Welcome to ZZZAUBER !

Hello, fellow magi, and willkommen to our personal change bag of 1,000 things magical!

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By establishing this English and German ZZZAUBER blog we have set ourselves on a multi-purpose magic mission to entertain and enlighten you:

  • to advance the art of magic by sharing valuable insights, fresh ideas, great magic and pieces of art related to conjuring and deception (hint: this is signified by our minimalistic, homemade logo, <<>>>)
  • to poke some good-natured fun at magic’s top brass and everything that may be wrong with amateur majishuns and the majic community today (at least according to our own questionable standards)
  • to share some pieces of interest from our own magic collection, like magic postage stamps, magic programs, magic in advertising, etc. (more to follow)
  • to showcase, and sometimes show-off, some of our own meager attempts in the arts, be they in written form or even rhymed, drawn or painted, photographed or photoshopped. (Note: Please respect the copyright on all our original material, even the cheap, risqué and shallow ones. Thank you!)

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Since this site is all about the friendly art of deception, you will encounter the occasional trick or misdirection being played on you. We hope you have some fun exploring these little hints and secrets.

As for your comments and opinions, frankly, we don’t care much. This is a blog, after all, and not another forum. And since most of our musings are purely based on personal opinions, tastes and observations, what would be the point in telling us your dissenting views here?

We deeply appreciate your occasional visit, read, link, nod or smile, though.

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P.S. This blog is not apt for beginners in magic. You may find the link section helpful, but then move on, please. The same goes for secret-seeking dumbwits. Thank you!


Words of Wisdom (8): Lloyd E. Jones

I have just discovered this little nugget by Lloyd E. Jones, written in the introduction to his re-publication of The Four Full Hands by Charles T. Jordan in 1947:

The pleasure to be found in discovering principles or subtleties in print often surpasses the joy in performing, for to most magicians there is a greater opportunity to read good magic than there is to perform.

So true!


 

The Lorayne Force

Sculpture_FS_2

The late great Jay Marshall once quipped that all of Harry Lorayne’s works were in fact forcing books for the words I, me, and my.

As a test, I counted these words within the Foreword of Harry’s booklet, My Favorite Card Tricks. Now guess how many I have detected within that single page?

A:      9

B:     18

C:     27

D:     36

???

Answer: That’s right, there were actually thirty-six self-references (including a “we”) to be found.

Harry certainly is his very own force!


 

R.I.P. Daryl Easton

Oh boy, it’s been a month already, but I am still shocked about the demise of Daryl, who, apparently suffering from severe depressions, had sadly decided to take the worst possible way “Out of this World” and end his life backstage in Hollywood’s Magic Castle at age 61.

While his hair cut has arguably improved over the years, his magic with cards, coins, cups and ropes has always been impeccable, fresh, and engaging. I am a proud owner of his rare Ambitious Card Omnibus, of some great tricks and many of his excellent teaching videos.

Just like his famous red knot jumping onto a white rope, his creations and his style have woven themselves inseparably into magic’s path over the last three or four decades, and we must be grateful that he has shared his immense talent and his professional secrets with us.

Rest in peace, Daryl!

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The Horst Vegas Magic Chalk Talk (6): Tricks

Horst Vegas, self-proclaimed Senior Boy Wonder of Magic and an unfailing Lota Bowl of Wizzdom, shares another of his tinny-tiny Golden Showbiz Rules & Recommendations:

In these times of stimulus satiation, headline news and constant eye candy, we are well advised to re-evaluate our traditional tricks-per-minute ratio and to consider quickies rather than „slowies,“ visual magic rather than verbal, and multiple effects rather than one trick ponies as the new norm, exceptions granted.

Is this an Optical Illusion?

I could use some help here, my dear fellow majishuns:

To me, the two pictures below are pure 3D. When I look at them, they give me a three-dimensional effect, without putting on any fancy glasses or else. In the top picture the lines just seem to jump from the floor towards me. In the bottom picture both the iron wheel and the cabins look clearly layered to me and are separated from the blue background. The 3D illusion disappears when I close one eye.

I have already sent these pictures to a few people, but they didn’t seem to see them the way I do.

So is it just me?

And if so, any diagnosis what’s wrong (or different) with my visual perception?

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1-caroussel

Paging Mr. Ballinger!

Anyone knows what has become of Chris Ballinger, longtime Magic Geek, trick creator and self-deprecating demonstrator extraordinaire (oh, and of sister Rachel, the world’s best professional spectator)?

His kids and his other sister, Colleen (a.k.a. Miranda Sings), seem to have overtaken him in social media visibility and fame. That’s o.k., but they are not doing magic!

I dimly recall older statements which hinted at a possible collaboration with Joshua Jay‘s and Andi Gladwin‘s Vanishing Inc. Magic, but apparently that hasn’t come to fruition yet. Or has it? Any news?

Fun and geeky magic is losing fast to mindless, talentless and useless mess on YouBurp. Magic needs you back, Chris!

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Creativity in Magic (1)

I have always found it amazing how new tricks, ideas, or routines come into this world. Sheer luck and mere chance seem to play a far greater role in their conception and delivery than any logical thinker could ever imagine.

Take the following example about Joe Karson’s creation of the famous “Zombie”, a wonderful story (if true) which I have just come across in Frank Garcia‘s “New York News” in an old issue of Magic Manuscript (Vol. 4, Issue 4, p. 45):

Incredible as it may seem, the trick called “Zombie” was invented by the late Joe Karson quite by accident. He bought a house and everything was fine but the toilet commode didn’t function, so Joe started taking the commode apart. He removed the balance ball attached to the rod and dried it with a towel. He then came upon the idea of making it a floating ball. The rest is magical history!

I will be happy to share more examples in the future. Stay fresh and stay tuned!

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R.I.P. Jeremy Le Poidevin

Very saddened to hear and read about the sudden passing of Jeremy Le Poidevin, owner of Practical Magic in Ellesmere, UK!

Not that I have known him well; but I have bought some fabulous children’s magic tricks from him, have corresponded with him on a few trick ideas and tips, and have always immensely enjoyed both his fireside chats (with the inimitable, wacky John Kimmons, a.k.a. Kimmo) and his video demos.

The dog arm puppet I got from Jeremy is simply the cutest and best one I have ever seen, and his DVD with handlings tips (see below) is a great and fun product I took a lot of value from.

I think it’s kind and caring people like Jeremy who contribute so much to our everlasting joy of watching, talking, and shopping magic. With them leaving, it feels like magic’s age of innocence—the brick and mortar shops, the glitter boxes and feather flowers, the smalltown conventions, etc.—is inexorably fading away.

My condolescences to his wife and family. Rest in peace in Eternal Wonderland, Jeremy!

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Vanishing Julian Assange

Let’s not get too political here. Let’s simply state that WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange has been living and hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than three and a half years now (!) in order to avoid being arrested by British authorities and, subsequently, turned over to Swedish or U.S. authorities. His future path is uncharted and most likely stony.

Now, if you were an illusionist like David Copperfield or Franz Harary and called in for help, how would you make him disappear from the embassy without his guardians, his persecutors, and the press bloodhounds noticing in due time?

Having just watched several old TV specials by Copperfield and the late great Paul Daniels, I would have an idea or two. (O.K., Jim Steinmeyer would probably come up with 27 solutions at once.)

If someone were to pull this off – can you imagine the hoot and the headlines?!

This is not your grandfather’s egg bag trick. This is not the latest poor poo-poo card move. This is truly magic with a meaning!

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Tricks & Ideas (9): Copper/Silver Sugar

Have you experienced this, too? Sometimes the magic seems to happen out of itself and to jump right into your face, just like that (to quote Tommy Cooper here).

I was sitting in an unfamiliar café somewhere down the road, absent-mindedly pouring sugar into my cappuccino, when I realized that all the sugar packets in the basket only seemed different but were in fact identical, each carrying one design on the front and another, distinctly different one on the back.

A minute later, I was able to perform an impromptu miracle on my unsuspecting family by making two different sugar packets transpose in my closed fists, and they were duly impressed (much more than with many of my well-rehearsed marvels, I hate to admit), at least for about five seconds.

Unsolicited advertising: You can order these Hellma sugar packets in 1,000s directly from the manufacturer here.


For more Tricks & Ideas, click here.