Are there any magic tricks that you’ve always wanted to perform? I’m not talking about the flavor of the month, new trick that just came out. A trick that you read about or saw as a kid, and you still think about decades later?
I’ve had many, and luckily for me I’ve gotten to do many of them. In the summer I do some library shows and those have allowed me to work on new tricks for my show and do them a lot in a short amount of time. What’s great about that is I quickly figure out if I like the trick or not. If I like the trick and so do audiences, then I can move that trick up to my main show.
Usually the tricks I’ve always wanted to do don’t make it into the main show. However it’s nice to have done them and scratched the itch and no longer feel the need to do them. There is one trick that I keep coming back to, and that’s the Multiplying Billiard Balls.
I did a version of Alan Wakeling’s routine on a tour of 90-ish shows. The routine got really tight and while I liked it, I think it didn’t connect with the audience as much as I thought it should. I did a routine one summer that produced 4 balls with no shell! I really enjoying doing that routine, as it had some creative moves in it.
I frequently do a ball manipulation sequence in my show, and that for the most part keeps me satisfied and I don’t feel I need to work on the multiplying balls. That is until recently. I had an idea for a non traditional version of the trick. This version only uses one ball that the audience is aware of. I’m excited about working on this trick because it’s so unusual!
That brings me back to John Carney’s book Magic by Design. In this book he talks about how there are tricks you will constantly come back to. It’s because they may not be right for you now, but they may be right for you in a year. I totally agree with him, I find ideas in notebooks that I didn’t expand at the time, but that’s probably because I couldn’t. I lacked the knowledge, or hadn’t thought of a second part to it that would make the trick possible.
TLDR: Keep revisiting old tricks that you like.