As a magician it is super important that you are ready and able to impress a potential client at a moments notice. So that means you must always have something magic related on your person at all times. Now I completely understand that some magicians may disagree with this statement. As some will say that that you should be able to use what is in your surroundings to perform magic with. While others might say that if they aren't getting paid, then why would they want to perform. I'm not trying to start a debate on whether you should or should not carry magic at all times, but rather I am speaking for the majority of magicians who like myself believe that if you want to impress someone you need to be prepared, and that means you must have magic with you at all times. Personally, I believe I should have 5 tricks with me at all times, plus the ability to use what is in my surroundings as well. So I would like to discuss some of the tricks that I carry with me, and what other magicians carry with them on their person at all times.
The reason I choose to carry 5 tricks at all times is so that I can perform a mini show at any given moment and I'm set and ready for any situation.
Here are my top 5 choices for magic tricks that I can perform as close-up (or) as a parlor sized routine with no notice what so ever.
#1.) Kollasal Killer - This is a great routine that will allow you to not only be able to predict any thought of card by a spectator and that card is inside of your wallet. This is a great trick in itself. But it's also perfect to have any out for any given mistake made for a card trick. As a magician we've all experienced a moment where something goes wrong...and if the card you thought you had control of suddenly isn't where you thought it was. You immediately can have it all come together as the chosen card is actually inside of your wallet. The only downfall to this is it does take up quite a bit of space inside your wallet. Which limits how much else you can carry, and it requires you to have a very specific type of wallet to perform this trick.
#2.) Tornado Deck - Such a beautiful transposition effect that is extremely visual where a torn card switches places right before the spectators eyes. It takes up very little space as you only need 2 cards in your wallet for this. Now this one is one that costs you each time you do it...you can only do this trick 28 times before you need to buy a new deck. So I'm very selective on whom I show this to, but wow is it easy to perform and I will tell you it will knock the socks off of the spectators!
#3) CardNow App - There are so many great smartphone magic apps that you can use now, but this is one of my favorites because it allows me to leave my business card with the spectator in a magical way that isn't the cheesy back palm that most every layperson knows how is done.
#4) Deck of Cards, Smoke & a regular Sharpie - Depending on the audience, I will typically do Card-to-Mouth, But there is just so much you can do with this. I keep Smoke with me as well so I can make do card to mouth and make the smoke come out of my mouth, along with the signed mercury fold card. This just enhances the effect and makes for a bigger wow moment for the spectator.
#5) Extreme Burn 2.0 - Being able to turn 5 one dollar bills into 5 twenty dollar bills right before the spectators eyes (or it can be any other denomination I just prefer 20's). This one is GREAT as a first impression, but there is a time that I would not suggest performing this one. If you are a magician working for tips, this one isn't not going to help you since you can make money with magic, why would they bother to give you any of their money? If anything they will just want you to turn their 1's into 20's.
Next are a list of other magicians choices for their magic they always keep on their person at all times:
Ox Bender - Being able to use only one hand and have a spectators borrowed and signed coin bent in either their hand or yours. This is one I perform often and I highly recommend, I prefer using this at my events rather than as an everyday carry item, but I can see why other magicians choose this one for sure!
Finger Ring & Rope - This is a simple and effective routine that looks amazing...It's where a finger ring, borrowed is best (but you can use your own as well) and the ring will penetrate off of the rope, and it can jump onto an ink pen, sharpie, or a magic wand works too. I personally prefer to not carry around magicians rope with me at all times, but if the right opportunity is present I can always use my own, a friends, or a spectators shoe lace to perform this trick.
TT - Personally I like to also have a sugar packet with my TT so I can make the sugar vanish and appear inside spectators shoe for a killer effect that will blow their minds. But for me I prefer this to be in my paid performance not in my magic I perform when first meeting a potential client. The only real downfall to this is that the TT is so well known by most laymen. But regardless, they are always still very impressed because although they may know how it was done...but they didn't see it being done, and that blows their minds. So that just means you better have this one down if you are going to do it!
Magic with Large Finger Ring - Making it Vanish and Reappear This is super easy and also adds to your style as a magician. But I personally don't like wearing big bulky rings, so it's not something I like to perform.
Card2Phone App - This is such a great app that you can download for your smartphone which will allow you to insert TONS of random everyday objects inside of your phone and then magically make the item appear back to real life and disappear from inside the phone.
Scotch & Soda - This is perfect for pocket sized magic, sets up in seconds and your ready to wow the spectator...this works great for any age, but you really need to know how to sell this one with your personality. The trick is self working so long as you perform it correctly. I love performing this and following it with melting coin. So I take a half dollar and a Mexican centavo and turn that into a half dollar and a quarter in the spectators hands. Then I put the half dollar inside a plastic bag, have the spectator put the quarter into the bag on top of the other coin then pull the half dollar thru the bag without any holes being put into the bag. This really enhances this trick and makes it into a routine. But again I prefer to do this at paid gigs not as my everyday carry items.
So what is your everyday carry magic? What magic can you not leave home without? How has having these items effected your magic career? What audiences is best suited for each of the tricks you perform?
Leave your comments below.
Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
As a professional magician it tends to be a difficult task to run a business and always learning and improving upon your chosen profession. You have to be a secretary, a website administrator, video editor, photo editor, book keeper, marketing guru, cold calling, generating leads, being a salesman, and on top of all that you need to be a pretty darn good entertainer too. But there are only so many hours in a day, and we all have our personal lives too so we are limited to what all can be done on our own. So their are some companies out there that have come along in the past few years that do help eliminate some of the stress with finding qualified leads, but I really believe these companies such as GigMasters, GigSalad, Thumbtack, etc... are doing more harm than they are good. Yes it's great having the ability to bid on a lead that is genuinely seeking a service provide such as a magician (or) other forms of entertainment as well. But the downfall is it creates a cut throat environment where we are all fighting against one another over the same leads. Makes me feel like I'm playing the Hunger Games..."and may the odds be ever in your favor!"
Speaking from experience I know for a fact that when we as entertainers team up with one another and send each other leads, hire each other out, or simply offer a referral fee to your competitors. Then everyone wins, the market isn't being slashed by price under cutting. We appreciate and respect one another and more so we profit from one another.
So why are we allowing these 3rd party services control our business?
Why can't we come up with a solution for this problem...I can't be the only one who feels this way. And I must admit GigMasters I don't hate entirely...but that is only because they give you the clients info and allow you to contact them directly. But I don't understand why we pay a monthly fee, and yet we still have to pay them $20 if they book the gig for us. GigSalad I simply hate that you are forced to book with them directly, but I must say I appreciate that you don't have to pay a membership to get leads, and I appreciate that you can require the client to pay the fee, or split the fee with the client. However, Thumbtack I loathe entirely! Having to pay for a lead regardless of if the events books or not is dirty and unethical! They are getting paid by numerous entertainers for the same lead. You can waste A LOT of money VERY Quickly especially using their points system instead of a dollar amount system.
Wouldn't it be great if there were a national entertainment booking website that clients could go to that is highly ranked on search engines. The clients would see a list of local vendors, but they don't receive bids from vendors...but rather the client puts in what service they are wanting, how much they intend to spend on the service with a budget range (which is a requirement), obviously all the pertinent info about the gig, and they get to choose if they want a local only (or) nationwide performers to be show. Then based on the info they input a list of local entertainers are provided with all their contact info. The client contacts you directly...no bidding wars, they client has seen your work, be given your website, and contact info, they know your price is within their budget range, there could be a calendar option if you choose to use it so they would even know if you are available, and all you need to do is book the gig. With this service there would only be a monthly membership fee which is to be listed on the site as either a local and/or nationwide entertainer. There would also be a featured performer option in which case for a higher fee your info would be in a rotation for the top of the list with anyone else whom has paid for that option.
So I guess the real question here is who's with me? Who thinks this is a good idea? Who wants to invest in making this a reality?
I'm serious, it's time to put a stop to this.
Aaron Clark (Aka. The Amazing Ziggy)
I recommend to anyone interested in pursuing working in the trade show market as a magician a book called A Modern Trade Show Handbook by Seth Kramer. Seth details in the book, the types of magic he performs, his promotional material, the correct sound system and staging needed, how he works with clients, the list goes on and on... Seth really goes into great detail on what it’s like to be a Trade Show Entertainer!
Here are 10 Trade Show Tips by Seth Kramer
Trade Show Tip 1
Being a good (and successful) trade show magician is not about the tricks you perform and it’s not about you and your ego. The secret to being a good trade show magician is knowing that it’s all about the company you’re representing and their product or services.
Trade Show Tip 2
In a pinch, an aerobics step makes an excellent riser. It’s adjustable, inexpensive, and can be found in any local sporting goods store.
Trade Show Tip 3
You can start your show with effects such as the Cups and Balls, or the Three Shell Game that require a table top, but as your crowd builds, you will want to get the tricks up off the table and into the air so the majority of the crowd can see what’s going on. (My friend Bob Kohler’s Ultimate Three Fly is an excellent choice for a trade show trick that plays at chest level.)
Trade Show Tip 4
Don’t ever give out your business card without receiving one in return. By obtaining a reciprocal business card, you can follow up with that contact after the show with a casual email or voice mail.
Trade Show Tip 5
Trade Show pioneer Mike Rogers gave me some advice early in my career (besides always telling me to “slow down, you’re not going to a fire”). He said, “Seth, you need to know your tricks inside and out so that you can perform them in your sleep if necessary. You shouldn’t have to think about any aspect of your tricks. You will need to focus most of your attention on the product information and how you will deliver the message to the crowd and connect with them.”
Trade Show Tip 6
Finding the ideal spots in your show for your marketing messages can be tricky. One exercise I’ve found to be helpful is customizing every show I do. I’m not talking specifically about trade shows here; I mean birthday parties, family shows, anniversary parties, a restaurant gig, etc. You can always find out some key details about the guest of honor when you book the show, or ask about the unique features of a restaurant before you start working.
Trade Show Tip 7
Don’t get a reputation as someone who will try to undercut another working performer by approaching their client when they aren’t around. Chances are that word of your visit will get right back to the performer as soon as they return. Karma has a way of biting you in the ass. As they say, what goes around comes around. There’s plenty of work for everyone; just go out and get it on your own.
Trade Show Tip 8
Just as you are there at the show to gather crowds for your client, the other magician’s and presenter’s are there to do the same for theirs. It makes little sense to try and one-up the competition by performing your show non-stop in an attempt to keep the other performer from doing their job.
Trade Show Tip 9
Make your product pitch interactive. Ask questions during your pitch and try to get feedback from your audience. If you are able to connect with your audience and create a rapport, you will find that you are in a unique position to qualify potential leads for your clients’ sales team.
Trade Show Tip 10
Become a student of sales. The bookstores are full of books (and audio books) that will teach you how to sell more effectively. Make a promise to yourself; For every five magic books you read, read one business book.
Thanks Seth for your input and helping our readers break into the industry!
Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
You know being a magician is difficult and requires a great deal of training, practicing in a mirror, video yourself, writing scripts and analyzing those scripts meticulously with a fine tooth comb. But and honing in on your skills as a Magician that works with animals takes it to a new extreme, since you now become an animal trainer, and animals for the most part are unpredictable. So your script that you have worked so hard on often times must be fluid and adaptable for any given situation. Basically you have to think of any situation of what could go wrong before it does and prepare a script for what to do in those situations. For Example...I work with Exotic Animals, and my parrots are a big part of my performance and they are potty trained although accidents do happen and you must be prepared for them to happen at the worst times because they will. But it's all in how you handle that situation, you must remain in control and find humor in the things that go wrong, or at least let the audience find humor in them. The Show Must Go On...you simply can not pull a Mariah Carey performance as she did on New Years Eve 2017. When you are able to "Carey" on your, showmanship shines bright and the audience will not only appreciate it but they will remember it.
There are a lot of frustrating moments when performing with animals, but there is also tremendous joy that comes from showing love and attention to an animal while spending time every day training. And when I say every day I mean that literally, especially working with Large Birds, they are basically toddlers that live to be 80-100 years old. They demand lots of attention, and require time that many people just don't have to invest. Not to mention the lifestyle changes that come with Large Birds. Some examples of this: You can't use scented candles in your home. The types of pots and pans we use can not contain any Teflon. You have to use organic cleaning supplies, so no harsh chemicals like bleach or even 409. Their respiratory systems are very sensitive and smells that we humans don't even notice can kill them almost instantly. Not to mention many people can get very sick because of having birds in their home so often you will have to have an aviary or separated living quarters for the birds to live in, and you especially should never sleep in the same room as your birds as their droppings leave particles in the air that can also lead to illness if exposed to them for long periods.
Aside from birds I also have reptiles which I perform with, Now the Snakes are by all means the show stoppers as almost everyone is afraid of snakes. But honestly they are the most docile creatures and literally take NO training what so ever to incorporate into an act. They literally go into a secret compartment and wait there until its time to be revealed. Now other reptiles are much different such as the Lizards I perform with. I have Iguana's and a Tegu Lizard and these animals to take quite a bit of work handling them frequently and making sure they are petted on, have their nails trimmed, giving them baths often, and just overall showing them lots of love. This keeps them from running away or trying to escape when its time for their big tricks in the show. Certainly no ones whats an iguana running on the floor during an event, not to mention the panic that would cause. So again that is a scenario that must be accounted for in the scripting phase of preparing for a performance.
I don't think many magicians realize the importance of scripting your shows, and not only that but really critiquing your own scripts to the point of body language and movements, it's not only what you say but how and when you say it. Timing is a critical part of my scripts. If I am going to tell joke I need to make sure it's funny obviously, but I need to make sure its the appropriate time to tell it, that I give the audience time to laugh before moving on, that I understand what my hands, or props I'm using are doing during that time so that it looks natural and doesn't come across in an awkward manner to the audience members.
I sincerely hope that before you decide to incorporate live animals into your performances that you would consider first looking into rescuing animals, as there are so many animals that need loving homes. I will tell you all of the animals I use in my performances (I currently have 27!) are rescue animals and they all have different back stories of neglect, abuse, malnourished, etc. but they are all loved, trained, and cared for every day which has led to them being happier and healthier.
One of the stories I am most proud of is my Parrot Memphis. Memphis is a Scarlet Macaw and came from a home in North Carolina. The family had just went thru a divorce and the wife was the one who cared for him. At the time his name was Ruckus or Ruck for short, he was severely overweight from a poor diet that included only nuts and bird seed. Which is essentially the equivalent of eating Krispy Kreme Donuts every day of his life for every meal. Well the wife is the one who left and when she did she left Ruck behind, he was EXTREMELY aggressive, and very cage territorial. The room he was kept in had only the cage he was in and TON of wood shaving splinters all over the floor which was from where he had chewed the baseboard around the entire room and was working on the walls wood paneling next. His Water Bowl was covered in slime, and it took us 2 hours to get him out of his cage and into a travel crate. We changed his name to Memphis as he associated the name Ruckus to his old life. Now Memphis has the coolest personality and loves his life, he goes on tons of adventures and is the main Parrot that I use in my performances. I am so proud of what all he has accomplished and it's only been just over 1 year for this transformation to take place.
Thanks for reading!
Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
Magician feels tricked by lack of revised rabbit rule
WASHINGTON — Marty Hahne’s magic tricks don’t work in Washington.
Hahne is the Springfield, Mo.-area magician who became a media sensation a few years ago, when The Washington Post wrote about an obscure federal rule that required him to have a license and disaster plan for his rabbit, Casey, the furry star of his children’s magic shows.
The reaction was wondrous — at first.
story from The Motley Fool
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The secretary of Agriculture quashed the disaster plan requirement immediately after the Post’s story was posted online. And by early 2014, lawmakers in Congress had directed the Agriculture Department to craft an exemption to the rules, so that Hahne and other magicians no longer had to submit to surprise federal bunny inspections and other silliness.
Nearly three years later, though, those political edicts seem like hocus pocus to Hahne, a.k.a. “Marty the Magician.”
Agriculture Department regulators haven’t finalized the exemption, so he still has to file annual paperwork for his rabbit permit, and Casey still gets regular visits from the USDA inspectors. The magician even has to send the feds his travel schedule if he and Casey go on any overnight trips.
“When I travel with my rabbit, like if I’m going to an elementary school in Kansas City … the letter of the law says I need to fax or email them my itinerary,” said Hahne, who performs at schools, libraries and birthday parties. “It’s just a real inconvenience.”
The decades-old rule was originally intended to regulate zoos and circuses, but it has expanded over the years to scoop up even small “animal exhibitors” like Hahne. The issue captured national attention when the USDA moved to expand the rule even further — requiring businesses that sell or exhibit animals to develop emergency plans for their furry friends in case of a flood, tornado or other disasters.
That proposal, since nixed, stemmed from a public outcry after thousands of animals were abandoned during Hurricane Katrina. Congress got involved then, too — passing a law requiring the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make sure rescue plans addressed the needs of individuals with pets and service animals.
Hahne said it’s all gotten a bit out of hand.
“If you have six tigers in a show, you should be inspected,” he said. “But if you have one little bunny rabbit?”
Federal regulators have not ignored the magician’s bunny saga. But they have taken years to rewrite the rules that require smaller animal exhibitors to get a license and inspections. And the proposed rules they’ve come up with would still ensnare Hahne in their regulatory net.
On Aug. 3, more than two years after Congress called for the exemption, the Agriculture Department’s animal and plant division issued a 12-page draft proposal. Under that measure, to wiggle out of the licensing and inspection requirements, magicians and other animal exhibitors can’t make a living off that activity.
“… Persons who derive their primary source of income from exhibiting the animals, or who generate a substantial amount of money from such exhibition as determined by APHIS (the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), would not be eligible for the exclusion,” the draft rule states. The agency said Congress’ legislative directive should be interpreted to mean “the activity is not a full-time job or primary source of income.”
But Hahne is a full-time magician, and Casey is a regular part of his act. “Their definitions don’t help me out,” he said.
Now, the Agriculture Department’s proposal has Sen. Claire McCaskill hopping mad.
“I can think of no earthly reason why a magician should be subject to a burdensome registration regulation from the government for his lone rabbit,” the Missouri Democrat. “I relish the opportunity to arm-wrestle bureaucrats who dropped their common sense on their way into the office.”
McCaskill sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week blasting the agency for taking so long to enact the new rule and for failing to figure out a common-sense solution to the magician’s dilemma.
“This is a classic example of bureaucrats in Washington identifying a potential problem but using a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel to address it,” she said.
Lyndsay Cole, a spokeswoman for the USDA’s animal and plant agency, said agency officials met with McCaskill last week to hear her concerns. She said USDA officials are now reviewing all the public comments submitted on the draft rule before finalizing it.
“The intent of our proposed rule is to exempt business activities that are de minimis — meaning they are of a sufficiently small size, maintain or infrequently exhibit a small number of certain common non-dangerous animals, or own household pets that are exhibited occasionally, generate less than a substantial portion of income, and reside exclusively with the owner — from federal licensure and oversight,” Cole said.
Hahne said he was encouraged that McCaskill decided to weigh in on the matter. But it might take more than a little magic to get the rule fixed.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
(Photo: Astrid Riecken, Getty Images)
As a full time magician who performs with many exotic animals this entire article really hits home and makes me very angry! I hope this can come to a reasonable solution soon as I would certainly hate to be in Marty Hahne's position.
-Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
As a magician it is critical that I am always learning, and practicing new illusions that will keep my show fresh and my clients happy wanting to see the latest and greatest tricks that I have been working on. So with each new year it is a goal to come up with a show that I feel my clients will be excited by. I specialize in stage magic which means bigger props and more equipment for the most part. Though many magicians have resorted to hiring a camera crew and projecting their close-up magic onto giant screens so large audiences may still enjoy. I haven't yet jumped on that band wagon, however I have spent the past year focusing on building my close-up magic show so that I could perform a parlor show or even a stage show with a camera crew using only sleight of hand and manipulation. I feel that in the upcoming year I will be comfortable performing for this type of show and it will allow me to hopefully break into the cruise ship market, as well as performing a more intimate perfrormance. In the past all of my shows have been either comedy magic, or high-energy performances, but I want to challenge myself to be able to perform a silent act that can be performed internationally (no language barrier). My silent magic act I want it to be seated at a table, with a camera crew, projection screen, fog machine, dynamic stage lighting, formal dress, and present close-up magic that will mystifiy and amaze. I believe that this type of magic appeals to an older and more mature audience.
Don't get me wrong I still want to perform my high energy shows but I feel that this will give me the ability to cater my magic shows to every type of audience. The beauty of this type of magic in the cruise ship industry is that I don't have to have a camera crew or any camera equipment, they already have that on the ships. I can just focus on my show and once I have it nailed down I simply put a demo reel together so I can present it to the agents that book entertainment for cruise lines.
I believe this could be a great fly on act where I can perform on a cruise ship for a few days, then at the next port, fly to a different ship, or fly home. Being a family man with a wife and 3 kids I doubt I would want to do an extended stay on a cruise ship but if the right opportunity presented itself maybe I would consinder it.
I'm excited to see what 2017 has in store for my business and I feel blessed and give the glory to God for providing me with the skills and abilities to do what I love as my career!
(aka. The Amazing Ziggy)
The holiday's are a great time for coporate event planners to showcase their appreciation for their employees by having a formal gathering. No matter what you want to call it, A christmas party, holiday party, chuanaka party, kwanza party, etc...it's the perfect opportunity to hire a magician who can dazzle your guests with feats of amazement that will captivate their attention and keep everyone entertained and in good spirits. A magic show isn't just for kids, and corporations all over the world have figured this out as November thru January is one of the busiest times of the year for corporate magicians.
Magicians can customize a show that caters specially to your company, using your companies logo, slogan, products, and even the company president all major parts of the show. The shows can also be catered to a specific theme so if you want Santa's workshop brought to your event then the magician can design the set and all the assistance to be costumed as elves. You see Magic is a grand version of story telling in which the magical effects merely enhance the story and opens your imagination to the impossible.
The only downfall to hiring a magician for a corporate event for the holidays is that if you don't plan the event early you might not find a magician available for your event. So if you are seeking a holiday party magician then don't delay contact Ziggy Today! Ziggy has over 20 years of experience performing all over the US. www.Zmagicshow.com
Aaron Clark (aka. The Amazing Ziggy)
David Blaine makes us wonder why is he still alive?
A list of celebrities David Blaine mystifies with his gut wrenching magic include: David Beckham, John Travolta, Johnny Depp, Steph Curry, Dave Chappelle, Drake, Margot Robbie, Patrick Stewart, Emma Stone, and more!
I’ve watched The Prestige enough times to know what magic really is—a combination of illusion, salesmanship, mystery, spectacle and, in this modern era, expert video editing. David Blaine does all these things well and also happens to be a con artist, braver and more bizarre than most of his peers. The one thing he excels at the most, though, is continuously getting people to wonder what the hell is wrong with him and how he’s going to die from this.
By even titling his special Beyond Magic, he suggests that the extraordinary things he does defy categorization and that’s his obvious first trick. The announcer in the intro immediately plays into it, claiming, “This is not only magic. It is the spectacle of the real.” Blaine survives off this wonderment, though he’s aware that most things humans experience can be explained by practical applications of things like math, science and logic, and so he uses them to grand effect as magicians do (the special also refers to him as an “endurance artist”). He’s also very weird and crazy.
Certain so-called tricks Blaine has done (eating glass, holding his breath for 17 minutes under water) simply require him to be bold enough to test his body limits and, more important, to learn techniques that allow him to do so. Others—catching a bullet—require a foolish level of audacity. The first trick he performs in this special (see the clip below) is swallowing wedding rings. He’s filmed doing it on separate occasions in front of celebrities and their family and friends, including John Travolta, David and Victoria Beckham, Sir Patrick Stewart, Margot Robbie and Emma Stone.
After swallowing the ring—and successfully freaking out the participants who momentarily think their ring is gone forever—Blaine shows them his empty mouth and later grabs a wire hanger to retrieve the ring. He asks all the celebrities to pull out the hanger from his mouth. “You want me to pull that. Okay,” slurs Johnny Depp. Somehow, the ring appears on the wire and everyone either screams or stares blankly. “That’s ridiculous,” says Beckham.
There are questions: How did the ring get on the hanger? How much time passed in between when Blaine swallowed the ring and when he obtained the wire hanger? Where did this hanger come from? Why does everyone he performs the trick for somehow have a wire hanger? ’Cause I don’t! Who has wire hangers?!
There are explanations, but I don’t know, and the point is that people pretend to want answers but few of us actually do. We all know by now that Blaine’s appeal—and magic in general—isn’t about the magic itself, but rather stupefying people into believing what the magician is accomplishing is real. That Blaine has duped people into believing he’s a sorcerer is the real trick, from a person who’s learned to become alarmingly good at deception. I love it. Toward the beginning of the special, Blaine video chats with Jennifer Lawrence and does a card trick, after which J. Law further sells his magic skills by telling him he can’t die and, “If you started a religion I would follow it.”
Throughout this special, we learn a bit about Blaine’s process, which consists of deep research and consultations with medical experts who advise him over and over again not to do all these wild stunts, though he never listens. When he talks in his frightening monotone voice about a magician named Mac Norton who called himself a human aquarium, the point is that Blaine wants to learn this, too. “He had the ability to contort his stomach into a home where creatures could live and bring them up on command.” Blaine says he’s spent 10 years trying to “figure out his secret.”
In the special, we see him demonstrating that part of this trick is “overriding the gag reflex,” and he proceeds to get training from a sword swallower. It seems that Blaine has learned because after this segment, he performs a routine where he regurgitates live frogs in front of a group that includes Drake, Dave Chappelle and Steph Curry. They’re all flabbergasted. Knowing that Blaine has learned to swallow swords helps us to understand this and also the hanger trick earlier, but only a little. But anyone who doesn’t know or see any of this background would be like, what the fuck.
The main event of this special and of Blaine’s career so far is the bullet catch, which he did in 2009 in front of a live audience at the MGM Grand Arena. “The deadliest feat in magic is the bullet catch,” Blaine tells us in the special, adding that 12 magicians have died and they were only faking it. He’s doing it FOR REAL, using a mixture of science and fearlessness. “There’s no margin for error,” he says in a voiceover, making sure to sell how dangerous it is. When his friend, who plays the role of the distraught doubter in his circle, asks a good question—Why is he doing this for real and not just faking it—Blaine says, “’Cause it wouldn’t be fun.”
So we see scenes of Blaine at the dentist preparing a mold to help him catch the bullet. And his friend says, “If you do this stunt and you die, it’s the opposite of inspiring the person.” Blaine makes it through and lives, of course, despite having the bullet mouthguard break in his mouth twice. At the end, there’s a creepy convo between him and his friend about mortality and the fact that he might die on stage. “That’s not how I’m gonna die,” he says. “That’s not how I’m dying.” The special suggest there’s a chance he might, though, because it ends with this message on screen: “David Blaine plans on performing his bullet catch as part of an upcoming world tour.”
The one part of this special that freaked me out was Blaine’s mind trick with Margot Robbie. He tells her to think of a memory only she would know, something that Blaine can’t research, and then to find some random word in an article on her phone using search results. He ends up writing the words she’s thinking of (“bunny” and “numerous”) on her hand. There may be something Robbie said in a pre-interview that the show didn’t reveal to the audience, or a crucial portion they removed in editing. Either way, we’re left wondering if Blaine is now, in addition to being a weird magician, also a medium. And also, how is it that he hasn’t died yet.
@clovitoSenior Writer, Jezebel
Source: The Muse
So there seems to be a trend that has started...first it was with flashmobs, then planking, after that came the ice bucket challenge, then the running man challenge, and now its the mannequin challenge. Some of these challenges actually raise money for a great cause such as the ice bucket challenge raising $115 million for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
Well we as magicians have a unique talent that people are fascinated by, so why don't we come up with a challenge that can go viral that relates to magic, but it also would raise money and awareness for a great cause. I feel that the movement has already began with Criss Angel's Million Dollar challenge where he and many others put on show back on September 12th, 2016 called H.E.L.P. (Heal Every Life Possible) which benefited childhood cancer.
I would like to Challenge ALL Magicians to start a H.E.L.P Challenge
Let's take what Criss Angel started and raise way more than just $1 Million!
The H.E.L.P. Challenge is this:
Visit a child in a hospital and have someone video you performing a magic trick for them. You then challenge 3 other magicians to do the same within 24 hours. If they do it, great...they have impacted a sick child's life, as well as everyone watching. You have also helped to spread the cause on social media with the videos you post. If anyone challenged does not do it within 24 hours, then they have to donate $100 to H.E.L.P. Everyone is encouraged to donate to the cause even if you do participate in the challenge!
You can donate here: https://crissangel.com/donations
My Name is Aaron Clark and I'm know as The Amazing Ziggy. I've been a Professional Magician for over 20 years performing all over the US and internationally, but mostly for events on the east coast in the Atlanta Area.