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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Me Doing Magic at a BDSM Event

The last Friday of November, I did a magic show at the Rootstock Side Action 2013 bondage event. There were performances by bondage teams, by several bands (rock music), by a funny transvestite, and there was my magic show and a laser show. About 160 people showed up to watch, and there was a quite big stage to perform on. Apart from the performances on the stage, there were snakes and birds of prey to play with, food, drinks, strange clothes and fashion accessories on sale, and you could have tattoos and fangs fixed for you on the spot. You could also try being tied up by bondage experts.


I was asked to show up and do my show as a zombie, and if possible to do some bondage themed magic tricks. After leaving work at the university I rushed home and started painting my face. I arrived more or less in time to see the first performance on the stage. My own performance was much later, so I was a bit worried that my makeup would melt away if I started sweating, so I tried to stay away from the hotter rooms and not to exert myself too much.


Talking about mind reading
The magic show went fairly well. People seemed to enjoy my tricks. I started with a Tenyo made magic coloring book. It is a fast trick (less than a minute) that is visual, easy to see from far away, and easy to understand even for people who are not listening to what the magician is saying. I often use this as an opener to quickly introduce myself.


Explaining that the mind reading waves are too weak so the antenna (nail) I am holding in my left hand might be necessary

Next, I had a card picked from a jumbo sized deck of cards, and then tried to mind read what the selected card was using telepathy. The telepathic waves were not strong enough, so I used an antenna (a nail) that I hammered into my nose. Then I could mind read the card.


Hammering the antenna (nail) into my nose

Next I did a short rope trick, since the other performances relied heavily on ropes (tying people up and then whipping them). First I used a Tenyo rope with a Pikachu on it. The rope turns soft or hard depending on magic power. I also used a normal rope which I had a spectator cut in half, and then I made the rope whole again. I also pulled the rope through my body.


Hammering the nail in the last few centimeters too

Next, I had a card selected, stuffed the whole deck of cards into a slightly suspicious looking bag. I also put the rope from the previous trick into the bag, and stuffed a stuffed rabbit toy in there too. I then had a woman use one of the bondage teams' whip to whip the bag. She was one of the "S" people from one of the other performances, so she whipped me (my hand) hard several times, before actually doing what I asked her to do, haha. After whipping the bag, when pulling the rope out it turned out that the stuffed rabbit had been tied up with the rope into a bondage position, and it had the selected stuck in the rope creations too.


Me with a nail stuck in my nose, successfully doing mind reading

I gave away the tied up stuffed toy to someone in the audience. I threw it pretty far away to someone who shouted that they wanted it. A month later, I saw the same toy rabbit hung in a bar I visited, so I guess the person who received either visits there or works there.


The rabbit from my show, found by chance in a bar a month later

My final trick was a card trick where I signed card ended up inside an unopened (factory sealed) PET-bottle. I gave the PET-bottle with the card inside away to the girl who had signed the card.


Me and the event organizer

The other performances were very good. I liked the bondage performances very much (I had only seen one bondage performance before this, when the event organizer took me to a bondage club to see a show so I knew what goes on in such shows so I could make magic tricks with a similar theme). The transvestite was very funny, I am told, though I missed almost all of it since I was on after him and had to be backstage getting ready. The bands were also very good, and they were super nice to talk too at the after party too. The things on sale were interesting, and the food was good too. The spectators were funny too. Some people showed up in quite spectacular outfits.


I also wrote about Rootstock Side Action 2013 and uploaded photos I took myself to my non-magic blog about things that happen to me in Sapporo.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Magic Show at Bottom Cafe

A Santa DJ, me, my funny t-shirt, and some Christmas chicken.

On Christmas Eve I did a magic show at the bar "Bottom Cafe" (a strange name for a bar, by the way). They had a Christmas Eve party featuring roasted chicken (which is what Japanese people think is Western Christmas food), my magic show, and different DJs performing.


I did a 20 minutes parlor show, in front of a lot of people who seemed to enjoy the show very much. They laughed at the supposedly funny bits (and did not laugh when I was not trying to be funny). I started with a magic coloring book, which I like to open with because it is a very quick trick, very visual (people who cannot hear what you are saying still notice something strange happened), and is quite magical. I then did a card effect where I mind read the chosen card from the spectator's brain, with a little help of a nail (antenna) hammered into my nose.


Me trying to mind read what the chosen card is (if only I had checked Facebook and seen this photo showing the card!).

Hammering a nail (antenna) into my nose.

With the help of the nail (antenna), the mind reading succeeded.
I then did a trick I have that uses pictures of famous people to determine the "perfect match" for a female spectator. If Brad Pit shows up, her best match would be people similar to Brad Pit (i.e. "cool" people) and if Einstein showed up her best match would be intelligent people, etc. She was unlucky, and the picture that kept showing up over and over again was a photo of me... But when she decided to change her mind and go a bit farther down the pack, the one she changed away from turned out to be Tom Cruise, etc. A trick I have made myself, that I like quite a lot.


I did a mentalism type card effect, predicting which cards people would yell out at me from the audience, and then did a joke with a silk-to-panda toy with a Christmas theme (which I shamelessly stole/borrowed from the owner of our magic bar).


Finally, I had people shuffle a deck of Japanese alphabet cards and then we flipped over cards to reveal them spelling out a Japanese phrase recently popular on TV. After that, I had a card signed and it ended up inside an un-opened (factory sealed) PET-bottle from the convenience store below.


A signed card appeared inside this un-opened PET-bottle.
The food was great. The audience was great. The DJs were good. Many friends of mine showed up (two friends visiting from Sweden, a colleague from Hokudai, an American magician visiting Sapporo, a girl who dressed up as a zombie for Halloween with me, and more). My magic show seemed to go over well, and  I was fairly happy with the performance myself too.


One girl came up to me after my show and said that it was the first time she saw me do magic and that I looked "500 times cooler" when doing magic. I said 500 times 0 is still 0, but she said "ah, you are not a 0, you are more like 0.2"... An idea for a New Year resolution is perhaps to try to crawl my way up to a 1 on a a scale from 1 to 10...

Roasted chicken, stuffed with rice.

Fried potatoes, hashed potatoes, and chicken salad sandwiches.

DJ Santa had a present bag. When I asked what was inside, he gave me a piece of candy from the bag.

The rice inside the chicken was very good.

There was a small Christmas tree in front of the DJ booth.

The Christmas tree kind of worked as a disco light too, and would shine strongly and blink from time to time.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas, magic, miniskirts

December 23rd is a holiday in Japan (the Emperor's birthday), so recently people have Christmas parties on the 23rd (Christmas is not really celebrated here, and all the Christmas days are normal working days). One of my Japanese friends works in a bar called One Star Bar. He told me that on the evening of the 23rd they were going to have an event called "Sabisinbo Night", the night for lonely people. In Japan, Christmas is the season for going on romantic dates with your girlfriend/boyfriend, so this party was for people like him that do not have a girlfriend.

12月23日が祝日なので、友達が働いている「One Star Bar」という店でクリスマスパーティーがあった。友達は彼女がいないから、デートの時期のクリスマスに友達の為の「さびしんぼナイト」というイベントになっていた。彼女の居る人は来ちゃ駄目な感じだった。僕は残念ながら、セーフ。

He promised he would be working in a Santa costume, one made for girls. He also asked that I show up and perform some magic.


When I showed up, my friend was indeed wearing a mini-skirt Santa outfit, and a blonde wig. His boss was also wearing a sexy Santa costume, and had a rope and two bells attached to his groin. They were a smaller version of the rope you use to ring bells at Shinto shrines in Japan (to make the gods aware of your presence so they can see your donation and hear your prayer). You could pull the rope and ring the bells if you wanted, without making any monetary offerings.


When I was asked to do some magic, my friend suddenly decided (after a few tricks) that: "The rest is non-free! Who is willing to pay?" One guy offered to pay 2000 yen to see more, but my friend jumped in and started negotiating the price, so people ended up putting all their small change on the counter instead. Six or seven people pitched in, and together they got up to 767 yen... After starting at 2000 yen. My friend's negotiating skills are not great. I gave all the money to my friend (he charged me that amount for a drink he figured I had ordered for him to drink).


I did some magic at the counter and some more magic at some sofa seats in another part of the bar. I hammered a nail into my nose, and I produced a lot of sponge rabbits. My friend loves the "ambitious card", a very old card routine (a selected card is put into the deck but keeps returning to the top of the deck) so he also requested that I do that. I used to do a version of the ambitious card 5 years ago when I did table hopping in a restaurant, but nowadays my boss in the magic bar does his ambitious card routine, so I have not performed it in a long long time. It went over quite well, though.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas magic show at Bottom Cafe ・ 24日にボトムカフェでマジックショー

In Japan, Christmas is the day for romantic dates. Other than that, Christmas is not really celebrated here (other than by eating KFC, which for some reason is believed to be what all Westerners do for Christmas, but I digress).


A few days ago, I was asked: "Are you free on the 24th?" [the "romantic date day"]. Sadly, it was a guy who asked me, and mainly because he assumed I would have nothing planned and he wanted me to do a magic show. Even sadder, he was right.


 But on the bright side, I am doing a magic show on the 24th.

December 24, at "Bottom Cafe" (Susukino, New Keiwa Biru 2F), from 22:00 (or maybe from 21:00, the time is not fixed yet). For 1000 yen you get to see the magic and you get roasted Christmas chicken. For 3000 yen you get chicken and free drinks.