I think it’s time we need to accept the fact that most kids that know a card trick no longer do the 21 card trick. This is mostly due to YouTube tutorials, and that’s great, that’s one place where YouTube “exposure” has moved magic forward. There’s a lot more variety in what’s kids do now!
The trick above, wasn’t a really good trick. It was a very clunky verbal magician’s choice style force to make me think of a face card, then a very clunky physical magician’s choice force to make me select a card. For a kid that only does one trick, it’s a fine gateway trick to your second trick and they’re actively involved in making the trick work, not just doing math.
A few weeks ago someone had asked in a magician’s social media group about how to practice equivoque, and I used to do a card trick that was inspired by something I saw Bob Sheets do. Basically you are forcing a pile, it’s not too crazy. I haven’t done it in many, many years, but I made a quick video to help that person out.
It’s fun to do and a great way to practice making the decisions feel like actual decisions. Go out and give it a try!
It’s a great shop, it’s mostly geared as a “pitch” shop, which makes sense as there’s not really a magic population. That said, he still has things of interest to a more experienced magician and Seth is very knowledgeable. He and also order things in for you to pick up if you know you’ll be in town.
It turns out I was familiar with Seth’s trick Howard’s Hustle and was recently thinking about it, so it was good to chat with him about it. Howard’s Hustle is a two card monte routine that has an ending and begins and ends with showing both sides of the cards. It’s really clever and I have an idea for using the general idea for what Seth’s doing in the trick for a very different routine.
If you’re passing through Astoria, OR you should swing by and say hi. His shop is in the tourist area, so you’ll probably walk by anyway.
As magic has more and more electronic tricks that are mass marketed a few problems are popping up. First one is customer support if they don’t work correctly. Usually the manufacturer doesn’t have incentive to repair the item. Sure they may replace it if you recently purchased it, but after that your main option would by buying a new one.
That’s why I like companies like ProMystic. They sell higher end products, and they will repair them. For example I’ve used their trick Inception for about four years and the screen went out on it. This is not their fault, I’ve used it in close to 1,000 shows across the USA (and North America) and over the years it’s been dropped, gotten wet, and still worked like a champ, even without the screen!
I finally had a gap in my schedule where I don’t need it and sent it in to them for repairs. For way cheaper than I thought it would cost for a screen replacement, they put a new one on it and it’ll be waiting for me when I get home in a few days.
For me having the option to have a four year old prop repaired instead of buying a new one is great! If you’ve been on the fence about getting anything from ProMystic, they are a great company and stand behind their products and help with support long after your purchase!
The issue I was having was mentally I was getting upset at people that would stick around for one trick and then leave. It’s a small percentage of the audience, and it really bugged me. In the book Jimmy writes about audiences “doing you a favor” by watching versus you doing the audience a favor by performing for them. This is a huge mental shift and really helped me out. I’m no stranger to performing for a transient audience, but sometimes you forget things and a refresher course is needed.
If you are thinking about street performing or want to make your street show better, I totally recommend this book. I don’t busk, I perform street style shows at fairs. The huge difference is at the end, I don’t ask for a tips. If you’re in the fair market, this book is also very worthwhile!
Here’s the sizzle from my show at the theater the other day:
I was messing around with more “epic” music. I’m not sure I like it, but it sure gives the video a different tone from what I normally use. It’s crazy how much the music can change the feel of the video!
Think about that when using music in your show, song selection can dramatically change the feel of the trick you’re doing.
Show business is funny. In less 24 hours you can go from performing outdoors in the full sun (I’m not complaining, I love outdoor gigs):
To performing indoors at a really cool theater!
While both shows are similar, there are things that I do indoors that I don’t do outdoors and things I do outdoors that I don’t do indoors. There are reasons for that, the audiences are different. Inside I can take a little bit of time with things, so I can do some slower tricks. Outdoors everything is a bit quicker and I’m a little more aggressive when I perform.
I enjoy indoors and outdoor performing, and both have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. As a performer you need to learn what material of yours works in each situation. -Louie
I now have the three phases worked out and cleaned up the handling a bit. It’s a much tighter routine than before. Here’s the version I’m currently doing:
One of the things I’ve recently added was anticipating that in the second phase that the spectator would almost immediately point to the top card. Being able to foresee that and being able to show that card as not being their card is a great moment.
I’m really enjoying performing this version of the Ambitious Card, and like it much more than doing it entirely in my hands.
I picked up the book The Comedy Helpline recently and read it while I was stuck in line for two hours to get an oil change!
This is an interesting little book, kind like Wayne Dobson‘s book 50 Shades of Gold, that has a lot of little tips in it. It’s not a “how to” for comedy magic, but will make you think about a thing or two. I’m glad I read it.
In the past I’ve written about trying to make little sizzle reels for events that I’m performing at. I really started doing this with virtual shows as it’s really easy to as it’s already being done for a camera. Most of the ones I’ve been doing recently are videos of me doing close up magic. This is my first one of the stage show that I do for fairs.
Now that I have a template of what to show, it’s shouldn’t be too hard for me to do them for future fairs. I know the things to show, and can spend more energy on the look out for more spontaneous things that get caught on video.
There are some props that have always baffled me as they don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen with my own eyes. The props for the Rice, Orange and Checkers trick is one of them. Below is a Rings n’ Things set that I own:
The middle container is the rice vase where you fill with rice, then rice turns into an orange. At the hotel I’m at, I found what I think it’s supposed to be in real life:
I don’t think anyone has really used containers like that in my lifetime, but I found what they rice vase is supposed to look like! I now only slightly less dislike the Rice, Orange and Checkers trick.