I feel like I’ve put a lot of work into the table I’m using for virtual shows. I think it’s really made a difference in the flow of the show. It’s soo much more efficient use of space than how I was previously doing it.
Here’s one view of the shelf:
And here’s the shelf rotated 180 degrees:
The nice thing with having holders is that I can look down and immediately know if something isn’t there as it’s holder will be empty. There are two wild cards as far as set up goes, the rest of the props can stay set up all the time. Those are the Gypsy Yarn and the silk in apple/peach. Both of those routines I set up on the day of the show.
You’ll also notice some redundancies, like each trick that uses a pen has it’s own pen. This is because I don’t want to be searching around for a pen, and it makes sure I have a back up pen if one dries out.
The holder I was printing out the other day is finished and works great! I designed this to display to hold an envelope, or jumbo card upright so that it’s more visible than laying flat on a table. I also put a magnet inside of it so that I can simply stick it to the front of my small case.
Here’s the finished holder:
Here it is holding a giant card:
It holds it very securely, the card won’t fall out under normal circumstances.
It also hit me that I could put a magnet behind my virtual backdrop and use it there.
If I end up using it for virtual shows, I’ll need to print out another one to keep with that show’s props. I really dislike moving props around from case to case. That’s a easy way to forget or lose things.
A couple of days ago I posted a video of a coin production and vanish I had played with a little while ago. Then a day later I posted a video of a short routine idea with that coin production. Those videos were works in progress, and it’s still a work in progress, however I’m working on solving one of the problems, which is probably one of the biggest problems. That is triggering the coin appearance or vanish.
Essentially I needed to design a triggering system for the coin. Here’s what I came up with:
I designed it and it’s 3d printing right now. I’ll assemble it later today and hopefully it will work without any major redesigns!
One of the Facebook groups that I belong to is a Magician’s 3D Printing group. It’s an interesting group, a few people in it are making some cool stuff. Recently someone asked if anyone had made a chop cup before. I mentioned that I had and made stack of nested cups as a final load for it.
I no longer have the set of cups, but here’s an idea of what they looked like:
This set was 100% inspired by Gary Ouellet‘s column Fulminations in Genii Magazine where he had a series of nested cups as the ending for a cups and balls routine. This led to my Russian Shell Game trick, which is a Three Shell Game that ends with a ton of shells on the table.
The fun thing about the time we live in, is with a little bit of tinkering around, you can make virtually any prop you’ve ever wanted with 3d printer!
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.
Right now we’ve all found ourselves with a lot of extra time. I’ve been using mine to try to catch my “Great White Whale” of tricks I’ve always wanted to create. This trick has been in my head for over a decade and a lot of things had to come together to for it to happen.
Here’s the trick, and be sure to watch the whole thing:
I’ve been fascinated by the idea of using a nested replicas of the main prop as a final load ever since I read Gary Oullett’s cups and balls routine in his Fulminations column in Genii magazine. Then about 10 or 15 years ago I thought about applying it to the shell game. The hurdle was getting shells to nest and enough of them.
Then the breakthrough came when I got a 3D printer. I could print the shells, however the problem was they didn’t look like shells. They looked like plastic things that kinda looked like walnut shells. A friend of mine sent me a link of how to make molds and I tried to learn off of youtube videos with limited success. I ended up taking a 4 hour class on making molds and resin casting that really helped speed up the learning curve.
I kept making baby steps to get towards the end result and finally got there. I’m not done yet, ideally in the future I’ll have some shells that look a little bit better, but for now I have a workable version of the trick!
The trick that I’m working on is an object to impossible location. That spot is inside a ball of yarn. I had the idea for the trick a few days ago, and it’s making progress. The trick isn’t 100% new to me, it’s parts of tricks that I’ve tried to get to work for years, … Continue reading “Making Progress…”
The trick that I’m working on is an object to impossible location. That spot is inside a ball of yarn. I had the idea for the trick a few days ago, and it’s making progress. The trick isn’t 100% new to me, it’s parts of tricks that I’ve tried to get to work for years, and it just never did. Finally the routine is coming together.
For the ball of yarn, one thing I never liked is the awkward handling of cup. Someone has to hold the cup, and it’s much strong if that person isn’t me. That means I need to get another person onto the stage to hold it. That’s just not efficient. The other day I had an idea for a cup holder that’d attach to a mic stand (read the blog post about it here).
The cup holder was 3D printed and ready to go yesterday, here it is:
I used it in three shows yesterday and it worked great! It’s going to need a redesign as the part that holds the foot of the wine glass can be about half as tall as it currently it. A lower profile on the cup hold will make it look a lot less clunky.
It’s still a new routine, but it’s coming along nicely. I’m really glad I took my 3D printer on the road with me this week. There are a few other props I made for the show in my hotel. The next thing I need to make, but won’t have time to do before I head back home is a stand to hold the props for the dollar / drawing routine in my case.
One of the tricks that I started working on this week is my drawing and dollar routine. It’s been playing very well, and I think it’s something that’s going to stay in my show for a while. It’s a good piece where I get to interact with the audience. The nice thing is that there … Continue reading “A Baby Step Forward…”
One of the tricks that I started working on this week is my drawing and dollar routine. It’s been playing very well, and I think it’s something that’s going to stay in my show for a while. It’s a good piece where I get to interact with the audience.
The nice thing is that there aren’t a lot of props, but plays fairly large. It uses a small clipboard, marker, three thumbtips, a wine glass and ball of yarn. that sounds like a lot, but it’s packs smaller than most magician’s change bag routines. I can use a borrowed clear wine glass for this, so
So far I’ve done the routine five times, and yesterday I learned that I need to find a place for the wine glass that holds the ball of yarn to be in view, but away from me. Right now the table it too close to me, I want it somewhere where I’m not constantly reaching over it. This trip I packed my 3D printer with me, so I’m printing a stand that will fit on top of a straight microphone stand.
The picture above is upside down, the tube will fit over the shaft of the stand and the foot of the wine glass will slide into the cut out notch. The solid side of the holder will go towards where they are pulling the string from. I’m hoping that the weight in the base of the mic stand will be enough to keep the whole thing from falling over. I also foresee a redesign once I try out this initial design!
We live in a very exciting time to be a magician. Right now it’s super easy to get custom made props cheaply. This means your show doesn’t have to look exactly like someone else’s. For example the Evaporation trick…don’t want it in orange Sunny D? Easy, I can make it in almost any other bottle … Continue reading “Custom Built Props…”
We live in a very exciting time to be a magician. Right now it’s super easy to get custom made props cheaply. This means your show doesn’t have to look exactly like someone else’s. For example the Evaporation trick…don’t want it in orange Sunny D? Easy, I can make it in almost any other bottle for not much more than the stock version.
This goes with pretty much any prop, you can print out decals on your home inkjet printer and add them to props. Then you could customize off the shelf props that use generic product names to have “brand names”.
Here’s an example from my show. I do a soap bubble act and all of the props were made from “found materials”, thing that I repurposed to use as props. The props don’t remotely match is color or general look. I spend about 45 minutes one day designing them to print on my 3d printer.
I printed them out and got a set of props that not only looks better than what I was using before, but works better than what I was using before. If you don’t have a 3d printer, there are plenty of services that will print out your projects for you, there are even libraries that have 3d printers you can use!
Basically in 2018, there’s no real reason to have props that are cobbled together (unless that’s the look you are going for).