When I was putting together my tennis ball routine for this school assembly tour, I started using Sponge Tennis Balls by Daba Magic. I like these more than the Alan Wong Sponge Tennis Balls as the Daba ones pop open much faster.
After using them for 2-3 shows a day on this tour, I found one thing that I don’t like about the Daba Sponge Tennis Balls. The white line on them is tape or something like that, where on all the other sponge tennis balls I’ve tried, they are painted on. After about a week the tape lines started getting loose, and this week they started falling off.
Here’s what the lines should look like:
And here’s what they looked like this week:
Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that this would happen to them. I didn’t think that tape was good way to make the lines. I went to the store and bought some paint and redid the lines:
It only took a few minutes to paint the lines onto the sponge tennis balls, and this should hold up for a lot longer than the tape lines.
For years I’ve used a sponge tennis ball in my show. I only use it as a one time production item. The first two sets I had were made by Alan Wong. Sometime between my two purchases, he changed how they were made and the newer ones were more dense and didn’t pop open nearly as well as the first (older) set.
I’ve been searching for a new set as my original set is pretty beat up looking and I recently found a set of sponge tennis balls by Daba
I will say that I’m not a fan of the routine, as when you squish the balls, it takes away from the earlier productions. The first half of the routine is good, but the second half I don’t like. The sponge tennis balls are great! They compress very small, and pop open nicely! They will make great replacements for my original Alan Wong set!
If you need a sponge tennis ball, I recommend these!
Earlier this week I was at a tradeshow and one of the tricks that I was doing in the tradeshow booth was my ending to ambitious card where I peel off the face of the card that they’ve marked and stick to to the person. I call this Full Face Peel.
The nice thing about this trick is that it’s a very different moment from most card tricks, but then the people walk around all day wearing my cards and people ask them about the cards and it brings traffic to the booth I’m at!
Magic Giveaways Should Tell a Story
Little visual things like this that people walk around with or things that they can keep and show people are things I love doing. Before you think that handing someone a card that’s simply signed, it’s not something they can show someone that tells an interesting story. With just a signed card they’d say, “I wrote my name on the card and he did a card trick with it“, which is OK, but with peeling off the face and sticking to them, it allows the to keep one of the magic moments. Or when I do mismade bill, I leave them with the bill and they can show people that (this gets me a ton of work!).
The trick I’m currently working on is more of a gag. It’s for the end of my ambitious card routine. After the trick is done, I peel off the signed face of the card, leaving a blank card.
Here’s a video of one of the trials of it:
I quickly realized I need to do it backwards, giving them the sticker and leaving me with the blank card!
The full face sticker plays as fun, not strange. Almost like it’s something that you could do with any playing card, but never knew you could. The other version of the trick that I’m doing that leaves the pips behind plays more like a strange thing.
I think either version would be elevated from a bit or gag to an pretty good trick if you did it with a borrowed deck or a deck at the bar. If you added in the sticker card and stole out the duplicate, you’ve got a very memorable moment!
After doing the peeling off the face of the face card, leaving only the index on the cards many, many times at the fair, I wondered how it would play with an index card. In Alan Wong’s Card Sticker pack, most of the cards are index cards, so I figured I should try to use them. I stuck one onto a blank face card
It took a few tries to get them lined up correctly, however the nice thing is the Card Sticker’s adhesive is very forgiving! The plan is to simply force this card and at the end, peel off the face.
I don’t think this is really a “trick”, just a fun after moment. I’ll give it a try today at the fair and see how it goes! -Louie
I got to try out the trick I wrote about yesterday that used Index Only playing cards and Card Stickers where I peel off a piece of the card and give it away. It’s not really a trick, but I think it’s more like what Paul Harris calls a piece of strange. It really wouldn’t fly as a stand alone trick and honestly it is what it is, a sticker on a card. However it has more going for it in a situational context, like none of the other cards peel off, which is what every group I tried it on did…try to peel off another card.
Here’s a video of the first couple of times I tried it:
The thing that I would change is that I should be giving away the sticker and keeping the card. The card is the harder part to replace.
I’m happy with the reactions it’s getting and a great, fun, strange ending to the Ambitious Card!
Last month when I was at FISM I picked up the trick Sticker Kicker from Nick Locapo at the Penguin Magic booth, and it sparked an idea. The idea was to do a signed card routine and then at the end, peel off the signed face of the card to for me to keep for my collection, leaving them with a blank face card.
I had a pack of Alan Wong’s Card Stickers, but something was missing.
Then recently I saw that Will Roya put out a deck of cards that are index only cards and that was the next piece to the puzzle for the solution to the trick that I wanted to do.
I realized I could make a card by cutting out the image of the face card of a Card Sticker and put it on the Index Only cards and that gave me what looked like a normal card!
Now if someone marks the card on the image of a face card, I can peel it off and give them their “art” or signature as a souvenir! I’ll try it out today a the fair!
When I was at FISM, I didn’t buy much at the dealer room (compared to some people I know). One of the things I picked up from the FISM booth was Sticker Kicker by Jamie Williams.
This is a fun little trick where a sticker stuck to the back of a card becomes the card, and the back of the card becomes a sticker.
Here’s the promo video for it:
I have a slightly different idea for how I want to use it. It will be a later phase in a card routine. However this led me to another idea. I have a pack of Card Stickers. These are simply stickers that are the face of playing cards that are poker size. In theory I can put them onto the face of a blank face card. Then at the end of the routine, I could peel the face off the card and put it into a notebook full of other people’s card stickers.
I think that’d be a fun and strange ending to a routine with a signed card. Also as a bonus, I’m going to imagine it will act like a thick card as well.
One thing that I’m always looking for a games (legit or not) that I can play with people when I’m doing roving magic. For longer gigs, or events when it’s slow when I’m scheduled to rove, being able play a game is a great way to create energy beyond my roving magic set.
Recently I picked up Cover The Spot by Ian Kendall. This is the classic carnival game of the same name. The nice thing about this version over the traditional carnival game is that it’s simply 6 disks and not a large board with 5 disks. It’s portability is a huge plus for me!
The instructions are clear and Ian gives strategies for for different scenarios that may come up. This isn’t a “self working” thing, it will take some work to learn to do it correctly and consistently, but that’s a good thing. If it was easy to do, it’d be easy for your audience to do. Don’t misinterpret what I mean by it not being easy to do, it’s easy to do…once you practice a little bit. It’s not hard to do.
Unfortunately it’ll be a couple of weeks before I can get to try it for an audience, but I’m excited for when I get to try!