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Discourse in Magic
29 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
Teaching Magic Theatre with Jeff McBride
This week Jonah connects with Jeff McBride to talk all about the theatre of magic, the phases that every magician might go through, and his thoughts on the growth of virtual magic shows. Jeff comes from an era of magic when there wasn’t street magic and social media but a strong emphasis on theatre. Combining his love of various forms of theatre and rock icons like David Bowie and Alice Cooper, Jeff’s on stage presence is a unique style that has left its impact on the magic world. Mystery School Jeff McBride’s Mystery School has been online and streaming every week for eleven years so when the world locked down during the pandemic Jeff was already in a unique position help fellow magicians and aspiring students to get set up in order to face the challenges of the year to come. Fitting The Virtual Screen Jeff is a master of stage magic, creating theatrical experiences, but social media magic has to fit into a small frame on a small screen. Adapting his theatrical background to virtual zoom shows hasn’t been without its challenges but Jeff has found online performance to be very rewarding and he believes that it’s here to stay, both in the corporate and public market, so Jeff has been shaping his performances to fit into the virtual screen. Phases of Magic Jeff teaches classes on the styles of magic, what he calls the Trickster, Warlock, Oracle, and Sage stages. Each of these are the archetypes and different ways that people access information. Most of us get into magic because of the wonders of magic, the trickster stage. If one sticks with it and hones their communication and stagecraft they might end up with a career in magic, the warlock stage. Some people dive deep into the magic and examine the philosophy and psychology of magic, the oracle stage. Finally, the sage stage represents how most people interact with magic, not as performers but as collectors and lovers of magic. Plugs You can reach out to Jeff directly at jeff(at)mcbridemagic.com, and while it might take him a week to get back to you he does respond to every message. If you’d like to learn more about the Magic Mystery School, visit magicalwisdom.com The post Teaching Magic Theatre with Jeff McBride appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
64 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
Reinventing Your Magic with Giancarlo Bernini
This week Jonah connects with Giancarlo Bernini to talk all about his journey navigating the pandemic so soon after his major breakout in magic on Fool Us and his innovations in bringing magic to cryptocurrency NFTs. The Year That Wasn’t When Giancarlo graduated college and soon after appeared on Fool Us the rest of his year in 2019 skyrocketed with more bookings and more opportunities than he had ever had. And Before he could even get close to experiencing all that momentum’s full potential the pandemic hit and put a stop to all his plans. From that time he’s worked to reinvent his magic in the new virtual era, which has in turn encouraged him to develop new strategies into his live in-person shows. Protecting The Ownership Of Magic While developing his own magic, Giancarlo has a particular interest in tackling the tricky problem of magic ownership. As you know, there’s really an easy or elegant way to patent a magic invention, or claim a copyright, or request royalties without eventually publishing your secrets in a way that can be easily accessed by the general public, if they know where to look. Working on that problem led Giancarlo to the current rise in the popularity of crypto currencies, block chains, and NFTs. He helps break down what all these means with Jonah and shares his solution that believes will allow future magicians to protect their intellectual property without also exposing their secrets to the world around them. On The Road Again As the pandemic has waned and vaccine rates have risen, there’s a growing interest in audiences who want to return to attending live shows in person. But corporate events and other big booking shows that many magicians depend on are still mainly existing in a virtual space. So Giancarlo put his foot down and set in motion one of his bucket list life goals and embarked on his first national tour. How did he choose which cities to visit? And how does he find the venues to perform in? He shares with Jonah his entire strategy for booking and planning a national tour that continues to pick up steam and is lasting a lot longer than even Giancarlo thought it would. Wrap-Up Endless Chain Blaise Serra. He’s the best sleight of hand artist that Giancarlo has ever met. He also does incredible stage stuff, has an incredible eye for theatrical stuff, and has consulted for some incredible people. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? Giancarlo likes the intimacy that magic is becoming, especially with certain performances that are redefining what to expect at a magic show. He doesn’t like to see magic clubs continue to dwindle and disappear and hopes that new and upcoming magicians will still be able to find mentors to learn under. Plugs You can find more about Giancarlo Bernini at berninimagic.com As well as on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all under @berninimagic His tour continues all over the United States and he hopes to see you. You can find out more at berninimagic.com/tour And be sure to message him if you’d like him to attend your city! The post Reinventing Your Magic with Giancarlo Bernini appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
106 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
Coin Magic & The Suspension of Disbelief with Tyler Rabbit
This week Jonah connects with Tyler Rabbit to talk all about his amazing work with coin magic and his thoughts on the suspension of disbelief and the rise of exposure videos. Tyler Rabbit is an incredibly talented coin magic performer, who has also performed at The Magic Castle. But it wasn’t always this way and this conversation Tyler shares with Jonah his love-hate relationship with magic and what pushed him to give up on magic entirely before returning seven years ago and starting fresh with a focus in coin magic. Performing With Limitations Tyler admits that coin magic has a well deserved reputation of having the smallest effort to pay-off ratio. You’re going to put in a lot of work and ultimately you’re not getting that much magical effect out of it compared to putting in the same level of effort into card magic. That limitation and challenge is one of the reasons that Tyler is so attracted to coin magic. He shares with Jonah how he challenges himself to innovate with such heavy (and with coins that’s literally heavy) limitations. By focusing on making sure his sleights are in service to his concept and plot he’s discovered limitless possibilities for his routine. The Fake Exposure When Tyler is not innovating with coin magic he’s battling online content creators who expose magic secrets. And while he’s found some success in engaging in the comments section, including having some videos taken down, he’s found a more novel approach to both combat exposure culture and satiate his weird sense of humour. On his Coin Magic Underground channel on Youtube he released a video entitled How To Vanish A Coin From A Spectator’s Hand, a fake exposure video that is the first step in a series of hidden clues and puzzles that will eventually, if the the person is dedicated enough, reward you a treasure trove of actual coin magic explanations. Tyler doesn’t actually hate exposing magic’s secrets, after all it was from a library book that he found that got him started in the first place, but he does believe that someone should put in the legwork if they want to learn the tricks of the trade. Wrap-Up Endless Chain Jackson “Jax” Ridd is one of Tyler’s closest friends and one of the minds behind Four Suits Magic. Cydney Kaplan is an up and coming magician performing at the Magic Castle right now. Mokoto is wise beyond his years and is primarily known for his coinistry and street magic. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? Tyler likes all the new stuff, including cardistry. He thinks cardistry is awesome and they go really well with card magic. He also loves that it’s flying in the face of the male stoicism that persists in magic circles. Tyler is not crazy about exposure videos and tutorial videos. He also personally doesn’t like doing Zoom shows. He recognizes that there is amazing work being done there but doing magic live on video just doesn’t do it for him. Plugs The Coin Magic Underground YouTube Channel You can follow Tyler on Instagram at @tylerrabs The post Coin Magic & The Suspension of Disbelief with Tyler Rabbit appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
88 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Truth & Deception with Colin McLeod
This week Jonah connects with Colin McLeod to talk about his return to his live show at the Mirage in Vegas. Together they talk about his journey from comedy to magic, and the very different goals they each have with the audience, and his thoughts on making sure that his brand of mentalism is being presented to the audience in an entertaining but also ethical way. Comedy vs Magic Colin shares with us how his pursuit of magic and mentalism came after his pursuit of comedy. It was the deceptive quality of magic that turned him away and instead he was drawn to the world of comedy because of its ability to connect to apparent truths. Because of this comedy background, everything Colin does is done with the framework of connecting with the audience and impacting them in some way. He would rather use his performances using magic and mentalism as a bridge rather than a barrier. The result is his performances are very interactive and focus on Colin presenting himself as an authentic real self rather than the mysterious god-like magician that an audience might not be able to relate to. The Real Connection When audiences buy into you they then will buy into what it is you are doing. Colin breaks down how his Sherlock Holmes character builds those bridges. The character that will work for you most, according to Colin, is the one you enjoy being most. It will be a version of you that accentuates and highlights aspects of your character that will then further accentuate highlights of your magic. Being the Best You Can Be Very early on Colin made a list of the things he wanted to accomplish. The people he wanted to work with, the stages he wanted to perform, and so on. Having that list gave him the goals to aim towards and pushed him towards being the best he could be in those areas. What Colin really wants to see is other magicians pushing themselves and being the best that they can be in all of their weird and wonderful ways. Wrap-Up Endless Chain David Gerard, the smartest person that Colin knows. He’s been the co-writer and director of every live show and major TV appearance that Colin has done. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? What Colin likes is also what he dislikes. Which is that a lot of great ideas have come out during the pandemic but the flip side of that is a lot of those great ideas have since been stolen by others, which is a real double edged sword. Colin loves being in Vegas and being spoiled by all the amazing magic shows. Plugs Colin releases a lot of magic through Theory 11 You can also visit his personal site at psych-artist.com But you should absolutely be safe and visit Las Vegas to see his live show, Limitless, with Shin Lim at the Mirage. The post Truth & Deception with Colin McLeod appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
3 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
Magic Appetizer: Yeses, Nos, and Maybes
This week Jonah has advice to help you succeed during the most important time of the year for a professional magician. This month, and the next three months, are very important months for your magic business. September, October, November, and December are ridiculously important months for your magic business. The Most Important People To Reach Out To So aside from doing everything with your marketing to find new people Jonah recommends three groups of people that you may have forgotten about and to go reach out and say hello.These groups are people who are very likely to say yes. The three groups are your Yeses, your Nos, and your Maybes. If you have been in magic for any amount of time, you’ve had a lot of bookings come through inquiries. You’ve had lots of bookings that will work and not work. And this right now is a really good time to collect the list of everyone you’ve ever done a paid booking for and everybody who’s ever said, “no” and everybody who’s ever said, “maybe”. That list of people is a list of people who already know, like, and trust you. And it’s a list that is going to get you a whole lot of movement this time of year, because it’s very likely that if they put on an event last year, around this time, they may be looking to put on an event this year, around this time. You should be reaching out to them right now. Need More Help? If you need help reaching out to your past clients, if you need help converting past relationships into new bookings or finding new bookings then email email@example.com with the subject line “gigs”. Jonah will tell you about the program he’s doing right now to help you get some gigs right now, a program to help magicians get from $3,000 to $5,000 a month in virtual or in-person magic income. So if you need some help booking gigs, whether it’s for the first time to get to the scale of $3,000 to $5,000, or if you’re just trying to return there, or you want some help with your past clients or with your marketing material, then email Jonah firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “gigs” in the title. The post Magic Appetizer: Yeses, Nos, and Maybes appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
100 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
The Best Magic Show Of Your Life with Bill Malone
This week Jonah is thrilled to connect with the legendary Bill Malone. Whether you watched any of his DVDs or saw him on YouTube as a kid, or don’t know who he is yet, this is going to be an incredible conversation with someone who embodies the very aspect of Discourse in Magic. Bill Malone is one of those guys in magic who basically has it all covered. In sleight of hand, he is absolutely at the top of his game. As an entertainer, he is hilarious. And he’s the most entertaining force with a pack of cards that you’ve ever seen in your life. And in business, he is known as being one of the top paid magicians. This is somebody who is building incredible relationships and giving you the tools. The First Job Bill Malone never thought he would ever perform in front of an audience. He was interested in the techniques and the artistry but not the performance at first. But a mentor encouraged him to apply for a job a bar in Chicago called A Little Bit Of Magic and, after originally lying that he didn’t get the job because he assumed nobody would hire a kid with only six months experience, he started performing in front of live audiences. There he learned on his feet about how long to spend with each audience member, how to perfect his routine, and how to speak to total strangers. Despite scary it was it was sink or swim and if he wanted to swim he had to figure it out quick. Building Relationships Today Bill is one of the highest paid magicians, mostly performing for corporate events for some of the most powerful companies in the world. Of course, that didn’t happen overnight and Bill shares with Jonah the years of bad choices and mistaken strategies he had to navigate before learning how to build trust with clients and grow his business. He’ll offer you some tools to use the next time you’re performing at a party or a corporate event, what language to use, and how to communicate with people from the business world, who expect a certain level of class of presentation, to maximize the potential that they’ll be asking you to perform at their next event. Malone’s Magic Bar Bill also opens up about running Malone’s Magic Bar, a place that, among other things, was also used as a way for Bill to train and mentor magicians that caught his attention. At Malone’s Magic Bar, Bill is not looking for the flashy poses or the best tricks but for the performer who can connect with the audience on a personal level. The best thing you can perfect is how to relax and just talk to the audience member, to walk up to them and communicate in a way that lets people in. As Bill talks about Malone’s Magic Bar you’ll learn more about what he’s looking for in magicians, and it should be no surprise to find out that the actual audition was often not the deciding factor but the ten minutes before and after when you would just be talking to each other. Wrap-Up Endless Chain Charlie Fry. He’s real show business. Lance Pearce. As far as a guy who knows magic, slight of hand, performing, everything, he’s just brilliant. Finally, Steve Forey What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? I do think there’s a lack of. Presentation. And I think it’s because magic is, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but magic is going back towards “it’s all about the trick”. Watch this trick and effect and that’s it. I don’t agree with that. I still think that the magic is in you. It’s what you do that brings you out. I see some beautiful magic. When I saw Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself I thought this is the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve always known Derek as being a great sleight of hand magician, and he’s always been a good friend, but what he’s done, he’s just gone to another level. Plugs Bill is pretty hard to find online, he doesn’t get on the internet much except for the rare collaboration, but keep your nose out for a book he’s beginning to put together which is going to collect all his stories into one place. The post The Best Magic Show Of Your Life with Bill Malone appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
45 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
Between Dreams Podcast with Chris Ruggiero
This week we share with you an episode from the Between Dreams podcast with Chris Ruggiero, who recently featured Jonah as a guest. Chris and Jonah have a lot in common as both have shifted from primarily being entertainers to now helping with production and advising other creators. Chris is a legend with a history as a professional juggler and an eye like nobody else, producing a really great show. In this conversation they talk about how Jonah blended his business and magic training and why he chooses the guests he chooses to interview on Discourse in Magic. To find out more about Between Dreams with Chris Ruggiero visit chrisruggiero.com/podcast The post Between Dreams Podcast with Chris Ruggiero appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
71 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
Magic Appetizer: 3 Tips For Being Creative
This week Jonah offers up three tips to help you boost your magic creative output. Tip 1: Challenge Yourself Jonah is, right now with Ben, participating in a challenge they’ve called the Tarbell Challenge. It is a monthly challenge on YouTube from the Tarbell course in magic. Ben and Jonah take a book a month and come up with a trick from the book. They make it their own and then publish it on YouTube. And the reason why the challenge is so helpful is because they each want to beat each other and come up with a better thing than the other. Because of that, they’re both working very hard. And they know that when the time comes and they’re going to be filming, they don’t want their thing to look not as good as the other’s does Tip 2: Have A Deadline. Most of the magic that Jonah has ever created was because of a deadline. Those periods of a deadline, those periods right before you actually have to present or perform really helps. So if you have an event that you can sign yourself up for an open mic, a public show, a private event that you get booked for. If you can do some sort of gathering, you can even make the event by saying, okay, on this day, I’m doing this, I’m inviting 10 people to be a part of it. And you just fabricate yourself a deadline. The truth is, committing to completing a project before a moment in time allows you to complete that project way faster and way better. We want to get more output out by having more deadlines that we need to complete things by. Tip 3: Collaborate Coming up with things alone is fun, but sharing things with others and getting feedback and trying again is a whole different type of fun. When you’re collaborating, you’re playing, and isn’t that the reason why we all got into magic? There’s something really cool about working on magic with multiple people. You’ve likely got friends who would love to help you and bring them questions, bring them problems to help you solve. And it makes it a lot more fun. If you struggle to create magic, but you want to create magic, then stop doing it alone and invite other people to be a part of the procedure. Not only will you make more, but it’s going to be a ton more fun. Take The Tarbell Challenge! If you’d like to join Ben and Jonah in the Tarbell Challenge check out the Toronto Magic Company’s YouTube channel by clicking here! The post Magic Appetizer: 3 Tips For Being Creative appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
31 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Three Questions With Jake Strong Podcast
This week we share a segment from the Three Questions with Jake Strong Podcast, in which Jonah was recently a guest on. Jake’s podcast is a simple premise, he asks his guests three questions. That’s it! And in this episode he asked Jonah about the misunderstood aspects of running a magic business, the preparation that goes into interviewing his guests on Discourse in Magic, and his strengths and weaknesses with the Toronto Magic Company. Along with Jonah, Jake has also interviewed Ben Train from the Toronto Magic Company. Be sure to check out more of Three Questions with Jake Strong by visiting threequestionswithjake.podbean.com or subscribing wherever you listen to podcasts. The post Three Questions With Jake Strong Podcast appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
60 minutes | Aug 19, 2021
The Secrets of Rubber Band Magic with Joe Rindfleisch
This week Jonah sits down with Joe Rindfleisch to talk all about rubber band magic and hoe Joe is at the forefront of developing the language used to teach this style of magic and the classic magic he taps into to influence the new tricks he’s developing. “You got sixty bucks”? Originally Joe wasn’t involved in magic at all, but he did meet with friends to play cards and eventually every night would end with someone doing a card trick. When he finally asked how it was done he was told that “a magic trick is told, when a magic trick is sold” and his friend directed him to a magic shop. Pouring over books, Joe found that trick and learned it’s secrets and a few years later was able to perform that trick for the same friend, with a few select changes he learned from classic magic so he wouldn’t know how it was done. Learning From The Classics Joe has earned a reputation, through teaching courses and selling instruction videos, as one of the world’s biggest developers and inventor of rubber band magic. The secret to that success was a decision to approach rubber band magic just like all the other forms of magic. Almost anything you can do with cards or coins you can do with rubber bands and from that you can create a beginning, middle, and end to the routine and evolve rubber band magic from a quick short trick into a full magic routine as robust as any of the other classics. Joe gets into where he finds his inspiration, how he adapts classic coin and card magic into his rubber band routines, and why he’s so fascinated by the potential of rubber band magic. Developing A New Vernacular Developing a whole new branch of magic means coming up with language to describe it. Because rubber band magic has been so underdeveloped it can make it very difficult to write out instructions because all the basic hand motions and positions have to be written out in long form detail that can be hard to visualize in one’s head. Which is why, if you’re like Jonah and other magicians learning rubber band magic today, you have likely only learned a rubber band trick by jamming with another magician in person or watching video instructions. What Joe is setting out to do is create a new vernacular, a new set of words, to describe what is being done in a rubber band trick. By teaching the basic hand positions and motions first and creating a robust foundation he can then move on to more easily, and efficiently, teach more complex rubber band routines. Joe shares with Jonah some of this language and helps describe the terms used to describe those fundamental positions you’ll need to learn if you want to grow your rubber band magic knowledge. Wrap-Up Endless Chain Dr. Cyril Thomas, from France, is a very prolific creator. And Joe loves Marcus Eddie’s magic. He’s just a powerhouse creator. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? Lately Joe has been teaching magic through Penguin Magic School and the enthusiasm of his students is making him enthusiastic. What Joe doesn’t like is the proliferation of content creators teaching and sharing magic without crediting the sources. The best way to learn a Joe Rienfliesh rubber band trick is to learn it from Joe Rienfliesh! Plugs Joe has his own site at rubberbandmagic.com All of Joe’s downloads can be found exclusive at Penguin Magic And you are invited to message Joe on Facebook Messenger, he’s always open to chat and answer your questions. The post The Secrets of Rubber Band Magic with Joe Rindfleisch appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
27 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
UnConventional.fun … In Space!
Ben and Jonah are back to get you excited about taking UnConventional.fun beyond the final frontier, that’s right, they’re going to space! Of course we mean virtually, as UnConventional.fun is the premier virtual magic convention and the next one is happening on August 28th and 29th and tickets are still available at UnConventional.fun! In Space No One Can Hear You Sleep The first UnConventional.fun was hosted in a virtual hotel lobby and the 2nd and 3rd events sent attendees to the amusement park adventure zone that was Magic Land but the fourth event Ben and Jonah really wanted to take the gloves off and embrace all the outrageousness that a virtual magic convention can embrace and taken the entire event into outer space. And since it’s happening in space, this means that there are no time zones and no sunsets and no night time or daytime so unlike previous UnConventional.fun events which would end after a certain hour each day this time around, when the convention starts, the events won’t stop until the end of the second day. Don’t worry if you end up sleeping through your favourite lecture though, the entire event is being recorded and everyone who attends will be given videos of the lectures and panels that take place over the two day convention. A Star Studded Event With over twenty-two confirmed guests, including magical luminaries such as Dani DaOrtiz, Garrett Thomas, Daniel Garcia, and Harapan Ong, you’ll be attending a two day event with some of the best magicians on the planet. And all the lectures, panels, and shows will be yours to keep after the event so you can watch and rewatch your favourite moments over and over again. Prepare For Launch The space station is ready to receive you and all you have to do now is head to UnConventional.fun and buy your tickets The post UnConventional.fun … In Space! appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
60 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Magical Stories of Magic Legends with Howard Hamburg
This week Jonah connects with legendary “underground” magician Howard Hamburg. Howard has never been a full time professional magician but at eighty-three years he is a long-standing member of The Magic Castle and considers some of the greatest magicians of our time to be among his closest friends. Howard shares with us his recollections of the heydays of the Magic Castle, how he “got his name” from Dai Vernon, and his advice for today’s magicians. “Well, do you need to see anything more”? Today you might find Howard sitting in Dai Vernon’s old seat at the Magic Castle, and it was The Professor himself who convinced Howard to audition for membership to the Magic Castle in the first place. Howard shares with us his early days with magic, how he learned his first card trick in the backroom of a billiards hall, and how he won over the committee at the Magic Castle to earn his membership. “An Era Where Things Turned” Sitting at Dai Vernon’s table at the Magic Castle gave Howard a front row seat to the heyday of American magic of the 60’s and 70’s and during that time many of the greatest magic legends were just his friends that he spent his time with. Howard shares with us some of his favourite stories of the magic greats pulling pranks on each other and joking around among the halls of the Magic Castle as well as some of his own antics. As Howard puts it, he was the second biggest troublemaker at the Magic Castle (The Professor was the biggest). “Think Like A Spectator” Howard Hamburg has seen the world of Magic change over the years and from his front seat perspective on magic history his biggest advice for today’s magicians is to think like a spectator, not like a magician. Howard says, “If they stop thinking like a magician and start thinking like what the spectator is seeing then they will find themselves doing better magic”. Wrap-Up Endless Chain I’d love to really think this out and get back to you. There’s so many guys out there that are just wonderful, really. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? I liked the creativity that I see, the wonderful creative initiative of wonderful things out there right now. I’m talking about techniques and subtleties. I think there’s more of that coming back. Instead of just the trick, I think, people are seeing that there are things that are in between the lines of that structure, that little subtleties make the effect, the effect doesn’t make the subtleties. I don’t like the internet or YouTube and I think it’s very harmful to magic. Take home point Stop thinking like a magician and start thinking more along the lines of a spectator. Also, pick up a book once in a while. Plugs Howard Hamburg still operates underground. When the world re-opens after the pandemic you might get lucky and catch him sitting at Dai Vernon’s seat at the Magic Castle and if you listen to the end of this episode Howard will share with you his personal e-mail that you can reach him at, but to preserve his well earned mystery, and to hide it from bots that might scan this text, we won’t be printing it here. The post Magical Stories of Magic Legends with Howard Hamburg appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
97 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Creating Impossible Magic Experiences with Helder Guimarães
This week Jonah connects with Helder Guimarães, a prolific magician known for bending the expectations of what a magic show is capable of. In this episode they’ll discuss how to balance the artistic and the logical sides of your performances, why Helder requests that those who purchase his material not perform them on TV or online, and how he directed his love of performance and creation towards the past year of pandemic-era virtual performances. A Live Show Like No Other If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to one of Helder’s shows you might have found yourself outside a convenience store with your ticket in hand and a confused store clerk assuring you that there is no show at this address but he can at least offer you a memory. And as he led you into the photo booth and the secret door opened up to a hidden room where Helder was waiting to perform a one hour set with you you might realize that this person likes to upend your expectations about what is possible with a magic show. Helder opens up about the work that went into his immersive production of Borrowed Time and what it took to assemble the right team that brought it all together. Embracing The Mystery of Theatre Helder magic career really took off after his FISM win in 2006. But that win almost never happened because the panel of judges truly believed he had cheated, rather than simply fooled them, by using a stooge in his act. His performance was just too impossible and the judges couldn’t figure out how he pulled it off without cheating. Jonah and Helder talk about that act and break down some of Helder’s thoughts on the importance of disguising the method. Going Virtual A global pandemic shutting down all live performances on the planet wasn’t going to slow down Helder either. He shares with Jonah his process of putting together another truly unique show with The Geffen Playhouse, called The Present, in which members of the virtual audience are sent objects that they use during the show so that the magic is literally in their hands. Helder shares what it was like to produce a show in lockdown and finally break out a concept he had been considering for a long time but never had the right environment to test it out in. Wrap-Up Endless Chain Bill Goodwin is an amazing person, amazing friend with a lot of knowledge of a great era in magic. He met all those great card guys. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? One of the things that it’s both positive and negative is that I do believe that magic is not yet developed as a performing art as it can be. I think there is a lack of depth in what magic is still today. But that’s a positive thing at the same time, because it allows us to be able to explore that. There is a lot of things we can do to create new magical experiences and to create new ways of audiences to feel impossible moments and at that point it becomes something positive. One of the things I like about magic right now is the possibility of seeing diversity much more than when I started. When I started, the only things you could see or read were the videos that these big names produced or the books or the people around you or you had to travel and you’re still always going to be limited. Now you can talk with friends in Japan and then they can share things that happened there. That’s amazing, that the idea that that diversity exists and it’s more attainable, that is something really powerful. Used correctly, I think it can be of great advantage for everyone. One negative thing would be the lack of criteria of publishing magic these days. I think a lot of things get to the press or to videos or to whatever medium they are using to sell before people really think through what they are putting out. It’s almost like people have ideas and two months later they publish it. And I feel that magic has much more to gain with each people keeping their secrets a little bit more. Nourishing them. And when it comes to the right moment that they will feel it to then publish because that will have a little bit more of that depth as well. Take home point Something that took me a long time to learn and that I do believe it’s the essence of magic. From the creative point of view. And the way I like to think about magic is of self-expression, that’s what we are creating. I would say that being honest is the best thing they can do in every single thing. Be honest when working on it, be honest when sharing it, be honest when receiving criticism, be honest with yourself, be your own self critic. The worst comments should be yours after a performance. Plugs For magicians, Secret Language is still available and if you visit secretmagic.com there will be a password hint. It’s very easy for people who know a little bit about magic and once in you can get a lot of Helder’s releases through the website. For everyone else interested in Helder’s performances you can follow him on instagram @instahelder or visit thisishelder.com The post Creating Impossible Magic Experiences with Helder Guimarães appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
29 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
The Toronto Magic Company Bought A Teleprompter!
Ben Train returns to harass Jonah for another update from the Toronto Magic Company. This week they discuss the winding down of virtual shows, what their first live show post-pandemic was like, how they’re planning for the future of in-person shows, how they’re consulting for other businesses, and how much fun they’re having the new teleprompter they purchased! Are Virtual Events Dying Down? The story seems to be the same for every magician, virtual shows are winding down. Even for the Toronto Magic Company, Jonah and Ben have noticed a dramatic decline in bookings for virtual shows. Does this mean the end of virtual magic? Is this a harbinger of the return of regular in-person shows? Jonah and Ben discuss the exciting possibilities and remind each other what they’ve loved and learn from a year of virtual performances. First Live Show Back Ben and Jonah are also just back from their first live in-person show since the start of the pandemic, and it was a bachelorette party. The guys share their thoughts on what it was like to be back to in person shows and how different it feels from before. They also open up about their plans for the eventual return of in-person shows in the near future and how they’re both learning what sort of events they want to accept and which events they’ll be more comfortable turning down. Consulting and Youtube Content On top of the return to in-person events, Jonah and Ben have also been consulting on a bunch of different projects including TV shows, VR, music videos, and even helping to design a wedding proposal! Over the past couple of years, Jonah and Ben have worked to help solve magic problems with magicians and now they’re excited to begin working with movies or television shows to help their projects and really extend their problem solving abilities. Stay tuned to find out more about the projects they’re involved with! And the return of in-person events doesn’t mean that things will be slowing down for Jonah and Ben on their online platforms. The Toronto Magic Company continues to produce new content on their Youtube channel and need your feedback to know what you like. They’ve tried vlogging but also scripted shows and sketches and, as you might expect, Jonah and Ben have differing opinions about what sort of content they should focus on in the future. So make sure you weigh in and leave a comment at youtube.com/torontomagiccompany The post The Toronto Magic Company Bought A Teleprompter! appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
15 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Magic Appetizer: Tools For Your Team
This week Jonah shares with you six tools that will make working with your team easier as you expand your magic business. #1: Slack Slack documents your conversations. How many times have you communicated with a freelancer in an email thread that goes on and on and on and on, or have you shared information and you have to go and dig through it. Slack makes that communication a little bit easier, a little bit more searchable, and is a nice place to communicate with your team that is outside of email, outside of Facebook, outside of everything. With Slack, if you have multiple team members, then they all may have conversations with you and you may have conversations with other individuals, and they may have conversations with each other. For Jonath, that’s been a real lifesaver. Slack has a nice place to put everything to organize your work communications. #2: Asana With Asana, you can have a project within a project. You can have tasks and within those tasks you can have sub tasks. You can even have recurring tasks. You’ve got a place to track everything, and it really makes it simple because now you don’t have to dig through email or slack or anything else like that. You can set goals, you can set deadlines, you can do tons inside of Asana. Jonah uses it completely entirely for free, and it really is a game changer and it gets you out of a long thread to give tasks and into a really easy place to write out tasks, communicate about tasks, add people, and manage people on task. So if there’s one person doing something, you send it to them. If there’s multiple people and it’s all visible, it’s really effective. Jonah found this probably doubled or tripled the amount of work that he was able to do with his team, just because it was clear and organized and not very hard to learn. #3: Loom Loom is a screen or camera recorder that takes that file and immediately puts it in a folder on the web and gives you a link that you can share. It takes so long to record a video on your camera, upload it to a drive, and then send that drive link to someone. Same thing when you send some sort of screen recording, some sort of tutorial that also takes a long time, you have to save to your computer. And it’s usually a ginormous file. Loom makes the whole process of recording yourself, recording your computer or recording yourself and your computer at the same time really, really easy. #4: Google Drive Google Drive is really important. Once you’re using a team that is going to be sharing files back and forth, you don’t want to just send a file that’s going to disappear. You want the space, and it’s really important to potentially pay Dropbox or Google Drive to get that couple hundred gigs or maybe terabytes of cloud storage to be able to put your photos or videos or projects or anything else like that. If you have to go and upload from your hard drive, photos or videos, every time you have a new project, it’s going to slow you down working with your team. If you’re working with your team, if you’re writing things together, if you’re creating videos together, creating documents together, graphics together, anything, then you probably want to invest in some sort of cloud storage. #5: Zoom Zoom! Zoom is important to have meetings. And, as time goes on, we are going to have teams that are more and more global and it’s nice to be able to share your screen and also see each other and all that good stuff. You know Zoom, you just experienced a pandemic. So you know all about Zoom, but it really is that important. If you don’t use Zoom, you can use Skype or another platform that you like to use but Zoom did a really good job and Jonah pays for it because he does virtual shows and it’s pretty good for his team. Jonah even pays for the recordings because it’s great to have the recordings of things that you teach to your team and you may want to use it later. #6: LastPass You need some sort of password manager and password sharer. Instead of you giving your team members your password to log into your Zoom account to grab a recording, you share with them the LastPass link. They click that link and it fills in the form and they don’t even see what the password is. So they’re able to use any usernames and passwords that you have and log in from wherever they are. It’s so easy for LastPass. And at a low price point it’s very reasonable to manage all of Jonah’s passwords to make it easy to share with team members. Upgrade Your Business Jonah would love to know what software you use with your team. Was there one that he forgot here that you use? Do you think one of the ones that you use is a better version of something that we have here? And if you are growing your team and want help growing your magic business then send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Upgrade” and Jonah will get you some info about upgrading your magic business. And that might mean working with a team member and adding some software to make managing that team easy. The post Magic Appetizer: Tools For Your Team appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
87 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Reviewing & Marketing The Secrets of Magic with Ekat
This week Jonah connects with Ekat, an incredible magician, youtuber, cardist, and so much more. Together they’ll talk about creating content online, the difficulty in marketing magic, and the challenges that come up when trying to ethically review magic products. You Gotta Join The Circus Ekat was first introduced to magic while still living in Russia, where her favourite place was visiting the circus. Mesmerized by a magician who was performing for attendees waiting in the line, her first question to him was, “how did you do that”? The magician told her that if she wanted to learn how she’d have to join the circus. She didn’t join the circus but she did take to heart the lesson to take control, seek out, and teach herself the secrets of magic. To Review or Not To Review Ekat has made a name for herself on Youtube as a reviewer of magic products. Together, she and Jonah talk about her process of choosing which products to review, how she reviews them, and the ethical questions she has to ask herself when deciding to review magic products in the first place since even talking about them in a critical way can annoy members of the community who would rather these discussions be kept out of the public. Similarly, Ekat got started on Youtube by documenting her journey learning different magic tricks and teaching them to her viewers. So what tricks does she teach, and under what circumstances would she choose not to give a tutorial? Hint, the answer is in whether or not the trick is old and universal vs one that is still being actively marketed by a living creator. Read The Comments? Given that Ekat is on Youtube, and sometimes stirring up controversy by simply talking about how some tricks are done or reviewing products and sharing honest critiques, it’s no surprise that the comments from some in the community can be harsh. Ekat will share her thoughts on how to handle criticism online, how to navigate it as a business owner where you don’t have a choice about whether or not to post content if you want to stay in business, and the lessons she’s learned facing her harshest critics. Wrap-Up Endless Chain Bao. It’s really unique what he does with TikTok, and he understood the whole influencer marketing thing with his videos with milk. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? I really like all of the development with magic apps. Technology has to evolve and the more advanced it is the more it does feel like magic. I love that it’s evolving. I hope to see more seamless integration with technology One thing that I don’t like it is that there are too many things being released right now. It’s become too much of a market releasing things without quality. It’s too much of a machine. Take home point I would say, you have to do what you love. If you don’t like creating content, don’t create content! Try to find a way to marry what you like with your magic. Plugs Ekat’s Youtube channel is the center of where they create content: youtube.com/user/babycatxd You can also slide into Ekat’s DMs on Instagram with your questions: @ekatmagic And keep an eye out for Ekat’s Penguin Magic Lecture. The post Reviewing & Marketing The Secrets of Magic with Ekat appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
71 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Overcoming Obstacles In Magic With Cody Clark
This week Jonah connects with Cody Clark to talk about his sensory sensitivity shows for autistic audiences, performing with autism, and the obstacles that still remain in the magic community for minority and disabled performers. Won Over By Magic Cody shares with us the story of his autism diagnosis and the choices his parents made at the time to not subject him to harmful treatments but instead continue to offer him the same opportunities that his neurotypical siblings were being offered. As he grew up he wanted to lean heavily into the arts or sports but both proved to be full of challenging barriers. That was until he attended a magic performance where he was invited onstage to help saw another audience member in half. Here he found something he could do. He immediately purchased his first magic kit and joined up with a local magic club. Overcoming Barriers As an austic performer, Cody is passionate about ensuring this shows are accessible to all audiences and provides unique sensory sensitivity shows where other autistic people can enjoy the magic without loud noises, like having a focus on silk magic. From there, Cody has found a niche in the fringe festival circuit where he’s carved out a space for himself. However he shares with Jonah the continued barriers he faces in simply working with his market to be fairly paid for his work in a world that systemically undervalues disabled people and still allows for disabled workers to be paid below minimum wage in many countries, including the US. Embracing Passion Cody will share how a love of trains, a love of old school country music, and a love of magic have all combined to form his stage personas and offers advice to other performers on how to step out of their comfort and ask for advice or help when they need it. It’s been Cody’s experience that there is no better community to ask for him than in the magic community. Wrap-Up Endless Chain There was one mentor of mine I’ve been saving for this moment. I consciously did not mention them in other moments because I wanted to bring them up now. The big unsung hero of magic, the person who’s given me stage time and so many other stage time through indie magic, monthly, and also a transgender magician who does magic as Rodney The Younger, who does magic as Andrea Merlin, Queen of Magic,. Taylor Martin,. They’ve been a professional magician for about 60 years. Based in Indianapolis and they are an unsung hero because they weren’t necessarily, well, they knew they were trans of course, but, they weren’t necessarily intentionally, like, I’m going to break barriers here, here, and here, like even I was. Instead, they just needed to make a living in this world and how they’ve dealt with the hurdles from places like the Magic Castle of all places. That’s up to Taylor if they want to elaborate, but they had the best Magic Castle rejection story I’ve heard, I will say that. What about all these barriers, how Taylor’s toppled these barriers has been so inspiring to me and that Taylor’s characters are why I have Conductor Cody, why I have Nudie Suit Cody and why I have just Plain Suit Cody. The whole character thing comes from Taylor. What do you like about modern magic? To compare the things I like I will compare two hobbies, one that I left when I got into magic, and then of course magic. I’m into toy trains, especially Lionel Trains. When I left trains and got into magic, both hobbies were the exact same, old white guy hobbies who were dated. One hobby has since evolved and is currently publicly relevant. The other has stayed dying. Guess which is which. Magic has listened to those critiques, magic has figured out how to evolve, how to be relevant, how to invent new ecosystems, to learn magic, how to get people exposed into it whilst retaining its core charm about what magic is. Where toy trains have continued the descent downward. And they literally think, “oh, just make it operable on your iPhone. That will get kids in”. Where really, that’s just a bandaid on a larger problem with that industry. Where magic for all the faults that still has, it is now a relevant part of the ecosphere again. It’s gone from people being bullied for being a magician to people being celebrated for being a magician. That’s the big thing I like about magic a lot. What do you not like? I think there’s a lot of throwing the baby out with the bathwater in magic right now, because there is a lot about old white guy magic that needs to die. But at the same time, a lot of it’s still good material. Those L&L DVD still have a lot of gems. The elders are still in the magic club, the elders are still at the magic conventions. There are still great people with great advice. But yet, I feel like we’re too eager to abandon those old routines. In my professional career, I consider myself like the country singer Emmylou Harris. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Emmylou Harris, but she takes the old Carter family songs and adds rock and roll to them. So essentially, that’s what I feel I’m doing taking classics of silk magic, taking the misers dream, but yet covering them and my own personality so much, like with Emmylou Harris songs, you don’t realize until after the fact wait that wasn’t old classic wait, that was a traditional piece of music or magic! And that also circles back to why I’m doing volunteer work for the S.A.M. and the S.Y.M. The place where magic clubs, I feel as an ensuring that their members learn basic magic skills. And it should no longer be a lecture club. But I do still feel there is a valid place for magic clubs in the future. I’m not ready to let them die off. And that’s why I’m using my positions in the S.A.M. ecosystem to contribute ideas on how the societies, on how the assemblies, can become training grounds instead of just the lecture circuit. Take home point I’d say that liking things, I’d say that different types of audiences, that script writing, that all the things I mentioned today, they’re all nothing to be scared of, but rather it’s a different way of thinking. Whether it’s with disability is a different way of living in the world. A different way of thinking about magic routines is beyond stunts. A different way of thinking about how to have a career in magic. Don’t be scared of any new things. Don’t be ashamed of being your honest self. Instead, just embrace and cherish your different way of thinking. Plugs Everything you need for more Cody Clark can be found at codyclarkmagic.com And lately Cody has been really enjoying TikTok where you can follow him @codyclarkmagic The post Overcoming Obstacles In Magic With Cody Clark appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
73 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Creating Magic Adjacent Content with John Gaspard and Jim Cunningham
This week Jonah connects with John Gaspard and Jim Cunningham, the minds behind Sunday Night Magic and the Eli Marks series of mystery novels. Together they talk about creating content adjacent to magic and the joy of creating works that are not intended to make any money. Neither Jim or John identify as working magicians, but they both share a profound love the art form and have each found unique ways to get involved in the magic community using the strengths that they each possess proving that even if you’re not a working magician you can still contribute and help grow the magic community, even when creating magic adjacent content. Sunday Night Magic When John Gaspard wanted to start writing with magic as a focus in his mysteries he needed to learn how magic worked. In Minneapolis he met Suzanne who agreed to give John lessons in magic. Soon after a friendship struck up and an idea was proposed to create a monthly event where magicians would be invited to give a lecture and perform for a public audience. John brought Jim Cunningham on board because of his connections in the magic community and his experience as an MC and with their combined talents Sunday Night Magic was born. Eli Marks Mysteries Of course, Sunday Night Magic was just a side effect of John’s efforts to create a mystery novel centred around magic in an authentic way. He has always put in a lot of work to ensure that his central character, Eli Marks, thinks and behaves like a real working magician and nothing bugs him more than when authors write about a specific field without doing their research. One of his favourite highlights, that he recounts for us, is receiving feedback from Teller himself after reading The Linking Rings and saying that the book really got all the details right. Currently John has seven books available in the Eli Marks Mystery series, with an eighth on the way, and if you listen to the audiobooks you’ll be hearing the voice of Jim Cunningham narrating the novels. Behind the Page To help promote the books, and get to know more about the inspirations behind the tricks featured in each mystery, John and Jim has also started up the Behind the Page: The Eli Marks Podcast. Where they not only offer up behind the scenes conversations behind each book in the series but also interview the magicians whose tricks they feature in the novels. Wrap-Up Endless Chain Jeff Atlman. You might think you don’t know him but you do. He’s a prolific comedian and actor who has now moved back into magic in his semi-retirement. Jay Johnson is a ventriloquist who was a great friend of Harry Anderson who is insightful and funny and has a billion stories about magic and performing. What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? John really enjoys Fools Us and how they are presenting, and respecting, magic. Jim really likes how artistic and dramatic the magic artform is becoming and no longer relying solely on comedy and spectacle. Seeing magic presented as a theatrcial event that can rock your world is really special. John doesn’t like seeing performers running on auto-pilot and are no longer critically analyzing their performances. It’s not fun to watch. Jim doesn’t like that it is still very hard for many local communities to be exposed to live magic. If you don’t live near the right city or can travel to the right location you might never be exposed to really wonderful local live acts. Take home point Just say yes and don’t worry about things being money makers. Be open to try new projects. And magic is such a cool artform and you don’t have to perform to love it and enjoy it. Plugs Sunday Night Magic can be found on facebook at facebook.com/sundaynightmagic All things Eli Marks can be found at elimarksmysteries.com Jim Cunningham also performs each year at The Phantom’s Feast which you can learn more about by visiting trailofterrormn.com/phantoms The post Creating Magic Adjacent Content with John Gaspard and Jim Cunningham appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
42 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Tips, Tools, and Tricks of the Trade with The Toronto Magic Company
Jonah is back with Ben Train with the Toronto Magic Company to ask him questions about how they’re handling the virtual slowdown during the summer, how they’re preparing for the future of Unconventional.fun, and what tools they’re using to run their business and coordinate with their growing team. The Virtual Slowdown Jonah and Ben share their feelings for the future. Will there be a future for virtual shows even after the world re-opens and returns to normal? Will some people want to keep booking and hosting virtual gigs? What about a hybrid model where you might do some in-person gigs mixed with virtual entertainment? Learning At Home Ben and Jonah have had to adjust a lot after working from home for a year. How has Ben’s lifestyle and priorities changed? As things slowly go back to normal not everyone is hoping it will return to normal. So many people have adjusted to working from home and many may want to keep working from home going forward, and that means there’s still a future for virtual events. Tools To Run Your Business Learning to run your business from home after a year we’ve just had has meant finding new tools. Ben and Jonah will recommend some of their favourite organization tools they’ve used to run the Toronto Magic Company, especially as they’ve had to expand the company in the past year and bring more people onto the team. The Future of Unconventional.fun Ben and Jonah are currently planning the next convention and today they’ll pull back the curtain on how they plan the convention and process involved in scouting and booking guests for the show. There’s also still time to sign up for future Unconventional.fun events by visiting Unconventional.fun! The post Tips, Tools, and Tricks of the Trade with The Toronto Magic Company appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
69 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Three Questions To Ask Yourself with Peter Samelson
This week Jonah connects with Peter Samelson where he offers up three questions we can ask ourselves to make our magic scripts better. Something Theatre Couldn’t Do Peter Samelson originally focused on theatre with an intention to do something with his life that was worthwhile and mattered. After training to become an actor and moving to New York to make an impact in the theatre scene he realized he was going to struggle to make that impact. At first he was fed up with magic, mostly because he wasn’t attracted to the primary focus of deceiving or fooling people, but once he moved to New York and began seeing how magic could impact a theatre audience and the difference it could make to the theatre scene he began to view magic in a new light. With magic, he had an opportunity to reach people in ways that many people in theatre couldn’t do. Magic As A Moving Image Peter also offers up a master class in dissecting your script. He explains about the images of magic. Magic is a real-time moving three-dimensional image. It almost doesn’t matter what the script is around it, the image has a potency. In a script you need to not only have imagery but imagery that is not just personal imagery, you need universal imagery. Three Questions The best way to approach any bit of magic that you’re trying to find a script for is to ask yourself these three questions. Why, what, and who. Why am I doing this and why should anybody care about this? What is this about and what would it look like if it was real magic. Finally, who is your audience and who are you in relationship to them? Wrap-Up Endless Chain Christian Cagigal or Todd Robbins What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like? Peter likes the fact that the focus on social media and on online performances has led to an exposure and driven magic forward to develop new effects and new solutions to problems. Peter doesn’t like the idea that just publishing something doesn’t give you the right to perform it. There’s been a back on forth discussion on performance rights. Peter is of the mind that if you are publishing a book that the understanding of it is that the person who picks up that book is going to use it. Take home point Keep asking yourself why. Why are you doing this trick? Why are you doing this routine? And, more importantly, why should anybody care? Plugs You can find Peter on Facebook (facebook.com/peter.samelson) and Instagram (@samelsonmagic) and on his website at Samelsonmagic.com Jonah also recommends a wonderful masterclass on vanishing ink that you can find out by visiting vanishingincmagic.com/magician/Peter-Samelson The post Three Questions To Ask Yourself with Peter Samelson appeared first on Discourse in Magic.
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