There’s an old story in magic that goes like this: A young hotshot magician walks up to and old master and brags, “I know over a thousand tricks.” The old master replies, “That’s nice. I know ten.”
Allow me to interpret: When the young magician says he knows 1,000 tricks, he’s telling the truth. But he “knows” these tricks on the most superficial level: He knows their secrets. He couldn’t perform these tricks to save his life. The old master, by comparison, “knows” ten tricks like the back of his hand. He’s performed each one for decades. Each one is a miracle.
Using the old master’s standard, the young hotshot magician probably knows zero tricks. The young magician doesn’t have time to perfect any tricks; he’s too busy learning the secrets to new ones.
So how many tricks should you know? And how do you arrive at these tricks? Continue Reading7 comments
theory11 is featured today in The Wall Street Journal, the largest newspaper by circulation in the United States. The article spotlights one of the many unique ways that theory11 protects magic secrets.
Specifically, writer Ellen Gamerman talks about our Fake Exposure Contests, where theory11 members post fake exposure videos on YouTube – with ridiculous, hilarious methods – meant to make it difficult to find REAL exposure videos.
The concept began as a fun, lighthearted idea popularized by Rob Anderson and Rick Lax, but over the past two years, it has had a real, dramatic, positive effect on our fight against magic exposure. Read the article now on The Wall Street Journal website.
Now Available: Circuit by Zach Heath. Place a ring on your finger and with a jolt of the wrist, it jumps from one finger to another.
A second jolt makes the ring jump to the next finger. You can jump finger to finger, and even skip fingers in between! There is no cover, no awkward movements, and no ditching.
Guys like Daniel Garcia, Paul Harris, and Bizzaro think up amazing new tricks faster than the rest of us can even learn ‘em.
Calen Morelli invented a new trick every single day, for 177 days in a row. How is that possible? How do magic inventors think up new illusions? Continue Reading10 comments
Now You See Me Interview with Jesse Eisenberg
Watch this exclusive interview where Andrei Jikh interviews Jesse Eisenberg… or does Jesse Eisenberg interview Andrei Jikh? Well, it’s a little of both!
Jesse Eisenberg stars in the upcoming magician heist film Now You See Me. Catch it in theaters May 31st, and watch the interview above to learn about the movie, the magic, and the playing cards used in the film: our very own Monarchs!
David Blaine is mysterious. Steve Cohen is classy. Juan Tamariz is crazy. Mac King’s goofy. Penn & Teller are clever. And Copperfield’s suave.
Seems like all the great magicians have unique performance styles. So how do you develop a style of your own? Start with the cliché: Be yourself. Continue Reading8 comments
The latest edition of our critically acclaimed Artisan Playing Cards. Now available in an all-new, breathtaking White Edition.
Artisans are back – in pure white. Illustrated by Simon Frouws in South Africa, these premium playing cards feature gold foil hot stamped onto ultra-lux white paper.
See Details: White Artisan Playing Cards [don't miss the video!]
The Artisan Spade Shirt is printed on an ultra-soft black shirt made with 100% Premium Pima Cotton – accented with hot stamped gold foil.
Lightweight, slim, and comfortable – the perfect tee for summer. It is (literally) the softest shirt we’ve EVER felt. Made in the USA and in stock now for immediate shipping.
See Details: Artisan Spade Shirt by theory11
You’ve probably never heard of Lewis Cohen. That’s not surprising, considering he was born over 200 years ago. Cohen was the first person to make lead pencils in America, and he invented a four-color printing process that revolutionized the manufacture of playing cards in the late 1830′s.
A son and two nephews of Lewis Cohen merged their respective playing card companies in 1871 and became the Consolidated Card Company. Calling themselves the New York Consolidated Card Co. a few years later, the group became a leading producer of playing cards in a very short period of time. Continue Reading
Back in high school I was serious about playing the piano. I practiced every day and
I took on extra-difficult pieces like Chopin’s “Fantasie-Impromptu” and Jack Fina’s
I performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” for the big Senior Concerto concert. All my classmates and family showed up to hear me. I was playing by memory, and ten minutes into the piece…my mind went totally blank. I had to stop the show, stop the band, apologize, walk off stage, get my sheet music, walk back on, and finish. I was so embarrassed. Just crushed.
Most performers—myself definitely included—get nervous from time to time. And realizing that everybody gets stage fright is the first step to moving past it.
The second step is messing up. Just as it’s okay to be nervous, it’s okay to mess up, too. When I perform a trick for the first time, I just assume I’ll mess it up. I look at my first five performances as disasters through which I have to wade. If one of those performances hits, well, it’s a bonus.
I don’t do these first five performances for just anyone; I do them for trusted friends and fellow magicians—people in front of whom I feel comfortable messing up.
David Copperfield recommends beating stage fright by growing your audience little by little. Start small and work your way up.
“Begin with small groups,” he advises. “Many performances for many small groups, and then you work up gradually.”
If you follow Copperfield’s tip, the third step will come automatically: Let confidence come to you. It doesn’t happen overnight; but it does happen inevitably. When you perform a trick 100 times, you can’t help but grow confident. Doesn’t matter if you’re performing in front of a TV camera or in front of a 500-person audience. Eventually you’ll get used to it; eventually, you’ll relax a little.
Want to squash stage right? Then go perform. Right now.
The 1st time will be scary, the 10th will be stressful, the 20th will be okay, the 50th will be smooth, and the 100th will be amazing.2 comments