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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, December 27, 2012

Playing card present


Yesterday I stopped by our magic bar on my way home from work. I ran into a friend of mine who I have not seen in months, and he gave me a birthday present. This was somewhat surprising, since my birthday is in October.

昨日、仕事帰りでうちのマジックバーに寄った。たまたま友達がいたんだ。僕が誕生日プレゼントをいただいた!誕生日は10月だけどね。


I received two decks of cards. Both are Bicycle playing cards, which is a brand of cards very popular with magicians. I do not normally use Bicycle cards (I use super cheap playing cards made for kids, since they have very cute pictures on them), but they are very high quality.

プレゼントはトランプ2個だった。バイシクルというメーカーのトランプで、マジシャンで一番人気のメーカーなんだ。僕は普段バイシクルのトランプを使わない(ダイソーの子供用のトランプを使っている。可愛い絵が付いているから)が質の良いトランプだ。

The two decks I got yesterday were special designs that were extra cute. I liked them. One even came with an extra card that can be used for certain card tricks.

昨日貰ったトランプは特別なデザインで可愛いトランプだった。嬉しい。片方にマジック用のカード1枚も付いていたし。

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Headless and stolen rabbits

A beheaded rabbit

On Friday night we had lots of nice customers in our magic bar. We also had some customers that I would not describe as nice. After performing for a group of around 20 or so, no less than three sponge rabbits that I had used ended up missing. Sometimes they get dropped on the floor and I find them after the guests have left, sometimes people hide them but most people return them when I say "Some rabbits seem to have gone missing... please return them to me before you leave if you see them." On Friday, three rabbits never came back. One more rabbit also lost its head.

金曜日にマジックバーに良いお客さんが沢山来た。そうでもないお客さんも来た。20名くらいの団体にマジックを見せてから、道具を片づけるとウサギ3羽減っていた。1羽は頭と体が離れていたし。たまにウサギがテーブルのした落とされる。たまにお客さんがウサギを隠す。だいたい「ウサギ3羽くらい逃げたみたい。後で見たら、返して下さいね」って言ったら、お客さんが帰る前に返してくれるんだ。たまにウサギが持って帰られるけど。金曜日に3羽も持って帰られた。1羽が死んだし。一日に4羽も減るのが初めてだ。

People being fascinated enough by some magic trick that they take some of your stuff with them when they leave is quite rare (unless stuff that you explicitly give away of course) but it sometimes happens. Losing three rabbits in one performance (four if you count the one that lost its head) is a new record for me.

印象が強すぎて、マジック道具を勝手に持って帰るお客さんがたまにいるがかなり珍しい(お土産みたいにあげるもの以外ね)。パフォーマンス1つでウサギ3羽もなくなるのが今まで一番だね。

Luckily enough, on Saturday one guy gave me a 1000 yen tip (we have a magic charge in our bar, so people are not expected to tip, though sometimes people who are especially impressed or who want to impress the people they came with by showing that they spend lots of money do) which is almost exactly what it will cost to replace the four lost rabbits. So it all evens out in the end.

次の日に1000円のチップをくれたお兄さんがいた。マジックチャージがある店なので、チップのシステムがない。たまに凄く感動してどうしてもチップ渡したいお客さんがいるけど。たまに、連れて来た女の子の前でお金沢山使いたいお客さんもチップくれるし。1000円でちょうどウサギ4羽が入っているセットが買えるから、結局大丈夫な週末だったね。

Monday, December 3, 2012

Magic bar review: Hearts


In Yokohama there are two magic bars (that I know of). Since I spent two days in Yokohama for work (my computer job), I managed to visit both. When I first arrived at the magic bar Hearts, they said that they were in the middle of a show just then, and asked if I could come back later. I went and had dinner nearby and came back at the time they had suggested. They were in the middle of the next show then, so I was placed at a table and told that I would be moved to the counter (where the magic happens) when the show was finished (so I could see the next show). I waited for 15 minutes or so, and then I was moved to the counter.

横浜に(僕が知っている)マジックバーが2つある。出張(パソコンの仕事の)で2日間横浜に行って来たから、両方行けた。マジックバーハーツに初めて着いた時に、マジックショー途中なんだから、もうちょっと遅い時間に来ても大丈夫ですかって聞かれた。近くのレストランで晩御飯を食べて、言われた時間にまた来た。又ショー途中だったので、取り敢えずボックス席で座って、ショーが終わったらカウンターに移ることになると言われた。ショーはカウンターで観るね。15分くらい待って、カウンターの席に移動した。

At the counter, I spoke to the bartender for awhile, and some of the other customers also asked me where I was from and how come I can speak Japanese etc. After some waiting, the next show started. By then it was just me and three other customers left. They had seen the previous show too, so the magician did a completely different show using only material that they had not seen.

カウンターでバーテンダーさんや他のお客さんとちょっと話した。どこから来たんですか?何で日本語話せますか?そういう話だった。ちょっと待ってから、次のショーが始まった。その時、僕と他のお客さん3人しか残っていなかった。その3人が前のショーも観たので、マジシャンが全部別のネタのショーにした。

In Sapporo, many bars and restaurants write "ram base" on the menu when they mean "rum base". This is apparently popular in Yokohama too.
The show was divided into two halves, with a short break to order drinks or go to the toilet. The magician Nakamura had the bartender control the music, sounds, and the lighting for him, and had picked different types of music to go with different magic effects. He seemed to have put a lot of thought into the presentation of the effects, and he got very good reactions from common tricks like the ash in spectators hand.

ショーは前半・後半に分かれて、ちょっとした休憩もあった。飲み物を頼む機会やトイレに行く機会。中村さんというマジシャンがマジックを見せてくれて、バーテンダーさんが音楽・音声・ライトの担当していた。見せるマジックに合わせて音楽を選んだ。中村さんが見せ方というか、ストーリーに結構考えてマジックをやっているみたい。割と普通なネタ(お客さんの手に灰が現れるとか)でも、良いリアクション取れた。

Magic at the counter
He did a quite a lot of magic, about 40 minutes in total. He did magic with many different types of objects. We saw some card tricks (card under glass, card into PET-bottle), some coin tricks, the gypsy thread trick, a floating rose that when set on fire turned into a real flower, an empty and crushed coca cola can came back to shape and cola came out of it again, a copper silver transposition in the spectators hand using keys instead of coins, a signed packet of sugar was torn up and the sugar poured out and then the sugar and packet magically became an unopened (signed) packet again, some mental effects, and a thing were a cacao bean and sugar was put in a tube and then lots of chocolate came out of the tube, and more.

ショーの中では沢山のマジックがあった。合わせて、40分くらいのマジックだったと思う。色々なものを使ってマジックを見せてくれた。例えば、カード(グラスのした・ペットボトルの中)、コイン・ジプシースレッド・浮く紙のバラが燃えて本物のバラになる・コーラの復活・カッパーシルバーの入れ替わるマジック(コインではなく、鍵で)・砂糖パックにサインさせて、開けて、砂糖出して、マジック掛けたらパックが復活して(砂糖がまた入っていたし、サインがまだあったし)・メンタルネタ・カカオ豆と砂糖を筒に入れて振ったら、チョコレートになった、色々。

A lot of the effects were quite original, and I liked his way of showing them. I like it when the magic "makes sense" in the sense that if you mix cacao beans and sugar, that makes chocolate. He also did some nice story setups with a photo frame with a picture of a snow covered tree onto which he kept dropping colorful light that he plucked from the air, and then the photo turned into a photo of a tree with colorful Christmas decorations. Finally, a small plastic tree (Christmas decoration) turned up out of a handkerchief. He also had a very nice presentation for the new Tenyo magic prop where a coin pops into existence inside a glass. Well thought out presentations over all.

オリジナリティの高い見せ方やネタが結構あった。見せ方、僕は好きだった。納得出来る見せ方が良いよね。カカオ豆と砂糖を混ぜたら、チョコレートになるとか、納得出来るね。綺麗系マジックもやった。写真フレームに冬の風景の木の写真を入れて、空中から色々な色の光をつかんで写真フレームに投げたら、写真が変わって色々な色の飾り物のクリスマスツリーになった。最後に小さなプラスチックのクリスマスツリーが出現したし。新しいテンヨーネタ(グラスの中にコインが出現するやつ)の綺麗な見せ方もあったし。見せ方に良く考えている。


Summary:
Location: Close to the Yokohama Kannai JR station.
Type of magic: close up.
Quality of magic: Good.
Cost: 4000 yen for magic and nomihoudai (unlimited drinking).
Interior: nice.
Staff: nice
Overall impression: Well worth a visit if you are in Yokohama.

まとめ:
場所:横浜関内駅の近くで便利。
マジックの種類:クローズアップ
マジックの質:普通
値段:4000円で飲み放題
インテリア:きれい
スタッフ:優しい
特典:ストーリーというか、マジックの見せ方がきれいだ。
全体的な印象:横浜に行ったら、ハーツが楽しいね。

There was an alien in a jar in the toilet.

The toilet also had photos that were a bit spooky.




Magic bar review: Kanperce


I was in Yokohama for two days for (computer) work and decided to check out the local magic bars when I had a chance. One of the magic bars I went to was Kanperce, which is close to the Yokohama Kannai station which coincidentally was were our work meeting the next morning was to start.

本職(パソコンの仕事)の2日間の出張で横浜に行ってきた。機会があれば、横浜のマジックバーも行ってみようと思ったから、Kanperceというマジックバーに行った。横浜の関内駅の近くにある(地下鉄の関内駅がもっと近いし)。次の朝のミーティングの集合場所も関内駅の近くだったから便利だった。

I got there quite late, so there were no other customers when I arrived. There were two magicians, though, and one more showed up later. First, "the new guy" Yuuki did some magic for me. He did an "any card at any number" trick, a trick where his thumb and index finger are taped together but still that finger link linked with my cell phone strap, and he did a card trick with kings and fours changing places or turning upside down for strange reasons. Later during the evening he also did a short Chinese ring routine and some other tricks. He seemed a bit nervous, and sometimes you could see things that you were not supposed to see (like a thumbtip), but he was very nice.

僕が24時過ぎに店に入ったから他のお客さんがいなかった。マジシャン2人がいたけど。後でもう1人のマジシャンも来た。最初、新人のユーキがマジックを見せてくれた。エニカード・エニナンバー・サムタイム・キングと4が裏返したり入れ替わったりするマジックを見せてくれた。後でチャイナリングやマジックの絵本みたいなマジックも見せてくれた。緊張していたみたい。たまに見えちゃ行けないものがちょっと見えていた(サムチップとか)が面白かった。

The magicians
Next, the magician Makoto did a fairly long show. He said he is friends with and received training from the magician Nihei, who runs the magic bar "Hey Pola" here in Sapporo. I have met Nihei a few times.

次、マジシャンMakotoもマジックを見せてくれた。割と長いショーをやってくれた。札幌の「ヘイ・ポーラ」というマジックバーのオーナーのマジシャン二瓶さんと仲良いって言ってた。僕も札幌で何回か二瓶さんに会っている。

Anyway, Makoto did all kinds of magic, and used a foot pedal for a sound system to get good use out of sound effects and music. He did magic with rubber bands, sponge balls, various penis shaped objects, a chop cup, coins, cards (ambitious, triumph, card into PET-bottle), some ESP card tricks, and a lot of other things. There were also many joke props, like a marker pen that could not write because if you opened it you could see that the battery had run out (why it was battery powered in the first place was unclear, haha).

Makotoさんが色々なマジックを見せてくれた。足で踏むペダルで音楽のコントロールもやっていたから、マジックに合わせた音を出したら、音楽に合わせたマジックをやったりしていた。輪ゴムのマジック・スポンジのマジック・チンコの形をした色々なもの・チョップカップ・コイン・カード(アンビシャス・トラインフ・ペットボトルなど)・ESPカードなど、色々あった。ギャグネタも結構あった。例えば、電池が切れたマッキー。

Me and the magicians of Kanperce
After Makoto's show was over, we talked about various things for awhile, and another magician, Mocchi, arrived. I have seen him twice before, once at Toto's Bar, and once in the restaurant Usagi-ya. He did a mental type card trick with a pretty impressive force, showed some fork bending,  did a Lennart Green style key card trick, and used a pretty cool tossed out deck. This time, he also remembered that we had met before, haha.

Makotoさんのマジックの後、色々な話をしていた。その後、もっちーというマジシャンも来た。前に2回も会っている。都々's Barで一回見たし、ウサギやというマジックレストランでも見たし。面白いフォースを使ったメンタルのカードマジック・フォーク曲げ・Lennart Green風なキーカードのカード当て・Tossed out deckのマジック、色々見せてくれた。今回、前に会ったことがあるのを覚えてくれたし、笑。

All in all, it was a lot of fun. The staff were very nice and spoke to me about all kinds of things. The magic they did was interesting, and they used techniques I have not seen other people use (like sleeving a coin to make it disappear after being put into a handkerchief, from which my class of tea appeared instead).

面白かった。スタッフ皆いい人で面白い話もしてくれた。見せてくれたマジックも面白かったし、見たことないやり方のマジックもあったし(スリービングでコインを消して、ハンカチに入れたコインが消えて僕のお茶のグラスがハンカチから出てきた時とか)。

Summary:

Location: Close to the Yokohama Kannai JR station, and even closer to the Kannai subway station. Lots of bars and similar things nearby.
Type of magic: Parlor type magic if there are more than one spectator, and close up.
Quality of magic: Good.
Cost: 4400 yen for magic and nomihoudai (unlimited drinking).
Interior: nice, though somewhat messy when I showed up.
Staff: nice and funny
Overall impression: Well worth a visit if you are in Yokohama.

まとめ:
場所:横浜関内駅の近くで便利。
マジックの種類:クローズアップ。お客さんが多ければ、サロンもやるそうだ。
マジックの質:普通
値段:4400円で飲み放題
インテリア:きれい
スタッフ:面白い
全体的な印象:横浜に行ったら、Kanperceが楽しいね。