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, November 27, 2014

Magic bar Stockholm visit 2 of 4

On my second visit to Magic Bar Stockholm this trip, I had my brother and his wife with me. They had been there once before, but that was a long long time ago. This evening, Tom Stone was doing a stage show, and he had mentioned the day before that he was working on a new routine that seemed fun.


Before adding the soup
After adding the soup

We got there in time to have dinner, and I ordered different food this evening and it was great again. I also got a spoon that looked like someone had used it in a spoon bending routine and then tried to straighten it out.


A spoon that has probably been used in magic
Robert Ace

While we were waiting, I saw a young guy playing with a deck of cards. He looked very much like a guy I saw do magic on the street in Stockholm on another visit to Sweden. I spoke to him at that time and he mentioned that he was going to go to Japan to train some Japanese martial art. Looking closer, it did indeed seem to be Robert Ace this time too.


Grilled lamb and potatoes

While we were waiting for our food, Tom Stone came to our table and did some magic. He also talked to us for a bit. He did a nice routine with a coin and a pen, and a trick with a deck of cards with names written on the backs. He also said that he was nervous about his new thing that he planned to do on stage that he had only performed two or three times before.


Chocolate mousse and blueberries

Later, Robert Ace came by our table too, and I said that I remembered meeting him. He also said: "Ah, and you are the one from Japan?", so I guess maybe someone in the Magic Bar Stockholm staff had tipped him off that the strange guy from Japan who comes every night was here again. But he turned and looked at my sister in law, and directed the question at her. She is also from Japan, so he was not wrong. Then he said something like: "I can speak a little bit of Japanese, but I am not very good at it", in Japanese to her. Well, so can my brother, and I can speak a bit too, haha.


Me and Tom Stone

Tom Stone did some of his famous routines on stage. He did a coin routine ending with the production of a bottle, he asked a spectator to join him on stage and did his cups and balls routine for her, he did a "pretentious rope routine" (very funny), and he did his new thing. He also used the "select a random way to greet the spectator" which ended up having him hug her, which is a trick that was also used by other people on stage in Magic Bar Stockholm. I was also completely fooled by the cups and balls and did not see the shoe appear on the table, even though I have seen this routine (on video) many times, haha.


An old poster that was very funny. Advertising "On of the worst magicians in Sweden" and mentioning many bad things about him.

His new routine was very funny. He had two spectators on stage with him and everyone of them had a cigar box with something in it. One spectator had a deck of cards, one had a book, and Tom Stone had an empty box. The were also marked with colored squares, so you could tell which box belonged to whom. Then he put a Post-It sticker over this square on his own box, and said that now since we cannot see the color, we cannot be sure whom this box belongs to. Which in some sense makes sense, but since the spectators were holding on to their boxes and no one had touched the box after he covered the color, it might be reasonable to suspect that the box was still the red box belonging to Tom Stone... He said things like: "So, as far as we know, this could be the blue box. That was your box. And it had a deck of cards in it", and when opening the box it did indeed have cards in it. There were lots of other things going on, and a very mysterious ending. It used many different things, like something like the "Pegasus Page" trick, to achieve some very entertaining.


An envelope that later turned out to contain an iPhone 

After Tom Stone finished, the mentalist Ray Matson also did a stage show. This was pretty much the same as the night before (that I also saw).


A painting of an original way to perform levitations

After all the magic, the owner of Magic Bar Stockholm also took us on a tour of the places, pointing out interesting details. There were chairs bought from some antique shop that had been sat on by famous people, there were lots of optical illusions and trick art, and much much more.


A levitating ball
A levitating bottle
A levitating deck of cards
A levitating card

Magic bar Stockholm visit 1 of 4

The bar is full of optical illusions and trick art decorations, as this painting in the toilet.

In October I went to Sweden and I managed to visit the Magic Bar Stockholm several times. There is no house magician in Magic Bar Stockholm, so you can go there pretty much every week and get to see a new magician every time. They invite many different magicians to do magic at the tables and on the weekends they have stage shows too.


There is a room full of hats in the bar

The first night I went there, it was Thursday and there was to be a stage show. I was there alone and decided to have dinner. The food is really good, and by Swedish standards not very expensive (compared to Japan, all restaurants in Sweden are very expensive, though).


The food was great

A fairly young magician called Gaston came to my table and showed me some closeup magic. He did a version of the triumph card trick and then made the whole deck disappear from inside the card box, leaving only my signed card. He was very funny. And very nice.


Me and Gaston

While I was eating, I also saw the magician Tom Stone sitting at another table. The first time I visited Magic Bar Stockholm, Tom Stone was doing magic at the tables. He is also pretty famous in Japan, after having been featured on a New Year magic special. All my magician friends know of him. They do not read English, so they have not read his books, though. Which is convenient for me, because I can read English and then learn tricks that none of the other magicians around here are performing (and in our magic bar we don't do the same tricks as the other magicians, since the guests will see both my magic and the other peoples' magic), haha.


Anyway, when he was ordering a beer in the bar, and my table was close to the bar counter, he looked at me and then said: "Jonas?" I said that indeed I am Jonas, and he continued: "I am sorry I did not make the connection quicker". I am still not clear on how he made the connection at all, so I do not think he has anything to apologize for, haha. I have seen him twice before, once when he was giving a guest lecture at my old university (and I had not started doing magic), and once before in Magic Bar Stockholm, but I never told him my name (or talked to him). I once sent him an e-mail asking about something in a book he wrote that I was reading, and he sent a very polite and helpful reply. In the e-mail I of course wrote my name, but there was no photo or anything like that.


I guess he may have made the connection after seeing this blog, which has both my name and photos (he did write a comment here once). It is still quite impressive to make the connection, though. He also talked to me a bit and mentioned things that other people in the magic bar (who I have told my name) probably do not know, so he did indeed seem to know that I was the one that sent that e-mail etc. That might be the thing that surprised me most in Magic Bar Stockholm this trip, haha.


Me and Ray Matson

After I finished my dinner, the stage show started. Gaston did some funny things on stage. He did some optical illusions (the shrinking head illusion), some magic, and some juggling. It was all good, but I laughed most during the juggling segments were he was eating the apples he was juggling with and getting lots of sticky apple parts all over the place.


Next, the mentalist Ray Matson also did a stage show. He did a card trick that I sometimes do here in Japan, he had a very nice presentation using a blank deck of cards, he did the torn and restored newspaper in a mentalist way, and did a Russian Roulette thing with a spectator's iPhone, and much more.