About Me

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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Toranpu-man lecture ・トランプマンのレクチャー

Last Saturday, the famous Japanese magician "Toranpu-man" was in Sapporo giving a lecture. I was there, and so was around 50 other people. Most of the spectators seemed to be hobbyists, so the lecture topics were fairly simple magic. It was fun to see Toranpu-man without his mask.


A sudden request

When I was having dinner late at night in a bar close to where I live, there was also some kind of party going on in the same bar. Lots of people, lots of noise. One of the people organizing the party had seen me do magic somewhere before, and came up and said hello. Suddenly, he also grabbed a microphone and said: "And now the foreigner sitting at the counter will do a magic show for us!"

Which was a bit surprising to me... So I checked what I had in my pockets and ended up hammering a nail into my nose to try to divine a selected card through ESP. That trick went over well, and everyone was happy. The bar owner came up and said sorry for the sudden request, and said that he would buy me any drink I wanted. I asked for whatever they served the most at the party, so I ended up drinking a "Monkey Punch" for the first time. It seemed to contain peach and pineapple, and was very sweet.



Clothes with playing cards

Recently I have run into a lot of people wearing clothes with playing card designs. I met a girl in front of the elevator that had playing card stockings. I met a girl dressed as the ace of spades for a fancy dress competition, and another with a different type of playing card stockings. Too bad there are so few clothes for men that look like that. I have only my playing card yukata.


Bitten by a customer. And by another customer!

One night in our magic bar, a drunk woman in her mid thirties said she liked to bite people when drunk. She asked the customer sitting next to her (who she had never met before) if she could bite him. He said yes, so she did. In the end, I ended up getting bitten too. I figured maybe this was fairly normal in Japan. Later, my Japanese friends have told me that it is not, it is weird.


Another night, I was talking to another customer about this biting incident, going for a "Look what weird things happen to me"-story. The customer shone up and said: "I can bite you too!"

I tried to inject a: "That is not really what I meant", but she continued on with: "If I bite you, it will hurt a lot!" I am not sure if that is actually a positive point, but it sounded like she meant it in a very positive way... After some discussions, I ended up getting bitten again. And just like she had said, it hurt. A lot. I had a bruise for many days afterwards... Strange country.


Trying to find really tiny panites

Inspired by the brilliant performance by Ursula Martinez, and by a commercial for a cheap magic prop I saw in a toy store in France, I have come up with a funny idea for a magic trick. For that trick, it would be great to have a pair of panties to make disappear. They would however need to be very small.

Ursula Martinezの素晴らしいパフォーマンスに感動して、フランスでテンヨーみたいなメーカーのCMで見た演技も考えて、新しいマジックのアイデアが思い浮かべた。そのマジックにちいっちゃなパンティを消したい。かなり小さくないと無理だけど。

I have been all over town looking for panties that fold down to very small pieces of cloth that my magician friends have told me about, but they are no longer sold. At least not in Sapporo. I instead bought a pair of panties in a "normal" (actually kind of weird) shop for underwear. I picked a pair that seemed to have very little cloth, but they are still too big for my magic trick. Mainly the stretchy part that goes around your hips is too thick.


Magician's birthday

My boss in the magic bar has his birthday in August, so right after midnight the rest of the staff produced a birthday cake for him. There were only four of us in the bar at the time (3 staff and one of our regulars) and the cake delivery service had ran late so they had upgraded the cake to a larger size for free. There seemed to be so much cake that there were doubts as to whether we could finish all of it...


Magic at ECC Juniors

The day after the Susukino Festival, I was scheduled to do some magic in English to 50 kids at the ECC Juniors English conversation practice school. It was very far, and very much uphill, to go to the place of the event, but once there it was a lot of fun. The kids were nice, and we also played some games in English etc. for 90 minutes or so. I did 30 minutes of magic, and the kids seemed to enjoy it.


Magic at the Susukino Festival

The first weekend of August saw the Susukino festival. The Susukino festival consists of lots of food stalls that sell Japanese festival food and alcohol in the streets. The hostess clubs and other places like that put up tables in the streets (that are closed for traffic from 16:30 to midnight or so). This year, Magic Bar Twister also had a yakitori place at the Susukino festival.


Me in my playing card yukata
I helped out after work, and showed up in a yukata with playing card designs the first day. Doing magic in a yukata is not that great, but what is even worse is when you have only one hour to remove all the heavy stuff (tables, beer kegs, etc.) and all the dirty stuff (the oil drenched barbecue equipment) from the street and put it somewhere else. From day two, I worked in a t-shirt instead.


The yakitori place of Magic Bar Twister
We had a lot of fun, but not so many customers. The clean up after each day was very very tiring. My boss even screamed out in pain so badly when doing some of the heavy lifting that random people passing by stopped to ask us if everything was OK.

A lot of heavy lifting

A religious thingy passing through the festival area.

Magic props at the Sapporo Beer Garden!

When I went to the Sapporo Beer Garden with two friends from Sweden, the queue numbers they were using in one of the food stalls was actually playing cards. Not only were they playing cards, they were the exact same brand of playing cards that I use when I do parlor magic!


Magic shop in Montpellier, France

In the middle of July, I went to Montpellier for work (not my magic job). I had an evening off, and asked the tourist information center if there was anywhere in Montpellier where people showed you magic. They did not really know, but they found a place with "magic" in the name.

It turned out to be a magic shop that also gave lots of magic classes to kids and grownups. The owner seemed busy with teaching, but I did manage to find 20 minutes or so when he was between classes, and he kindly showed me lots of the stuff he sells.