Senior Show Set Up…

Yesterday I took a quick break from performing on the fair circuit and did a senior show. This was a “monthly activity” for seniors at a retirement community. Most of these places need entertainment and host multiple entertainers a month to perform at things like monthly birthdays, holidays, etc.

If you’d like more info on performing senior shows check out my book How To Perform For Seniors which teaches you how to market and perform shows at these communities.

My current 40-45 minute show fits into the black case, which is briefcase sized.

The yellow case is my audio gear.

The show was put together to visually fill a little bit of space and not look like I’m just using flat handheld props that were selected because they easily fit into a briefcase.

The nice thing about this show is that it can be done using people from the audience, and it can also be done “no contact”, so no one from the audience joins me on the stage or handles any props.

Aside from any COVID restrictions, the no contact option is handy as sometimes you’ll have a less mobile group and it’s not easy to have people join you on stage. Having them interact from their seats is good, however if you physically go to them in the back row, a lot of the audience can’t see what’s happening. When you talk to them from the stage and the magic still happens onstage the whole audience can see what’s going on.

-Louie

Magic Mondays!

Last week I was in town for a hot second and apparently had agreed to perform at Magic Mondays in Seattle.

This is a cool magic open magic that’s been going on for over 25 years! The show is fun, but the real fun is hanging out afterwards!

One of the new guys (Bohdi) did a fun mismade torn and restored card:

And some magic jamming!

It still baffles me when magicians say they don’t hang out with magicians. There’s soo much you can learn, and it’s fun to hang out!

-Louie

Ace Production…

I’m cleaning out videos from my laptop and found a video from last year’s Abbott’s Magic Get Together. I was hanging out at “the Legion” and some teenagers weren’t familiar with Paul Harris, so I showed them one of my favorite Paul Harris tricks!

It’s such a great ace production, unfortunately I don’t remember the name of it. Here’s a video of Paul doing it on The Magic Palace:

There’s a lot of gold in the Paul Harris books and there’s a rumor of a new one coming out…
-Louie

Fair Sizzle Reel

One of the things I’ve started doing to “add value” for the fairs that book me is to make little sizzle reels of me performing at the fair.

Here’s this weeks video:

You’ll see me do my version of Sticker Kicker in this video. I’m still working out the flow of the trick. I like it and it’s such a strange visual when you peel the back off of the card. I really like it!

-Louie

A Better 21 Card Trick!

I’m a huge fan of letting people show me tricks. I’ve written about it many times on this blog. Not only does it let the spectator shine, it encourages them to keep doing magic tricks!

Every now and then I get surprised and this kid showed me a great trick! It was like a way better version of the 21 card trick. It used three reverse faro shuffles and only 8 cards, so it was very fast when compared to the 21 card trick.

The ending was nice, as it wasn’t just a “Here’s your card”, it was a three phase reveal.

Full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fan of this type of reveal for what I do in my work, but the kid did it well and got a good reaction. I can’t argue with that!

-Louie

Some Close Up Magic…

The fair I’m performing at this week has me doing street shows. On the mornings of the slower days I’m doing some more close up style magic for people. Here’s a sample of what I’m doing:

You can see part of the Horizontal Ambitious Card that I recently started doing. It currently has three phases, ending with the card inside the card box. I’m really having a lot of fun with the routine, as it gives me a lot more room to play with the audience within the trick.

This is why it’s important to keep playing with a trick, even when you it’s a solid trick and your “A” material. If you keep playing you can find new bits or ways to do it. I’m of the mindset that a trick is never finished!

-Louie

Ending to a Card Set…

I’m trying to decide which is a better ending for a routine with a deck of cards:

1: Ending with the deck back in new deck order
2: Ending with all the backs in the deck of cards different (rainbow deck)

They are similar in effect in a very broad sense, visually all the cards are not how they should be. However the effects are different. When the backs are different it’s a transformation and the when they’re in order it’s a transposition.

The other question is whether to do both effects or just one? It’d be easy to get the second effect after the first one with a deck switch. That would make the color changing backs the kicker effect to the cards in order. I think I’ll just have to try it each way and figure out what I like…

-Louie

Horizontal Ambitious Card – 3rd Phase

A few weeks ago I posted about how I’ve started doing the ambitious card effect with the cards spread across the table (read it here). I’ve added a third phase:

The ending with it in the card box is a great third phase.

I have changed the second phase a little bit since I made the video above. I’m putting the selected card second from the top of the deck. What I noticed was happening most of the time was at the second phase, people would very quickly point to the top card. When they do that, I show it’s not there and remove that card. Then I proceed as in the video and it’s getting a great reaction. If the don’t immediately point to the top card, I do the reveal with a double lift and that sets me up for the third phase.

I’ve also made a change to the third phase. I’m setting the card on the table (after the switch) and having them put it into the deck.

-Louie

Horizontal Ambitious Card

A long time ago I was chatting with Nick Lewin and we were talking about the Ambitious Card. He said it was the “greatest card trick ever” and I agree with him! With the base effect, you put a card in the middle and it’s instantly on top. Very easy to follow. I do think that most modern versions are really multiple revelations of a selected card, as it’s more than the card simply jumping to the top.

A couple of weeks ago I started doing the ambitious card from a spread. Here’s what it looks like:

When I do it there are two phases, the first I push the card in and in the second they do. That gives it a sense of build. I like getting to play a little bit with having them move their finger along the spread of cards.

I’m liking doing it this way when I have a table. It doesn’t play the same with the cards spread in my hand. I think it’s because with the cards in my hand, it feels less impossible.

Give it a try!
-Louie

French Pasteboards…

A while ago when I performed at the Moisture Festival I was in shows with Mike Caveney and Tina Lenert. Tina has an amazing act (read about it here) and so does Mike.

Backstage I was talking to Mike about how he got into writing magic books. He was asked to write a book by Bernard Bilis called French Pasteboards. There’s a really cool move in that book called the Bilis Spread. This is a one handed display of three cards, but you really have four cards.

When Mike mentioned that book, I told him I learned to do the Bilis Spread when I was a teenager and he commented that I’m probably the only other person that does the move (aside from Bernard Bilis).

Personally I love little booklets like this, they tend to be overlooked and usually have some fun little nuggets in them!
-Louie