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.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Constructing a sponge dove and doing magic dressed up as a zombie

After 9 hours of work, the face paint has degraded but still looks pretty OK.
This year there were a lot of Halloween parties on the 27th here in Sapporo. The 27th was a Saturday so I was scheduled to work in our magic bar and did not have time to go any parties. I figured that if we were not busy, I might sneak out early and go to the last part of some party, though. So I dressed up as a zombie magician and went to work like that.


I also built a sponge dove to use as a zombie magician's sponge dove. I have a sponge dove but did not want to ruin it so I made a home made one instead. It turns out that if you smear a sponge dove in fake blood (I make my fake blood from syrup and food coloring) it does not get back into dove shape after being hidden in your hand... the fake blood is too sticky. Also, your hands get really sticky... So I am rethinking that part and think maybe using red paint could work instead.


Zombie transformation:

Paint white, draw lines.

Cover lines in blood.
Drool blood on shirt, add jacket and dove.
After a few hours of working, the paint starts to degrade but some parts look better (the blood on the shirt, for instance).
Making a sponge dove:

Me and my dove, having dinner in an Italian restaurant

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weird experiments

I saw a clip of a guy showing a card that changed its text or picture just by moving it. My guess is that he was using lenticular film on the card, and that is a great idea. Possibly. It might also be completely obvious to everyone else watching, at least in good lighting... So I want to make my own prop like that with something funny written in Japanese. I went around to a bunch of stores that might sell this kind of stuff, but none sell lenticular film... But I did find post cards with such film, so I bought one and started peeling off the back. Not the smoothest way to make props, but it should be enough to make a first prototype at least.


My apprentice

I used to be a member of the magic club at our university. You can only be an active member for three years, though, so I have been retired now. This year, I have an apprentice though. My first ever apprentice! He is going to do a performance in the vein of my magical sketchbook routine:


We  have met a few times and talked about how to do different things and what I think makes for a good performance. This week he wanted me to come and see his first full runthrough of his routine. It was pretty nice. There is still a lot of practice to be done, but the general idea of what to produce and so on was good. I am sure he will do fine at the Christmas stage show.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Magic bar review: Toto's Bar

Toto doing some rope escape magic with two spectators (my friend on the right)
I have been to Toto's bar three times. The first time, Toto himself was not there (he was in America, performing at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, which he does regularly twice per year). There were other magicians there instead, of course, so it was still nice. Toto is extremely good at entertaining people, though, so missing him means missing a lot.

都々's Barに3回も行ったことがある。最初の時、都々さんがいなかった。アメリカのマジックキャッセルでマジックをやっていた。毎年行っているそうだ。代わりに他のマジシャンが勿論いたから楽しかった。都々さんが凄い盛り上げ上手だから、都々さんがいないとちょっと損するけどね。

Me and Toto
Toto's bar is located in the Ginza district in Tokyo. There are many magic bars in that area. The bar is fairly small, but looks very nice. There is a small stage area, a few sofa and table sets, and a counter. Toto does magic shows in front of everyone on the small stage, and he also does close up magic shows at the counter and in the sofas. If you book in advance, you can have a dinner and magic set with food that looks good (we never tried the food), or you can go there just for magic and drinks.

都々's Barが銀座にある。周りにマジックバーがいっぱいある。店がまあまあ狭いがきれいだ。小さなステージがあって、ボックス席もあって、カウンターがある。ステージで皆の前で都々さんがマジックショーをやる。カウンターやボックスでもクローズアップも見せて貰える。早い時間に行けば、ディナーコースも出来る。ご飯が普通に美味しそうだったがうちらはご飯試していない。

Toto's brother who makes food and handles sound, and the very nice bartender
Apart from Toto himself, there is a very nice bartender working there, making any drink you can imagine. Toto's brother works in the kitchen, and also does sound/music stuff for Toto during his shows. There are also other magicians working there, and they show you magic too.


On our first visit we saw Raito (apprentice to Toto, I think; all his apprentices have names ending with "to" by the way) and a guest magician called Mocchi. The second time I went there, Raito was there and Toto himself was back. The third time we showed up late and only Toto did magic. There was also a woman working there, but I do not know her name (or what her job actually was).


The very skilled magician Raito
Raito was very technically skilled, and performed very slowly in a gentleman style. His version of the professor's nightmare (3 ropes that change length) trick is the most technically beautiful version I have seen so far. Very slow but with care taken on angles to stop precisely where you have to stop etc. He also did a very nice version of a trick with a playing card turning inside out while folded inside another card. He was very good.


Toto is also very good, but more than his technical skills you become impressed with his entertainment skills. He is very good at getting the crowd going. He does some very advanced magic, but the main focus is on entertaining presentation ideas. He makes very good use of music and other sound effects during his show. In a similar vein, when he does spoon bending or similar effects, suddenly his necktie is bent out of shape and when you look around, so is his brother's necktie as well as the bartender's necktie. Funny details like that help a lot.


Toto does a parlor magic show on the small stage, including things like a floating table routine that is very good, rope escapes, producing bowling balls from a sketch pad, flying handkerchiefs, and things like that. Very high tempo, very entertaining.


He also does close up magic at the counter, including some very interesting coin magic, his signature effect where five spectators point their fingers at a deck of cards and go "bang" and for each bang that spectators selected card shoots out of the deck (he once mentioned that he sells this trick for 1 million yen but too many people kept buying it at that price so he upped the price to 1.5 million so he would not have to spend too much time teaching people that trick...), strange electric toy tricks, other fascinating card tricks, and more. Toto is one of the most entertaining magicians I have seen perform. Highly recommended.


The entrance to Toto's bar is a mirror
Since Toto performs one or two weeks in L.A. every year, presumable he also performs in English. He said he just spouts random words that sound like English and hope people understand him through body language, but I think he may have exaggerated, haha. He probably speaks English fairly well, but we only spoke Japanese. The owner of the magic bar where I perform is also friends with Toto, so we talked about common acquaintances and things like that too.


Location: Good location very close to the Ginza subway station, in a district full of magic bars.
Type of magic: Parlor and close up.
Quality of magic: Very very high
Cost: 5000 yen for me, depends on what you order.
Interior: nice
Staff: very nice and funny people
Of special note: Very good use of sound/music. Shows pictures of spectators taken during the magic show on monitors afterwards. Serves food during the early hours.
Overall impression: One of the best magic bars I have been to. Toto is VERY good at performing entertainingly. Highly recommended.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Magic Bar Review: Magic Bar Stockholm

The main hall, with the small stage in the background
In Stockholm, there is no magic bar culture like in Japan where I live. In December 2009, Sweden's first (Northern Europe's first) magic bar was opened, however. It is called "Magic Bar Stockholm", but it is perhaps more like a restaurant than a bar.


Salmon and stewed potatoes
They serve very nice food, and have lots of tables. There are several rooms, and in the summer there are also lots of tables outside. During weekends, there is a stage magic show on a small stage in the largest room, though I have never managed to get there on a weekend when there was still stage magic going on (the stage magic takes summer vacation in July, which is when I usually visit Sweden). There is also table magic, with a magician coming to your table and doing a 10 to 15 minute magic show. A lot of magicians perform at Magic Bar Stockholm, and there is usually a new magician every week.


Garlic butter, wine sauce, and steak.

The interior of Magic Bar Stockholm is very beautiful. Each room has a different color scheme, and they have many strange decorations on the walls. Even the toilet is fun to visit. The food is good, and the prices are not high if you compare to normal restaurants in Sweden (though Sweden is expensive compared to Japan when it comes to food).


A chocolate cake dessert.

The magicians I have seen there were all very nice. The waiting staff are also nice when you get hold of them, but sometimes it is very hard to find anyone to take your order, or to tell you if you can sit at some table etc. In Japan, if no one acknowledges your presence within a few seconds of you entering a restaurant or bar, they are probably closed, so it was a bit unnerving for me when I got in there and no one seemed to notice me for several minutes. I no longer know what to do in Sweden, haha. Is it OK to just sit down at some empty looking table? And how do you get a menu if no one notices you? So the service is a bit slow (showing up with the food after you ordered can be slow too), but that is my only complaint so far I think.


Tom Stone doing a rubber band trick for my father
I have been to magic bar Stockholm 4 times. The first time I visited with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend. We all ordered food, and got very nice food (there were some mix-ups with the orders, but everything turned out fine in the end). At that time, Tom Stone was doing table magic. I have seen him once before when he gave a lecture on magic and psychology at my old university in Stockholm (when I was still a student). Tom Stone is quite famous in Japan too, at least among magicians. Seeing him live again now that I have started doing magic myself was nice. He is one of the magicians I admire a lot. He did some rubber band magic, some coin magic, and some card magic for us. Very nice.


The magician John-Henry introduced me to a bunch of other magicians too!

Charlie Caper imitating a Japanese comedian
One year later, I went to the magic bar alone. A young magician called John-Henry was doing table magic, and he fairly quickly guessed that I was a magician too. You can usually tell, because people who know magic are surprised at the "wrong" timing, haha. He did some funny magic with ropes/strings full of bad Swedish puns, a lot of magic based on misdirection and stealing things off the table (like his own cards, my glass) or his own shoes. He later introduced me to group of famous Swedish magicians who were also drinking in the magic bar the same evening too. These magicians were also very nice! I was especially impressed by Charlie Caper being able to do bad jokes in Japanese (he toured as a street performer for a few months in Japan and learned a lot of Japanese then) and by Anders Moden producing a beer bottle out of his mouth.


Peter Grönlund doing some mentalism
I went back the next week and then Peter Grönlund, a mentalist, was showing magic. Since I saw all the famous magicians drinking at the magic bar again and ended up sitting at their table, I did not get to see Peter Grönlund do magic for me, but I did sneak a look when he did magic for the table next to ours. It was interesting to see a mentalist do walk around magic, and he did some fairly standard magic tricks like the "Triumph" card trick, but with a mentalist presentation. He also did more pure mentalism effects, like having a user grab a bunch of cards and then walk with small steps towards the magician (outdoors, where they were quite a bit apart) and count the number of steps separating them. Which turned out to be the same as the number of cards she had grabbed.


Mr Dannyman, gentleman magician.
Half a year later, I was in Stockholm in the winter (for a business trip) and figured I had a chance of finally seeing the stage magic show too. It was not to be, however, since the place was booked for a private party the only day with a stage show that I was in Stockholm. I went there on my last evening in Stockholm, though, and got to see Mr Dannyman do magic at the table. He did rope magic, the Chinese rings, card tricks, etc. Very much a gentleman.


The main hall again.
Location: Located in an area where there is not much else to do. With some effort you can walk from Djurgården, which has some other tourist attractions. Nice area, though.
Type of magic: Close up, but has stage magic on weekends too (except when I am in Sweden)
Quality of magic: Many different magicians perform, but everyone I have seen was very good.
Cost: Cheap (by Swedish standards). No cover charge, you pay standard prices for the food and drinks you order. I paid around 200 SEK (slightly more than 2000 yen) for a dinner and a dessert.
Interior: Very nice
Staff: nice, but the service is slow. The magicians were all very nice and funny.
Of special note: Serves food too (good food).
Overall impression: Very nice place, good food, good magic. Only complaint is that the service can be (very) slow.


The counter again.
Home made "impossible objects".
There are lots of strange items placed in the different rooms. 
Someone brought a fairly suspicious card with them.
The entrance in the winter.
There is a bar counter, though I have never seen anyone there.
The interior decorations are pretty.

Magic Bar Review: Cuore (Calvados) ・ クオーレ(カルバドス)

When I was on a business trip to Tokyo a long time ago, I visited several magic bars during the evenings. In Tokyo, one of the most famous entertainment districts is the Kakukicho of the Shinjuku area. There are surprisingly few magic bars there (but apparently a lot of sex industry aimed at English speaking foreigners, judging by the number of annoyingly persistent people trying to get me to go to such places while searching for the place I was going). After some wandering around, I found the magic bar that used to be called Calvados, but that had recently changed name to "Cuore".


I got there fairly late (after midnight) and there was a stage show going on when I entered. I got to see the last parts of that show, and then some table magic at the counter. First, the owner called Kokoro was doing some parlor magic on a small stage. Then a magician called Mikto did magic at the counter, followed by Kokoro also doing a show at the counter. Then all the other customers left. Mikto then showed me some more magic one-on-one, and we talked about magic for awhile. Later, Kokoro also came back to the counter and talked to me for awhile.


The interior of Cuore is rather cramped, to make room for the stage area. The counter looks very nice in a kind of S shape. The S shape did however make everything going on behind and below the counter very visible to me at the seat I got, which ruined a lot of the surprises during the close up magic shows since you could see exactly what was going to show up on the counter next, and often you could see exactly when the magician was secretly taking things from below the counter too. The stage also had some angle problems from where I was sitting, and from time to time it was very obvious were for instance a selected and signed card that was supposedly lost in the deck actually was, because it was right in front of my eyes. While we sometimes have even worse angle problems when doing magic at the sofa seats in the magic bar where I perform (completely surrounded in some cases), it is not a problem if you know of it and choose magic that is angle proof, at Cuore it happened quite a bit that the magic performed had some serious problems with the angles the spectators were looking from.


The stage magic that I saw was nice. There was some card going to impossible locations, floating table, a birthday cake produced from a dove pan (very popular at Tokyo magic bars it seems), a paper snow storm, and other effects. I liked a routine where a raw egg was poured into a hat, which as then places on the head of a spectator. And out came a plastic fried egg (and no sign of the raw egg). The rest of the effects were nice, but very common effects. But since most customers probably never saw magic before, showing them common (popular) effects is probably a good choice.


Next, magician Mikto did some magic at the counter. He was very good at doing magic with cigarettes. He also did some tricks with Japanese bills (1000 yen and 10000 yen change places in the spectators hand), solved a Rubick's cube blindfolded. Though he did not look that blindfolded, he was still very fast, haha. He was pretty funny, but he also did quite a lot of mistakes (thread got caught somewhere, etc.).


Kokoro then came back and did magic at the counter too. Again, he did a lot of common/popular effects and did them in a pretty standard way. Apart from the angle problems from where I was sitting making some of the effects less magical, the performance was fine though I have seen other people do the same effects funnier/better. For people who have never seen magic before, I would guess it was a very good selection of effects. There was fork bending, a light bulb that started glowing in the hand of the spectator, the "size surprise" card trick that I love (but never performed myself since a colleague does it), some rubber band effects, a hamburger showed up out of a deck of cards, a sticker depicting the selected card of a spectator was stuck under the shirt (on the arm) of a spectator, etc. There were also a lot of wordplay gags in Japanese, not all of which I could catch. Things like saying "shaku ni sawaru" (meaning something annoying you, so "[being fooled again] annoying, isn't it?") and pulling out a ladle (also "shaku" in Japanese, though a different word pronounced the same).


Finally, after everyone else left, Mikto came and spoke to me for a long while and showed me some more magic. He talked about how he hitchhiked all the way from Tokyo to Sapporo and made a living by doing magic in the streets and other things. He showed me some more cigarette magic and a card trick he used to do in the streets.


Finally, something that impressed me was that there were a lot of autographs and photos of famous people visiting Cuore stuck to the walls. I guess in Tokyo there are many famous people!


Location: Conveniently located in the huge Shinjuku entertainment district Kabukicho, which is worth visiting anyway.
Type of magic: Parlor and close up
Quality of magic: OK
Cost: Around 4500 yen for me, depends on how long you stay
Interior: Beautiful, but causing some angle problems for some of the magic performed.
Staff: Nice, spoke to me about all kinds of things
Overall impression: Nice with parlor magic and close up magic. Lots of popular standard effects.


Magic Bar Review: A - omoro ・ あーおもろ

Me reflected in the mirror like wall on the way into A omoro.

Our last stop during our magic bar tour of Osaka was "A omoro". The owner is a good friend of the owner of the Twister magic bars in Sapporo where I do magic, so this was also a place where we had high expectations. After mentioning Twister, they gave us decks of cards with the A omoro design, so they were very nice to us. The first thing I noticed was that the design was very nice. The sign outside the bar, the sign right by the door, the tables, the counters, the walls, everything looked very modern, hip, cool, and beautiful.


My friend passing below the sign right before the door to A omoro.
We came to A omoro quite late, well after midnight, on a Monday, so there were not so many guests left in the bar. There was one couple seated at the counter but they left soon after we arrived. Then we got our own private magic show at the counter.


Osaka is famous in Japan for being a place of stand up comedy, and all people living in Osaka are expected to be funny. This was quite true at A omoro. Before the magic started, there was around 20 or 30 minutes of the owner and the first magician doing stand up comedy. Like introducing the magician in some weird way and the magician trying to adapt to that, giving up, exiting the room to be introduced again (in yet another bizarre way) etc. They were very funny.


My friend, me, and the two magicians that did magic for us.
When the actual magic started, the magic was good too. We got to see Daichi Kitano, who did a lot of comedy magic, and Toshiaki Kobayashi who did more "normal" magic. Both did a lot of magic that I had not seen other magicians perform.


Us again, this time with the owner (who also does magic, though not when we were there).
First we got to see Daichi Kitano. He did many funny tricks like the "Size Surprise" where some cards suddenly change size drastically, but also did a lot of "normal" magic like coin tricks and ace productions. A cell phone appeared in a mysterious way. He was very funny.


The very cool interior design.
Second, we saw Toshiaki Kobayashi. He did more traditional magic but did a lot of tricks that most other magicians do not perform. His chop cup routine was very nice. He once pulled out a box of jigsaw puzzle pieces and said "Just looking at this, it is hard to tell what the finished puzzle will look like, yes?" and we agreed. But it was actually the same Mona Lisa puzzle I had bought at the Daiso dollar store (everything costs only 105 yen) and used for the same magic trick before! Strange coincidence.


I got a deck of A omoro playing cards as a gift.

Location: In the middle of the Osaka entertainment district.
Type of magic: Close up.
Quality of magic: Good.
Cost: Very cheap for us. Less than 3000 yen per person!
Interior: Very hip design. Very nice looking.
Staff: Very nice. Funny and friendly.
Of special note: Also did a lot of stand up comedy, which was funny.
Overall impression: Very funny. Super cheap for us. Open late. Highly recommended.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Magic Bar Review: Vernon's Bar ・ バーノンズバー

Me and ムッシュピエール
On our Osaka magic bar trip, we also visited "Vernon's Bar". I looked forward to seeing Messieur Pierre live, since I like his TV performances.


The interior of the place was fairly small, but very nice looking. It had an old atmosphere, and there were pictures of Dai Vernon (very famous magician). We first sat at the counter, waiting for the current magic show to finish. Then we were moved to a table where we would be shown magic by several magicians. We got to see four performances. We saw Sammy Hioki, Randy Atsushi, and Messieur Pierre himself. We also got to see a woman who's name I do not remember. She was a student in a magic class that they give at Vernon's bar, and as a final graduation thing the students perform for regular customers. We were asked if it would be OK for her to show us magic and we were very happy to have the chance to see one more magician.


After the magic performances were over, we moved to the counter and spoke to Messieur Pierre for a long time. He was very nice and very funny. He seemed to like talking, and talked a lot. He told us about trips to Hokkaido (were we came from), hardships of being on TV a lot, random stories unrelated to magic, and much much more. He also snuck into the background of pictures when we were taking photos with other magicians and did other funny things like that.


The magicians, in the order we saw them:


Sami Hioki did some rope magic, used Rocky the Raccoon in a card trick, did an interesting 4 ace production by building an airplane out of cards, did some floating effects, and ended with a mental effect (cards with numbers on the back).


A student graduating from Vernon's Bar's magic class by performing for us. Her name was possibly Yoko, but I did not catch the name properly at the introduction.
Next up was the student from Vernon's Bar's magic class. I do not properly remember her name, but it may have been Yoko. She did a trick with a 5000 yen bill and a 1000 yen bill changing places inside an envelope I was holding, and a pretty packet trick with rain clouds and sunny weather.


Me and Randi Atsushi
Then we got to see Randi Atsushi, who seemed to be a big fan of Akira Fujii. He did some coin tricks, some card tricks, and the linking cigarettes, all more or less the way Fujii-san does them. He is the person to do the linking cigarettes the best of all the times I have seen it so far. Even better than when Fujii-san did it in front of me.


Last we got to see Messieur Pierre. He turned out to speak English very well (which is not common in Japan). He keeps claiming he is French (part of his character) but his French is not so good (on purpose, probably). Messieur Pierre was the technically most proficient magician we saw in Osaka, I think. He was very good. He was also quite funny (I like his character and performance style), and he did a lot of magic that I have not seen other magicians do.


We got to see magic with silk handkerchiefs, a coin box where coins kept melting through the bottom etc. and finally the coin melted into water(!), his more famous card tricks (ambitious card, card to necktie, the kings riding bicycles on the joker cards etc.), the cards kept ending up inside a card box even though he had taken them out and put away the box, and finally for some reason his necktie disappeared from around his neck and ended up under a handkerchief on the table (I did not notice when he removed the necktie and was quite surprised, haha).


Location: Conveniently located near (in?) the Umeda shopping and entertainment area.
Type of magic: Close up
Quality of magic: Very high
Cost: 6000 yen
Interior: Very nice old western style interior
Staff: Very nice
Overall impression: A nice place, with good magicians doing interesting magic. The best magician I saw in Osaka was probably Messieur Pierre.


Magic Bar Review: French Drop ・ マジックバーフレンチドロップ

Me holding a (fake) goya and posing with the four French Drop magicians that were there when we visited.
In 2011, I went to Osaka with a friend with one of the goals being to visit some of Osaka's famous magic bars. Our first stop was the magic bar "French Drop", which is co-located with the web shop of the same name that is one of the more famous shops for magic props in Japan.


We went there on a Monday, right at the opening hour. That meant that there were no other customers, just me and my friend so we got a private show. There were however more magicians than normal. Usually there are two magicians each day that will perform for you, but when we were there there
were four magicians and they all decided to do shows for us so we were quite lucky.


French drop has a half moon shaped performance area with several rows of seats available for the spectators. After all the magic shows ended we moved to some seats at the bar counter instead and sat there talking shop for more than an hour.


We got to see Takemiya, Loki, David Chinsuko, and Johnny. At French drop they have a nice sound system and apparently one magician is assigned to do the sound stuff for the performing magician, so they did stuff were they performed magic in sync with music. The performance area was very nice, and it was big enough to do some stage type (or at least parlor) effects too. Mostly they showed us close up magic, though. There were also some juggling type performances, and some fire magic that seemed fairly close to setting the curtains on fire, haha.


Taking the magicians in turn, Johnny did a lot of card flourish style things, for instance a flashy 4 ace production. He also did a funny coin trick with a coin that defied gravity and flew upwards which he explained was possible because it had a huge spring welded to it. Though I am fairly sure that there was no such spring there at first, haha. Also, the spring seemed to be on the wrong side of the coin to actually help with flying. He also impressed us by producing a very large number of Oreo cookies from his mouth.


Loki did some fire magic, some beautiful contact juggling with rings, some magic with hamburger, and did a lot of funny card magic where your expectations were betrayed over and over. He also did the coin muscle pass with a jumbo coin, which was pretty funny. He did a very nice version of the "thumb time" magic trick, some fork bending, and more.


David Chinsuko said he was from Okinawa so he had an Okinawan theme to his magic. This meant producing goya fruits (an Okinawan plant) and wearing goya shaped glasses. He was very funny, with lots of below the belt jokes, and most of his magic were of the "haha, funny" kind. He produced a bottle from inside a balloon, and after producing sliced goya from a handkerchief, the same bottle once again appeared out of the handkerchief. I also liked his production of large amount of sponge balls from his mouth. He also swallowed a huge balloon.


Takemiya did some contact juggling with a crystal ball, snorted a match up his nose and then produced a lot of sparks from the nose, and quite a lot of card magic. There was a trick were the two jokers melted closer and closer to the middle of a deck of cards and finally surrounded only one card, which turned out to be the card only thought of by one of us spectators.


Location: Not near anything else of interest in Osaka except the magic shop French Drop which is in the same building. Not that difficult to get to by subway, though.
Type of magic: Mainly close up, with some parlor and juggling.
Quality of magic: high
Cost: around 5000 yen
Interior: Quite beautiful performance area, cozy interior overall
Staff: Very nice
Of special note: The sound system was good, the use of sound was good, and the music was nice.
Overall impression: Nice magic, very friendly and funny magicians. Fairly cheap too.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Salmon difficulties

I do a trick where I produce some salmon sushi from the picture of sushi on my t-shirt. This trick goes over very well, but my salmon sushi are becoming more and more torn, and no one seems to be selling them anymore.


I have been trying to make new sponge sushi salmon myself, but I am having some problems. The color I used for the rice is too stiff when it is dry, so the sushi does not regain its shape very quickly anymore. The color I used for the salmon part is flexible but seems to never actually dry. If the sushi gets even the slightest bit wet, it bleeds color like crazy. Which is not so good for my white t-shirt.


Visiting magicians, and gifts!

A present I received!
This weekend several magicians visited our magic bar. On Friday guy who does mentalism who I have met a few times before showed up at a very late hour. At more or less that same time, a guy who does mostly card magic (I think, but come to think of it I have never seen him perform magic) also showed up.


I did some mental magic that I have been practicing recently, and we had a nice mentalism chat until 6 in the morning or so... I also showed the mentalist a billet switch I have been practicing but never actually used for anything and he was impressed enough to give me a special deck of cards as a present! The cards were quite impressive, actually. I performed that magic trick three times during the weekend.


On Saturday, Spencer Tricks, a magician from Kushiro (eastern Hokkaido) showed up. He is every nice and speaks English very fluently (which is not so common in Japan). He wanted to see me hammer a nail into my nose, so I did my trick which contains that sort of stuff. He showed me a trick he invented where he can guess in which hand you are hiding a wine cork (which recently is sold in one of the bigger magic shops in Japan).

土曜日に釧路からのマジシャンのSpencer Tricksさんも来た。英語がうまいんだ。前に何回か会っている。今回、釘を鼻に入れるマジックを観たいと言われたからそれを使ったマジックも披露した。彼が逆に彼が自分で考えたネタ(最近日本のマジックショップで売っている)を見せてくれた。お客さんがどの手でワインのコルクを持っているかを当てるマジックで不思議だった。

On Monday, which was a holiday here in Japan, another magician from Kushiro also showed up.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kids in a bar

Last week children kept coming to our magic bar. On Friday a guest brought his daughter and his nephew at an early hour. The nephew was around 11 years old I guess, and he does magic himself. He did some quite impressive card stuff. He even did a trick that I used to do sometimes in our magic bar (Paul Harris's "Wizard's twist"), so I taught him two other variations on that trick.

先週子供がうちのマジックバーに来た。金曜日に前に来たことがあるお客さんが自分の娘と甥っ子を連れてきた。甥っ子が小学生で自分でもマジックをやっている。上手だった。結構レベル高いカードマジックを披露してくれた。僕がたまにマジックバーでやっていたネタ(Paul Harrisのウィザードツイスト)も綺麗にやってくれた。それの他のオチを2つ教えてあげた。

On Saturday, another man came with his son, also about 11 years old I would guess. This kid also does magic and has come to our bar before. This time he was practicing the Chinese rings.

It has been a while since I did magic for children, so it was quite fun. They seemed to be very nice kids.