Auto Spring Fan Card Revelation

When I travel, I usually have a ziploc bag full of things that I can use to make gaffed items or fix broken gaffs.

magic trick inventors kit

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about gimmicking an Auto Spring Fan. It’s because of this bag of stuff I was able to start work on making the gimmicked Auto Spring Fan.

Gimmicked auto spring fan with flap card

I spent some time splitting cards, so that they fan wouldn’t be super thick and glued them over the existing backs of the cards on the fan, and added a flap card

Auto spring fan card revelation

I’m happy to report from a technical standpoint, the trick functions properly. The next step will be to actually try it for an audience!


Auto Spring Fan…

The other day I was at a magic shop in Mesa, AZ and I bought an auto spring fan of cards on a whim. If you don’t know what an Auto Spring Fan is, it’s a packet of cards that pops open into a fan automatically. I thought I was probably just going to have a kid hold them in pictures after the show.

Magic shop mesa, AZ

During the drive to the gig, I thought about what else could be done with them. There’s not a lot you can do besides open them. Then I got an idea, they could be used as a card revelation. The idea is the whole fanned deck would turn into the selected card.

I realized that if I held the closed deck face down and fanned them so that I was tightening the spring, I could show the backs of the cards on the edge that’s normally hidden.

This allows me to have all the cards on the back (except for the top card) to have the corner shown when fanned to be the same card. Having the top card change would simply be making a flap card.

…at least that’s how it is in my head. Now to actually make the gimmick, which is the real work!



I was on the road and ran out of things to autograph for people at the show, so I made a quick order for some new postcards

Magician autograph postcards

Printing has changed in my lifetime. My first business cards cost way more than these postcards and were only black and white…and took about a month to make. I had these in about a week from when I ordered them.

You will notice that on the back I have Magic and Comedy, and when listed, I try to put magic first. It’s a little thing where people like to use “comedy magician” , however in my show the magic is first…at least in my mind.

There’s really no excuse, aside from laziness to not have promo. I will go on record saying that sometimes laziness is a valid excuse!


William’s Magic in Tuscon

Last week I was performing about 45 minutes from Tuscon, AZ in a small town. I saw there was a magic shop in Tuscon, so I made the drive up to William’s Magic. I had heard of Williams Magic in the past, they had a mobile magic shop that travelled the country and went to magic conventions and clubs.

Williams magic shop in tuscon

I had a blast chatting with Emory and while it’s mostly a pitch shop, he had a few things that I needed (like a double face deck).

Williams magic shop in tuscon

The district that the shop was in allowed walking beers, so it was a rare occasion that I got to have a local beer in a local magic shop!

Williams magic shop in tuscon

I always try to be good about supporting magic shops when I travel. If you don’t support them, you can’t complain when they close!

Photo Ops!

When you are out performing, I always try to keep an eye out for photo ops. Moments where I can take a picture and it will make good social media content. Once you do this a while you start to have some ones you do often. Things like a dog watching my flea circus or law enforcement playing the three shell game!

Three shell game

Once you have a few “hits” you know what to look for, but don’t get soo blinded by the hits that you aren’t on the look out for new things!

card sticker on kid

For example the new thing I’m doing where I peel the picture off of the card and stick it onto a kid. This is a great photo op!


ReLearning Dice Stacking…

When I was younger I used to dice stack and was pretty good at it…but that was 20 years ago. I’ve played with it off and on over the last few decades, but never really worked too hard at in. I’m trying to keep up the skill, and not sure what I want to do with it, but I’d like to get past a bit of the basic skill I’ve retained.

This week at the AirBnB, I put my dice and cup in the kitchen and whenever I walk by it I have to practice!

dice stacking magic trick

I have a little three phase routine that I have to do. It’s four dice one at a time, then two pairs of two and finally all four dice at once. If I fail on any of the stacks I need to start over. This should help me get my skills back a little bit. Once I get those stacks consistent, I’m going to start working on some more exotic stacks.


Always Learning

Last week in the green room when Jeremy Schafer, who is a juggler and also an origami master asked me if I wanted to learn how to make an origami model. Of course I said yes, and I was already learning, I didn’t know that the origami you make is called “models”.

jeremy schafer origami

I was his test folder for an original origami model of his. Here’s his tutorial for how to make the Heptagonal Box with Lid and I make an appearance at the end

Whenever you have the opportunity to learn from someone who is an expert, do it!


Clean Your Gear!

One of the things about working a lot is you see your gear a lot and how dirty your stuff gets sneaks up on you. I try to give all of my gear a good cleaning at the end of every run. One thing that I missed was my microphone windscreen. It’s probably been a month or so since I replaced it.

It’s pretty gross!

Then there’s my shoes, I wipe them down every day. Here’s them at the end of a 6 day fair run:

They get a good cleaning at the end of the run. If I didn’t give them a quick clean everyday, they would get crazy gross and the deep clean a the end of the week gets them ready for the next contract!

…so the moral of the story is clean everything, not just the show props!


Here’s a Joke For You…

One of the things I hate is when people tell me they “have a joke that I can use in my act“, then proceed to tell the me the lamest, street joke. I always let them tell it to me, and laugh to be polite, but it’s never a good or original joke.

I recently had a musician working the same event as I was “give” me this joke:
You show a beer and say, “I’m going to make this beer disappear” then you drink the beer. It’s a stupid joke because everyone gets to the punchline before you can deliver, that and the payoff isn’t that good. I’m sure some hack comedy magicians will tell me they kill with that gag, and if they actually do, good for them.

ever filling glass magic trick

One of the reasons I always let the person tell me the joke is you never know what it will spark in your brain. The joke made me think of the old Ever Filling Glass. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s a glass that you drink from and then it’s full again.

Here’s a demo video of it I found:

If you pared that trick with joke, you might have something that has a magical pay out.

You show the glass and a handkerchief. Say “the beer will disappear” and cover it with the handkerchief. Pretend to drink the beer from under the handkerchief and then show the cup almost empty. You then recover the glass, say, “it’s going to reappear…now!” and whisk the handkerchief away to show it’s now full again!

I think this would also work with Mago Murphy’s Appearing Beer Trick, you’d just have to work it slightly differently, starting with the full beer and stealing the gimmick while you pretend to drink it.

I don’t think I’ll ever do this, but it’s an idea…


Street Show Table…

Well, I think I’ve finally accepted that virtual shows aren’t really a part of my business any longer. Sure, I can see one or two occasionally popping up, but they are really in my rear view mirror. Before heading out on the road last week, I disassembled my virtual show table and it returned to its former life as my street show table.

street show buskers magic table

I still have all the parts and can easily rebuild it for virtual shows. One of the things that I really liked about the table was how high it was. The base was a speaker stand, and the table was about armpit height. The reason it was soo high was so that I could easily frame my face and the tabletop in the camera frame.

I’m a little sad to see the virtual show go, it was fun to do.