Monday, November 17, 2014

So for the first time tonight I heard the term "box jumper"

This was used by a magician in a derogatory manner. I assume it implies something ...

Nonetheless, I have recently had a positive experience with who I presume would be considered a "box jumper" ... with Harry Blackstone (Sr). In his day, his stature as a magician was such that the (Senior) was never actually required. More soon.

Holiday Deal for Birthday Party Magician

Holiday Balloon Wreath
<p>From now through January 1, 2015 for the Holiday Season, Magician Rick Dziekan will be offering a free baloon sculpture addon package for all birthday parties booked. Mention Code DzBalloon14 when booking. Click here to book us today. Or email us at

Service areas include:

Pennsylvania: Bucks County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County
Rick Dziekan and DZ Magic service: Abington, Allentown, Ambler, Ardmore, Audubon, Bensalem, Bethlehem, Bridgeport, Broomall, Bryn Mawr, Blue Bell, Chadds Ford, Chalfont, Chesterbrook, Coatesville, Collegeville, Colmar, Conshohocken, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Dublin, East Norriton, Easton, Elkins Park, Ephrata, Exton,Feasterville, Flourtown, Fort Washington, Franconia, Gilbertsville, Gladwyne, Glenside, Green Lane, Harleysville, Hatboro, Hatfield, Hilltown, Horsham, Jenkintown, Kennett Square,King of Prussia,Kulpsville, Kutztown, Lancaster, Lansdale, Limerick, Lower Gwynedd, Lower Merion, Lower Moreland, Lower Providence, Lower Salford, Lower Southampton,Macungie, Malvern, Maple Glen, Media, Montgomeryville, Nazareth, New Britain, New Hope, New Hannover, Newtown, Norristown, North Wales, Oaks, Palmyra, Paoli, Pennsburg,Perkasie, Perkiomen Township, Phoenixville, Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Pottstown, Pottsville, Quakertown, Radnor, Reading, Royersford, Sellersvile, Skippack, Souderton,Skippack, Springfield, Springhouse, Telford, Towamenicin, Trappe, Trooper, Upper Darby, Upper Dublin, Upper Gwynedd, Upper Moreland, Valley Forge, Villanova, Warminster,Warrington, Wayne, West Point, Whitpain, Whitehall, Willow Grove, Worcester, Wynnewood, Yardley, York and others!</p>

Balloon Sculptures at Pennridge Holiday Bazaar

So the holiday bazaar at Pennridge was fun. I think the event itself had lots of vendors but attendance was a bit low. We were the only entertainment apparently scheduled and were booked late in the process so that probably did not help. It was the first year for this particular bazaar so I would assume it will be bigger and better next year.

I brought by new signage which promotes me as both a magician and balloon entertainer. This drew particular interest from one boy who was clearly a magic fan, and many parents took a business card as well as a balloon sculpture.

But we weren't there for magic this night -- it was all about balloon artistry. We made the usual dogs and swords, and silly hats. A few slightly more advanced designs like an elephant and a teddy bear. The biggest hit was a Christmas Wreath complete with a festive red bow.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Balloon Sculptures at Pennridge Holiday Bazaar

DZ Magic will be doing Balloon Sculptures at:
 1500 North Fifth St. Perkasie
November 15th 5-7PM
1st Annual Holiday Bazaar & Flea Market
Pennridge North Middle School

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Interview with Ran'D Shine by Anastasia Dziekan

The following is an interview which originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of the Society of Young Magicians #96 newsletter, by Anastasia Dziekan....                          

Ran'D is the face of the new millennium magician. He wowed audiences with his brilliant presentation at the 44th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C as well as Capetown, South Africa. As one of the most sought after college performers he has also captured the imaginations of audiences from Hollywood to New York City for more than a decade. He has already read your mind and knows that you want to know more. Read for yourself…

A few years ago, you visited SYM #96, and told us about a trip to Africa and the term “Ubuntu.” That was meaningful to me, and I still remember it even better than the magic you shared with us.

For our newer members, can you summarize what that term means to you and how it relates to magic?

Ubuntu is a word from South African Bantu language that means humanness. It is often translated to mean humanity toward others. But it is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.  The philosophical definition is the underlying philosophy of my approach to magic.  When I perform it not about what I can do, it more about what we can do together to create a experience, I am just a facilitator, a catalyst to make unexpected things happen.

 Most magicians seem to begin to be interested in magic at an early age. Can you describe your first experience with magic and how it managed to grab a hold of you?

 Most magicians became interested in magic as a young child or teenager. That’s not my story.  I did experience magic as a teenager but it didn’t grab my attention, I was interested in other things.  My interest in magic didn’t happen until I was in graduate school. A student in the class I was teaching owned a magic shop and showed me a few effects after class.  I was intrigued, confused, curious, and mystified. In other words my brain short circuited.  From that day on Brian Foshee and I became friends, and we are friends to this very day.

In magic, unlike most other art forms, a single error can seem to ruin an entire performance. Do you allow any margin for error in your performance (as mentalists sometimes do)? How do you handle or avoid mistakes?

There is always a margin of error in any effect or performance. Humans are not perfect.  The fact that magic is an performance art that involves the use of  participants, that may behave in unpredictable ways is a margin of error we have to accept. However,  I do take some calculated risk in my show, and that is thrilling for me.  But over the years of constant performing I have a arsenal of
outs that I can use  if things don’t go as planned.  Hiawatha Johnson once told me “There are no mistakes, only lessons” If you learn the lesson it only prepares you for future challenges.

Do you find that different groups respond differently to magic? (Children, teenagers,
adults and the elderly as well as male and female)

People respond differently depending on their mood. Some people scream and laugh others are silent but have a perplex look on their face.  I have witnessed a range of reactions from all ages groups and gender.

As a magician, what kinds of audiences have you found to be the most difficult and easiest to entertain?

 Performing and entertaining an audience is two different things.  You will find more resistance to performing for an audience  compared to entertaining an audience.  Performing is about the “Trick”  entertaining is about the trick, the charm, style script, etc…

 How and how often do you practice, and who serves as a test audience for your new routines?

I practice quite a bit. Whether I practicing my script, blocking or technique. I can only do some much practicing in solitude , so I have a method for testing out  new material in front of an audience during a show.

Often beginning magicians have few outlets to perform and tend to perform nearly exclusively for family & friends.  What are the reactions of your friends and family who have been exposed to your magic for years, and do you perform for them regularly?

I don’t perform for friends or family unless they come to see me at a show.  I think it
important for the sake of the relationship not to always show friends and family a new
trick. I don’t want to be that type of magician.

 Have your magic  skills ever proven useful in the real world?

Yes my magic skills have gotten me a few perks. Nothing really significant, but I have been move d to the front of the line in a crowded event, and people have given me things for free.

What's the first thing people ask you (or ask you to do) once they find out about your profession?

I make every attempt not to tell someone I am a magician. But when they find out they usually ask one of the cliché questions:  Can you make my spouse disappear? Make me rich, etc…  It drives me crazy.

Magic tends to begin as a passion before becoming a profession. If you weren't a magician,
how would you be earning a living?

If I weren't a magician I would probably be a college professor .

What is the best piece of advice about magic you've received, and what was the source of that

The best piece of advice I was given was “ if you are going to be full time in the magic business, remember business has more letters than magic”.

Suppose you have just a minute or two to show President Obama a quick magic miracle. What effect would you choose and why?

 If  had to perform a quick trick for the president, it would be something that he would definitely  keep on his desk that he would remember me every time he looked at it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Be Prepared

Anastasia was scheduled as one of the acts for a Halloween Magic Show in Lansdale again this year along with several others from the local Society of Young Magicians. Just prior to the show, she badly sprained her ankle and could not walk.

She ended up going to the Emergency Room, and on crutches. She is improving little by little each day.

But what I wanted to discus in relation to magic shows is that the show must go on.

Am am not sure, due to her injury, if it would have made a difference, but I plan on making some backup plans for our performances in the future. It would be ideal to have a backup set of material that can be done seated, or even on crutches. Either way, it's an entirely different set of performance challenges. It might not be as great as the main show material. However, one key goal is that show must go on!

Luckily, this show was hosted by an experienced MC who carried several additional effects in his performance case and was able to extend his segments so that the paying audience got the full hour they expected. There is a lesson here too. It's always worth having a bit of extra material in case something goes wrong. In the future, I will also be sure to pack a few extra small illusions for the times when they may prove useful. It will also be necessary to keep those routines in performance shape. That's a good thing too, as it may allow the act to grow in unforseen ways and allows for expanded variety.

Anastasia's Interview with Zoe Reiches

The following email interview of Magician Zoe Reiches was done by Anastasia Dziekan and published in the Society of Young Magicians, Group 96 newsletter in January 2014. Zoe is a brilliant young magician in her own right and is one of the featured magicians in the movie Magic Camp .

Female magicians face different challenges and expectations than our male counterparts. For me, one frustrating thing is that dresses usually don't have pockets, compared to a men's suit, with ton's of pockets. What's something you've found different as a female magician and how did you handle it?
One thing I have found that makes being a female magician "challenging" is the stereotype that women are usually assistants, rather than the magician. Although historically there have been extremely influential female magicians, the field is laden with men. Although I have never been able to pin point exactly why this is so, I hold myself to the same standards as any man, woman or child who does magic.

The two acts of yours I saw at MAES were themed, scripted, and funny. Is that your primary style? Why does it seem to work for you?

 Thanks for thinking my acts were funny! I would say that humor is definitely my primary style. I have always relied heavily on my ability to think on my feet, engage with my volunteer and audience, and use words rather than elegant movements to make magic happen. It works for me because my strong suit is not my technical skill (which I struggle with) but my ability to entertain holistically, not just with effects. I have been told by other magicians that I should "focus on comedy, maybe don't do magic." It's really beaten me down in the past, but idols like Darren Romeo have been told the same thing, and he overcame all of those obstacles to be the incredible magician he is today.

How and how often do you practice, and who serves as a test audience for your new routines?

If I know I have a gig coming up, I try to run the act 3 times a day. The first time I focus on the magic, the second time I focus on the patter, and the third time I work to combine them for the whole shebang. When one move is particularly challenging, I do it over and over and over - knowing that the more confident I can do it off stage, the better it will be on stage. (Things always seem to go wrong on stage if you don't practice enough, don't they?) I practice in front of other magicians (when I want to be highly critiqued) and lay people friends when I want compliments. I did it for my family when I was younger, and they were always supportive. I try to do it for people I would normally be embarrassed to practice in front of - that way an audience is less intimidating.

Often beginning magicians have few outlets to perform and tend to perform nearly exclusively for family & friends.  What are the reactions of your friends and family who have been exposed to your magic for years, and do you perform for them regularly?

My high school friends roll my eyes when I ask if they want to see a magic trick, but everyone in life after high school (college friends, co workers, etc.) love it. Even my parents never got tired of it. I really struggle to do magic these days - I have a really complicated love-hate relationship with it, and so on the rare occasion I feel confident enough to break out a deck or some rubberbands, I'm lucky enough to have an avid audience. If I were to dispense some advice, I would say that most people want to see magic, so seek out strangers and forgiving audiences to practice new moves on.

Have your magic  skills ever proven useful in the real world? How?

I think I would be a totally different person without magic. I find magic basics to incorporate into my life every day. For instance...the entire idea of misdirection is extremely useful in my day to day life. I have learned how to steer a conversation a certain way, how to pull attention away from certain things, etc. I think like a magician all of the time. I look for ways effects could be incorporated into my daily life, even if I don't act on them. I feel like a part of a community that is accepting and quirky and complex and dynamic, and I have a lot of confidence in my social life primarily because of the experience magic has given me.

Suppose you have just a minute or two to show President Obama a quick magic miracle. What effect would you choose and why?

I would probably launch into a short rubberband routine, perhaps Crazy Man's Handcuffe, torn and restored, and jumping dollar bill. I think these are quick, powerful effects because they use every day objects that can be given to the volunteer after the trick. Obama would be walking around with a magic rubberband, and that would be awesome.

Are there any magical items that you carry almost all the time?

I usually have rubberbands and a deck of cards. I used to carry hot rods and some gimmicks, and an ITR for a while. I've gotten away from gimmicks as I've gotten older, though.