Ace Production…

In yesterday’s blog post I wrote about a four ace production that I saw on social media and why it wasn’t good. This morning I’m going into my social media and found a four ace production from about a year ago. If I remember correctly this is from Principia by Harapan Ong.

Here’s why the is a better trick that the one that I shared yesterday:

  • I’m talking, it fills the dead space a bit better
  • No procedural shuffling
  • You get an ace production right away
  • The final ace production is magical and puts an punctuation on the trick

Is the ace trick that I did the best? No, however it’s way better than the one that I shared yesterday. Think about what you’re sharing before you put it out there.

Make It Easy To Watch!

This morning a buddy of mine sent me a video of a magician doing a card trick and wanted to know my thoughts on it. The thing that stood out to me, and is something that I should have realized before is that most of us are doing card tricks for social media incorrectly.

Many videos of just the hands have them coming down from the top of the screen, or are from the spectators point of view showing more of the magician. If you are doing any card tricks that require you to spread the cards, the indexes are upside down.

If you are someone that frequently handles cards, it’s pretty easy to tell what is what. However, most people are not. If you asked someone to memorize a card and they saw it upside down there’s a great chance they will struggle with it. It’s also visually unappealing to look at. Here’s my suggestion, use a left handed deck of cards.

left handed cards

This cards spread this was a so much easier to identify for someone that’s not familiar with cards. If you don’t spread the cards, like in an ambitious card routine then it’s not really a issue.

Newly Acquired Taste in Card Tricks

One of the books that I’m reading right now is Principia by Harapan Ong.  It’s a card magic book, and while I’m only about 50 pages into it, I think it’s a really good, modern card magic book.  One of the books selling points is that there is internet video of Harapan doing all of … Continue reading “Newly Acquired Taste in Card Tricks”

One of the books that I’m reading right now is Principia by Harapan Ong.  It’s a card magic book, and while I’m only about 50 pages into it, I think it’s a really good, modern card magic book.  One of the books selling points is that there is internet video of Harapan doing all of the material in the book.  Unfortunately I’m in a position where I don’t have internet access fast enough to stream video, so I haven’t watched them.


One thing that surprised me was there was an “elevator” card trick that I actually liked.  I think I was introduced to the elevator plot when I was a teenager reading the big Alex Elmsley books.  I never really liked the plot simply because there always seemed to be either too much process or too much proving.  The Michalevator routine in the book doesn’t have much process and doesn’t over prove…and I like it.


I don’t know if I’ll ever actually use Harapan’s elevator trick in an actual show or not, but it’s been fun to play with.  I’ve said it before, but it’s important to still play with magic.  That’s how we learn, through play. 

Keep Learning…

Right now I’m learning a fair amount of things that are pretty much new to me. By new, I mean they are things that I don’t really have a solid base skill in. Learning is fun, however there are taking some work. The first thing I’m learning to do is a “zombie” style floating effect. … Continue reading “Keep Learning…”

Right now I’m learning a fair amount of things that are pretty much new to me. By new, I mean they are things that I don’t really have a solid base skill in. Learning is fun, however there are taking some work.


The first thing I’m learning to do is a “zombie” style floating effect. I’ve played with this principle when I was in highschool, so while it’s not 100% new to me, I really don’t have much experience in it. I’m learning a lot, and Tommy Wonder writing on it and Al Schneider’s books are a lot of help. This is a trick I’ve always wanted to do, and I recently came up with my angle on the trick which makes it semi unique to me.


The next thing I’m working on is a fancy cut (cardistry). I was around when the whole cardistry thing started to boom, but only learned one cut. I’ve wanted to learn some cool cuts for a while, but never really knew where to start. Now that I’ve watched a tutorial, I think it’s fairly easy to be taught. For the most part they have a few base moves that your cut is built off of. If you know the base for your cut already, it’s easy to learn. I need to practice my base!


The final thing I’m working on is learning to rip a deck of cards in half. This being purely a strength thing, is something that will probably take me a year or more to be able to do. I was hanging out with a buddy that’s a “strongman” and he gave me some pointers. Right now I’m able to rip 17 cards and every sunday I add a card to what I’m trying to rip! I anticipate there will be some weeks where I’ll add a card and will stall out for a week or two, so the goal is to be able to rip a deck in 2020.


What are you learning?


Learning new things, whether the go into the show or not will keep you from becoming a dinosaur!

The Value of a Magic Jam…

Last night I put together an impromptu meet up for magicians and it was a lot of fun. There are a lot of magicians I know that say that they “don’t hang out with magicians“. If you choose to do that, that’s fine, and usually the reason they say they don’t is something stupid like … Continue reading “The Value of a Magic Jam…”

Last night I put together an impromptu meet up for magicians and it was a lot of fun. There are a lot of magicians I know that say that they “don’t hang out with magicians“. If you choose to do that, that’s fine, and usually the reason they say they don’t is something stupid like not wanting their material stolen. I’ve found that 90% of the people who are worried about their material being stolen, are the people who really shouldn’t worry about it.


When you get together with other magicians there is a lot of learning that can happen. It’s the “jamming” aspect of it that’s the greatest value. You see someone do something and you play off of it. Will the majority of stuff that comes out of these every see a real audience? Probably not. Flexing your creative muscles will help you out!


Here’s some video from last night:

Some interesting things happened, and most of all you are building a community of magicians!

Learning Cardistry…

Many older magicians look down their noses at cardistry because it’s “not a trick”. It’s not really a trick, it’s a type of object manipulation, like contact juggling. Honestly there’s nothing wrong with being able to do a fancy cut or two. In the early days of cardistry I learned to do some fancy cuts, … Continue reading “Learning Cardistry…”

Many older magicians look down their noses at cardistry because it’s “not a trick”. It’s not really a trick, it’s a type of object manipulation, like contact juggling. Honestly there’s nothing wrong with being able to do a fancy cut or two. In the early days of cardistry I learned to do some fancy cuts, but haven’t learned to do any new cuts in 15+ years.


I don’t want to become a dinosaur with my skills, so I’m learning a couple of cuts. Here’s the tutorial for the cuts I’m working on:


Why do I think it’s important to know a couple of fancy cuts? Simple, when I talk to young magicians after shows, they all do them. I want to show them that I do have “modern” skill. The next generation of magicians will all know how to do these.


I think as a magician you need to keep up with the kids and don’t let your skills atrophy.

I Practice With Good Tools…

A couple of nights ago I was hanging out with a couple of magicians and one of them asked if the rumor about Bicycle Cards that are sold are Costco was true.  If you don’t know,  the rumor is that the Bicycle Cards there are “seconds” and not as good as ones you’d buy elsewhere.  … Continue reading “I Practice With Good Tools…”

A couple of nights ago I was hanging out with a couple of magicians and one of them asked if the rumor about Bicycle Cards that are sold are Costco was true.  If you don’t know,  the rumor is that the Bicycle Cards there are “seconds” and not as good as ones you’d buy elsewhere. 

I think that the cards at Costco are the same ones you’d get elsewhere.  I also think that Bicycle’s standard card has become junk over the last 15 or so years. I use them, but I only use them at gigs because a deck of cards at a gig lasts me about an hour.  After an hour the deck is missing so many cards it’s not usable.  

After a Bicycle deck is broken in, I don’t think they handle well.  So personally I buy higher quality cards for my own non-show use.  I find that I practice more frequently using better decks of cards.   Here’s the current deck I’m using:

I know that 90% of the “higher quality” cards are printed at the USPCC, however I’m pretty sure they are not printed on the standard stock.  Having better tools that last longer gets me to practice more.  I’m learning moves I’ll never use, but it sure is fun!

An Ending to a Gag…

If you’ve ever seen my magic lecture, there are a couple of main points to it. First is to take what you are doing a step further.  The second is to put endings to things. This blog post covers both of them.  I’ve always liked the Fifty Two on One gag card.   If you don’t … Continue reading “An Ending to a Gag…”

If you’ve ever seen my magic lecture, there are a couple of main points to it. First is to take what you are doing a step further.  The second is to put endings to things. This blog post covers both of them. 

I’ve always liked the Fifty Two on One gag card.   If you don’t know what this is, it’s a card with all the cards on its face.  

How you use it, is you set it face down as your prediction.  You ask someone to say any card, let’s say they name the King of Diamonds.  You say, “your card is right here” as you turn over the card and point to the king of diamonds.  

Funny gag, but it really needs a punch to it.  How can we turn the gag into a trick?   We could glue a king of diamonds onto the back of the card, and put our prediction in an envelope and force the king of diamonds.  Now we get the gag, followed by turning the card over to show you knew their card. 

That’s a good trick.  It’s been done, but still a decent card revelation.   Let’s take it up a notch:

By using a flap card we’ve added a magic trick to the revelation.  Honestly I don’t know if this is better than just turning the card over, but it’s certainly a lot more magical!  

Also by using the flap card for the change, we’ve added an ending to the trick AND taken it a step further.  This is actually something I’ve wanted to make for a long time and just finally making one.  I’ll try it out sometime soon and see how it plays.  



Louie

Be Self Sustaining…

I love tricks that have unusual visuals.  Here’s one of my favorite “novelty” card tricks that I do:   The problem with it is the recent batch of gimmicks that have come in have had a very short lifespan compared to the ones I was using a year or two ago.  I bought a bunch … Continue reading “Be Self Sustaining…”

I love tricks that have unusual visuals.  Here’s one of my favorite “novelty” card tricks that I do:

 

The problem with it is the recent batch of gimmicks that have come in have had a very short lifespan compared to the ones I was using a year or two ago.  I bought a bunch of them over a year ago and down to my last one.  I have a feeling that the glue that was used had degraded over time and that’s why they gimmicks aren’t lasting as long.

 

Luckily I know how to make this style of gimmicked card.  I started playing with them when I was a teenager when I got the book Gaffed to the Hilt.  If you’ve never made your own gaff cards, the DVD Gimmicked by Andost is a great resource.

I have some time today and am going to make up some of the cards for the hole punch trick.  The main reason I’m making instead of buying is simple, I have one left and they’ve been lasting me 1-2 shows, I won’t have time to order more and have them by when I’d need them.

Making my own makes me be able to operate without being a slave to shipping times.  I’d still rather order them than make them myself, however that’s not an option if I want to do the trick at my gig today and tomorrow.

 

The moral of the story is that if you are going to have a prop that you use a lot of, have a back up, or if it’s like this card that has a limited life buy a bunch of back ups.  Better yet learn to make and repair them!

Louie

Dusting Off Tricks

I’ve been fascinated by the Any Card at Any Number trick since I was a teenager.  I’ve developed and published several methods of doing it.  I was going through an old notebook and found this version that I was doing in the early 2000’s   This version has a few interesting things going for it, … Continue reading “Dusting Off Tricks”

I’ve been fascinated by the Any Card at Any Number trick since I was a teenager.  I’ve developed and published several methods of doing it.  I was going through an old notebook and found this version that I was doing in the early 2000’s

 

This version has a few interesting things going for it, like the imaginary deck premise and that’s it’s pretty easy to do.  It also have a few things not going for it, like having to use the “magician’s choice” force for the suit selection, the deck can’t be handled by the spectator and it’s uses for another trick and very limited (but not impossible).

 

This version I call the Imaginary Card at Any Number and will be published in an upcoming issue of Vanish Magazine.  Hopefully someone will use the trick as a jumping off point for their version of the trick.  For me the method for this trick had me work to eliminate the weaknesses and come up with a better versions. My current version doesn’t have the weaknesses of this trick.

 

Louie