This is a question I get asked quite often; most people are surprised at the answer.
Actually the foundation of the material I perform is quite old, sometimes called “the classics of Magic.” Classics never die, but they do evolve…unless you’re doing a period piece. The foundations and psychology of magic will never change. Things work for a reason, and that is fact. We can discuss the theory of magic, but successful results and performances do not happen because of theory. They succeed when the performer has a thorough knowledge of how artful deception becomes entertainment. Much of the card magic I perform, dates back fifty to hundred years and beyond. The tools, (sleight of hand) are just as old. The “Magical Plots” are ancient. It is rare when a new plot is introduced into this field. Quite often, inventors are chasing their tales and rarely improve on the originals they are imitating. Suffice it to say, a competently trained, and talented Magician can make good money where there is a thriving market for this entertainment. O.K., now I give out the secret, which a magician is never supposed to do. Some new technology has aided deception and made the job easier in some instances. However, IMHO the impact of the effect is not always stronger than what can be accomplished with different means. Finally, if this craft, (art) that we call magic was reliant on advancement through the “latest Developments in its field, I think it would crumble. I would say it is reliant on innovators. Those who are willing to step outside the ordinary and be something different. Those who present a new fresh face or approach that attracts wide spread interest. In my life I recall, Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, Penn and Teller, David Blaine, Criss Angel and many others who do not always get the recognition granted to those whose talents align with the stars.
And for those who have an interest, the oldest truth in this business is, practice correctly until you get it right. “And how long should I practice?” As long as it takes.
It sure has been a long time since I blogged, but there’s no time like vacation to catch up on many things.
There’s nothing more magical than visiting Key West. All your troubles disappear as soon as you touch down. So much to do or just kick back and relax.
We visited The Green Parrot Bar on Rte. 1. I had the pleasure of performing some close up Magic for some guests. (By invitation.)
One of my pet peeves are the “Street Magicians, AKA Kamikazes)
Because they assault innocent bystanders into watching them massage there own egos. Of course, that’s just because I’m getting to old to do it. My performances are by invitation only. Unless I’m being paid to perform walk Around/Strolling magic.
Last night I was having dinner with my wife and daughter at the “Rum Bar”. As usual I was toying with a deck of cards, and our waiter asked me if I was practicing my “center deal”. Well only a magician or gambler would use such a term. Long Story…short!
His name is Greg Wythe who hailed from Sandiego, Ca. His mentor was none other than the late J.C. Wagner. One of Greg’s prized possessions is the last deck of cards handled by J.C. before he lost his battle to cancer.
Greg is still a member of The Magic Castle in Hollywood, Ca. he was working as a magician doing trade shows until 911. A lot of things changed, most importantly was the loss of innocent lives, but the trickle down changed many aspects of the economy. You can catch a performance of Greg on you tube. Just search Greg Wythe Magic and he’ll come up.
Bye for now…next time I’ll write from good ol’ Mass. The home of far too many magicians.
Being a working Magician in Boston, Ma. and it’s surrounding suburbs has its ups and downs. I’d love nothing better to say than I was one busy guy for the month of February. However that was not the case. Things were slow. This gave me more time to walk the dog and experiment with new magical material. Not to mention continual practice and rehearsal. Which is a must for anyone who takes his craft seriously. I can’t predict trends, I’m sure there are other Magicians who can and others who were really busy in February.
Good news is that bookings are now going as far as April. (Go figure?) I am also happy to say that more bookings are coming for my Parlor show. A show which is fun to perform, and appears to be very entertaining to watch form the reactions of my audiences. I’m open to suggestions for venues that would welcome this type of entertainment. I must mention that it was Michael Vincent from England who inspired me to attempt this type of entertainment. He is a master at all forms of Magic, and it becomes art in his hands. Which reminds me, I’ve got to put up a thank you page for all the Magicians and people who have influenced and encouraged me. Thank you all.
Joe Ferranti “The Magician for All Occasions”
Each holiday season, many companies celebrate with their co-workers. Depending on the size of the company, most often some entertainment will be hired.
The hiring in usually done by a committee of two but I’ve noted it’s usually one person who carries the largest burden if the entertainment is great or a flop. (Which is enough reason to pass this high pressure job on to different people each year.)
Of course, these jobs are more than welcomed by me, and all the other magicians in the area. Arriving at one this past season I was awaiting to meet the young woman who had hired me. While waiting I find a place in a corner where I’m not readily observed. First, this is an opportunity to get set for the night. (Make sure each item is in the correct pocket, very important.) Second, I’m not really too keen on making small talk before I perform.
Shortly, I am approached by the person who hired me. After the customary introductions I asked her what they’ve had for entertainment recently. She told me comedians. “Actually, they haven’t been very funny” she said. Of course this struck me as odd. I don’t remember if I said, “that’s funny.” Wanting to calm her nerves I told her to relax, I’m here to entertain. I promised her that her friends would be patting her on the back for her choice of entertainment. I know this sounds like I might have a hard time finding a hat to fit my head. Not really the case. My confidence comes from knowing that most lay people have never met a professional Magician. Many have seen uncles and others deal countless piles of cards until they finally point to a card and declare they have found your card.
Point being when they see what can be done with an ordinary pack of cards and a few coins etc. they find their eyes bugging out of their heads, not to mention the laughter which comes along for a free ride.
Honestly, I’ve never had a bad night…I’ve been a little bit off, but that’s never the end of the world. By the time you leave, you will have heard that you are “The Best Magician” they have ever seen. I learned a long time ago (from one of THE BEST) that you should expect that every time you perform. However, keep yourself grounded. Remember, you are probably the first professional magician they have encountered. So keep your ego down, you are not “the best magician” you just did your job. After all, you did not perform real miracles.
I got a follow up email the next day, “You were right about the pats on the back.”
Joe Ferranti, “The Magician for all Occasions”
I just got back from Hollywood, Ca. Not everyone knows, but there is a private magic club, celebrating their fiftieth Birthday. Happy Birthday to The Magic Castle. Although, it is a private club, the public is welcome with a few easy to meet conditions. If you have the chance to visit, you will witness some of the finest Magicians from around the world. In some ways, it’s like stepping back in time. There is a strict dress code. If not, everybody would be in their jeans and t-shirts. Magic deserves a little more sophistication and respect than a trip to your local burger joint.
You will find a “close up Magic” room. There are only 22 seats in this mini Theatre. The seats are set up as if in a theatre, tiered. Not a bad seat in the house. This is the ways “Close up Magic” should be viewed. When you’re ready, wander over to the “Parlor of Prestidigitation”. Here you’ll see a slightly larger show. Don’t forget the stage show. Laughter and great Mysteries share the same stage. You’ll never run out of things to see, just make your way to the W.C. Fields bar and see more Magicians up close, but a bit more interactive with their audience. A trip to the bathroom may surprise and entertain you. Go check it out. If you find any down time, several club members dedicate their talents to entertain anyone and everyone.
If you are looking for a particular Magician, check the schedule on line. If you don’t gain a new appreciation of Magic and Magicians, I’d suggest you check your pulse. Joe Ferranti, Close up Magician, Massachusetts
Many people don’t know one form of magic from another. That’s O.K. It’s not their fault. Most have a stereotype of what a magician is and does. Some think we are childish and are only entertainment for Children’s birthday Parties. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
I do limited Birthday parties in Boston and its surrounding suburbs.
I have one specialty which goes by many names. Strolling Magic, Walk Around Magic, Mix”n Mingle, Close Up Magic. If you know other names or something comes to minds send it to me www.joeferrantimagic.com.
The Strolling Magician does not perform a formal show. I mean you wouldn’t set up chairs and have your guests seated to watch a 45 minute show. ( Although you may be interested in a formal close up show.)
There are unlimited venues where you may utilize a Strolling Magician. These are listed on my services page.
In short The Magician makes his way through the event entertaining groups of people. It is not unusual to hear loud clapping, laughing and cheering. It truly is a good time for everyone involved. No doubt, you will have people approach you and tell you they have never seen a Magician as good as you in their life. (A wise Magician advises, not to get a fat head!) It’s really quite simple. Most people have never experienced the talents of a professional Magician. If they do again, he will be their “New Best Magician ever.” That’s why you don’t have to order a new hat size. More often than not, you will be everybody’s new best friend. I’m not sure what that says about my needs for having my ego stroked.
Make no mistake, whether it be Boston or Worcester, no one will put more heart into their Mingling show than Joe Ferranti.
It would be my pleasure to entertain your guests for any occasion. They will thank you. That is a guarantee.
Oh that’s easy, you just practice one or two hours a day for the rest of your life. You have to stay in shape, it’s like a workout without the gym. If you can afford it you can hire a trainer.
Seriously, you can start almost anywhere. In the time of the Dinosaurs we would go to the Library and take out books. The information was somewhat limited. Not all libraries carry the best kept secrets. The internet has a plethora of information, but you could spend most of your time separating the wheat from the chaff. Time spent searching to discover actual useful information you obtain may be out of proportion to be of any help. More wasted time.
Some professional Magicians write some good books for lay people. So good, it irritates some Magicians. You might check out Joshua Jay- Magic: The Complete Course www.joshuajay.com/store/item1.html another resource is Harry Lorayne’s The Magic Book, www.amazon.com/ Of course there are many others, but these are two of the best.
Your next step is to walk into a “Magic Shop”. You will be blown away by all the DVDs. Books, individual tricks, special gimmicks. Be careful you might walk out feeling you had a bad week end in Las Vegas. There are also Magic Clubs. The Society of American Magicians, (S.A.M.) also the International Brotherhood of Magicians. (I.B.M.) In a club you will interact with real people of many skill levels.
Most sponsor professional lecturers as part of your dues. The greatest value is that you will interact with human beings. Human beings who generally have your best interest at heart. Some will share, others might not. There is nothing like learning directly from another person. You can advance your skills quickly as a member of a club.
Last, I must mention there are personal tutors. Check out www.joeferrantimagic.com, I hear he is very good. Actually, the first thing I go over is what your goals are, and specifically if I am knowledgeable in the area of your interest.
Once I know what your goal is, I devise the quickest path to attain a small goal and let you fly on your own. I do not see students as endless sources of income. I try to provide a quick learning service to get over a hurdle, and then you are on your own.
This should give you plenty of resources for learning the “moves”. Later we will talk about actually being entertaining. That’s a whole other story.