Last week I did a run of school assemblies that were sponsored by a library system to promote their summer reading programs. The show I was doing my my Incredible Idioms school assembly show, which I wrote for a 6 week school assembly tour in January/February of this year.
The challenge remembering the show as the last time I did the show was mid February, so about 3 months ago. What works for me to relearn a show is to listen to audio recordings of the show. This is also why it’s important to record your shows. It’s not hard to do, simply use the voice recorder on your phone.
The week before I had these shows I listened to the audio of the show while I drove in the car or on headphones as I worked around the house. For me passively listening really helps my brain bring back the “mental muscle memory” of the show. This is something that also helps for learning a new show or routine. I record myself doing the script and listen to it over and over while doing other things.
Hope you remember this tip when you need to relearn a show!
The other day I wrote about working on a variation of Alan Wakeling‘s trick Aces Front. Here’s the rough outline of the sequence of events:
I think the sequence is good, where I think there’s a sense of progression. For the first card, I do touch the deck before it goes into the glass. For the second card, it happens with the deck in the glass the whole time and then the card rise for the final card.
What’s fun is my starting point was something like Aces Front, but my end point is something completely different than Aces Front. I always love it when there are a couple of twists in working on a variation of an existing trick that leads you to something completely new.
Many, many years ago when I was a teenager, I remember a trick if Tarbell that used a wine glass and a deck of cards. The deck was in the wine glass and the card at the front of the deck changed. Then a few years later Lance Burton did it on TV and the version he did was basically Alan Wakeling’s Aces Front.
I’ve liked this idea and for a long time wanted to do a version with three selected cards. The first two appear at the front of the deck and the third one rises out of the top of the pack. I’ve had all the stuff I need to try to figure out the trick, however just lacked time/motivation to start playing with it.
I’m coming up with a lot of challenges for the trick. The main one is that with only a couple of cards, the deck will be in a crazy face up and face down condition for what I’m envisioning. Then it hit me, what if I revealed the a card this way:
This was a situation where playing with the cards ended up coming up with a solution for changing a card inside of a wine glass, and one that I don’t think has really been done before.
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.
Recently in a Facebook group someone was asking about a way to make it look like their puppet was drinking. My Evaporation prop was mentioned and I immediately had some people ask me how to use the prop with one hand.
Yesterday I wrote about some collectible magic tricks that I had recently acquired. I was looking at the Mikame Treasure Box and thought it could be more than just a production of silks or spring flowers.
One of the things that I added and really like, but I think gets lost is that the single silk becomes tied to the chain of silks. There’s really not much to this, it’s just a couple of magnets. Then I think the trick needed a finish, besides a lot of silks, so ending with the drink production puts an end to the trick.
It was fun to brainstorm something fun with this prop!
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.