The Complete Walton, Volume 3!

Thanks to Joe McKay for letting me know about the release of volume 3. Am super excited about this – it’ll be a nice welcome home present for myself in the next year or so.


A trip to Tam Shepherds

The pilgrimage has finally been made. A quick dash from the Edinburgh Fringe festival to Glasgow to meet the genius of card magic – Mr Roy Walton. He was an incredibly nice man who talked for 20 minutes about many things including Dai Vernon, Alex Elmsley and Peter Kane. What an awesome day.



The Dani DaOrtiz Workshop – Sun 29/04/2012

What an amazing day! Having been a fan of Dani for a couple of years now you can imagine how excited I was to attend this workshop. Dani was incredible – fooling the hell out of all the magicians who attended with his loose relaxed and incredibly disarming handling. He was also really really funny and the day included many magician fooling moments and reveals which he’d been setting up since the start – incredible. I’d seen the Utopia DVDs so knew a lot of the material but a lot of the people attending had never seen his stuff before – I can only imagine how much their brain hurt on the way home afterwards.

The day started with him doing a 30 minute or so performance which warmed him up and had everyone geared up for the day. This followed with some explainations of the effects he had done. The rest of the day consisted of 2 or so hour long talks about various topics (classic force, knowing yourself and other tricks) with breaks in between. At the end of each session he tended to do something which fooled everyone – the best for me was shuffled deck held under the table by the spectator – they choose top or bottom several times and transfered cards from one place to another – eventually three cards were inserted face up in the deck by the spectator under the table. The deck was placed in the box and Dani named all three cards! It seemed incredibly fair and he gave the magician so many choices and opertunities to change his mind etc. – it was classic Dani DaOrtiz – magic that happens without him seemingly doing anything.

Another great example was a card at any number he did where the card was the 8 of diamonds and was at position 17 – after the reveal he asked to borrow a deck and the organiser took his out from under his chair. He opened them and counted down 17 cards – the 18th card was also the 8 of diamonds but was also face up! He’d set this up at some point but no one knew how or when – incredible. There was also an opertuniuty for a smaller group of us to sit with Dani during one of the breaks – he was doing some killer things with a glass and nailed me with a cards across routine – his timing is so good you just miss everything!

For me the highlight was the theory – having just re-read Ascanio’s “Structural Conception of Magic” these ideas were fresh in my mind – to see Dani explain and then to put the thoery into practice was amazing. One thing I think the Ascanio book lacks are a few more examples to explain his theories – Dani was able to fill in the gaps. Knowing yourself, naturalness, in-transit actions, timing etc. were all mentioned and applied to the effects he was doing.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough but praise must also go to the organisers of the event which was held in the Ibis Hotel near to Euston Station – they did a fantastic job, the venue was great and they’d taken the trouble to arrange the tables and chairs so that every one of the 32 or so people attending could see perfectly – the third row consisted of raised stools so you could see over the top of the two rows of chairs in front.

If you get the chance to see Dani in action then don’t miss it!!


Dani DaOrtiz workshop

Further to my previous post and after giving it some thought (it was a no brainer really!) I’ve booked it. Very excited.

Saturday Sessions – The Magick Lounge

A new video feature which Russell Hall, owner of The Lounge has started filming recently. Videos of tricks performed by people who are in the lounge on that particular Saturday session- I think this is a great idea as you get to see behind the scenes so to speak of the UKs best brick and mortar magic shop. The shop is usually jam packed with talented magicians and it’s great to see them perform.

I’ve posted a few video links to the most recent ones and will continue to do so as they come up (there may even be one of me at some point which is quite daunting). Anyway – here is the latest one – Tom Hudson (aka. Afro Magic) performing the Ninja Rings. Tom is a fantastic magician who I’ve literally seen grow from a begineer into a working pro and I know he’s got a great deal of performing experience behind him. Seeing him do this live is even better than on the video – the rings link with almost no sideways movement of the hand holding the lead ring – it’s amazing.

Oh and check out this one of AfroMagic performing in quite possibly the worst conditions you can imagine for a magician –

Dani DaOrtiz one day workshop!

Amazing news last week of a one day workshop with Dani DaOrtiz in London! I was very excited about it but unfortunately cannot attend – click here for all the info. If anyone does go and wouldn’t mind letting me know how it was that’d be great. Thanks.

Blackpool 2012 – brief overview

Well it’s been a week since Blackpool and I can safely say that I am now fully recovered! It was a great convention with good friends and a fun time was had by all. Highlights for me included Christian Engblom giving us a brief anti-faro demonstration in the Ruskin hotel (with my deck – which funnily enough wasn’t quite right afterwards!) – he then explained various corrections he’d worked out for when a few cards are missed- he was a nice guy and he didn’t have to spend the time with us that he did. Also a hit at the convention was his “Cooler” which is the best deck switch utility card creation I’ve ever seen – it looked perfect and a deck can be rung in and out under the nose of the spectators and they won’t see a thing – it was brilliant.

Chad Long was excellent and his lecture was really enjoyable (a bought of leg cramp brought him to his knees and almost ended the lecture before it began but he carried on anyway) – I bought his colour changing flash drives as I’ve always been a fan of colour changing knifes but had difficulty in introducing them – he’s really modernised the whole thing.

Michael Weber was superb – the most professional and in depth magic lecture I’ve ever seen. He explained everything in perfect detail and not only explained how he does something but more importantly I think was why he did it that way. When asking if there were any questions in the audience he excluded any “what if” questions as he said they are only the fears the magician has and that he shouldn’t have any. He was plugging the Real Secrets mail subscription service which actually sounded really good. Apparently as well as the props which are sent in the post he also sends some strange objects which seemingly have no use for now but will make sense when combined with other objects later on – apparently even the stamp on the envelope could have some secret. Sounds fun and I’m tempted to sign up.

For me the social side of Blackpool usually outweighs the convention lineup – this was no exception but there were a few good acts I did manage to see.  Charlie Fry was the best juggler I’ve seen, I’m sad I missed the South Korean Yu Ho Jin who performs absolutely perfect card manipulation – check out the link if you haven’t already seen this – it’s amazing.

One thing this year which I’d hoped they would’t bring back was having the closeup sessions in the small theatre but with screens outside in the horseshoe area where people could watch. I understand the need to cater for large numbers of magicians but for me they’ve ruined the closeup at Blackpool – the simple reason is that it’s not closeup – it’s on stage. It was busy before but you could always stand close enough to see the person or move to the next table to see them again. Stage at worse, parlour at best – closeup should be closeup.

As is normal as soon as the dealers hall opened we made our way straight to Castle Magical Services which has the best selection of used books at the convention – I picked up Peter Kane’s Variant booklet, some Peter Kane lecture notes and Cy Enfields Entertaining Card Magic Part 1 for just over £5 – bargain.

Also a hit at the convention was Steve Brownley’s debut release – the “Ultimatum” deck which I’ll post about separately soon – it’s two cards at any two numbers and more!