Shoot Ogawa

Discuss the latest feature articles in Genii.

Postby John Pezzullo » 10/14/02 04:53 AM


This thought may have already crossed your mind - publishing a feature article in "Genii" about Shoot Ogawa, the young Japanese magician who's making quite a name for himself over in California.
John Pezzullo
Posts: 455
Joined: 03/16/08 05:19 AM

Postby Guest » 10/14/02 08:32 AM

Originally posted by John Pezzullo:

This thought may have already crossed your mind - publishing a feature article in "Genii" about Shoot Ogawa, the young Japanese magician who's making quite a name for himself over in California.
The first American publication to publish an article about Shoot will have great insight and eye for pure talent. His magic is dazzling everyone at the Castle who sees him. Stunningly original and brilliantly unresettable.

Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/14/02 09:31 AM

We saw him Saturday night and his performance was just wonderful. I could be wrong here, as I was fairly young when I saw him perform, but Ogawa reminds me somewhat of Fred Kaps.

David; forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by "brilliantly unresettable"? Are you referring to the audience's inability to backtrack into how his effects are accomplished? Because his magic definitely has that quality, even though the effects - the magic - is crystal clear.

This guy could win the Close-up and the Parlour awards for this year!

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6446
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Guest » 10/14/02 01:21 PM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:
David; forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by "brilliantly unresettable"? Are you referring to the audience's inability to backtrack into how his effects are accomplished?
I'm sorry, I was reaching for a description but couldn't find the right one.

What I meant was that Shoot goes to incredible lengths to fool his audiences, and esp magicians. While other magicians pay a lot of attention to whether or not an effect is "instantly resettable" ("resets in 5 seconds" is a factor you commonly see in a magic review), Shoot pays absolutely no attention to that.

I didn't see the debut of Shoot's parlour show (I was out of town last week), but in his closeup show, one effect comes to mind. Shoot vanishes a volunteer's ring, then goes on to a card effect, where the ring is found inside the correctly found card.

This, of course, is a pocket card, which I originally saw marketed at a lecture by the great San Diego magician Terry Lunceford in the early '90s, but which goes back much further than that. It was a great hit with everyone at the lecture, but [QB]I've never seen anyone else at the Castle use pocket cards in performance![/QB} Why? Because it's so much trouble! First you have to split the cards, which is a feat in itself. Then you have to glue them back together with something inside. Ugh!

But Shoot doesn't care that it takes a lot of time. In fact, he found a way to keep the pocket card partly open so that he could load in a ring during the show. Sometimes, Shoot performs six or seven shows an evening in the Closeup Room, and that's a lot of pocket cards to make up!

When I debuted my new show last May at the Castle, I went to great lengths to produce an astounding signature effect. I also didn't care about reset time. In fact, I regularly show up at the Castle two hours earlier than I used to show up just to set up my prop.

Shoot recently complimented me on that. He told me that it was obvious that I would go to any length to create a great effect.

My good friend Johnny Ace Palmer has one of those effects in his world-championship closeup show. It's his Cups & Balls routine, which ends with final loads of baby chicks.

All other aspects aside, it's a lot of trouble just to acquire those baby chicks. During a week at the Castle, for example, he has to visit the hatchery in South-Central L.A. two or three times because the chicks can't be over three days old; otherwise they'll be too noisy and tend to walk off with the cups. But by going to that trouble, Johnny has a reputation maker. In fact, no one at the Castle regularly has longer lines for his show.

Certainly resettability is a factor in walkaround, and even in more formal shows. But someone who goes to great lengths and efforts to make an effect fantastic fits into a different category.

Postby Guest » 10/17/02 04:09 PM

Just want to say I found your post inspiring. Thank you for reminding me that my convenience isn't as important as the audience's amazement.

Postby Steve Bryant » 10/18/02 12:44 PM

I had the pleasure of watching him several times last week. Certainly one of the best new talents I've seen in a long time, and his rapport with the audience was superb. As one lay friend said, "You always felt he was looking directly at you." He opened with a wonderful Chinese linking ring effect with small rings and a rope routine that was done very slowly and looked like real magic.
User avatar
Steve Bryant
Posts: 1743
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby thecardman » 10/18/02 01:37 PM

I saw, and met, Shoot at the Castle when I was there for a week with Paul Wilson back in July. He was a very charming and knowledgeable young man who had technical skills way beyond his years.

Now, I am not denying the fact that he is a brilliant performer - his linking ring routine is one of the best I have seen, period - but I feel that in a couple of his effects, he was going too far. What do I mean?

Well, 3 cards selected and found in a Collectors routine followed by showing that the other 45 cards that were not used have no faces and different coloured backs seemed not only to be pushing the audience's noses in it, but stomping down on the back their head. Don't get me wrong, there is a place for that kind of magic - maybe the Castle is it - but it is just not for me.

Having said all that (and I bet there are a few seriously p**sed off people reading this by now), I agree with John that Richard should do a piece on Shoot. It would be interesting to find out his thinking behind his magic. Not the how, only he can perform effects like that, but the why.

Just my (possibly jealous) thoughts. If anyone disagrees - sorry!

User avatar
Posts: 84
Joined: 01/21/08 01:00 PM
Location: Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland

Postby Pete McCabe » 10/18/02 06:12 PM

I'm going to go on a limb and back up some of what thecardman said.

I saw Shoot at the Castle and I loved his performance. The Double Matrix was fantastic.

And he was, despite his limited English, a good performer who connected with the audience.

However I felt that in a couple of cases, the choice of effect was a bit typical of "magician" thinking. The ring in playing card mentioned above is, I thought, a good example. While the effect was surprising, I found it very difficult to connect to. What does it mean to have a ring inside a playing card?

This struck me as an effect that would be unusual and refreshingly different to an audience of magicians, but meaningless to an audience of lay people. I don't recall the blank-face, color-changing back climax trick, but this is another trick that sounds like I would have similar issues with.

Again I hate to criticize Shoot. I loved his performance and the rest of the audience did too. I just thought this might be the source behind the feeling of "over the top" that thecardman felt.
Pete McCabe
Posts: 2154
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Postby Guest » 10/19/02 09:17 PM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
[Ring in Playing Card] struck me as an effect that would be unusual and refreshingly different to an audience of magicians, but meaningless to an audience of lay people.
Hey, that's Shoot's role at the Castle at this point: to impress magicians. Shoot's Coins from Invisible Coin Purse is wildly original, but to laypeople, a great sponge-ball routine always impresses people more, hands down.

Nobody can be all things to all people. Shoot is what he is, and I would never criticize him for that.

In recent years, other magicians have filled the role that Shoot is now filling. Andrew Goldenhersh and Henry Evans strike me as magicians who inspire immense awe from the congregation at the Castle. I hear the buzz about these guys all the time, how they idolize their moves, the "Can you believe it?" comments.

But I don't think you should expect Shoot to slay the laity.

Postby Guest » 10/26/02 06:42 PM

The highlight of the Minnesota Magic Convention last June in Minneapolis was Mr. Ogawa, and that's saying something compared to the others we had, Paul Cummins, Doc Eason, and Jerry Andrus.

Somewhat humorously (definitely humorously, actually since I do know his americanized name is Shoot) I'm appalled the title of this thread. I have the utmost respect for his abilities.

At least with Paul Cummins, who I respect greatly and feel that I can imagine aspiring to his level, I doubt I would even want to aspire to Mr. Ogawa's level in so many stage and closeup masteries that he showed over and over to our amazement.

He did tip many of his techniques, but the technical skill he displayed makes it seem like explaning how to fly a jet to my Parrot.

His friendlielness over three very long but extremely pleasant and educational 'jam sessions' that went long into the night on Friday and Saturday nights, and all afternoon on Sunday for a select few who recognized his talents was worth the extreme sleep deprivation that the few of us who recognized him for what he is. One of our crowd did very well learning Mr. Ogawa's ring routine, which is the best 'serious' ring routine I've seen (except for maybe his instructor who was also there but not quite as masterful in english, so was much less approachable. He had another female student with him that was spectacular as well.

Many didn't realize what they had missed until after the convention was over. I'm simply amazed at what he can do with the cards he uses, To me, who is accustomed to 808's, they feel like the cheap 99 cent paper 'souvenier' cards you find in tourist traps, but they have the best backs of any cards I've seen, and he used the extremely bright and varied back colors to great advantage in many of his card effects. I could barely do a good double lift or a second deal with one of his decks without 'clumping'.

My respect for this young man went from total ignorance of him at all to total amazement. His explanations of his psychology and how it is changing constantly, and his future goals lead me to believe that he will be a driving force in magic in the very near future as he matures to higher standards (which from me, is almost an insult, since his skill is so high already)

His private performances of thimbles and wands was something only a very few of us got to see. What a treat!! If you get a chance to spend an hour or two with him, you will find out what an outstanding gentleman that he is. On several occasions Mr. Ogawa apologised for his poor engish, which is better than some 'americans' I know. Simply put, there is little if any language barrier, which makes him all the more approachable.

Please, don't
shoot Mr. Ogawa.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/26/02 10:46 PM

Shoot Ogawa ROCKS!
I saw him at the Castle last week and he fried everyone. His stuff can be a bit overhandled, but he is very very good, charming and talented. His Linking Ring routine "Ninja Rings" was superb. Coin from purse frame--excellent. Triple Matrix--quite good, particularly the reverse at the end with only two cards. (Mark Lefler did that many years ago and I published it in the second Symposium book.)
You'll see more of Shoot.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22410
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Tim Trono » 10/27/02 07:39 AM

I laughed when reading this as I think we should first remember that the Castle IS a private MAGICIANS club. I DO realize that many many laymen come in but it used to be that the focus was on fooling and making some talk amongst the other magicians. And certainly Shoot can do that more than most Ive seen over the last several years.

As far as laymen Shoot can certainly slay them and entertain them as well. Ive seen it. His pleasant, respectful, and low key manner really wins people over and his magic LOOKS like real magic. Just watch him do his version of the Sands/Daryl rope routine. The magic seems to happen in the spectators hands. Even on parts like the knot on/off segment (where it turns into the ends and a solid circle). His thinking on this routine is sheer brilliance. His version of the Linking Rings with small rings is magic. One thing particularly notable about this routine is the perception at the end by most laymen is that the majority of it happened in their hands. Based on this and after watching it again in Vegas, I personally feel that it is THE best Ive seen. I also think its important to remember that magic that TRULY looks like magic IS magic for laymen. Too often we cloak poor magic or poorly performed magic in stupid humor, in vain attempts of patter to cover it, etc. When Shoot does magic, it looks like magic. He really understands the moments. He is not caught up in the techniques to pleasure himself (though his technical ability is top notch) instead he concentrates on what the audience perceives the experience at. I see more and more guys getting lost in the technique for their own pleasure- there is nothing wrong with this mind you but if the spectator can even detect that something is happening then unfortunately they feel like they know he did something and have the answer. Michael Ammar did a great job explaining this in his previous lectures. When you see Shoot he may be doing something VERY demanding but you just dont perceive a tell. If you spend time talking to him you will understand how deep his thinking is and how hard he strives at making his work stronger and better.

Shoot certainly DOES have some magician foolers or magician oriented items and those are what most of us have seen but I can tell you from first hand experience that this guy is one of a small group of the better magicians Ive seen in some time. I remember the first time I saw him do the purse frame routine he showed his hands so cleanly with sleeve rolled up and I was thinking to myself if he produces anything from there Im done and surely enough. Now I realize that a standard sponge ball from frame routine may be the same in a laymens eyes but is you can create the same effect on a laymen and make it better for those who ARE looking beyond as Shoot has done you are only enhancing the magic overall. His coins to glass looks like real magic. Ive seen it about 10 times and am still blown away.

You should also watch out for some DVD on Shoot that Bob Kohler will be producing and releasing in particular one with the ring routine and all of the real work, real thinking, etc. I was lucky enough to see a rough of it and at the end all I could say was WOW!

Tim Trono
Tim Trono
Posts: 101
Joined: 07/16/08 03:50 AM

Postby thecardman » 10/28/02 02:18 PM

Please excuse me for doing this, but...

Live in the UK? Sick of hearing these American guys (along with a jammy Scot and an equally jammy Aussie) discussing the magic of Shoot Ogawa? Want to make up your own mind? Yes? Right, get yourselves to London for the International Magic Convention 'cos he is headed our way!!!

You might want to click on to get all the details.

I, personally, cannot wait. I just want to see the "Ninja Rings" routine again.

User avatar
Posts: 84
Joined: 01/21/08 01:00 PM
Location: Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland

Postby Guest » 10/30/02 04:35 AM

No one know the E mail of him? (Ogawa)
Thank you

Postby Guest » 11/06/02 07:17 AM

Check out for info about Shoot including his contact info/email.

A few points:
-David: Revealing another magician's methods is wrong. Even while complimenting them.
-Mark: "Shoot" is not an Americanized name, it's his stage name that he uses everywhere. His teacher's name is Masahiro Yanagida, the talented young lady who you met is Yoko. His cards, made by Magic Masters, handle diffrently then Bicycles and take alot of getting used to, but are superior in many ways.
- The name of Mr. Yanagida's company is Wizards Inn.
Tim: Nicely put.
Richard: Not only should you do an article on Shoot, but you should also check out Wizards Inn. I went to their convention in Tokyo and it blew me away. There are some great magicians in that company, including Shoot!

Postby Guest » 11/12/02 06:38 PM

He was also GREAT (as a performer, coach and fellow student--a very nice guy) this summer at Jeff McBride's summer school.

Postby Seth Kramer » 11/16/02 07:35 AM

I was out in Las Vegas Last week and saw some finished footage of Shoot Ogawa's version of the Ninja Rings...Incredible!!! Very magical and routined beautifully. Shoot is an excellent teacher and goes over each move so you not only undestand how the move is done, but why the move works the way it does. Keep an eye out for its release in the next month or so from bob If you think the Linking Rings are hackneyed and over-done, this will surely change your mind.
Seth Kramer
Posts: 42
Joined: 01/21/08 01:00 PM
Location: New York

Postby Jonathan Levey » 11/16/02 11:09 PM

Can anyone tell me what else Shoot is famous for besides his 'ninja rings' routine??
Jonathan :)
Jonathan Levey
Posts: 138
Joined: 12/31/08 08:58 PM
Location: Montreal

Postby Tim Trono » 11/16/02 11:32 PM

Hi Jonathan. Shoot is really multifaceted but his coin work, in particular stood out for me. He does a purse frame routine that looks incredible. He starts by showing his hands VERY clean and very empty with sleeves rolled up. I thought if he produces something from there Im done and sure enough there was a coin and that was just the beginning of this routine. He also does a coins to glass that I saw several times and was repeatedly fooled. Fooled badly! Also, some great matrix type of routines, etc. Shoot also has a knockout version of the Sands/Daryl rope routine where most of the magic seems to happen in the spectators hands. Great card work, metal bending, etc. His style, thinking, and magic is very different, very visual, etc. One thing that Shoot really understands is how to take his magic slow and make it clear and extremely magical. He is very serious about our art and this reflects in his thinking and performing. He takes magic up several notches. The good news is that Shoot is working with Bob Kohler on making DVDs of his magic. DONT miss these. In addition to knocking your socks off, Shoot is just a great guy.

Tim Trono

PS The Ninja Rings are incredible.
Tim Trono
Posts: 101
Joined: 07/16/08 03:50 AM

Postby Sean Macfarlane » 11/17/02 01:28 AM

Hi tim, any idea when the DVD's or the ninja rngs will be available? Thanks.
Sean Macfarlane
Posts: 201
Joined: 04/04/08 01:26 PM

Postby Guest » 11/17/02 09:24 AM

He was selling the rings at the Minnesota Magic Convention last June, along with a tape (in Japanese), and lecture notes on the rings (in american).

Several acquaintances bought the rings then and over the next two evenings and a good part of sunday morning and afternoon received quite a bit of one-on-one instruction on the subtleties so by sunday afternoon they were doing pretty good on their own.

Although his Ninja Rings routine takes my breath away, I'm not much interested in performing rings so I spent my time working with him on some card techniques and purse palming techniques, along with a LOT of discussion on the psychology and flow of his routining. He spent a lot of time doing individual instruction on whatever you wanted to those interested.

There's no question that if you have an interest in rings that Ninja rings is worth the puchase and practice, mainly because it's so different than the standard comedy routine and so effortless in a masters hands.

Some things such as his purseframe routine were off limits, and although he did show some of the rudimentaries, he was more content just to blow our minds with it rather than get into subtleties.

All the more reason to think of him if you're planning a convention for the upcoming year. We got him because Chad Long (who would have been great also) took ill and we needed a replacement, and were told to try out this Japanese guy that's causing quite a stir in California. Boy was that an understatement and we were lucky to 'stumble' upon him for our convention.

He worked with me a bit on some Matrix variants, and he really liked the Barber coins that I was using. These are much thinner than standard silvers, (I'd guess half the thickness) and the eagles on the backs are very attractive, but at the time (stupid me) I only had my personal set and didn't want to part with them, but since June was able to assemble a set of each for him, and I'd love to get a set to him if anybody has his address, or would be willing to pass my request along to Shoot.

Postby C. Hampton » 11/17/02 09:44 AM

I will also like to know if anyone knows who is selling the Ninja Rings, because when he lectured in Miami, he sold the last set right in my nose, before I was able to get one.

The DVD he said that is coming next month, he was doing a presale.

Great rutines, great moves, great guy.
Carlos Hampton
C. Hampton
Posts: 341
Joined: 06/05/08 12:51 PM

Postby Guest » 11/17/02 11:31 AM

I just checked his website and his email address is

Noah Levine

Postby Guest » 11/17/02 05:39 PM

60 years ago that would sound like an order from the whitehouse, not an email address!!

Postby Jim Snapp » 11/20/02 01:24 PM

Just an idea that popped into my head while reading about Shoot and the motivation for a ring inside a card. How about a cannibal cards routine where the cards end up eating your ring?
Jim Snapp
Posts: 30
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Indiana

Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/20/02 05:22 PM

In case no one has mentioned this in this thread before, the "Ring in the Card" is right out of Hofzinser. God doesn't need motivation.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22410
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 11/22/02 01:19 AM

Hi Folks

Dominique Duvivier will organize at the beguining of DEcember a lecture with Shoot (in Paris).
So if there is some guys around France here they can check out this web site to have some info here .
see ya
Arthur Tivoli

Postby Guest » 11/25/02 09:07 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
In case no one has mentioned this in this thread before, the "Ring in the Card" is right out of Hofzinser. God doesn't need motivation.
The motivation is that it's simply wonderful.


Postby John McDonald » 12/05/02 10:51 AM

Shoot won the close up competition at the International Magic Convention in London last weekend.
Best John
John McDonald
Posts: 380
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Chester, UK

Postby Guest » 12/05/02 11:58 PM

You mean the Ron Mac Milan?

Postby John McDonald » 12/06/02 01:26 AM

Best John
John McDonald
Posts: 380
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Chester, UK

Postby Brian Morton » 12/09/02 09:50 AM

After spending the last week hanging around the main bar at the Castle (oh, and I saw a show or two as well) I have to report that the young Mr. Ogawa is stunning with his sleight-of-hand. He performed a coin-and-purse frame routine for me that was simply mind-boggling. You'd swear that the coin was going into finger-palm ... and then he'd turn his hand over and the sucker was GONE.

Absolutely gorgeous magic. The man is all that and a side of fries.

brian :cool:
User avatar
Brian Morton
Posts: 390
Joined: 03/12/08 11:43 AM
Location: Bawlamer, Merlin

Postby Danny Archer » 12/10/02 10:10 AM

Shoot's performance at the 2002 Las Vegas Magic Invitational (close-up convention)was so awesome, that I have booked him to lecture and do close-up at the 2003 Las Vegas Magic Invitational Sept. 14-16th. We have not officially announced any acts yet, but in addition to shoot look for Simon Lovell, Genii's own Jamy Ian Swiss, Geoff Williams and IBM Gold Cup/FISM winner Joe Givan ...

More info will appear at our website
Producer of MINDvention
mentalism convention
Danny Archer
Posts: 595
Joined: 02/29/08 01:00 PM
Location: Denver

Return to Feature Articles