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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.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Magic Panic 3 in Osaka

On my way back to Sapporo from my trip to Sweden, I stayed two days in Osaka. This weekend, the magic event "Magic Panic 3" was held there. It is organized by the French Drop magic shop and magic bar. This year, they had invited the "Fat Brothers", three quite large and very good magicians, to give lectures and do a show. There was also several shows by various Japanese magicians, and a close up magic competition.


For some reason there was a mini-skirt police outfit in the lobby

I went to the magic event almost straight from the airport. My plane was 30 minutes early in reaching Osaka, so I had just about the time to go by my hotel and leave my suitcase there.


There were about 100 people or so coming to the event. The location was a former warehouse that has been rebuilt with a stage and chairs in stepped rows. It is in a warehouse district and there was absolutely nothing else around there. The closest convenience store was about a 10 minutes walk away (which is very very far away by Japanese standards)! In a gift bag, you got a paddle and a pen, and an explanation of a small cute trick you can do with these.

The first morning had an opening session where two Japanese magicians did some parlor type magic.



Me and Christian Engblom, the only two people who could speak Swedish at the event.

Then, the first of the Fat Brothers, Christian Engblom from Finland, held his lecture. It was very nice. He showed some interesting effects and explained in very clear and easy to understand ways how to perform them. On effect was a very surprising and clean oil and water effect. Most of the things he showed were very clever uses of gimmicks, and not so much in the ways of super difficult moves.


Later in the corridors during the breaks, I did see Christian do quite a lot of super difficult moves too, though. He is famous for his "anti-Farrow", a way to spring the cards so you can separate every other card into two different piles, which he showed with a borrowed deck. He also showed that you can separate the cards in to pile of 1-2-1-2... etc. too. He also did a very impressive trick where he borrowed a deck, had someone name a number, "8" and used the four 8s. A spectator got to put the 8s back in the deck, either together or apart, face up or face down, or some face up and some face down, some together and some apart. The spectator then put the deck together, and shuffled the deck a bit too. Christian then said that he was going to deal poker hands, and asked how many ("4") and which hand should win ("3"). Then it looked like he did a very fair deal, but all the 8s ended up at person number 3...


Christian also speaks Swedish, which I did not know before. So we spoke Swedish to each other for a little while.


Miguel Angel Gea and me.

Next, it was time for the lecture from Miguel Angel Gea. He showed an taught some very impressive coin effects. The psychology and his thinking about things like that was also very interesting. He showed some fantastic things with coins, and some interesting things with a deck of cards and some rubber bands. Funniest and most impressive coin magic I have ever seen.


Danny DaOrtiz, and me. Photo taken by a guy who was super nervous when meeting this famous magician (probably not me) so all the photos he took are kind of blurry...

The last lecture was held by Dani DaOrtiz. He of course showed lots of crazy card magic. He said that the most important part in his performance is the psychological interaction with the spectators, the techniques with the fingers etc. are not so important and not so difficult. Though he did do some quite impressive things with his fingers too... When he explained some of the effects he had shown, it was quite interesting to realize that he was correct in that he did some fairly simple things but still no one caught on to what was going on because of the psychology. And I imagine it was more difficult than normal for him too, since he was doing everything with a guy translating for him, so the timing of the words was strange, there were long pauses waiting for translation, etc. Super funny, super impressive.


Ponta the Smith

After the lectures there was a dinner break, and then there was a close up magic show with lots of Japanese magicians. The performance I liked most was the first performance: Ponta the Smith (who works at French Drop, the organizers of the event) did some interesting coin magic. There were some other magicians doing other types of magic, and Takemiya from French Drop also showed some crystal ball contact juggling. Finally, there was also a hypnotist called Birdie who did a fairly long hypnotist show, which was pretty funny.


Since everyone there was a magician, there were lots of magic going on during the breaks too. I saw the magician Ars doing some very impressive things with a regular deck of cards.


The even continued the next day, and in the morning there was a close up magic contest. There were 10 contestants. The styles varied wildly. The first contestant, Kit Cut, was a young guy who had a very low key style but did very difficult card moves very well. My favorite was David Chinsuko, who came in and danced around to loud music, put chocolate covered bread sticks up his nostrils and then sucked the chocolate off the sticks with one nostril and blew it back to another stick with the other nostril in time to music... Very funny, and not low key at all. He quite surprisingly ate the bread sticks after the music finished. The winner was "Toriaezu Johnny", who received 200,000 yen.

次の日も色々あった。朝からクローズアップのコンテストがあった。全部で10人が出ていた。見せ方やキャラのスパンが広かった。トップバッターのKit Cutさんが地味な見せ方で凄く難しいトランプの技法と使ってきれいにマジックを見せてくれた。僕の一番好きな人はデイビッド・ちんすこだった。ポッキーとプレツを鼻に入れて、音楽に合わせて鼻でチョコレートをポッキーから吸って、プレツに出した。ワイルドな演技だった。超面白かった。最後にポッキーを食べたし。優勝は「とりあえずジョニー」だった。20万円も貰った。

After lunch it was time for the thing I had looked forward to the most, the Fat Brothers' Show. The three Fat Brothers came out together, did an opening trick together, then did magic one at a time, with one trick done all of them together between each act, and a final closing trick done together too. In total they did about two hours of magic. It was fantastic!


The opening with a sign card going from magician to magician in very mysterious ways was very fast and cool. Christian Engblom had a sign card end up in the chest pocket of his shirt, which he had never touched, and taken out by the spectator. Later it turned out that his shirt actually did not even have a chest pocket, which was very funny. Miguel did a coin matrix with 4 coins of different types and a spectator turning over the cards covering the coins. Dani did a very funny "self working" trick of the "do as I do" that turned more and more complex until no one seemed to be able to keep up and do what he did. He complained that perhaps the translations were incorrect, since the spectators that were supposed to keep up with him did not have the same amount of cards in their hands as he did, haha. They did some funny stuff with the "Wow" gimmick, and for the ending everyone did a different version of the triumph trick. A very very entertaining show.


This woman is a normal grown up Japanese woman (or slightly tall for being Japanese), but compared to the jacket of one of the Fat Brothers, show looks like a dwarf. You could fit four normal Japanese people in that jacket...

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