Stage Make Up

One of the things that I learned to do a couple of years ago was makeup. Coming out of comedy clubs, that’s something that performers really didn’t do. During the 2020’s I needed to learn to do my own make up for a TV show as they couldn’t provide a makeup person per the covid restrictions at the time.

I don’t do much, it’s really to take the shine off, but it makes a huge difference in pictures!

Stage Make up

If you don’t know how to do very basic stage makeup, there are tons of books about it and probably a ton of YouTube videos that can teach you. I hired a theater person to teach me a very basic routine. It’s totally worth learning!


Live Show Audio

When I was performing at the fair last week and had to deal with a sound system that only had one line in, I managed to make it work. I ended up using the Zoom recorder that I use for podcasts as the mixer. That’s a decent emergency solution, but I’d rather not have that expensive recorder cooking in the sun all day.

I ordered this little audio mixer and it seems to work well so far at home.

mini audio mixer

It’s not much bigger than two decks of cards and can run off of USB power. It’s got four channels, which is one more than I need. I haven’t tried it in a live show yet, so I don’t know how well it will work in the real world, but I’m hoping it’s a good solution!


Wrong Guesses

The other day I posted this video on TikTok:

@louiefoxx Optical Illusion with a ring and some safety pins! #opticalillusion #switchingplaces #weddingring #safetypin #louiefoxx #magictrick #magician #closeupmagic, ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

One of the comments I got was someone trying to explain the trick:

ring and pin magic trick

This tells me that going off screen isn’t an unknown technique to people anymore. However it’s now more like a “it went up your sleeve” kinda comment, where it’s an explanation that’s wrong 99% of the time.

What I love about the comment in this particular trick is how far off they person was with guessing. The two pins are super gimmicked, the only thing that’s ungimmicked is the RING!


Fair Magic Show Set Up

It’s always interesting to look into other magicians prop cases. Last week I did my first fair of the year and here’s what my set up look like.

First the bin that sits on my table:

And here’s the prop case that sits on the floor to my left:

That’s a 45 minute stage show and it all can pack down into the prop case. The fully loaded case is just under 50 pounds, so I can check it on the plane as luggage for no additional fees!


Pitata Magic Time Hacker Hack!

The clock routine I’m working on uses the Pitata Magic Time Hacker. It’s no secret how it works and they give it all away on their website, however I have made a modification to the gimmick.

A while ago I accidently broke the pin that engages the clock. When I went to order a replacement, they didn’t have them, just the new gear style attachment that engages the clock. Personally I don’t like the gear as it requires double stick tape which I felt was unreliable after practicing with it.

My solution was to glue the gear with pin from the clock to the gear attachment and it works like a dream!

The nice thing is that it’s easier to detach from the clock than the original pin attachment that came with the Time Hacker trick. This arrangement is easy to change if it gets worn down. I’m glad I stumbled onto this solution!

Also in my routine the clock is “broken” so it doesn’t matter that the the clock is non functional at the end of the routine.


Backstage at a Fair Gig

Frequently I get asked by magicians what it’s like to perform at a fair. One of the main questions is about where I keep my stuff and hang out between the shows. Usually there’s some sort of green room, which usually doubles at the storage room for your props.

Here’s the green/storage room from the fair last week.

You can see that every act has their own table and there’s an table for drinks and snacks.

Here’s my table:

I try to keep all of my props set up whenever possible, so that I’m not doing a full set up every morning and pack up every night. I simply move my gear to the green room at the end of the day.

Every fair gig is different, so sometimes your storage is simply a closet and sometimes you have more formal green rooms with couches, microwaves and fridges.


More Work on the Clock Trick

Last week I learned a lot about using the Pitata Magic Time Hacker/UTP. For example mine’s range was only reliable within about 10 feet of the unit when using the remote control. This isn’t a deal breaker, but something that is good to know and be aware of!

The bag that I have the clock in has the top edge rolled down, so I can peek inside and see if the hands have moved, this is a bit of security so that I know at least it’s gotten some sort of signal and moved before I take it out. I do still need to figure out some sort of “out” for when it doesn’t work.

pitata magic time hacker

I’ve also started a habit of hitting the clear button before I key in the time. The feedback from the clear lets me know I’m in range…or at least gives me the sense of security that I’m in range!

In my opinion, push button electronic tricks are some of the hardest tricks to do! There’s soo much that can go wrong with them, and it’s not like sleight of hand, where you can sleight of hand your way out of a problem! If you just blindly take out the clock and it misses the signal, you’re screwed!

I’ll keep working on this as I really like the routine I’m working on, and hopefully it’s something that sticks in my show!


Zoom Recorder as a Mixer

Last week at the fair, their sound system only had one input and no mixer. My show uses up 3 channels, so I was in a little bit of a bind. Luckily I usually have a Zoom Recorder in my backpack for recording show audio and working on The Odd and Offbeat Podcast that I cohost with comedy juggler Matt Baker.

magic show audio setup

The zoom recorder has three inputs, 2 XLR’s and one 1/8 inch, which worked perfectly for my show’s needs. I then used the audio out to plug into the sound system and it worked great! As a bonus, I was also able to record my shows audio so that I could review it!

I’d never used it as a mixer before and glad it worked out, and now I know that in a pinch, I can use it!


Pretzel Magic!

One night, last week after my show a kid came up to me as asked if I could do a trick with his pretzel stick. I took it and did a quick little routine:

@louiefoxx Pretzel Stick Magic! #pretzelstick @roldgoldofficial #sleightofhand #magic #magician #louiefoxx #pretzel #snack #disappear #pinalcountyfair #pinalcountyfairgrounds ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

Of course this wasn’t planned, but I’ve done things like a coin flurry in the past, so the structure of what I was going to do I was familiar with. The part I was worried about was the sleeving and I was kinda amazed that I got the pretzel into my sleeve! Sleeving is something that I can do, but never really have done it in a show, so it was fun to do.

Personally I love “playing” with magic, it’s what keeps me in love with it. I think if I did the same thing the exact same way every time, I would have burnt out a long time ago!