Long before the internet and even computers. In fact, way back in 1911, the first "hack" occurred and it was by a famous magician. It happened when Nevil Maskelyne, son of John Nevil Maskelyne and father of Jasper Maskelyne, part of a famous magic dynasty, interrupted a demonstration of Gugliemo Marconi's "secure" wireless telegraph. The story forms the basis of an informative article on "patent trolling."
You can read the story here.
The War Magician, Jasper Maskelyne
Film Review: The Prestige
Here's a great routine with a casino theme that employs a standard mentalism method. I like Thom Peterson's routine which can strongly connect with spectators.
In the routine you virtually take a spectator to a casino. As they imagine a game of craps, you write a prediction down on a napkin or post-it note and crumple and drop it into an empty cup. You then ask him to name the total that appears on the pair of dice in his mind (it's a free choice). This process is followed in a similar manner where you write down a prediction and then the spectator tells you the result of a virtual spin of a roulette wheel, and then the dealer's "hole" card in a game of black jack. At the end, you show your predictions and they prove to be correct.
If the process sounds familiar, the routine is based on a classic mentalism approach that's been enhanced with a means to accurately number the predictions for additional verification. I appreciate the work that fortifies the standard effect. The instructions are well written and the props are first rate. Also, the effect is not difficult to learn and perform and requires no difficult moves.
When you purchase the effect, you not only learn the routine but receive a gimmick that allows you perform it. However, the gimmick is well known to almost all magicians. In fact, most magicians already own a version of the gimmick. As a result, this routine could have been published in a magazine to allow magicians to learn and perform it.
I think Pit Boss Jr. is a great routine. But I think that magicians who purchase it should be warned that the gimmick, while altered slightly from its standard format, is not unique and likely something that you already have. That said, at a reasonable $15, you'll be buying a first rate routine and paying about the same as you would for the pre-made standard gimmick from a dealer. In fact, you may really like the cool gimmick that you receive that comes in its own case and can be used in other effects.
Review: Casino Cut Card by Thom Peterson
DVD Review: Sucker Punch-Thom Peterson
"Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay," a documentary film about Ricky Jay, is receiving positive reviews. The latest is a write-up in the Los Angeles Times.
"This documentary provides an elegant, enthralling peek behind the curtain and into the you-won't-trust-your-eyes world of this celebrated contemporary conjurer," says the review.
You can read the review here.
Review of Desperate Acts of Magic
Interview with Joe Tyler Gold and Tammy Caplan of "Desperate Acts of Magic"
To promote "Now You See Me," his newest movie, Jesse Eisenberg attempts to perform a card trick for David Letterman on national television. Eisenberg is game but his magic skills leave lots to be desired and Letterman, the ever tough host on magicians, doesn't help. Letterman's intrusions aside, it's typical for a magic beginner to completely over-estimate his skills of magic and persuasion.
You can watch the segment here.
The Five Biggest Mistakes Made by Beginning Magicians
Why Are Beginning Magicians So Over-Confident?