Show I Don’t Want To Support…

Now that my state is opening up for live entertainment, it looks like Andy Gross will be performing in my area. If you don’t remember who he is, a couple of years ago he was performing at a college and was accused of sexually harassing a student on stage. At the time it made huge national news.

You can read about it here:

https://www.newsweek.com/what-did-andy-gross-do-hundreds-purdue-students-walk-out-comedian-show-1080203

Or you can watch it here:

He crossed the line in my opinion when he said, “…I got a free feel out of it“. Well, he crossed the line before that with the routine he did. He basically stole the routine David Copperfield who did it in the 1990’s with the Cardiographic trick on one of his TV specials. Also if you look at his promo pic in the ad for the show, it’s not the only trick he’s swiped from David Copperfield.

Why was it OK for Copperfield to do it and not Andy Gross? The main thing is where the world is/was when it was done. Copperfield did it in the mid 1990’s about 25 years ago. The world was a very different place back then. That doesn’t make it right, but it does make it socially acceptable. Just like 25 years ago you could smoke in a park on a bench while your kids are playing at the playground. It wasn’t right 25 years ago, but it was socially acceptable. I remember when I was in high school in the mid 1990’s there were schools with their proms being cancelled because an interracial couple or a gay couple was going to attend and rather than let them go, they simply cancelled the whole thing…and the community supported them. It wasn’t right then, however it was socially acceptable. This is also part of the plot of the Netflix Movie The Prom.

Things change.

You have to be able to change with the times. Unfortunately most performers don’t reassess their shows to look for things that have hit their expiration date…which Andy Gross clearly hadn’t done.

Here’s my conundrum. I’m curious what he does in his show…but I also don’t want to support him. I don’t want to support people who swipe material.

Not sure what I’ll do…



Using Projection…

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about using projection in my stage show. I’ve been looking at how other magicians and performers are using it. It’s something that can make a lot of difference in how visible something is. For magicians, David Copperfield was the first that I was aware of to use in it … Continue reading “Using Projection…”

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about using projection in my stage show. I’ve been looking at how other magicians and performers are using it. It’s something that can make a lot of difference in how visible something is. For magicians, David Copperfield was the first that I was aware of to use in it his four ace routine. Currently using video is pretty common.


The best use of video that I’ve seen so far is Darren Brown in his Broadway show Secrets. Most people when it’s used, it feels like you are either watching the screen or watching the performer. When Darren did it, it felt like your attention wasn’t torn between two places. You were watching him perform and the video enhanced it.


That’s what I’m going for, using video to enhance what’s happening. Projection would be used for showing the signature of a card, but not the whole card trick. I think when the action happens on the table and the only way you can watch it is through the screen, then it stops enhancing the live show and becomes the audience watching TV.

Three Step Process…

In the last 10 days I’ve been at two booking conferences and I’ve seen a ton of acts! Some I’ve seen more than once, but for the most part I got to see a huge variety of what’s out there. One thing I’ve noticed with newer performers is that they don’t know how to sell … Continue reading “Three Step Process…”

In the last 10 days I’ve been at two booking conferences and I’ve seen a ton of acts! Some I’ve seen more than once, but for the most part I got to see a huge variety of what’s out there. One thing I’ve noticed with newer performers is that they don’t know how to sell a trick or stunt.


It’s a simple three step process. First you tell them what you are going to do. Next you do what you just told them you were going to do. Finally you tell them what you just did.


I know one of the classic rules of magic is that you aren’t supposed to tell people what you are going to do before you do it, so that they can’t “catch you”. This is totally BS, it’s good advice is the trick is bad, but not for doing the trick.

A great example is when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear.

When he did this, we all knew what was going to happen. That allowed the trick to have much greater impact than if he just raised the curtain without context and dropped it and the statue was gone.


Just remember the three step formula and you’re good to go!

The Last Laugh…

One of the things that drives me nuts on facebook groups of magicians is when they get upset about common jokes that audience member have. Things like, “make my wife disappear“, “can you make me lose weight” or whatever. I’m not sure why it drives magicians so crazy to hear this. Sure they hear it … Continue reading “The Last Laugh…”

One of the things that drives me nuts on facebook groups of magicians is when they get upset about common jokes that audience member have. Things like, “make my wife disappear“, “can you make me lose weight” or whatever.


I’m not sure why it drives magicians so crazy to hear this. Sure they hear it all the time, but these are the same magicians that use stock line, which is essentially the same thing these people are doing, but they actually had an original thought (to them). My guess is that the magicians are very insecure and that if someone gets a bigger laugh than them it diminishes their act/show.


A while ago I was having dinner with a pretty successful comedy magician and we were talking about giving away big laughs to audience members. I’m for it, he’s against it. His thinking was that the audience will remember the person onstage getting the laugh, and not consider it your laugh. My thinking is that the show is getting the laugh, and it’s part of the whole show.


The beauty of a live show is anything can happen, and by setting up people from the audience to get big laughs, it feels unplanned. How you respond then counts as well. If you are setting them up for the laugh, then you also know what your response will be. Sometimes your response isn’t a joke, it’s a reaction to their joke, letting the “win”.


David Copperfield used to do a great bit where someone asked him how a trick worked. David told the person, “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you” and the person form the audience said, “tell my wife!” That’s was a huge laugh, that he’s setting up and giving away. My point is that you should try to not be a selfish performer and let the person get the laugh.