Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
HOME - The homepage is designed to be uncluttered, easy on the eyes, and give you quick access to anywhere on the site. You'll be greeted with a random photo each time you visit. You'll get a visual overview of the five latest news headlines, and you'll find one-click access to my Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and magicians blog sites.
ABOUT JOHN - Learn more about me, my approach to magic, how I got into it, and what others are saying about my magic.
BOOKING - What sets my magic apart? What can your guests expect? The Booking page describes my brand of magic and how it can help make your event as memorable and effective as possible.
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ARTS - In addition to the art of magic, I am dedicated to the art of design and music. Go "beyond the magic" and explore my art portfolio and listen to some of my original guitar compositions.
CONTACT - Have a question or comment, or just want to say hi? The contact page connects your inquiry directly to me.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Let's face it, while the approach opens the door to an amazing experience for your audience, it can also be quite awkward to invade their current experience to introduce them to a new one.
The trick is to make them curious, not defensive. (It's difficult for one to feel defensiveness and curiosity at the same time.) I often do this with a very simple question: “Excuse me, can I borrow your imagination for a moment?”
It's polite, non-intrusive, inviting, and most importantly, different. (“What does he mean, ‘borrow my imagination?’”)
It's now important to follow up with something that does indeed draw in their imagination. I usually continue with, “I'd like you to imagine that I'm holding an invisible deck of cards” or “I'd like you to imagine that instead of these two rubberbands, I am holding the very handcuffs used by the great Houdini.”
So, that's my tip for today — a simple question that heightens curiosity.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I was a little thrown off. I asked myself, "What does he mean what did I 'learn?' After all, I gave the presentation. Shouldn't the question be 'What do THEY learn?'"
Vince asked be again, "What did YOU learn?"
I get it now. It's about being consistently curious and learning something about ourselves in everything we do. From that day forward, "What did I learn?" has become a question I've asked myself countless times - nearly daily. It's applicable to professional work, family life...and yes, my career as a professional magician. It's especially revealing when you ask this after you TEACH someone something, because even when we are on the teaching side, we are learning too!
Try it. Be curious. Learn on the go. Grow.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wait, I don't mean that in any sort of derogatory way. They are literally part of your magic toolbox, and you should utilize them just as much as any sleight in your arsenal.
How many times do we, as creators, factor in the audience into the method, not just the presentation? Sure, we design effects that entertain and tickle their magical funny bone, but in terms of intentionally focusing on the intricacies of audience interaction and psychology as part of sleight execution is something I think we can and should do more of.
In my work, which you can see in action on my Brainstorm DVDs among other places, I focus the timing of sleights during audience Action, Interaction and Reaction (A.I.R.). As a result, the moves come across as "airy"—and in many cases, virtually invisible. And while it might all appear casual and off the cuff, make no mistake about it—it is ALL very intentional.
The paradox here is that it is hard to make things appear simple. It takes many hours of practice, preparation and on-air time with real world to make it effective. The reward of all this is that you gain an extra tool (in the form of your audience) in making your sleights appear...well...sleight-less.
So, while your audience comes in to be entertained, little do they know that they are playing a secret vital role in actual the execution of your methods. It's a shift in our thinking. No more laboring over how they might burn our hands; instead, strategically weave them into the construction of the effect so the moves become background noise—and the entertainment factor takes center stage.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Now describe the entire set in about 50 words. Wait. Here's the real key; avoid listing the names of the effects or directly describing what happens with the props. Instead, describe it as a STORY of the journey experienced by the audience.
So instead of writing down your routine as a list of 4 or 5 effects, you might describe it like, "The audience experiences the power of subliminal advertising, then are shown how their own actions could subliminally broadcast their mere thoughts. Then, in addition to predicting the future, the future is actually altered! Finally, the audience sees what it's like to have something vanish up close, then repeat with a powerful twist."
Why do this exercise? 1) It often unveils misplaced effects that interrupt the flow of an cohesive and advancing story; 2) it focuses your view through an audience lens; and 3) it helps to answer the ever important "So What?"about particular effect(s) - such as "So what if I find the Aces?" or "So what if I find their card?" The latter examples can often transcend into experiences that touch your audience in profound ways IF the story and premise are presented as such.
So, what's your story?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Okay, so Paul Harris' classic effect has always intrigued me. I'm quite proud of the variation I use, not so much for handling touches, but for the the "moments" I create through simple one-degree shifts. The most notable of these is placing the cards ON the card box during the time they change. It's a hands-off magical moment. Enjoy!