Saturday, March 13, 2010

Twisted Blizzard

By J Aaron Delong
The HIT of the BLACKPOOL magic convention 2010

J B Magic are proud to be working along side Aaron, we bring to you a rare piece of card magic.

If you are looking for Direct, Powerful, Visual magic then look no further, Twisted Blizzard is for you.

Imagine asking a spectator to simply NAME ANY CARD in the deck. Then spreading the deck, there is only ONE CARD in the entire deck, the NAMED CARD. Every other card is BLANK.


Twisted Blizzard is without doubt a giant leap forward in card magic, this reputation building effect can be learned in just 10 minutes. The custom printed Bicycle deck performs 95% of all the work for you.

Twisted Blizzard comes with a step by step training DVD, with a bonus effect called WHITE TRASH. This is without doubt one of the greatest Out Of This World routines I have ever seen. 3 piles are decided by the spectators. A RED pile, a BLACK pile and a NOT SURE PILE. The piles turn out to be all Red all Black and the not sure pile are all BLANK.

Twisted Blizzard ticks ALL the boxes in card magic, it is both Visual and Direct, Easy to do and is Instantly Reset.

We highly recommend Twisted Blizzard.

"I love it!, Its like Blizzard, but self working" - Nathan Kranzo

The flexibility of this weapon would have made Bob Hummer hum and even make him finally wear socks. -Jon Racherbaumer

Monday, March 8, 2010

An Interview with Joshua Jay

By Greg Koren

The card trick is said to have fooled Winston Churchill, but it didn’t fool seven-year-old Joshua Jay. Not for long, anyway.

Josh watched his father, the late Jeff Jay, a dentist and amateur magician, perform Paul Curry’s Out of This World. Then Josh went into his bedroom, closed the door, and spent the next few hours figuring it out.

Then he showed his dad his own trick.

“That was a symbolic moment for me, because it epitomized everything I love about magic,” Josh said recently from his home in Chelsea, a neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side. “I have always put an emphasis on creating/problem-solving in magic, so where many magicians might frown on the idea of someone systematically trying to figure out a trick, this process has become very gratifying for me, and important to my work.”

And by work, the 28-year-old means performing close up and starring in his own one-man shows, as well as writing about magic (including the “Talk About Tricks” column in Magic Magazine), co-producing a line of magic products and publications, consulting on magic, photographing magic, and giving lectures on magic.

That last is the reason for Josh visiting The Magic Warehouse on March 26. He’ll be sharing all new material, including a card trick that combines his love of the pasteboards with his love of film. He calls it Hitchcock.

The famous director by that name is one of Josh’s magical inspirations. So are the Coen brothers, whose 2008 movie No Country For Old Men won four Academy Awards.

Lest you think no actual magicians influenced Josh, fear not. He praises Dai Vernon, Robert-Houdin, Hofzinser, Hollingworth, Tamariz, and Williamson.

Card sharp Darwin Ortiz too. “I think he’s a genius, and a huge influence on my more recent work.”

His greatest influence? His father.

Still, Josh’s appreciation of the artistic qualities of cinema, and of photography in particular, put his magic into perspective, he said. “Images are important to me. In most of the tricks I create, after you see them you can visualize a moment or ‘still’ from the piece, and I think this comes from framing it like a picture.”

Such framing, he said, helps to sharpen his skills and to enjoy what he’s doing.

And boy does he enjoy it. The Canton, Ohio native moved to New York City in 1996 to take advantage of the bright lights and big city prestige, and since then his star has only risen higher.

Josh has performed in more than fifty countries, appears regularly on national television (most recently Good Morning America and the Today Show), and is a perennial headliner at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Last year he wrote a 288-page best-seller, Magic: The Complete Course, and his fine-art photography focusing on magic and card cheating was exhibited in several shows. The exhibit currently can be seen at the Culture Museum in Linz, Austria.

Today, he’s hard at work on another book and his second one-man stage show, set to open in May. Of the latter, Josh has little to say except that he’s rewritten it twice. “Every time the show gets a little smarter and a little more innovative, but lots of stuff gets dropped. I want it to be perfect, and because that isn’t possible, I just get too frustrated and start over!”

Fortunately, he’s hired someone to help with his skyrocketing career, while his girlfriend, Anna, helps him stay grounded.

Looking ahead, the unabashed fan of all things Disney sees himself either performing in his one-man show or, he joked, in a ditch. “Or, if things stay as they are, I’ll be doing my one man show in a ditch somewhere. If that happens, please come see it!”

Meanwhile, there’s the March 26 lecture. Josh hopes people will use the material he presents.

“I know that sounds obvious, but my last lecture focused on theoretical elements, and I chose material I knew not everyone would be able to use. This time around, it’s the collection of material I’m focused on, and proud of. I hope people appreciate these are not small variations of existing tricks. They are substantive items new in many ways.”

Monday, March 1, 2010

An Interview With Rocco

By Greg Koren

The Ham Sandwich Theory is just one of the things world-renowned magician Rocco Silano will discuss during his March 5th lecture at The Magic Warehouse.

“I ain’t going to hold back nothing,” Rocco said recently from his home in Paterson, N.J. “If I can help someone to grow an inch, I will.”

The master manipulator will share his secrets of sleeving, a technique for making objects appear and disappear that thumbs its nose at the nothing-up-my-sleeve cliché, as well as other skills he’s acquired from his more than thirty years of on-stage experience.

“I want to leave a legacy for myself,” he said of his lecture tours. “I want to be remembered as one of the world’s greatest magicians. Not THE greatest—one of them.”

That’s been Rocco’s goal since he was 19, when he first became interested in magic and befriended sleight-of-hand man Bill Wisch, a protégé of Slydini’s who later introduced Rocco to the legendary conjurer.

Their first meeting was a bit—excuse the pun—rocky.

“I did a coin trick,” Rocco remembered, “and he [Slydini] said, ‘No, no.’ And I said, what do you mean, no? And he said, ‘Magic has to come from the soul.’”

This was a revelation to the teen-ager, who saw magic not only as a means of achieving fame and fortune, but also of getting girls.

“Right then I knew I had to get serious,” Rocco said.

Thirty-one years later, he continues to carry on Slydini’s soulful legacy. Watch him work with water, fruit, ice cream and other foodstuff, and you’ll see a man who brings the magic to his tricks.

Rocco is the only American to win two awards from the prestigious International Federation of Magic Societies, or FISM.

While accepting the second in 2006, for most original close-up act, he was surprised to learn of his own legacy. That year, Helder Guimaraes won FISM’s World Championship for close-up with cards.

Rocco said the Portugal native, who was then 19, reminded him of himself at that age. When he mentioned this to Guimaraes, the teen credited him with being his inspiration.

That’s what Rocco strives for in his lectures: to inspire others to find themselves in their magic.

“It’s the space between the notes that makes the music,” he said. “In the space between the tricks is your personality. That’s the real magic. You have to bring it out.”

Rocco works with food, coins, cigarettes and other ordinary objects precisely because they are ordinary. He looks for their logical transformations: water to ice, wine to grapes, oil to olives.

If those transformations don’t present themselves, he helps them along. Which is where his Ham Sandwich Theory comes in.

“Wouldn’t it be great if somebody asked you for a ham sandwich and you produced one, just like that?” he said.

You could go about it in a couple of ways, he said. One would be to walk around with a ham sandwich up your sleeve and hope somebody is hungry. The other would be to create the circumstances for hunger.

Once Rocco fast-talked a woman into saying her name was Joy just so he could produce an Almond Joy candy bar for her.

From Joy to Almond Joy, it’s the type of logical transformation people respond to instinctively, he said. “It leaves them touched with wonderment.”

After his appearance at The Magic Warehouse, Rocco will play a role on America’s Got Talent (don’t ask, he can’t talk about it), and his influence will be felt on the March 18th episode of Marriage Ref, when the best-selling trick he co-created with Roger Mayfarth, D’Lite, will play an as-yet-undisclosed role (don’t ask, he doesn’t know).

What is known is that Rocco Silano—ONE of the world’s greatest magicians—has achieved his goal of fame and fortune.

He even plans to marry in a couple of years.

But first, he laughed, “I’ve got to find the girl.”