Archive for the 'Advice' Category

How To Learn To Be Humorous

Posted by Michael on June 14th, 2017

This is a little longer than we normally post, but Andrew Tarvin’s TEDx TAMU talk on humor is worth watching. Andrew went to school to become a computer engineer, but became an improv comic and applies engineering project management techniques to learning and teaching comedy.

Learn more about Andrew Tarvin at his official website.

World Juggling Day Is (Still) Coming

Posted by Michael on June 13th, 2017

After seeing an article that said National Magic Day was this week (as opposed to in October, which is what we have always heard), it reminded us that Saturday is World Juggling Day. Just in case the last tutorial we posted did not teach you how to juggle, we found this one from world record holding juggler David Slick! Catch more of him at his website and learn more about World juggling Day at the International Jugglers’ Association site.

World Juggling Day Is Coming!

Posted by Michael on June 5th, 2017

According to the International Jugglers’ Association (and they should know), World Juggling Day is the day before Fathers’ Day or Saturday, June 17. That gives you just under two weeks to learn how to juggle or polish off your skills!

You can learn more about the IJA and World Juggling Day over on their official website. The video above is Alan Chung teaching you how to juggle three balls. If you are like me and can’t juggle (I can throw knife, contact juggle, spin and balance things from knives to extra long Chinese spears… but juggling eludes me somehow) you might want to check out the IJA Resource Page, which is where we found Alan’s video..

Alex Belfield’s Vegas Recommendations

Posted by Michael on May 25th, 2017

Heading to Vegas? Trying to figure out what to do, where to stay and where to eat? Alex Belfield has a 10 minute guide to his favorite Vegas spots, shows and more. He covers a few magic shows along the way! Alex has a whole bunch of magician interviews on his YouTube page so be sure to check it out!

Rich Ferguson’s Fidgetting Without Fidget Spinners

Posted by Michael on May 22nd, 2017

I’ll admit it: I have a (couple of) fidget spinners. One of my daughters was asking me just the other day how I got through school without a fidget spinner. I told her that I drew on everything and perfected my coin sleights because teachers got wise to the deck of cards (probably why I don’t do card stuff to this day)!

Rich Ferguson obviously got through school without a fidget spinner, too, and he posted this great video of flourishes with cards and pencils so kids today can “fidget” without a spinner! Catch more of Rich over on his YouTube page or visit his website.

Baller [Magic Review]

Posted by Michael on May 18th, 2017

Michael Lauck is a columnist for iTricks. All opinions expressed in this review are his own and not necessarily those of iTricks.

Baller by JT Chalatsis, Ellusionist, $34.95, downloadable instruction video, sponge balls and gimmick. Available directly from Ellusionist.?
The lowdown: Baller promises to make sponge balls great again… and delivers.

So here’s the deal: Two months ago I found myself in the ICU and I have been on an extended “medical vacation” ever since. I’ve needed to keep myself occupied (even though most of my possession are still boxed up after the move to iTricks Tower Midwest V2.0) so I have been working with sponge balls again. When I saw the trailer for Baller, well, I wasn’t sure I could believe what I was seeing. I ordered it and I fully expected to be disappointed… I mean, is there anything really that new in sponge?

A few days later it arrived. I got a gimmick that was hand built by creator JT Chalatsis (although it does not look “home made,” so don’t worry about that) and a set of two inch sponge balls. Mine were red and I assume they all are but I do not know for sure. Everything is securely packaged; in fact, I had to resort to a long handled wooden spoon to get the balls out of the tube they came in. My chihuahua wouldn’t stop barking (thanks to to mail man ringing the doorbell when he delivered Baller), I felt like crap and the wooden spoon thing annoyed me. On top of that, I forgot that it was a combination download/shippable item so I initially thought it had shipped without instructions because you don’t even get a link to the video (it is in your Ellusionist account). I was in a bad mood and expecting to hate this thing… I checked the Ellusionist site, found the directions and within 10 minutes, my day had completely turned around. Baller is brilliant; it delivers everything it promised.

I really can’t say too much about it without giving it all away. I think it is safe to say that if you use sponge balls frequently then you may have tried something like Baller, probably without success. That being said, I did not feel like Baller was a rip-off or a reworking of something I already had at all. This was not one of those “I just paid for something I already had” kind of moments. Nor was it a “More ripoff magic” moment. It was a “Finally! This makes so much sense!” kind of moment. It was a “I can’t wait to start using this” moment. In short, it was everything you hope for when you send off for an effect.

Let me be honest about Baller for a second, though: if you are not a sponge ball guy, this will be useless to you because you are going to still need sponge ball skills and routines. Baller is like really great barbecue sauce; it makes dinner a whole lot better, but you still need some meat to pour it on. Does that make sense? Think about it because I really think that it is a good way to describe Baller. Another thing to consider is that the Baller gimmick is going to wear out and need to be replaced, but honestly, that is the nature of sponge magic and I expect it to last for a while. In the future, it might be nice to see Baller sets in different sizes or colors, but that is hardly a deal breaker.

Baller is a good purchase for anyone already doing sponge ball magic or looking to make a return to it. I have to admit that it really does live up to its “Make sponge balls great again” hype and is completely worth every penny. It has loads of potential and I fully expect for a whole bunch of new effects to come out of Baller. I highly recommend it and if I ever meet JT Chalatsis, I am buying that dude a drink!

Julius Dein Shows Us How To Impress Girls (With Magic… NSFW)

Posted by Michael on May 18th, 2017

Julius Dein posts videos of his magic on YouTube fairly often…. Honestly, we would probably run them more if he started shooting with his phone horizontal but this compilation entitled HOW TO IMPRESS A GIRL WITH MAGIC! (the all caps is him, not us) made us laugh because he is not afraid to show the less than impressed reactions, too. Some of the reactions have adult language.

Catch more of Julius on his YouTube page.