues with some information from the 'manufacturer'. I am not sure what they 'manufacture' since this is just a manuscript. Does doing some xeroxing at Kinkos and stapling some pages together count as manufacture? Probably not.

Manufacturer Says:

You wait. You wait a week if you have to. -Max Malini

Do you remember the scene in the film Oceans 11 when Andy Garcias character realizes that hes been watching a tape of his vault, and that his money is long gone? That moment, the moment you realize that something really big just happened under your nose, is a very special, juicy moment that you want to savor. You want to watch it over and over again.

Or the moment in The Thomas Crowne Affair when you realize that the stolen painting has been on the wall the entire time. Or the moment in countless movies where a last piece of a puzzle clicks and your new job becomes retracing your steps from the beginning. Except now you've got a big grin on your face because you know youve been had. It feels good.

As memorable and powerful as that experience is, its sadly absent from the world of instant-gratification-style modern magic. It takes a level of quiet confidence, and patience that doesnt translate well to television, stage or walk-around magic. This style fits into the category of lifestyle magic. You do it when youre having coffee, at dinner, at a meeting. You do it casually. You do it to bring magic into someones life. Youre giving them a first-hand experience of that Mission Impossible feeling theyve only seen in the movies. And its the seeds of your myth and legend as a performer of magic.

Mix Tape is an attempt to create this experience.

What a load of crap.

I'm not saying this is a totally terrible idea, and if it were given in the pages of a magic magazine or even a non-magic magazine like MUM or The Linking Ring, it would be accepted for what it is. But to run these off and pretend the idea is worth $50 of real money is just a joke. Especially as the method is given FREE to anyone who actually reads the dealer drivel carefully enough. And to pretend that the quote from Max Malini was even slightly about a trick as bad as this one is ridiculous.

Here's a gem of a line...

When performing Mix Tape, even in the unlikely event that you cant complete the effect, youve still given your friend a CD of music that you genuinely thought they'd like.

Great, so some of the time you won't get to finish the trick but if that happens it's ok because you still gave your friend a CD full of songs you thought they might have liked but were wrong. Well done you.

Here's an idea for you. Hand someone a regular, shuffled deck and tell them to think of any card, then tell them to think of any number. Tell them to take the deck home and count down to the number. They will discover the thought of card at the exact position.

To be fair 51 out of 52 times it won't work but that's ok because you 've given your friend a pack of cards which you genuinely thought they'd enjoy.

Hardly fucking magic is it?

The 'FAQ' for the trick sums it up. Apparently there is only one frequently asked question...

Q: Is there anything I need to have to perform Mix Tape?
A: Before meeting for coffee, a CD must be burned to give to your friend. You will need a laptop with a CD burner.

A laptop with a CD burner? Why not a desktop PC like I have at home already? Why would the computer have to portable? Hmmmm. Let's try this again...

Effect: You meet someone for coffee and hand them a CD. You say its got some tracks you think they will like. They begin to think you are gay and hitting on them. You casually interrogate them about the sort of music they like. At some point during coffee you go to the bathroom and take your big old laptop bag with you because you don't trust your friend to keep any eye on it. 20 minutes later you come back from the bathroom and apologise for being gone so long but you cover the fact by telling them you shat a yard of turd becasue you've been consitpated for a week. This flies by lay people because they know you are full of shit anyway.

As the longest meeting for a coffee drags on and on you find an opportunity to switch the cd's before making your excuses about having to go.

If your friend ever plays the cd you made in the stall they will be amazed that it has some tracks that you had questioned them about earlier.

$50 please.

In all seriousness... ask anyone (even a non-magician) to come up with a method for Mix Tape and they'd all consider having a laptop with you and making a disk. It is obvious. It is abismal.



  • Uhm, aren't you missing the biggest flaw with this whole concept?

    "Next time you meet a friend for coffee.."

    Can't be much of a friend if you have to ask them what music they like!

    You could just burn the mix before hand - the person is your FRIEND after all, you'll already know roughly what songs they`ll tell you that they like.

    They will appreciate the gift, but they'll hardly think it's magic for fuck sake.

    No wonder people get such shitty christmas presents, if their "friends" don't even know what music they like.

    By Blogger The Smiling Mule, at 9:18 AM  

  • For my money, this is the single best post since the Whackster's return--and the Smiling Mule's excellent point only adds to it. You guys should take this show on the road.

    By Blogger Eric, at 10:06 AM  

  • I may be being awfully stupid here, but isn't copying music and distributing it - albeit through the guise of a shit trick - illegal in the US?

    It certainly is in the UK.

    I am going to contact the RIAA immediately.

    By Blogger Damian, at 3:49 AM  

  • The pessimist would say that too - that this is the best post ever for this site.

    By Blogger Anonymous, at 4:54 PM  

  • Priceless. I'm glad I'm not the only magician in the world who is tired of seeing this crap.

    Sean Phillips, professional magician, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    By Blogger Sean Cudeck, at 4:03 PM  

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