When I was a teenager I saw a magic lecture (Michael Close?) where they did a trick that left the audience with a little prop. I think it was an origami bunny from a dollar bill. The lecturer said that clients could see that the magician was actually working by how many people had the origami bunny.
The idea of having something visual that people walked around with after you performed for them has stuck with me. I’ve had versions of things over the years. Currently the end of my ambitious card has the face of the card peeled off and stuck to the person who drew on the card’s shirt.
Recently I was performing at a large event and afterwards the booker commented on how many people had my cards on their shirts. Having visual reminders for bookers that you’re there and working is smart! While not 100% necessary, it is helpful at large events where the booker may never see you.
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.
The other day I picked up a collection of used magic. As always the collection was 90% junk, however there were a couple of collectible things in the lot. There was a Milson Worth Chinese Flame Clock and a Mikame Treasure Box.
I really think the Flame Clock looks cool and it has a pretty unique effect. Here’s some video of what it does (the version is the video appears to be a different maker):
It’s a lot of work putting out a magic trick for sale! A lot of little things go into it that aren’t trick related. Things like writing ad copy and titles are things that I personally really don’t like doing.
After some brainstorming with friends we settled on Applause Please 2: The Encore. Personally I dislike tricks that use the 2.0 in the title, and really didn’t want to use the 2 in the title, but in this case it really made sense and it’s a HUGE upgrade from the original one.
I’m still doing the video editing of the instructions and the trailer for the props. There’s a lot more here than just the liquid in lightbulb, there will be two routines and possibly a third routine if I can find useable video of it from years ago.
Keep an eye out at Hocus-Pocus.com as the first batch is only 5 units and they’re getting all 5 of them, I’ll have none.
Looking into other performer’s cases to see how they set up their gear is always interesting to me. I’m always interested in other magician’s solutions to holding props. In that spirit, here’s a peek into my table top from a recent show:
All the smaller hand held props are in the table top, then the larger props and emergency/alternate tricks are in my prop case:
I also keep a set list taped to the inside of my case.
I’m still going through the JP Vallarino book and I hit this description of a card move. The only part I’m talking about is the paragraph that mentions fig 1 and fig 2 along with those pics:
Figure one doesn’t show the set up that’s mentioned in fig 1. Those aces shouldn’t be visible, as they should be on the bottom of the deck and it doesn’t show the indifferent cards. Figure two should show a pinkie break, not a thumb break.
Things like this make learning from the book difficult. I’m really surprised that no one noticed that there were wrong. If this book was a self published thing I’d expect small errors, but from a big magic company like Vanishing Inc, I’m amazed that got by them.
Now I’ll say something positive about the book. I just started the Ace Assemblies section of the book. The first one is called Ultimate MacDonald’s Aces and is pretty good! It’s very heavily gimmicked, but not really in the tradition sense for the MacDonald’s Aces.
I personally don’t really do ace assemblies, however if I did, I would probably do this one!
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!
Recently I was performing at an outdoor event where it dumped rain all day. My stage was covered so that was nice, but getting around the event I was frequently getting soaked. This the glamourous side of show biz:
In between shows I would go to my dressing room to dry off my socks and shoes so that I’d be comfortable at my next show! There’s nothing worse them stepping onstage and having something like wet shoes bug you. No one in the audience can see the discomfort, but it’s something that takes you mentally out of the show.
Keeping yourself comfortable in the show is important!
I’m a little bit late on this thinking as it’s May and Easter was weeks ago, but I’m surprised that no one is making Easter Peeps as sponges for the sponge ball/bunny trick. The make total sense and the marshmallow has a sponge like visual texture.
If you didn’t want to do a traditional “in their hands” style vanish and productions, you could use them more like multiplying bananas. They’re topical, visual and really wouldn’t take any additional skill to learn if you already do the bananas.
They really wouldn’t be hard to make a mold of, assuming the ingredients in the Peeps don’t have a bad reaction with the mold material. For me this is a deep back burner project, maybe I’ll get to it by next easter…