The JAMM #6 has been generating a lot of feedback over email and some kind praise online. And it won the award for excellence in independent magic magazine writing by the president's new council on magic periodical oversight—part of the Commission for the Study of Magical Issues and Magical Issues. (They study both "issues" in general, as well as issues of magazines, hence the repetitive name.) What... did you think House Resolution 642 to officially recognize magic as an art would have no repercussions? Hardly. Now everything is being closely regulated. You asked for it, dummies! Thankfully I'm on the right side of the new magic tribunals this time around, but who knows when they'll turn on me. You know they're monitoring all of this now, right? YOU gave them that power.
At any rate, I wanted to thank those of you who wrote in to compliment the issue as a whole, and thank Tomas Blomberg for his contributions to that effect.
I should apologize for referring to the effects that appear in The JAMM #6 as two of the most powerful in the history of magic. The fact is, at the time I wrote that, I hadn't seen the following effect which reader Michal Kociolek recently sent along to me. It's called the Appearing Aquarium. Imagine if you could make an aquarium swarming with goldfish magically appear. Whatever that image is in your head, does it live up to the reality of this incredible effect?
Can you imagine the joy and wonder your audiences will feel when you tell them, "No, no. That was the effect."
And the best part is... it's only $150! (Silks not included.)
In the JAMM #6 I reviewed Phone Vanish by Blake Vogt and Dan White and gave it a fairly positive review. Since that review was written I've come up with a little presentation for it ("presentation" might not be the right word, it's just a couple of sentences) that has been generating significantly stronger reactions to the effect for me. It solves the main issue I was having with the original effect (getting people to pay attention without them having their guard up for a magic trick) and it has a very satisfying absurdist logic as to why the phone disappears that people seem to really like. In fact, the new presentation has made this one of my new favorite impromptu pieces. It's a simple idea but I think some of you will really like it.
I'll be sending the idea out to subscribers soon (or maybe making it available here for people who own issue #6).
A few different people have asked what I think of the $2000 Drone card stab. I guess because I put a drone trick on the site once (which was a variation on another drone trick created by a GLOMM elite member and given to myself and two other GLOMM elites picked at random). And probably also because a lot of people think it's stupid and they want me to comment on stuff they think is stupid.
My thoughts are these:
1. Drone Strike: Classified is a much better trick than this. Even Drone Strike: Public Record, which was a free trick, is a trick I believe I would get a better reaction with, based on my own personal style. (Although neither of those are card stabs.) So no, I won't be spending $2000 on this.
2. Pricing magic is hard. There are incredible magic books released every year that have people's life work in them for $60. You can get classics of magic for $8. By that metric, this is a horrible investment. It's one trick, and I'm honestly not sure it's that great of a trick. But I'm also of the belief that whatever someone chooses to charge is fair as long as they don't misrepresent what they're selling. I have no idea what goes into producing this trick. And if you see it and you like the effect and you have the money to spend and the demo is an accurate representation of what it looks like in real life, then I'm not too concerned with the high price tag.
3. The trick would look much better if the drone was flying through the spray of cards. Throwing cards at an essentially stationary drone seems... almost dumb. If this trick can't be done with the drone flying through the cards, then you might as well be throwing the cards at a hat rack. If you can do it with the drone in motion that's how it should have been demo'd. And if you don't trust a spectator to toss the cards in the air then put them in some card fountain thing or something.
4. Even then... here's the thing, drones aren't known for stabbing things, so it's kind of a weird trick to begin with. It seems a little forced. It would be like saying... oh... I don't know... "I want you to mentally select one of these different color fidget spinners!!!!" Like, I get it, you want to be timely but I'm not sure you should just marry an arbitrary trick with an arbitrary modern item. With the Drone Strike effect mentioned above, we're taking advantage of something a drone is known for (being removed and disconnected from anything else in the vicinity). So doing a card to impossible location with that seems logical in a way. It's an extra-impossible location. I'm not sure a card stab with a drone makes much sense (unless it got "stabbed" in one of the spinning blades.)
BTW, I just assume everyone has already done this, but you can make a fidget spinner spin on the end of someone's finger using "your mind" (and a loop... actually it's primarily the loop).