2016 Magic Awards

Least Essential Deck of Custom Playing Cards

Is Jay Leno your style icon? 

Then you have to get the Denim Deck. It's all the style of denim, with the luxury... of denim!

Great for your next corporate gig at Gitano, B.U.M. Equipment, or Bugle Boy, the Denim Deck is your way to let people know you have a shitty sense of esthetics without constantly having to verbalize it.

Best Gimmick That I Can't Really Figure Out A Use For

I love the gimmick for Hologram by David Stone. A sticker materializes on a card and then changes color.

Unfortunately I haven't really been able to come up with a context for it that is particularly logical. In David's routine he has a spectator choose a card and he puts a sticker on it. This card is lost in the deck. Then he brings another card out of his pocket, makes a sticker appear on it, but it's the wrong color, then he changes it to the right color and shows the card to be the spectator's card. It sort-of makes sense. But it doesn't make a ton of sense.

This is the downside of the style of magic I prefer. Normally magic is just meaningless nonsense and everyone is okay with that. But if you train your audience to expect some kind of logic to your effects, then they become a bunch of wise-asses when things don't really make sense. "Hmmm... so why did you put a sticker on the card? Because you had a way of making it look like a sticker appears on a card?"

To be fair, the DVD that came with this effect didn't work when I got it, so maybe there is a more cohesive plot to be found on there. I'm too lazy to send it back and find out.

Best $13 I Spent

I know there's nothing more boring than this, but I have a fetish for organization and storage and boxes and things like that. In that regard I've really enjoyed this little lock-box from Amazon.

It's the perfect size for a couple decks of cards, some Sharpies, and a handful of gimmicks. Velcro'd to the inside of the top of the box are two coin-purse-esque pouches. I travel a lot so I use this as kind of a magic dopp kit. I keep a few things I'm working on and a few mainstays of my repertoire in there and I can just grab it and go, instead of just having these things rattling around in my regular bag or something like that. Then when I go out at night I can peel off one of little pouches and toss it in my pocket and have a couple gimmicks on me if an opportunity should present itself.

Plus it has a lock on it so people won't know I'm not a true wizard. I can hide all my secrets away like a pre-teen with her diary.

Dumbest Post at the Magic Cafe

Always a stiff competition, but I think this may be my favorite.

So, imagine you release a watch that produces smoke. "Look, everyone! Smoke is naturally emanating from his skin, right from under his big ugly watch!" your audience enthuses. 

And then you make a version that looks like a smart watch. The only problem is that it doesn't tell time. What do you do when your spectator asks you what time it is?

Well, here is the creator's response...

Is that a normal human response to being asked what time it is?

"I'm not going to look at my watch (the thing I keep on my wrist for the purpose of telling time). I'm going to look at my phone to tell you what time it is. It's more accurate."

"Thanks! Obviously when I casually asked for the time I needed something hyper-accurate. You see, I'm timing how long it takes for an electron to jump from one atom to another. Can you let me know when 320 attoseconds have passed?"

Hey, dum-dum:

1. Smart watches and cellphones will generally display identical times.

2. There's already a built in reason for why you can't tell the time with a smart watch. No battery left. Don't overcomplicate it:

"The time!! You want to know what time it is?! Uhhh...uhh...hold on....uhm...[be cool, man]...uh....haha...sure, the time.... You know, I can't be turning my wrist back and forth all day. My mom has carpal tunnel. It runs in our family. I think I'll get my phone from my pocket. It's much more accurate anyway. Oh, actually I left it in the other room. Just a sec.


Just got to plug it in real quick. I forgot to charge it last night.


Oh, there we go. It's three-ish."

3. I agree it's probably unlikely that anyone will ask you the time. As you said, most people have cellphones. I do, however, think there's a very good chance someone will say. "Hey, let me see that ghetto smart watch you have there. What brand is that hunk of garbage?" This is why you don't put a smoke device in a watch that people may take any interest in whatsoever. (This should have been obvious with 2 seconds of thought.) 

Best Picture of David Blaine's Diarrhea