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Especially for those card magicians who feel unable to rely entirely on their own charm, wit, charisma and rugged good looks, we’ve just added a wide range of designer playing cards to our stock, including numbered limited editions and first runs. Call in and have a look. And perhaps imagine running your eager, sensitive fingers across the pertly perfect pasteboards and listening to the crisp riffle of a finely executed faro.

We can almost guarantee they’ll add even more to the lustre of your performance than Adam’s latest patter lines. Give your lifts a lift and add polish to your passes today, or at your earliest convenience.

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A few of the photographs I took during the Sheffield Street Magic Festival on 1-2 November 2014.

I’m pleased to say that we’ve now had payment for this and are able to pay participants. Shop regulars should have received their pittance fee; if you’ve not had yours, call in or give me a ring. This should be a complete list. If your name isn’t on, contact me immediately.

Peter Antoniou, Russ Appleby, John Archer, Ian Baker, Adam Bell, Steve Brownley, Ashton Carter, Chris Clarke, Nathan Clarke, Connor, Roger Curzon, Darren Dudley, David, Steve Faulkner, Craig Frith, Julie Gascoyne, Ian Hallworth, Peter Hammond, Ian Henshaw, Toby Hudson, Tom Hudson, Ryan Jackson, Ben Jones, Dominic Lawrenson, Nathan Lindley, Looch, Tom Magick, Jared Manley, John Martin, Jordan Maycock, Callum Morris, Gareth Neale, Vincent O’Brien, Gordon Pemberton, June Savory, Ben Smithies, Jake Smithies, Tim Smithies, Wiz Spencer, Andy Taylor, Peter Wall, Tony Wilkinson.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who performed or helped in any way. I hope you enjoyed your involvement and feel that the Festival helped raise the profile of magic in Sheffield.

The 2014 event was much bigger than 2013, spread over two days and with two evening shows and two ‘junior magician workshops’ (despite the organisation  fee being the same!). I’d love to get your feedback and hear your ideas for improvement if we go for a 2016 Festival. Don’t hesitate to comment below, or email me. Thanks.

I had a call earlier from someone who’d seen my previous post about Explaindio, asking if it was really as easy as I said it was, and what could you do with it. So I took a little time out this evening to make a short test video.

Please note that this is not intended as a serious promotional offering. I knocked it out in about 20 minutes as a way of getting to know the program and seeing what it can do. So I’ve mixed static and hand-written text, video, cartoon characters, still images, etc.

The result won’t win any prizes. (If I was going to do it properly I’d keep some of the text on the screen longer so even kids’ entertainers would have time to read it, for example.) But it does show what you can do using the standard ‘slides’ and animations that come with the pack.

It is a very simple, menu-led program. You add ‘slides’ to the simple timeline and just add your own text and pics. There are a couple of teaching videos on the Explaindio website, but you don’t really need then to start using the program. Just pitch in and click a few buttons like I did…

But keep it simpler; don’t use all the facilities in one video!

Confession: Although the program does come with some royalty-free music I added my own instead. But you probably guessed that.

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Last year’s Sheffield Circle Magic Auction featured everything from a complete set of Tarbell to a gold lamé cloak (not seen you wearing it yet, Adam).

This year’s auction is on Thursday 6 February. Doors open at 7:03 and the frenzied bidding (illustrated here) starts at 7:30. So bring your unwanted props — all those little gems which looked quite different in your hands compared with the moodily ‘artistic’ dem video — and some cash.

Admission is free to SCM members and £3 to visitors. Ten percent of the proceeds goes to swell Circle funds, and anyone who snores, falls off their chair or makes a rude comment about your friendly auctioneer will be deemed to have placed a bid.

Preparations for the Sheffield Street Magic Festival on 31 August continue. 5000 flyers are due to be delivered later today (Friday). And here’s our promotional video. Be sure to spread the word!

Many thanks to our magical performers: Mike Baker, Adam Bell, Craig’s Magic, Roger Curzon, Steve Faulkner, Tom Hudson (AfroMagic), Tim Smithies, Damian Surr (Gingermagic), and the people of Sheffield.

More news soon.

I’ve been working recently on a new DVD Making Magic, with Craig Frith, Travis Carter and Adam Bell. This is designed to offer the student magician a sound introduction to the basics of close-up magic… the sort of instructional DVD we would have liked to have had when we started in magic.

We discussed the old adage that if you know ten ways to find a chosen card and one way to reveal it, you essentially have one trick. But if you know just one way to find a chosen card and ten ways to reveal it, you have ten tricks.

Of course that’s something of an over-simplification; and you wouldn’t do all ten at one performance, would you?

So I thought it would be fun to drop in a few example revelations at an appropriate point in the DVD. So on Saturday I roped in a few of the layab…, sorry, Loungers, to perform some quick card revelations. Things escalated somewhat so I decided to put them all together in a short, and possibly amusing, film.

 

The ‘silent movie’ theme seemed to fit. There are no explanations in this particular section; we’re just looking at ‘the what’, for ‘the how’ you’ll have to wait for the DVD. And for ‘the why’ you’ll probably need to consult with someone better versed in the convoluted psychology of the average card magician.

Nevertheless, we optimistically hope that it will be a small step in encouraging new magicians to think a little creatively about their card magic!

Our astute reader will have noticed that we have been adding a few Saturday Sessions videos to our YouTube Channel. They aren’t like proper magic videos as they’re simply shot with a single hand-held camera and no special lighting… actually, come to think of it that is like most magic videos (but not Magick videos, of course).

This is Adam Bell performing his own routine Kingdom Come, which first appeared in Al Smith‘s Abacus magazine. (If anyone has the issue reference to hand please add it below.)

If you’d like to see more of these, add your comments below. Or if you’re visiting The Magick Lounge why not come prepared to be added to our growing showcase of illustrious performers? (It’s not just Adam, you know.)