Getting Free Advice!

One of the great things about performing at fairs is working with other performers. Last week I got to work with three other magicians at the event!

Magicians at the Yuma County Fair

Between Glen, Rafael and Terry they gave me some great ideas for my show! When you work with other magicians, don’t look at them as competition, they’re a great resource. For example with the thumb tie routine I’m working on, Glen gave me an idea to change the moment when I link arms with the spectator. The first time I did it as he suggested, it got a GASP from the audience!

I’m always willing to listen to what other magicians say! I don’t always agree with what they say, but willing to listen.

-Louie

Getting Paid to Work on my Show!

Last week I was working with a buddy and one of my creative partners at a fair in Arizona. It’s always great when I do a gig with him because we work on our shows while at the gig!

He hadn’t see me do my linking pin / thumb tie routine before and with his help the routine made a huge leap forward!

If you don’t have a brainstorm group or someone to bounce ideas off, you’re missing out of growing your show quickly. I highly recommend hanging out with other performers that you like or trust and getting their input on your show!

-Louie

Preshow’ing your show

One of the great things about performing at fairs is getting to see all of the other acts at the fairgrounds! You can learn a lot from watching other acts!

One of the huge lessons is watching everyone’s preshow audience build/warm up. The different act have different goals with their starting audience. Some want as many people as possible and some want to select their audience and try to get the people who aren’t into what they do to leave. Neither approach is right or wrong, but which ever way you do it, it should be intentional!

Tomorrow my week starts with performing at the Moisture Festival in Seattle. This is a variety arts festival and the shows are in a theater, so I don’t get to try to select my audience. I get to perform for whoever bought a ticket. This festival is a blast, so it’ll be fun!

-Louie

Uncle Otis

Last week I got to perform with Cousin Otis!

cousin otis

We’ve met and chatted in person before but never really hung out or worked together until now! His street show is great and it’s always a pleasant surprise when someone lives up to what you’ve hear about them! There are soo many acts I’ve heard about and the show is just OK. But Cousin Otis has a great show that the audiences loved!

You can learn a lot by watching his show. He does a good job of “billboarding” the big trick that’s the finale of the street show. AND all of the other tricks are good.

If you get the chance to check him out, do it!

-Louie

Spirit Rapping Hand

A long time ago I made a mold of a vintage spirit rapping hand that I had acquired and then made a few hand out of resin. (You can read the post about it here).I sold them a long time ago, but someone contacted me asking me to make them one. I has some time, so I made him one:

It turned out well! These hands are kind of a pain to make, so it’s something I don’t offer on my online catalog. However if you want one, feel free to contact me and if I have some time available, I’ll gladly make you one!
-Louie

The Linking Ring Parade!

I finally got to see the physical copy of my fourth parade in the Linking Ring Magazine!

The linking ring one man parade

It’s got about a 10 magic tricks in it. I think I need to write at least one more parade for the Linking Ring so that I have an even five!

If you’re a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians check it out in the March 2024 issue!

-Louie

Street Show Magic Bag

Before I headed down to Arizona this week, I put a tripod on the bottom of the doctor’s bag. This is to elevate the prop holder for when I’m doing street style shows. That way I don’t have to bend down to the floor to grab props.

I have a bunch of Collector’s Workshop base flanges, and several bases. I simply screwed one to the bottom of the doctor bag:

magic show table base

And I’m only using one of the table sections, so that gives me a bag where the opening at the top is about hip height.

magic show table

That cleans up motion from the show and takes away time that I have to look away from the audience. I’ve already used it for a couple of shows down here and I really like it!

-Louie

MC Notes When Hosting a Show

When I MC a show, I write out each act’s info on it’s own sheet of paper. That act’s paper and only that act’s is in my pocket when go out to introduce them. I do my best to memorize the introduction, however if I need the paper, it’s the only one in my pocket, so it’s easy to find.

Also on each act’s paper I write any notes, usually I’ll write their ending bit if I know it. That helps me prepare for when to walk out. The other thing I do is write joke ideas to say after their act. For example one of the acts I recently worked with ended his act by producing flags. The joke I wrote was, “That act has more flags than my neighbor’s pickup truck!” and that got a big laugh.

After each act, I crumple up their paper, but don’t throw it away. I leave it around in case I need to remember anything, like a joke was good and I can use it elsewhere.

Magic show MC notes

This system may look messy, however I know a lot of other people that do MC work that use a similar system of crumbling up notes, but not throwing them away until after the show. If you’re not doing it this way, give it a try!

-Louie

20 min magic show in 44 seconds

Last month I performed in a magic show in California with five other magicians. Here’s the highlight reel of my show:

@louiefoxx 20 min comedy magic show in 44 seconds! #hermosabeach #magic #comedymagic #california #louiefoxx #hoopandcup #balancing ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

Also if you’re not following me on Tik Tok, shoot over there and give me a follow at tiktok.com/@louiefoxx!

-Louie

Ambient Busking…

Recently I took my street organ out to do some busking at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Street organ

Performing an ambient set, versus doing an show is very different and something that’s new to me. It’s a very different mindset than trying to build a crowd. It’s shorter interactions with people than when doing a show. What I would do is spot people about half a block away and try to pick a song that would get them dancing as they approached me.

@vintageorgan Dancing Queen on the Street Organ! #abba #dancingqueen #pikeplacemarket #streetorgan #coverband #louiefoxx #barrelorgan #busker @pikeplacemarket_official #streetperformer ♬ original sound – vintageorgan


While I was there I ran into puppeteer Rob D’Arc! He also runs a flea circus and we’ve working together a few times over the years.

street organ with rob d'arc

In an hour of street performing I made exactly $40

street performing hat

What I learned it that doing ambient street performing you have a lot less control of your “hat” than you do when doing a street show. With a show you can pitch your hat, with ambient, you don’t have a lot of time to catch people.

-Louie