Burt Wondersone: Mistake

March 16th, 2013
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Let me share with you a story that is a great example of what one of my mentors taught me. Here’s what he told me. You have to make mistakes to succeed. The more mistakes you make, the more you will succeed. The bigger the mistakes, the bigger the success…

Babe Ruth held the home run record and the strike out record all at the same time.

Burt Wonderstone made a bunch of mistakes. Really Big Mistakes. Watch the movie and see.

Thin is, we all make mistakes.

Here’s my story about my mistake last night.

I was invited to perform magic at the Local  “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” Premiere.

Big Guy, Of “Big Guys Magic invited me and a group of other magicians (Anthony Bacca, Jailhouse Jonny, David Swoboda, Paul Kastle, to perform feats of prestidigitation and legerdemain for the patrons in the Theater Lobby. What fun, right?

Driving to the theater, I took my phone out of the holder on my belt and put it on the seat next to me. When I arrived at the theater, I put the phone in the pocket of my wool winter coat, grabbed my bag o’ tricks and headed in.

I had a blast performing magic for the patrons. And check this out. I even came up with a new magical effect I think is really cool. The guys I did the effect for are probably wondering if they experienced real magic. I know they did.

As part of our compensation, we got  to see the movie. We got our drinks and popcorn and headed to the theater. I took a short detour and headed for the restroom. When I came out…

Get this: the magicians had disappeared.

I didn’t see them. I figured they had gone on to the theater. When I got in, the movie had already started. I looked for the other magicians a bit, didn’t see them, and sat down to watch the movie.

I was going to watch the movie with my wife. She had arrived while I was performing and we went to the box office to buy her ticket, They were sold out.

I asked the Manager who happened to be right there if there were anymore seats, and he said there was one seat left… but we wouldn’t be able to sit together. My wife just said we’ll see it together another time, we said good bye, like ya do, and I went back to performing.

So, as I was sitting and watching the movie, and it just so happens that there was a seat open right next to me. I thought she could’ve come and we could’ve sat together.

The movie was over and I went back out to the lobby where Big Guy set up his table. He said I was out pretty quick.

So, here’s where the mistake part comes in. I usually look at my phone to see what time it is. I left my phone in my coat. My coat was under the table and I never looked at a clock the whole time I was there. I thought of getting my phone out a couple of times, but I just kept performing without looking and lost track of time.

Get this… I went into the 6:40 show like we said we would. I didn’t realize it was closer to 7:30 – remember, I lost track of time – and the other magicians went into the 7:20 show.

I sat down half way through the movie and didn’t even realize it. I thought the movie was a bit short, but still enjoyed it.

Pretty funny right? Great Magician can’t figure out which theater to go into.

Okay, so my mistake led to me failing to see the first half of the movie. But I succeeded in giving Lisa a very big laugh and a better feeling knowing we get to see the first half of “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone for the first time… together.

So I made a mistake. We all do. And by making more of them, we’ll succeed more, and have funny things to talk about.


Dan Pollack


Make no mistake: just like Burt makes money magically appear in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” you can make money appear like magic for you.

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50 Zombies Walk into a Bar

October 25th, 2012

Let me share with you how my last magic show went.

3 days before the show, we were notified that there would be 50 zombies there at the club sometime during the night. They were having a zombie crawl.  You know, where zombies go from club to club in a pack, have fun and a few drinks and celebrate… well… being undead.

I’d been playing around with an idea for a character and I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce him to the world.
On the way to the gig I’m driving and thinking about something Brian Tracy said in the Psychology of Achievement. He stated that he could manifest a parking space where he needed it 100% of the time.
I thought that was a pretty bold statement. So, on the way there, I started manifesting a parking space on the side of the building and I would be able to look in the window into the club. I wasn’t sure if parking was allowed right in front so I was going for the side.

Well, I pulled up to the Stonefly Brewery and low and behold there was a parking space right in front, 10 feet from the door. Nice way to start off the night.
The Zombies had arrived about 15 minutes before we started the show. So they had gotten their drinks and had settled in a bit. I can’t really think of any better timing for them being there.
Jeff and Chad Orr, also known as “Two Brothers One Mind” came out, set up the evening and got the crowd going.
This is how I had Jeff Orr introduce me…
Ladies and gentleman, Tonight we attempted to bring Houdini back… It didn’t work. Please welcome to the stage, “Almost Back From The Dead Houdini!”
I wore my tux and used black and white make up to create my “back from the dead“ look.
I came out. I walked up to the microphone, and held my arm out and started going, “Arrrrr…. Arrrr.”
Then I tugged at my shirt collar as if to loosen it and went, “Arrre you ready to have some fun?” Ending in a fun sounding voice. That got a good laugh. We were starting off the night on a good note.
I yelled out, “Tonight we have Zombies,” or something like that. And all the zombies made zombie moans groans and yells. I did that 2 more times before I started my routine, just because it was fun.
To open my routine, I asked if I could borrow a dollar bill from someone. I heard from the back they had one. As he started walking toward the stage I noticed it was …
A Zombie!
I have to say I have never in my life met a nicer and more polite zombie.
This is the most amazing part, for me at least. It was as if we had rehearsed the routine together. Our timing was impeccable. It was as if “Almost Back From The Dead Houdini” and Well mannered Zombie were one finely tuned machine.
Okay that went too far, but he was better than I could have ever hoped as a volunteer randomly selected from the audience.
Three quarters of the way through my routine the zombies get up and leave. Like crawling zombies do. That’s funny. They were on a zombie crawl and walked out.
As they left I said bye zombies and they gave me one more moan.
You know, as I write this, I just realized Well mannered Zombie, also known as Chris the Zombie, stayed to finish the routine while all his friends went to the next bar. Hey! Thanks Chris.
Well mannered Zombie and “Almost Back From The Dead Houdini” went through the routine; got chuckles, laughs, moans, head scratching, I think I heard one “Ewww” and definitely one a guffaw.
At the very end, the best example of how well it was going came about when I was saying, and let’s hear it for Chris the Zombie. And I was then supposed to pretend that he says something to me and I say, “What was that? Where’s your Dollar?”
Well, to be honest, I had forgotten I was supposed to say that. And where I should’ve said my line, Chris said, “Where’s my dollar?” Well Mannered Zombie would not allow the act suffer one iota.
Following me, Adam Asher did delight the audience with his spoken word prose.
Anthony Bacca did thrill the audience with his wonderous feats of prestidigitation and legerdemain.
Two Brothers One Mind did once again leave the audience in amazement with their unearthly connection and ability to know what the other is thinking.
The moral of this story… Always remember, Zombies are people too.

For more info about the world of magic, go to BesteverMagic.com

Easy to do Magic – Fun And Easy To Implement Magic Tricks For Kids

November 26th, 2010

Children and magic go together. It is wonderful to see the look of amazement on a child’s face when they watch a magician perform. But it is also terrific if a child has a desire to learn these skills. There are many easy magic tricks for kids; you can find resources online or even in a library. Learning these illusions will not only be a fun experience, there are actually some educational benefits involved. These easy magic tricks for kids help to develop mental and manual skills.

Improved Memorization

Magicians know that the details of every trick need to be committed to memory. Even the easy magic tricks for kids carry that principle. The child must learn the steps of the trick, the hand motions that go along with the trick and also the conversation to keep the audience’s attention and the level of suspense high.

When kids learn easy magic tricks, they are using that portion of their brain that involves memory. Every trick they learn helps to improve the memory process and can also develop excellent study habits.

Increased Manual Dexterity

The magician’s hands say almost as much as his voice. Easy magic tricks for kids allow them to increase their manual dexterity through the illusive actions of a magic performance. Dealing cards, palming a coin, or swiftly moving props all requires hours of practice. This, in turn, leads to supple and swift movement of the hands.

Hand eye coordination becomes more highly developed. The part of the brain responsible for these movements is activated and enlarged, and once again, the child may benefit in other ways. Easy magic tricks for kids are not only educational but develops the flexibility of their hands.

A More Active Mind

Magic is awesome to watch, but it also creates questions. Everyone in the audience wants to know the secret of the tricks performed. Children already have an active interest in the world and magic helps them to ask questions and seek answers. Easy magic tricks for kids will help children start to understand the more difficult concepts of physics, chemistry and probability.

A Powerful Personality

Magicians are in great demand, not only for their ability to amaze and astound, but also because they have high energy and interesting personalities. When kids learn some easy magic tricks, they gain confidence that allows them to speak before audiences. Their personalities and presence will be sought after because they are people others want to be around.

How to Start?

When selecting magic tricks for kids, keep them easy at the beginning. Choose tricks that are age appropriate and those that they will be able to do with their small hands. If you decide to buy a magic kit, make sure you get one that fits the intelligence level of your child. While you want to start off with easy magic tricks, kids will lose interest if their level of involvement doesn’t match up with their academic ability.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that magic tricks for kids, whether they are easy or more advanced to master, should be fun. Childhood is already a magical time; encourage your child to make the most of it.

Izrul Fizal -
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