Sunday, October 25, 2009
When you finally have it figured out what you’re good at, what you’re hobbies are, etc., you can easily spot out others in the same field and you know instantly whether or not you love them or they just aren’t your cup of tea. A few years ago, whilst browsing through the World Wide Web, I was looking for a DVD on Geek stunts – pounding a 6-inch nail up your nose, swallowing razor blades, eating glass, you know, the COOL stuff. The kind of stuff that makes people nauseous. To my surprise, there was a DVD specifically called “Geek Magic” by a gentleman named Tomas Medina. My local Magic Shop had it in stock and for only $20.00 (which is MUCH cheaper than most Magic DVD’s), that was quite a deal. I took it home and watched it. I laughed… I was disgusted… I was excited ALL at once! Tomas was an amazing instructor on the DVD and soon, I found myself ordering his lecture notes, his Cardiologist Deck and DVD, his “At the Table” DVD – whatever I could get my hands on. Soon after, I heard he might be heading out to LA for a wedding and MAYBE a lecture. How could I possibly convince a Magician from Chicago that lecturing out here would be entirely worth his time? Finally, I figured it out. I bought a fake severed hand, plopped it in a Ziploc baggie and filled it with nasty, chunky, syrupy blood and included a note that basically said, “… I would give my left hand if you would come out here and lecture. This is actually my sister’s left hand, but she’s a righty, so it’s okay.” And wouldn’t you know it, he sent me a TON of cool tuff – autographed all of his DVD covers, lecture notes – ALL the cool stuff. When he came out to LA, I attended his lecture and it was hands down one of the funniest and most exciting lectures I’ve ever attended. He touched on everything – his character, which tickled me senseless. Basically, it’s just him – he doesn’t have a character he performs as, which, being as funny as it was, was great to hear. He showed us some of the greatest effects using the Matrix principle (YouTube ”Matrix”, non-magicians), how to shove Tic Tacs in our noses and eye sockets and out of our mouths. Afterwards, the owner of the Magic Shop, Brent, a writer for the television shows 24 and The Closer, Duppie, a Dai Vernon student, Howard, all around great guy Anthony, myself, Tomas and his girlfriend all went out to eat where all we did was laugh with and at one another. If someone you like is ever in your area, go see them. Screw the price. Life really is too short…
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Theodore Annemann. You probably don't recognize that name. And, no reason you should, I suppose. But to magicians, he is a God. In the late 1930's and 40's, in an age when magicians were astounding audiences with larger than life illusions on even larger stages, Annemann could walk into a room and with only a few slips of paper and a pen and bring men to their knees and make women cry. He was that good. He was a mind reader. He was a sleight of hand expert, and by some accounts on some occasions, an asshole.The author of dozens of books and countless effects, his methods are still being used today. In later years, he performed an effect that magicians past had died performing, The Bullet Catch. Somebody signs a bullet and puts it in a gun and, standing at a distance, fires the gun at Annemann who would dramatically fall to his knees, stand up and spit the still marked bullet into the spectators hand. At the age of 35, apparently battling drug abuse and stage fright, he performed the greatest disappearing act ever. You'd be left out if you didn't at least watch him actually catch a bullet. Enjoy.