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!


Turing Rain into Lemonade

Sometimes where you perform outdoors you’ll have issues with the weather. One night it rained most of the day, and that killed attendance for the shows right after it stopped raining. There was literally no people on the fairgrounds to pull to make an audience, so we used the time as practice time.

The juggler at the fair and I used that down time to work on some lasso tricks:

Lasso tricks

And since we both had lassos, I was able to try doing two lassos at the same time!

Lasso tricks

We could have called the show and not performed, however we both got in some fun practice time! I always try to look for spots in my day when I can get in a little bit of practice and a rained out show was a great spot!


Working the Work…

In working on the trick with pictures of my cat, that is really just a clock prediction using UTP/Time Hacker this week, I feel like I’m learning a lot.

First of all, I was going to have the cat pictures like a list joke, where there are three pictures and I end up the final one of my cat. It think I only need one picture and that’s of my cat. Initially I was hoping to get 5 mins from the routine, but it’s looking like it’ll be more of a 3 min routine and that’s fine if that’s where the trick naturally wants to land. There no reason to make a trick longer than it needs to be.

The second thing I learned was if you ask someone to give you a random time, they give things like six o’clock, which is fine, but not very interesting. The reveal is better if they are thinking of 6:17 as it feels more impossible.

The final thing I’m coming up with is that this trick needs an out. The first day I did it, it worked great…but the second day it failed both times. I think the fails were user error, so I’ll try to figure it out…


Portent by Camirand Academy

One of the tricks that I do is my version of the Invisible Deck. It’s really just a card prediction and not really an Invisible Deck, but that was my starting point, so I call it that. I’m always looking for new methods that work better and came across the trick Portent.

Here’s the blurb for the trick:

One of the hits of Canadian Alain Choquette’s popular stage act!

The magician predicts ahead of time the exact identity of a card freely chosen by a spectator not a stooge.

The prediction is sealed in an envelope, which was hanging above the heads of the audience!
No sleight-of-hand, no magicians’ choices, no forces, no manipulation, no switches, no electronics.
The magician touches neither the deck, nor the envelope.
This is recommended only to stage & cabaret performer.

This trick hasn’t been made for a long time, but you can still find them for about $75. I found the instruction booklet for $5 and bought that.

I’m glad I just bought the booklet, as there’s a HUGE condition missing from the trick. You need a second person to do it, which 100% makes it a trick that won’t work for me. I’m glad I just have $5 into this trick and not $75. If you’ve got a second person, and working in a more formal venue, it not a bad method.

This trick is one of the reasons I’m weary of any trick that’s advertised basically as a list of what it’s not. When I see that, frequently there’s a play on words with the things on the list or it’s a very impractical method.


Cleans Up Nice…

this is the beginning of my fair season and I was going through and fixing, cleaning and upgrading props. One of the props in my show is a bowl that holds a ball of yarn. I use a plastic bowl instead of glass because it travels better and is much lighter!

Over time the bowl has really gotten beaten up and it was time to replace it.

stage magic props

I probably hung onto the old bowl for too long, but I liked it because it’s half the height of any plastic bowl that I’ve been able to find. Sometimes you don’t realize how bad things look until you see them next to a new one!


St. Patrick’s Day Magic Trick

st patricks day magic trick

Here’s a rough idea I had for a St. Patrick’s Day themed magic trick that’s a “touch the screen” style trick. You’ll need a four leaf clover with the leaves numbered 1 to 4.

The rules are people will jump on leave for each number, the can only go clockwise or counter clockwise, back and forth NOT diagonally. They also cannot pass the stem.

The touch any leaf, then count the number they’re touching, jumping one leaf per number.

They’re not on the 1, so remove that one.

st patricks day magic trick

Now they spell IRISH jumping one leaf for each letter.

You can now eliminate the 2 and 4 and reveal they are on the number 3!

st patricks day magic trick

NOTE: It might be good add a phase after they spell IRISH, where you eliminate the 4. Then have them spell LUCK, then eliminate the 2 and reveal they are on the 4. That might make it seem more random?

That math seems to checkout, and feel free to use this for whatever…


Reducing Mistakes

One of the symptoms of getting older is that my vision is going. One of the tricks I’m working on this week is Time Hacker by Pitata Magic. The device has switches and the functions are molded into the plastic. Unfortunately I can’t easily read this stuff anymore, so I had to add labels the unit and a cheat sheet to the board that the remote is mounted on.

It’s little things like this that make setting up the show much easier and will reduce the chance of mistakes. For example the remote has two modes and two switches, and it’d be easy to forget which is which. Now I really have no excuse to flip the wrong switch.

Look at your show and try to find spots where you can dummy proof or at least reduce the odds you’ll make a dumb mistake.


The Moisture Festival Podcast – Alex Feldman

In this episode of the Moisture Festival podcast we talk via zoom with funny man Alex Feldman. He tells us about how he came to be so funny without speaking and how he is able to find the sliver of funny in every place he performs.

We discuss some things he did during covid and how he got involved with the moisture festival. A great chat with one of the festival’s favorite performers. 

Beginning of Fair Season

This morning I’m heading out to AZ for my first fair gig of the year. When I do fairs, I try to work on new material. I’ll be doing something like 15 stage shows, plus I can do as much close up as I want in between shows.

One of the new tricks that I’m bringing down with me is Time Hacker. This is Pitata Magic’s version of Ceseral Magic’s Ultimate Time Prediction. The basic effect is someone thinks of a time and that’s the time showing on a clock.

The presentation is based on a old myth that was popular during the WWII era myth that Asians can tell time by looking at a cats eyes. I had some posters made of my cat and someone is going to try to guess the time and that’s the time on the clock.

I’m hoping the idea of having a cat and talking about my cat will suck people into the trick. I’m not sure how it’ll play, but I have five full days of shows to try to figure it out!!


Ben Murphy’s trick…

The video of Ben Murphy getting shoved during a show has been making the rounds. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

@thebenmurphy_ My assault onboard. Entertainment, comedy, and magic are NOT contact sports. This guest should not have been allowed to enjoy the rest of his cruise. #assault #magician #magic #comedianattacked #violence #cruiseship #cruise #magic #comedian #comedy #domesticviolence #insecure #toxicmasculinity #justice ♬ original sound – The Ben Murphy

He’s doing the trick “French Kiss” which is a card transposition. I’ve seen it done by several performers and only once have it seen it where it wasn’t cringy. I should say that the trick unless it’s framed perfectly leaves you open to having a pissed off spouse/partner etc. The guy from the audience shouldn’t have shoved Ben, and there’s a lot of context missing as we don’t see the whole routine. I don’t know how suggestive Ben was, from what I can see the routine is being done as flirty, or with sexual tones, but that may not be what’s actually happening. In our modern times, I think this sort of routine really needs to stop being done…or have very clear expectations of the person coming to the stage.

A good, but very different example is when Rob Williams makes a sandwich with his feet. He’s very clear with what’s going to happen and what’s expected of the person from the audience.

The other problem I have with the trick like French Kiss is in the post covid world, I wouldn’t want my me or spouse to have their face that close to a stranger’s face for hygiene reasons. The lamest way to get the flu or covid would be from a card trick!