It was my husband’s 41st birthday and he wanted to see a magician. He’s a big fan of close up magic. I looked into going to a show in Boston but then realized I could hire someone to come to us. So I found Joe! He came to my house to perform for 6 of us. He was awesome. Very funny, kept it engaging, involved everyone in the tricks, some really blew our minds. We were very pleased. When I first started looking I noticed the prices ranged pretty significantly. I thought I might need to go with a more expensive magician to get better quality, but when Joe also offered a video of the night, I figured with all of his experience he must be good so I went with him who was very reasonably priced. I’m so glad I did. Like I said he was great, we laughed a lot, and his wife was there to take the video which is awesome. What a memory! I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for some fun entertainment and great tricks. It was really cool.
Boston, MA – Magician
I’ve only been at this game for a little over seven years, but early on I realized that there would be a constant evolution in performing and a slow one with material.
When working for the only people that count, the search for the latest and the greatest gets placed on the back burner. If you don’t already have at least a handful of “Killer Material”, you won’t be working very long.
Two [tricks/effects] which have been with me, pretty much from the beginning are “51 Cards to Pocket” (David Williamson) and, “A Familiar Ring. (Paul Gertner) These two pieces are the focus in this blog.
First, there are many variations on 51 cards to pocket. I learned one from Matthew Dowden’s DVDs,”Party Animal” This has served me well, and I only adjusted it within the last three months. You see, I ended the routine with a production of the card from my wallet. It always got great reactions, but I already have a few routines in my repertoire where a card is produced from my wallet. Suffice to say, it’s not wise to use them all with the same crowd. So, I’ve owned the Omni Deck for a long time, and I never found the routine that seemed right for me, even though there are many to choose from. You know where this is going, of course. Instead of producing the deck, little by little from my pocket, I remove the Omni deck, with the selection on top. I have the spectator cover the “deck” and the cover card, which is the selection, and to my surprise, when I fished around inside the spectators hands and removed the selection, this got a big reaction, seriously…lots of applause. (I didn’t see this coming, as to me, it appeared obvious the selection was on the top of the “deck”. Not so! But wait! There’s still more…and of course the spectator is unknowingly holding the “Omni Deck.” See the reactions in the video.
The other piece is Paul Gertner’s brilliant routine. What can I say; it plays so well, you’ve got the emotional hook of a borrowed ring. (Usually a man’s wedding ring.) There’s so much built in humor, and as most of us know, we are not comedians, but magic brings out a lot of laughter.
So what’s the problem? Finding a ring to borrow…there is not always one available. I never use a woman’s ring with any type of stone or diamond. I’ve heard the nightmare stories, and I won’t be adding a story of my own.
So here’s the thing with men and their rings…some men have put on a few pounds since their wedding, and that ring is not going to come off without a saw. Other men will Never! Take their ring off…that’s O.K. I get it; they see it as a minor betrayal to their wife. So as you can see, sometimes I had to leave the coins to the spectator’s hands out of my repertoire, but I wanted to have one available.
One day, I was watching Craig Petty on YouTube, and he was performing a Three coin version for a crowd of people, and not only did the three coins “fly invisibly” to the spectator’s hand(s) they proceeded to vanish one at a time with a finale of “The Flurry” (David Roth) with the production of a Jumbo Coin. (Craig produces a second Jumbo Coin, even larger than the first).
Now, certain parts of this routine could be problematic, but Craig’s brilliant structuring solves any problems that could arise…see the results in the video. I’ve been using this lot…and every now and then, I perform something special for a couple who are willing to loan me a ring.
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.
www.ferrantimagic.com The Very Best in Close Up Magic Mass. / New Hampshire
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 www.ferrantimagic.com 339-927-4710
Fooling Kids…Fooling Adults… Who cares?
Boston Massachusetts Magician www.ferrantimagic.com 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.
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
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.
Magician, Boston and Suburbs
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.
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 www.joeferrantimagic.com or call 339-927-4710 and leave a message for Joe.
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.