Listening to lay people…one at a time.

I was out for a couple drinks with Lisa, at our local bar…the one where everybody knows your name.

Steve, the bartender has seen me perform a couple tricks. (something I rarely do when out for pleasure) So, Steve asks me if I know a chinese magician who was on P&T FU…incredibly good he tells me. “Must be Shin Lim”…”Yes!” he tells me how incredible he is, I totally agree, “That kid operates on a  totally different level…” Of course Steve asks if I know how he does it.

“I haven’t got a clue, like I said he’s operating on a level beyond me.”

Steve tells me about another magician he saw on AGT who did a trick with coins and rose petals. “Oh yeah, that’s Will Tsai.”

Steve tells me he didn’t particularly care for the trick…this is the trick that blew away the judges, one of them responded that this was real magic…something like that.

I think most lay people would agree with the judges, but Steve sensed there was something more to Will’s presentation…something that assisted him with this “miracle.” I nodded my head…but didn’t get into it as I make every effort to not say anything negative about other magicians.

Our discussion got me to thinking about the judges on AGT. If you watch the show, you know there are many magicians who perform close up magic. Each and every one perform at the judges table. Not on the stage. Hmmm, this never crossed their minds, and it obviously didn’t impact their reaction. I do wonder why they didn’t question the distance issue.

Which is why I listen to lay people, one at a time.

BTW…I am aware that Eric Jones made his last performance on the stage, however all the judges were on stage with him, still qualifies for real close up.  The Very Best in Close Up Magic    Mass. / New Hampshire

Don’t Try This at Home…or Worse, Don’t Try this With Paying Clients!

Think of the Jazz musician…now think of the Jazz Magician, hmmm? That’s what I’d like to do! …maybe not?

I have many magic friends in social media. They kindly share their experiences in the performance arena. Just recently a more than capable performer (Top Professional) told how he had improvised a performance with a borrowed deck of cards. He was not bragging, just telling what resulted in a non-prepped performance. Another well respected pro commented that this is the only way he performs. The success of some of the best of the best, when they borrow a pack of cards, they don’t know what they are going to do, so they improvise, jazz it, make it up on the spot. And, they kill their audience. I believe them, I have seen a few. But they didn’t just fall off the turnip truck!

Why does this bother me? Because I’ve seen the results of “Magicians” who fancy themselves capable of “Jazzing”, when they are clearly not. I wish those capable of Jazzing would give a warning, “this performance is by a trained professional, this is very dangerous…do not attempt this in your performances.”

My caution will fall upon deaf ears. The cocky magician does not want to put in the work; he just goes out and “astounds the masses”. (Yeah…right!) Not the ones I’ve seen! They stumble on their words; they have no idea when the time is right to do the “Move/Sleight”.

Our routines/tricks need structure. It’s your choice if you remember each and every word, despite what the Lazy ones say, this can sound fresh and new during each and every performance. It damn well sounds better than not having a clue. At the very least, have a basic frame work.

As I said, I have heard the success of Magicians I respect, who can succeed in this type of performance, but here’s what you should know before you go out on the High Wire.

These pros have spent uncountable hours in practice, uncountable hours in performance situations; they have encountered things you cannot even imagine.

I’m sure some will accuse me of being a robotic performer, no not at all. I do consider myself well-rehearsed and even so there are times we I have to go off script, it’s just a reality of Strolling Magic. Sometimes performing a “Think of a Card” trick, a suitable ending may vary…it just happens. So, maybe Mercury Fold??? Card under watch???…card in Altoid tin???… (Jonathan Kamm)

“Damn, I only thought of that card!”

Truth be told, the card under watch, etc. are also well rehearsed, just not part of the original plan.

Please, just don’t be lazy.

Boston Walk around /Strolling Magician 339-927-4710

Fooling Kids…Fooling Adults…?

Fooling Kids…Fooling Adults… Who cares?

Boston Massachusetts Magician 339-927-4710

OMG…I’ve actually been pulled into this conversation. What a waste of my time, Yet…Magicians continue to discuss/debate/argue, whether it is easier to fool adults or children. (BTW, the overwhelming consensus is that children are harder to fool.)

Why is this important? It is not! What is important is the understanding of the basics of critical thinking in children and adults.

Now let’s get this out of the way…Being fooled is not about being made to seem foolish. Every Magician should know this, those who don’t…not my problem or my intent here.

Alright, so…. we are not going to make anyone feel foolish. Can we agree temporarily that to “fool” will mean to give an audience a positive experience in which they will experience degrees of belief, disbelief, shock and awe? Good! So for the moment we will agree that “being fooled” is about being entertained by tricks and illusions which should be presented in an entertaining fashion.

Children Fooler # 1

If I were to tell a five year old that there is a creature that eats children living under their bed…well, suffice it to say, this poor kid won’t be sleeping well for at least the near future. (BTW, this is the bad “fool.”) The reason is simple, children have little choice but to believe what an authoritative adult tells them. Personally I’d prefer telling them there is a Santa Claus, but that’s just me.

Adult Fooler # 1

On the other hand, If a so called “medium to the Stars” tells people he/she can talk to their dead relatives…sadly, an amazing amount of adults will buy in. (Bad Fool) Sometimes the belief can be quite costly to one’s pocketbook. Why does this work? This may be an over simplification, but…who wouldn’t feel some comfort knowing their Mom is doing great, and further than that, she is eager to help you overcome a current obstacle in your life. (Feels good, huh?”)

This fooling stuff is easy…especially when used in a negative way.

More on Fooling Kids!

Let’s return to some entertainment. It’s hard to count the number of times I have “sawed a sponge ball into two” for five and six year olds. If you’ve done it, you know they will take a single sponge ball and attempt to saw it into two, for what seems to be an eternity. This is an easy “good fool”. Not so hard, right?

How about the “See, don’t see” premise. Those less than critical thinkers will scream and scream louder each time you turn around and don’t see the spider on your back. Meanwhile, the adults are amused and happy seeing the fun their kids are having. (Remember, the Adults are not “fooled” here.)

BTW, this may border on making one look “foolish” but it won’t occur to any of them for at least ten years, and you’ll be long gone by then.

Additional note: I heard one “magician’s” explanation why kids are harder to fool…He explains that they have good eye sight and also view card tricks from a lower level, therefore they can easily spot a Double lift. “O.K., I’ll give you a pass on this for one time, if it happens again, shame on you! Make an adjustment.”

More on Adult Foolers

Back to the adults, I love the “think of a card” effect. The adult thinks of any card they see in a widely spread (fanned) deck of cards…the Magician removes one card and places it in his pocket. That’s right, the card in the pocket is the very one the spectator is only thinking of. (“Good fool”) Yup, good fool, because no one has ever asked how I did that, or even ventured a guess as to how it is accomplished.

In fact, the only group who might “know” how this is done is an alien from who knows where, known as the teen ager. OMG, these are the hardest people to “fool”. Just kidding!

For the best sources to learn to fool with integrity, I suggest Reading Darwin Ortiz’s works,

Strong Magic and Designing Miracles

Joe Ferranti  Close up Strolling Magician Boston ma.

Some thoughts on the card to wallet:

For several years I have performed, Jim Swain’s Air Mail Card for all my adult Birthdays. Since I needed a no table method, I was fortunate to find a handling by Shaun Robison. (Done Crediting)

I am sharing the different reactions I got, compared to my present reaction. Now, I have always got good reactions, that’s not what I am addressing…just the difference.

I used to prepare the effect by writing Happy Birthday, with their name on the back of the card. In case you don’t know the routine, the selection is made, and the spectator signs their name on the face of their card. The effect proceeds into a “triumph” routine with their signed selection being the only face up card in a face down deck. I then explain that I have brought them a card for their Birthday, and as you would expect in the zipped compartment of the wallet is a card with Happy Birthday [name] on the back. At this moment the card is handed to the spectator…and more often than not, they anticipate that this will be their signed selection. This is a shocking moment, but still it is anticipated. You may even get the reaction of “No #^*N Way!” This is fine, I never had any complaints.

As years go on, I started printing Happy Birthday Balloons on a blank backed card. Resulting in a “more unique Memento.” I also feel this is slightly more “professional” (IMHO)

The next progression was to have the signed card in a sealed envelope. Years earlier I remember Jean Jacques Sanvert, on his L&L DVD set…saying that the sealed envelope was a stronger effect. So I decided to give it a shot. Of course, Mr. Sanvert knows of what he speaks…reactions up a couple of notches.

This brings me to the last year of performing the effect. Since I was taking the small amount of time to prep the envelope, I decided to add staples on all four side of the envelope. Why not, it requires no extra effort, maybe 45 seconds of my time.

I had no particular expectation…the reactions were already over the top, but I got a surprise. Now I’m not saying the reaction is “better”, what I am saying is this has changed “the moment” in a big way. As usual, I tell the spectator I have a birthday card for them. They undo the Zip…I remove the sealed and stapled envelope, tear it open and hand them their Birthday card. This gets a moment of silence…I believe they are thinking, “this is nice…some Happy B’day Balloons”. So far, no one has turned the card over in expectation of seeing their signature. I have to give a little prompt, and when they do…”Boom!” Personally, I enjoy this a little more. Either way I am sure the client is happy. See for yourself, here is a clip showing the reaction.

Thanks for reading.

This is your day…A day with memories that will last a lifetime.

No matter your budget, you have likely spent more money than you anticipated. It is difficult to compromise on a celebration as important as “your Wedding Day.”

Why do I suggest hiring a Close up/Strolling Magician for your special day, and why you won’t regret it.

First, this is a gift to your guests…yes; you will hear from your guests how much they enjoyed the entertainment. In fact, I sometimes tell this to your guests. Magic entertainers are “new” to most people…in their enthusiasm; some feel the need to tip the Magician. Although this is a kind and generous offer, I am always aware that other groups are always watching you, due to the excitement of professional level Magic. (Most Lay people have never seen a professional magician before.)Back to my point, if other people see you taking money from guests, they may mistakenly think that you are working for tips. I certainly do not want anyone to feel an obligation of feel I am soliciting donations. Of course, I know that I am well compensated for my services. Here is how I handle this situation: “Thank you very much, however, the entertainment is a gift from “Dick and Jane” to their guests…blah, blah…In this manner, they understand that you are compensated for your work…and they also understand the Bride and Groom were thinking of them at the cocktail hour…and they graciously accept the gift.

Speaking of the cocktail hour, it is often a little awkward with many people who have not met…the Close Up Magician introduces many new friends to each other, and the new bond is shared through their enthusiasm.

Your Wedding is not a cookie cutter wedding. Most weddings follow a formula, if you’ve been to several, many will seem much alike, and they blend in as a monotone memory.
Your Wedding will stand out…I borrow a phrase or two, “Your Event will be taken to a new level.”
I certainly think that is enough reason to invite me to your wedding. I will not disappoint you…that is a promise.

If you need more convincing, consider this blog from Magician Craig Petty (click here)

Joe Ferranti Magician

I just turned down a job…

The details are not important; although the location was perfect…Near Boston, drive time about 15 minutes, the fee was acceptable. Why?

I always reach out to discuss anything and everything with all potential clients. I believe everyone providing any service should do this, not just Magicians.

My only requirement, before I go and provide my Close Up/Strolling Magic is…”Am I the right fit?” No amount of money should over rule this simple test. Granted, I probably would have done alright, and the client most likely would have been satisfied. I’m just not sure if they would have been thrilled. I never take chances when I am accepting money.

Whenever possible I will direct the client to someone who will likely be “just right”. I know several Magicians in Massachusetts who provide excellent entertainment. It’s a favor, and is returned if possible.

I only have one reputation…so far so good.
Joe Ferranti
Magician, Boston and Suburbs

Have you noticed people are saying…“What!”

I certainly don’t know how “catch words and phrases” get into our vocabulary, I’m just an observer. When performing Strolling Magic at events, I have the good fortune to meet lots of new people, young and old. So recently I have been hearing a lot “What!”…this is a good reaction. If you know who started it, drop me a line, I’m just a little curious.
Do you remember when people said, “in the future…from now on, from here on, henceforth.” These workhorse phrases have been replaced with, wait for it…”Going forward”. Who started this? “Going forward? As opposed to going backwards? I’m sticking with “in the future.”
I believe President Obama created, “A teachable moment.” Let me know if I am wrong. This is a great phrase to use every time somebody does something incredibly stupid. It’s not a bad thing if it’s a “teachable moment.”
I guess I’ve gone off track, check this out for a couple of “What!” moments.

click here…

The Close Up Strolling Magician

I often reply to inquiries for Magical services/entertainment with little no information of the type of Magic they are looking for. Of course, some are unaware there are so many types to choose from.
These are the types most clients are looking for.

The Stage Magician: The Stage Magician can entertain hundreds of people at a performance. For best visibility a stage is desirable, in an auditorium with theater type seating.

The Parlor Magician: The Parlor Magician will entertain less people than a stage Magician. This depends on the venue, but remember you will need seating for your audience. Also you will book your entertainment for a time that you feel will suit your audience or specific event. Usually thirty minutes at least and most often not more than an hour.

The Close up Magician: The close up Magician should be hired to entertain at an event with significantly less people. The Magician will often be seated at a table, so consider how many people will be able to have a good view of the action. Inability to watch can be boring and annoying.
There are Magicians who will entertain standing, but again carefully choose the number who will be in attendance…and yes, they will also need seats.

The Strolling Magician: (Probably the most talented of all 😉 Just kidding, this is what I do.)
The Strolling Magician will perform for groups of people at any type of social occasion, moving throughout the venue providing entertainment for your guests. He/she will not need a table; your audience will usually be engaged in casual conversation and will welcome professional close up magic, performed right before their eyes.

That’s the nuts and bolts, but consider the occasions where this is desirable. (Adult Birthday parties, Weddings, Holiday parties, all cocktail situations, corporate events, Fund raisers, graduations, anniversaries, …you can finish the list.

Keep in mind your guests, will be laughing and amazed all at the same time. (See videos) They will tell you how much they enjoyed the entertainment. If you are the one in charge for the entertainment for the company Holiday party, you will receive many pats on the back.

Of course I personally enjoy this entertainment and am privileged to have been able to perform it for so many people. And as long as I have been performing there are very few who have ever seen “professional close Up Magic.” This is suitable for young adults to senior citizens. This is not your children’s party magician, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just another branch of Magical entertainment.

I hope this is helpful in understanding exactly what you might expect when hiring a Magician for your event. If I can help you, contact or call 339-927-4710 and leave a message for Joe.

I need an Award!

I don’t have any awards…and I want to be your Magical entertainer. That’s my problem…you’re searching for the very best Magician to provide entertainment at your event. (You deserve the best.)If price is your only qualifier, you go for the “cheapest”, case closed. (Good luck!)

However, I’m assuming you’ve honed your search down to 2 or 3 entertainers. They all seem excellent, great reviews, video and photos which give you a pretty good idea of what you will get. All things are basically equal…oh wait, Magician X has an award. Bingo! that’s the one. Darn, I lose again. See the problem? This is important, I understand and it should be.

But…but, but, all awards are not equal. Believe me I have great respect for Magicians who have won awards. They work very hard to participate in competitions. If you see a Magician who has a FISM award, he’s probably your guy, spend the money…you won’t be disappointed. There are many other meaningful awards, but it’s not likely you will know the difference.

Here’s my little gripe…some awards are handed out like candy at a kids B’day Party. Yup, a few clubs hand out “Magician of the Year” awards to members who are not particularly talented. Now these are handed out with the best of intentions. People work hard in many ways to help out their club…how can we say thank you? Yup, Magician of the Year Awards…OMG, I can’t compete.

So help me out here. Think of hiring the generic Magician…you probably buy your bread this way, or better yet…Could somebody please send me an award.
Alright, it’s kind of tongue in cheek…here’s a little video of my Wedding work.
Corporate Magician, Wedding Magician…specializing in Close Up/Walk Around Magic.

Give them a good time! (With Magic)

In the beginning we had photographs…yeah; a picture is worth a thousand words. Not so much in the 21st century. Of course we’ve always had language to convey information, and writing wasn’t far behind.

What do we use to show are clients that we have exactly what they are looking for. It’s not feasible to audition for an hour show. The answer is of course live action video performance.

We have had video for a long time…once the media for the rich. Today our phones can do a pretty impressive job. A decent camcorder for $200+ is better than the $1,000 dollar camcorder I use to get my children’s first steps. (Worth every penny.)

As a professional Magician, I have numerous reviews/testimonials. My clients rave about my performances at their weddings, corporate events and every type of celebration you might imagine. I’ve just found it’s never quite enough. All the pictures of people laughing and gasping at…? Well in my case magic. The pictures have never been quite enough. It’s hard to be the salesman and tell everyone, “I am the best in my field”. I prefer a little humility…or as they say the “proof is in the pudding.” I finally have some pudding samples for my clients to taste test. Have a taste of one of Boston’s most entertaining close up Magicians. See the video here.

Nothing makes it any clearer than a video of a live performance. It’s not about the “tricks”. If your audience does not have a great time, then it’s time to go home and collect stamps. Did I mention the video? oh sorry, I did. Well, I plan on making more, because I can. I want to show you the adult Birthday, the corporate cocktail, the company Christmas party. If I do it, I want to show you a video. No longer will you need to take a leap of faith. If you like the reactions of my magical entertainment, I can do the same for your event. Except better, because it’s your party. Don’t be shy, call me, email, text…I want to take your event to the next level. Don’t believe me? Did I tell you about the VIDEO!

Joe Ferranti Professional close Up Magician Boston and surrounding towns and cities in Mass.