Yesterday I posted a video about how to use evaporation with one hand using a thumb tip with a cork on it. Here’s a tutorial on how to make the thumb tip. You’ll need a thumb tip, cork, screwdriver, screw and scissors.
I start by trimming off a little bit of the end of the thumb tip. I think that makes it easier to get your thumb into it.
Than I use the screwdriver to punch a hole in the fingernail side of the thumb tip. Just push and twist until you have a hole.
Put a screw onto the screwdriver and drive it through the thumb tip a little bit.
Let’s talk a bit more about protecting your marketed magic creations. I’m amazed at how many creators and magic companies don’t take the most basic step of copyrighting the art and ad copy for the magic tricks that they release.
Before we go any further, let me say that I do understand that technically you have the copyright to whatever art/ad copy as soon as it’s created, but you can’t enforce that without registering it with the copyright office. It costs about $65 to register a copyright, so it’s not a huge hurdle.
Once you have that copyright registration number, you can actually enforce it.
It’s been a while since I’ve gone onto AliExpress to have knock off products removed. I did a search and there were five knock off products.
There’s one listing that was blatantly using my copyright protected Evaporation artwork, so I filed a claim and that was taken down the next day. That left these four knock offs of my Evaporation trick.
All four of them use “Louie Foxx” and I own the trademark to that. Trademarks are like copyrights in that you technically have a trademark when you start using it in business, however you can’t really enforce it until you have it registered with the government. This cost about $300 and took some time to be approved, but it wasn’t difficult for me to do by myself without a lawyer.
My next step was to file a trademark violation with AliExpress and they immediately took down three of the four listings, and a new one popped up.
The new one that used my Evaporation artwork was pulled the next day, but there was still one listing left.
I’m not sure why this one wasn’t taken down by AliExpress with the rest of them as it’s a clear cut infringement on my trademark. I took a peek at the listing and noticed that in the listing they show my copyright protected instruction sheet.
That let me file a copyright claim as well as the trademark claim on the listing. The next day that listing was taken down and as of this morning there were no more products on AliExpress that I could find that used my trademark or copyrights!
It’s an easy process, I had probably 30 minutes total put into getting the listings pulled. It’s not hard to do, and I’m really surprised more magicians don’t take the very basic step of copyrighting their artwork. Sure you shouldn’t have to do this, but actually doing something is better than just whining about it!
This week I’m performing in Minot, North Dakota. I’ve worked out here many times over the years. When getting into town, I drove by a Menards hardware store.
Normally this isn’t a huge deal, but this is the hardware store where I bought all the stuff to create my Evaporation trick! It’s also the store where I bought a lot of the parts for all the previous unsuccessful versions of the trick.
Many magicians think that finished ideas just pop out of people’s heads, and while that does happen, it’s rarely the case. Usually it’s a idea, that eventually after a lot of work gets to the final idea.
The key is to trying to create a new method for a trick is to not give up. I tired many, many bad (in retrospect) ideas for how to make the trick bottle. However each bad idea taught me something, and they all moved me closer and closer to the final goal!
There’s one trick that I’ve been fascinated by for decades and it’s the Himber Pail. Here’s a video of Richard Himber doing it on Don Alan’s Magic Ranch:
I love this trick, the effect is good and it’s got a ton of suprises and hits all of the beats! The problem is that the are hard to find and when the pop up at auctions, somehow I always miss bidding on them.
Then a few years ago, I set out to make a version of the trick. Here’s what I came up with:
The technical end of how it works is completely different than Himber’s method, but the effect is the same. Himber’s method is way more practical than mine. Also my method wasn’t 100% where his is.
This is a trick I revisit very now and then, and still have yet to come up with a practical way to do it. Himber’s method doesn’t scale down to a cup size very well. Eventually I’ll come up with a way…
One of the hardest things to do is to sit down and try to come up with ideas. Your options are too broad, you need to narrow it down and give yourself some rules. Some examples would be doing trick with a dollar bill, or an animation that doesn’t use invisible thread. When I travel … Continue reading “Easy Way To Be Creative…”
One of the hardest things to do is to sit down and try to come up with ideas. Your options are too broad, you need to narrow it down and give yourself some rules. Some examples would be doing trick with a dollar bill, or an animation that doesn’t use invisible thread.
When I travel I make videos of magic tricks using things that I find in my hotel room. Limiting the main prop of the trick to things in the room narrows your focus.
Another way to narrow your focus is to find one of the calendars online that lists all of the national days. For example today is National Coffee Day. You then create a magic trick for whatever today is.
Here’s an example of three tricks that use a coffee cup that I did for the tricks in a hotel video series:
How I’m using the Evaporation trick in my show right now is pretty simple. I take pour red liquid into a cup and when I turn the cup over a red ball falls out. Not much to it. There is one little thing that I sometimes have to do to the liquid. Sometimes the … Continue reading “Red Evaporation Trick”
How I’m using the Evaporation trick in my show right now is pretty simple. I take pour red liquid into a cup and when I turn the cup over a red ball falls out. Not much to it.
There is one little thing that I sometimes have to do to the liquid. Sometimes the liquid it too clear, so I have to make it a little more opaque. How I do that is simple add a few drops of non-dairy creamer to it and that makes it cloudy.
Using non-dairy creamer makes cleaning up the bottle little bit easier. Something in the dairy that makes the bottle get a little gross over time. There’s no reason why you can’t use milk, or half and half as long as you clean the bottle well after each use.
I’m frequently asked about why the Evaporation’s standard version is orange liquid. The reason for this is simple, it’s easy to be seen. Rarely will you have an orange background that you are performing in front of, so the color won’t disappear into whatever is behind you. Using things like cola, which is a … Continue reading “Your Tricks Gotta Be Seen!”
I’m frequently asked about why the Evaporation’s standard version is orange liquid. The reason for this is simple, it’s easy to be seen. Rarely will you have an orange background that you are performing in front of, so the color won’t disappear into whatever is behind you.
Using things like cola, which is a dark brown be hard to see with a dark background, or using milk in an elementary school gym against a white wall make seeing the trick difficult. That’s why I settled on Orange.
You need to think about this stuff with all of your magic. For example I love the idea of cups and balls, more specifically cup and ball(s). So a chop cup would fall in this category. My marketed trick Cee-Lo (Available from www.hocus-pocus.com) which uses 3 dice and a cup has some clever work on the final loads.
Here’s a video of Cee-Lo:
The problem is that the action happens on the table top, and if you are are a raised stage the audience is looking up at the bottom of the table and can’t see what’s happening.
There are a couple of solutions to this:
Build your table at an angle, so the front edge is lower than the back.
Use video projection onto a screen.
Create a routine where none of the action happens on a table top.
The first two are pretty simple solutions, however how practical they are will depend on the venues you perform in. The third one is the one that interests me. You are now walking into fairly uncharted waters. Aside from Ball and Cone, the only other cup and ball type trick that happens in the hands is Axel Hecklau’s Just a Cup.
Axel’s routine is great, but I want to come up with my own take on an in the hands cup and ball routine. So my starting point was a baseball cap, which hand a brim that I can hold on to and a large ball, that’s an inch and a half in diameter. All of the action now happens at chest level and it plays much larger due to the bigger props.
This routine is still in its early phases, hopefully it’ll work out. Once it’s closer to being finished, I’ll start sharing some video of it.
The point of this post is simple: Look at the tricks you do and think you about what the audience can actually see!
Trigg Watson did a great job with the Evaporation gimmick on Masters of Illusion! You can watch the whole eposide at: http://www.cwtv.com/shows/masters-of-illusion/a-magical-smorgasbord Louie www.evaporationtrick.com
Trigg Watson did a great job with the Evaporation gimmick on Masters of Illusion!
I’ve always loved the salt pour trick, but the initial steal of the gimmick has always looked shifty. I’ve never seen any do the steal where it didn’t look like something was going on. A good solution is is a gimmicked salt shaker, so you are eliminating the steal of the gimmick. An Al Baker … Continue reading “Salt Pour Magic Trick”
I’ve always loved the salt pour trick, but the initial steal of the gimmick has always looked shifty. I’ve never seen any do the steal where it didn’t look like something was going on.
A good solution is is a gimmicked salt shaker, so you are eliminating the steal of the gimmick. An Al Baker Salt Shaker is a great way to do this…if you can find one as they are no longer manufactured.
Another option is the Vernet Etherial Salt Shaker, however I think it looks like a trick salt shaker.
Finally it hit me, why not gimmick a large glass salt shaker like the Evaporation gimmick. You’ll get a pour that looks similar to the Al Baker Salt Shaker during the pour, but will be much easier to set and operate.
I’m currently audience testing it right now an so far seems to be working…