Thursday, February 17, 2011

MAGIC: WHY, WHEN, HOW..??? - 5 of 7 part Blog


Part FIVE - The Projects

Since stepping into the entertainment world, I've been involved in so many cool projects.  Everything from Magic to Theatre and Drama, Stage, Mime, Fire Breathing, Teaching, Television, Short Films and so much more.  Such a cool industry but at the same time, a VERY tough one too.

I found that either you have it or you don't.  There are countless talents out there... The ones that make it are pretty much the lucky ones.  Well, essentially they are the ones that get noticed or picked up from a producer or some scouting agent.  That's what I meant by lucky.  It's all timing and what the individual does in lead up to that moment too I guess.  For me, I actually met Allie Wilde from my first gig and now... here we are ;-)

As my career progressed, I've met so many new talents from so many different fields of performance.  I've learned and experienced their ups and downs in show business in which at times were either very depressing or quite triumphant.  Eventually, I would endure my own ups and downs too.  I found it difficult to get work.  To be known that I stood above or stood out more than the next guy.  To be picked for my uniqueness and style.

Petey Street Majik :: Season ONE
My first project was Season 1 of 'Petey Street Majik'.  A great hit online through YouTube and other social networks.  I started getting private messages from viewers of whether they could get their hands on these videos somehow.  After a chat with Sean, we decided to render in full definition the 10 episodes and also throw in bonus features like unseen footage, a blooper real, a teach a trick segment and trailers to upcoming projects and more all onto DVD.  This was then sold for $19.95 as a special introductory price.  There were only 100 copies ever made in a limited edition DVD silver slick and ALL signed by yours truly.  It SOLD out very quickly even though there was only 100 copies.  BUT, you heard it here first... Till this day, Sean and I have retained a certain amount of copies that is still on our shelves.  These will be held onto for another time.  For the meantime, people can still purchase Season 1 on a second edition run.  It comes with a different DVD slick and different cool bonuses as it also features a trailer to the second project:  Petey Street Majik - The Vegas Special.

video

*** NOTE:  This trailer promotion is no longer valid for purchase of this DVD as these first editions are SOLD OUT.  However, the second editions are still available for purchase from the home of Petey Street Majik.
Click here:  http://bit.ly/h475wl

Petey Street Majik :: The Vegas Special
This trip for me was truly AMAZING!!!  L.A. and Vegas for nearly a month... OH... MY... GOODNESS!!!  Basically, I get a call from Sean Mergard asking if I was available from the 11th January 2009 for about a month.  I said:  I got nothing on.  He said:  Let's go to Vegas.  We can see Magic, experience the wonders and culture over there... And even film a little special edition of Petey Street Majik.  It was on like Donkey Kong.  Basically we did Anahiem, Vegas and L.A. in that order.  Did the whole theme park touristy thing and saw family... I have family in Anahiem and L.A.

When we came back home, it was time to go to work... Originally, the idea was that we'd shoot enough 'DIFFERENT' effects to create a SEASON TWO.  It didn't turn out that way.  Turns out we still did some old effects and some new ones BUT to a different breed and a different culture of people.  We filmed and documented a lot of the trip that was non-Magic related also.  Then Sean decided to change the project and compile this as a special.  Petey Street Majik:  The Vegas Special.  So to make this work, we did some interview shoots for different segments of the film.  It turned out to be just under an hour for the final product consisting of our trip, what we ate, what we did, what we saw... And of course... The Magic on the streets.  After several edits and cutting we have our complete final product ;-D

The coolest part of the Vegas Special was that Sean suggested we do a Premiere Screening of it before it's release.  What an awesome idea!!!  I searched around for many theatres and cinemas and eventually settled with a local company out at Fortitude Valley of Brisbane City...  The Globe Theatre.


 We had an amazing turn out.  We'd been promoting the screening for a few weeks before hand and were only giving away free VIP tickets.  The Globe Theatre capacity was 195 seats.  That night we filled 174.  The feedback was phenomenal, I had amazing reviews and people were impressed with the work Sean and I had done.  It gave them an inspirational lift that made me feel good about myself because I was able to connect with people on that level and somewhat be a boost in their own aspirations.  Loved it!!!

So, after a successful launch of The Vegas Special, we released the entire feature along with bonus material onto DVD.

Here's a trailer to the Vegas Special:



 The Vegas Special DVD can also be purchased from this link here:

More on this story in a new blog. ;-)


THE SPICY CHICKEN SHOW
This is truly an art form I have a whole lot of respect for.  Mime.  I got into mime with a very good friend.  Frans Vogels.  Frans is a multi-mime artist for over 25 years.  He is an amazing performer, director and costume designer/maker.  This whole show was compiled mostly by himself in terms of the costuming, the acting/miming and small bit and pieces here.  My part wa the Magic direction and scripting of the show.

Mime is an art that requires so much attention to movements and body language expressions.  I learned not only mime but fire eating and breathing from Frans.  Our Spicy Chicken show consisted of – Mime, Magic and Fire.  Here’s a snippet:


 This is truly one of my favourite acts.  What started as a roving act eventually changed into a short mini stage show with pyrotechnics and all the other elements of mime and magic.  A cool random fact from this act is that the latest version of Spicy Chicken required a technician behind the scenes of our set.  That person was Sean Mergard.  I'll let you imagine what he got up to behind set while we were in front performing ;-)


THE MAJIK BOX:
'More random than a monkey with a toothbrush in a nunnery'
The MAJIK BOX is also one of my favourite acts.  In this I team up with an awesome performer and good mate, Dr. Rhythm.  Professional beatboxer A.K.A. human drum machine.

I met Dr. Rhythm a couple of years back through a mutual friend.  Initially we just hung out and went to each others show.  One thing led to the next, we questioned one another - 'We should do a show together'.
From here the formula was created:
Street MAJIK + BeatBOXing = THE MAJIK BOX.
A random stand-up style show with visual Magic and stunning aural sounds and beats to match.  A unique act that plays on the spot and improvises as the show goes along.  Performing all over the country and Internatinally, this is easily my most favourite acts to perform.  It's just so versatile.  We've done everything from festivals, birthdays, family fun days, charity causes, weddings, TV spots and even Hens parties.  CRAZY!!!.

Have a look:

 You can also watch THE MAJIK BOX promo short films from this link:
Check it out, there are 3 parts... Very cool and funny.


************** 


These are just my main projects that are either complete or if it's an act, is still active and readily available.  I am currently working on a few new projects that are very cool and exciting.  They are:

  1. Season TWO of Petey Street Majik.  This series now features special guests and are longer episodes with very cool new effects.  Shot with a new camera and is available to watch online.  The first 4 episodes can be found here
  2. Petey Majik - The Learning Centre.  This is where you can start a hobby or a career by following me and learning the art of performing Magic.  It's my site where you can purchase my DVD's and learn some cool tricks to impress friends, family or who ever.  Check it out and sign up today, it's FREE:
  3. I'm also involved with my mate Jay Jay's FREEMAGICLIVE site.  Here we strive to produce videos and products for the aspiring new magician.  Check out the site here:  www.freemagiclive.com - I can guarantee you'll learn something cool from Jay Jay.  Seriously!!!

And lastly, another HUGE project… BUT, I’m keeping this one to myself under wraps!!!

So… There’s a preview of some of the work I’m currently involved in.  Hope you enjoyed it and come out to one of my shows sometime and have a play.

Until then, I’ll see you around the traps with some more exciting new things.  There’s always exciting new things in store for me.

...To be continued...


Monday, January 31, 2011

MAGIC: WHY, WHEN, HOW..??? - 4 of 7 part Blog

Part FOUR - The Change

Change is good.  Change is evolution.  Change is growth.  Change is inevitable.  Me?  Well, I had to change.  I had to mature into a standard where I can take Magic to a greater level far higher than I've been in order to be bigger.

Sean Mergard was my consultant at the time and still is til this very day.  Sean and I started working together on small projects and simple stuff.  Nothing major but one of the things we did was the first thing he ever shot for me.  It was a spoof parody on a Magic trailer for a made up effect.  It was called 'Subordinate'.  Hahahahaha... What a crazy day, what a crazy idea!!!  The story behind this was that:

In the world, there are lots of products and services out there not necessarily for Magic, have some sort of media marketing or advertising behind it.  Now here's the thing, they tend to really exaggerate and amp things up more than they really are.  Magic effects that are new and that have just been released sit in this category.  Nothing wrong with it but there's a common style to which it gets across to the audience with what ever it is they are trying to sell.  When I first purchased Magic DVDs or lecture notes etc., my first DVD was from a company called 'ellusionist.com'.  These guys were essentially my starting point to basic beginners Magic.  The teacher/tutor on the video, Brad Christian (also founder of ellusionist.com) I have got to say, is one of the BEST mentor/teacher for Magic.  I've watched countless videos and explanations and Brad by far has the most in-depth and detailed explanations.  The learning experience through Brad Christian I can guarantee easy understanding and a very fast turnaround in performing.  You will literally perform in minutes after learning.  So the trailer we did, we originally used the ellusionist logo (that's not to have a stab at ellusionist, but just to demonstrate the style of Magic videos out there), but soon after we made our own brand for these kind of parodies.  That was called 'THE REALIST'.  I still today highly recommend ellusionist.com to any new beginners in Magic or even the more intermediate and advanced performer.  They are a great source and have very cool tools for you to grow your Magic career which ever direction that may be.

Click on the video here to see our trailer on 'Subordinate'.
The video choreography:
- We filmed proper Magic effects to people with real reactions.
- We then performed a silly effect that made no sense at all.
- Then we edited the trailer to show a silly effect with REAL reactions.
- Welcome to Subordinate.

Season One - Opening titles screen shot
It was the day of shooting Subordinate that allowed us to make Season ONE of Petey Street Majik.  Because we shot so many moments of REAL reactions to actual Magic effects we collected enough footage to compile short episodes in which we uploaded weekly onto YouTube.  So a mini series of Webisodes was available.  10 episodes all up with 10 different card effects no longer than 3mins.  You can find those episodes online at www.youtube.com/hot54uce 

In essence, the change that I went through was adjusting to a new style of performing.  Getting use to how Sean was filming and being able to perform the Magic to the people as well as making it clear to understand if you were to be watching it on video.  It just had to be portrayed in a way that you as a viewer was actually there at the scene of the Magic also.  I mean, even when I first filmed myself performing with my old team, it was more or less just filming for our own feedback and seeing how we looked on video.  Not so much of what we are doing now.

My change in style had evolved.  I did more street work and endured a lot of difficulties along the way.  The fact that I'm out on the street already says it all.  Casually dressed and going up to strangers to show them some Magic doesn't exactly attract a positive response.  On occasion, I'd have to deal with a lot of rejection.  And that's fine.  We all go through it and as you continue to grow, you'll start to experience that there are plenty of ways to initiate and be able to steer into a strangers comfort zone and perform to them some Magic.  I found the perfect technique and it's what I've been using ever since.  I've become more sociable and quite warming to people I first meet.  That was from all the initiations, interactions and rejections I went through to get to where I am now.  I still sometimes find it nerve racking but it just takes that first little step and you're there.  Besides, What I've learned through my mentors is that being nervous before a show even after years of performing is VERY healthy... It's a rush... It's good to have that adrenalin and the fact that you're feeling pumped to get out there on stage and give the best performance you can give is why I love doing what I do.

I have written all my experiences and ideas into a journal in which I will share with the next big Magician or performer coming up.  My career extends as far as passing on the Magic secrets, tips and advice to the new young performers out there who are keen and willing to put in the effort it takes to being a unique elite performer.  There are so many amazing talents out there.  I've been out to countless street shows and festivals and circus tours and I can say that seeing these different shows have allowed me to see the dedication other performers put in to their art.  It's a motivational thing to see.

This is the kind of stuff that allows change.



...To be continued...


Saturday, January 22, 2011

MAGIC: WHY, WHEN, HOW..??? - 3 of 7 part Blog

Part THREE - The Passion

It was no doubt my feelings for continuing with Magic was in hope that I could eventually make a living out of it.  Everywhere I went, I'd have a deck of cards on me.  Always ready to perform at a moments notice and always keen to show people and share with them what I could do.

The learning experience was fun.  I was reading lecture notes and watching teach DVDs on concepts and principles of various effects.  It was clear my vision and area of focus in Magic would be Card Magic,  Street Magic in a sense and all the close-up stuff.  I did for a period of time look into the high end for Stage Magic though I never could get a grasp on the realism of it.  Don't get me wrong, I do love watching and learning about it.  Still amazes me the brains behind such wonderful deception.  I guess for me I just don't find the sense of Stage Magic breaking into the possibilities of it being real enough and NOT an illusion.  I do however, apply Stage Magic principles to my close-up style but just on a smaller scale and of course, presented differently.

Allie Wilde, Sam McCormick, Tom Greder, Sean Dennehy and Sean Mergard are the people who have shaped my career and performing style.  This is where ALL my passion lies.  I have learned so much that Magic is not only judged on skill but on performance, style, presentation, delivery, passion, conviction, patience and so much more!!!  I've learned that to be an excellent Magician there are very few things you need to know and have.  Not that it's major competition but the fact that you want to stand out and be unique, is so very important to me.  You can go out and learn 100 Magic tricks and perform them to people and amaze them with good reactions etc.  OR, you can go out and learn 10 Magic tricks and learn them well with a high focus on delivery and showmanship and generate OUTRAGEOUS reactions!!!  That's my kind of Magician.  Not to say that you shouldn't keep learning new stuff... But perfecting and fine tuning are the key elements to being better than the next Magician... I mean, we all can do the same Magic trick... It's who presents it well that makes the show.

I started to meet more Magicians in Brisbane and you wouldn't believe how many are out there that you just don't suspect or expect to be into this art.  Everyone from Magic hobbyist, beginners, semi-professionals, full-time professionals, Magic enthusiasts and even people who have just gotten into it no more than a few days.  It was great to meet such a group of diverse people interested in the arts.  I soon discovered various clubs and meeting points for Magicians.  QSM, Queensland Society Of Magicians was one of them.  I joined this group and attended their gathering which was the first Monday of every month.  It was great.  They'd get together and talk Magic on what was new and who's new on the scene, trade secrets and effects, sell Magic, buy Magic and even showcase a trick or two here and there.  You'd get feedback on your performance and sometimes it even gets messy.  What I mean by that is, like everything, Magic is full of politics.  Yes it is.  There are so many available effects that Magicians will have in their repertoire and be seen by another Magician who would steal that same trick.  Well, not actually steal but copy into their own routine the exact if not similar way presented.  And this surely this would spark a few raised fists.  Then just like a virus, the word spreads quick on the Magic scene.  And by then you'll be hearing and reading about it in Magic forums and emails etc.  I'm not too fussed about all that stuff hence why I keep to myself and don't attend too much nowadays.  I do my own thing and do it my way.  Best to stand clear of all the commotion and keep rolling forward with your own goals and ambitions.

My passion extended to Magic conventions.  My first one was in Melbourne at the 2007 100 years of Magic in Australia Convention.  I went with two fellow Magicians, Jay Jay and Xavier.  WOW!!!  What an amazing experience.  I saw LIVE Lennart Green, Shoot Ogawa, Shawn Farquhar and Jeff McBride just to name a few.  Crazy... It was a weekend convention where not only did we watch the live show but were also attending the lectures of these great Magicians who were displaying their latest mind blowing effects for sale and available for Magicians to buy and use.  There were also competitions for local performers in which they performed in all different categories.  Stage, close-up, stand-up, they did it all.


Me and Gregory Wilson
The second convention I attended was later that year shortly after Melbourne's stint held in Sydney by Sean Taylor of Taylor's Magic Shop.  This event is known as Superday.  It was the 2007 Superday which consisted of one of my favourite close-up street style Magician, Gregory Wilson.  I also saw LIVE the incredible quick changing act, Soul Mystique.  There was also Darren Carr and his amazing ventriloquist act, it was hilarious.  So many great performers and a real eye opener for me at this point in time as a growing Magician.  I met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends.  Same-ish format as all conventions with shows and lectures to follow.  Dealers open at Taylor's Magic Shop allowed us to see and buy various effects and gimmicks at a great price.

Me, Sean Taylor and mate, Dru Dee
I remembered I contemplated in going to this convention as money was an issue at the time... But I managed and rounded up some friends and we went.  We made a weekend trip of it and not only did the convention but did the rounds in exploring Sydney as well.

From this I really believe things happen for a reason.  I mean, I initially got into Magic from being inspired by David Blaine.  I persisted in the arts from meeting the people who have shaped me.  I attended these conventions to better understand the history and insides to Magic from real professionals.  I did workshops and continued to perform when ever I could to anyone... and... It was this very trip to the Sydney Superday convention that I met Mr. Sean Mergard.  Producer and Director of my current 'Petey Street Majik' Project.

The series was now born and I couldn't have imagined this better in any other way ;-D

...To be continued...


Monday, January 17, 2011

MAGIC: WHY, WHEN, HOW..??? - 2 of 7 part Blog

Part TWO - The Interest

David Blaine.  A true professional at this mystifying art.  David Blaine is a Street Magician, an entertainer, a stunt performer, an endurance artist and more.  He has taken magic to a whole new level.  He released his first TV special in 1997 called:  David Blaine - Street Magic.  This was only exposed to me in the year 2003.  How could I have not come across this during it's first release???  That's Australian television for you.  Anyways, the special captivated me in ways I've never been or seen before.  I was intrigued at the simple little things he did, especially connecting with strangers on the street and being able to take them to a place they've never been before or only ever existed in their younger childhood days.  That's Magic.

I then began to download and find other sources on Blaine.  I watched every single Magic video I could find on him... I then came across websites that follow his every move and appearances.  I learned more and more about DB and even broke down step by step some of his Magic effects.  I started to fine tune some of the effects I learned and performed them to friends and friends of friends.  I even recorded some of this and put together a rough cut of a mini Magic video of myself.  I carried on and shared this art with my cousin who also at the time showed massive interest in Magic and David Blaine.  We both enjoyed the Magic and began to build a small entourage of Magic enthusiasts.


' The Transenders '
It became a ritual, a weekly affair that we'd meet up and talk Magic, perform Magic and share Magic.  We'd go out filming and taking turns doing tricks here and there and having a blast freaking people out.  My resources grew.  I learned more and more and even purchased a DVD in which I call the backbone to where I've started and gotten to where I am today.  That DVD is the beginning of the beautiful journey I am still pursuing.  The boys in the team were great, we all grew as performers and using each other as guinea pigs to critique our progress.  There was 4 of us but only a trio would perform.  This all happened at the official start date:  July 2004.

In October of that year (2004), I bagged my first professional gig.  A school carnival for year 3's and 4's.  I was so happy to be doing Magic and getting paid.  I was hired for an hour to sit at a table and perform some close-up Magic.  I did everything from card tricks, sponge balls and coin tricks.  I was paid $40, which I thought was amazing.  LOVED IT..!!!  It was my money to go out on the weekend and spend on drinks!!!  ;-)

At the time, I still never looked at it to be something I can do regularly and get paid for.  The gig was only hooked up by my mate from uni whose father's friend was the organiser of that carnival.  I mean, I was a uni student, my parents owned a bakery and I'd work there on the weekends. I hadn't the slightest clue on my future career or what I wanted to get into.  Suddenly as I was finishing up my gig, I get a request from a little girl.  She asked me to come over and show her mummy a Magic trick.  So I went over and met her mum... Allie Wilde.

Allie is a circus/acro/producer/director/manager/everything person.  She is amazing.  She is the reason that has kept me in the game believing in pursuing a career in entertainment.  She introduced me to her team at the time, Top Chick Management.  A representation for elite performers and boy do they have the talent.  Owner of Top Chick, Sam McCormick allowed me opportunities to perform more at certain functions, events, festivals and small charities and fundraisers.  The highlight of my time with these guys was the extra support they gave when it came to enhancing and revamping performance.  We were funded a 2 day workshop with one of the BEST street performers I know.  Tom Greder.  This man has changed everything about the way I perform and deliver my show.  He revolutionised my way of thinking and how to take control and manage myself and my audience.  Thank you Tom.  His workshops dealt with a strong focus on timing, patience, exaggeration, silence, EVERYTHING!!!  This is what makes good performance.  This is what showmanship was all about.  Being able to maximise the response to what you are delivering.

The interest in the art and growing with it for me got stronger and stronger.  I began to see the potential in where it lies and where I could be with it.  I started to meet a few more younger guys who were just getting started in Magic and also inspired by David Blaine.  One of the stand out guys I met is named Josh.  Who now calls himself Jay Jay.  (More on him and our project in a later blog).

My team at the time now reached this point but unfortunately could not pursue any further.  They did however enjoy the many gigs we did together as an ensemble but could never see the dream I saw.  And that's quite okay... It's not for everyone and they did have a blast for what it was and I love them for it.  I now had the solo journey to fulfill...  I started to learn more and look deeper into the performance side of things than just the Magic trick itself.  If it's one thing I can say about myself that's different as a magician, it's my unique approach on delivery...

Magic was now becoming my passion.


...To be continued...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

MAGIC: WHY, WHEN, HOW..??? - 1 of 7 part Blog

Part ONE - The Beginning

Magic... Why did I get into it? When did I get into it? and How?  What are the reasons that have subjected me to this art and has still today, kept me going and pushing on with it?

Well... Let's start at the beginning shall we??...

Like all kids... We've experienced some sort of Magic or Magic show in our lives... Whether it was on TV or a live show or whatever.  For me... It was TV.  David Copperfield.. Ring a bell??  Yes... The GREATEST if not one of the BEST Magicians of all time.  I saw DC when I was a kid... On TV, a special called 'David Copperfield, 15yrs of Magic' ... It was mind blowing... I recorded it on VHS at the time and often watched it over and over.  Funnily enough a lot of growing magicians today started off from that kind of influence early or at least from an experience similar like that.  For me, it wasn't watching Copperfield that boosted my drive to learn magic or even get into it.  At the time I just simply enjoyed watching it.  Nothing more.

Across the course time, after Copperfield re-popularised Magic in the 90's, various other Magicians started to come onto the scene... The likes of Siegfried and Roy and Penn and Teller and Rudy Coby just to name a few.  Again, I still sat in the spot of just enjoying the art.  Sure I had a few tricks up my sleeve and such but they were just the simple mathematics type card tricks that were simple and self working because of the odds on how it was presented, it just, worked!!!  Oh, and don't forget... The old thumb removing trick!!!

I then eventually was exposed to close-up Magic, this stuff I hadn't as yet seen too much of... Only saw bit's and pieces here and there on TV when they aired 'World's Greatest Magicians'.  The show was based around the big scale illusionists but in between them, they had some close-up segments with magicians like Michael Ammar, Larry Anderson and Bill Malone etc.  I started to show more interest in this area of Magic.  I just adored the rawness and close-up aspect of doing Magic right before your eyes.  But still, I didn't do anything about it... I didn't even question or research if there was some kind of resource that I could obtain information from to get me started.  There was nothing there big enough to DRIVE me to learning... Not yet anyways.  So I continued to just enjoy it.
Smokin' Aces
Throughout schooling, every time there was a deck of cards present, I'd always without fail perform this one trick... It was the only cool trick I knew and it was a prediction type effect where the spectator does all the work and I end up predicting the card at the end.  It got me a few brownie points for popularity that's for sure.  But like I said that's all I did it for and that's where Magic stood for me... UNTIL........................................



...To be continued...




Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Petey Street Majik :: Season One

Hello people,

How are you??  Let me introduced myself and what I do.  My name is Petey.  I am a professional Street Magician. Here's a link to my first season's work of Street Majik Season One (2008), directed by my good friend Sean Mergard.


Tune in next blog for a full run down on the history of how and why I got into this art.

Watch and enjoy - This is Episode One:  True Love.


Signing off,
Petey.

First of many..

Hello out there..

Here you will find and read about my thoughts on the Magic World of what's new? What's the 'in' thing? What's crap? EVERYTHING... AND... You will also find bits and pieces of other general things not necessarily Magic related.

Hope you enjoy... Follow me and I'll be sure to keep this on the regular.

Peace out and have a great day and/or night ;-)

Petey.
Street Magician.

Check out my sites:

www.streetmajik.com