Economy of Motion…

Recently I added the Silk in Light Bulb trick to my show. Essentially a silk that has disappeared reappears inside a light bulb. To do this or similar “in light bulb” type of tricks I’ve always used glass light bulbs. I hollowed out real glass light bulbs and used those. These look great and work … Continue reading “Economy of Motion…”

Recently I added the Silk in Light Bulb trick to my show. Essentially a silk that has disappeared reappears inside a light bulb. To do this or similar “in light bulb” type of tricks I’ve always used glass light bulbs. I hollowed out real glass light bulbs and used those. These look great and work great, but travelling with them is a pain as they are fragile.


About a week ago I was talking to another magician and he mentioned he started using plastic light bulbs. These have the metal base that unscrews giving you access to the inside. I ordered some and they showed up a couple days later. They look great, and I’m glad I ordered them, it’s going to make travelling much easier.


One problem with this style light bulb is how long it takes to unscrew it. There’s too much threading on the base:

silk in lightbulb magic trick

I took my Dremel and sanded off some of the threading:

Now it unscrews in less than one twist. That speeds up the moment from when the audience realizes it’s the silk in the light bulb to when you are displaying it.


Look at your show and figure out where there’s wasted procedural motion. Once you find that, try to figure out ways to eliminate it. That will tighten up your show.

Too Much Economy of Motion

When I was a kid I remember someone telling me the secret to sleight of hand is “Economy of Motion“. Using the least amount of motion to get the job done. I agree with that…for the secret stuff. However moving efficiently isn’t always what you want the audience to see. A good example is in … Continue reading “Too Much Economy of Motion”

When I was a kid I remember someone telling me the secret to sleight of hand is “Economy of Motion“. Using the least amount of motion to get the job done. I agree with that…for the secret stuff. However moving efficiently isn’t always what you want the audience to see.


A good example is in my card to wallet routine. I can open and remove the wallet too easily and quickly. When I do the trick I have to remind my self to slow down and fumble a bit, like it’s the first time I’ve done this.


Slowing down also lets the audience catch up with you, or even get ahead of you. I want them to think, “no way that’s my card…wait, it’s going to be my card…” when I do card to wallet. If I want that, I need to give them time to think it!