There’s a term going around magic which is called “every day carry” and it refers to what you always have in your pockets. Typically this means whenever you leave the house, it’s in your pockets or on your person. This refers to props that you would use for spontaneous performances. I’m intentionally not using the word impromptu because that usually refers to magic using things you find around you at that moment.
When I host shows, have planned material for known stage delays, like when an act has props or rigging that needs to be set up and I’m aware that I’ll need to kill time.
Then there are unplanned stage delays. These are when a performer isn’t ready, rigging is taking longer than expected, or whatever. For these situations, on my person I always have a a bunch of material on me that I can instantly perform. this is my MC EDC:
I have material of varying lengths and most of the longer routines, like the color changing silks can be broken up into two shorter routines if needed.
If you are thinking of doing any stage hosting, you really should consider having at least a couple of tricks in your pocket that you can use for unplanned stage delays!
Yesterday I had a full day of driving around town performing at senior living facilities doing my show. They love booking in magic shows for April Fools Day, and you can do shows pretty much from 10 am to about 7 pm if you want to. The main limit is your set up, take down and travel time.
Doing a lot of shows in a short amount of time is a great chance to work on things. I’m working on my Briefcase Magic Show, so not a single piece, but how to get the stuff to gel together as a show.
Everything pictured above (included the applause sign) fits into the case and sets up and packs away in less than 10 mins.
I was able to get 45 minutes out of those props at every show today! I’m working on adding a joke between each trick, that’s adding a time to the show without adding props. The goal is to have 2 minutes of jokes between each trick, that ends up being 12 minutes of the show.
Last week was the first outing of the Briefcase show and it went pretty well. The whole show including the stands fit inside of the Pelican Briefcase. Here’s the show set up at the fair I was performing at last week:
The show uses a lot of three dimensional props, which is intentional. I think that a lot briefcase shows select material based on the prop being flat. Obviously that is a concern. But things like the applause sign, which is hollow can have things packed inside of it.
The whole show was done with me solo on stage, except for the second to last effect, which is a game show routine that uses three kids. I have a method for that routine that I haven’t tried yet, but probably should try so I know if it works or not.
I’m happy with how it’s turned out, and hoping to somehow figure out how to expand it to a 40-45 minute show, which would be ideal.
A couple of days ago a friend of mine sent me a video of the Infection color Changing Silk effect. I’m familiar with the instant color changes which I think are usually more suited to a manipulation act than the “poke and pull” style with a dye tube.
A long time ago when Norm Nielsen sold a color changing hank where you pulled it through your hand and the silk’s color changed. I always thought that would be a great first or last phase of a dye tube color changing silk routine.
I think Norm’s version would be a good beginning and Infection would be a better ending. I’m not sure if using both in the same routine would be better than using just one? Also there’s a lot that would need to be figured out, like how you’re going to transition from one gimmick to the other and ditches so you end semi/totally clean.
It’s an idea…and I don’t know why, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone use one of the pull through gimmicks AND the push and pull gimmicks in the same routine. Maybe I’ll get one and give it a try…. -Louie
Material cycles in and out of my show fairly frequently. One trick that has been out of the show for a while is my Applause Please trick. This is my version of milk in lightbulb that uses an applause sign instead of a lamp. I took this out of my show a bit after I … Continue reading “Closure…”
Material cycles in and out of my show fairly frequently. One trick that has been out of the show for a while is my Applause Please trick. This is my version of milk in lightbulb that uses an applause sign instead of a lamp. I took this out of my show a bit after I started selling it to magicians.
Currently I have a need for the trick in the show. In my color changing handkerchief routine at the end when the original handkerchief is gone, the audience is left missing some closure to the trick. What I’m doing is using the applause sign throughout the show, then when it comes to the end of the color changing handkerchief routine the silk reappears from the lightbulb.
I’m hoping the reappearance of the silk will be a better end of the routine for the audience. Always look at your show and try to find things that don’t feel right and try to fix them, don’t settle for just OK.
The other day a buddy of mine gave me the book A Magician Prepares and I started reading it on my flight yesterday. This book has some shortcomings, like the layout which makes it hard to read and the title isn’t that great, however the content is fantastic. The book is a bunch of short … Continue reading “Great Book…”
The other day a buddy of mine gave me the book A Magician Prepares and I started reading it on my flight yesterday. This book has some shortcomings, like the layout which makes it hard to read and the title isn’t that great, however the content is fantastic. The book is a bunch of short interviews with known magicians.
There’s a lot of great advice in this book, and I think it’d be a great book to read when you start to hit the semi-pro level. When you’ve begun to get an act and are out working it semi-regularly. I do think it’s worth a read no matter where you are in your career.
One thing that struck me was in one interview a guy mentions that people ask, “why do all cruise ship magicians do the same stuff?”. His answer was the limitations of the gig, you need to fit it all in a suitcase that’s less than 50 pounds.
Having worked on some ships, I get the challenge of the limitation, however I also think that it’s a shortsighted reason. The reason is laziness, they don’t want to create a something new. Sure something like color changing hanks plays big, packs small and there are plenty of routines for it. That’s a trick that’s in my show, however it’s not chosen because of the size of it. I do the trick because in my routine there’s a message that I want to convey with it. Also the way I do it, I use an additional prop that takes it out of the “packs small” category.