In a couple days the KAX virtual conference starts, and I’m one of the presenters. This conference is for family entertainers and it’s a lot of fun!
The presentation I’m giving is called Level Up and will teach you how to work on your show. I have Six R’s that I use to work on my show. Each R is a word that’s a task that you can do to improve your show.
In the presentation I also interview other performers about how they work on their shows. There’s a lot of fun insight about how to improve in this presentation.
I’m really excited about this presentation as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’m also going to be doing it live in Salem, OR for a group of performers the following week.
Last night I was playing with a deck of cards while I watched the final couple of episodes of Dexter New Blood and came up with a little pop out of a card from the deck. It’s pretty easy to do:
Hold the deck in your right hand in biddle grip.
Swing cut the top half into your left hand into mechanic’s grip
Your left thumb side jogs the top card about half an inch to the right
As your righthand approaches the left hand, the back of the right hand’s middle fingertip contacts the side jogged card. The right hand continues moving forward and slightly up. That will cause the side jogged card to flip face up. When that happens, your right hand moves down to put the two halves of the pack together.
That’s it. It’s not much, and it feels really familiar. I think it’s a mix of a lot of thing that I already know and that’s what makes it feel like it’s something I already know.
After playing with it with one card, I started thinking about producing a second card. That ended up being a four card production:
While not the greatest or flashiest four ace production, it was fun to come up with last night! -Louie
A couple of days ago I had a Facebook memory pop up that had a video I made while I was on tour in Canada about four years ago. While I travelled I used to do a videos of magic tricks in my hotel room. It’s been a while since I’ve made one, however I think this was a very interesting video as it uses Canadian money. If you’ve never played with them, they are plastic bills, that don’t easily fold and hold a crease, and most Canadian magicians dislike them. Here’s a cool trick I came up with using them:
What I think is really cool about this trick is that it takes advantage of the hologram and clear spot that’s in the Canadian bill. I don’t know how well this would play in Canada as there’s a discrepancy in the trick that virtually no one outside of Canada would notice.
I think this is a fun social media trick, but really wouldn’t make it into an in person show.
Ugh, so the idea of “cultural appropriation” in magic has popped up recently in a social media group for magicians. Personally I’m against people using props that depict things they don’t know about. A good example is the classic magic production boxes that have a Chinese character on them. At the very least, know what it actually says.
Yes, there is an artistic choice there use them and not know what they say. However your artistic choice says something about you.
Luckily those boxes and wearing Asian robes have mostly fallen out of fashion for younger performers. Right now it’s the older performers who are the ones that are (still) doing it. I try not to judge the past by modern standards, but if you are in modern times still doing things that may have been acceptable in the past, you need to get with the times.
Someone like Ian Adair who I respect as a creator still sells his Fu Ling Yu trick:
That style of imagery doesn’t belong in a modern magic show. I also understand he lives in a different country and what may be acceptable there may be different from where I live. I also understand he probably had a ton of these made 20+ years ago and doesn’t want to throw them away. I wish he would realize that sometimes you have to let go of the past, that trick really can’t be a good seller anymore.
During that jam session on the take out production box a well known magician said I should release it soon “before it gets out there and someone else does“. While I agree with why I should release it soon, honestly I don’t like the idea of putting out things before they are ready. It’s a sad state of magic where someone would hear about the idea and rush to beat me to market, however that’s the nature of the business world. I’ve always said magicians need to play business like it’s a real business, that means protecting things with patents, copyright, etc. So it’s really my fault if someone gets ahead of me on putting the Take Out Box Production on the market.
Later today I’m doing a virtual magic lecture at 7:30pm eastern time. If you want the link to it, send me an email!
I really enjoy doing virtual lectures because I can use video elements for me doing the tricks in actual shows. This allows people to see me do the tricks that I teach in the actual setting they are intended to be used in. I’ve seen soo much good material die in a room full of magicians over the years. I think going forward, if I ever do in person lectures again, I will have a video element of the lecture.
One of the challenges was figuring out how to do Daryl’s Triumph Display with the deck in the condition that the deck is in for my routine. It’s basically the same as Daryl’s except the final two blocks of cards are hand hand and you rotate your hands palm up to show the face up and face down blocks.
I’m glad I figured out how to do the final display, it just took sitting around and playing until I worked it out, and the solution was soo simple!
I woke up today to a great review of my Out For Beers trick!
I really love this trick, the play on words gag really works with my personality. I also think the trick works better than most of the Out to Lunch style tricks because it starts as a gag that is motivated. The trick sneaks up on the audience, which make it even more amazing!
This trick has been a huge hit at the booking confrences I’ve been at over the last few months and has driven a lot of traffic to my tradeshow booth and gotten me a lot of work. Get yours now!
This trick is kinda interesting with the shotglass production kicker. I used Black Fox’s Shot Glass Production, that I don’t think he ever really released, or maybe no one really bought. He gave me one 15-20 years ago and I found it while cleaning up. I used to use it sometimes when I used to do the egg bag.
It’s been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks, and I finally had an idea for it, and that’s what I did for the Tik Tok video. It was fun to figure out something to do with it! -Louie
Every year I spend most of the summer out on the road performing around the united states. Like most people I use my cell phone as my GPS (my car doesn’t have a built in GPS) and because of that, I keep 15 year old Garmin GPS unit in the glove compartment of my car.
It’s been years since I needed to use it, however it can be a life saver if you’re in the middle of nowhere and have no cell signal. Sometimes where the gig is has no cell service or sometimes you’ve accidently done something with your phone and reset your maps apps.
You can get these used for about $20 on eBay, and it’s a handy thing to keep in the car. The few times I’ve needed it, really helped me out! Stay safe out there!