Simple Step To Creativity

One of the easiest ways to create things is to put conditions onto what you want to do. For example, I’ve always loved the Three Ball Routine or Balls in Net. What I didn’t like is having to bring two people onto the stage to hold the net. I felt it added blocking issues and … Continue reading “Simple Step To Creativity”

One of the easiest ways to create things is to put conditions onto what you want to do. For example, I’ve always loved the Three Ball Routine or Balls in Net. What I didn’t like is having to bring two people onto the stage to hold the net. I felt it added blocking issues and a lot of wasted time bringing the people onto the stage.


The condition I added to the Three Ball Routine was that it needed to be done with just me onstage. With that condition in place, it created a lot of challenges, like where to put the balls. John Rogers has an interesting solution to this in his The Walrus Three Ball Routine, however that wasn’t what I was going for. Some options were having the net hung between two mic stands like a hammock or simply setting them halfway into your top jacket pocket.


I wanted the whole routine being done in the hand as the cleanest way to do it. It got me thinking of Coins Across routines that are done entirely in the hands, specifically Jay Sankey’s Mexican Jumping Coins. With Jay’s routine in mind, I got to work on putting together my routine with balls.


Here’s what I came up with:

By putting in the condition of having no one from the audience onstage, it made the routine much easier to build. I think if I had initially added a “no net” condition I may have gotten to the solution much faster. Honestly I want the net from the beginning, but figured I may need it to hold the balls.


Look at the tricks that you do, and figure out what you don’t like about them. Add removing that as a condition and you’ll be on your way to creating something new!

Alterations Necessary…

One thing with magic gimmicks is that one size usually doesn’t “fit all”. There are tons and tons of cheap and expensive gimmicks that I’ve owned that I’ve had to put a lot of work into to get them to work for me. The main reason for this is that how the gimmick’s creator used … Continue reading “Alterations Necessary…”

One thing with magic gimmicks is that one size usually doesn’t “fit all”. There are tons and tons of cheap and expensive gimmicks that I’ve owned that I’ve had to put a lot of work into to get them to work for me. The main reason for this is that how the gimmick’s creator used the trick may not be how I intend to use it.


Sometimes my handling will be different because I don’t move how the gimmick was designed to be moved. Other times the gimmick won’t be made to withstand the stress I’m going to put it through. I really don’t fault the creator for this and as a magic creator I totally understand this.


A few minutes ago I finished rebuilding a gimmick I paid a lot money for simply because I’m using it for an off label type use. I’m still using the creator’s gimmick, it’s just now works in a slightly different way. Don’t be afraid to settle, be willing to alter it!

Another Day, Another Shell Game Move

A while ago I posted a picture of some newly acquired three shell games sets for my collection of them. Michael of Wack-O-Magic offered me a set of clear walnut shells he had made, but never figured out a use for. He sent me the only two sets he had made. This isn’t the first … Continue reading “Another Day, Another Shell Game Move”

A while ago I posted a picture of some newly acquired three shell games sets for my collection of them. Michael of Wack-O-Magic offered me a set of clear walnut shells he had made, but never figured out a use for. He sent me the only two sets he had made.




This isn’t the first set of clear shells, I also have a set of La Maggiore Cristallina shells, which are beautiful! I never really used them much as they don’t fit into the routine that I do.


With Michael sending me two sets, one set went into the collection and the other set sat on my desk for me to play with. Here’s what I came up with:



Staring at the shells led me to some out of the box thinking that gave me another unique shell game move! I think Terry Seabrooke mentioned how he creates with a prop on an old VHS tape. He said, he puts the prop somewhere where he’ll see it all the time, a place where he’ll basically trip over it every day. That makes him think about the prop in short chunks all day.


I think Terry’s method is a good one, it makes you think about the prop, but you aren’t sitting at a desk having a staring contest with it. I know I’ve come up with many tricks simply using stuff that’s within eyesight of my desk.