Musings, news, and whatnot

I don't know if you're a follower of Lost Art Magic or not, but they're closing down their shop. I say "they," but as far as I know it's only Xavior Spade. The video (below) goes into more detail about who all is, or was, involved with the creation of the company though, so there are others =]

I've bought a few videos from that site over the years, my biggest complaint has always been that they never allowed downloading of them -- but hey, as an engineer by trade, this took all of 2 minutes to circumvent so it is what it is. Now that they're closing, it's time to revisit their shop to see if anything's worth grabbing last minute too.

Xavior's point, or reasoning, for shutting down the site is that it hasn't been putting out anything new lately, and the world itself has changed and it's time for him to change up some stuff too. If you're interested in his whole speech, check it out here:

He's keeping things up -- and for sale -- through the end of the month. I'm not sure how long the site itself will be up after that, but I'll need to update the few links I've put on this site to reflect.

Hey, did you know Ellusionist just created a blog?! Vanishing Inc has had a blog for quite a while, but E has always had their Discord group so I figured it balanced out, but nah. They were bound to cross that line eventually.

The blog itself isn't hosted on E's main website, it's some other hosting called "substack" (never heard of them until now). They don't link to their blog from their main website either, I've only seen it via their Instagram (@ellusionist). It's new so maybe they're testing the waters a bit.

At the time of this writing, they only have two posts up, The Bell Curve of Learning Magic, and Everything Wrong with the Online Magic Community.

The Bell Curve, I get the point it's conveying, but I do disagree with it. My explanation will take longer than a quick musing though, so I'll save that reply for another day. The other post though, about the toxicity of the online magic community... that's an interesting one.

Beneath the lights, glitter and awe - lies an unsightly atmosphere of conflict.
Geraint Clarke - Ellusionist

For the most part, my interaction with the online magic community is on Instagram. And other than the occasional "flash" comment I see on a post here or there, or just about anything posted to Calen Morelli's story, I don't see toxicity. Sure, I have a smaller field of view than a large account like Ellusionist, but I'd like to think that I look at a lot. However, the list of things that E sees, according to the post, relates to product reviews, forum posts, and YouTube rants. Ah... yeah, I'm not in any of those places.

I don't watch random YouTube videos. It's just not my thing. When I hit the tube, I'm typically there for a reason. And I rarely, if ever, read the comments. I gave up on that a decade ago.

Also, ever since I started seeing hilarious, but clearly fake, Amazon reviews years ago I stopped trusting online reviews in general. Sometimes I'll take a look, but if it comes down to a gimmick, I'll actually try to find someone that has it and talk to them first. Why spend $300 on coffee cups & balls beans if I don't know what the quality's really like, amirite?

I do have an account on The Magic Cafe, but it's not really my scene. There's a lot of historical data there, which is awesome. However, it's a dated platform that feels like it's run by a very tight group of over-controlling old dudes that don't want to be more fun, lest they let in the riffraff. But that's just my first impression. I would rant about it, but I don't have a YouTube channel... yet.

I had lunch yesterday with two coworkers who are also magicians. One guy has been doing card magic for over 20 years, and the other girl does sponge balls and coins. I was hanging out with the guy first, for maybe 25 minutes or so. We were talking about forces -- something I'm still learning a lot about, and nervous to perform.

My big worry, as I was explaining to him, is that when the time comes to perform a trick where I need to force a card and it misses, I have to come up with another routine. This isn't a huge problem given I know plenty, but I don't perform often so when I want to do a specific trick -- that is the trick I want to do. Stubborn, I know =P

He passed on information that he learned over the years when it comes to forcing a card, which really applies to that though. He said:

You should be trying to perform a routine that doesn't need the forced card. If the force hits, however, then you have the choice to do the original routine, or switch to the routine that uses the force.
coworker, learning me something good!

I feel like I should have read this somewhere else before. But for the life of me, it's a new concept. My thoughts have always been "always try to force a card, even if you don't need it -- to build up confidence and practice," and "have an out-routine ready if the force doesn't work." But this new idea flips the 2nd thought there. There's no longer an "out," but instead you're always doing what you intended, and you have an opportunity to mix it up, if desired.

I like that =]

And then later on, I was showing a few routines to the girl and I went to force the seventh card (if you know, you know) ... and it missed. lol


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