Esoteric Kennedy AND Washington

Years ago Charlie Frye put out a little gimmick that let you spin a poker chip on your finger tip called Frye’s Chips. Here’s the video of it:

It’s a clever little gimmick that does exactly what’s in the video. I always thought it’d be cool to do it with a coin and not a poker chip. However I think the reason he did it with a poker chip is that it’s easier to gimmick a poker chip than a coin.

The idea has been in my head and a couple months ago I was at Hocus-Pocus digging around in some junk magic bins and found the card and coin for the trick Esoteric Kennedy.

Here’s the demo of Esoteric Kennedy:

The coin from that trick should work for the Frye’s Chips trick. Now I need to make the other half of the gimmick to see if it will actually spin on my finger!

In playing with the Esoteric Kennedy props, I thought that the trick really should be done with a dollar bill, as the coin and card really aren’t connected. I moved the gimmick from the card to a dollar bill:

It looks OK on a video, but I’m going to be 100% honest, the trick isn’t good for actual performance…whether it’s the original version with the card, or my version with the bill. The problem with the trick is that everything is gimmicked and nothing can be examined. You could switch out all of the props, do a Bobo Switch for the coin and top change for the card, but is all that work worth the trick?

I don’t think so…

That said, it’s probably fine for social media.


The Moisture Festival Podcast – Skilldini

On this episode we welcome in via zoom the one and only Skilldini (aka Tim Wright). Tim discusses how he stumbled into working at a magic manufacturer, the skills he learned while working with them and how that led to a lifetime of funny stories.

We learn about his time making safety videos for fork lifts and he even gives us a little glimpse into some of his tricks (and safety demo’s.) A fun conversation that will make you laugh. 

Remote Controlled Chattering Teeth

Yesterday I finished up a batch of Remote Controlled Chattering Teeth! These are on their way out to Hocus-Pocus and you can order them there (I currently don’t have any in stock)!

These are a ton of fun in kid/family shows! The next batch that I’ll be starting next week are all spoken for and I’ve ordered parts for another batch, which will be ready to ship the first week of December (would arrive in time for Christmas…hint, hint).

If this is a prop you’re interested in, order now to get in line for the next available units! You can order here:


The Moisture Festival Podcast – Tom Murphy

On this episode of the podcast we welcome in (from Germany) the hilarious Tom Murphy.

We learn about how being a gymnast led to being an acrobatic skier and how the combination of those two led him into physical comedy. Tom tells us about his unlikely friendship with Patrick Dempsey and how that led to a role in one of Matt’s favorite movies. A fun interview across international borders with a moisture festival is great. You are going to love it. 

Match Magic…

A long time ago I wrote an idea in a notebook, and it’s something I’ll never do, but even those ideas are important to write down. It needs a gimmick that I don’t have and have fallen out of fashion. A few weeks ago I was digging through the bins of broken and incomplete magic at Hocus-Pocus and found the needed gimmick to make the gimmick for my idea!

Here’s the trick (my idea is at the end):

I don’t think anyone has really used a match pull for a reproduction of the match after the vanish in a thumb tip. Usually they are used simply for the production of a lit match, then used to light flash paper/string in a stage manipulation act.

Unfortunately I think this trick is 50 years too late as magic with matches is really out of fashion with there being virtually no venues that allow smoking and with fire getting more and more difficult to insure. Had I thought of this in the 1970’s I would have a sure fire hit!


The Moisture Festival Podcast – Alex Bistrevsky

In this episode of the Moisture Festival Podcast we welcome in comedian, writer, actor and stunt performer Alex Bistrevsky.

Over Zoom we learn about how Alex got approached at a Starbucks to be a circus performer and how he turned that interaction into a career. We learn about his move to LA and how his contract with himself fueled him to work his butt off. A really great interview with a performer who does a little bit of everything. 

Using Anverdi’s Color Match

In the spirit of fairness to Murphy’s Magic Anverdi Color Match, and not just being old and stud I tried using it at all of my shows yesterday and I kept hitting hurdles and having to default to my “out” for when the gimmicks fail for every show.

The problems I’m having is that the with the pens in the cup, I don’t get enough movement from them to trigger the thumper from their initial grab of the pen. I’ve played with different sensitivities, however that also presents a new challenge. In my show I need to move the easel that has the paper and pens and that triggers the pens. The Murphy’s Magic set does have a reset button, which is great, except that I keep the thumper in my sock and can’t push the button. Unfortunately due to what I wear, I don’t have a lot of options of where to put the thumper where I can reach the reset button.

I also tried having the pens on my table, but how my table is configured there isn’t a lot of space, and moving the table triggers the thumpers. Sure I could keep the pens in the off position, move the table, then put them in the on position, however I don’t have that much real estate on my table for two spaces for the pens.

I’m not saying that the Murphy’s Magic Color Match set is bad, it just doesn’t work for how I perform. I’ll probably keep the set around for a bit and try to figure out how t make them work for me (as a back up set), or find a use for them and if I don’t I’ll get tired of them kicking around my office and sell them.


Magic Show Openers…

Last week I saw a lot of concerts and one thing that I noticed is all of the performers got right into what they do. No lengthy intros, just BAM right into it!

Sadly soo many magicians don’t do get into it right away. Their opening lines are way too long and don’t do anything. If there’s a laugh, or character building, that’s great and acceptable. Unfortunately magicians like to talk for 3 mins about quantum whatever that they really have no knowledge about before they get to the trick. When you walk onstage you need to give the audience something. Your opening lines aren’t a good spot for giving the audience a fake science talk. It doesn’t establish you at all, sure it may justify the trick, but there’s time for that…and that’s deeper in the show, not your opener.

I don’t believe you need to open with a “flash opener”, but something a little bit quicker than a 20 minute bill in lemon routine. A good option that’s not a flash trick is opening with some stand up comedy about yourself or the venue gives the audience something (a laugh).

Save the TED talk for deeper in your show.


Roving and Stage Highlights…

Here’s the highlight reel of my shows at a fair last week!

You’ll notice the peeling off the center of a card trick in there. I’m really liking the trick and starting to think that I don’t necessarily need to custom print anything, and that I can use what currently exists to do the trick. One of the cool things about doing roving at a fair, you can do a trick hundreds of times in a short amount of time. You learn if something works or not very quickly!


Magician’s Choice….

I think it’s time we need to accept the fact that most kids that know a card trick no longer do the 21 card trick. This is mostly due to YouTube tutorials, and that’s great, that’s one place where YouTube “exposure” has moved magic forward. There’s a lot more variety in what’s kids do now!

The trick above, wasn’t a really good trick. It was a very clunky verbal magician’s choice style force to make me think of a face card, then a very clunky physical magician’s choice force to make me select a card. For a kid that only does one trick, it’s a fine gateway trick to your second trick and they’re actively involved in making the trick work, not just doing math.

A few weeks ago someone had asked in a magician’s social media group about how to practice equivoque, and I used to do a card trick that was inspired by something I saw Bob Sheets do. Basically you are forcing a pile, it’s not too crazy. I haven’t done it in many, many years, but I made a quick video to help that person out.

It’s fun to do and a great way to practice making the decisions feel like actual decisions. Go out and give it a try!