Saturday, November 26, 2011

Outsourced - How to be Mario


After a 10 hour video game binge, reality transforms into a Scott Pilgrim-esque fantasy.

Is that dinosaur shaped shrub Yoshi incarnate? If you stomp on this mushroom, will you have an instant 2 foot growth spurt?!

Redditor NullPoint84 took note. He hung a handmade Mario question block in public, stood by with camera in hand and invited anyone to reenact the Mario fist jump!

His public experiment resulted in a fantastic photo series of strangers caught mid-air.

Make your own and add a small trampoline for extra high jumps. Make a themed photobooth or fill one with chocolate coins for tasty motivation!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Facebook Fan Poll - Names

I've been talking to my graphic designer and am hoping to have my own deck of cards by the end of the year. Now, I'm looking for your input.

Join the Facebook Fan Page and let your opinion be known in the Tuesday Fan Poll!

What should my deck of cards be called?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hiatus blog is taking the week off.

Follow @TheUsedMagician on Twitter or Like

I am still accepting booking requests also.

Friday, November 11, 2011

July 22nd

Today is essentially the one year anniversary of the idea of me moving to Texas. I had considered it sometime around May or so of last year, but July 22nd is the day that truly set this path in motion. To celebrate that anniversary, I took my girlfriend to the circus. In the end, it feels quite fitting.

On the drive home I thought of how I had just seen the impossible. I saw a girl juggle fire while being suspended twenty some odd feet off the floor by her hair, I saw body benders, uphill tight rope walking, an elephant that can paint, and so much more during the Greatest Show on Earth.

The impossible. It's what a move from home felt like.

I can't believe how long of a year it has been. The last three months have felt so quick, but anything before that feels like a lifetime ago. I'm looking through an old folder of pictures on my computer to find a photo to go with this blog and it just reminds me of how long this relationship between me and Jordan has gone on. From "meeting" on Beck's MySpace in December of 2005, to our first phone call in March the next year. Finally, in October of 2006 we met and it's crazy, but we met here...somewhere around where I am now, it's just down the freeway. You can't help but miss the trips sometimes! That is probably the downfall of long distance relationships. We would see each other one week every two to four months and you would have to fit that entire time into those seven days.

I do miss the absolute thrill and nervous excitement of seeing her at the airport. Luckily, however, it's not the trips that I miss. I do miss the places we went to, but I'll see them again. It's the time we spent living together that I really miss. I think it's a fairly human trait to always want more than what you've got. The grass is always greener on the other side, they say. For me, it's not wanting my grass greener, it's just wanting more grass!

That week that she came to see me in 2009 and then never left...that was amazing. That was impossible. I showed her off to everyone that week. I can remember the sun, the chilled air, the jacket I wore, everything. Such an amazing time. Ahhhh...Isn't life wonderful?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adventure Time

I just finished reading the A.J. Jacobs book "The Know It All." In the book, the author takes up a year long adventure of reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica from A - Z. This isn't my first A.J. Jacobs book as I really enjoy his "saturation journalism" or whatever it may be called. In another of his books he spends a year living as literally as possible to the Bible, especially the little rules that are overlooked. His books reminds me of the book "Yes Man." Before the movie there was a book about an author that spent a year saying "Yes" to EVERYTHING. It's completely different, but just as funny, as the movie and I would more than highly recommend it to anyone.

I'm about to go on an adventure of my own. My car died two weeks ago and I'm getting my mom's old car as a replacement. In order to get my mom's car I have to get from Houston, Texas to Detroit, Michigan. Very early tomorrow morning I'll be taking the Metro bus to a Greyhound station, off to Dallas, a Spirit Airline flight to Detroit, and then driving the car back down in time to work on Friday.

Looking to my adventure tomorrow and having finished the Encyclopedia (by proxy) makes me begin to look forward to my next adventure: My New Month.

Every January I do something new every day for the entire month. Last year I dyed my hair at home for the first time, announced my move to Texas, went window shopping for an engagement ring, grew a mustache, found out my IQ score, had my first New Year's kiss, had one of my magic ideas sold on, had an idol follow me on Twitter, and many more.

This will be my fourth year. Before January hits I make a list of some new things I could consider doing so that I always have an idea of what to do. This year will be one of the toughest and most fun as many of my new ideas have already happened throughout 2011. I rode a city bus, had to wear a beard cover at work, made it to my old high school weight, made a profit off of magic, and even tried to fix a car with duct tape.

Not only has the last year's changes made this adventure more difficult, but the fact that I have three other years of new things behind me makes the list a bit smaller.

So I'm looking for some ideas for 2012. Also, I'd like to see if anyone wants to join with me (as getting someone else to join would also be a new thing for me!)

Some old ideas of mine that haven't happened yet are:
Practice Radical Honesty for a day
Become a Yes Man
Learn French
Learn Guitar
Make a video go viral
Make a five year plan
Call everyone on my phone's contact list

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fan Obsolescence 7 - Roll the Tape

It's Working - MGMT (Air Remix)
Blood on Our Hands - Justice Remix
File Sharing - Steve, The Amazing
Out of My System - Jamie Lidell
Down So Long - Jewel
Jupiter - Starf***er
Waitin’ for My Man - Record Club
Bottle of Blues - Beck
Fences - Phoenix (The Soft Pac remix)
Delicate - Finelle

My very musically inclined girlfriend tells me that it is not proper to censor a band's name. After hearing her short argument I completely agreed with her. However, I still feel it is necessary to censor the band name "Starf***er" because of the variety of people that may view my website. I do blame them for choosing such a name, but if you're interested in hearing their music I would recommend you searching for the uncensored name of the band. Thanks!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Outsourced - Feral Birds

“Across parts of Australia, reports have been pouring in of strange voices chattering high in the treetops — mysterious, non-sensical conversations in English. But while this phenomenon is certainly quite odd, its explanation isn’t paranormal. It turns out that escaped pet birds, namely parrots and cockatoos, have begun teaching their wild bird counterparts a bit of the language they picked up from their time in captivity — and, according to witnesses, that includes more than a few expletives.

Jaynia Sladek, an ornithologist from the Australian Museum, says that some birds are just natural mimickers, able to acquire new sounds based on things they hear around them. For birds kept as pets, these sounds tend to mirror human language — but that influence doesn’t cease even after said birds escape or are released back into the wild.

Once back in their natural environments, these chatty ex-pets eventually join with wild birds who, in turn, start picking up the new words and sounds. The remnants of that language also eventually gets passed along to the escaped birds’ offspring, much like it does for humans.

“There’s no reason why, if one comes into the flock with words, [then] another member of the flock wouldn’t pick it up as well,” Sladek said in an interview with Australian Geographic.

According to the report, ‘Hello cockie’ is one of the most commonly heard phrases feral birds are teaching in the wild, along with a host of expletives — perhaps the last words those escapees heard after their frantic owners realized they were making a break for freedom.”

Via (Thanks Damon)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where I Stand - Recording Day

Recording days are filled with a lot of emotion. Usually that emotion begins the nite before when I'm trying to condense weeks worth of hopes and goals into a few workable routines. Each time I'm looking to push myself a bit further than I did last time.

Luckily I've been getting a lot of shows here which means that I've been practicing pretty non stop.

I've gotten over a lot of my performance anxiety, which is really helpful when wanting to record magic on the street for strangers. I've also come to the point where I know WHY I'm recording magic for YouTube, etc. I don't need to capture every moment or every effect I ever perform, but I just need to give people an idea of what I do so that they want to see it in person. I don't need to be "the next Criss Angel" and record an entire dvd, but just get out and perform for people. It's a lot more enjoyable that way.

It is still a very daunting task to go up to someone (especially with a camera person) and potentially interrupt their day in order to perform something that will "most likely work."

Today was a good day though. I did start to stretch my performance muscles by performing some pretty heavy duty mind reading, though my nervousness shown through by getting easily sidetracked and making jokes. Most people wouldn't notice it because they didn't know what to expect, but I knew. I have been known to be very hard on myself. Luckily I have been able to take a much more balanced approach lately in evaluating my performances.

The day got off to a slow start practicing some routines with my camera man that we hoped to record. We practiced the same effect over and over because there really is no telling what is going to happend during some magic effects, especially when dealing with mind reading and hypnosis.

After listening to a local girl covering Adele songs while we ordered some Pot Belly's we got started.

It didn't take long for my camera man to mention a group walking past us. I stopped them and performed a quick trick. There was no need to start recording right away as we were looking to build early successes. The great thing about this first group was that it caused a small scene and allowed me to scout out possible spectators.

A few groups stopped and tried to see what was going on, but only one group stuck around long enough for me to ask them over once the effect was done.

After recording some fun stuff (and a lot of wild conversations) we moved on to find another group. This is usually a pretty strange moment. If you don't find a group immediately afterwards it can often be an hour or more until you find a group that seems open to seeing something crazy. After a lot of walking we decide that we should find one last group in order to end on a high note.

I point out a group so large that my camera man gets nervous!

That last sentence makes me feel very excited for how far I've come along in my performance. A huge thank you to all the people that participated in the recordings and I hope you see your video up in the Steve TV section soon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Facebook Fan Poll - Secret Shows

Secret Shows can happen anywhere! Here's your chance to try to influence where the next Secret Show will happen. When will it happen? Well, that's the SECRET!

Join the Facebook Fan Page and let your opinion be known in the Tuesday Fan Poll!

"Where should one of my next Saturday Secret Shows be?"