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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Trailer Crap, Part II

The trailer for a second magic-themed movie is finally out: check out the trailer for The Prestige (directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) here!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Trailer Crap

The trailer for The Illusionist with Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, and Jessica Biel is now up. Click here to check it out!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Restaurant Magic: Tips or Salary?

There's an interesting debate among restaurant magicians about whether it's preferable to work solely on tips or to take a salary in lieu of accepting tips. Here's a list of the pros and cons of both:

- More restaurants will hire you. (Since you don't work on a salary, the restaurants have nothing to lose in terms of having to pay an entertainer.)
- Magician may work harder than usual, as his/her take for the night is directly related to his/her work.
- Restaurant may lose business, as patrons may resent being "hustled" by a magician during their meal.
- Magicians have no guarantee of making a decent living.
- Waiters become upset having to compete for tips.

- Makes for a more relaxed restaurant (no hustling) and more relaxed magician (no worry about tips).
- No competition between waiters and magician.
- Magicians know how much they're making in advance.
- Magician may find it harder to get a job. (Many restaurant owners may be hesitant to spend upwards of $200-300 to have an entertainer in their restaurant.)

As you can see, it's better for everyone - the magician, the restaurant owner, the wait staff, and the customers - for a magician to work on a salary. I'm not advocating that magicians don't take tips at all; in fact, I would argue that the "Rule of 3" (refuse the tip twice but accept on the third offer) is a nice solution that allows the magician to be ethical but not offend a customer who just really wants to tip (although a magician should, at least for the first few nights he/she works, consider adding those tips to the wait staff tip jar as a goodwill gesture).

If you're still not convinced, consider this: how do you feel when a homeless person asks you for money of the street? You feel really guilty if you don't give the person money and swindled if you do - a negative emotion either way. Magicians working for tips create the same scenario - the typical customer feels guilty turning the magician away and then feels hustled when he/she is guilted into tipping. It's better for the performer and the audience when there's no guilt about tipping involved.

A bonus: explaining this reasoning to the manager of a restaurant has actually helped me secure a few restaurants jobs, as the manager recognized the thought I had put into it and the professionalism I exhibited by doing so. In the long run, getting $200-300 a night guaranteed is much better, I think, than taking a risk each night, regardless of how sure I am of my skill.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Crappity Crap Crap

Crappity crap crap - I haven't posted in about 2 weeks! Argh!!!

The reason is this: I took off a few weeks from magic. I was feeling a little burned out, so I felt that it was best for my magic career to not do magic for a small while. I finished up my longstanding gigs, made sure not to accept any magic bookings, and put away my magic books and magazines. Now, after this period, I feel really, really refreshed. I feel excited again about performing magic, as well as learning and creating new magic.

Plus, I can't wait to get back into the groove of posting!

We have a whole slew of new Mindfreak specials to watch this summer; from what I've seen so far, I'm pretty pleased with the upgrade in quality of the series. The show is much better edited and more coherant - you can really tell that Criss and his team learned from past mistakes and has moved past them.

Also, have you seen the latest MAGIC Magazine? Cyril is on the cover as "magic's first cyber-celebrity." Hopefully, this blog - which was the first to really post about Cyril, identify him, and locate many of his videos scatter on the Internet - helped contribute to Cyril's cyber-celebrity.

I also noticed that Max Maven wrote the article who, if you remember, has been a reader of my blog. (He responded to my Protocol of the Elders of Zion post.) Max is a great magician and brilliant magical thinker - he's also a damn good writer. Check out Max - it's pretty neat.

See ya soon!