Yesterday I started messing around with the Silver Extraction coin trick. Traditionally how the trick goes, is you give them the coin that they hold in their fist. You then pull the silver (silver blob) through their hand and they are left with a clear coin. I think the pulling through the hand is fun, but I think this particular set of coins has a different effect possible.
here’s the idea:
I like the visual of the shaking and having the silver blob sliding around on top of the copper center of the coin. Method wise, I’m not sure it’s an improvement over just a shuttle pass. I’ll be trying out both methods today at the fair.
Many years ago I bought a trick in a bin of discount magic that was a change of a spoon to a fork. When I opened the package, I thought it was garbage, and as written in the instructions, it really was garbage. Then I started presenting this as a transposition between and fork and a spoon and it played much better. It’s a real fooler for audiences.
This trick has basically lived in my preshow for years, but never made it up into the main show. It was missing something. I ran the trick through a workshop group I’m in and they all thought it needed a surprise ended. They were pulling for a spork, which is funny, but I think it lacks visual contrast from a spoon or fork as an ending.
Here’s what I came up with yesterday:
I do like the surprise of the knife. Now the routine needs to be fleshed out a bit more and performed for an audience a bit and we’ll see if it goes anywhere…
Here’s another one of my videos where I try to improve packet tricks that I’ve come across. This one is called It’s a Joke-r by Bill Pryor. Here’s the video of it done with the original instructions and then a revised version for a real audience:
The trick is sort of a Princess Card Trick with a kicker, but it’s poorly executed. The whole part of putting a card in your pocket, just to pull it out I don’t like. I also don’t like waiting for the audience to want to turn over the cards on the table for the kicker to happen. If they do turn them over, it’s great, but if they don’t, the trick is just OK.
The changes I made of have a card thought of by me and the person from the audience gives the trick a little more depth. Then never putting a card in my pocket, but keeping it in my hand adds a lot to the trick. Finally having a reason for them to turn over the cards to discover the jokers guarantees they get revealed.
This is a trick that takes up way too much pocket space for how good the trick is. I don’t think the original or my revised version justifies the use of space.
Last week I did a blog post about a torn card trick (read it here) and I had a chance to do some work on it and try to improve it. I eliminated the use of the Intersessor gimmick, as it made the trick more complex because I had to ditch it, and it’s not easy to palm.
Here’s the second version:
I think this is a better way to do it, and it got a good reaction.
I’ve been working on my technique for making the card jump out and it’s getting better. I’m consistently getting bigger jumps of the card from the deck. What’s missing is the effect. Right not it’s now clear what’s going on. I also need to figure out a better way to vanish the torn pieces.
Hopefully I’ll have a version 3 soon-ish
This is a packet trick revision of a trick called Ghost Cards. The following video has me do the trick as written in the instructions, followed by me trying to improve it.
The main problem with the trick as written is that there’s a lot of props and procedure to make one side of one card appear. In my revised version you can make four faces appear, which makes much more sense than just one. While not in the video, you can reverse the procedure to make the cards disappear at the end.
This is a trick that snuck into my close up set at the fair I recorded the video at. I forgot to take it out of my pocket the first day, and it lived there all week and I did it all week. It was fun, and I did it for people who had seen me multiple times as something different for them, but it’s not making it into the regular set.
Personally I dislike using a torn corner to identify a card or bill. It’s very clunky compared to having is signed and you lose the punch of the item reappearing and having it immediately identifiable.
Ok, that’s out of the way, now I’m doing to explain why I’m playing with a trick with a torn corner.
A long time ago when Gaeton Bloom’s Intersessor trick came out, I thought it would lend itself to a trick in Tarbell where a card jumps out of the deck when the end is riffled. I never did it because $50 to play with an idea that I would probably never use was a bit steep. Recently I found a super deal on a used Intersessor gimmick and bought it.
Here’s me trying out the idea before my show and my comments on it:
I think I’m going to switch it up and use a corner switch or a scored duplicate card instead of the Intersessor gimmick. That will solve having to ditch the gimmick. With scored card or corner switch, it will allow me to use a bigger tear which will let me do a bigger tear and get a bigger jump of the card.
Here’s another packet trick that I got from a collection of magic that I’m revising. Today it’s Five Card Surprise, and there was not creator listed on the packaging. It’s sort of like an illogical princess card trick.
Here’s the video of me doing it the original way as written, then doing a revised version for a real audience:
This trick suffers from trying to make it easy to do. What I mean by that is the card selection is you simply telling them what card to take. I think it not being a choice weakens the trick a lot. The simple addition of a force of the card (any force) greatly improves the trick.
People still shoot me notes asking questions about my Take Up Reel. One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “will it work with the vanishing birdcages from India?”
The answer is yes, here’s a video of me doing it with one of them:
Pretty much if you can vanish it with a traditional wrist to wrist birdcage pull, then you can vanish it with my take up reel!
Recently I ended up with a collection of magic tricks and in that collection there were a bunch of packet tricks. Most weren’t very good, but that got me thinking about trying to improve them. The first one that I tried was called 4 Card Monte, and there are a lot of packet tricks with this title, so don’t judge them all by this one.
Here’s the effect as written in the instructions, then the effect reworked by me:
The trick as written is pretty bad, and doesn’t make much sense with the addition of a fifth card at the end. I think my version where there’s only four cards shown the whole time makes more sense. The addition of the kicker ending really adds a punctuation to the end.
One thing I think that’s important when you get a magic trick is to not discard because you don’t like the trick as written. Play with it and see if you can make it work!
I’m cleaning out the computer and found a video of a magic jam from a while ago when my state was briefly open for people to hang out before closing again. Jamming in person is the way to go, you can creatively play off of each other a lot more efferently than over Zoom.
In the video there are a couple of cool tricks. The trick with the arrow drawn on a card and it makes the coin move was interesting to figure out. Then the ketchup packet to ketchup filled portion cup looked great!
If you don’t jam with other magicians, you are really missing out on fun, and working on your creativity!