Strait Jacket and Chain Escape!

I’m relearning to do the strait jacket escape while wrapped in 50 feet of chain. One of the things that I recently figured out, which made me feel dumb that I never realized this before was the chain management.

straitjacket and chain escape

I used to just throw the chain in the bottom of my case. The problem with that is that it would frequently tangle. I started keeping it on a spool and it makes a huge difference! The spool makes laying it out and cleaning it up really easy!

The locks also are locked to the spool making it an neat and tidy package!

-Louie

Charlie Frye’s Sleightly Absurd – Review

I’m finally wrapping up reading Charlie Frye‘s magic book Sleightly Absurd. I picked this up at Hocus Pocus in Fresno way back in October when I was visiting their shop.

Charlie Frye's magic book Sleightly Absurd

This book is a fun read and it has a lot of “non traditional” magic book feeling routines in it. The routines have endings to them, which is something that lacks in many magic books by magicians who aren’t out there working. The other thing is that Charlie isn’t a “I do easy stuff so I can concentrate on performing” type of person. He’s doing things with whatever level of difficulty that the trick requires to make the trick the best. Sometimes that’s means hard sleight of hand and sometimes it’s a math principle. I totally respect that approach!

One of the interesting things for me is towards the back of the book there’s Charlie’s approach to Any Card at Any Number. It’s a fairly standard approach where you use a memorized deck and a variety of techniques to get the card at the desired number. He does a great job of breaking down his thought process how determines the best way to go about it and describes many scenarios.

For me the best part is how he calculates the stack number backwards (from the face of the deck).

any card at any number

I had to read that part about half a dozen times for it to make sense for me and once I did, it made total sense! I also figured out a way to get rid of having to remember the pairs, they all all up to 3 or 13, so there’s no memorization of the five pairs, just remembering one rule. This is a game changer for me, it makes the doing the math from the face of the deck insanely easy! This one little thing is worth the price of the book if you use a memorized deck!

This is a great book and totally worth the $75 it sells for!

– Louie

Vintage Magic Trick: Fly Cards II by Aldo Columbini

Fly Cards II by aldo columbini

I was playing with Fly Cards II by Aldo Columbini from 1991. I’m not familiar with Fly Cards I, so I can’t compare the two to talk about the improvements that this one has over the original. The effect is similar to an ace assembly, you have four cards with flies on them and a dozen blank cards. You make put 3 blank cards on each card with a fly. The first fly disappears and reappears in the next packet, so that packet now has two flies. Then those disappear and reappear in the third, so that packet now has three. Finally the three flies disappear and you accidentally tap the fourth packet revealing the surprise ending of four smashed flies.

Here’s a demo:

@louiefoxx Vintage Magic Trick! Fly Cards II by #AldoColumbini #magictrick #magic #sleightofhand #cardmagic #elmsleycount #antiquemagic #louiefoxx #petermaloney #magician ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

What I like about the trick is the progressive assembly, where the flies keep moving to the next packet. What I don’t like is the flies. It’s strange theming, maybe something like honey bees would be better, but then the smashed ending would have to be different as you don’t want to smush honey bees. I think this idea would be interesting in an ace assembly context, however the problem is that I don’t think it would work out as you’re passing off one card as two several times.

It’s a good trick, and I think if someone spent some time thinking of a better theme OR used it as a custom thing for a social media video it’d be useful!

-Louie

Harvesting Magnets and Shims

Whenever I get any product that comes in the fancy box that has a magnetic flap in it, I always rip out the magnets and metal shims before I recycle the boxes.

magnet and metal shim for magic

The magnets and shims are very thin, which makes them great for magic!

magnet and metal shim for magic

The round shims are perfect for adding t playing cards or dollar bills!

Look around you at product packaging that you would normally just get rid of. There’s tons of useful things, like clear, rigid plastic. I used that to make the gimmick for my signed cracker routine.
The round shims are perfect for adding t playing cards or dollar bills!

Look around you at product packaging that you would normally just get rid of. There’s tons of useful things, like clear, rigid plastic. I used that to make the gimmick for my signed cracker routine.

Magician Garage Sale!

Over the weekend my buddy Mike Dobias hosted a magic garage sale! Mike had bought out the inventory of Mickey Hades magic shop in the 1990’s and wanted to get what was left of it out of his garage. He also had some of his old personal props from his shows and let me bring a couple of boxes of stuff.

magic garage sale

There were some fun surprises, like a stack of Bill Goldman’s Monkey in the Middle trick, Dean Gunnarson’s Escape Artist trading cards and Bob Driebeck’s Necktie Servante that was put out by Nielson Magic!

I took home a banker’s box full of old packet tricks, which will end up on my Tik Tok where I show “vintage magic tricks”. If you aren’t following me on Tik Tok, shoot over there and give me a follow at: https://www.tiktok.com/@louiefoxx

Then there was the social aspect of hanging out and BSing with other magicians! It was a fun day!

-Louie

Evaporation + FREE Out For Beers

One of my favorite gimmicks and one that I use in almost all of my stage shows is Evaporation!  This is a way to make liquid vanish from a single serve bottle of Sunny D (orange juice).  The “effect” is similar to a Magic Milk Pitcher, however the method is very different.
This gimmick is super versatile, and over the years I’ve used it for a lot of different routines.  Click the play button below to watch the video:
I just made a big batch of them, and if order one now through July 20th, 2024 I’ll include my trick Out For Beers (a $19 value) for free with it!  

You don’t need to do anything special to get this deal, simply order the Evaporation trick and I’ll automatically include it with your order.

You can get more information or order Evaporation visit:
https://www.magicshow.tips/evaporation-magic-trick-vanishing-liquid/

Assigned Street Performing Spots are Lame

A few weeks ago I was performing at a fair. I was doing street style shows and they gave me an assigned spot and assigned times. On paper this sounds like a good idea, however in practice it’s usually a horrible idea. 99% of the time the entertainment coordinator doesn’t walk the grounds at different times of the day to see where the shade is.

Here’s one of my assigned spots a few minutes before my assigned start time:

street magic show spot

I should mention it was over 90 degrees out and you’ll notice there’s no shade. If you look to the right, you’ll see my case is in the shade, but most of the case is in the sun. There’s zero usable shade at this spot and very few people will stand in the sun for more than a few minutes. I personally will stand in the sun as I’m getting paid, but I don’t expect an audience to do that.

However a little bit up the pathway there’s this spot:

street magic show spot

There’s plenty of shade and I decided to “go rogue” and do my magic show there with shade for the audience. I was able to get people to stop here and watch the show.

Personally I’m a “ask for permission” person and not a just do it and “ask for forgiveness” person. However this was a situation where it made sense and if anyone asked about it, I could simply show them the pictures and I think they’d agree with me. Also I’d probably walk that person into the full sun spot and then show them the pictures and talk for a long time and watch them get uncomfortable in the sun to emphasize my point.

-Louie

Close up magic vest

When I was a teenager there was an ad in magic magazines for a close up magician’s vest. The thing that made this vest unique was that it had something like 50 pockets! That’s a lot of close up magic to carry around with you…50 tricks!!!

When I was at Hocus-Pocus a couple of weeks ago, I ran into one of them and it was glorious (in a strange way)!

close up magic vest

This is something that I think is supposed to be worn under a coat, so its not super visible…however I can imagine seeing a clueless magician wearing this as outerwear to show off how many tricks they have on them!

It was great to finally see something that I had only seen the ad for and even back then thought it was a questionable idea…but I’m also glad that someone had a vision and brought this to market. I think you have to go too far to know you’ve gone too far!

-Louie

Low to the Ground

During one of my street style sets at the fair yesterday I had a group of younger kids show up and I knocked my table down so that they could see the table top.

street performing magic table

I was surprised that this instantly built a larger crowd. I’m not sure why more people wanted to watch. It does make the table top more visible to the front edge of the crowd and maybe it makes people huddle in and look like they’re watching something interesting. I’m not sure why it worked, and maybe that was a one off sorta thing, but I’m going to try it again today and see what happens.

-Louie

Happy Birthday USA!

In the USA it’s Independence Day, which is the birthday of the United States. Way back in 1796, which is the country’s bicentennial, there was a trick put out called Happy Birthday USA: The Bi-Centennial Card Trick by Shigeo Futagawa.

Happy Birthday USA: The Bi-Centennial Card Trick by Shigeo Futagawa

This is a card trick where you have cards that all have red and white stripes on the back, and the numbers on the front. The numbers are 1976, and they change into 1776 and then the backs change to make a flag!

Here’s a demo of the trick:

@louiefoxx Fourth of July Vintage Magic Trick! #fourthofjuly #4thofjuly #america #1776 #usa #cardtrick #closeupmagic#vintagemagictrick #antique #louiefoxx #vintage #independenceday ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

What I thought was interesting is that in a era of Emerson and West packet tricks with confusing instructions, this has very well laid out instructions that are easy to read!

Happy Birthday USA: The Bi-Centennial Card Trick by Shigeo Futagawa

This trick is a good example of capitalizing on an event in the future. I wonder how many of these that were sold, but I also wonder how many were unsold and thrown away on new years day in 1977!

-Louie