Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lyrically Speaking Scribbles Part XVI...

.:Lyrically Speaking Scribbles, Part XVI: Who’s Holding Donna Now?:.

This has been a long time coming, but I guess I may as well pour it all out. If you don’t want to see someone go all emotional and crap, I suggest you skip this entry altogether.

Who’s Holding Donna Now
By El DeBarge

Sometimes a love won't let go
Hard as I try I know it shows...


“Thanks for never letting me go. Please don’t listen to me when I say I want out. Thanks for sticking it out with me.”

Masaklap isipin na ang pinakamalaking dahilan kung bakit ganito na lang ako kung umibig sa iyo ang mismong pagmamakaawa mo ng ilang beses na rin na huwag kitang hayaang iwanan ako. Ilang beses mo sinabi sa aking huwag kong pakinggan ang iyong mga padalus-dalos na salita, at pangahawakan ang katotohanang mahal mo ako at hindi mo ako iiwan.

Ang sarap pakinggan. Ngunit walang katotohanan.


Everybody's telling me
You'll be over her eventually
But how am I supposed to feel so secure...

Isang taon na. Isang taon na ngunit heto pa rin ako, nagpapakatanga. Hindi ko alam kung kalian pa ito mababago, o kung mababago pa ito talaga. Ang alam ko lang, sa loob ng tatlong daan, animnapu at limang araw, humingi ako ng iisang araw na maging mabuti ka sa akin.

At doon mismo sa araw na iyon, ipinagkait mo ang kabutihang hiningi ko.

When I keep wondering who's holding Donna now
And I keep wondering who's heart she's knocking around...


“I love you. Now I know how it feels to want to be with someone, that I don’t care if there’s anyone better out there. I just want you.”

Ang tagal ko ring pinangahawakan ang mga salita mo. Halos isang buong taon na akong nakabinbin lamang at minimithing muli kang bumalik sa akin, ngunit lahat iyan ay gumuho nang sinabi mo sa aking may iba na.

There's nothing I wouldn't do
To be in his shoes somehow...

Alam mo ba na dahil mahal kita kung kaya’t hinayaan kita na iwan ako, kahit gaano pa kasakit? Alam mo bang lahat na lang siguro, kaya kong ibigay kung ako lang sana ang muli mong pagbigyan ng pagkakataong makuha ang puso mo?

And I keep wondering who's holding Donna now
And I keep wondering what magic can be found
To turn me back to the one who's holding Donna now...

Kung kaya ko lang ibalik ang dati, sana ginawa ko na. Kung kaya ko lang na ibalik ang tayo, sana ginawa ko na. Ngunit walang saysay ang lahat ng ito kung nag-iisa lang akong nagnanais nito. Hindi ko na kaya. Nahihirapan na ako.

The letter started with goodbye
I've read it half a million times...

Hindi ko matanggap na matapos ng lahat, sa isang iglap lang, nawala na ang buong mundo ko. Ganyan ako kung umibig. Ganyan ako kung magmahal. Sana man lang, inisip mo iyon bago mo ginawa ito lahat sa akin.

Tell me this is just a dream
When I wake up she'll be here next to me
Tell me it will be just the way it was...

Hindi ko sukat akalaing ganito tayo hahantong. Ang dali sana ng buhay ko kung kaya kitang kamuhian, ngunit alam kong isa itong kahibangan. Hindi ko kaya iyon gawin sa iyo. Ang mahalaga lang, basta masaya ka. Kahit nasasaktan ako. Basta masaya ka. Kahit wala nang ngiting muling dadampi sa aking mga labi.

Who's holding Donna now?
I keep wondering who's heart she's knocking around...

Saan ako nagkulang? Sino na ang nagmamay-ari sa puso mo? At ngayon, saan ako pupulutin? Alam kong hindi mo na ako sagutin, ngunit ako man, hindi ko alam kung anong landas ang aking tatahakin mula ngayon.


There's nothing I wouldn't do
To be in his shoes right now...

Kung ako na lang sana... ngunit alam kong wala ka nang nararamdaman para sa akin.

Who's holding Donna now?
Oh Donna what magic can be found
To make me the one who's holding Donna now
I can't get Donna off my mind
Who's holding Donna now

I keep wondering...

Oo, mahal kita. Oo, nais kong masaya ka. Ngunit dahil nasasaktan ako sa tuwing nakikita kong ang iyong kasiyahan ay hindi sa piling ko, mas makabubuti sa akin kung magpaalam na lamang ako sa iyo.

Sana, mahalin ka niya kahit man lang kapiranggot ng pagmamahal ko sa iyo. At sana, hinding-hindi ka niya sasaktan. Dahil hindi ko mapapatawad ang taong mangbabale-wala sa siyang pinakapangarap ko.

Paaalam na, Donna.

Backstreet's Back, Awright!

.:Backstreet’s Back, All Right!:.

Last Saturday was the night I was waiting for. It was the Backstreet Boys concert night, and I was beside myself in happiness, to say the least.

I picked up tickets after I took the Mensa test in the Fort, and fell in line for what seemed like an eternity. Even ran into Ozy, although that signalled to me that I was in the wrong line, since we didn’t have the same tickets.

Having said that, by the time I got into Araneta Coliseum, I was incredibly stoked. It was funny as well that one of the people who was in line with me even struck up conversation with me, and I ended up making friends with Tracy that night, as we sang and danced and clapped to the best hits of the Backstreet Boys.

Their set was rather predictable, and this was a good thing. We wanted to hear the songs we sang along to in the 90’s, and we got it. From “Backstreet’s Back” to “Larger Than Life”, it was just an adrenaline rush for anyone who was a fan of the group. Without a front act to get us going, the boys were the ones who really took the entire Coliseum on a ride we would never forget. The hits just kept on coming, and we were all there, begging for more, more, more.

In between their sets, they had some hilarious video clips where they had themselves green-screened in blockbuster Hollywood hits like “The Fast and the Furious”, “The Matrix”, “Enchanted”, and “Fight Club”. There was even a mention of N’Sync at some point in Nick’s video, which just elicited a lot of laughs from the audience.

Ultimately, the night was a great night, and with a promise that they’ll be back again soon, I’m definitely looking forward to it, albeit it’d be a lot more fun, to be sure, if I happened to actually have a date the next time I watch the Backstreet Boys. I think this night ranks right up there, next only to Mick Foley and Rick Astley.

Project 365 (59/365): Lovelife Card Divination

.:59/365: Lovelife Card Divination:.

No picture for this one, since I couldn’t find an appropriate demonstration of lovelife divination using cards.

However, I can teach you how it’s done, but it’s up to you to figure out the meaning of the cards left...

1. Have a person shuffle the deck, and then cut it twice. Afterwards, ask them to tap the name of the person on the deck, one tap per letter.

2. Deal out the cards one by one into four piles.

3. Take each pile and look at them face-up one at a time. Keep eliminating cards until you find one of the four cards named: King of Spades, Queen of Hearts, Ace of Spades, and Ace of Hearts. If the searchee is a guy and not a girl, look for King of Hearts and Queen of Spades instead.

4. Put the remaining cards together, then deal them out into three piles.

5. Repeat step 3 with the 3 piles.

6. Repeat step 4, then deal out two piles.

7. Repeat step 3.

8. Deal out the remaining cards in a circle, going clockwise.

Essentially, the less cards in the way between you (K/Q of Hearts), the other person (K/Q of Spades), your heart (Ace of Hearts), and his/her heart (Ace of Spades), the more likely you guys would be a perfect match with each other.

It’s up to you to make heads and tails of what the various other cards mean. Whether they’d be specific problems or issues, or even people.

Reminiscing Briefly...

.:The Start Of Something New:.

Last Monday was memorable because I met up with Ma’am Sining, my teacher way back in Psych 100. It was great seeing her and how well married life was treating her, as she has a very beautiful son, to say the least. Her husband was also very genial and meeting her along with some of her friends really made me feel glad that I kept in touch with her all these years.

I think what really stuck to me was when, after hours of good conversation, Ma’am Sining told me that she was proud of me. As she’s one of my absolute favourites, I think it was exceptionally heartwarming for me to hear that coming from her.

On that day again, I made a couple new friends, as I met up with Grysh, J, and of course, Michelle. They were a pretty fun bunch to hang around with, as I enjoyed talking with them about anything and everything. It was really good because I made friends with them mainly through Facebook, and I didn’t want to seem just like some weird cyber-friend they have or anything like that.

Ultimately, it was awesome getting to meet these people and just enjoying their company. I really felt great knowing that we collectively hit it off right off the bat, and capping our day with a nice early dinner at Bellini’s certainly made our time together that much more awesome. It’s hard to complain about being able to spend my time like that, and I’m all for getting to know them better.

Especially Michelle. She’s such a ray of sunshine. :P

Saturday, February 27, 2010

If Seeing's Believing, It's Worth The Wait...

.:Grand Beginnings:.


Happy birthday, Merei!

I may not be much of a cosplayer, but over the years, I’ve made friends with quite a few of them in the circles.

When Merei asked me to host her debut a few weeks ago, I was stunned. And honoured. Among the cosplayers, Merei was one of the closest friends I ever made who wasn’t part of cos.ph or one of Crissey’s friends. I found her to be very smart, articulate, and wise beyond her years.

Last February 20, I hosted her debut, and amid all the pomp and festivities of the night, I was simply happy for the debutante, because this was her shining moment. She had friends who loved her, parents who would do anything for her, and even foster parents who would never turn their backs on her. Everything is simply within her grasp, and all she has to do is reach out to grab it.

Well, I don’t have much else to tell you that hasn’t already been said last weekend, Merei, so welcome to the wonderful world of adulter... errr, adulthood! Your friends are here with you every step of the way, and always know that we care for you.

.:Standup Night Last Tuesday...:.

Admittedly, not one of my best, but magic went over very well. It's a bit unfortunate that some of my best hits are no longer available since my phone got stolen, but what can I do? I've had 10 or 11 standup sets so far this year, and my best one was the one at House Of Runes, which unfortunately was recorded by my cellular phone, which meant it no longer exists. Oh, well. So much for posterity.

I was a bit stoked to discover that my name was in the latest Comedy Cartel poster. It's really tiny, but it's there.

And March 6 is a day to be excited about, since Mike Unson will be doing a workshop on standup comedy in The Fort, in Fully Booked. Don't you dare miss it.

.:Onwards, Weekend!:.

My weekend started off great with a good show in the Disenchanted Kingdom in the morning, even if it was just me, Cleo, and Ruckus Red in the house. Logan and Marf were... indisposed.

Nonetheless, we had good conversations all around, and it went over really well, to say the least.

Then, en route to ending my day, my phone got stolen. Again. While I backed up most of the stuff there, some things I had are now simply... irretrievable. Rather unfortunate, but here’s to more emotional spring cleaning.

.:Published For Blogwatch This Time!:.

Here’s an article I wrote for Blogwatch. It’s about Mike Defensor, and whether you support him or otherwise, I hope you find it enlightening.

If this were a race of who has the best catering, though, Mike Defensor wins, hands down. There’s a lot to be said about good roast beef, since that’s so bloody hard to find nowadays.

Project 365 (58/365): Love Potions

.:58/365: Love Potions:.


It’s supposedly creating love by magic, so whaddaheck...

I’ll tell you right now. Love potions of these sorts don’t exist. Or at least, they’re not readily available in magic books.

The only magic love potion I can offer you would be alcohol and a ton of roofies, but beyond that, you’re on your own, bud. All joking aside, magic has always had an inherent contract of deception to its name. You’re expected to be deceiving someone as part of your act, but if we pretended a magic potion genuinely existed, then this deception lasts way beyond the actual performance, and is just way too creepy for my tastes.

Darnit, February really brings out the weirdest in people, doesn’t it?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Project 365 (57/365): Card In Wherever

.:57/365: Card In (Insert Suggestive Place Here):.


You dare?

This routine is pure cheek and requires utmost audience management on your part. More so once you discover the method for pulling it off.

Now, I don’t really know what else to tell you other than I won’t be held responsible if you got arrested for trying to do this routine. I know it’s enticing to do something like this and get to score some intimacy points in the process, but your volunteer might not take too kindly to that notion.

I think the less said about this routine, the better. Heh.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Project 365 (56/365): Rad Bromance

.:56/365: Rad Bromance!:.


No explanation needed.


Demotivated...

Albeit bonding with Elbert and Lorra has kept me from just going nuts yesterday, I still feel rather lethargic and incapable of writing.

It's like the life has been purged out of me ever since February 14, and I don't quite know how to get it back anymore.

Maybe I won't for a long, long while.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Project 365 (55/365): Jay Sankey's Electric Currency

.:55/365: Jay Sankey’s Electric Currency:.

I won’t include a picture this time, because you’ve probably seen Jay Sankey’s mug more than enough times in one month thanks to this Project 365, and I guarantee you, this probably won’t be the last time I’ll mention the man on this month, since his “Firestarters” DVD really is one of the few titles out there that gets to the very heart of this month’s theme.

Now, Electric Currency is a psychokinetic routine, and I must tell you that I’m a big fan of PK routines, simply because they never fail to attract people’s attentions. I don’t even mind having naysayers show up. Having one of them makes for a spicier show as you knowingly smirk at them as they try to reverse the effects of your demonstration with great futility. They’ll keep mouthing off various explanations to “debunk” you, but the only people he’s convincing is himself. Let him. It makes you look classier by just smiling it off.

Having said that, what I don’t really highlight about any given PK routine is the opportunity for you to really be in close contact with your volunteer, and if you’re savvy about it, this gives you a chance to really gel with the person in question. You can engage them in small talk, or really make them feel that you’re large and in charge, or outright poke fun at the fact that you’re probably holding her hand and she’s not the least bit put off by it.

PK is a very good conversation starter, and it doesn’t really matter if you are performing for a believer or an outright skeptic. Use the rapport as an opportunity to pick the other person’s brain, and to impress her with yours. If you look even halfway decent (Hades, some not-attractive-at-all people have met better results, so looks should hardly be an excuse.), mastery of the ability to establish rapport with a volunteer in a given one-on-oneish situation should really give you a leg up on catching her attention.

Is this tried and tested? I must say it is. By establishing a novelty in magic, you generate immediate interest, whether good or bad. By demonstrating your capacity to hold an intelligent conversation, you also demonstrate that there’s more to look forward to once the novelty has worn itself out. That’s a sound way to go about things, I have to say.

Well, if you want to know what happens in Sankey’s version, go buy his DVD. This may not be his best output, but it’s very useful, to say the least, and the fact that he’s not trying too hard to make you laugh in “Firestarters” is a huge plus for me. He annoys me when he tries to be funny, to be honest.

My Latest Article, And Mike Defensor...

.:POC Again!:.

My article was published last Monday, and in this article, I talk about how civil liberties can be given up, as long as they're not *my* civil liberties. I'm one of the good guys, yo.

.:Mike Defensor And Blogwatch:.

Attended my first Blogwatch-related event, and I must say, it was a very good one, in my book.

While Mike Defensor is obviously not the most popular politician in the world right now and a known apologist for the current administration, nobody can deny that he has done a lot of good even during his stint under the current president. This strength of credibility, to me, makes me view his candidacy for mayor with a more open mind than I normally would give to any particular pro-GMA candidate.

I'll talk about him more next time, but needless to say, I wouldn't have attended this particular event if there was no chance of me supporting him, or if I couldn't outright antagonize the man. As I wasn't out to antagonize him, then it's clear that I was more of the former than the latter.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Project 365 (54/365), And Random Goodness...

.:Sabado Nights:.

Hosted Merei's debut last Saturday, and I'm still on a high about it. Will write more some other time, though.

.:A Return To Magic:.

Joined a tournament last Sunday. This is the first time in a long time that I have, and I'm pretty happy that I did.

.:Met An Angel, Then A Reunion...:.

Last Monday, it was a great time to meet someone I've been speaking to only online and via SMS prior to last night. I also got to know her sister and her sister's boyfriend, so at least it wasn't an awkward encounter and we all hit things off just fine.

Afterwards, I headed out to UP to meet Ma'am Sining, who was in town for a couple of weeks. It's been a while, and it felt mighty great to hear her tell me that she was proud of me.

Ma'am Sining was one of my favorite teachers in college. It wasn't so hard to see why.
.:54/365: Daniel Garcia’s Stop:.


I know this is a plug for “Control”, but DG’s stuff is in this particular DVD.

Ever liked the feeling of someone leaning on your chest? Well, this is one of those incredibly presumptuous routines that can scare the Hades out of your spectator while giving you an excuse to cozy up to them.

While the video might be about “Control”, I’d rather save that particular routine for a different day, and focus instead on the bonus material in this Wayne Houchin DVD, known as “Stop”. His good friend, Daniel Garcia, shows a different side of himself as he performs this routine with all the homoerotic underpinnings they could muster as he stops his heart for Wayne Houchin himself to hear it very distinctly.

The ability of a human person to control his heartbeat has always been a matter of interest for a lot of people both in the medical profession and in the ninjitsu industry, all the same.

This is a routine that I wouldn’t suggest you to do unless you have the persona to pull it off. Asking a random girl to just put her ear to your chest seems to be asking for trouble if you don’t know how to play it off well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Project 365 (53/365): Wayne Houchin's French Kiss

.:53/365: Wayne Houchin’s French Kiss:.


Do I have your attention now?

This routine takes a lot of cojones to pull off on a complete stranger, but it’s powerful, and has all the tools you need to really establish rapport.

First of all, the routine itself is very suggestively titled, and with good reason. For all intents and purposes, you are performing a very simple transpo routine, but with a very powerful twist that they would never expect.

Secondly, like most firestarter routines, there is some measure of physical contact involved, and it’s extremely pronounced here because you have to stare into each other’s eyes, and hold hands, as if to establish a kind of connection that allows you to transpose one card to the other.

Lastly, there is a very suggestive form of transference going on. While physically, your lips don’t touch, it appears to the girl that somehow, the card in her mouth has switched out for the card in yours, all without you doing anything except that very suggestive move of “swallowing” the card. It takes a true performer to pull it off and still come off as seductive, but that’s why I showed you Wayne Houchin’s version as the perfect model to follow.

This is a very easy routine if you have even basic knowledge of card magic. It will require you to destroy two cards in the deck, but that’s fine, if you want to really impress someone with a very direct and leading routine that is an absolute firestarter, in my book. If I actually used magic to score dates, this would probably be one of the routines in my arsenal, and I’d ask the girl to sign her phone number in the calling card. That way, we’d technically have exchanged numbers already by the end of the trick. If she keeps the card, you know you have one foot in the door.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project 365 (52/365): Jay Sankey's Soulmates Routine

.:52/365: Jay Sankey’s Soulmates Routine:.


Pretty good execution, even if his friends weren’t too kind to him.

Nothing can be more clich├ęd than telling a woman that they are your soulmate. Despite that, it works, and it works even better in the realm of a magic routine.

Look at how the routine goes: people talk about how soulmates are everywhere, and how cards have soulmates. The magician then proceeds to make a fake wager and produce two soulmates in two routines at an unbelievably fast pace.

Now, the concept of card soulmates isn’t very new, and there are a ton of variations, but this is one of two presentations on the soulmate concept that I feel are amazing and worth a close look for the romantically inclined magician. It’s fast-paced, gets a good applause on the first phase, and an even bigger one on the second phase, what with the free choice you give them when you get there.

Sankey’s routines in Firestarter are very useful for February, albeit I’d have to warn you that you really should use a different presentation style if your intent is to really get cozy with someone. It’s best if you figure out a performance style suited for your intentions, because the dry presentation most people who follow Sankey end up using (They don’t like being as zany as he is, and that creeps girls out if anyone but Sankey does it.) tends to not amaze ladies at all. In fact, it bores them.

“Soulmates” is a very good routine on its own. I’m very fond of doing magic on the fly and getting reactions with patter that just writes itself. You don’t even need to follow the patter you see in the video. There are a million and one ways to frame a discussion with an emphasis on destiny and the like.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project 365 (51/365): Is Magic A Turn-On?

.:51/365: Is Magic A Turn-On?:.

a
Pimpin’? Really?

We’ve been talking about love and magic for this month for a while already, but we haven’t really tried answering a very uncomfortable question at the root of it all... does being a magician actually help attract potential partners in the first place?

Now, if you’re a girl who’s even remotely cute, the answer is almost unequivocally yes. However, if you’re a guy, then the answer deserves a bit more elaboration than that.

Magic is a double-edged sword. It’s a nice novelty, but it’s still a novelty. It’s something you get to have people talking about, but once the novelty wears out, you have to be able to prove your worth beyond just the novelty. At the same time, this assumes that the people you deal with are not antagonistic of magic in the first place, and this isn’t a rare thing at all. There are a lot of people out there who think magic is “kid’s stuff” and dismiss you as some guy who’s going through his second childhood. No matter how good you are, even if you’re an Erik Mana or even a Derren Brown, haters of magic simply throw your achievements under the bus.

Knowing how to do magic can be one of the easiest icebreakers in the world. Instead of fishing for a good topic to open with, you impress them with a good magic trick, and then you gauge where the conversation could go from there, and how much you’re willing to let on about your involvement in magic. I remember one girl in particular who asked for my number and was genuinely surprised when she found out I do it for a living, and it’s not just a conversation starter. Personally, I’m not too broken up about that, but it opened my eyes to the fact that some people really don’t think that it’s very respectable to do magic for a living.

So in the end, like any other skill, magic does provide you with a good way to attract someone’s attention. There will always be people who dislike magic the way some people won’t like a singer’s song choices or the way a dancer moves, but ultimately, if you’re trying to woo someone, it would always be better to have the option to use or not to use magic than to not have that option available to you at all. Stick to your strengths, and make sure that you have something more to offer as a person once the novelty wears off.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Project 365 (50/365): The Quixotic Ultimate Transpo

.:50/365: The Quixotic Ultimate Transpo:.


Oz Pearlman was the first guy I learned this from.

Imagine selecting a card, and then holding it between your hands. Imagining selecting another card and keeping a close eye on it.

Faster than the eye can see, the card in your hands is now the second card you selected, and the magician is holding the card you selected.

Sounds like a standard card routine for either card magic or street magic month, right? Except most magicians have been using it as the perfect gauge to measure how interested a girl prospect is in them by maintaining contact throughout the routine for as long as possible without any awkwardness arising from it.

Ever noticed magicians who seem to be holding hands with a female volunteer a bit longer than necessary? Some magicians may use that to establish a character, or they might actually be trying to see what their odds are with the girl if they held contact for as long as they can.

This is a strong magic routine, to begin with, and one of the most revered routines in a street magician’s inventory. With so many different variations you wouldn’t know where to begin counting, this being February means we’d like to take a look at the ultimate transpo routine as a means to maintain not just physical contact with a girl, but eye to eye contact all the same, as you insist that they not let the card elude their grasp yet you’re going to do whatever it takes to slip past her defences.

If you’re a bit on the corny side, you can then shift the conversation after this to the emotional defences she puts into place and how willing you are to do what it takes to get past them as well. It’s a silly, tongue-in-cheek line, but if you’re earnest enough about it and you’re actually a pretty suave magician, it will work.

Now, if you don’t even know how to do the Ultimate Transpo (Or the Here and There, if you’re more familiar with the routine by this name.), then there’s a high chance you shouldn’t be using magic to woo a girl and stick to your other strengths instead.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Struggling To Find The Words: The Unsent Series Volume 3, Part II

.:Struggling To Find The Words: The Unsent Series Volume 3, Part II:.


Broken. Story of my life.

Dear Audacity,

It was supposed to be a quiet February 14 for us. Quiet, but memorable.

I’m still coming to terms with the reality that when I thought that things were finally looking up, the rug was pulled from under me.

Why are you in such a rush to lower your standards? It boggles the mind, really, and I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I feel right now, but I just couldn’t. There are no words.

I sometimes think I’m unabashedly sure of how I feel about you, that there’s nobody but you, but when I think about everything you’ve put me through, I end up wondering how I could even keep on feeling this way after all that.

But that is how the heart is: le coeur a ses raisons que la raisons ne’ connait pas.

I could’ve sworn there was a time where I wasn’t in this alone. Even if I don’t remember any longer. Even if I’m just probably deluding myself.

Please don’t treat me like your plan B. I think I deserve better than that. Let me wish you happiness, but don’t expect me to be happy about it if your happiness doesn’t happen to be with me.

Normalcy. Sorta...

.:Finally, Normalcy:.

After some general weirdness in the DK for a few weeks, I think it’s settled down to normalcy already, albeit some things I doubt will ever be back to how they used to be.

That’s fine, really. I think it’s better this way now.

And I loved Logan’s rant about music artists just using his show but not really giving a damn about him afterwards. The man deserves better, people!

When we covered sensationalism done by the media, it was pretty interesting as well. I’m actually very glad KDL was quick to call out the naysayers on it, because really, what else do we expect the Comelec to do? They’re pushing for education, they’re pushing for testing on the machines, and I honestly don’t see what else they can ask from the Comelec beyond that.

Compared to the silliness of us singing “Mahal Kita Kasi” on air, today was a bit edgier, but certainly no less relevant and thought-provoking.

Project 365 (49/365): A Prelude To Escapology

.:49/365: A Love-Centric Prelude To Escapology:.


I think this is a nice way to signpost what’s gonna happen in March: escapology month.

I was meaning not to talk about escapology until March, but I figured that with all the routines involved in escapology that many people point to as perfect for February, it’d be a good idea to bring up the allure of escapology to the thrill-seeking magician.

First of all, the best escape routines do involve some measure of risk, and it doesn’t matter how good you are, things could go wrong. Sure, you’ve practiced suspending yourself upside down for hours to do the straitjacket escape, but what if strong gusts of wind start blowing you around while performing, for example? What if you take longer than expected and black out due to the blood rushing to your head? Escapology is not the sanest form of magic one could engage himself in, to be honest.

But see, with each padlock and rope, with each handcuff and shackle, that little spice in one’s lovelife always bubbles just on the surface. Some performers will gladly point it out, but most will be content in letting the sensations just seep right in. When it comes to escapology, it’s so undeniably raw, so passionate, so... aphrodisiac, even, that the art of escape becomes enthralling, liberating, and downright sexy, even.

Escape artists have a reputation for possessing unbelievable amounts of sex appeal (Maybe with the exception of me. LOL.). There’s something about the danger an escapologist puts himself in that makes him seem larger than life and all the more appealing. Just ask Criss Angel how many girls probably fawned all over him when he did a special set on escape acts. Similarly, a guy who normally puts himself in grave danger, David Blaine, also attracts a lot of attention, albeit he’s not really an escape artist, per se. Their passion for their craft, their willingness to risk life and limb to entertain people, makes them seem dangerous, and appealing at the same time. They like living on the edge, ergo, the implicit conclusion is they must be the same in love.

Also, being bound and gagged can be downright kinky, when you get down to it. There’s that, too.

The next time you think about tying a magician in hopes he’d escape and impress you, don’t be too disappointed if he didn’t get away. Chances are, he likes it that way.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quickly, Before I Fall Asleep!

.:Disenchanted Kingdom’s Strong Opening:.

Although I did swing by nextdoor to say “hi” to senatoriable Ruffy Biazon, I have to say that Monday’s DK was a really good one, what with the stuff that went on, including Logan singing musicals and talking about the APO Hiking Society concert and the fact that Marf ran into a hot celebrity in Big Fish who actually held his hand that night.

We even took the time out to pick on standup comedian Paul Baluyot, all the way from Canada. Nothing like a little bit of racism to start off his day. Heh.

.:School Of Hard Knocks:.

With my thesis set for a defense soon and my odds of marching hanging by a thread, it was a good time to meet some of my Yale kids from Reedley last night in Eastwood.

Ultimately, I’m happy that Gaita’s been doing very well, Mishka just finished her stint in Big Foot, and Paolo seems to be enjoying his time doing music. At some point, I have faith they will find their true calling and achieve their potential, because really, there’s nothing worse in this world for a teacher than having amazing students who don’t live up to the unlimited potential they possess.

Quite frankly, with the way these guys have been expressing themselves and making headway in their lives, I’m not too worried about that happening.

.:Amused:.

It was good times last night as I watched the Itchyworms at 70's Bistro, and they played one of my favorites, "Loveteam," even acknowledging that it's a song I love to hear.

I returned the favor though by taking them by surprise when I requested for "Season Of Smiles" shortly after, and they actually obliged me. That was a hilarious night, and the opportunity to open for them in the future definitely attracts me.

Oh, by the way,they actually sang a few songs from the Juan dela Cruz band that night, too.

Project 365 (48/365): Ron And Hermione

.:48/365: Ron And Hermione:.


Yes. I went there!

If you ever liked the Harry Potter series, you would know that one of the biggest story arcs throughout the saga was the slow-burning love story between Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

I’ve always been a fan of the loveteam, and while they’re not really magicians in the strict sense of the term, they’re wizards, albeit fictional ones. Plus they look cute together.

When you’re looking for a magical loveteam, the mainstream will immediately mention Ron and Hermione, even if just in jest. I don’t mind. I can be as indulgent as needed be in this Project 365, since as far as I’m concerned, not a few people have been inspired to learn magic thanks to Harry Potter, so they do deserve some props every now and then.

Ron and Hermione’s love story really evolved throughout the seven books of the Harry Potter series. It was something most readers could telegraph, despite all the Harry/Hermione shippers (Or Harry/Ron shippers, if you swing that way.). The contrast of personality between the two created a very natural kind of tension that allowed the relationship to smolder over time as the friendship they had with Harry continued to play a factor in the whole equation. It was awfully endearing to see Ron and Hermione just keep teasing getting together until they finally did around Book 6.

As a big fan of the Harry Potter series, I feel that the angle of love has always been a big deal for the whole franchise. Ron and Hermione’s love story is definitely something that captures the fancy and imagination of a lot of readers, and if magicians could only have love stories as epic and as entertaining, I’m sure we’d have books to write about them, too.

Then again, perhaps magicians in real life might have far too colourful lovelives for us to really want to divulge...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Project 365 (47/365): Digital Feedback Extraordinaire

.:47/365: Digital Feedback Extraordinaire:.


Osterlind never runs out of material, does he?



This routine from Richard Osterlind’s “No Camera Tricks” is not only a keeper, but a very useful way to get somebody’s number.

Essentially, it’s a mentalism routine that allows people to think of a multiple-digit number each, and by manipulating the operations you utilize on the numbers, they end up with a target number that you pre-determined. The operations are conducted using a scientific calculator, so the results should be unimpeachable.

It’s a very good prediction effect on its own, but seeing as this is February, we need to be able to utilize this whole target number business in a totally different direction...

First of all, set the target number as your mobile number.

Then, if you’re so brazen, premise that the target number has a special significance, and after counting the number of digits, you’ve concluded that it’s a mobile number, and you ask your targeted volunteer to look at the number, and see if it’s familiar with her. She’ll probably say know.

Now, you ask her if she’s single. With any luck, she is, and then you just tease her by asking if she’s keen on perhaps finding someone for this month. After all, it is February, and you never know, it may be worth taking a chance on the number you ended up with. I mean, you only live once, right? Ask her to give the number a call and see what happens.

If she does, then you just got her hook, line, and sinker. Not only did you condition her hammily that this person on the other end of the line could be the guy she’s looking for, you already have her number. It’s up to you how you’d play off the fact that your phone is now ringing. You can talk about destiny or whatnot, or you could discreetly ignore this facet and just contact her after the show.

Sneaky? Yes. Effective? Definitely.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Speed Dating Fail!

.:Speed Dating Fail:.

Since I’m not really angry at them or anything, I decided not to tell you who organized this event and where it happened, but it’s just too funny a story for me to not share.

So as a friend invited me to give it a shot and I had it on my bucket list, I went to a speed dating event somewhere down South last Thursday night. It was at a pretty cozy bar and restaurant flanked by your standard bars with regular outdoor performers, and we were promised a night filled with fun and excitement as 45 couples actually confirmed for the event.

When I got there, I was the first one. It was about a minute past 7, and the invite said the event supposedly starts at 7. After about ten minutes or so, a group of people filed in, and they all apparently knew each other. With a lot of time to kill as less than ten people were there so far, we sorta bent the rules of speed dating and just started engaging each other in conversation.

What a small world it turned out to be. Apparently, the people I was with were actually friends with Raffy Taruc of the Comedy Cartel. They were all batchmates, and they were looking rather bemused at my DLSU jacket, which I wore despite the fact that I’m from ADMU


Shhh. It’s our little secret. Then again, I wore this while eating in Manang’s...

So there we were, getting to know each other, and it turns out, one of the people there knew me as Kel, the regular guest at the Disenchanted Kingdom. Predictably, I was asked to demonstrate some magic, and I obliged. Conversations hovered from stuff we did in school to Paano Na Kaya, but overall, we didn’t really care anymore, even if it was taking an awfully long time for the actual speed dating to begin.

Okay, maybe not. At about two hours into things, we did start to mind the delays, and it would take one more hour before the program would actually begin. The cool people I was with? They all walked out because they couldn’t stand to wait for the event to begin at the time the invite said it would end.

So when the night began, out of desperation, the venue started dragging random girls to take part. The singer from the other bar, some of their employees, and so forth. The highlight though was they got a transvestite to sit on the ladies’ side. Now, everyone knows I’m not homophobic, but that’s sorta the last thing I’d expect from a speed dating event, if you know what I mean.

And really, the only reason I stayed on was there was this Korean-looking girl at the end of the line, and I was hoping to get to know her. In the middle of a gathering of people who could fill out a speed dating horror movie montage, I was happily ticking off “no” a majority of the time, until I got to the Korean-looking girl, who turned out to be half-Korean.

Problem was, the minute she started talking, I was immediately thrown off. There was an audio-visual disconnect that I couldn’t quite reconcile with myself, not to mention she apparently was one of the employees of the venue and wasn’t supposed to be in the speed dating event, to begin with. But fine, I was willing to overlook any bad first impressions I got and ticked “yes” on my sheet for her anyways, then moved right on.

I met a few other people and just networked myself towards the end, practically talking business with the second-in-command chef about perhaps performing at the venue. I’m sure the three-hour delay was just a fluke, and this is why while I’m a tad annoyed, I’m not slamming the whole event outright. I still made some new friends, although they did walk out of the venue before the program began.

So finally, the event was done, and we had entertainment in the form of a singer from a comedy bar who tried to sing “Come On In Out Of The Rain.” Now, when I hear these gay impression artists in comedy bars perform, I normally know I’m in for a treat, because they are amazing singers. Unfortunately, this one couldn’t reach her notes. It actually hurt my ears, and I already listen to myself sing. It was that bad.

After some half-hearted games that nobody really wanted to get into (Tame tequila body shots, tame eating games.), they finally awarded some special awards for raffles and couples who hit it off that night, including one of the new people I made friends with that night. I headed off to go home but asked for my result sheet first, and this is where the biggest error of errors happened...

You see, I got a match with the half-Korean girl. She actually ticked “yes” on her sheet, too, when it came to me. So i did text her to say “hi”.

The funny thing was, the next morning, on my way to the Disenchanted Kingdom, “she” replied.

Except it wasn’t the half-Korean girl. It was one of the new friends I made that night. You know, one of those people who walked out and never even took part in the speed-dating event.

I was given the wrong number!

Seriously, guys, I hope that your next speed dating event is better than this. I’d hate to think that the derogatory reputation speed dating has, that it’s a haven only for desperate people, isn’t as true as some of the naysayers say. I had a lot of fun at the event last Thursday, but this was in spite of the event, and not because of it.

Happier Times...

.:Diyes Is It!:.


Hayskul life, oh my hayskul life...

If my DBTC homecoming was marked by the fact that I saw only four other people from my batch (And they were all classmates.), the DBS homecoming was marked by the fact that batch 2000 came to the venue armed to the teeth.

It was good seeing old friends and classmates, albeit I was the only guy in my batch who went there and didn’t have a girlfriend or wife from the batch. Nonetheless, I felt right at home as I caught up with my friends from the batch.

It was crazy, really. From bonding with Mrs. Penano to hearing from Iza after all this time and discovering Apol’s married, to seeing Eky and feeling like it’s just another weekend (We hang out a lot. LOL.), everything was just surreal. The fact that we had an after-party to cap off the night with a massive table occupied by former DBS students was

.:Tasteh. Ravioleh.:.


En garde!

Thanks to Arpee, I found myself in a very quiet dinner for a few bloggers with the likes of Ryan, Karla, Sha, and Bambi in Bistro Ravioli. Ultimately, it was a very great experience, and the owner, Princess, was nothing but gracious to us.

We tried out pizza, ravioli, buffalo wings, and even desserts. The pictures of the food don’t do justice at all (You can catch most of them in Arpee’s blog.). You just need to taste the food to find out how delectable it really is. I’m a sucker for cheese, cheese, and more cheese, so I went for their four-cheese pizza and their spinach ravioli. Needless to say, I was floored by the food. The noodles are hand-pulled and fresh, the dough is baked on the spot, and all the ingredients are top-notch.

As a guy who loves Italian food, it takes quite a lot for me to stand up and take notice of a restaurant. You either have to be exceptionally economical (Like Fazoli’s.) or exceptionally good (Albeit not necessarily worth the price, like Italianni’s.) for me to bother to talk about the food. Bistro Ravioli is good and very affordable. You can find it in Mall of Asia’s south wing on the second floor, while another branch with a different menu, Ravioli, can be found in Robinson’s Galleria’s foodcourt. It’s like an oasis there. You can’t miss it.

Project 365 (46/365): Flower Productions

.:46/365: Flower Productions:.



What’s the simplest way to attract a girl? In a lot of cases, the answer would be “flowers.” Well, thank goodness that magicians are excellent at producing flowers, aren’t they?

There are a ton of different methods for producing flowers, but it’s very direct to the point and catches people’s attention, especially when you’re trying to win someone over. One moment, your hands are empty, the next, you produce a lovely bouquet of flowers. That should at least bring a smile to the face of any lady who likes flowers.

Magicians have always been known for producing stuff out of thin air, and flowers appear to be a normal part of their repertoire. This also explains the sudden and strange onrush of hiring magicians to perform at weddings, which certainly seems weird but is a welcome development for one such as myself, since I’ve already developed routines catered towards that.

I normally don’t do rapid-fire productions, but in my arsenal, I count at least four different ways I can produce flowers on the spot. It’s pretty cool when I think about it, and I reserve those bits for very special performances that I rarely get booked in. It’s a bit ironic that what is standard fare for others is a rarity for me, but I like keeping myself distinct in that way. The raconteur in me gives a very special touch to romantic spiels and the like, and it becomes a journey into love, rather than just magical production after magical production. I like weaving a tale that takes the audience through emotional highs and lows, and ensures that I would never steal the show from the real stars of that night: the wedding couple.

In any case, flower productions are really awesome. Most magicians know how to do at least one variation of it and most of them have probably done it before to attempt to woo somebody. No shame in that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Prayer For Tonight...

.:Still On A High From APO...:.

Will write about it when I have pictures to gank from Achie Rochelle. It's the one thing that really made this weekend well worth it. Single Awareness Day was lousy, as can be expected.

.:You Oughta Know:.

I want you to know, I'm happy for you. I wish nothing but the best for you both...

.:A Prayer For Disturbance...:.

In a time of complacency, I ask to be dared to go beyond my limits. In a time of self-assuredness, I ask for self-doubt onwards to self-actualization. I don't ask for solutions to my woes. I merely ask for opportunities to better myself through my God-given means.

Disturb Us, O Lord
a prayer by Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the Waters of Life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery:
Where losing sight of land
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us in the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Baww...

.:Oh, Look. Single Awareness Day. Chinese New Year. Bawww:.

I’ve never been a big fan of February 14, and this is considering I’ve never been single on that day since 1999. For me, it’s always been a Hallmark non-holiday that really hasn’t done single people any favors. As a guy who doesn’t like being insensitive to other people around him, February 14 was never one of my favourite days, and I often actually felt guilty whenever I’d hear my single friends feel bad about the date because it’s like the world just decided to rub it in their faces that they’re alone.

This year, it appears I’ll be one of those people, so there is no shift in mood to speak of: I am now no longer merely commiserating with single people, I’m now actually one of them. Don't let the time spent with My Beloved yesterday having lunch and all that fool you: we're not back together.

The thing is, I haven’t given my heart a rest for the longest time, and maybe it’s high time I did. I’ve given my all when it comes to these things, and I’ve gotten pretty messed up over time, and I know that nobody deserves to be with someone as self-loathing as I happen to be at the moment. I’ve allowed myself to be walked all over, to be taken for granted, to be given nothing but empty words and meaningless promises, all for nothing. I hate to have to keep a scorecard, but I’m sure I’d hate it much more if I brought nothing to the table. Which is completely the opposite of how I’ve been all this time. As in completely.

It’s time I stopped putting up with that. It’s time for me to recognize that while I’m far from perfect, I’m far from worthless. I’ve been lower than a snake’s buckle for so long, I’ve forgotten how it feels to be a pompous, sanctimonious son of a bitch. Well, that guy is back, and he’s never been better. I’ve heard it more than enough times: I need to love myself again, and if I can’t, let self-preservation kick in. Well, it has kicked in, and I now chuck away all my benefit of the doubt and general niceties in favour of just looking out for myself when I feel the need to.

I realize that there’s this chance I’d be spending the rest of my life alone, so it’s time I started looking out for myself more because chances are, nobody else will. And I don’t want to be some girl’s responsibility, either. I answer to myself, I march to the beat of my own drum, not because I want to be different, but simply because I’m the one person I can rely on no matter what happens.

I can’t fail me. That much is clear.

And for all the fellow single people out there, my message can’t be any clearer: you don’t need someone else to define you. Whether alone or with someone, you are still a person worthy of love, and if the one person who could love you for the rest of your life is you, then don’t deny yourself of that.

Don’t make my mistake.

So do I have problems right now? Yeah, I got a lot. In fact, I got 99 problems.

But the bitch ain’t one.

Project 365 (45/365): Death-Defying Acts

.:44/365: Death-Defying Acts:.


It seems to be a season of magic-related films.

Fans of Harry Houdini and escapology will be delighted to know that a romantic thriller loosely based on his life has been released in movie form, and it’s called “Death Defying Acts”. It’s a rather interesting love story with a bit of mystery, mysticism, and twists involved, but ultimately, we find out that the first marquee name for escape artistry did love someone in a way that defies logic and convention.

Guy Pearce was on point throughout this film, and is a sight to behold as Harry Houdini. The very engaging storyline of his willingness to debunk psychics while at the same time praying to find a genuine one to quell his “ultimate shame” is a storyline that serves as a perfect backdrop for two very unlikely lovers in Houdini and the very psychic he is trying to debunk and believe in at the same time.

Give this film a watch. I can’t say much about it as I don’t want to reveal too many important plot points.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Project 365 (44/365): Magic And PUA

.:44/365: Magic And PUA:.



There are a million and one approaches one can use as a pickup artist, but thanks to Mystery, magic has become one of the weapons of choice for a good chunk of the community. And really, who can blame them? If the girl is a sucker for magic, she’d be impressed and bedazzled. If she’s more of the logical type, it can result in very intellectual conversation that could yield dividends.

The art of picking up women may seem rather demeaning to women, but it’s actually not as simple as putting on airs and then seducing them with time to spare for a couple of drinks with the boys after. It’s something experts, both self-proclaimed and legitimate, have worked on for a long time, indeed.

Am I a fan of PUA? To be honest, not really. Despite that, I cannot help but emphasize how magic has evolved in time because of its association with PUA, to a large extent. There have been many routines before that have never seen the light of day as a routine that could be perceived as romantic. Thanks to PUA, these things have changed.

I won’t lose you in the terminologies and techniques involved in the art of picking up women. I don’t want to anger feminists and experts alike by divulging these “secrets” as it were, but what I feel people should know is that many magicians who delve in PUA find that their confidence level as performers cannot help but rise because of their ability to translate their magic skill into a means of generating interest from beautiful women.

As a working performer, I understand the need to find motivation and drive, and the need for a performer to be able to believe in himself and his skill. PUA can certainly help in this endeavour for some of us, albeit it’s easy to see that it’s not for everybody.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project 365 (42/365): Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee

.:42/365: Paul Daniels And Debbie McGee:.


Yet another power couple in magic.

Few people in the magic industry are completely oblivious to the existence of one Paul Daniels, the very witty and talented British magician who has made a name for himself by having a magic show on television for seventeen years. Throughout his long-running stint, he has made a very notable for himself, and has earned the respect of his peers all over the world. He’s very outspoken and opinionated, and not even a brief attempt by Penn and Teller to compete with him (Via “The Unpleasant World of Penn and Teller,” which lasted all of six episodes.) could faze the juggernaut that was the Paul Daniels show.

His love story with his equally famous wife, Ms. Debbie McGee, is just as magical as his career. Having been married to Ms. Jacqueline Skipworth in 1960, then after that marriage ended, married Debbie in 1988. While Debbie McGee can easily be identified as an assistant of sorts for Paul Daniels and one whose beauty could easily provide the perfect misdirection, what makes Debbie amazing is that her stage presence is just so strong that it takes over the entire act itself. She has a charm that is all hers, and it’s hard to knock how good she is as Paul’s assistant and partner.

Paul Daniels’s routines are very lively, and while he’s not the king of energetic performances, he’s not your average run-of-the-mill magician who glides onstage to mask his lack of ability to use words to enhance his magic. Paul Daniels is versatile enough to speak at a motormouth pace, and use physical cues to convey ideas all the same. The fact that Debbie McGee is capable of almost the same thing just makes them an amazing tandem to watch.

If you’ve never seen Paul and Debbie in action, check out their numerous online vids. You’re bound to be amazed not just by Paul’s skill, but his unmistakable chemistry with Debbie McGee. There’s real magic going on whenever they’re together onstage, and no matter how many Magic: Exposed specials Valentino comes up with, they’d never be quite able to discover the real secret behind the continued success Paul and Debbie are blessed with.

On Paramore And DK!

.:That’s What You Get!:.

From tomorrow ‘til February 14, get a special 10% discount off of Paramore tickets! If you’re a Globe subscriber, just check out that link, and find out how you can get a great discount for one of the most hotly-anticipated acts coming to town this year.

.:DK On The Rise:.

It seems that with each passing week, the Disenchanted Kingdom just keeps on getting more and more people taking notice of it.

I just realized how many of my friends actually listen to the show without me having to tell them about it. They’re just really hooked on how great the dynamic is in the show, what with everyone there just having fun for the entire three hours. It’s infectious, it’s uplifting, and it just puts a smile on people’s faces. What’s not to love, right?

Well, that’s really what the Disenchanted Kingdom is about. Today’s episode just kept on getting more and more engaging with each passing minute, as everything from heart-shaped donuts from Krispy Kreme to a real-life sleeping beauty to the Comelec to Pinoy na Pinoy ang Pinoy na opisina all came into play and just really made for an engaging show.

With the whole crew on the same page of things, you can just keep on expecting bigger and better things from the whole gang. This is a show to watch out for, and there’s good reason why: things keep on getting better the longer it goes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Project 365 (41/365): The Pendragons

.:42/365: The Pendragons:.


You just know we had to talk about them.

Often regarded as one of the most influential magicians of the 20th century, Jonathan and Charlotte Pendragon are the quintessential husband-and-wife duo that defies description. While other tandems of similar ilk regard the female half of the act as mostly an assistant, the Pendragons have a partnership of co-equals to the point that Charlotte herself has been named “magician of the year” from the Academy of the Magical Arts, making her the first woman to receive this honor.

The masters of slick choreography and production values, the Pendragons practically glide across the stage when they perform. Their smooth coordination is the product of years of practice and training in theatre arts, dance, and even stunt choreography for films. They are very well-known for physically demanding acts, including what is known as the fastest illusion on the planet, their version of “Metamorphosis” (Wait for that one on escapology week.). As very decorated performers, they have been mainstays in Vegas for years.

While their love story is as rote as can be, the twists and turns they’ve recently taken aren’t. At the moment Jonathan is incarcerated due to a domestic incident in 2009. Currently, Charlotte does shows on her own, proving herself a capable performer with or without Jonathan. It remains to be seen, though, how their relationship will turn out in the coming months.

The Pendragons have always been an exemplar when it comes to technical skill and execution. It would be a shame if this unfortunate incident would put an end to that, as I personally believe they still have so much to offer the magic industry.

In Anticipation Of A Heavy Week...

.:It’s A Heavy Week Coming Up...:.

Without getting too pic-heavy just yet, my weekend last week started off really awesome with me hanging out with a few bloggers last Friday in Mall Of Asia. The very cordial people from Bistro Ravioli let us try their food, and I must say, I am officially a big fan of their food now, more so when I discovered they have a branch in Robinson’s Galleria.

Saturday saw me in Don Bosco Sta. Mesa for their homecoming, “Diyes Is It”. I have to say that it was an awesome moment as I saw old classmates and friends, and felt like I took a time machine to the intense but memorable days of my high school.

This week, I find myself preparing for a lot of stuff, especially since I’m writing this in Alchemy right now, in preparation for my standup comedy set tonight. I’m also looking forward to catching APO Hiking Society’s farewell Valentine show, so there’s that, too.

Nonetheless, with new jokes to try out, a lot of work on my plate, not to mention a booking on Valentine’s day itself, I must say that it’s been a pretty crazy week so far. And it’s not yet even halfway done!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Project 365 (40/365): Love In Magic

.:40/365: Love In Magic:.



As a patron of Korean films, I actually am happy that there is some attention to magic in South Korea, mostly thanks to Cyril Takayama. In 2005, this romantic comedy came out, and while it wasn’t anywhere as popular as “My Sassy Girl”, “Love In Magic” still had its moments.

This follows the story of Ji-hoon Woo, a professional magician who is also a notorious womanizer. One day, he discovers that a video of him and a former girlfriend, Hee-won Koo, was hosted on the internet. Afraid that this sex scandal might ruin his career, he seeks out Hee-won, who is now a teacher at a local school. As she is also concerned about her career, they go through past motels to investigate in figure out who to ask to take the video down.

As they do this, things start happening, and perhaps, just perhaps, love could be sweeter the second time around.

Personally, I’m of the belief that if you really want something, you’ll make it happen, and if you don’t, you’ll find excuses. This movie is a very heart-warming take on the romantic comedy genre, but the fact that it features magic, albeit only tangentially, does add to its appeal. This film is something you can watch and appreciate if you actually don’t mind reading through subtitles, or if you can understand Korean.

Don’t expect stellar acting. This isn’t a movie meant to gun for acting awards, but a film that capitalized on the romantic comedy craze in South Korea. This is not to say this is a bad movie, though. It’s just that it didn’t light up the world when it first came out, and if you think that nothing could ever beat “My Sassy Girl”, you’d probably be right if this film were your only other bet.

Well, for the magician who wants a Korean movie to watch on Single Awareness Day, “Love in Magic” is the movie for you.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Project 365 (39/365), And The Quiet Start To My Week...

.:39/365: Torn And Restored:.


I hope you like that one...

There are a lot of “torn and restored” routines out there, but this one is suitable for the month of hearts, because what do you know, it focuses on tearing a piece of red paper up and then restoring it in the shape of a heart.

I don’t really have much to say about this effect, as it’s really that simple, and after watching the video, what else do you need to know about it, right? David Goldrake’s take on a fundamental magic effect is nothing out of the ordinary, but it does serve its purpose, and on this month of hearts (Bah, humbug. LOL.), you’d definitely want to have any weapon at your disposal.

.:Today Was Quiet, But...:.

Swung by Reedley after the DK this morning. It was a bit interesting because Logan started doing jokes I heard on Yes FM. Heh. What’s worse is he role-plays with us, making the joke sound more realistic and just... insanely funny and corny.

Outside of that, not much. Let’s just say today was an incredibly boring day, albeit a few good conversations with Inka and My Beloved have definitely given me a turning point in my life heading into this crazy week.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Happy 42nd Birthday, RICK ASTLEY!

.:Ish Your Birthday!:.



Happy birthday to the master of the Rickroll, Rick Astley! Do I need to say anything else at all? :P

Project 365 (37/365): On Signed Cards And The Sandwich Effect

.:37/365: On Signed Cards And The Sandwich Effect:.


Watch it performed up close. Now think of how you could use this to your advantage.

One of the first effects I used with cards that sorta required me to have a spectator sign their name on the card is a sandwich effect. Essentially, a sandwich effect is about using two cards to magically materialize a selected card in between them just by waving them around the deck, or cutting them in the middle of the deck, if that’s what it took.

Now, the reason why I’m talking about this effect should be pretty obvious: most card effects involving a signed card is the perfect opportunity for the romantic magician to wiggle some personal details from their spectator. If they actually give you their number, it means one of two things: either they’re interested, or because they’re taken, they think you’re safe. This also means that you’d have to figure out which one they are over the course of your routine, and the sandwich effect, with its limitless variations, will allow you to do just that.

The nice thing about this routine is it requires very minimal sleights, but has a very powerful impact. For some reason, a signed card enhances the performance as it assures the volunteer that there are no duplicate cards or special gimmicks involved to make the effect happen. It may cost a pretty penny to constantly have to replace decks because of cards being signed and given away, but it’s not such a bad investment if you’re doing this for a living.

There are many other effects that use signed cards, chief amongst them, the ambitious card routine. However, since this is the month of “Love and Magic” and not the month of “Card Magic”, I’d like to save certain routines to discuss for that month, and the sandwich effect is one of those effective routines that I can’t quite imagine being done without signing the card first, lest people assume a duplicate.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Project 365 (36/365): The Queen Of Hearts

.:36/365: The Queen Of Hearts:.


This card is the second most popular card in a standard deck of playing cards, next only to the Ace of Spades.

Ask any magician out there who has worked for a long time. When asked to think of a card without any restrictions, the most common card people think of would be the Ace of Spades. When women are asked, a significant number of them think about the Queen Of Hearts.

The first thing most card readers learn when learning how to predict the future by using cards is how to seek out four cards in the deck: the Ace of Hearts, the Ace of Spades, the King of Spades, and the Queen of Hearts. For some reason, out of all the face cards, the Queen of Hearts really commands the most recognition. She supposedly represents Judith from an apocryphal book of the Bible.

The fact remains that one of the most potent weapons in a magician’s arsenal is a deck of cards, and the Queen of Hearts appears to be a favourite card for magicians who want to hint at anything romantic with the girl. Why go for a five of diamonds when you can go for something latently symbolic like the Queen of Hearts?

Anyways, I digress. Out of the many symbols of love available in the lore of magic, I suppose this card in particular is one of the most recognizable ones out there.

Before The Weekend...

.:Yet Another Article Published:.

I’m on a roll lately, so my article entitled “On Choo-Choo Trains and Loco Motives” has been published on The POC. Pretty cool, and I have another column I’m drawing up come Monday...

.:Spicy Monday:.

I opened again for Spicy Fingers last Monday night, and it was quite a fun experience as I performed magic to get the crowd going, what with the Shackles just really getting them all pumped for the rest of the comics that night. That was a pretty good way to really open as it kept the audience at a high energy level throughout the entire show. GB was a revelation that night, as he brought his A-game to slay the audience right then and there. With Tim Tayag as the headliner last Monday, it was a very solid bookend to a very solid night of comedy all around.

.:Alchemy Night:.

It was the eighth time I did standup for the year (Yes, I insist on keeping count.), and I’ve had a lot of success tonight, tweaking my set more and more to my liking, as well as trying out a lot of new material. GB was the main event of the night, and I must say, he really took the stage by storm that night. It was rather amusing that I ended up singing “S2pid Luv” that night, though, and I had it recorded.

.:Foot In Mouth Disease!:.

Apparently, I put two highschool batchmates and one college batchmate on blast on the air last Wednesday on the Disenchanted Kingdom. It was a pretty crazy show, really. The Disenchanted Kingdom featured only myself, Marf, and Logan, and Ms. Topacio cancelled, but we still held our own and had a pretty interesting show regardless.

It was really funny when they asked me about being in an all-boys school, though. Apparently, Logan and Marf both came from co-ed schools in high school, and they found the concept so weird and interesting at the same time. They were trying to figure out what the social cliques were in our school, how we got along without having cute girls to inspire us, and how hard a time our more attractive teachers must have had, being the object of everyone’s attention (and lust).

I even told them a story about two classmates of mine who ran off with each other for a week. For all intents and purposes, they unofficially eloped. And one of them is married to a girl now, so I guess that has to be a weird phase in his life or something. Haha.

Considering how Monday was all about conspiracy theories, last Wednesday was quite a long way off, to say the least. I had to sit out of Thursday and Friday as I wasn’t prepared to talk about Multilevel Marketing. I was just gonna weigh the whole show down if I were there.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Project 365 (35/365): Mystery

.:35/365: Mystery:.


You may scoff, but he’s had more tail than Naruto. And if you get that joke, you should really rethink your life.

And now, we enter the realm of Pickup Artists. I’ll probably talk about them at some other point this month, but it’s safe to say that Mystery is one of the first people who’d come to mind whenever the three letters P, U, and A are put together.

As the alter-ego of Erik Von Markovik, Mystery is a persona that has captured the fancy and interest of a lot of attractive women in bars and clubs, thanks to a very systematic method developed over the years by Mystery with the help of his wingman, Neil Strauss. The “secrets” of this system are revealed to a large extent in the book entitled “The Game,” often hailed as a bible by most pickup artists.

What makes Mystery very interesting is he is actually a magician, and if you exclude the recent influx of “cool” street magicians like David Blaine or Criss Angel, magic is hardly regarded as “cool” by people in general. If anything, most people find magicians very dorky, or downright weird. Mystery didn’t exactly try to become the next Blaine or Angel when he did what he did. In fact, he used these perceptions to his advantage because it doesn’t really matter what people might think of him, the point was, they were guaranteed to think about him.

I realize I’m merely painting in broad strokes as I talk about Mystery, but his achievements cannot be denied, and his techniques as a mentalist and as a magician have certainly allowed him to translate his skill into success with seducing women who feel inexplicably attracted to a guy they barely know. It seems everything falls into place for them, but for Mystery, this is all according to plan, in fact.

Purists may not approve of Mystery and his usage of magic and mentalism as a tool to get closer to women, but few can deny that it is effective. If someone like Jay Sankey can do it, I don’t see why anyone else with ample skill and charisma can’t. Mystery realized this, and has made a name for himself because of it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Project 365 (34/365): The Falkensteins

.:34/365: Glen Falkenstein and Frances Willard:.


Ah, love. Soft as an easy chair.

It’s not everyday you run into a mentalism duo, and these two performers epitomize precisely that. Glen Falkenstein and his wife, Frances Willard, have performed for decades, and are certainly well-known in the magic industry as great entertainers who have perfected a tandem act that only they could possibly do.

I recently mentioned Falkenstein’s blindfold act in passing in a previous entry, but it bears repeating that the main advantage Glen and Frances have when performing this act is that they are so in tune with each other, that they have devised the perfect way to just make the seemingly impossible happen. Their signature blindfold act is a sight to behold, and it’s filled with great moments of brilliance and comedy.

It’s also interesting to note that the great Michael Ammar is actually married to one of Frances’s daughters (She had a first husband before Glen.). That’s just magic royalty right there, and I must say, out of all the many magician relationships over the history of the industry, it’s this one in particular that tickles my fancy, more than anything else. I know some people love Paul Daniels and his lovely wife more, but as a mentalist, I can’t help but be biased towards Glen and Frances, especially since I also like using their infamous “Gypsy Myster”, even though that’s more of an escapology act when Jay and I perform it.

Call me cheesy, but I think the fact that these two have been in a loving relationship for so long has allowed them a connection so strong that their act has simply been enhanced by it. It’s also a genuine tandem act at that. I personally don’t feel that Frances is merely an assistant to Glen, but truly a partner onstage.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

POC And DK!

.:Published Again!:.

My latest article on the POC got published. This time, I cover the indignation of the nation over racists who poke fun at us. No more, I say! No more!

.:DK Updates:.

Monday was a pretty interesting day, as I actually helped Logan out with his blogging after the show. For the most part, we had pretty amusing discussions when I was plugging “Paano Na Kaya” like crazy on the air, but beyond that, I can’t quite remember what we were up to. I think it was a relatively quiet way to start the week, but I could be wrong.

Tomorrow, though, expect none other than Ms. Carmina Topacio to guest on the show! This ought to be quite an episode to look forward to.

Project 365 (33/365): Firestarters

33/365: Firestarters:.


Meet Jay Sankey. I don’t like him much, but he has his uses.

Firestarters is one of the few things Jay Sankey ever came up with that I would unequivocally say I like. I’ve been very clear about my disdain for the inconsistent quality Sankey usually comes out with, but it’s not necessarily the quality of the routines in this particular video that caught my attention, but the very intent he has placed in coming out with this video in the first place.

Now, I may not be an advocate of PUA, but if any magicians ever thought that they have a gold mine in dates waiting for them if they exploited their ability to do the impossible, then more power to them, so long as they’re good at it. If they’re poor magicians and use it solely as an excuse to pick up girls, well, if the girl does pick them on that basis, there’s just no accounting for taste.

Anyways, this video series teaches a lot of different effects geared towards testing the waters with a female volunteer, to see if she’s willing to flirt or play along with your not-so-subtle advances. Some of the routines are rather lacklustre and really just fall into reworkings of older effects, but if you don’t appreciate the actual routines Sankey presents, the way he teaches his material and the thought process involved in all of them would allow you to adapt a lot of common routines you’re more comfortable with and make Firestarters out of them.

For me, this is a nice way to diversify the magician’s portfolio, even if you’re not really out to score some dates, but just so you could test out a different onstage persona altogether. I remember a few weeks ago, during his birthday party, Marf (and Cleo) were shocked at how different I was when I was performing some of my signature routines for the party. Normally, I’m very serious when I do my metal bending while at the Disenchanted Kingdom, but that night, I showed them a side of me that surprised them. As an onstage persona, I took on a completely different persona, and I was just “on” that night.

For the average magician who’s just starting out, look for videos like these to help you develop a persona all your own. I’d like to say that I have an original style all to myself, but my style is really just a “best-of” amalgam of Derren Brown, Richard Osterlind, Penn Jilette, and David Copperfield. There’s no shame in that. My style was certainly influenced, but it’s not a result of me copying these people over the years, I just did what came natural to me while I was learning stuff.

So yes, Jay Sankey, I’m giving props where props are due. This is a good video, albeit perhaps not for the reasons you’d assume.

Film Review: Paano Na Kaya?

.:Film Review: Paano Na Kaya?:.


Intense!

Paano Na Kaya?
Mahal mo ba, o mahalaga lang?

I watched this movie, and let me tell you right now, I wanna watch it again. It’s just that good, and I’m sure Hao would agree with me, as she caught the film with me.

Anyways, “Paano Na Kaya” follows the tale of two best friends, Bogs and May, as the former tries to make his car shop work while the latter is struggling to make her clothing business grow. As they go about it, the twists and turns they encounter with Bogs breaking up with his girlfriend, Anna, and the subsequent and inevitable rebound that happens, just makes for compelling storytelling.

I’ve caught Kimerald’s films from the get-go, and I’ve seen their acting improve over the years. The romantic tension between the two was so believably palpable in this one, and this outing was blessed with a solid script, and classic one-liners. The tandem looks much more natural onscreen, and I must say, the way the relationship developed, with May being in love with Bogs for years and just standing by him as his best friend no matter what, is something I could certainly relate to.

Anyways, the acting has improved substantially, but some bits of dialogue went on longer than they should’ve. I wished that the exposition wasn’t this gratuitous, but the sweet moments and the character development more than made up for it. As formulaic as it may seem, though, the supporting cast in the film really helped carry the Kimerald vehicle to unparalleled heights. I’ve always liked Kimerald, but I was the first to admit that their acting has always been less than spectacular. For this film, there was something that just clicked, and it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of keso-filled moments.

I love the chemistry between Bogs and May. The way their friendship progressed and how much of a martyr May seemed at the start while being not-so-secretly in love with Bogs may seem contrived, but I’ve found myself in that situation often enough to know it can be very real. How many of us have heard the expression, “ladies, there’s no such thing as a male best friend?” Personally, I do see where people get the idea, and it just confirms that I’m not the only one who can relate.

There are so many good lines, I don’t even know where to begin! I think it’d be a treat for you to just watch the movie yourself, and then relish the wonderful lines throughout.

Anyways, I won’t spoil the movie too much, because I still plan to keep watching it again and again. Let me just give it my glowing recommendations, albeit with the caveat that you really shouldn’t watch this movie alone.

Did you know that two Atenean Philo majors wrote the script for this one? Wow. Maybe I can write the next Kimerald film, then? :P

Fun Evaluation: A+
Critical Evaluation: B+

Monday, February 01, 2010

Project 365 (32/365): The Illusionist

.:32/365: The Illusionist:.


Films about magicians are rather few and far in between. This is one of the better ones.

Welcome to the month of hearts, and with a new month, we welcome a new theme for our project 365. This month, we will be talking about love and magic, and what better way to start things off than by talking about one of the best films about magic ever, “The Illusionist”?

This is a film starring the ever-versatile Edward Norton as Eisenheim, a magician in Vienna at the turn of the 20th Century. As an illusionist embroiled in the middle of a love triangle involving himself, the Dutchess Sophie, and the crown prince Leopold, his social standing appears to have him in over his head, but somehow, like the crafty magician that he really is, he manages to concoct not just a dazzling act, but a master plan to pull one over everybody else.

This is truly an engaging story with intrigue, conspiracy, and thrills, but at its very heart, the Illusionist is a love story. The timeless tale of a man and a woman facing off against the odds for the sake of their love is a story we all know of and could understand. I don’t want to spoil the movie too much, so just give it a watch. I promise you wouldn’t regret it.