Thursday, December 18, 2014

Below the belt magic

I saw this painting on the wall in Magic Bar Stockholm. If you look close enough, it turns out this magician is using an unusual method to levitate the woman.


Magic bar Stockholm visit 4 of 4

My last visit to Magic Bar Stockholm during my vacation in Sweden was also on a day with a stage show. I got to see the very young magician Carl Stanley and the mentalist Micke Askernäs. I saw Carl Stanley walk around the tables and do some card magic. Micke Askernäs did some fork bending at some tables.


Carl Stanley

Carl Stanley was the first to go on stage. He was very funny. He kept saying things like: "Hi, I am a magician. But I would have preferred to have a girlfriend instead." He did a lot of gags. I liked it when he brought forth a wooden duck that picks one card from a deck of cards (a pretty expensive prop) and had a spectator shuffle a deck of cards. He then put the cards in the duck prop and had the duck take one card. He then asked a spectator to "name any card you want". They named the nine of clubs or something, and he looked at the card the duck had picked and said: "Amazing! This is the same card." Then he never showed that card to anyone, and put away the duck.


He had a very nice presentation for the magic trick where two spectators each hold 10 cards but then 3 cards mysteriously disappear from one spectator, who ends up with seven, and appears with the other spectator, who thus has 13. The idea was to determine who was the coolest person. Do you know how to measure how cool someone is? No? When I was in elementary school, the guy with the most Pokemon cards was the coolest. So he gave the spectators Pokemon cards to hold on to, and the one that ended up with the most Pokemon cards was obviously the coolest.


Micke Askernäs

Micke Askernäs did mostly classical mentalism things. He started with some spoon bending, and had a woman come up on stage with him since the spoon was too small for people in the back to see, so she was there to confirm that nothing suspicious was going on. He was also funny, and asked her to hit him on the forehead with the spoon to confirm that it was a hard normal spoon. He also said that since many people tell him they think he has some special chemicals on his hands to help make the spoon soft, she should lick his hands to check that there were no suspicious chemicals there.


He also did a tossed out deck routine, the John Archer version of Kolossal killer, and a lot of billet work. I liked his idea of what to do when blindfolded. He taped his face with duct tape so he could not see, and had someone grab a bunch of cards from a deck. He then proceeded to name all the cards they were holding. When thanking the spectator and helping them off the stage, he also stuck all the tape he removed from his face on their back, which was pretty funny. He ended with a Russian Roulette routine with huge staplers.

他にTossed out deckやKolossal Killerもやっていた。小さな紙に地名や人の名前を書いて貰って、当てるマジックも沢山やっていた。目隠しの使い方が面白かった。顔にテープを沢山はって、見えない様にしてからカードを何枚か取って貰った。観客が持っているカードを全部言い当てた。一緒にやっていた観客がステージから降りた時に「ありがとーね」と言って、観客の背中に使っていたテープを全部つけちゃったし、笑。最後にでかいホチキスみたいなものでロシアン・ルーレットをやった。

After the show, I bought a bunch of bookmarks to use as gifts. They look either like normal old photos or like monsters, depending on the angle. I also talked a bit to the owner of Magic Bar Stockholm, who thought it was funny that I was there 4 days in one week. He asked me if I wanted to do magic there the next time I am in Sweden, and suggested perhaps doing table hopping on a Tuesday or something. That would be great fun, I think, since I have done almost no magic in front of Swedish people.


Magic bar Stockholm visit 3 of 4

My third visit to Magic Bar Stockholm during my brief vacation in Sweden was on a Wednesday. There was no stage show, but there was a special close up show in one of the smaller rooms (and of course there was magic at the tables too, as always).


Fredrik Ahlbertz was the magician of the night. He showed me some very nice versions of "matrix" (4 coins under 4 cards magically move to different places). He did some card magic too. I especially liked when he dealt 4 cards and then suddenly there turned out to be a big coin under each card.

Fredrik Ahlbertzというマジシャンがクローズアップマジックを色々見せてくれた。テーブルでコインマジックのマトリックスの色々なバージョンを披露した。カードマジックも見せてくれた。例えば、4枚配って、配ったカードの下にでかいコイン4つ現れた。

At the close up show, I got a seat towards the back, but since the chairs had different heights that was not a problem. Again, there was quite a lot of very nice coin magic. There was also card magic, including a color changing deck and an invisible palm routine.


I noticed a straitjacket on the wall together with a flyer for a guy I know as Magic Brian. I once saw him do a straitjacket escape in Stockholm, and he was hysterically funny in general.

I also saw Anders Moden, a Swedish magician who is most well known in Japan for inventing a was to make an empty and crushed can of CocaCola come back to normal shape and be full of soda again. He recognized me since we met twice in Magic Bar Stockholm in 2011. He invited me to sit with him and another magician and eat my food at their table. Later, even more magicians showed up and I got to hear a lot of stories from the magic community in Sweden, which was interesting (since I learned magic after moving to Japan, I know almost nothing about magic from a Swedish perspective).

他に、コーラの復活のマジックを考えたクリエーターのマジシャンのAnders Modenさんにも会えた。2011年にもマジックバーストックホルムで会った。覚えてくれた。Modenさんのテーブルに誘われて、そこにいたマジシャンたちと一緒に食べることになった。遅い時間にマジシャンがさらに増えてきた。スウェーデンのマジシャンの話を色々聞いて、楽しかった。日本に来てからマジックを覚えたから、スウェーデンのマジックに関して、何も知らない。

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.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Street magic in Tanuki Koji

In Sapporo we have a shopping arcade called Tanuki Koji ("Little Tanuki Street", tanuki being a Japanese animal similar to a raccoon). After 20:00 when the shops there close, this street is often filled with street entertainers and people practicing dance in front of the shop windows (that become like large mirrors). You can find caricature artists, balloon animal makers, stand up comedians, guitar players, etc. there.


Yesterday I saw a guy doing magic there, so I went up and asked him to show me some magic. He said he was just an amateur, but that he could show me some things. He showed me a lot of things. He did some cigarette magic, a version of the coin matrix, a trick with Bicycle card jokers falling off their bicycles, the Chicago opener, a color changing deck routine, a card sandwich effect, and more. He showed some things with tissue paper to another guy, and had a plank with three different colored handkerchiefs that moved mysteriously. He also made a match disappear by snorting it up his nose, and he jammed a knife through his finger when the finger was covered by a playing card.


He said that he is called Shin, that he is from Asahikawa, and we have a common friend who does magic in an udon noodle shop there. He also knows Johnny Samoa, the New Zealander that did magic at a Halloween party I visited and at my friends wedding a month or so ago.


When he was showing some magic to a girl that also stopped to watch, he suddenly turned to me and asked: "Weren't you on TV a while back? Doing magic? With Yo Oizumi?" I said that I was. So he kind of forgot about the girl and started talking about all kinds of magic with me, and the girl left, haha.


He had good sense when it comes to selecting what magic to perform. He seemed a bit nervous, so sometimes he was flashing quite a lot, and compared to professional magicians, his talking/presentation style was not that funny or entertaining. But everyone starts out like that, of course. It also looked a bit suspicious when he took out a deck of cards, did one trick with that, put it away, took out another deck of cards, did the next trick with that, then changed to yet another deck, etc. I would have preferred if he put a deck away, did something else (e.g. cigarette magic), then took out one (possibly the same, from a spectators view) deck again etc.


He was very nice, and he seemed to speak English quite well (though we mainly spoke Japanese). I gave him a 1000 yen bill as a tip in the hope that other people would also tip well, but in Tanuki Koji there are mostly kids, and they do not have any money that they want to spend, I am told. Another magician acquaintance used to do magic there too, but people would give him between 10 and 100 yen... If you go to Susukino or some place where grownups drink, you can get 10,000 yen from the drunk people if they are impressed, he said.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Magic Bar Review: Osmand

The sign outside Osmand

I went to Tokyo for some university work really really early in the morning of Sunday August 10, 2014. I was going to be busy from early in the morning until around 22:00 or so, but would stay the night in Tokyo. When I am in Tokyo I try to find time to visit magic bars or something similar. I looked around but most such places are closed on Sundays. I did find one magic bar/restaurant open on Sundays, though.


View of the stage from the back seats

Magic Bar Osmand in Roppongi, Tokyo, is open from 16:00 to 22:00 on Sundays. They have a stage show at 18:00. As luck would have it, the higher ups decided that we should have a break in the meetings from around 16:30 to 19:00. I navigated the Tokyo subway net as fast as I could and spent the time from 17:00 to 18:30 in magic bar Osmand.


Since there was a typhoon passing near Tokyo, the weather was pretty bad. Very strong winds and from time to time it rained. When it rained, it rained extremely hard. This may have been the reason why the place was empty. In fact, I was the only customer there.


They asked me if I would prefer them to speak to me (and do magic) in English, but I said that Japanese would be fine. They asked if I also wanted to see the stage show, and I said that if they were up for doing a stage show even if I was the only one watching, I would indeed be very happy.


Butler's business card, with all the important information

First the butler Kenzie produced his business card from a flaming wallet. He also later plucked lights from the walls and threw them in his mouth. He said he was not really a magician and only did small things like this, though. A girl who introduced herself as Aileen the maid served me drinks and food and talked to me for a while. She is also from the northern parts of Japan, though not as far north as where I live.


Me, a previously very animated drawing, and the magician Al

The magician Al came to my table and did some tale magic for me. There was a series of travelling the world related predictions where he had a card key from a hotel selected from me in an envelope locked with a code lock that happened to unlock only with the room number I had picked etc. He also did a card trick where he drew what he thought was my selected card in a small sketchbook. When this turned out to be wrong, he filled in the drawing to look like a whole deck of cards, and then the drawing became animated and one card (my card) rose out of the deck, and then he gave me the resulting drawing (no longer animated).


He then also did a stage show for me. It started with a lot of fire and some heavy music, and then a torch turned into a magician's stick, a dove came out of a book and was put in a cage that then disappeared (including the dove), etc. There were some interactive moments, he for instance turned my 10,000 yen bill into two 1000 yen bills, which he later turned into lots and lots of 10,000 yen bills (and he gave me one of them back). He had me up on stage to do a floating table thing, and he did some rope tricks too.


The butler, me, the maid, and the magician

When I was leaving, a guy came out from the kitchen and told me "Tack så mycket!" ("Thank you very much", in Swedish), which was also quite surprising. One guy who was the boss of the place also helped in taking a photo of me together with the performers, and then commented that he owned an older model of the same camera and had been thinking of buying the model I have, so we talked a little bit about the camera too.


The place had an interesting decor, and the big menu book also had several pages of "back story" explaining what the place was meant to be. They also have a very extensive menu of drinks, and a large selection of food that you can order. Since I was going to have lots of food with the work related people, I only ordered some snacks, though. They were all very nice and talked a lot to me, and they also gave me an umbrella when I left, since it was raining very heavily. I also got a printed photo of myself that they took between the table magic and the stage show, to keep as a souvenir.



There was a 2000 yen charge to watch the stage show, and I think there is a 1000 yen charge if you want to see only the table magic. Then drinks were between 500 yen and 1500 yen, and the food was not that much more expensive than normal restaurants in Tokyo. I ended up paying slightly less than 5000 yen, which is cheap for a magic bar in Tokyo.


Souvenir photo

Location: Very close to the Roppongi station
Type of magic: Close up and stage magic (fixed show times for the stage shows)
Quality of magic: Good
Cost: Variable, but fairly cheap
Interior: Nice
Staff: Very nice
Food & drinks: Large variety of drinks, good selection of food.
Overall impression: Nice staff. Did a full stage show despite there only being one guy in the audience (me)!
Of special note: Open on Sundays. Serve meals. Stage show.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Sold out magic shows at Le Dobule Fond

I was in Paris mainly for work, but figured that I might be able to find some time during the nights when I could do other things than work. I found a place not that far from my hotel where they have magic shows a few nights every week. It is also a bar, and they also do some magic at the tables.

出張でパリに行っていたが夜にもしかしたらちょっと暇な時間もあるかもしれないと思って、マジック見せて貰える店とかを調べてみた。僕のホテルからそんなに遠くないところに「Le Double Fond」というバーで毎週3回くらいマジックショーがあるみたい。テーブルでマジック見せて貰えるし。

The place is called "Le Double Fond", which means something like a "fake bottom" (in a box or drawer). When I went there, I was met by a friendly guy that told me that the place was booked for a private party, so I could not get in. He told me that after the magic show was over, they would open the place to people like me again, so I went away and had some food and came back later.


Of course, the magic show was then over, but they gave me a table and I ordered something to drink. One magician came up to me and said something in French that I did not understand (I understand some French, but not that much). He then excused himself and fetched a young waitress. She explained that since he only speaks French, they would go get me a different magician that can speak English. I said that once he starts doing magic I probably understand enough French to keep up and do what he asks me to do, but they said nono, we will get you an English speaking magician.


I watched the French speaking magician do a few card tricks at a table close to mine, and a coin routine at another table. Then a magician that spoke English very well came to my table and did a long oil and water routine with a funny story for me. This was the same magician as in the rope magic DVD I had just bought.


The table magic was very short, basically just one routine, at all the tables. The magic is completely free of charge, though. You only pay for what you order, and the prices are the same as the normal bars nearby. 


The guy who did magic for me asked me if I am a magician, so I told him that it is not my main line of work but that I perform two or three days per week in a bar in Japan. He asked me if I was interested in seeing the show they have, and I said yes. He went to check for me and came back with the sad message that the show for the next evening was already fully booked. Since there was only 1 of me, if there was any cancellation I could perhaps still get in, so he suggested I call the next day. I did, but there were no cancellations. It was Gaetan Bloom who was doing the show, and I would have loved to see him live. 

僕にマジックを見せてくれた人が「自分でもやっているんですか?」と聞いてきた。本業ではないが週に2~3回日本のマジックバーでマジックをやっているねと答えた。ショーも見たい?って聞かれて、次の日のマジックショーに席が空いているかどうかを調べて貰った。結果、予約で満席だった。1人だけなので、明日誰かキャンセルしたら入れるから電話してみてもいいかもと言われた。次の日に電話をしてみたがやっぱり満席だった。金曜日のショーも満席だった。土曜日はもしかしたら…と言われたが土曜日にもう日本に帰る飛行機の中にいた。Gaetan Bloomがショーをやっていたそうだから、凄く見たかった。

The Friday show was to be done by Dominique Duvivier, I think, but I would probably not be able to get away from work before 21:00 (the starting time of the show) on Friday. I asked anyway (and in fact got off work at around 20:45 on Friday), but the Friday show was also fully booked. They might have seats for Saturday, I was told, but then I was in an airplane flying back to Japan.

I stopped by anyway on Friday evening too, since I got off work a two minutes walk from Le Double Fond. Then I got to see some rope magic ("professor's nightmare") and also saw some card tricks performed for another group of guests.


Overall, the table magic was quite similar to the magic that is popular in Japan. The magicians were good, but not the best I have seen. One thing I would have liked to see done differently is that when they did magic at one table they did not seem to care much about people at other tables. From where I sat, you could see a stack of coins being palmed etc. very clearly when magic was performed at the table next to mine.


It was also interesting for me to see how French people watch magic. Some people were just enjoying the show while others kept saying things like: "I bet you have the other coin in your other hand" or "can you do it again if I hold this card in my hand like this?" and things like that. Overall, this too seemed quite similar to how things are in Japan.


So in the end, even though I came all the way from Japan, I ended up not seeing a single magic show. The shows seemed to be very good, though. If you are in Paris, you should book these shows in advance. The staff told other guests too that it is best to book well in advance.


Magic shop "Mayette Magie Moderne"

In Paris I stayed in a hotel that was a 3 minute walk from the magic shop "Mayette Magie Moderne". This is said to be the oldest magic shop in the world, and they have been in business for more than 100 years. Currently the shop is owned by Dominique Duvivier and apart from the products every magic shop sells, they also of course have the complete collection of things that Duvivier has created.

パリに行って、世界1古いマジックショップ「Mayette Magie Moderne」から歩いて3分くらいのホテルに泊まった。100年以上営業して、今Dominique Duvivierというマジシャンがオーナーになっている。どこでも売っていそうなネタもあるがDuvivierさんのネタも勿論全部売っている。割と沢山のネタのクリエーターなんだ。

I bought a rope magic DVD produced by the shop, and a safety pin DVD by Gaetan Bloom. I also bought some card pips made out of sponge.

ショップのオリジナルのロープマジックのDVDを買った。フランス人のGaetan BloomさんのアンピンのDVDも買った。次の日にカードのマークの形のスポンジも買った。

The shop was smaller than Magic Dream, but it was also busy with lots of customers. There were families there buying props for their kids to use, there was a middle aged woman there buying a very large close-up mat, and many more.

Magic Dreamより狭い店だったがMayetteにもお客さんいっぱい入ってきた。家族で入って子供が練習に使う道具を買った。おばさんが入って、めちゃくちゃでかいクローズアップマットを買った。色々な人が入って、忙しかった。おすすめのネタ何かありますか?と聞いたら、主にDuvivierさんのネタを見せ出した。

Magic shop "Magic Dream" in Paris

I went to Paris for a conference and found some time to visit the magic shop "Magic Dream". The shop was quite large, and it was full of people. People kept coming and going, but there was always quite a lot of people there.

出張でパリに行ってきた。ちょっと暇な時間も出来たから、Magic Dreamというマジックショップに行ってみた。広かった。お客さんがいっぱいいた。人が出たり入ったりしたがずっと結構な人数がいた。

I found some magic props made in Japan, with Japanese explanations. That would be fine for me, but I would guess that most people in Paris do not read Japanese. I found some funny pens that are made in Japan that I have been wanting to buy but that are generally sold out in Japan. In Paris they were on sale, 50% off, so I bought two sets.


I also bought a cute little shoe that is similar to the one David Copperfield used in this clip


Finally, I bought a set of cards that you can use to do lots of different cute tricks, like show a drawing of a sheep, pull out some cotton from the card, and show that the drawing is now of a shaved sheep, things like that. This was a product they had designed themselves, if I understood correctly.


The staff were very friendly and helpful. It was a very nice shop.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Magic show for the MACS English school

A week ago, I did a magic show for the children at the MACS English conversation school. I have been there many times before, and the kids are always very enthusiastic and seem to enjoy magic a lot. I did 30 minutes or so of magic, and then we had 30 minutes or so where I taught them two simple magic tricks that they can do themselves.

Since I have been there many times before, I was running low on new material. I was told that there would mainly be kids that had not seen me before, so I packed a bag full of things that usually go over well with kids, like sponges and picture cards. This year, I also finished with a signed card into a sealed PET-bottle, which especially the teachers thought was extremely mystifying.

My own favorite new thing was a quiz show style part, where we had a team of all the children and a team with all the teachers and they had to draw questions from a bag and if anyone in the team knew the answer the team got one point. The teachers kept drawing very difficult questions that they could not answer, while the kids got fairly easy questions regarding English, and since it was an English school they were supposed to know the answers. As to what was magic about this game, I made a magic prediction of what the final score was. This is a part of a trick from Tom Stone's book Maelstrom that I made to fit the English teaching environment. I find that children get tired after watching 10 to 15 minutes of magic, so when as in this case I am asked to do longer shows for kids, I try to find something that is not so tiring for the brain but that is still fun enough to keep everyone interested, to get 5 to 10 minutes of relaxation in the middle. I have also used a version of the "everyone gets bingo at the same time"-trick, where I usually make all the kids get bingo at the same time, and none of the teachers get bingo at all (though they get lots of numbers that fall on their bingo cards too).

Anyway, I had fun, the kids seemed to have lots of fun, and the teachers had fun, so it was a success I think.