December 17th, 2007 Issue# 83
Rick Carruth / editor Copyright(C) 2007
Street Magic's #1 free newsletter for magicians, street performers, restaurant workers, close-up artists, and mentalists, with subscribers in over Eighty countries worldwide. StreetMagic helps you learn free magic tricks online and through magic video tutorials.
Yes, it's been a hectic December. I'm still not exactly sure how this issue came together. There were days when I wondered if I could complete this issue before 2008! Still.. I think you'll enjoy the articles and resources in this issue of the Magic Roadshow...
Here's a big WELCOME to all the new subscribers who have so graciously signed up to receive the Roadshow. I hope you find something in every issue to improve your magic. If you have any questions or requests, I'm always available, although a little slow of late, to help however possible.
Questions, Comments, Rants or Raves... EMAIL ME
THANK YOU! to everyone who emailed me after the last issue. I appreciate the feedback more than you can know. It's good to know that eyes are actually seeing the Roadshow, and that you would take the time to let me know what you're thinking.
Well.. it's one week till Christmas... my absolute, without a doubt, favorite time of the year. If you celebrate Christmas too, then here's wishing you a Very, Merry Christmas! My newsletter reflects my Christian belief, but I never intend to offend anyone of any belief.. For ALL of you.. Here's wishing you a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year..!
- A Personal Tale of Trial and Triumph - Read and Learn
- CUPS - Magic effect
- CUPS 2 - Magic effect
- Master of Illusion - Video Game (Press Release)
- Scrooge Yourself - Humor
- Houdini.Org - Information galore
- SuperMagnetMan - Super Resource
- Kranzo Magic - Free downloads
- MJPEG Surveillance - Free download
- Card Tricks and Magical Mysteries - 2 New Tutorials
- Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents - The Real Deal
- Free Downloads for New Subscribers
A Personal Tale of Trial and Triumph
I have a weakness.. I don't seldom talk about it with the general public; it's a burden I prefer to keep private, shared only with those who are closest to me. After a long talk with my wife I've decided to come clean and experience the cathartic pleasure of bearing my soul, and my burden, with you.. the Magic Roadshow readers.
Just as some men are helplessly drawn into a tavern simply by walking past it's doorway, I'm unexplicibly drawn into bookstores, large and small, in search of cheap magic books I don't need. It's not at all unusual for me to arrive home late, my tail tucked between my legs and a beige Barnes & Noble bag securely tucked under my arm. My Beloved will meet me at the door, a transendental look of both disappointment and relief in her eyes: Disappointment that I've fallen from the wagon and slipped into my old ways - and relief that I've somehow managed to find my way home without the escort of a concerned B&N employee.
There's something about seeing the word 'Magic' and a $4.95 price tag on the cover of a bargain book that makes my heart race and my will-power flounder. Although I know I've promised Carolyn I wouldn't buy any more cheap magic books, like those that lay around the bargain bin of well-known establishments, I sometimes succumb to the temptation and feel compelled to pick one up. Within minutes of my irrepressible urge I'm reduced to a browser in a book store, stalking the isles of the bargain section, running my fingers under piles of discounted books, looking for that one 'special' book.
Once found.. there's an art to buying the discount magic book.. and through years of weakness I've mastered it. You can't just find it, pick it up, and pay for it.. What if someone you know should see you - someone who know's you have Royal Road to Card Magic at home waiting on you?
When I find 'it', I bring it to the top of the pile, pretend my search was fruitless, casually lay a magazine on top and carefully perform a skillful double-lift.. taking both the discount book and the magazine under my left arm with my right hand in one s-m-o-o-t-h move.
I can spot another magician miles away, and once I'm sure one isn't watching, I weave my way to the checkout counter, careful to make both right and left turns at random. Before hitting the line, I do a sudden 'turn around and backtrack' move to catch any possible 'tails'. So far, so good..
I have to pay with cash, I can't risk leaving a paper trail. Who knows when SAM or SCAM or IBM will confront me with accusations of ill-propriety, ruining my stellar reputation in the magic community?
But paying with cash presents it's own special set of problems. My wife has recently discovered the joy of computing. For years all that was necessary was hiding the bank statement, and my 'cash withdrawals' were safe. Now, she not only enjoys spending time online, she has discovered how to access our bank account online...
Suddenly those 'cash withdrawals' stand out like Richard Simmons at a batchelor party...
I feel the noose tightening. With the Holiday season upon us, she has offered to go into my office and straighten up my bookcases. She says all those books put in backwards are annoying her. Now, I've got to straighten my office -and- figure a way to hide my dilemma..
Oh, what's a weak magician to do? Stay tuned.......
And what exactly have I learned from these el cheapo's? Lots, actually..
Most effects begin as simple effects and grow into full-fledge works of art after being interlaced with the creative thinking of the far-reaching minds of magicians worldwide. My little mind looks at the various little effects and quickly darts off in a half dozen different directions. I truly enjoy taking the 'basics' of magic and transforming it into something a little special. It may not seem special to you, but it continues to fool MY audiences.. and that's all I can ask.
Most of us are familiar with the numerous effects that allow the magician to divine under which cup an object has been placed. You've seen guys place spikes under cups, and then slam all the cups.. except the one containing the spike. You've seen magicians give a spectator an object to place under one of the cups, and then reveal under which cup the object was placed..
And one of the most basic methods, the one frequently found in basic magic books, is the method that uses three cups with seams to give the magician the information to make his prediction.
The Magician takes three identical paper or styrofoam cups, casually sets them on a table with the seams facing him, and has an audience member lift one of the cups and hide an object beneath it, while the magician stands with his back turned to the cups. When he turns around he can immediately tell which cup has been lifted, since the seam will not be in the same position he put it in.
I was flipping through one of my books the other day when I saw this effect for the upteenth time. It occured to me that one could just as easily acertain the cups under which three spectators place objects. With the right patter, this can really confuse an audience, as you can look each spectator in the eye and tell them exactly which cup their object is hidden under.. each of them.
Ask each of the spectators to select a small object of some importance to them and hold it tightly in their hand. Have them stand in front of the cups, which you've already laid out with the seams facing you. Ask the first spectator to place their object under any of the cups while your back is turned. When they've made their selection, turn back around and ask the first spectator if they're happy with their choice. Notice which of the cups has been moved. Remember it...
Repeat this for the third spectator and your work is done. You know the first cup moved. You know the second cup moved, and you know the third cup moved. Now, you can ask each spectator what type of object they placed under the cup. Wave your hand over the cups as if trying to 'feel' what is under each one. Then, dramatically tell the audience what you feel, or don't feel, under each cup. Turn the cups over to show you're 100% correct.
You've taken a simple effect and turned it into a more sophisticated simple effect. You will be surprised at the 'magicians' who will be thrown off by the method, as they've not seen this effect performed with this many spectators. They will assume you have some other form of trickery up your sleeve and want to know your method.. Write me and tell me if this isn't true..
.: CUPS 2
While we're on the subject of cups, lets make it a duo. I was 'again' flipping through one of my many magic books, one by Irv Furman to be exact, when I noticed an effect using a cup to magically 'untie' a knot in a string.
A string is tied into a loose, single loop knot. The knot is lowered into a paper cup, the magic words are mumbled, and the string is slowly removed to show the knot has gone. The method used is simple, in that a hole big enough for your thumb is cut into the side of the cup. Your thumb is placed in the hole, out of view of the spectator, and the thumb placed through the knot when the knot's lowered into the cup. Of course, when the string is pulled from the cup, the knot is 'pulled' from the string by your thumb, revealing a perfectly straight string.
The problem with this effect is you may pull it off once, but you certainly can't show the cup.. ever. My thought was that one could make a decent table trick out of this effect with a little improvising.
I was using a two inch long straight needle recently, one that some may call a 'hat pin' because it has that little thingy on one end that looks like a little pearl, to remove a splinter. After reading this effect I layed the book on a table next to the pin. When I saw the two side by side, it was sort of like bread and butter. How convenient..
Why not conceal the pin from view while you show the cup to the spectator. Heck, stick it in your shirt tail if you don't know where else to put it.. When the cup has been examined, set it on the table, produce the string and tie a loose knot in one end. Ask the spectator to examine the string while you secretly retrieve your pin. Holding it between your first and second fingers with the point facing inwards, pick up the cup with the same hand and position the pin so a little pressure will puncture the wall of the cup. A styrofoam cup is ideal for this effect.
Pick up the string with your other hand, lift the cup to a position where you can see inside, but they can't. This is easy if the spectator is seated and you're standing. Your positioning is important, as you must also keep the pin concealed behind the cup. Slowly lower the string into the cup as you push the pin through the wall. Once you're sure the pin is through the knot, slowly raise the string to disengage the knot and show the knot has disappeared.
If they want to inspect the cup, which they will, you simply pull the pin out , which is made much easier with the little pearl thingy on the back end of the pin.
Tyeing the knot close to the end of the string greatly increases the ease of disengaging the knot. You never want to struggle with the knot.
Although I've never tried it, I think you might be able to untie a more sophisticated knot, one that unties with the pulling of the end of the string, by impailing the point of the pin into the very end of the string and letting the knot untie as you draw the string from the cup. This might take a little practice. You could make a small hole in the cup and insert a small alligator clip into the hole, and use the clip to easily grab the end of the string. You could show the inside of the cup but couldn't hand it out.. of course.
You have to create a mystery. Patter is vitally important to the success of this effect. I'm not going to create the patter for you, as I really want you to make this your own. You could though refer to your effect as 'Ghost in a Cup', and develop an appropriate patter line. Remember... slowly, slowly, slowly....
Master of Illusion - Video Game (Press Release)
It´s a Modern Twist on Classic Magic Tricks...
REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 27, 2007 - You see here before you a video game. By all outward appearances, it´s a simple video game. Feel free to inspect it to confirm it is, in fact, of the standard video game variety. Note that I have nothing up my sleeve, nor do I have any confederates among the audience. Now allow me, if you will, to insert the game card into the Nintendo DS™ portable gaming system. With a few taps of the touch screen with my magic wand stylus Voilà! Instantly you are transformed into a Master of Illusion™!
This remarkable new Nintendo product has the power to mystically change anyone into an eager apprentice magician with abilities sure to astound friends and family alike. A full repertoire of tricks awaits discovery and practice. Best of all, Master of Illusion comes with a deck of magic cards to get trainees started on the path to magic mastery.
Master of Illusion, rated E for Everyone, is yet another way the Nintendo DS transforms the notion of what constitutes a video game. Note: rabbit not included.
Suggested retail price $ 29.95
Wayne Kawamoto of About.com has reviewed Nintendo's latest addition to the rapidly growing gaming market, and if you have any interest in purchasing Master of Illusion, I suggest you visit Wayne and read his review..
Here's a sample...
Mystic Hand allows a spectator to draw a cartoon hand on the DS touchscreen and then point to one of three objects on the upper screen (the upper screen lacks touch sensitivity). The drawn hand then animates and grabs the selected object. Here, the game offers clever use of animation.
Shuffle Games is a mentalism style effect where a spectator secretly selects a month, place or activity on the screen, which is mixed with other similar objects into a list. The spectator reads the objects in any order and without looking, you are able to tell the spectator which object he selected.
Have you ever scrooged yourself? I have.. and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You still have time to scrooge yourself before Christmas... if you hurry.
I picked this story off PRnewswire, concerning the Houdini museum and one of it's directors, Dick Brooks. I've been to the Houdini site many times, and drawn from some of it's material as a source of information for Houdini related articles. If you've never been to Houdini.org I suggest you go, look around, and check out the resources detailing the life of magic's most famous personality... This is very EDUCATIONAL folks.. !
SCRANTON, Pa., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The world is abuzz with Uri Geller seeming to zero in on an envelope magician Criss Angel held up live on NBC TV as a challenge to Mr. Geller for one-million dollars. Amazingly Mr. Geller came up with the numbers 911 that were hidden in the envelope.
The event was telecast live on the finale of NBC TV's "Phenomenon" on Wednesday night, November 14th.
Paranormalist and psychic investigator Dick Brooks, also director of the world-famous Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pa., managed to get an exclusive interview with Uri Geller on the event. Geller said, "I don't know what happened. When Criss Angel challenged me, I suddenly started blurting out dates. It was not rehearsed. Why dates? I have no idea why I did it till now. That's how these things happen to me. The dates or numbers I started to blurt out were 1, 19, which reversed is 911. I also said the numbers 20 and 1, which is close to 2001. What are the odds of that? In Europe, where I'm from, the date 911 is 119."
Geller commented, "Maybe if he would not have cut me off so quickly, I would have zeroed in not only on 911, but the whole year 2001. If I was being tested in a laboratory these all would clearly be considered hits."
The video has popped on youtube.com pointing out the hits as they occurred. It can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G096iqoGIjY
Dick Brooks, psychic investigator, and a director along with magician Dorothy Dietrich of the renowned Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA, will continue to follow up on the story. The Houdini Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to Houdini, and is a source throughout the world for information about the legendary performer.
Dick Brooks is also a nationally known paranormalist, and director of Scranton's Psychic Theater. The theater is currently presenting America's longest-running and well-reviewed show dealing with the paranormal. It's a three-hour-plus evening with experiments in mind control, telepathy, psychokinesis, sightless vision, mentalism that ends with a recreation of an old-time seance. The presentation tells the story of hauntings going back to the Houdini era that happened in the building. They included a murder, suicide, and electrocution. The show then explores the pros and cons of such beliefs. Scranton and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania are considered two of the most haunted cities in the world: Scranton because of the miners that died trapped in the mines and Gettysburg because of the many deaths in the US Civil War.
Dick Brooks can be contacted at:
OK.. I've sat on this resource for months and months. As long as I was an Ellusionist affiliate, and they sold PK rings, I felt it best to keep this out of the Roadshow. Times have changed. Hey, half of what we do as magicians gets attributed to 'magnets'.. so see what you can really do with these little miracles..
Folks, I have bought and tested one of the magnetic wedding rings mentioned by Mr. George, and I can honestly tell you that they are as strong as any on the market. They are better looking than most, as they resemble a real wedding band. Do NOT be fooled by the price, which is typically around eight dollars, as they are as good as any PK ring being sold anywhere.
Right now, all orders placed by Dec. 21st will receive an additional 15% discount, as the SuperMagnetMan team wants to share their Christmas Celebration. I am not associated with SuperMagnetMan, and I do not get one cent for directing you to this resource. It's just my way of saying " Merry Christmas! "..
"My magnet wedding rings have been a bit hit with lots of customers. It started at the end of last year when several customers needed something to help their arthritis pain in their fingers and I thought it would be cool if I could get a ring that looked like a wedding ring. I took the measurements on my own ring and had the manufacturer try to make it. They did a great job, but it was too fragile. So I made the next batch a little thicker and wider and these work great. I have them plated in real gold, silver and chrome."
Below are a few of the many YouTube videos made by the owner and staff to demonstrate some of the intrigueing aspects of magnets and their power.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uET76b7GtXU - SuperMagnet crashes. This video shows the raw power these magnets have when they crash together. This also helps you understand the safety concerns of handling large powerful magnets.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so-18KVNsyk - Using SuperMagnets to erase video tapes and computer tapes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nyOCrz9hj4 - Fun with magnets - a really cool game with supermagnets.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZazPBWQexgk - Magnet Power - using tiny, dust sized magnets to see how magnetism acts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i6TZTce2Ps - Inducing magnetism to make steel balls hang form the ceiling - demonstrates the power of supermagnets even when they do not touch the ceiling or the steel balls but it makes them stick together.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR_8f0DYK5s - AMAZING permanent magnet - over 1 Tesla (actually 1,6 Tesla). This specially designed arrangement of pyramid magnets arranged in a type of Halbach arrangement with Mr. George's magnetic focusing design pushes permanent magnetic flux in a small path to over 16,000 gauss.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iABmUEH5s0k - Unbelieveable demonstration of paramagnetism and sort of a variation of Lenz's Law. Giant magnet is so powerful it slows its own fall onto a 1 inch thick slab of aluminum.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSWr0FaNFMU - Mr. George's favorite - I call it the Mizzell Effect. I don't know if it ever occured to you, but it did to me. I wondered if 2 north poles could stick together and 6 or 7 years ago I discovered that it could work and now it is part of my Hands-On Science classes that I conduct in my local elementary schools. Furthermore, opposing magnetic fields can pass through each other inside a single piece of material!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=675Ab1hkcCw - This video shows just a few of the really neat ways I have found to use supermagnets in my everyday life. Very interesting and entertaining. Check out the way to use magnets to make traffic lights change:) and how to hang a wreath on a large bay area window using the right magnet hook and a rubber coated magnet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkizsQ_9KZM - This is the start of my Magnet University. I begin to cover all the practical basics of magnets. Watch my site for more work in this area. I will be covering lots of information that inventors, young scientists and hobbyists of all ages have asked about over the past 7 years.
Nathan Kranzo always has something new at his site. If he's not introducing new effects to the magic world, he's giving them away. Of course, not everythings free, but for those who sign up for his newsletter there's a wealth of nice, commercial type effects.
Some of the freebee's include:
- Nice Box!
- Night Cap!
- That´s Amore´ sampler
- Kranzo's Ultra Opener
- John Luka´s Uncovered Sample
- All Day Bender Coin Bending Effect
Look for the 'download magic' link in the right nav bar, click it, answer the simple question, and download a couple of magic tricks right away. Subscribe to download the entire list of effects..
MJPEG Surveillance - Free download
This is one of those resources that has nothing to do with magic, unless you consider converting your IP camera into a motion detector 'magical'..
Aside from the many features listed below, the main use of this program is to allow you to turn your web cam into a motion detector, the images being captured by your computer when motion is detected in a specific area.
I can't explain how it works, I'm simply not techie enough... but the basic idea is that the image is divided into a grid, and then each block in the grid is measured periodically for it's light intensity. If the program detects a light intensity change, then the recording begins..
Any of you guys and girls wanting to protect your home, work area, or million dollar magic apparatuses, can do so with this free program..
About the Program
If any of you get this program up and running, let me know how it works for you..
Card Tricks and Magical Mysteries - 2 New Tutorials
One Handed Shuffle / One Handed Deal - Video Tutorials
Here's two video tutorials I've added to 'Card Tricks and Magical Mysteries', detailing what I would call 'card flourishes'.. The first video is a good example of a one handed cut, one that's very do-able with a little practice..
The second video is of a one-handed deal. The deal utilizes a 'flip' that deals the cards with a spin. It's also very easy to accomplish with a little practice..
Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents
I've answered quite a few questions the past several years concerning the marketing, publishing, and ownership rights of writers, artists, and web site owners. I'm not the best when it comes to explaining the rules and regulations governing all these sensitive subjects, but I've gained a basic education concerning Intellectual Property rights out of sheer necessity..
I've known a number of magicians through the years who have lost the rights to their own effects because they did not understand the laws concerning copyrights and patents. They develop a nice effect, show it to a few friends, and the next thing they know - someone is marketing their effect, earning all the money, and getting all the recognition.
I've long encouraged those of you who have created effects to share them readers of the Magic Roadshow, as once your effect is published it is automatically considered to be 'copyrighted', since it has been published online. You can now prove, if needed, that your effect was published online on such and such date, thus verifying to the governing bodies the date you laid claim to the said effect.
Anyone publishing a similar effect after the date your effect was published is a "day late and a dollar short", as they say..
Perhaps this informative article by Kelly Sims will help you understand Intellectual Property, and what YOU need to do to protect it..
Free Downloads for New Subscribers..
.: Expert at the Card Table
.: Easy Mentalism
I encourage you to send any magic resources my way. If you know of a site that has a free ebook or a wide assortment of magic related material, let me know. I'm sure all the other readers will appreciate it..
Remember too, the new form that allows you to send your articles and effects to the Roadshow for publication.
Please don't forget to visit some of my other sites.. see what's new -
May my next issue find you well..
Rick Carruth / editor
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