Here’s a little tip for when you’re working a fair or any multi-day gig with a lot of other acts. First of all, don’t touch the sound company’s equipment without asking. What I do is ask if I can have 3 dedicated channels for the week. Usually they say yes, but not always. I do my initial sound check and once that’s done I take a pic of the sound board and note what’s mine.
Now it’s really easy to recreate the same sound by using the picture if things get changed.
I know the sound guy is there for that…well usually they are. The fair where I took this picture had one person running four stages. Since my audio was never supposed to change, he didn’t visit my stage near my show times very often. I’m OK with that, I had his cell number and could text him if I needed him.
Well, one of the community acts later in the day as I was packing up used two channels, a handheld mic and a phone with music on it. At one point there was feedback and the person running music slid down all the levels on the all the channels of the board to make it stop. I should note that the reason there was feedback was the person with the mic stood in front of a speaker.
That person turning down everyone’s channels ruined the preset for the next day. Luckily I have what I need to easily recreate what I had before it got changed! Take a pic of the soundboard, it only takes a couple of seconds and can save you a pain later!
I was scrolling through Instagram last night and came upon a picture of overhead projector bills.
I was thinking of what could be done with these. I think you could create a makeshift projector using the flashlight on your phone. If you combined that with a glass table I think you could do some fun stuff on the ceiling.
One thought was you could do a “touch the screen” type effect with the bills on the ceiling for a group of people.
If you have a $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50 dollar bills and line them up in numerical order, you can do some spell count procedures to eventually force a bill. The basic routine would be:
Touch a bill and spell the value of it (ie ONE), jumping one bill per letter and keep touching that bill
Remove the end bills ($1 and $50)
Spell the value of one of the eliminated bills (ONE or FIFTY)
They are now on the $10
You could then reveal the prediction of having a ten dollar bill in your phone case.
I was hanging out with Chris Beason the other day and we were chatting about some tricks with a dollar bill.
One idea I had was that you mention that there are 13 arrows that the eagle is holding on the back of a dollar bill. You then do a double take and notice your bill has 14 arrows and is a misprint. You then pull a full size arrow out of the dollar bill!
It would be pretty easy to do, you’d need a gimmick like an appearing straw, but only about 24 inches long and glue an arrowhead to one end. Or cut the end to a point and paint it silver. It could be kept in a thumb tip, and possibly put a slit in the side of the tip to allow the arrow to be removed from it. The thumb tip is really only there to keep the arrow compress and easier to handle when rolled up.
While not the worlds greatest mystery, it would be a decent sight gag.
There’s a lot I don’t like about how a lot of card magic is presented. A lot of them are “magiciany” things that we think everyone knows. Let’s start with the fact that there’s a chunk of people that don’t know what the spade and club suits are called. We assume they know that, they don’t.
The one that gets me is that magicians expect people to know what the “mate” of a card is and they use the word “mate” which really is an industry term. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, but when we use industry terms it doesn’t really help. Recently I watched someone do a card trick, they showed the seven of spades and they asked, “what’s the mate to the seven of spades?” The person didn’t know what they were talking about. It would be easier to say, “that’s a black 7, so we’re looking for the other black 7, which would be the seven of clubs…” There’s really nothing gained by asking them what the mate is, and not telling them.
I think “mate cards” are the card magic version of calling scarves “silks”. It still works to convey the idea, but it doesn’t work really well.
My first night hanging out at Magic Live, there was a free show that I could attend. This show was technically not part of Magic Live. It was a show that was honoring the Amazing Jonathan. It was produced and hosted by The Shocker and it was a ton of fun!
The show was billed as an edgy show. Some of the people performing did their acts and other people did what felt like custom things for this show (I can’t imagine why they would do it anywhere else).
One of the highlights for me was Chris Korn. He did a strange thing where he “switched places” with someone from the audience. I’m not going to say what the trick was, you had to be there, but I will say the trick really fell flat, however I loved it. Chris took a risk, and big one and had to commit 100% to the bit. I admire and respect that!
The show makes me want to be more fearless onstage! -Louie
Yesterday I posted a video of me trying out a routine using cardboard milk caps in place of coins for a Three Fly style coins across routine. I sat down and wrote out a little routine for it.
These are milk caps, if you were a child of the 90’s they’re POGs and if you’re an alcoholic they’re coasters for your shot glass.
These were used in the early 1900’s to seal glass milk bottles to keep flies out and tuberculosis in.
There are three of them.
They switch hands faster than cooking a rare steak!
The news one goes hand to hand faster than milk goes through someone that’s lactose intolerant!
The last one disappears faster than a vegan in an ice cream parlor!
All three of them move hand to hand faster than you can applaud!
I feel like there should be a joke for the line, “There are three of them”. It could be something silly, like “Three milk caps, one for each of my twins“. That might be what is needed there.
I also don’t know how I feel about the tuberculosis line. It’s an interesting historical line about milk giving people tuberculosis in the 1800’s (read about it here). I don’t think it will get a laugh, and I try to not joke about illnesses. It’s not a dig at anyone who has tuberculosis, it’s a historical joke. People don’t process things with what was in my head when I wrote it, they hear a “trigger word” and there’s nothing you can do to convince them otherwise.
Sometimes you find things you weren’t expecting when you are searching for other things on the internet. I ended up finding a video clip of me performing an early version of the final version of my “invisible deck routine“, which I call Choices
Here it is:
It’s not really an invisible deck, but that’s how I describe the routine to other magicians as that gives them an easy idea of what the effect is. Before I go further, yes I understand the trick would be stronger if I said, “Name a card” then it was reversed. HOWEVER, that’s not what I’m going for. First of all, I’m trying to get a little bit more time out of the routine.
The video above starts about 45 seconds into the routine, so that gives me a routine that’s about 4 minutes. It also allows me to involve more than a couple people from the audience. The trick also reveals some personal information about me (that’s at the beginning of the routine that’s not in the video). The routine is a lot more personal than, “I had a dream someone picked a card and when I work up I flipped it over“.
I’m happy with how this routine has progressed since that was recorded in October. -Louie
One thing that struck me was the amount of love for the Amazing Jonathan I’m seeing in FB posts.
It’s not the love for him that’s surprising, it’s the people who are doing it. There are a lot of people who I know have swiped gags from the Amazing Jonathan’s show and use them in their show, but are posting RIP’s on their social media. Are they really mourning his passing, or are they mourning the passing of their source free material.
These posts are like being sad when circuit city whet out of business, but not being sad because you were a customer, but because you used to shoplift laptops and it was easy to steal from. If you’re really sad he’s passed, you’d put the rest all of the gags stole from his show.
In my virtual shows I started doing a card change with a flap card. I was isolating the card in a glass, then shaking the glass and the card changes to another card. I really like this, as it makes the change really impossible. The method is simple, it uses a flap card and the card it sitting at an angle. The weight of the card keeps the flap from flipping. Then simply shaking the glass allows the flap to flip for the change.
The other night I was watching a hockey game and playing around with using the flap card in the glass as a card transposition. Here’s what I came up with:
Here’s what the trick needs: It needs some scripting to call attention to just one of the cards. Mention that that jack of diamonds is in the glass, so that when it’s appears in your hand, they know something has happened. I think if you mention both cards, it gets confusing.