Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unfortunate... (effects)

Nice to see this long awaited release finally available. Following a trail blazed by Lee Asher, Ben Train & Chris Mayhew (and Co.) have produced a 'magic movie' that is an instructional as well. It looks like the production values are off the chain and I can't wait to see this thing in it full glory.

I'm sure it'll be a worthwhile investment to any/all close-up / magic enthusiasts

 All these guys are brainy & creative (with chops to back up the thought process) e... look for this at your fave dealer: "A Series of Unfortunate Effects"


Note: there are several previews on youtube: search for the rest.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Card Mojo / Straw Poll

Straw Poll = a fun way to take a poll

(a note to self & you)

Here's one I created off the top of my head (with little to no thought involved)
Most Important Card Magic Mojo
http://strawpoll.me/1463124

Maybe you'll find use in this fun tool
Maybe I'm just wasting time

Lets find out...

thanks for visiting today

PS: visit
strawpoll.me
to make your own straw poll

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Non-Plus Ultra, The Hofzinser Books

I'm very excited to have the NonPlus Ultra / Hofsinzer Card Artistry combo in my possession



Kudos to "Magic Christian" (the original composer of this collection) Hermetic Press and the Conjuring Arts Research Center for releasing this set in English. Only 900 sets were published and I couldn't be happier to be able to read one of them ;)  I'm a bit concerned that the set is to 'heady' to be enjoyed: but I'm going to do my best. I've never been a super-historian, but if there is anyone (aside from Erdnase) that I'd like to know more about: Hofzinser is the man.

Johann Nepomuk Hofsinzer was one of the most important magi in the history of our art. He was one of the first to bring it into the light as a form of sophisticated entertainment. Heck, it's quite likely; without his efforts, we wouldn't even have 'close-up' magic as it exists today. 

Most (american) cardmen point to Erdnase & his "Expert at the Card Table" as "The Bible" of card magic. I doubt that bible would have existed if it weren't for the efforts of Hofzinser and his contemporary. Oddly enough, Hofzinser was not one to disperse secrets lightly. They were nuggets of gold cherished and distributed gently (unlike today, where the distributors whore our art to the tune of 5-10 new items each week: that's HUNDREDS of new Tricks, DVDs, Downloads and Books each year.) Pimpin ain't easy.


Sidenote: you only need a dozen good tricks to be a great magician.

So anyway:
This collection traces magic back to the 16th century... 
500 years later, I'm wondering if technology has the power to render this art obscure & insignificant? Doubtful. People want to believe, they want to escape and if nothing else, they want personal / live interaction and entertainment. Magic has the power to deliver on all fronts: from Drama to Comedy and everything in between and beyond. 

Alright, I'm rambling when I could be reading. I'm gonna stop typing and go read.
After a brief span of being overwhelmed (and underwhelmed) at the info-glut our art has been presented with, I wonder if my addition to the sludge helps at all? I'd forgot the origianal goal of this blog was for ME to recall / remember  / notate the things that I found worthwhile and important. If someone else stumbles across them and finds these words helpful (or even legible) then, that is simply a bonus.


On that note, I'll be back to posting more often 

PS: regarding the video thing, I will be doing it... but it will be much more sparse than the schedule I had considered. The lack of response and my current schedule (etc) moves such a project to the bottom of the rather large to do list.

Ok, all for now: where's my reading glasses...

Monday, March 24, 2014

connmagic.com

Ok, so a few years ago, I had someone swipe my website "dougconn.com' right from under my nose (due to bank switch and a credit card that didn't work anymore) So, I decided to use 'Connmagic.com' as a replacement site... well, over the past year I was able to reclaim my name (no small feat) and now dougconn.com is back to 'normal' (it's actually a hot mess right now but I'll get there... one day)
To make a long story short: connmagic.com is set to renew and I see no reason to have two domains that are going to the same place (I've just been forwarding the connmagic domain to dougconn.com)
Point: I'm gonna let the connmagic domain go.
As of mid April, that site will be obsolete

In other news... I've really been thinking about the video thing... I've been thinking hard.
I think I'm gonna do it. Response was less than what I'd hoped, but in the day of the info glut, that's no surprise. .... I think (like the "Field of Dreams")
"If you build it, they will come"

I've got a lot to decide... I'll probably start with a once a week youtube segment... and "like a box of chocolates, there's no telling what you're gonna get"  I've got a good list of topics I'd like to cover already, but I want to  go further than that... Eventually, building to an interactive web stream (again: at least once a week, maybe more.) I'll be doing magic, moves, theory, reviews, tips and occasionally rambling about the crazy nonsense that often captures my interest (like Juggling, Mnemonics, The Rubics cube, etc etc etc) I see no good reason to charge for this: it will be free and If things work out, I'll be navigating into new info-area that few magi have tread.
For now, it's just talk and I've done plenty of that.
My current connundrum is the camera. Really the best one I have is on my iPhone.
I'm a complete nube when it comes to web/camera/webcams and would appreciate any advice if you have it.

For now, believe it when you see it... but, I really believe you're gonna see it.

Stay tuned... and practice your pinky count
all for now,
Conn...gone

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Conn-TV?

I'm thinking of making at least one post a week that is comprised of video content

Before I go through the trouble of doing this, I need to get a general idea of who is out there and interested in seeing my mug (or my hands) spewing about magic and the related arts

I'm not gonna invest the time and energy if no-one is listening.

Lemme know (comment, email, +1 this post, whatever)
I think it'd be a fun challenge, but I don't wanna just talk to myself.?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Get Small

(kudos to those who recognize the Steve Martin title reference)

This post will be a tip about doing card tricks that involve a large layout procedure; These are often un-weildly due to space conditions / restrictions.

I'm talking about things like the 21 card trick... or more gooder (like theres something less gooder than the 21 card trick?) the Grid / Matrix Effect that Lennert Green and / or John Bannon have done so much work on. Note: I first learned this in Jon Racherbaumers' MO Zine as "Spectator Works Harder to Triumph" and the credit was given to Peter Dufie... I'm not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I do know this is an amazing principle. In case your curious, my favorite version is John Bannon's "Origami Prediction' (from his Bullet DVDs) 
So, yeah, basically the idea is to carry the needed cards in Playtime size (smaller cards) which allow you to do this large layout on a surface 1/4 the size it would normally require: and IMO, the use of said cards requires no more justification that that. I carry the above Bannon / Oragami effect in a small coin envelope that houses the 16 cards and the prediction. It's small enough to toss in a wallet if you want to carry something unique to perform at your next social gathering (I don't really consider this kind of effect a good walkaround piece... but I digress)  Sidenote, if you'd like to know just about everything possible with this kind of 'matrix' effect, I'd suggest a look at Lennert Green's dissertation on the subject in his EMC DVD release... he covers about a a dozen different options (more than enough food for thought to develop a strong routine.)

Beyond that...
There's quite a few effects in Cardopia that require such layouts and you might consider using this strategy to make these more user friendly by employing a smaller card stock.

That's todays tip of the day... hope someone finds it helpful

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Back in the Saddle

Hello fellow Webinians
Happy to report the hiatus has ended and I'm back to 'normal' (whatever that is)
Time is short today (early / afternoon lunch gig)

I'm performing for a disabled youngster (young 20's) who has limited mobility and loves magic.
I've been scratching my brain trying to think what I could show him (beyond some good magic) & I think I'm gonna suggest he try some phone apps... his mother mentioned how he likes technology and I think a disabled person (I think he has MS) could probably do something like iForce or Rising Cards (google either of those in the app store)

Anyway... the above gig has me short on time (I decided to redo my table top for today & the upcoming season of 'magishing')

Set list... hmmmm...
I haven't performed for awhile so, I'll probably KISS it:

Silk / Reel (untying)
Rope
Coins
Rubber Bands (it's a small party 12-15 people)
Inv Deck (or Unshuffled)
Rings
Unshuffled (or Inv Deck)
Cups and Balls
Regular deck (multiple selection with 8 ball, 3 & 1/2, Long Card and Card to Wallet)


and then I'd like to spend some time with the young man talking about what he can do with magic
(Ala' David Copperfields project magic)

So, that's my day and on that note, time to get too it!
See ya soon