A reader sent me this screen-shot from Josh Jay's Reel Magic lecture.
It's my favorite lecturer and my new-favorite lecturee in his super-secret, hyper-elite, platinum-level GLOMM regalia.
It's always good when I see some GLOMM stuff out in the wild. Especially when I get to rub it in Josh Jay's pretty face at the same time. You don't see anyone wearing a Josh Jay shirt, do you?
Andi Gladwin doesn't count.
If I wanted to write a boring but helpful book for the amateur magician, it would be about the uses of the standard couch in casual magic effects. The couch is a tool that is not in the arsenal of professional magicians. But as a non-pro, you should take advantage of it. Your couch is like a giant close-up mat that you can sit on that is loaded with holdouts and servantes. I'm not trying to be funny or stupid with this suggestion. I'm constantly shoving shit between cushions, or grabbing stuff out from them. I'll ditch or switch items behind pillows. I'll plant things I need access to right behind the back of the top of the couch, so I can snag them in the casual motion of resting my arm along the back of the couch. With the audiences focus elsewhere, I'll drop something and kick it under the couch for a very clean vanish.
The deck switch I've used most in my life involves the spectator spreading all the cards over the coffee table to mix them up. Then I square up the deck, and—in the process of shifting from facing the coffee table to facing each other on the couch—the deck is shoved down the cushion near the arm of the couch and another deck is removed from a few inches away. I have a lot of moments built into tricks where I'm doing something sneaky in the process of adjusting how we're situated on the couch.
This isn't the sort of stuff I would bother writing up in detail because it's just something that's going to be specific to you and how you interact with your environment. And I guess that's the broader generic advice here: always be aware of your environment.
But specifically I think performing on a couch can be advantageous. I feel like good stuff tends to happen on couches. Maybe there's some sort of intimacy that comes with sharing the same piece of furniture. I feel people never say, "Let's sit on the couch and argue." A lot of my best interactions have happened while facing someone else on a couch: tons of deep conversations, making-out, magic tricks, card games, dry humping, jumping on it nexst to Oprah to profess my love for Katie Holmes. I'm Team Couch all the way.
Oof. The Magic Transcribed twitter account continues to post things that I find difficult to watch (or read).
This is the most Rick Lax picture in the world.
Do some elementary math and hit the like button. Rick has made a career with those instructions. It should be on his tombstone.
Finally, I just recently learned that magician Dan Huffman passed away late last year. If you recognize the name it might be for the tricks Hellophane and Gidrah which were release a couple years ago by Penguin.
I didn't really know Dan other than that he was a fan of this blog, which pretty much makes me think well of anyone. I wish I knew him better because, as I've learned since finding out about his passing, he and I thought along parallel lines in many cases in regards to magic.
One idea he shared with me that made me laugh was that if you get stuck with some gospel magic props—let's say you buy a bunch of stuff blind from an estate sale—and you're not a gospel magician, you can just draw a swastika on Jesus' forehead and change the presentation so it's about Charles Manson.
(There's nothing sacrilegious about that. That picture is clearly not Jesus. I hate to break it to you, gospel magicians, but Jesus wasn't a honkey.)
That's the sort of thinking I appreciate. He'll be missed.