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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Lego Crap

Tenyo ain't got nothin' on you when you build this Lego magic trick! I actually really like this idea - I truly think that, with the right presentation, this could be a cute little pocket trick.

But that's not all. Lego has its own official instructions for a "Magic Box". It's more of a model of an illusion than a working magic trick, but it would definitely make a cool toy for your desk or shelf.

Lego also has instructions for a Vanishing Coin trick:

What's hilarious about this trick is that it has no real mechanism - as far as I can tell, the coins just fall out of the compartment and on to the base when you turn the crank, which is not too magical.

There's one more Lego trick to build - the Disappearing Lego Trick - and it's actually kinda cute. I don't think it would fool anything, but it would certainly be fun to play with.

I hope that all of these Lego ideas really got your brain working. I really think that the idea of using Lego to make props is an awesome one; Lego is something everybody knows, is very versatile, and can go in many different directions. So get out there and start creating!

Average Crap

So, I was watching Average Joe tonight when I discovered - to my utmost horror - that one of the contestants was a magician. Now, I don't always cringe when I see magicians on reality shows (case in point, Nathan Burton on E! Entertainment's "The Entertainer"), but, in this case, what made Nick so geeky was his magic. Do you want proof? First, look at the guy:

Second, check out the way Nick answered the questions in his bio. Nick was asked six questions and mentioned magic in THREE of them. That's HALF of the questions!

Nick annoyed all of the guests in the house by insisting on doing magic all the time. He also introduced himself to Anna, the woman he wanted to woo, by saying, "Hi, I'm Nick. I'm a magician from Tampa." WHAT THE FUCK?!? That's NOT how you introduce yourself, at least if you don't want to go home alone.

I'm not alone on this. Anna eliminated Nick in the FIRST round. However, Nick was allowed to get a make-over and will eventually return to the show. The best part of this episode was what the life coach said to Nick. While I can't quote directly, the gist of what she said was this, "You can't let magic dominate everything you do. Talking about magic all the time is BORING. Plus, if all you do is magic you become a sideshow freak attraction." Yes, the life coach actually said that his magic had made him a "sideshow freak attraction."

Nathan's breakthrough: "The next time I introduce myself to a woman, I won't say, 'Hi, I'm Nick and I do magic,' I'll say 'Hi, I'm Nick. How are you?'"

Guys, do I have to explain the lesson behind this? Magic is great, but only sparingly. It shouldn't be the first thing you ever tell a girl and it shouldn't be a majority of what you tell her about yourself. Magic is a vehicle: drive the vehicle - don't let the vehicle drive you.

I should copyright that.

Wand Crap

One time... at magic camp...

Cadaco has released a new magic trick set in its Marshall Brodien line, "Marshall Brodien's Magic Electronic Wand":

Here's the description for Marshall Brodien's Magic Electronic Wand:

Only you know the secret as the magic wand vibrates from one end and lights up on the other with no buttons or switches to be seen! The wand finds selected cards, a hidden ball, concealed coins and other objects offered in this magician's set of 12 amazing tricks.

Wait a second... "the magic wand vibrates from one end." That's right - this magic wand VIBRATES! Who the FUCK thought that that was even remotely appropriate for children?

Honestly, if they had any doubts about the inappropriateness of "electronic magic wand" for children, here's the only other magic wand on the market that vibrates. It's Juli Ashton's Magic Wand:

Juli Ashton has two advantages over Marshall Brodien in the "electronic wand" niche:

(1) The spokesperson - honestly, who would you rather see supporting a product?


(2) Juli Ashton's magic wand is better designed both for enhancing the wonderment and delight of children by day and the wonderment and delight of adults by night.

(Try that as your next pick up line: "Hey baby, let's go back to my place so I can show you some wonderment and delight.")

But then again, if Marshall Brodien's wand can cause what is pictured below, then we may have a contender yet:

(Yup, that really is Marshall Brodien on the far left and that really is a woman with her head way too close to his crotch to be sanitary. If you still don't believe that that's Marshall, check out the site where I found the picture.

Appreciation Crap, Part II

Thank you to everybody who sent me their tips for generating a .PDF file from the draft that I currently have! I think I have enough information now to create the finished e-book (sorry, the only way you can get a free e-book now is by sending me a story about how you used my previous posts on girls and magic to successfully pick up women using magic and by entering my upcoming contes...oops, wasn't supposed to tell you about that yet).

Thanks again everybody for reading this blog - you're the reason I write it!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Girl Crap, Part II

I really enjoyed writing my last post about my experiences with girls and magic and, judging from the response I've received, I think a lot of you guys did, too. That's why I've decided to devote a lot more energy to the topic and write an e-book. It'll include every detail of picking up women with magic: the basic tenets of magic and girls, specific routines (like "Mind Money" and "Quarter Under the Watch"), the dos and don'ts of magic for girls, a list of tricks that you can buy for this kind of magic, and the COMPLETE "Wallet Routine," a whopping 30+ minutes of magic using things in your wallet (or things in your wallet that are slightly modified, like the business card and quarter are in the "Mind Money" routine) that allows you to do at least 7 different, completely "impromptu" (not card!) tricks at a moments notice (especially for women!).

I'm not really doing this for the money, because I'm only going to charge about $5 for the whole thing (and I may even throw in another e-book on getting a restaurant gigs that details the system I've used to a great degree of success).

I hope this doesn't sound like a commercial - I just thought you'd guys want to know what I'll be up to these next weeks (in additon to performing magic, writing posts for this blog, and enjoying the summer). By the way, if anybody knows of a good way of making a .PDF e-book from a Microsoft Word document, I'd really love the advice (plus I may send you the e-book for free when I'm done!). Also, I may send you a free e-book if you send me a story about how you used the advice from my last post, As always, my e-mail address is - e-mail me!

Appreciation Crap

First, I wanted to thank all of you, my readers, for giving me my 11,000th hit! That's right - Pagliacci has been visited more than 11,000 times in less than five months! It is my sincerest hope that you guys enjoy this blog as much as I enjoy writing it!

Second, I'd like to thank everybody who commented on my last post and those who have commented on my posts in the past (yes, I really do read all of your comments)! If you haven't already, check out the comments section for my last post, Girl Crap - some of the ideas there are really, really great! In regards to that comment section, special shout outs are in order for Andster of I, Magician for being cool, Mike of The Wizard's Ball for the sarcasm, Peacelove of Peacelove's Musings for the compliment and link (which I probably should have included, too, because it is one of the definitive essays on magic and girls), Mr. Whack of Magic Whack for the humor, Nate of Comrade Conjuror for the kudos, Sgt. Raymond of Bulletproof Pimp for the compliment, and Rick Carruth of Magic Bullets for the incredible idea!

You'll notice I've included a link to all the blogs these magicians write. That's because those blogs (plus Magic Circle Jerk,Magic Enigma, Magician X, the Magic Meta Blog, and Magic Unlimited) represent all the blogs I look at once a day. Which means that the added bonus of reading this post is that this post is as close to a Pagliacci blogroll you'll probably get. Visit these great blogs and put them in your favorites - I think you'll both enjoy and learn from what you read.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Girl Crap

I was reading Andster's blog, "I, Magician", when I came to his most recent post in which he wrote:

But the thing is, sometimes I get the feeling that people who write about this stuff (myself included) don't really have firsthand knowledge of the subject. (I've never actually done magic with the specific intent of picking up a girl. Probably because I knew it wouldn't work.) Just because you haven't done it doesn't mean you're not qualified to speak on the subject, though. It's pretty much common sense, so anyone with common sense (that eliminates half the members of Penguin, Ellusionist, and the Magic Cafe right there) is qualified to give advice.

I kind of resent the implication that I don't have any firsthand knowledge of the subject (although I still love Andy and his blog). Unlike other bloggers, I only write about things I have experienced firsthand (or, in rare instances, relate to you advice given to me by those I trust who I know have had firsthand experiences). Remember Two Lessons in Magic You Won't Learn Anywhere Else, Part I and Part II? I didn't just use my "common sense" to write these rules - I learned these rules in the course of my career as a professional magician.

This extends to my post about Lessons in Magic You Won't Learn Anywhere Else: Magic and Girls. I was able to make this list of rules after using magic myself in my interactions with girls. I wish Andy lots of luck in his experiments, but if you, the reader, want to be spared the wait, I can tell you all of my different experiences and what works and what doesn't.

I can tell you right off the bat that there is no single "Ultimate Pick-Up Routine." If Andy thinks that he will find a routine that will work for everybody with every type of girl, he's going to, as he says in his post, "fall flat on [his] face." In order to succeed at using magic to pick up women, the routine you use must fit you and (perhaps more importantly) the girl you're trying to pick up. Think of this: if a girl values a sense of humor in a guy and you have comedic talent, a trick that shows off how funny you are will help you score. However, if the girl is the shy, introverted type and you try to do your hilarious but over-the-top magic routine, she'll be embarrassed and want to get as far away as possible from you.

So, how do you pick up women with magic? You're going to have to make choices based on your personality and the personality of the girl you're trying to get with.(Remember the most important rule of using magic to pick up women - you must be able to do it first without magic before being able to do it with magic. Once you have those basic skills under your belt, you'll be able to judge a prospective hook-up and figure out her personality without much thought or conversation.) Then you have to decide between different kinds of routines:

Magic you initiate or magic others have initiated

Sometimes you may just want to break out a magic trick in the course of a conversation because it fills right and seems to fit. That's cool. Otherwise, I think it's best to have others initiate the magic. This isn't to say that you don't have a part in this - you can very easily steer others into initiating the magic, a tactic I've used plenty of times.

YOU: What do you do for fun?
GIRL: Oh, I like shopping. And soccer. And playing violin. What do you do?
YOU: Soccer? Violin? Cool. I like lots of things. Writing. Swimming. The beach - love the beach. Magic...
GIRL: Magic?!? You do magic?
YOU: (Reluctantly, acting slightly embarrased) Yeah, well, it's just something I've always done.
GIRL: Could you show me something?
YOU: Well, I don't know. I mean...
GIRL: Please?!?
YOU: [You can insert the "What do I get if I do it?" line here.] I guess - if you insist. Just one.

YOU: So, what do you do for a living?
GIRL: I'm a paralegal. You?
YOU: I'm a med student, but I also do some magic on the side.
GIRL: Magic?!? Really?
YOU: Yeah, I kind of fell in love with doing magic and now I get to make some cash doing it. I've done pretty well with it.
GIRL: Could you show me something?
YOU: Well, I don't know. I mean...
GIRL: Please?!?
YOU: [You can insert the "What do I get if I do it?" line here.] I guess - if you insist. Just one.

Get the idea? Notice how the seemingly innocent questions ("What do you do for fun?" and "What do you do for a living?") very easily and naturally funnel into a request for magic. If you can get a girl to ask you to do a magic trick, you're much, much better off. Now you're doing her a favor by doing this trick - not her doing you the favor by being your audience.

You can also get your friends to initiate the magic. If you're with a group and you squeeze a small reference to doing magic, your friends will probably jump on it ("Oh yeah! He's an awesome magician! No, really! Bro, show her something. Just watch this!").

I usually act hesitant before doing a trick, usually refusing one or two times before "giving in" and doing the trick. This makes it seem like the magic thing is all her idea, not a carefully engineered pick up technique.

Intimate magic or magic that makes you the center of attention

Depending on you and your girl, decide whether your trick should be something intimate, close, and a little sexy-slash-mysterious or a trick that will draw a crowd and make you the center of attention. The best criteria for making this decision is this: if you're alone and talking one-on-one with a girl, go with the intimate magic; if you're in a group and want to catch the eye of someone who's part of that group, go with the attention-grabbing magic, then shift to intimate magic latter when it meets that criteria ("Hey, Jen, did you like that? Let me show you something special I didn't show the whole group...").

Mental magic or visual magic

You can either try to make it look like you're reading her mind or you can show your skill at causing cool things to happen (i.e. sugar packets changing color, a napkin restoring itself). Mental magic is usually paired with intimate magic while visual magic is usually paired with attention-grabbing magic, although this is not a hard and fast rule.

Use the trick to solicit behavior or up the ante for future behavior

I've pretty much touched upon all there is to this decision in Rule 3 of this post. "Soliciting behavior with magic" is practically synonymous with "using magic as a 'code word'". The other option is to just make a girl like you more, which will hopefully lead to increases in intimacy.

Okay, so that leaves us with SIXTEEN different combinations, or approaches to using magic to pick-up women. I've tried them all, to varying success. The most sucessful combinations are these three:

- Magic others have initiated, intimate magic, mental magic, use the trick to solicit behavior/up the ante for future behavior
The "other" in this case is the girl herself - once she asks, I go into an intimate trick, usually a piece of mentalism, that emphasizes our connection.

- Magic others have initiated, intimate magic, visual magic, use the trick to solicit behavior
I won't go into details, but the "What do I get if I get this right?" was responded to with "Anything you want."

- Magic others have initiated, magic that makes me the center of attention, visual magic, up the ante for future behavior
This is a classic case - you're in a group of friends, someone asks you to do magic, and all of a sudden you're doing magic for a huge group and are the center of attention. This makes you "special" (in a good way) and a girl will want to be with you because, in social situations, such "special-ness" rubs off. You have to use this situation to springboard yourself into a one-on-one conversation by showing a girl how cool EVERYBODY ELSE thinks you are.

Now that I've told you about all the kinds of approaches (mix and match for best results!), I'm I'm going to describe and explain two tricks that I've used with much success for picking up detail. You're about to get everything, in intricate detail - patter, sleights, and even the psychology behind the trick itself and the trick as it applies to picking up a girl! This are proven routines that I have personally used to great success to pick up and hook up with women.

You can thank me later.

Trick 1: Mind Money

Acknowledgement: This routine is somewhat based on a Eugene Berger routine in which a thought-of coin is revealed in a similar manner.

Set up: On the back of your business card, write, "The QUARTER will land HEADS up." (You do have business cards, right? If not, you can use a piece of paper or card stock) Take a quarter and, with a Sharpie, write "NOT HEADS" on the tail side of the quarter. Stick these two props in your wallet. (I don't know about you, but I always have quarters and business cards in my wallet, which means I'm always ready to do this trick.)

Trick (patter in italics):

To start, place the quarter, tail side up, on the bottom most phalange of the third and fourth finger of your non-dominant hand. Place the business card with the writing side down on top of the quarter. You don't have to do this secretly, but the girl can't know that there's a quarter underneath the card.

Okay, so I'd like you to just picture a few things in your head for me. Picture that there's a dime spinning right there...

Facing her, point to a location to the right of her face (her left). Twirl your index finger to emphasize that there's a dime spinning there.

...a quarter spinning there...

Point to a location in front of her face (not in her face, asshole), make the spinning motion again, and then make a circle with your fingers (like you're giving the "okay" sign with your hand, but with all your fingers curled in). Exaggerate this. You want her to pick the quarter - by making the image of a circle much more obvious with the quarter than with the other coins, you're going to make it more likely that she'll pick the quarter.

a quarter spinning right there...

Repeat the motions. You really want to emphasize this coin, but don't make it obvious.

and a penny spinning there.

Point to a location to the left of her face (her right). Facing the girl, you should have given the image of three coins spinning in the air - from left to right, the penny, the quarter, and the dime.

So, there's a penny, a quarter, and a dime.

Point to the location of the penny, make a circle with your fingers in the location of the quarter, and point to the location of the dime. Again, it shouldn't look obvious that your making the quarter a special case - the reasoning behind the circle (for the spectator) is that it's rude to point right at somebody, so you're changing the gesture out of politeness. Actually, you're trying to psychologically force the quarter.

Alright, now that you have it, with your left hand, reach out to take one...

Notice the "...". If the quarter isn't chosen, you're not going to skip a beat - you're going to go right to the next patter line. If the quarter is chosen, say, "Cool - now place the coin in my hand" and skip to the patter line after this one.

...and with your right hand, reach out and take another one.

If the girl took the dime and the penny say, "Okay, cool. Place those coins in your pocket - tsouvenirsveneirs from me. I'm a giver. No, really." If the girl takes the quarter and one of the other coins say, "Cool. Just toss one." If the girl tosses the quarter, reach out to grab it and act like you've caught ("Thanks.") If the girl tosses the other coin, say, "Nice. Now hand me the other coin."

Great. Now, this is your coin, right? So look at the coin and tell me if it's heads up or tails up.

She answers.

You're sure? Absolutely sure? You really can change your mind if you want. So... wait, what was the coin you chose? I don't even remember. Oh, the quarter? Umm...okay.

At this point, you're trying to shape the girl's final perception of the trick. You want the girl to recall just randomly thinking of a coin and its orientation. This will make the trick harder to figure out - they'll forget that they cued you to what they were thinking by reaching out in a specified location. Notice also that you've "forgotten" what coin was chosen, which enforces the girl's perception of the trick.

If the girl chooses heads (which she will more often than not), take the business card out of your non-dominant hand with your dominant hand, palming the quarter in the process. It should look like you're just taking the card out of your hand to hand to the girl, which you pretty much are. Have the girl turn over the card and read your prediction. She'll freak out.

If the girl choses tails, remove the business card. Dispay the quarter, which has materialized just as the girl has imagined it. Then mention, "Well, I guess I could have just flipped the coin over under the card, depending on what you said, right?" (Place the card over the quarter and exaggerate the actions of flipping the quarter underneath the card.) "But I KNEW you'd pick tails, which is why I wrote this." Flip the coin over and hand it to her. While she examines the quarter, switch the "dirty" business card for a clean new one. Ask for the quarter back and give her the card.

See? I think we're more in sync than either of us realized. That's pretty, well, cool.

They'll usually ask, "But what if I picked heads (or tails)?"

I think we're more in tune than you realize. Keep my card - it has my number of it. Just call me next time you're free - we should totally chill again sometime.

Just keep the conversation going from this point. At some point, mention that she has your number but that you don't have hers. Ask her for her number, typing and saving it in your phone. Then tell her, "Cool. Let me make sure you have mine." and call that number immediately. When her phone rings (if it doesn't, you have a bigger problem, my friend, because she gave you a fake number), tell her that now she has your number in her cell. (Hint: If you've forgotten her name or just want to make sure you remember it for next time, ask her to SPELL her name so that you can save it in your cell - now you'll have her name permanently saved in your phone, spelled correctly.) If you see her save your number immediately after checking her phone, you're golden.

Trick 2: Quarter Under the Watch

Note: Obviously, you can only do this trick if the girl you're trying to pick up has a watch on.

Set-up: Have a quarter finger palmed in your dominant hand.


Let's try a short little coin trick. We're going to use this quarter. If you would just extend your hand for me...

Ask the girl for her hand. If she sticks out the hand without the watch, just politely ask for the other hand, the one "closer to me" (even if it's not, you can move slightly so that it is - in her mind, it makes sense that you want to hand that's closer because it's easier for you). Tell her to place her hand PALM UP (the face of the watch is pointing down.)

You're going to grasp her wrist with your dominant hand and pull her whole arm closer to you. However, you're going to "miss" and grab her wrist above where her watch is (positions: where you're holding --- watch / wrist --- hand). Now slide your hand forward, slipping the quarter underneath her watch. Place pressure on the watch buckle with your thumb. While you're doing this, you should be guiding her hand forward with your non-dominant hand, which has grasped her finger tips (the first phlanges). The combination of all this different pressure (two hands, different locations) and the larger motion of moving the arm and hand forward completely mask the sensations of the quarter sliding under the watch.

Be calm when you do this move - you're NOT going to get caught. You can even try a few times to slip it under the watch if you miss the first time. Trust me - you really have a lot of time to do this. If the arm is forward enough but the coin is not under the watch, adjust the girl's fingers and the flatness of the palm ("There. Like a table. Almost, almost... There! Perfect!") until you get it there.

The other quarter (yes, you need another quarter) is either removed from your pocket at this point or taken from the table (it may be a good idea to VISIBLY place the quarter there before starting - you get ready to do the trick, ask for the hand, then place the coin down to adjust the coin). You also have the option of holding the other coin at the fingertips of the non-dominant hand the whole time, using the other fingers to adjust her fingers. This is harder, but it's the method I use. I find it a lot more effective because, when you tell the girl before you start that you're going to do a trick with THIS coin, she concentrates on that coin completely -and not on the hand which is currently sliding another coin under her watch.

A quick note about state quarters: Try to do this trick with two old quarters. If you have two quarters from the same state, however, you can use them, too. The coins need to look identical (the date doesn't need to be though, because nobody's paying any attention to it at any point).

Get ready for a simple coin vanish.

Alright. I'm going to try to make this coin penetrate your hand. That would be a pretty damn cool trick, wouldn't it?

Perform a false transfer and make a fist around the "coin." Hold that hand OVER her hand. At the same time, the hand that still has the quarter goes under the hand. The hand with the coin is still in finger palm position, the fingers slightly curled. Open the hand above her hand and then make your bottom hand flat, accentuating that the coin has "hit" that hand. Move your hand from beneath hers and show that the coin has penetrated.

Repeat the penetration sequence.

On the third time, ask her to hold your wrist (the wrist belonging to the hand that the spectator believes has the coin) with the other hand. While she's doing so, ditch the quarter in your pocket. Explain that now the coin can't go up your sleeve (if you have sleeves). Otherwise, have her hold on to your first and explain that the coin can't escape now.

Take your empty hand (the hand that just ditched the coin), open it flat (making it clear that there's no quarter there) and place it under her hand. Open your fist and look at your bottom hand. Act really surprised that the quarter just disappeared.

Dude. I'm really sorry about that. Wow... Oh. Hold on. Wait a sec - what if the quarter did penetrate but got stuck on the way? Hmmm... By the way, what time is it?

She's going to check her watch. If she find the quarter right away, great! If she doesn't see the quarter, she'll turn her hand back over. Now snap your fingers and say, "There! Now check under your watch!" She'll look and find it.

Note: In the second case (she doesn't find the quarter the first time), the spectator will really think that she checked her watch and then found that the quarter had appeared, a real miracle. This is why you must first ask "What time is it?" instead of giving the simple instruction to check under her watch - this leaves the opportunity for her to miss the quarter (she thinks that she's just checking the time for you) and sets you up for the miracle finish.

Take the quarter back. When she's done freaking out, complete the routine:

Whoa. That's really pretty crazy. Even I am not completely sure how that one worked! It was under your watch and you didn't even feel anything? I must have magic fingers. Play your cards right and maybe I'll show you what these magic fingers can really do...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Video Crap

Feds Turn to Magicians For Homeland Security

According to U.S. officials, airport security guards will now be trained in magic, particularly sleight of hand, in order to better circumvent any terrorists planning on using artifice to conceal weapons or dangerous objects. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unveiled this video today to showcase how their magic initiative has already begun to improve our safety.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Oh Crap Times Two! It's Pagliacci's Magic Flash Theater, Part II: "Shoot David Blaine"!

Reflecting the wishes of every British citizen who used the bridge over the Thames on their daily commute, Brain Mung has developed a way to Shoot David Blaine.

Here's for fucking Josie Maran! And for fucking that other hot European supermodel! And for any other super models you're going to fuck! Fuck, man!

The most wonderful part of the game, however, is the movie that comes up after you win. (Yes, you're going to have to play it a few times until you win to see it. Don't worry - I'll wait a minute while you do it and then watch the movie.) The victory movie is friggin' hilarious. Let's walk through it:

You just killed David Blaine. 15 year olds around the world who had been practicing their tricks in monotone mourn. Somewhere, an Invisible Deck gets its wings.

Even G-d is like, "Yo, not here, buddy."

Who does David Blaine find in hell? Why, Siegfried and Roy! Granted Siegfried and Roy aren't dead yet, but what's scarier than a pair of gay German illusionists with a tiger?

The answer to the question just posed above: the pair throwing a techno dance party in Hell with little dancing demons that look like Penn and Teller, Houdini, David Copperfield, Paul Daniels, and some other random magic dudes!

Don't worry, fellow magicians! This kind of game is actually a labor of love that demonstrates the deep respect lay people have of our craft! How could they not love us?

Coming soon: The answer to that very question in Part III!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Balloon Crap

Check out this video. Unfortunately for every male who sees this video and believes that he has seen that undeniable truth that his sexual fantasy has become a reality, this balloon swallowing isn't a legitimate demonstration - it's a cleverly utilized and cleverly placed magic trick. (Wait a minute, you mean that video was not just an excuse for me to link to some fabulous footage of a porn star swallowing a phallic-shaped balloon but was actually motivated by the non-purient reason to demonstrate the malleability of magic routines? Yup, and thanks for asking that expertly worded question!)

Short Crap

Honestly now, how the hell does a video like Daryl's Foolers Doolers, Volume 1 come out with a trick called "Bennet's Boner"?

"Vintage Magic" Contest Winner

Whilst setting up the wallet-less version of Kollosal Killer, Susie contemplates where to put the Queen of Diamonds.

A while back, in the post, Vintage Magic, I asked readers to submit captions. I had originally planned to compare the responses I got with the responses got when they posted this picture to their presumably lay audience (pardon the pun), making some kind of comparison between the comedic talent of one group versus the comedic talent of the other. However, went the way of "Three Cards Short" and disappeared.

In addition to that, only one person actually followed my directions and e-mailed me his or her caption (thank you, Euan Bingham of Magic Den fame). You would think that after that I would just try and forget about the whole contest thing, but instead I've decided to allow entries posted in the "Comments" section of my blog (plus, Euan already got his shout out in this post - keep up the rhyming at Magic Den!).

If you scroll up, you'll see that I've chosen mental mentalist as the winner! Because the caption was submitted in the "Comments" section without any e-mail address (his blog is the only thing listed in his profile and that doesn't have his e-mail address either), I'm hoping mental mentalist reads this and sends me an e-mail ( so that he can claim his prize - the ability to dictate the subject of a future post!

Coming soon: A new, bigger contest with a new, bigger prize!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Oh Crap! It's Pagliacci's Magic Flash Theater, Part I: "The Magician"!

Welcome to Part I of Pagliacci's Magic Flash Theater (or PMFT I, as the kids at Penguin Magic would say), where we view short movies about magicians and then make fun of either the movie, magic in general, or both. Usually both.

Our first film (if you could call it that) is The Magician. The artist (if you can call it that) behind this piece is Phil, a member of the Smashed Possums Team. Submitted to four years ago, the only work Phil produced after this was Bimbo #5, which consists of a picture of Bill Clinton, a poorly drawn curtain as the background, and lips that constantly move (and are out of synch with the song). Oh boy. This movie was destined to be a doozy. If his production history doesn't tip you off, that fact that Phil as "a very boring story that can make laugh some people. But still, it's much better than Ti-Gars meets Solid Snake (if you know that one)!" is a bad sign. However, if you want a good laugh (and if you want to understand the rest of the jokes in this post) you should click here and watch the movie if you haven't already.

The best way to approach this masterpiece (if you can call it that) is to compare the movie to real life. So let's explore The Magician: FACT or FICTION?.

Smashed Possums are a wonderful opening image that make it clear that this movie is going to be a real treat.....FICTION!

Smashed Possums, the French, poor translations: all the ingredients of a successful Flash movie.....FICTION!

A magician dancing horribly to a horrific techno song.....FACT!

A magician deciding that he needs to go to a Chinese vase boutique, presumably to use as a prop.....FACT!
A magician wanting to have "asshole fun".....FACT!

A magician attempting to trade his services for another's.....FACT!
A magician being a cheap bastard and believing that someone would be willing to give him a Chinese vase just so he could see ONE trick.....FACT!
A magician who has more fashion sense than his spectator.....FICTION!

Other man actually agrees to magician's shitty deal.....FICTION!

A magician producing a random prop that no normal person would be carrying on his or her person to do an "impromptu" trick.....FACT!

"Magicians can get almost everything without paying".....FICTION!!!

I hope that this first installment was an educational and enlightening experience for you.

Come back tomorrow when Part II of Pagliacci's Magic Flash Theater is unveiled!

Friday, June 10, 2005

New Bicycle Crap

Bicycle has decided that it would like to get in on the "reversed card" game after the success of Ellusionist's Black Tiger Decks, so it has put out FIVE new decks of cards on its own!

The five decks are pastel blue, pastel pink, pink, purple, and pink/purple. Although the pastel blue and pastel pink decks are simple reversed decks (think Black Tigers with light blue or light pink instead of black), the pink, purple, and pink/purple decks feature a new back design and a new one-way design for the court cards. They also feature different colors depending on suit, a modification Bicycle has never tried: in the pink and purple decks, the black-suited cards are a darker shade of pink or purple than the red-suited cards and in the pink-purple decks, the black-suited cards are purple and the red-suited cards are pink (making the identification of a card's actual color easy from the side).

Some online magic stores (like the Magic Pro Shop and carry the pastel blue and pastel pink reversed deck, but I haven't found ANY online magic store that carries the new pink, purple, or pink-purple decks that feature all the touches of the redesign. So, if you order these babies from eBay, you'll be way ahead of all your magic friends (don't worry - you can thank me later).

If you want to see what all these cards look like, check out these pictures:

Pastel Blue

Pastel Pink

[Click here to see a bunch of photos of the new pink and purple cards.]
Pink + Purple Cards

Pink-Purple (check out the court cards and the back design!)

Links on eBay*:

* Two quick notes:
(1) Although I put some links in this post to eBay sales, these are by no means the only sales of these cards nor are they necessarily the best deals. You should shop around eBay first before bidding on any of these cards. Just search for "bicycle cards" or "bicycle playing cards" and look through all of the results to see which variants are being sold and what the best price is that you can get them for.
(2) Check to see if the decks you're buying come in a box or not. I bought 4 pink-purple decks and they came in cellophane (no box); when I checked the site, I realized that the seller had noted that in the ad copy. So know what you are buying!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hawaiian Crap

You'll notice that Pagliacci has become a little more tropical! I thought that I would spruce up the look of the blog - I hope you like the new look as much as I do! Aloha everybody!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Lessons in Magic You Won't Learn Anywhere Else: Magic and Girls

Sad but true: After seeing this picture, at least one reader's first thought was definitely, "Wait a second - you can actually date magic? Where can I sign up?"

Yes, I've made fun of the fact that some kids get into magic thinking that it'll get them laid. However, I think that this fact makes it even more important for me to publish some of these tips about girls and magic. (If you're a female and you're reading this blog, I apologize. If you'd like to call me though and talk personally about something else, e-mail me for my number. Just kidding. Okay, not really. Okay, really. Okay, I'm going to stop this miserable attempt at picking up chicks in my post about picking up chicks, despite the wonderful and delicious irony. Yes, delicious.)

So, without further ado, here are the lessons in magic you won't learn anywhere else about magic and girls:

(1) Magic is a tool, not a crutch.

Magic may add to your total package (not that package, you schmuck), but it's not the whole package. Learn how to pick-up women first before ever attempting to throw magic into the mix.

(2) Learn how to stop.

This is probably the most important rule out of any of them. Magic is a great ice-breaker, but if you ever let it dominate the conversation, you're done with - you go from "cool guy who has a cool talent" to "dorky guy who's only redeeming characteristic is his dorky talent." Even if a girl seems to be enjoying your tricks, even if she out-and-out asks to to continue with tricks when you try to stop, YOU MUST STOP! Tell her that you'll be happy to show her more tricks...over dinner (or at home, or on a date, or... well, you get the drift).

(3) Use magic as a "code word."

This is a really juicy piece of advice I shouldn't really be giving you. Many women don't want to directly say what they want to do: for example, it's rare you'll hear a girl say, "You know what? Let's just go back to your place and have sex right now." However, you can use the "code word" system to allow them to indirectly communicate that to you. This will take an example for this to make sense.

Say you want to hook-up with a girl. You're getting really close and you're not sure if she's that into you or not. You and her are deciding what to do next, so you spring this question on her:

"Hey, we should totally watch a movie. We can watch that comedy movie with some of our friends or that really scary movie alone in the dark together."

Notice what the latter choice really was - an excuse to get her alone in the dark and give her an excuse to cuddle up close. Girls aren't stupid - they realize that that's exactly what the second option involves. Essentially, with that question you're allowing the girl to choose between staying platonic for the moment or shacking it up and taking things to the next level; you're giving the girl the vocabulary to say, "Yes, I do want to hook-up with you" without having to actually say it. From that point on, if this girl tells you that she's ready to "see that scary movie," you know what she's talking about.

So how the hell does this apply to magic? Simple. Use magic as your code word. Do a magic trick, but before your revelation say, "Hey, so if I get this right, can I get whatever I want?" (You have to say this in a half-joking, half-serious tone to pull this off; see the next rule.) Clearly, you're insinuating that if she agrees, the relationship goes to the next level if you get the card right (which she'll assume will happen because why else would you ask?). Therefore, you're giving her an indirect way for her to agree to hook-up with you (or whatever) by setting up this "magic deal." The added bonus of this approach is that if she says, "Yes," and you get the card right (really, if you don't get the card right after she agrees, you're a fucking douche and should be ashamed of yourself), you can say, "Well, you know what, I know I'm supposed to get whatever I want, but you know what? You can do whatever you want to me." (Get the beauty of this? Instead of gauging how far this girl wants to go with you, you get her to do it for you! Plus, you come off as a kind, considerate guy, instead of the slick dog you really are!)

(4) Learn to be half-serious and half-joking.

This is another great rule. If you're nervous about asking a girl to do something with you (like go out on a date, for example), employ the half-joking, half-serious tone. Here's an example:

[In a half-joking, half-serious tone] "While you're at it, put your cell number on the playing card, too."

Now, we're talking about using this line at a bar, one-on-one - not in front of a friggin' audience. I've seen magicians use this as a joke (they never intend to get the number) but the line can also be employed seriously. You see, you want the girl to comply with a request (in this instance, giving you her phone number) but you also don't want to be flat-out rejected. This technique allows you to achieve both goals: if the girl is willing to comply, she'll take the line as a request and if she's not, she'll take it as a joke. Notice that she only takes the line as a request if she'll comply, so you're never getting a negative answer to your request this way.

(5) Learn how to stop.

No, seriously. It's the most important rule, so important that I'm repeating it. You really need to learn how to stop and shift from magic (which is centered on you and you being "better" than her) to her (where the focus needs to be).

(6) Cards scare that crap out of women in social situations.

Actually, scratch that: cards scare the crap out of EVERYONE in social situations. While some of the examples in the above rules may have implied that you can use card tricks to pick up women, you can't. When you whip out a deck of playing cards on a girl, you're practically telling her, "Hey, I'm a freak who always carries a deck of cards with me, no matter where I am." The real struggle with using magic to pick-up women is trying to straddle the line between "cool talent" and "freakish hobby." Whipping out playing cards assures that you fall squarely on the "freak" side. Ditto obvious magic props. (That means put away your Hot Rod, man - and your cheap plastic rod covered with fake gems on two sides of it.)

(7) Stick with intimate, "her-centered" tricks; stay away from "magic-y," you-centered tricks.

If you really, positively, have to do a trick, use these guidelines for selecting your effect:

Stick with tricks that:
- Give you an excuse to playfully touch the girl (don't be stupid!) or, more importantly, gaze into her eyes.
- Show that you may have special powers, but only in a mysterious kind of way (YES: "Man, I've been having this weird feeling, like I can sense something. It doesn't always work, but I can see if it works with you"; NO: "I have magic powers! I can read your mind! Want to see?"
- Intimate that there's a special connection between you and her
- Center on her (YES: "This trick only works for certain people. I think this just may work if you're involved." NO: "Look what I can do! I figured out your card!")
- Are impromptu and/or use readily available items in your setting (I'll clarify this one because it's important: You'll look weird and freakish if you seem prepared for a magic performance. Girls realize that you have to practice to learn these tricks, but if they think that you came prepared, they're going to think that you need magic as a crutch.)

Stay away from tricks that:
- Focus too much on you
- Are excessively "magic-y" (example: NO multiplying sponge rabbits)
- Take too long or have many, many phases
- Have a story-driven plot (unless you want to play the cutesy, humor card and try to act out something like Cannibal Cards, odds are you're going to strike out if you try to do a story trick because it'll just make you look really weird)
- Reveal a lot of preparation

(8) Learn how to stop.

I'm not kidding when I say how important this is.

*** Those are all the rules, but here's the real advice: when meeting girls, just be yourself. Magic is part of who you are, so being yourself probably involves a bit of magic at one point or another. That's cool. You just need to make sure that a girl realizes that that's not the only facet to your personality. Use magic as a tool to show the opposite sex the actual parts of your personality that she would enjoy: your humor, your charisma, your sincerity. The biggest mistake magicians make is that they assume that the magicians who do get the girls got the girls because of their magic. They didn't. They got the girls because their natural personality bled through their magic and the girls were attracted to that. If you can get your magic to do that, you'll have the girl - and a successful career in magic, too. ***

Didn't expect it to get that deep, huh?