Random Musings #2

Oh, hi there! I hope things are going well on your side of the screen =]

I have a long one for you today, a random collection of musings and thoughts around the world of magic. They're unrelated topics, some you may find interested and others, well who knows. Here's a list of them for you to jump around to if you're interested.


Genii, Jay, and Jerxy

I finally got a chance to sit down and flip through the August issue of Genii! Honestly, it took me so long because I had put the magazine in my office, and I normally read it at the table with my morning coffee. Out of sight, out of mind.

This issue features an installment of The River, a limited-run series by Joshua Jay. This month's, also the last of the series, is titled Total Recall and is a card trick that highlights some really clever card memorization. The neat part about it is that it's impromptu and involves a few spectators. I've been looking for more multi-spectator routines that I could just do on demand, and this one's not too crazy of a lift, so it fits into my list quite nicely.

One part of the column that made me almost spray coffee across the room was the introduction to outline of the "group shuffle" used in the routine. To directly quote:

With my permission, The Jerx published his use for this sequence in his book The Jerx, Volume One, and he called it The Intercourse Shuffle, possibly because he wanted to see if I'd perpetuate that name, and possibly because he has the sense of humor of a 13-year-old. Not a chance, Jerx.
Joshua Jay, on why he's calling the move the "Group Shuffle"

I've been reading The Jerx's blog for two or three years now so it's no surprise that there's a back-and-forth between Jerxy and Jay. However, the more it goes on, the more I'm reminded of the comical fake-feud between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon. You silly guys, you.

What's great though is that he, Joshua Jay, wraps up the explanation of the shuffle with:

... then do the Group Shuffle. It's oddly satisfying to do this, namely because it's weirdly intimate. It reminds me of thumb-wrestling someone.

If he hadn't prefixed all of it with the story of "The Intercourse Shuffle," I wouldn't have thought much of it... but after this, I can't help but think that Jerxy was on to something!

Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 9

I'm quite excited that a new season of Penn & Teller: Fool Us is coming soon! Season 9 is debuting on October 14th. There aren't any details other than that right now -- no clue on who's performing, how many episodes there will be, or if Alyson Hannigan will still be the host (I hope she is).

When I started this blog last year, we were in the middle of Season 8, and I thought it was a great opportunity to practice writing and reviews to recap each episode. I'll continue the practice with Season 9 too! I'll also see if I can make the format of the review posts look nicer. The older ones are large walls of text, I'd like folks to be able to easily navigate the content if possible. Anyways, when I learn more about Season 9, I'll make sure to drop an update here =]

Performing Magic on Instagram and Getting Called Out

As of "right now" (Wednesday night, August 24th), I haven't posted on Instagram in over 2 weeks. That's my longest hiatus in, well, ever. I was going through a slump and just had zero motivation -- don't worry, that's over now! I'll post again soon =]

However, during that time away, my last two videos received comments that are just... fun.

Really nice 👍🏻 but in the beginning there was a tiny hint for the d-lift…the rest was perfectly though 👏👏👏

This is what I like to call a "compliment sandwich." The comment starts with something nice and ends with something nice, and in the middle, they like to slip in the slap to the face. For reference, I had the camera (read: phone) directly in front of my face giving the audience my point of view and you can see the back-edge of the cards and can tell by the thickness that there are two.

And then, there's this one:

Good handling 👍 Too bad the discrepancy (in the back color orientation of the "second" card) kind of alters the effect 🙄

"alters the effect"? You mean, makes it suck? Makes it better? Makes you think I shouldn't quit my day job? For reference, I was using the NOC Beach Bar deck which has a one-way color gradient back. If there are cards not facing the same way, it's ugly-obvious.

To be clear here, I knew about both issues when posting. I was on vacation and really didn't care. I spent a total of maybe 15 minutes with my camera (read: phone) out filming while enjoying an afternoon coffee. I wasn't aiming to do anything specific, wasn't aiming to impress folks with my awesome, super amazing, double lift capabilities. You know what I wanted? To post content and get engagement. That's the blunt version. The secondary objective was to show my friends the view from my apartment on vacation. Why have my body there blocking the way just to show a magic trick -- instead, just watch from my point of view... you probably know how the thing's done anyways so enjoy the scenery ;)

Which brings us to these call-out messages. I, personally, don't care one bit. The primary goal was engagement so the comments, whether negative or not, bring it. I do, however, care that they try to spoil the effect by telling how it's done. Please feel free to critique all you want; but if you want to describe the method, send me a direct message or an email. I'm more than happy to talk or even jam with you. But don't ruin the trick for others.

Rolling Dice with Ellusionist

I received an email today from Ellusionist about a chance to win some cash money! They're releasing a new gimmick early and here's the thing... they can't think of a good routine to perform with it:

Here's the honesty though, the gimmick itself is far greater than the routine that's currently taught with it. 
Ellusionist, commenting on the reason behind their Dice Roller contest.

The gimmick is Dice Roller, a card that has a 6-sided die on it that can instantly show any number from 1 to 6. No flap, visual change, and it's instantly repeatable. It doesn't say it's examinable though, so my mind jumps to a single solution for how it works... but, that's not important right now. What's important is the contest that Ellusionist is putting on!

They're giving the public 60 days to buy the Dice Roller gimmick early, play with it and create a routine. Then, you submit the routine and if yours is "the best", you can win $1,000 (or $1,500 store credit). That's a pretty penny! I've spent a solid 2 minutes trying to think of routines and only have cheesy ones so far; I'll give it another chunk of time and if I come up with something, I'll buy it and give it a shot.

If you're interested, or interested in more details, check out Dice Roller by Taiwan Ben.

Daniel Madison and his YouTube Tutorials

Do you YouTube? I YouTube. Usually during my lunch break at work, or when I need a quick break from whatever I'm doing at work. Or when I'm sitting in the car while being pulled through the car wash...

One of the channels I'm subscribed to is Daniel Madison (https://www.youtube.com/c/DanielMadisonDanielMadison). If you aren't familiar with Mr. Madison, a quick bio is that he's been on Fool Us, he's written a few books on card magic, he's published a few tricks, and he's produced a line of playing cards. That's pretty much the sum of what I know about him, at least. Oh, and the Malliance... but we won't go into that.

So, YouTube. A few months he announced that his YouTube channel is about to change. He'll no longer publish free tutorials there and instead, they'll only be available to members of the Malliance. Ah, sorry, I said I wasn't going into that... right.

Well, good news -- he's published 2 tutorials to his YouTube channel in the past 10 days! They are pretty killer visuals too. The concept is pretty much the same in both and don't require a lot of practice, but damn if they're not pretty on camera.

I'm feeling mad generous today. This tutorial was gonna be just for the Malliance (Madison.ist) but I'm feeling mad generous so I'm making this one public.
Daniel Madison

I know that he needs to make money as an artist, and I respect that. I really like that he's still willing to toss some content out for the rest of the world too though. I've supported him directly in the past by book and deck purchases, but I'm not a member of the Malliance. There just isn't enough time.

This makes me think though, maybe I should put together a nice list of good YouTube channels for magic resources. There are a lot available, some are way better than others. It would give me a chance to clean out my queue too =P

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