Here's something else for the holidays. The incomparable Barry and Stuart try to raise a "spirit." The segment is scary and ultimately funny.
You can watch the fun here.
Hark. So the holiday season is fully upon us.
Learn how to make the reindeer balloon animal here.
So here's help in the form of the 2013 Magic.About.com Gift Guide for Magicians. Here you'll find exceptional products and I think that there's something for every magician.
You can read our gift guide and wish list here.
Here's a visual and fast effect where writing suddenly appears on the side of a deck of cards. It's easy to do and the message may be customized to whatever that you wish.
If this effect makes you think of Paul Gertner's famous "Unshuffled" effect, there are similarities. However, personally, I prefer the Gertner routine. I think it has more drama and offers a stronger revelation.
You can read my review of "Unwritten" as well as my thoughts on "Unwritten" versus "Unshuffled" here.
Frankly, there are very few tricks that are taught on this site or on the internet that I use in my professional close-up work. But I've seen this method used as the basis for some great card tricks and even some that have been sold commercially. In the past, I occasionally performed with a deck that uses this method in my restaurants.
I think this trick has it all. It's got an involving plot for spectators, it's baffling, it's got a twist and a strong revelation. Best of all, it's easy to learn and perform. For readers, I came up with a presentation that leads a spectator into thinking that you're wrong, but, in the end, you're correct.
Learn it here.
"Change" is a packet card effect where several cards change into a single card. The given routine has the change occurring in spectator's hands and builds by providing an intermediate prediction that's similar to that in the classic "Princess Card"-style effect.
You display six cards in your hand and show that they are all different. The spectator then holds the cards behind his back and freely selects one and looks at it and shows it to others. This card is then mixed back into the packet and given to you. You remove one card face down and leave it partially displayed in your pocket as a prediction. The cards are given back to the spectator to hold.
When you ask the spectator to name his card, you show that your "prediction" is correct as you chose the spectator's selected card to display from your pocket. But wait, there's still the big finish. You ask the spectator to look at the cards that he's holding, and he'll discover that they have all changed into his selected card. At the end, you're clean and the cards may be examined.
The magic occurs thanks to a well known gimmicked card. If you look at the picture on the package, you can get an idea of the gimmick just by the way that the cards are being displayed. This was my first thought before I even opened up the package.
This one is easy to carry around. Reset is fast but should be done out of sight of spectators. Angles are wide. You'll have to trust your spectators to be able to handle the cards behind their backs. There are no difficult moves as the gimmicked card does most of the work. I found that getting the cards into position in the beginning felt a bit awkward but will undoubtedly become easier with practice and work.
This is a good, solid packet effect that's easy to do. It can serve you well as a close-up effect to perform for your friends and family.
Sankey teaches his "The Great Escape" for free in this video. In the effect, you cause a rubber band to apparently pass through a pencil or pen. Nothing is gimmicked and you're clean at the end.
You can learn the effect here.
This is a story that I publish each year on the American holiday of Thanksgiving. In addition to being thankful for the blessings in my life, I always like to reflect on the joys of our beloved art of magic. -WK
Had enough of the bad news that's everywhere these days? If you love magic, you are a part of a fascinating and age-old art that can literally raise spirits.
Here are my ten reasons to be thankful for magic.
1. Our art of magic can find and maintain a childlike wonder in even the weariest person.
2. Magic provides a gift that you can present to others that leaves them feeling better than when you met them.
3. Magic provides a means to connect to a wide variety of people that you may have little in common with under any other circumstances.
4. The fun that arrives monthly from Genii, The Linking Ring, Magic Magazine, MUM and Reel Magic Magazine. Thanks to the most creative inventors in our art, there's always a slew of new magic tricks and techniques to learn. This is whether you read them in magazines or books, or learn them via downloads or DVDs.
5. Our major magical organizations: Society of American Magicians, International Brotherhood of Magicians, Magic Circle and Academy of Magical Arts who tirelessly work to promote our art of magic. For the entertainers who promote our art to the public: David Copperfield, David Blaine, Penn and Teller, Mac King, Criss Angel, Jeff McBride, Dynamo, Cyril Takayama, Justin Willman, Gay Blackstone and many more.
6. The immediate rapport that one can have with someone else when you find out that they also love magic. (Hey, have you seen this one?)
7. Where else can you spend $35 on just a quarter?
8. What other activity challenges you to continually find better ways to accomplish something and is fun to think about? What other pursuit asks and challenges you to perform a complicated task while making it all look "natural?"
9. What else would you do with your spare time?
10. Where else would you spend your money?
On this Thanksgiving, I thank all of you readers who support and love magic. May you all have a festive and cheerful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Here's an easy and effective vanish of a pen. You take a pen, wrap it into a napkin, and if you like, a spectator can hold the napkin with the pen suspended in it. You clap your hands and crush the napkin and the pen has vanished.
The vanish occurs thanks to a gimmicked Bic-style pen that looks just like a real one. For comparison, I happened to already own an entire box of real Bic pens that the gimmicked pen was designed to mimic. And even if you don't own such pens, I'm sure that they are easy to find. The kit includes an ungimmicked pen that matches if you want to swap it out. The designers have put in lots of effort to make the pen work in real life situations - it even writes. You won't want to use this as your main pen, but I like the added convincer that everything is normal. The finish on the gimmicked pen is such that it easily blends in with a pile real pens, but if you know what to look for, you can immediately locate it.
Performing the vanish is quite simple. In fact, if you can vanish a gimmicked ketchup or beer bottle, you can easily perform this one. Angles are wide and you can perform the effect surrounded. Reset is fast but you'll want to do this out of sight of spectators. The quality gimmicked pen works just as it should and I think it should be fairly durable.
One more thought. When compared against Jay Sankey's "Vanishink," a similar effect where a pen quickly vanishes, I find "Vanishing Pen" to be superior.
I like the idea of vanishing an ordinary object such as a pen. And when the gimmick looks this good, this one is worth checking out and performing.