We here at GeniiOnline have been faithful disciples of Steve Valentine over the past month, dutifully passing on his wisdom when it comes to pulling coins from bread buns, changing the color of silk handkerchiefs, swallowing canes and making good tricks even better. This time we’re going to leave it to the man himself, who has written a companion piece to go with the video above:
I started Magic On The Go to teach, celebrate and create a home for as many forms of GREAT magic as possible. Also to preserve brilliant effects and techniques that are getting lost in time. My goal is to build a massive online database of magic, all filtered and curated to bite-sized playlists that point toward whatever aspect of magic interests you most. The best part is, it’s happening, we are getting there, with hundreds of videos already posted and accessible.
So, we have simple beginner material, beginner only in the aspect that it’s physically easy to do, the effects are always powerful – see my Lazy Magician’s Card Act. Also we have more professional routines. Effects that take a little more practice, and of course give you even more powerful results. ROYALLY FLUSHED is one such routine.
The first full close up card sequence I published on magicinthego.com is Royally Flushed, my take on the now classic Paul Harris effect RESET. I’ve streamlined the switch sequence and added a kicker ending. The moves are simple and basic yet take some practice, but check the effect to see how strong it is.
As a child growing up in magic Paul Harris was one of my greatest influences. His whimsical, entertaining approach to card magic was a breath of fresh air. The idea of using cards more as objects and producing visual moments of strange was awesome inspiration to me. I still use his Vanishing Deck and Whack Your Pack routines in every show I do.
One of Paul’s classic effects is RESET. If you know it, then you know it’s an awesome trick, with a simple, easy to follow plot that visually packs a punch. It’s really fun if you perform it alongside Brother Hamman’s similar effect, THE UNDERGROUND TRANSPOSITION. In fact, UNDERGROUND or RESET are the versions I use when I have no time to set the deck for Royally Flushed. Oh, and if I can remember my gaffs, I’ll also have R. Paul Wilson’s brilliant RICOCHET available. So that’s four methods for essentially the same effect. Each with their own strengths and advantages. I have used each at different times. Which kinda brings me to my point.
I’m a huge believer in knowing multiple methods for all my routines. Why? Because you never know when a situation can take a left turn, and you always want to be prepared. You are used to doing something in a tux with your own cards, you may get a request with someone else’s cards and you’re in jeans (see my C2P Cards To Pocket Collection) or you’re doing a great version of the Flashback Book Test and someone challenges you to ‘do it with my book’ (see BOOKED). Or someone has seen you perform your killer finale trick three times in a row, and they are now following you around the party. You’ve seen these peeps in strolling gigs, I nickname them ‘Klingons’; they watch from a short distance to try and catch the method. Being aware of them and also switching up methods is half the battle, and the good news is that you already have your presentation and gags, just apply what works to the other routine. Same goes for your favorite gaffed card routine, do you have a non-gaffed version? It’s worth being prepared, trust me.
I was once asked to do the cards to pocket routine at a party (someone had seen my live show), but NO ONE had cards. So I ‘improvised’ by borrowing 10 business cards, luckily I had worked this out ahead of time, along with some extra variations, advantages that only occur with business cards. I was able to use most of the gags from my show and the creative ‘improv’ nature of using their business cards gave the routine a greater personal kick, and made it look even harder, when, in actual fact, it’s way easier.
So, just for you chaps and chapesses at Genii, please feel free to add my ROYALLY FLUSHED to your repertoire, it’ll be up on the site for a week. Of course this and so much more are always available at MAGICONTHEGO.COM
As you may have seen yesterday, March is the month of Magic on the Go here at GeniiOnline, but you may be wondering what the heck it is. Ok, it’s a service that gives you access to a bunch of videos and suchlike, but surely that’s only useful if your aim is to perform magic professionally, right? Well, no.
According to the Social Anxiety Institute, about 14% of the population will suffer from social anxiety at some point in their life. “Social anxiety” broadly refers to feeling emotional distress when confronted with ordinary social situations like being introduced to other people, being watched while doing something like giving a presentation, social encounters like parties, or dealing with someone in authority – in a job interview, for example.
It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to do card tricks while you’re trying to get a job, but learning magic can be a way to help ease into social situations that might otherwise prove immensely stressful. Success in those scenarios can build confidence for other social environments.
Speaking as someone who never quite mastered the art of “networking,” I wish someone had tipped me off years ago that learning a few tricks was a great way of sliding into conversations without feeling like an enormous doofus. Once I master the color change, I will be set.
The one and only Steve Valentine is helping GeniiOnline celebrate its sixth month anniversary by making March the month of Magic on the Go! In case you’re unfamiliar, Magic on the Go is an online service offering unlimited access to magic tutorials and more for a monthly fee – think of it like Netflix for magic. Steve is making a number of his MOTG videos available for GeniiOnline readers all month, so check back often to see what new goodies he’s serving up. We’ll be hosting a number of videos from Magic on the Go all month, some will be available to the public, but some will be for magicians and true enthusiasts only. (That’s the really, really good stuff.)
The above video gives you an idea what you can expect when you subscribe to the service – tutorials, commentary, and even lessons on the history of magic. Enjoy!
Usually, performances go pretty much as planned, give or take. Maybe you have to start a little late, or maybe your volunteer is a bit drunker than you’d guessed, but by and large, things tend to go the way they’re supposed to. As Steve Valentine advises in his latest newsletter, however, a smart magician needs to be ready to completely switch things up at a moment’s notice, because some obstacles you can’t see coming. Here’s how he puts it:
“It’s great to have ‘an act’, but you have to be willing, and more than that, be okay with, changing things at the last minute, depending on certain situations.” There might be security concerns, religious restrictions, or maybe the eye level of the audience isn’t what you’d expected. Maybe the lighting just sucks. Whatever curveball you’ve been thrown, it’s in your best interests to be able to roll with it on the fly. Here’s how Steve suggests approaching it:
I was watching Ron Howard’s Masterclass on Directing the other day and he mentioned that Steven Spielberg creates his movies in sequences, yes there is some ‘3 act structure’, but really if you look at his films they are made up of a bunch of unique, complete sequences, each has it’s own beginning middle and end and each is satisfying in itself. The movie is built upon these sequences, like bricks in a house, and if you think about it, it means you could exit the film at any time and still have been entertained and feel somewhat satisfied.
I think, if we create our magic in mini sequences, rather than a single full act, it would be easier to jigsaw together the perfect show for the perfect situation.
A sequence can be anything from 3-5 tricks, linked by a theme or prop, some would be in 5 minute. lengths and others in 8-10 mine lengths, the final few sequences of the show should be quicker and quicker so it builds to great finale.
These ‘mini act’ sequences also have individual tones, some are amusing, some serious, hilarious or dramatic. Some are designed for a smaller crowd, some for a larger or more distant audience.
List these for time and tone and audience size on index cards and carry them with you in your magic bag at all times.
So, you can add to your literal bag of tricks (perhaps by tapping into a service like Magic on the Go) or you can take the route referenced in this NSFW bit from Patton Oswalt: