One of the tricks I’m adding to my virtual magic shows is Cee-Lo which is my cups and dice routine. One of problems going from an in person show a virtual show is that you can’t move the audience’s focus around as easily. At one point in the routine I need to load the cup and doing it in the room with people there is super easy, however it’s much harder with the focused eye of the camera.
Normally I would load this from my pocket, however that won’t work for the reason above. What I’m going to do is load from the table. I designed a holder for the dice and they will slide up into the cup from behind the table’s edge.
This holder is currently printing out and I’ll try it out later today. This is something that I normally couldn’t use in my live shows because I perform in conditions where people can frequently see behind my table. This is one of the interesting things about working on a virtual show, I can use techniques that don’t work for my in person show.
Yesterday I wrote about using “fishing techniques” on streaming magic shows, you can read the post here. Today I’m going to deal with a specific trick. Let’s not forget that I think that if you are doing a trick where you are asking questions to figure out what someone is thinking of, you need to have something physical as your prediction. That makes it harder to back track and figure out the method of the trick.
If you aren’t familiar with this deck, you can show it to be normal, have someone memorize a card and with asking just a few questions you can tell them the card they are thinking of. It’s great! The trick has a built in cheat sheet, but I simply printed out a flow chart and taped it to the wall behind my webcam. This is easier to read that the hidden in plain sight cheat sheet he gives you.
How I add a physical prediction to the trick is I have an envelope that I’m holding in my hand before the trick. The envelope ends up having the card they are thinking of in it. Having the card in the envelope makes it so that someone can’t say, “the magician just asked questions until he figured out the card“. Unfortunately that’s the logical solution that a non-magician would come up with and the correct one. Always add a physical prediction!
Every summer I try to add a trick to my show that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Usually whatever that trick is doesn’t make it into the show long term. It does scratch the itch for doing that trick and usually there’s a reason I hadn’t done it in my show.
One of the tricks I’ve always wanted to do is the dancing handkerchief. When I was a kid I did a Sid Fleishman‘s version when I street performed. Today while driving it hit me that a virtual show is the perfect venue for the dancing handkerchief. You can easily control the lighting and the audience’s viewpoint of the trick.
I bought John Calvert’s Casper The Friendly Ghost set a couple years ago when it popped up on a used magic website. I’ve always thought this was a great routine. I remember seeing him do it, if you haven’t seen it, here it is:
I think I’m going two play around with a version of this for virtual shows this summer!
I’m fascinated by the Vanishing Birdcage trick. I remember hearing stories of Bert Allerton doing the vanishing birdcage close up at tables. The story I remember reading was that he took the sides off of his cage so that it would vanish quicker and have less bulk in his sleeve.
There have been many other people that have done the cage, and solved many problems. For example, using a Take Up Reel to allow you to do the cage later in your show.
The biggest challenge is how do you deal with the cage after the vanish (if it’s not your closer)? There are a lot of solutions ranging from using a small, flexible cage and just leaving it in your sleeve, to having a secret pocket in your pants your ditch it in.
Recently it hit me, that a virtual magic show is a great place to use the cage in the middle of the show. After the vanish you could have a title card that says “no rubber birds were hurt in this trick” or something like that. Then in the few seconds that plays, you ditch the cage. As long as you use title cards previously in your show, it won’t feel out of place.
When I perform and have tried doing the solid shell kicker, it never played how I’d like. I think there’s a disconnect between the shell game and when the solid shell is reveals, it’s a little out of left field. I was playing around with an ending as a topper to the kicker of the solid shells that I found in an old notebook of mine.
Many years ago I made up some force dice for a couple of magic lectures. These dice force two numbers on command. I’ve had a few of unsold sets kicking around my office for a few years. About a week ago I was jamming with some magicians over Skype and we were talking about forcing items online. I remembered these dice and how they’d make a great way to for an object in a virtual show.
Here’s a video that I made that explains how to use them in a virtual show:
The cool thing about these dice and gimmick is that you can let the person change their mind after the first roll and reroll. That makes it seem super fair, however it doesn’t change how the force works.
The leftover batch of dice sold out immediately after listing them for sale. The demand was there and I made a second batch and those also immediately sold out. I may make another batch of the dice and gimmicks in the future. If you’re interested in a set of the force dice, contact me and I’ll put you on the list.