Gardyloo #54

Here's something called Ghost System by Lloyd Barnes and Ellusionist.

I like the visual element of the trick. It's a clever idea. But the trick definitely has an issue and it's a pretty glaring one. 

How about if we take a look the FAQ in the email announcing this trick.

Q. Is there a slit in the box?
A: Absolutely not.


And now let's take a look at the top comment Ellusionist has made on that youtube video. 

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What they're saying is, "We know it kind of looks like there's a slit in the box. There's not."

Ok, but surely we can follow the logic of this one step further, yes? What happens when you show this trick to someone and they say, "Did it go in a slit in the box?" Because, here's the thing, "slit in the box" is not some obscure concept Stewart James came up with. A layperson is completely aware of the concept of "slits." Therefore, the disavowal of a slit isn't something that needs to be in the advertising, it needs to somehow be in the trick itself. Laypeople don't care if they have the right explanation. They're satisfied just to have an explanation that could be right.

So now we go back to the spectator who says, "Is there a slit in the box?" What's the game plan?They can't examine the case. Maybe you say, "Actually, let me direct you to this FAQ from Ellusionist and you'll see there is not, in fact, a slit in the box." What are the other options?

Someone on the Cafe said, "You can't hand the case out. [But] there is no need if you structure your routine." I have to be honest, I never understand what the fuck magicians are talking about when they say stuff like this. "Structure your routine"? How does this work? It sounds like voodoo. Like there's some special "structure" you can use to make people forget the box is suspect.

From what I can tell, most magician's definition of "structure," "routining," and "audience management," is: "If you're worried they're going to bust you on the method of your trick, do another trick right after to stop them from talking." This comes from the same school of thought as, "Turn up the radio and you won't hear the rickety noise your car engine is making." 

If there's some way to present this effect without people jumping to the conclusion of "there's a slit in that box," then Ellusionist should have filmed that for a demo. Then they wouldn't have to fall all over themselves to remind us it's not just a slit.

From the Spring edition of X-Communication:

Help an old magic blogger out. A couple months ago I witnessed one of my favorite moments in entertainment history. It was an episode of the Andy Griffith show and Andy had just been sprayed with perfume by Ellie May. He returns to the jail and Barney starts sniffing around a cooing over this new scent, Midnight Madness.

At one point he says, “Midnight Madness, Zazoo Zaz!” . 

I love this. Please start saying it. I have no idea where it comes from, and googling it has been no help. Barney uses it to mean, like, “Ooh-la-la.” But I think it makes a good all-purpose positive exclamation. “Our team won! Zazoo Zaz!” “Zazoo Zaz, this car is fast!” “Ooh, ooh… I’m coming… Zazoo Zaz!”

A few of you have informed me that it's probably a reference to the song Zaz Zuh Zaz by Cab Calloway and I was just mislead by the closed captions. That's probably the case. Although I prefer Zazoo Zaz! 

The next step is for you to start incorporating it into your everyday vernacular and online posts.  It's a natural phrase to throw around at magic conventions and on magic message boards. "Zazoo Zaz! It really looked like that coin penetrated that box. And you say there's no slit?"

"Quick! Snap a picture of me in idea-cooking mode."

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Yigal is notoriously litigious, or, at the very least, he's known to protect his intellectual property rigorously. I have no problem with that. I think it's a good thing (except when I don't). 

But that fact has given me a wonderfully diabolical plan. I could use some help. I need to find out what he's reading here. Then find out what page he's on. Then see if I can intuit what type of idea he was cooking. Then I go and trademark or patent or copyright the idea myself. Then, later, when he tries to come out with... I don't know... an invisible thread reel built into a belt buckle or something... guess who beat him to the punch? Your boy, Andy. And then I'll be rich with that magic money like:

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Goddammit, someone find out what he's reading in that photo! Zoom in. Enhance. Enhance!

[Dear Yigal, please don't sue me for using your facebook photo. I am but a poor magic blogger, tending my posts. It's all in good fun. I actually think it's a very nice photo. You look good enough to take to the picture show. (zazoo zaz)]

I got another one of these offers. You have no clue how tempted I am to see what they would come up with for this site.

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In fact, I look forward to the day when this entire site is populated by "well-written pieces of content" written by others that I was paid to post.

I have a new favorite magician.

This isn't magic, but it's one of my favorite things I've stumbled across on youtube in a long time. It's from Candid Camera in 1965. It's nothing complicated. All they did was introduce some students to a new hot teacher and then record their reactions. The girls at the beginning are adorable, but it really picks up when we see the boys' reactions to "Miss Darling." It's so great. They totally flip out. I guess this is what it was like before the internet, when any random hot lady would just send you out of your mind because it might be 8 more months before you saw another one (undoubtedly when you were peeking through a hole in a picket fence or some other 1960s shit). And to be fair, the teacher is a genuine smoke-show. If anyone can track this woman down for me, please do so. Seriously, Miss Darling, I don't say these words often, but, Zazoo Zaz!