Lee Asher Teaches the Brute Force Force for Free

Inside Magic Image of Frustrated MagicianLee Asher is one smart cookie.
His writing is always helpful, complete and thoughtful.
We subscribe to his electronic newsletter and are frequently delighted by the neat ideas and moves he offers.
Sure, sometimes the moves are tough to do and we may practice them for a while before returning to our well-practiced 45-minute version of the Twenty-One Card Trick (imagine Bill Malone’s classic Sam the Bellhop but without the flourishes, difficult sleights, interesting story, audience interaction; but twice as long without a big finale).
But like Miley Cyrus or someone looking to boost their immunities against sub-tropical illness, we need the exposure.
Today’s contribution from Mr. Asher is a great technique to force a spectator to select a card from a deck.
We do not wish to engage in the debate whether a magician should ever “force” a card on an unsuspecting audience member.  We understand and appreciate both sides of the argument:
Pro: it is the very foundation of Card Magic.
Con: it violates the volunteer’s free-will.
And while we appreciate the spirit of the debate, we are against the current move here in California to get Proposition 99 on the ballot.  We just don’t believe the government should come between a magician and his or her audience.
The proposition — though well-intentioned — is misguided and would have unforeseen consequences.
The proposed law would require a performer or establishment where more than one performer appears to provide “adequate” notice that customers may be “manipulated” into make choices that otherwise appear to be fair.
The Magic Castle has not issued a statement on this proposition and while we realize this is really intended to go after other, more “adult” segments of the entertainment spectrum, it would take much of the fun out of performing and watching magic.
If you begin a show by explaining that you will be manipulating the audience into making choices, the audience is tipped to the bit.
That may work fine for those who can use such a warning in their act like Derren Brown or Max Maven but for those of us who lack talent and are excited to hit a Classic Force once or twice in a week of work, it makes things tougher.
One of the best things we have going for us is that the audience has no idea what we are doing.
Some nights, we share their mindset.
The proposal will likely not make the ballot and so this is not a problem for magicians or adult entertainers earn their income by lying to their customers about the freedom of their choices.
Political rant aside, Mr. Asher teaches a great, easy force today to subscribers of his magic newsletter.
It is based on the Charlie Miller, Classic Force (table version) which was thought to be published in one of his many Magicana columns in “Genii Magazine”. However, this is not true. Charlie Miller’s table pass appears in print, for the first time, in Harry Riser’s book Secrets Of An Escamoteur (2006).

The Brute Force force works well.

We just tried it out on a fellow passenger on the express bus. He had no idea how we did it. Now he is watching as we type this and so we cannot write the secret here.

We know he is still reading what we are typing and he should realize that is very rude and he should stop.

Really. Stop reading. When is your stop? You might have missed it because you are so intent on reading what we are typing.

Check out Mr. Asher’s great site and learn the secret to the Brute Force force today.

Magician Andrew Mayne Gets Great Press

Andrew-MayneToday’s edition of The Sun gives well-deserved coverage to Inside Magic Favorite Andrew Mayne and his new show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne,

Mr. Mayne is an accomplished performer and prolific inventor of great effects.  The Sun gives us some insight into the self-effacing magician that is rarely the fodder of a typical feature piece about a network star.  It is refreshing to read.

But what about the show’s title?  Shouldn’t all magicians be beloved and trusted without question?  Why would a magician want to begin with the premise that he is untrustworthy?

“I liked the idea of using magic to do something ­different. In this case, instead of just watching me do ­something really cool, you get to see me use magic to help people get revenge on ­someone they love or to ­convey a ­pertinent ­message.”

We admit that our recent search of the internets shows there are no other “revenge magicians.”

(Here is a tip from your family-friendly editor, do not do a search using the words “revenge” and “trick” or “perform” if you are at work or have any concern that humanity is quickly sliding down a well-oiled slope towards a society where one would not want to saunter without first donning a hazmat suit and mega-dosing amoxicillin).

His approach is different than others who claim to be Street Magicians.  

“I can’t just ask someone for a ring, I have to convince them to give it to a stranger.”

That is a little tougher than confronting drunk groups of 20-somethings with a camera crew along to capture the moment.

(Editor: we assume the writer meant that the magician doing the confronting had a camera crew in tow as he confronted the drunken group of young people, not that the magician looked for the unique configuration — rarely seen on today’s city streets — of publicly intoxicated folks matching the show’s focus demographic who happen to also have a camera crew (presumably not similarly intoxicated) in their midst).

The Sun reporter asked Mr. Mayne if his impromptu audiences “see through him” on occasion.

“I think people see through me all the time!”

“I have had times when I do something like making a phone vanish – I then walk away thinking they are still standing there.

“Then someone will run up behind me and grab me and tackle me! They don’t know how it works but they know I had done something to them.”

His goal is not to prove himself superior to those he encounters.  

Yes, his reputation precedes him and, as seen in some of the clips on YouTube, some folks run the other way when they see him coming.

“On the whole, I think many know that I am a pretty nice guy and if I get hold of them, they are going to have fun.”

Check out Mr. Mayne’s website here: http://andrewmayne.com.

John Carney Announces Lecture Workshop Dates

John Carney Magic PosterInside Magic Favorite John Carney sent us a note dates, places and times for his upcoming Lecture Workshops.
If you are in or near any of the cities below, you should plan on attending.

Vancouver, BC Tues, March 25, 2014
7:00pm $25 CAD at the door
Douglas College
New  Westminster Campus
700 Royal Avenue, New Westminster, BC
Canadian programs are sponsored by 
Magicana, the Canadian magic arts organization.
Canadian tickets may purchased with cash at the door,
or secured in advance from Magicana’s web site:
 Seattle, WA Mon, March 31, 2014
7:00pm $25 US (No advance tickets)
Hale’s Palladium
4301 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Portland, OR Tues, April 1, 2014
7:00pm $25 US (No advance tickets)
Zimmermand Community Center
(Entrance on 14th ave, between Quimby and Raleigh)
1542 NW 14th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209

Sad News: Aldo Colombini

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Very sad news about Inside Magic Favorite Aldo Colombini from Maria Ibanez:

My heart is very heavy as I share the news just received from Rachel Colombini through Simone Marron.

“terrible news.  Aldo suffered catastrophic stroke yesterday.

Left side of brain dead spreading fast to the right side, paralyzed, no speech, hospice taking over now.  It will be just days, nothing we can do.  Sorry to have to give you this news.

I am devastated – bulletin to be released to magic world tomorrow.”

Please keep our dear friends Aldo and Rachel in your thoughts and prayers.

Teller & Todd Robbins New Play – We’re Scared Already

Inside Magic Image of Play Dead PosterThe tension mounts as we look forward to seeing Play Dead at the Geffen Playhouse near UCLA tomorrow night.  The show is written by Todd Robbins and Teller so we bought our ticket without even checking it out.

C’mon.  Teller and Todd Robbins.  We would see a show by either one of them and so the two of them together makes a must see.

Once we received our ticket, we read more about the show and even perused the warning notice provided on the theater’s website:

Performance notes: The running time for Play Dead is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. Due to the theatrical and interactive nature of this performance, there is no late seating, no re-admittance, and formal wear is not advised. Contact the box office for details. Please note: This production contains strobe effects, theatrical haze, nudity, interactive elements and themes that may be inappropriate for some patrons.

“Formal wear is not advised.”  What does that mean?  We are even more anxious because we are on the front row – in the line of fire.

We were able to get such a great seat because we only bought one ticket.  The show is otherwise sold out.  We tried to get some of the editorial, advertising and accounting staff to join us but she said no.

It should be a wild experience.  We will provide a full report assuming we survive the evening.