Monthly Archives: January 2016
This is a complete performance of Pop Haydn in the Close Up Gallery of the Magic Castle in November, 2015. Pop Haydn has twice been named “Close Up Magician of the Year” at the Magic Castle, and has won seven “magician of the year” awards, having won in all of the performing rooms–stage, parlor, close-up and bar.
For the Magic Student:
When we design a magic routine, we are creating a story for the spectator. It is a story that he or she can tell about what happened to them when they saw “this magician.”
We want them to think the story is worth retelling, and we want them to be able to defend their story from those who might try to diminish it–“He probably just made you take that card.” “It must have been a trick bottle.” “He probably had it hidden in his hand.”
If the spectator is not prepared for that, he may feel stupid, and not have an answer–“I hadn’t thought of that.” This will ruin the story for him and he will never tell it again.
When the spectator can say, “Of course not, I thought of that…” or “No, it couldn’t be that because…” the story becomes much stronger and more fun to tell. Whenever the subject of magic comes up they will tell their story.
They may even begin to exaggerate the story as they keep telling it, to make it big enough to create the same reaction on their audience as your performance had on them.
In creating a magic routine, it is often useful and fun to acknowledge the possibility of commonly known magic ruses such as palming or forcing a card, or putting something up the sleeve.
Even kids have at least heard of these things. The magician can respect the audience’s intelligence by admitting the possibility and then either disproving that that could be the method, or turning the supposed method into an effect itself–as when the coin actually does go up one sleeve and down the other.
You show that you recognize the audience is too smart to be taken by the old tricks, and then take them with those very same ruses.
You also help them to remember these things so when they tell the story later, they can defend it: “I looked for that!” “It couldn’t have been a force…” “He showed his hand empty, he couldn’t have palmed it.”
They then feel much smarter when they tell the story: “I thought maybe he forced a card on me, but…”
Pop Haydn’s lecture notes sell separately for $10 each. For a limited time, we are bundling them together for only $15. Save $5!
Acting in Magic: Pop teaches you how to take control of that character and enliven and energize your performance. Pop will show you strategies for engaging and connecting with your audience. This is not esoteric theory, but concrete exercises and acting tools that can immediately begin helping your performance. It is a path to finding authenticity in your character and joy in performance.
Creating the Magic Routine: These are comprehensive lecture notes (29 full pages) from Pop Haydn’s live talk on the routining of magic with numerous links to videos and other resources.
For the Magic Student:
When transitioning between effects, it is important to be already introducing the new effect as the props from the preceding one are being put away, and the new props are being brought out for the second. You want a smooth and seamless segue from one trick to the next.
This avoids any perceived break in the routine, and keeps people from losing interest. People tend to walk away in their minds whenever there is a break in the action. They are looking for a chance to stop paying attention.
As an old street performer whose audiences would only stay as long as I could hold them spellbound–they were always on their way someplace else, I always want long routines and smooth changes. This avoids any semblance of anything coming to an end and breaking the spell.
Even if my audiences today in theaters and chairs aren’t likely to walk away, I always feel that they are going to, at least in their heads.
The opening line of any trick is extremely important. I believe that the most important lines in a routine are the opening and closing. Having these right will make it easy to move from one trick to another and makes it easy to do routines in a different order.
The opening line should create interest and carry the routine forward. “Would you examine this? Is it an ordinary knife?” would be confusing to the helper.
What is an ordinary knife? What should I be looking for?
Meanwhile, the rest of the audience is left just waiting for the answer and for the trick to start.
Much better is to use a line like “Does this look like a real, solid object to you?”
First, this is a question that is easy to answer: “Of course!” But the suggestion is that it is not going to remain solid.
The audience leans forward wondering what is about to happen…is it going to become soft or disappear or something?
Why would the magician even ask a question like that?
A well thought out opening line should suggest the theme, arouse interest and carry the routine forward.
When magicians ask me about the importance of scripting a routine, I point to some of these things. It takes time and thought to develop lines such as these, and they don’t just happen spontaneously. They need to be crafted.
You can watch the whole knife routine here:
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This is an all new video featuring Pop Haydn teaching his original routine in step by step fashion, with a live performance on the Magicopolis stage in Santa Monica, California.
This routine was created for the street back in the 1960’s, and has been an important part of Pop Haydn’s performance repertoire since that time. It can be done surrounded, plays on the biggest stages, and packs small.
Pop Haydn is a past Vice President of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, and a seven time award winner (Named Performer of the Year in four different rooms at the Magic Castle“).
“In the Life” with Doc Jon
Only $10! Five Dollars Off!
Good until THIS SUNDAY midnight!
Folks! Don’t miss out on a chance to get this download!
Three hours of fascinating video featuring the late John Deems, known as Doc Jon.
This is a rare opportunity to hear firsthand what it takes and what it is like to live a life as a dice cheat, cross roader, card mechanic and dealer for organized crime.
In this colorful interview, Doc Jon tells his life story with fascinating accounts of drilling slot machines on the casino floor, installing magnets in an illegal gambling room’s dice table, working for the Yakuza in Japan and the Hawaiian mob, and working for the mafia in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
He also teaches you how to look like a pro when you deal and demonstrates a number of rarely seen table moves with chips and cards.