When I was buying some props at a Walmart I came across the Nertz game that is put out by Bicycle. It’s got different colors of the rider back cards. These would be great for making color changing card tricks. The only downside is that these appear to only come in jumbo index.
and a funny little thing that I noticed is on the back it lists all the colors and which ones are new. It lists red as a new color?!
If you’re working on a color changing card effect, I think it’s worth it to pick up a pack of these!
It’s an OK media spot, not the best. They wanted 90 seconds, and I ran the card trick for the camera guy and producer and they wanted the whole routine, just done in 90-120 seconds. That made the spot rushed, I should have let most of the effects linger longer for displays of the card.
Then the camera work during the card trick missed a lot of things because it was tightening up when it should have been wider. All in all, it wasn’t a bad TV spot, but it wasn’t great.
In my close up set I do the linking safety pins and I love the trick. I’ve even gimmicked a larger set of about 5 inch pins to do the trick with. The 5 inch pins are good for about 30 people, there’s too small for a real stage show.
I found these giant safety pins and I think they’d be great for using on stage!
The challenge now is figuring out context to do them and getting more than a couple of minutes out of them. In my close up routine I use someone from the audience. Since I’m bringing someone onstage I really need to get at least 4-5 minutes out of the routine to make it worth the time it takes to get someone onstage.
In my writing this morning I had the idea of combining the linking pins with the thumb tie. The idea is the beginning phases will be my normal linking pin routine, then I’ll have my thumbs tied to “eliminate sleight of hand” and then the pins will end up going on and off my arms. That’s the idea, we’ll see how it plays when I get a chance to try it out!
One of my favorite types of show are shows were there are a lot of other performers. It ultimately feels like more of a team effort and you’re not out there working alone. Sure, my time on stage I’m alone, but before show and after show it feels like a group effort!
That said, you can check me out on 3/16/24 at the Hermosa Community Theater in California. This should be a fun show as I don’t know any of the magicians that I’m on the bill with, so I’ll get to meet some new people and see some new acts!
I don’t do a lot of bar gigs anymore, I’m not opposed to them, but they don’t normally make sense with my schedule. Last week I headlined a comedy show at a speakeasy. It was a fun gig!
One of the skills you need for these gigs is to be able to follow any act. The act before me was a comic that was fairly blue, and I do a “TV clean” show, so there’s contrast and the audience has to shift mental gears from his style to mine. There’s nothing wrong with what he was doing, that’s his art. When there’s contrast like that, you need to come onstage with confidence, you’re bringing the audience into your world.
Before the show I always try to do some close up magic, that will have people in the audience already on your side!
The “green room” was in a back corner of the bar and the cool thing was I could watch the show on the TV!
They sold well after the show, so that was a bonus!!
Bar gigs have a lot of challenges, like sight lines, rowdy crowds, challenging stages, however I find them very rewarding as a performer. Because they are typically smaller venues you can connect with people a lot more than in a larger venue.
When I was a teenager I had bought The Unconquered Card by Mike Rogers. This is a three card monte routine that’s similar to Michael Skinner‘s three card monte routine, and there’s some debate as to who was doing it first. The cards for the routine are long gone, but recently I came across the book with the set of cards that was pretty beat up.
The cards were unusable, however I have a few decks of FAKO Cards and other packs that are full of different gaffs. I was able to find the needed cards for the trick!
I’m having fun relearning the trick and I think that I’m going to record a couple of phases and use it in my preshow video.
When I was a teenager I put together a four ace routine that I did all the time. I haven’t really done it in probably a decade, but did it the other day and now it’s creeping into my close up set.
There’s not much to the routine, here’s the flow:
1: Deck is shuffled by the spectator and I cut to the four aces
2: The aces are put in the middle and appear on top of the deck
3: The aces are put into the middle of the deck and the deck is given to the spectator. They shake the deck and the four aces jump out.
It’s a nice little three effect trick with a fun, interactive ending. It’s a good trick to have in my brain to use whenever I need to fill a couple of extra minutes when doing close up magic.
I think you should always have some back up material that you can do with the props you already are carrying. I have my main close up set of material, but I have a ton of things that I can do with a regular deck at a moments notice.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Nick Trost’s Mexican Monte packet trick (read it here). I was thinking about it and the end with the card with a different colored back is okay, but I think it needed something a little punchier.
The ending doesn’t play well on camera and from the straight down angle as well as in real life if the change is done by rubbing the card on your sleeve. The Tree of Hearts is think is a more visual ending and having the face change is more of a punctuation on the trick, than the original ending of simply turning the last card over.
I made up three of the self opening cocktail parasols and they easily fit into a thumb tip. I might be able to get one more and still get the thumb tip onto the thumb. However I’m thinking that the thumb tip may not need to fit onto them thumb and it could really just be a holder for the parasols.
I do think it’s fun to produce the little parasols and maybe it’ll be a running gag or something in the show. I’ll keep playing with them, maybe something cooler will come up.