Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quick update

Since I had the flu for a week or so, I have not had time or energy to do much interesting stuff, but I have had plenty of time to watch old TV series. I noticed that BBC has started the second season of "The Magicians". My favorites Barry & Stuart are still on the show, but the other magicians have been replaced. The boring concept of the "forfeit" for the losing team is still in the show (and has at least been made slightly more exciting), and they also added phone voting by viewers (which leads to endless "and these are the numbers to call" announcements boring you during the show). On the plus side, all teams now do 4 tricks instead of 3, and during the tallying of the votes there is a guest performance by some unrelated magician. All the celebrities so far have been very funny, and the show is definitely recommended.

最近インフルエンザにやられてて、特に何もしていない。映画やドラマを観る機会だったけど。イギリスのテレビ局のBBCで、"The Magicians"のシーズン2が始まった。僕の好きなBarry&Stuartというマジシャン組がまだ参加している。他のマジシャンが変わった。つまらない罰ゲームがまだショーにあるし、電話で一般人が負けるチームを選ぶことになって、電話に関しての面倒なところがいっぱいあるし、ちょっと悪いほうに変わったことがある。でも、皆が今4回マジックすることになったし(前に3回だった)、毎週ゲストマジシャン1人が自由にパフォーマンスするし、いい変更もある。見たほうがいい。

Another thing I watched lately is this very funny clip from another magic TV show:

It is from the hidden camera show "T.H.E.M." and shows a quick change artist. She asks shoppers in a clothing store for advice on what clothes look good on her, and changes her whole outfit in a few seconds every time. "Was that really fast?!" etc. "How can you do that so fast?!" "I guess I just shop a lot". I like hidden camera when as here the premise is really funny and everyone is still having fun.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday Magic ・ 日曜日にもマジック

A fairly full counter, even on a Sunday.
Yesterday I went out to the coutry side and when I was coming back through pouring rain I passed by one of our magic bars (the one I usually do not do magic in). It is normally closed on Sundays, but I had overheard our owner mention that he would be there on Sunday and keep it open at least during the early hours. So I decided to drop in to get a short break from the cold and rain.


An empty counter, what I expected on a Sunday.
I was expecting the place to be more or less empty, but in fact it was almost full when I got there. And our boss had just gotten off the phone with someone saying that a group of three and another group of four people were also coming soon... That would have been very difficult for him to handle alone, so he was happy to see me. And I ended up behind the counter doing magic until after midnight instead of resting in a comfortable chair and going home early to sleep.


It was however quite a lot of fun. People though it was funny that I could put a pen in my ear and keep it there no matter how much it looked like it would fall out.


Our part time bartender Aya was also there with her friends during the early hours. She had to leave and could not help out, but since she works in a cake shop during the days she had brought cake! Very nice cake.


My boss told me that "by the way", the place will be open next Sunday too. Hint hint.


Curry and magic ・ カレーとマジック

Two magicians wading into the sea of customers to do magic.
Last Thursday I went over to our magic bar to visit my colleagues. It turned out that the whole place was reserved for a special event, but I figured I count as staff and went in anyway.


Our very loyal customer (on the left), our owner, and the boss of my magic bar trying to block the whole picture when he saw me holding a camera...
Sapporo is famous for the dish "soup curry", a spicy soup, invented here. People from the more famous soup curry restaurants in town apparently have a get together once per month, and this month they were in our magic bar. One of them is one of our most frequent customers.


Once my boss got out of the way, another colleague also happened to enter the frame "by chance".
It was quite busy, with them drinking very large quantities of alcohol compared to our usual customers. It was quite a lot of fun, though, and I ended up doing a little bit of magic too, even though it was my off day.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Magician's blog

The guy who I met at the faculty party who also does magic has a blog, and he found my blog and linked here :-)

His blog is here (though it is only in Japanese):

His report about the new year party is here:
and his report about finding my blog is here:



New Year Party Magic ・ 新年会マジック

On Friday I went to a "start of the new year"-party (Shinnenkai) with my boss, and we did table hopping there for an hour. The party was held at the Art Hotel in Sapporo, which has a very fancy party hall. We had our own room for changing etc. that also looked very impressive.


The magic went fine, and we had 6 tables to perform for, both of us doing magic at each table, but not at the same time. Some people also started coming over to the next table to see more magic which made it more difficult for me, since I had not brought that much stuff along in my pockets since I expected every person to see only about 5 minutes of magic. I had enough so that I did not have to do the same magic at two neighboring tables, but not so much more than that.


We had lots of fun, and got some sandwiches from the hotel too.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Surprise magic ・ マジックにビックリ

Today we had the "start of a new year"-party for the university staff. 90 minutes of eating and drinking copious amounts. I was talking to an old friend there, and he mentioned to some other professor that I was a magician. It turned out that this other person has recently started practicing magic, and he wanted me to show him something.

I said I did not have anything with me to do magic with, but he ran off to get his bag and produced a (Bicycle) deck of cards! I did a short trick, and he did some tricks himself. Later he asked me to do other tricks over and over, so I ended up doing quite a few during the course of the evening. I also ended up running out of business cards by handing out cards to everyone who expressed an interest in coming to our magic bar... I was quite surprised at finding a magician (in training) at the faculty dinner.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Magic in Saitama ・ 埼玉でマジックショー

Magic bag (top) and bag with clothes (bottom)
I went to Saitama for New Years. My brother and his girlfriend came to Saitama (from Sweden) too, so we met up there.  I was asked to do magic when I was there, so half of my bags where just magic props.


I did three magic shows, one for my brother's girlfriend's younger brother who was only home for one day (the rest of the time he had to work), and two shows at a party where lots of friends and other guests also showed up, apart from the family living in the house we were staying.


Some people had seen me do magic last year too, and some saw several (or all) of this years shows too, so I was running low on new material to show. Especially since there are some things you cannot fly with (fire magic stuff) or would prefer not to lug around when travelling (illusions).


Not my FRISK, but still funny

Everything went fine, though. I produced lots of ball pens, did some card tricks, etc. One very popular trick was using a pack of FRISK breath mints, changing in size, changing the text on it, etc. Later, a girl showed up late and she had a tiny FRISK box attached to her phone, which was funny for everyone who had seen the FRISK magic, and which surprised me :-)


Some of the very popular rabbits.
The most popular trick was using a bunch of sponge rabbits. Last year was the year of the rabbit, so it was quite fitting. Rabbits are easy to talk about in Japan too, since Japanese people have some interesting beliefs about rabbits. The rabbits were so popular so that people who had seen it last year wanted to see it again, and people who had seen it before dinner wanted to see it after dinner too, etc. So a rabbit encore was called for, and though I declined at first, everyone was VERY persistent, so in the end I gave in and did the trick once more (should prepare for this and pack a different ending to the trick too, next time...). It seemed that surprisingly enough, most people did still not catch on, and everyone were happy.