Sometimes when we shoot the video demos a lot of what happens after the trick gets cut out of the final video. If you'd like to see what happens after the trick is over, I put together two of our latest demos with the full endings. I hope you enjoy:
Posted on November 3, 2009 by chris ballinger
Posted on October 28, 2009 by chris ballinger
I am going to interview Paul Harris in a week and I want to know what questions that you want me to ask him. And to illustrate how passionate I am about this, Aidan sat me down in front of a keyboard and asked me to sing an impromptu song about it.
Anyway, please comment with your question submissions by 11/2/09. Then I'll interview Paul Harris and ask him those questions. How cool is that?
For those of you who are not familiar with Paul Harris' work, you should get familiar. His books, The Art of Astonishment impacted close-up magic in a huge way and his box set True Astonishment is a beautiful piece of magic history.
Posted on October 27, 2009 by chris ballinger
I recently had the honor of interviewing Pavel and Zossima of the legendary juggling troupe The Flying Karamazov Brothers. Check out the video below for the out of control interview where we discuss juggling, music theory, character, casting and more...
For information on upcoming Flying Karamazov Brother shows and events, check out www.fkb.com. You can also become a facebook fan of the Flying Karamazov Brothers at www.facebook.com/FlyingKaramazovBrothers.
After the interview I became a fan on Facebook and then I took my daughter to see the show. It was awesome and Bailey still hasn't stopped talking about it.
A Brief History
For those of you who don't know much about the FKB, they were formed in 1973 by Paul Magid and Howard Patterson. They started by performing on the streets and at festivals until in 1980 when they began playing in legitimate theaters around the world. Their show is a collision of juggling, music, comedy, and theater that is always entertaining. The current members are Paul Magid (Dmitri), Mark Ettinger (Alexei), Roderick Kimball (Pavel), and Stephen Bent (Zossima).
Some of you might recognize Stephen as the star of the Ultimate Club Juggling DVD.
If you're interested in learning to juggle clubs, this is the best way to do so. It's easy to see why the Flying Karamazov Brothers adopted him into the family.
For those of you budding New York Jugglers, Rod Kimball gives classes in the area. After watching him juggle I think you should seriously consider it. To learn more about that, click HERE.
Posted on October 23, 2009 by chris ballinger
Here is a fun trick that is easy to learn and can be performed close-up or on stage:
Click the images below to find the new Gaff Card 4 Packs used in this routine:
Magic Geek is also proud to several other gaffed card 4 Packs and full decks:
Posted on October 7, 2009 by chris ballinger
Got a Facebook account and don't know what to do with it? Join the Chris Ballinger Fan Page. It's like lazy stalking for cyber-savvy magicians.
Posted on September 28, 2009 by chris ballinger
Sometimes I spend too much time reading E.A. Poe and watching Vincent Price movies, and I get a little carried away. This video is what happens when a magician gets left alone in the Magic Geek warehouse in the dead of night:
The Warehouse of Horror was a lot of fun to make, especially since I got to use these spooky tricks during the shoot:
Magic has a special connection with the holidays; and with Halloween, this is especially true. That's why we have tons of awesome tricks in our new "Magic Geek Scary Section".
Posted on September 14, 2009 by chris ballinger
Framing is a subject that is mentioned a lot in magic, but it's seldom described in detail. It is a very important part of the magic experience and so I thought we'd go through a few of the finer points of framing so that you can start thinking about it for your performances.
So, what exactly is framing? It is creating the picture that you want your audience to see. By altering the staging of a trick, you can influence an audience to focus on a single coin or an entire stage of elephants. Framing can help with misdirection and the overall drama of your routines.
One way to control the framing is the physical distance between you and your audience. Notice that in the picture below, Abe Lincoln and I are very close, so he can only focus on small areas at a time.
In this next picture, Abe is some distance away from me, this allows him to see more area at one time. This is why stage performers need to be concerned with the scenery around them and not just the magic that is happening in their hands.
But there are ways to control your framing beyond distance. In the side-by-side comparison below, you can see that my focus can shift the audience's focus. By directing all of my attention to my hands, I narrow the audience's focus, so that the framing only includes my hands. They can look up at my face, but as soon as they see nothing is going on up there, their concentration will be back down in the small area that my hands inhabit.
Conversely, by shifting my focus back out to the audience, I can widen their range. People want to look at you when you look at them or talk to them; you can use this to widen your framing so that they focus on your face, as well as your hands.
These techniques can also be used in a stage setting. Notice how I am striking a Mark Wilson "Power Pose" which directs attention to the props I am using while keeping the framing wide. By opening up my body to the audience, I keep myself in the framing.
By turning my body toward the props and putting all my focus there, I can cause the audience to "zoom-in" on the props. Even though the audience has the opportunity to see a wide scene, they can bring all their attention to a tiny point and everything else becomes unimportant.
You can use framing in a variety of ways. It becomes incredibly important at the end of a routine. The way you frame the last movements of a trick can be the difference between a memorable miracle or a trivial happening.
Framing can also be used to help misdirection. Something that happens outside of an established frame is less likely to get notices than something (no matter how covered) that happens in the frame. I shift my framing back and forth between an audience member and myself to help cover sleights in my Professor's Nightmare Routine, 'Fraid Knot.
By bringing your framing up to shoulder height (like in the photo below), one can bring their face into the spotlight. Your facial expressions can help the punch line of a joke or bring emotion into your magic. It is also a great way to make people remember that you were the one controlling the magic.
So these are a few of the way to establish your framing and use it to enhance your performances. I'm sure I've left a lot out in the tiny blog, so if you can think of something I failed to mention, please speak up and write your thoughts in a comment. We'd love to hear from you.
Posted on September 11, 2009 by chris ballinger
Hey everyone. My wife, Jessica and I are very pleased to announce the birth of our second child, Jacob. He was born on September 8th.
For some reason the doctor didn't like
Chris' "Cut and Restored Umbilical Cord" Routine.
I am very excited that I played a part in bringing one more geek into the world.
Posted on September 5, 2009 by chris ballinger
Magic Geek is proud to present the "My Wife's in Labor Labor Day Sale." She's not really in labor yet, but she is really pregnant and I think that's a good enough reason for a sale.
We firstly want to offer you FREE SHIPPING on all of your orders during this long weekend. Just add what you want to your cart, enter the Coupon Code 4335 and click "Apply".
This coupon code will also get you a free copy of my latest trick, Anttack with Gimmicks when you order $100 or more in one order. That means, if you use the coupon code 4335 and spend over $100, you will get free shipping and a brand new magic trick as an extra gift from us.
Coupon Code 4335 is valid until 11:59pm EST on September 7th 2009. Offer does not apply to Google Checkout or international orders.
Posted on August 27, 2009 by chris ballinger
A few weeks ago the guys at FreeMagicLive.com contacted me through youtube and asked if I would be interested in an interview. The result was a huge interview where I told them about my history with magic and tips for practice, performance, originality and humor. The whole interview can be found by clicking the picture below.
FreeMagicLive.com is a resource for those who want to start learning magic. They give tips on performance, style and practice as well as teach powerful, easy to perform magic tricks. It's the brainchild of magicians Jay Jay and Magical G based out of Brisbane Australia. It's a pretty awesome website and you should check it out.