MAGIC ROADSHOW #184
Welcome to a new Magic Roadshow! I’m always excited to publish something I think can be of true help to your endeavor as a magician/performer. If this is your first visit, I hope you don’t make it your last! Be sure to sign up for the Roadshow and get future issues delivered directly to your inbox.
This has been a difficult time for the magic community, losing two of our premier performers and innovators. Daryl Easton and Bob Cassidy have both left volumes of work to be enjoyed by generations to come. Although opposites personality wise, they both thoroughly enjoyed constructing new magic and techniques, as well as entertaining their fans… and there were a LOT of fans… (Thanks to Michael Lyth for the graphic)
It seems I’ve been spending a fair amount of time recently conducting reviews of various products. In all fairness.. I feel I need to issue a disclaimer of sorts… -IF- you read a review of ANY product, dvd or otherwise, by yours truly, it’s either a positive or neutral review. I do not write negative reviews. I feel magicians who have produced an inferior product have enough problems without me piling on.. There are a variety of reviewers out there who are more than willing to write negative reviews. If you want negative reviews.. enter the product name + negative reviews in Google and you’ll find all the negativity you want. I write about products I like. Thankfully, must products, particularly dvds and lectures, have at least a few redeeming qualities. I stress those qualities. I DO receive products regularly I DO NOT review for just the reasons above…. I can’t get past the hype and I can’t find any redeeming qualities. Perhaps with time my thoughts on this will change and I’ll become a hard-nosed ‘ol bastard… But in the meanwhile……..
And speaking of politics… Just kidding! I’ve considered starting a political blog.. but I wouldn’t have time for anything else. I do want to say this.. as an astitute observer of human nature.. I have witnessed some of the dumbest acts imaginable to man from members of both parties. I have also witnessed otherwise intelligent folks let their hatreds govern their senses… and don’t think I’m talking about any ONE particular person.. I’m talking about talking heads from around the world. Folks, some of you really need to chill… Go buy yourself a new trick or dvd and stay off Facebook!
I will now get down off my bully pulpit and… since this issue is chock full of good stuff.. get on with the (road)show…
Comments, Questions and Contributions.. Email Me ( Rick@magicroadshow.com )
This issue is 35 pages and 10,210 words.. You can read or download as a PDF via this link….
MAGIC ROADSHOW 184
TABLE OF CONTENTS
-The Academy of Magic Arts Mourns the Passing of Daryl Eason Martinez
-Live Tribute To Daryl – A Lost Legend – Courtesy of Murphy’s Magic and Luke Dancy..
-The Floating Key Principle and Faro Shuffling – Paul Lelekis
-Magic Variety Pack 2 – Curtain Call Encore PDF.. A Review by R.Carruth
-The Magic Of Dynamo – Article by David O’Connor
-Working With Agents & Having Agency Representation – Article by Mindpro
-Ten Tricks from Rick Lax – Free Video
-Transcendence – Peter Pellikaan … a Review by R.Carruth
-Performing Magic Around The World – Informative Article by Ren VanHoek
-The Touch – Robbie Moreland – A Review by R.Carruth
-Vanish Magic Magazine #32 – Free Download
-Derren Brown – Miracle
-The Thirty-Nine Steps to Mentalism – Excerpt from Bob Cassidy’s Classic
-Learn THIS Flourish by Daniel Madison – Tutorial
-Waiter Pull Silk Through a Smartphone – Video and Reveal
-Cannibal Cards – Tutorial
-Make A Hat With Playing Cards – Instructions
-Make Everything Else With Cards.. About 1000 DIY Projects
-Card Constructions – Making the Perfect Polyhedron
-Joe Bonamassa’s Monday Night Blues – 41 Videos
-Magic Trick Reviews… Free to Everyone Facebook Group
-SIGN UP FOR THE MAGIC ROADSHOW….
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” George Orwell
“In times like these, it’s helpful to remember there have always been times like these!” Broadcaster Paul Harvey
The Academy of Magic Arts Mourns the Passing of Daryl Eason Martinez
HOLLYWOOD — Feb. 25, 2017 — The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) and the Magic Castle mourn the passing of celebrated magician and AMA family member, Daryl.
Daryl, who was performing at the Magic Castle this week, was found dead on the club’s premises on the evening of Friday, Feb. 24, and his death has been ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles Police Department.
The magic community mourns the loss of one of our most beloved and talented performers and the AMA’s deepest regrets and heart-felt sympathy go out to Daryl’s family.
Daryl was a World Champion, first-place FISM Gold medal winning in 1982, close-up magician with over 40 years of experience in both performing and selling the finest magic in the world.
Daryl performed as a headline act at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for seven years fine tuning his already encyclopedic knowledge of magic. Daryl has performed literally thousands of shows for audiences as diverse as the Witch Doctors on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu to the movers and shakers of the political world at the Presidential Ball in Washington, D.C.
More – taken from Wikipedia:
Two of his most famous contributions to magic were the “Hot Shot Cut”, a knuckle-busting sleight where the spectator’s chosen card spins like a boomerang out of the deck, and the “Ultimate Ambition” trick which allows a card to be inserted fairly into the middle of a deck and yet appear back on top.
Daryl won the gold medal at FISM – the World Congress of Magic (the “Olympics” of Magic), in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1982, with a routine that included his now famous Ambitious Card Routine using the Ultimate Ambition. He has been awarded 6 Academy Awards from the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. Twice, his peers voted him Close-Up Magician of the Year (1980 and 1981), twice as Parlour Magician of the Year (1986 and 1987), and twice as Lecturer of the Year (1988 and 1992). The list goes on and on with victories in every major competition he has entered. More recently he was voted one of the 100 most influential magicians of the 20th century by Magic Magazine.
His first contact with magic was in 1962, as a 7 year old. A Svengali Deck his friend’s family gave him was the start of everything. He was fascinated by magic as he thought of the kinds of tricks he could perform with this trick deck.
At first, he only showed his friends and family his tricks, but he later began performing street magic in San Diego. For several years, he would perform in the street during the day and perform close-up magic in night clubs at night, wearing a tuxedo.
In 1973, when he was 18, his performance at an exhibition held by the Kaiser Aluminum company was well received, and he began to travel with the company to perform at their exhibitions.
In 1999 and 2000 Daryl and his magician wife, Alison, toured the world with Daryl’s “New Millennium World Tour Lecture”. They lectured and performed in over 250 cities in 25 different countries.
In January 2001, Daryl performed magic at the inauguration celebration of President George W. Bush.
Daryl enjoyed performing and lecturing in Japan many times, including in February 1982, March 1983, 1985, September 1990 and 2000, and November 2005.
Daryl performed as a headline act at Caesars Magical Empire, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas for 7 years before deciding in 2003 to move, along with his young family, to the Sierra Foothills of northern California. There he continued to write, invent and perform magic for both lay people and the magical community.
Here is a video of one of Daryl’s last performances.. January 2017 at the Fog City Magic Festival, San Francisco, CA ( 30+ minutes)
Live Tribute To Daryl – A Lost Legend – Courtesy of Murphy’s Magic and Luke Dancy..
Over two hours of great commentary and video of Daryl at various times of his career. It’s definitely worth your time to watch every last minute of this fitting tribute..
THE FLOATING KEY PRINCIPLE – And FARO SHUFFLING
The “Floating Key” Principle is a very powerful technique that will fool even the most astute spectators…even magicians.
It’s a little difficult to give a definition of the “floating key”, but basically it is a key card that can identify the position of a selection, even though it is not directly involved with the location of said selection. There…is that muddled enough for you?
A while back, I was reading some of the questions that I saw some magicians asking about a floating key. One of those questions was how can you get a floating key to the 26th position of a deck while on “the fly”.
There were a number of very creative responses, but they usually involved overhand shuffling a number of cards, then performing a perfect out-faro and then a perfect in-faro, or performing a Marlo’s Perfect Faro Check…blah, blah, blah.
If you’re performing close-up or table-hopping, these techniques are quite a nuisance and will “bog” down the proceedings…something you should NEVER do while performing!
Besides…you might have trouble making those perfect faros, perfect -especially if the cards are a little ‘worn’.
Tip for performing perfect faros:
If I plan on doing any faro work, I will first take a brand new deck (at home!) and perform 50 perfect faros (both out and in-faros).
The reason for these 50 perfect faros, is that after doing them, this deck will make perfect faro work, very easy to do. Try it…it works!
The only time I will do faro work while performing close-up or table-hopping is for my magician friends when they come to see me. I used to do this for Jim Swain whenever he came to watch me perform at a couple of my restaurants.
I want to provide you with an easier method of getting a “floating key” to the 26th position in the deck, than the ‘complex’ methods I’ve seen before.
– My Method for getting a ‘Floating Key’ at the 26th position:
Take a random deck of cards and overhand shuffle 14 cards into your left hand (if you’re right-handed), then in-jog a card (or obtain a left pinkie break above the 14 cards) and shuffle off.
As you square up the deck, your right hand then grasps the “broken” 14 card packet at the inner end of this packet, with your right thumb at one inner corner and the middle finger at the other inner corner. (This is the right hand’s position for holding the packet when about to perform a faro shuffle.)
What you will do now is to Straddle Faro the 14-card packet into the middle of the left-hand packet (remainder of the deck), but leaving the packets Incomplete!
NOTE: By the way, an Incomplete Faro means that you have woven the cards into the other cards, but have NOT pushed them all the way in. In other words, you will leave the faroed cards, ‘telescoped’ and will not push the cards flush…at least not yet.
A Straddle Faro Shuffle means that one packet (the one with fewer cards) is faroed into the middle of the larger packet. Hence, the top card or cards, and the bottom card or cards of the larger packet, will straddle the outside of the smaller packet.
This 14-card Incomplete Straddle Faro is quite easy to do since you only have to ‘perfect faro’ 14 cards. Weave in the 14 cards, but leave about ½ of the length of these 14 cards, still sticking out from the deck.
Next use your right index finger to push down (just a little) at the inner middle of the right hand packet of 14 cards (still telescoped!). This will provide a little resistance so that you can pull out the faroed cards from the middle of the deck.
When you pull this 27-card packet of incompletely faroed cards, out of the middle of the deck, glimpse the bottom card…this will be your “floating key card”! This card should be memorized for whatever trick you are about to perform.
Slap this packet of Incomplete Faro cards, onto the top of the deck in your left hand and squeeze the ends so that they cascade, like with a riffle shuffle.
Your “floating key card” will now be 27th from the top. Just undercut one card to the bottom and your “floating key” will be at the 26th position. You’re all set!
I used a lot of words to describe how to get a “floating key” to the 26th position, but it only takes about 10-12 seconds to do and is relatively easy. I believe this method to be far superior to any methods that require Perfect Faros.
P.S. – By the way, the method of the Straddle faro that I use, above, is something I came up with many years ago, but then I saw Michael Skinner do the same exact thing and it “justified” the use of this Straddle faro, in my mind, as acceptable technique.
I want to provide you with an extremely deceptive technique by my good friend, Mike Powers. I will not go into Mike’s tricks, but provide you with an ingenious “tool” that Mike created, to use with “floating keys”.
– Mike Power’s PM Principle
I will describe Mike’s principle, BUT…using two different “floating keys”. This is NOT how Mr. Powers performs it…but it is an excellent use of a floating key card.
Place a pencil-dot at each indexed corner, on the back, of a card. Take another card and make it into a Breather crimp card.
Place the pencil-dotted card on top of the deck. Then place the Breather card at the 27th position from the top of the deck.
In other words, the pencil-dotted card is on top, followed by 25 regular cards and then the Breather card is at the 27th position.
Place the deck on the table and have someone cut about a quarter to a third of the deck. Tell her to remember the card at the FACE of this packet.
Tell her to keep that packet face down so that you cannot see the selection.
Then have her cut another packet (about ½ of the remaining deck) from the tabled deck.
Place the packet that has her selection at the face, (let’s say that the memorized selection is the Queen of Hearts) on top of the remainder of the tabled deck and then place the second cut packet on top of all.
What has happened is that the original top packet and the second cut packet have been switched. The selection is now buried in the deck and it doesn’t seem possible to know what this card is or that it can be found without fail.
Actually the selection can be found very easily…and here’s how:
Hold the deck and deal down cards to the table, one at a time, as you silently count the number of cards counted, until you reach the Breather card which must ALSO be counted. Let’s say the number of cards (including the Breather) is 12.
Keep dealing down cards after dealing down the Breather, without slowing down. Subtract the counted number (12) from 26 and remember the difference. In this case the difference is 14. Remember the number 14 in your mind.
Continue dealing until you reach the second floating key…the pencil dotted card (original top card of the deck!).
Deal the pencil-dotted card down and THEN start counting to 14 which is the number you just remembered.
The 14th card will be the selection, the Queen of Hearts! Play with this simplistic effect to see how powerful this technique is! Create something!
NOTE: Remember to start the counting of the memorized number, AFTER you have already dealt down the pencil-dotted card!
You can view ALL of Paul’s many books in ebook format at: Lybrary.com .. They are, undoubtedly, some of the best values in all of magic.. Look for Paul’s latest .. ‘Powerful Poker Routines (for Magicians)’, which I reviewed in issue 181.. and Magic Variety Pack 1 and Magic Variety Pack 2.. which is newly offered at Lybrary.com. All are a very nice collection of original thoughts and classic effects.
Magic Variety Pack 2 – Curtain Call Encore PDF
Paul Lelekis – Author
Rick Carruth – Reviewer
I can’t say it enough.. Paul is one of the most proficient writers in all of magic.I’ve had my fair share of magicians tell me they don’t know how I put together the Roadshow each month.. but they are not mindful of the number of ebooks, highly informative ebooks, Paul produces each year. I have help with the Roadshow.. Paul’s work is entirely self-sufficient and self-produced.
That said, I am excited to review ‘Magic Variety Pack 2’, a companion to the first ‘Magic Variety Pack’ reviewed here a couple of months ago.
I appreciate that Paul includes a ‘variety’ of effects in each ebook. Not everyone loves cards. You’ll find two very nice effects with props… a goldfish and a balloon. Either can be performed in a parlor setting or at tableside.. More below…
Here’s the intro of VP2… (with my comments added in parenthesis )
SHUFFLES, CUTS, and MISDIRECTION
This is an in-depth, 8-page synopsis of the importance and role of shuffling and cutting, as well as the use of misdirection. Also included are many control ideas and sleights. ( Golden information for anyone serious about cards. Paul discusses cuts and card movement at length. How to get cards to the top or bottom, and how to use misdirection and timing to totally fool not only your audience.. but fellow magicians who feel ‘above’ the sleights of others. Paul is a student of Erdnase.. and anyone familiar with this ‘ghost of a master’ understands the relationship between magic and the Erdnase methods designed to fool not only the public.. but very sophisticated gamblers who wouldn’t hesitate to shoot cheats.)
IMAGINE – One the finest routines of legerdemain & ESP conceivable! There are five unbelievable revelations! ( Let’s see if I can explain this… four blue-backed cards are displayed and one is mentally selected. The thought-of card is clearly shown to have turned face up in the packet and also shown to now have a Red back. The other three blue-backed cards are shown to be blank. Two of the cards formerly in the packet are now found face-up in the deck…and the matching pseudo-mate of the thought-of card is found in the performer’s pocket.. Got that? )
PSYCHIC COLLAPSE – Crush an ordinary plastic water bottle with
the power of your mind! ( As Paul explains, this is more science than magic.. but it sure looks like magic when you pull it off…)
GOLDFISH CREATION – Roll up a dollar bill and create a goldfish! Then eat the goldfish and bring it back to life! ( Maybe my favorite in a group of potential favorites. It’s not often we get to work with animals.. ok.. a goldfish.. and I personally look forward to my next opportunity to put this to the test..)
INTERFACE – A very direct, in-your-face demonstration, warping the space/time continuum.
( Paul offers the perfect synopsis..” A card is selected by the spectator and is kept face down and unseen by all. Another card is selected by the spectator and signed on the face and lost in the deck. Now a third card is removed and used to turn over the unknown card – the unknown card is revealed to be the signed selection!” Complete with an excellent switch by Dean Dill… )
MARLO’S DIMINISHING LIFT SEQUENCE – Learn this remarkable sleight and some cool ways to use it! ( A couple of double lifts, a flushtration count and an Elmsley count can help you perform an apparent miracle with four Aces.. )
THE CHOSEN ONES – Make the four Aces jump to any chosen packet…and it’s easy to do! Very direct, amazing magic! ( Another four Ace effect with Aces swapping places with four indifferent cards. Paul also teaches a very nice sleight you’ll use in many other effects..)
BALLOON SWORD SWALLOWING – Blow up a 2” x 60” balloon and proceed to swallow it…every inch of it…then completely swallow it! Show your mouth empty! ( OK, I have to admit I already knew this one.. but there are many folks who don’t. You’re missing out on a sterling moment, particularly with kids, if this isn’t in your repertoire. All you need is a balloon and as audience! )
You will be very hard-pressed to buy Paul’s latest and NOT find something you’ll embrace. There’s something for everyone, particularly those of you who love card magic and aren’t afraid to perform a double undercut or an Elmsley count or two.
Definitely a great bargain for $10 bucks…
TRICKS WITHOUT NAMES – A Mathemagical Effect from Werner Miller
(Another Mathemagical Medley of Semi-Automatic Tricks)
A standard ESP deck (25 cards, cyclically stacked), three participating spectators (A, B, C).
Have a card freely removed and tabled by spectator A, the card still face down and unviewed (Fig. a). Cut the deck at that point, so that replicas of the selection are then fifth, tenth, fifteenth and twentieth from the top down.
Deal off the top two 7-card packets, in a rather strange way to obscure the actual numbers: Deal all the cards in pairs, except of the first card and the last card which you deal singly, and simultaneously count the cards aloud, in one packet down from 7, in the other one up to 7.
Start with a packet for spectator B (Fig. b): Deal out a single card and call “7”; remove a pair und place it on top of the single calling “5”; deal another pair calling “3” and a final pair calling “1”. Continue with a packet for spectator C (Fig. c): a pair (“2”), another pair (“4”), another pair (“6”), and finally a single card (“7”). Set the rest of the deck down (Fig. d).
Address spectators B and C: “Oh, I see you are not really convinced that each of these packets is holding the same number of cards. Sorry for my unorthodox way of counting! To convince you, I will reverse deal the cards singly, both packets simultaneously, thus giving you the additional chance of swapping cards if you like.”
Using both hands, remove the top cards from b and c holding them still face down and well apart, and ask B if he wants to interchange them; if the answer is “yes”, swap their positions by crossing your arms. Table the cards separately in front of b and c. Remove similarly the next card from each packet and repeat your question, this time addressing C. Continue this way, asking alternately B and C, until the original packets b and c are completely restacked. (In both packets, the center card is still a replica of A’s selection.)
Explain what B and C are now expected to do: to singly deal off cards, alternately from the top and the bottom of the packet, until only one card remains. Point out that this can be done either way, i.e., the dealing can start with the top card or the bottom card, and emphasize the freedom and importance of this decision. (In fact, it is absolutely irrelevant, because each packet holds an odd number of cards.)
If the procedure is clear, have it carried out by both, simultaneously. Finally, when each of them is left with a single card, have these two cards turned face up: the symbols match! Ask spectator A to turn over his selection too, and, at the same time, you turn the top card of packet d face up: another match, and it’s the very same symbol, so that the routine ends up with four of a kind!
For more (and more elaborate) math-based magic by Werner Miller visit:
The Magic Of Dynamo – Article
Dynamo Nothing is Impossible Poster Art
“And perhaps he’s right”
On the spotlight in this week’s History of Magic is Steven Frayne, otherwise known as Dynamo. He has captured the imagination of so many people by introducing a new era in magic. He has been described as captivating, amazing, incredible unbelievable and perhaps – a real magician. He has also become a highly criticized performer for the extreme sort of magic that he does. Yet he has lifted the simple magic trick into a whole different class. Much of what he does is extraordinary and he has a great following among young people, magicians and older people alike. However his new style magic has stimulated interest, public commentary and discussion but this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Steven Frayne was born in December 1984 in Bradford in the U K and is of an age that he appeals to many. Most readers will be aware of the magic tricks he does, like walking on the River Thames, Hitching a ride on a London bus, shoving a mobile phone inside a bottle, removing jewellery through a glass topped case and his numerous levitations. Aside from these feats, he is a very accomplished sleight of hand magician especially with playing cards and coins. His interest in magic was a gradual one that has resulted in numerous television series such as ‘Magician Impossible; films and BBC shows, as well as numerous overseas shows and engagements in many countries. He is performing previously unseen magic tricks.
It has been asked many times, is he fake or is he for real? Well whatever tricks a magician does are just that, magic tricks and of course fake. Because what Dynamo does at times borders upon the supernatural, it naturally becomes questionable and open for discussion. How many times have we all heard the phrase after witnessing a magic trick, “How does he do that”? Well whenever Dynamo performs, the question really goes deeper, thus setting up people with enquiring minds to search for a logical explanation of how something was done. If I see something that puzzles me yet entertains me, I‘m happy to have just been entertained.
In this fast moving technology age there are more demands on how to make entertainment more entertaining. Just look at how far movies have come in recent years with special effects and camera editing and digitalisation. It is the same with magicians, there are demands to create even more stimulating magic tricks for our audiences while retaining the basics of our craft. Whether it is the huge illusions of David Copperfield on stage, or the more intimate mini illusions of Dynamo in the street, they have become more intellectually entertaining. It is said by some that Dynamo uses confederates or stooges, well hundreds of other magicians over the years have as well. Most big time magicians have a whole entourage of helpers or unseen assistants working behind the scenes. It is also possible these days to do amazing things with television or movie cameras back in the editing and cutting room, even to recreating clever digital effects. Just look what is done with cartoons and T V ads! The end result is really just another magic trick or illusion. As magicians we are obliged to continue to create and design new formats to keep magic in the forefront of viable entertainment.
I think we can learn a lesson from magicians like Dynamo in that he has developed a natural flair for clever sleight of hand, a prerequisite for all magicians, then adapting their magic by utilizing modern technology to enhance their magic tricks and take them to the next level. I see nothing wrong with using these methods, as long as they entertain us, which is what magic is all about.
Perhaps it is too early for Dynamo to go down into the pages of the history of magic, but I’m quite confident that when the time comes he will certainly have a good contribution to make; His lessons will encourage other aspiring performers to follow him and in turn develop their own methods to amaze and mystify their audiences. While Dynamo may not have the same charisma or personality that other great performers have, he never the less has his own style and presentation with very obvious appeal. However being of the older generation, I much prefer a more theatrical performing persona. Dynamo like many others brings a refreshing change to street magic and in so doing should encourage others to follow in his footsteps. We are privileged to live in an era to be able to appreciate the magic of Dynamo.
David J O’Connor is a semi retired professional mentalist and children’s entertainer. He has performed throughout South Africa, New Zealand and aboard cruise liners. David is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and loves mentoring young people in magic.
** You guys remember.. you’re feedback is important to me. Life’s too short to spend it pursuing endeavors that are not worthy. I want to make sure YOU are getting something useful out of the efforts of those of us who try to share our ideas with others. I know life is full of busy moments, but take one of those moments to let me know you received this issue !! Let’s do this together…
Working With Agents & Having Agency Representation – Article
Over the past several months I have taken a closer look at the business side to success as a performer in the entertainment business. I truly believe success in entertainment is created in the business behind the performance. It has long been proven time and time again that talent alone will not bring or assure success.
This month, as promised, I will address a topic that is one of the most frequent questions I am asked about on a daily basis from entertainers and entertainment business owners and operators. I am constantly asked many questions about agents and agencies.
-Do I need an agent?
-How do I get an agent or agency.
-What do agents and agencies want?
-How do agents and agencies work?
-What are the benefits to working with agents and agencies?
And of course the many misconceptions that are so common with performers that misinform others about agents and agencies.
In November while being a featured speaker at an industry event in Las Vegas I released my latest book The Entertainer’s Guide To Working With Agents And Agencies.
Agents and agencies are part of my life on a daily basis. Whether it’s overseeing and operating my own agencies, dealing with other agencies that represent me, working with agents in cooperative, joint or shared bookings, dealing with agents and agencies representing other talent that we need to book, or agents representing specific venues I want to play or to book my acts into, agents and agencies are part of the professional entertainment industry and business for me every day. Just today while producing an event for one of our clients, I booked over $40,000 in entertainers, which involved working with four other agencies in addition to mine. Agencies are part of our business and many performance markets each and every day.
Also, a regular part of my businesses is receiving submissions, promotional materials, and requests for representation from all types of talent, performers, entertainers, models, guest speakers, athletes, media personalities, realty television stars and authors. All of these interactions and roles have allowed me to understand the world of agents and agencies on all levels, from the inside out. These agents and agencies range from the smallest of independent agents to major agencies with locations worldwide. These agents and agencies exist and operate locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
This information presented is not simply just my opinion or personal take on the topic, but rather a factual perspective from within the industry itself. Many have found that, once completely understood, having agency relationships can propel your business to fantastic levels, often unobtainable on your own.
Agencies can be a great asset to any working performer or artist. They can be a source of additional bookings, elevated income and allow you to get booked and enjoy markets, venues and clients that may otherwise be unavailable to you.
It is important to understand that there are really only two types of bookings in our business – self-generated or self-represented bookings, and agency bookings. While many performers fantasize about having an agent that generates all of their bookings for them, while this can happen in certain performance markets, the more common reality is that for most performers it is a combination of self-generated bookings and agency bookings that will offer the most continued success.
So let’s address some of those most commonly asked questions…
Do I need an agent?
That can depend on several variables. The simple answer to most performers is no, you do not. Most performers start out by generating their own bookings. At some point you may feel you are ready to consider or seek agency representation. Rarely will an agent or agency approach you as an unknown or less established performer to offer an exclusive representation agreement. And if they did, rarely would they fill your schedule with bookings. These are two very common misperceptions.
I always suggest the first key element is to view and understand the role of an agent, agency or agency representation in the proper perspective. Initially, an agency should be viewed as an enhancement or resource for additional possible bookings that are in addition to your own self-generated efforts.
As time and the relationship develops, greater opportunities and possibilities may present themselves. In todays entertainment industry landscape rarely are exclusive representation deals offered, so a performer is free to seek multiple agency representation relationships. The exceptions are in certain performance markets. The college market, the cruise industry and for commercial representation, an exclusive representation arrangement may be offered.
The catch 22 about agencies and agency representation is you need to be working and have a very polished show for an agency to take notice and see it as an opportunity. An agent or agency has clients, often worth tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to them, so they are quite selective about the entertainers they recommend and offer to their clients. The greatest way to show an agency the possibilities is for them to see you established and working similar level events successfully.
The old adage is often true of when you need an agent you can get one, yet when you are doing well on your own is almost always when you will be approached for agency representation.
How Do I Get An Agency?
Each agent or agency likely has their own process to be considered for agency representation. However, the first step is to be sure you are “agency-ready.” The number one reason most are rejected by agents and agencies is they are not ready. They think they are ready, but in reality they were not. Ready means by the agency’s definition, not your definition.
To become agency-ready you need to first and foremost have a performance that is at the proper level of an agency and their clients. A performance created and well-performed for the markets they represent.
Next is having the materials agents and agency require and expect to see. A high-quality professional head shot (no selfies or home-taken photos). The common perception of agencies is if they want professional representation they should invest in themselves and have professional tools.
The internet is filled with misinformation, often offered by those “arm-chair experts” that in reality have never had agency representation, and more so much of this information is offered by jaded performers that have been rejected by agencies with a chip on their shoulders. So be careful to whom you are receiving your advice from.
Next is a video.
Many agencies today want a performance demo and a full-length unedited video of your show from start to finish. With today’s technology, anyone with even semi-decent home computer skills and an editing program can make any short video look good. Agencies are quick to realize this which is why they prefer to see your entire unedited performance. Many performers think the trend of creating a sizzle real is what agencies are looking for. They are mistaken. A sizzle real is a promotional tool, not the demo or sample that an agency are seeking. An agency doesn’t want promotional hype, they want to see the pure, real thing.
Many performers tend to get hung up on their website, mistakenly believing that it must be up to an agency’s expectation. Truth be told an agent or agency will not ever use your website if accepted for representation unless you have a separately created agency-friendly website for their use. Many agencies will simply create or add a webpage to their own website making it to their interests and formatting.
Some performers also have a Talent Resumé. This is much different than a conventional resumé. If you attempt to submit a conventional resumé it is a good indicator to them that you may not be “agency-ready.”
Finally is having a proper Bio (biography). This is a professional overview of you as a performer, your backstory, credits, experience, etc. Samples of all of these, including a couple of video storyboard templates, are available in my Entertainer’s Business Toolkit.
Once all of your tools are ready and in place you should then visit the agency’s website or contact them directly to learn about their preferred submission process. One huge word of advice is to follow their submission guidelines exactly. This is often your first impression to an agency and if you don’t follow their proper procedures, their first thought will likely be “if they can’t even submit to us properly, how could we possibly trust them with our valued clients?” As I said earlier, the top reason for not being of interest or accepted by an agency is not being agency-ready, the close second reason for non-acceptance is not following their specific submission instructions.
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
What Do Agencies Want?
Agencies want someone who is professional, (on all levels and meaning of the word), experienced, and properly understands everything from the agency’s perspective. Someone they can trust with their most valued commodity – their clients and established relationships. They also want someone that is easy to work with, who is easy to communicate with who returns calls and has immediate communications and access at all times, and truly values the relationship between artist and agent.
They want someone who can serve, meet, satisfy and exceed the needs of their clients. Someone who understands that each and every time you are booked it is more than just a paid gig to you, but rather someone representing the agent, the agency and their longtime reputation.
What Are The Benefits To Working With Agents And Agencies?
There are far more benefits to working with agents and agencies than most performers realize, but here are the top 5 some of the most common benefits:
1. A source for more bookings
2. The ability to reach new clients
3. The ability to break into markets previously unavailable to you
4. Direct association with the agency’s clients and reputation
5. The ability to expand beyond your current level or performance area
The final word of advice regarding working with agencies is to always remember it is a business relationship. The cornerstone to a successful business relationship is that it should always be a win-win arrangement.
An agency is in business for profit. it is for this reason to have the best chance for success with an agent or agency that you have a commercial, mass-appeal, marketable show that can generate profits for the agency. Sure, some agencies may specialize is unique or odd acts, but generally speaking to be most appealing and profitable to an agency, you need to have a very marketable show at the proper price.
An agency will typically take 10-20% of your booking price, so price yourself accordingly. Trust me, it may not be seen at first glance, but the amount that an agency invests and spends on promoting you within their company can be astonishing. Far more than meets the eye. Mailings, exhibiting and advertising at trade shows and industry events, industry publications, showcase fees and so much more. Trust me, they more than earn their commissions.
In the end, some agencies can get you a few isolated bookings here and there, others may get you a half a dozen, while others may get you far more. One of the benefits to todays’ nonexclusive culture is it allows the performer to see which agents and agencies generate the most work for them, are the easiest to work with and have the best clients and venues. Later, if the time comes for having to select an exclusive representation deal, you can carefully weigh your options based on performance and relationships to create the best scenario for you and your business.
We have only scratched the surface here with regard to understanding and working with agents and agencies. My book The Entertainer’s Guide To Working With Agents And Agencies is available at my website listed below if you desire more information and a much more comprehensive understanding of working with agencies. It is truly one of those areas that can be an investment in your success.
Over the last several months I have addressed many topics on the business of entertainment and performing. If you should have any specific questions or topics you would like seen addressed please email me at The Magic Road Show or at my email address on the website below.
MIndpro is a professional entertainment business specialist that has been coaching and consulting entertainers in entertainment business and press and media for over 30 years. He has enjoyed success as a full-time entertainer, owner of three entertainment agencies, as an international talent broker, producer and promoter, as well as being a press and media coach and consultant after 20+ years in radio and television. He has helped many start, grow and master the art of entertainment business.
He has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, ABC-TV’s All My Children, CBS, ABC, CNN and FOX News as well as being a frequent guest on many various television and radio shows throughout the country.
Throughout his career Mindpro has worked with a virtual who’s who in the world of entertainment including Tom Jones, Willie Nelson, Phyllis Diller, Don Rickles, Steve Allen, Michael Jordan, Tony Danza, John Stamos, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, Tom Petty, Billy Joel, The Monkees and The Beach Boys.
His Entertainer’s Success Series of professional business resources for entertainers and entertainment business owners, including his Press & Media For Entertainers ebook are available at:
Ten Tricks from Rick Lax – Free Video
A free magic video from Penguin.. in case you didn’t get one in your email recently…
There are 10 effects taught in this video and most of it is basic effects but that shouldn’t deter anyone from downloading it.. One was a favorite of Daryl..
Paul Harris and Eric Mead granted Rick permission to teach Fizz Master as the final trick.. You will have to go to this link and put it in your cart and then checkout.. except the charge is 0.00 ..You can then download it.. About and hour and twenty minutes long…
Transcendence – Peter Pellikaan
Murphy’s Magic.. $25.00
“The most magical change of four cards you have ever seen!!! Four spot cards are shown front and back. The cards are mixed face up and face down. Now with no funny moves the cards instantly change to four court cards, which once again are shown front and back!!!
Transcendence is a super quick, ultra-visual packet trick that will fool your spectators badly.
Peter Pellikaan, the undisputed King of crazy packet tricks has created one of the best four card changes we have ever seen!
Transcendence comes complete with everything you need to start using it straight out of the box.
Includes: in depth training DVD, gimmicks and carry wallet.”
Being a walk-around kind of guy, I have to admit up front that I enjoy packet tricks. I’ve sat too many decks on wet restaurant tables. I enjoy that I can reach in a pocket, remove a few cards, perform my quick little miracle, and re-pocket.. moving on to stun and amaze another unsuspecting couple. OK, maybe that’s a little deep.. but the part about enjoying packet tricks is totally true.
Peter Pillikann has quite a reputation for developing packet tricks, having created over one hundred. Until this point he is probably best known for his video downloads. A number of sources, including Nathan Kranzo, regularly sell the downloads.
Trancendence plays like the promo advertises.. The magician can show four identical cards front and back, and in a moment, change them to four completely different cards.. which are also shown front and back. This looks good.. both to the public and to the seasoned magician. Showing fronts and backs is the convincer and separates this trick from other similar tricks.
You are supplied with everything you need to perform Trancendence out the package. That said.. there was a problem with a bit of material supplied… and necessary to make the effect work. Mine didn’t want to work properly and was to ‘hard’ to work correctly. Fortunately, this material can be purchased locally and will be much better suited to make everything copacetic. From what I gather, I was not the only one experiencing this problem. Hopefully, Alakazam either has, or will, eliminate this problem.
I really like the effect. The thinking is strong and the moves are designed to sell the magic. Following the teaching of Tanacendence, the DVD goes in-depth to teach both the primary ‘count’, the Eddie Titlbaum Count, and a variety of other counts.. including the Elmsley Count, Marlo’s Open Count, the Combo Count, Rumba Count and Cut Count. All these are not at all necessary to perform the trick, but add a variety of other methods to the basic handling. This gives you the opportunity to create your own handling and your own effects. Not bad…
The DVD and the Toolbox section run about 40 minutes total and teach everything you need to know. I’ve heard a complaint or two that the magician was not provided with all the techniques necessary to perform the effect. I didn’t find this to be true. You DO need to watch the Toolbox section to completely grasp the handling. Don’t get ahead of yourself!
I think, with the proper material, Trancendence will fit nicely in your routine. You’ll use it, and you’ll develop your own routines to make it a multiple-effect tool.
Available from all dealers who carry Murphy’s Magic products.. $25.00
Performing Magic Around The World – Informative Article by Ren VanHoek
Aaron Fisher Magic recently published a very interesting article on performing magic in varying cultures around the world. It’s not just a matter of grabbing a deck of cards and doing your thing.
Aside from being a friend, Ren Van Hoek is a highly skilled performer who has performed around the world and readily shares his thoughts on travel, cards, attitude, patter, performing in hot and cold weather and what NOT to pack.
As Ren will attest, there are many different cultures and cultural ways and habits that come into play when performing in Japan, Peru, Thailand or Africa. Something simple and permissible in one country can be a faux pas in another.
Did you know that patting a child on the head can be a no-no in one country? Or that a common ‘OK’ hand sign from the states can lead to blows in another?
Ren also discusses the types of magic not recommended in certain countries, magic that can invoke religious connotations and actually put the magician in harm’s way.
I encourage you to read it… and let Aaron know you appreciate it!
The Touch – Robbie Moreland
Murphy’s Magic.. $30.00
I’m glad to see a DVD published from time to time for true workers. I’ll tell you up front.. this is not for beginners. It’s not strictly for experts either. It IS for intermediate performers who enjoy a challenge, learning a few new skills, and upping their performance level a notch or two. Don’t let my words scare you…
“There are only a handful of magicians in the world whose magic is truly extraordinary. Robbie Moreland is amongst those rare few.
Elegant, astounding and effortless. Robbie embodies everything that magic should be and on this DVD, you will learn his three signature routines, all taken directly from his working repertoire. Watching this will not only make you a better magician but it will also make you a better creator and a better performer.”
Vibes – A sensational card routine which is packed full of unbelievable magic. The deck visibly disappears in order to find a freely named card at a randomly chosen location!
Bullet Proof – One by one, coins effortlessly melt through a solid table. The ending of this routine will get gasps!
The Burst – Robbie’s most well known routine, this incredible demonstration of ‘skill’ is addictive to watch as the aces are lost and found in an instant!”
Yes, there are ‘only’ three effects/routines on this two and a half hour DVD. But, each effect is divided into a number of smaller sleights, moves or segments that make the whole possible.
Robbie’s routines are not seven or eight minute monstrosities that ramble on… They are two to four minute routines that he uses to, as he puts it, put food on the table… and has for a number of years.
Robbie, for those of you who aren’t familiar with his magic, makes his living as a performer.. and not a developer per se. He is about the technical and practicality, and certainly the ‘real world’ aspect of his magic. He doesn’t feel compelled to re-invent the wheel when developing a killer routine. What you get in this DVD is his personal handling of his pet routines, replete with sleights developed and perfected by the giants of magic. He can walk up to a table in a restaurant and, using these multi-faceted routines, floor the customers.. even if they happen to be magicians.
VIBES is my personal favorite of the three.. perhaps because it’s the one I’m most apt to learn. The basic premise is this… The magician ask the spectator to cut off a packet of cards, place the packet behind their back, and count the cards. The cards are replaced in the remaining pack. A second spectator, or the first, is asked to freely select a card from the spread deck. This card is lost in the deck as the magician asks a few questions. One moment the magician is holding a full deck… and the next he is holding a packet of cards visibly shrinking. When the cards are counted, they match the number of cards originally removed from the deck, and the last card in the packet is the selected card. It’s almost a ‘selected card at a selected location’ and a hybrid ACAAN… Watching Robert perform it is quite a pleasure..
You’ll be provided with in-depth instruction on all the necessary moves.. including a back jog, establishing and holding a break, the HaLo cut, the inflated deck and how to effortlessly ditch a portion of the deck.
BULLET PROOF is not my favorite simply because I don’t have the ‘tools’ to perform it.. With the proper props, I’d have a big ‘ol time. This is an extremely visual routine involving three coins and a glass. I’m not wanting to give too much away, so I’ll just say the magician places all three coins in the glass.. one openly vanishes, then the second openly vanishes.. and finally, well… something else vanishes.. and all is well in Magicland. If you are into coins, and Robert is one of the best, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this routine.
THE BURST is definitely the most technically difficult of the three, but the most visually rewarding. There are a number of aspects to The Burst, and although it is a four Ace production.. calling it a four Ace production is like calling a Lamborghini Veneno just another sports car..
There is an interesting prequel to The Burst, aptly named by Mick Ayres, involving twos and fours, which through a series of pinky counts, pinky pull-downs, JK Hartman’s pop out move and Richard Kaufman’s radical change, evolves into the actual ‘Burst’ of four Aces. I’m not going to try to describe it.. just buy the DVD and see for yourself.
But.. once the Aces are produced, Robbie goes into phase two, called Mirage, where he makes the Aces vanish, then reappear reversed in the middle of the deck. Again, a couple of very nice sleights, Balhazar Fuentes’ Color Change and Steve Beam’s Flop Change, move the effect along to it’s unexpected conclusion. As with all the other moves, Robert teaches each move in detail. You are never left hanging.
Vanishing Inc. describes THE TOUCH affectionately…
“This is one of the most in-depth DVDs we have ever produced. The reason – because in order to be the best, you have to spend time with the best. Over almost two and a half hours, you will receive the closest thing to a masterclass that is possible from someone who we believe to be one of the most sophisticated magicians in the world.”
I whole-heartedly agree. On a personal note.. I was in the audience at SCAM in Columbia SC the afternoon Robert gave his very first lecture. Honestly, I don’t remember the year, but it was around 2005/2006. He was excited and nervous, but ready… Everyone there that day knew Robert Moreland was a special talent, including the world class magicians in the audience.
I’m glad to share my thoughts about THE TOUCH with you, and I hope nothing I’ve said discourage you in any way from purchasing it. Yes, it’s not for the beginner, although advanced beginners would certainly be encouraged by it, and intermediates will be inspired to up their skills and their repertoire.
THE TOUCH is available at all dealers carrying Murphy’s Magic products…. $30.00
VANISH MAGIC MAGAZINE #32 – Free Download
Aside from the typical overwhelming quantity of pure magic, this issue of VANISH features tributes to the two greats we lost in a matter of hours.. Daryl Easton and Bob Cassidy.
DARYL – Heart felt tributes by Nick Lewin and Michael Ammar.
BOB CASSIDY – Mark Strivings, Andrew Gerard and Keith Barry share their thoughts and stories on the loss of the GodFather of Mentalism Bob Cassidy.
Derren Brown – Miracle
Here’s a good site to watch the full production of Derren Brown’s ‘MIRACLE’.. Although first televised in November of 2015, this remains as Derren’s personal all time favorite.
He takes on the faith healing community in a very convincing re-creation of a healer. The psychological aspect of this special is, in itself, socially worthy. He certainly lit social media up following the telecast of this special.
Entertaining and worthy of a re-watch…
The Thirty-Nine Steps to Mentalism – Excerpt
Everyone is still suffering through the recent passing of two of the greatest minds in magic.. Daryl Easton and Bob Cassidy. Bob was a long-time friend and associate of Chris Wasshuber,
(Lybrary.com). Chris published this in his site:
“This is an excerpt from Bob Cassidy’s exceptional Fundamentals ebook. Many consider this ebook the best Bob has ever written. It lists Bob’s 39 most important magic books to study to achieve mastery in mentalism. The unique feature of this list is that Bob explains for each title why it is in his list. So here we go …”
Learn THIS Flourish by Daniel Madison – Tutorial
Really nice flourish that isn’t quite as hard as it seems. Try it and you’ll no doubt like it….
“DM teaches the mechanics behind THIS Flourish. a fancy, multiple packet cut that ends with a card being tossed from the packet hand to the other. We hope you enjoy it!”
Waiter Pulls Silk Through a Smartphone – Video and Reveal
Watch a waiter pull a silk through the screen of a cellphone. If you watch directly after, the waiter reveals how he did it. Although the video isn’t perfectly clear, I’m assuming that’s some sort of transparent tape on the screen.
Nice, easy effect to pull off once the necessary props are in place…
Cannibal Cards – Tutorial
Most of you are familiar with Cannibal Cards. Now, how many of you can perform it is probably another question. Created in the 50’s, this fun classic was good entertainment 50 years ago.. and is still good theater..
Card Trick Teacher always provides a good tutorial.. easy on the eyes and easy to understand instructions..
Make A Hat With Playing Cards – Instructions
Make a hat completely out of a deck of playing cards. Full visual instructions..
Thanks to Michael Lyth for this link and the one below!
Make Everything Else With Cards.. About 1000 DIY Projects
Here’s a pinterest page with about a thousand different card projects, crafts, decorations, and just stuff in general.. If you take the time to look, you’ll probably find a couple of things you can use as a magician. Click on the item to see the method of making…
Card Constructions – Making the Perfect Polyhedron
All designs use a template which results in no glue or staples being used… only slits cut into the cards and then fitted together in a pattern.. (provided).. Thanks again to Michael Lyth..
“This page has ideas for two constructions that can be made with playing cards. In each case, the cards are just cut and interlocked without glue or tape. The larger one, shown at right above, uses 60 cards. The smaller one, at left, uses only 30 cards, but I think it may be harder to assemble. Together, the two can be made with two decks of cards. The templates needed to cut the slits for these constructions are given below…”
Joe Bonamassa’s Monday Night Blues – 41 Videos
Nothing to download here… just play the first video and enjoy. This is Joe’s playlist of personal favorites, and there’s a little bit of everything:
Stevie Ray Vaughan
I’ll put this list on when I’m working on a newsletter and entertain myself with some of the best music ever recorded… Stevie Ray Vaughan on MTV at Mardi Gras Madness and anything by Ry Cooder are personal favorites..
Magic Trick Reviews… Free to Everyone Facebook Group
Please consider joining us at ‘Magic Trick Reviews’ on Facebook. You’ll find a very nice selection of reviews, particularly by our friend, Jim Canaday, who is now reviewing for Big Blind Media as well as Murphy’s Magic. Check it out…
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Dozens upon dozens of magic trick tutorial videos… http://etricks.info
Even MORE magic trick, card trick, street magic and videos.. http://magicians.website
That does it for this issue. I hope you found something to help your magic along. Remember, if you have something you would like to share with the magic community, send it to: Rick@MagicRoadshow.com
Rick Carruth / Editor
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.”