Do a Back Flip!

A while ago I wrote about a thing that kids do, which is asking performer to “do a back flip”. I happened to me while I was performing in Nebraska and I came up with a trick to do when if someone asks me that. After I came up with the trick, no one asked me to do a back flip…until last week! 

It happened, and I got to finally do the trick and it hit hard!!

So then I decided to try to manufacture a kid asking me to do a back flip.  What I’m doing is simply saying, “Is there anything you want to see me do?”  It gets them to say “do a back flip” about 1 out of 6 times, which is good and feels organic.

Here’s the odd surprise, people have been asking me for some pretty specific magic tricks…and magic tricks that aren’t stereotype magic tricks. I had a kid ask me to “do a trick where the a ring comes off of a rope”.  I think that people are exposed to a lot more magic than magicians think they are.  Magic is really good for social media and especially things like TikTok, and combine that with things like America’s Got Talent and you have a very sophisticated audience you’re performing for.

I think the notion that you’re the first magician people are seeing is kinda false. They see tons of magic, maybe not in person, but audiences are definitely exposed to magic! That’s why you need to do good magic and not lame, tired ol’ tricks.


Another Back Flip!

Recently I had a kid ask me to do a back flip during the show. This is a trend and I finally had someone ask me to do it. After it happened I came up with this trick:

@louiefoxx Do a Back Flip! #doabackflip #backflipchallenge #backflip #louiefoxx #magic #magictrick, #surpriseending #old #magician #cardtrick ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

I think I came up with a better idea than that. Here’s me showing the idea to the sound guy on my stage before a show:

This idea gets the laugh, shows that I’ve been asked this before, so their request isn’t original and then closes the conversation with the NO.

Now that I have a plan, I’m betting I don’t get asked to do a backflip ever again.


Do a Back Flip

My friends that do roving acts like stilt walkers or unicycle have mentioned to me that kids the last year or so ask them to “do a back flip“. I think this is a Tik Tok thing, but I’m not positive. They’ve tried to come up with something witty to say, but really there’s no where to go with that and it’s something completely unrelated to what they do.

It’s never happened to me…until last week. I wanted to come up with something to do, so here’s what I came up with:

@louiefoxx Do a Back Flip! #doabackflip #backflipchallenge #backflip #louiefoxx #magic #magictrick, #surpriseending #old #magician #cardtrick ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

Here’s the problem, by rewarding them saying that, it could simple open the door to them yelling more in the show. Also, I should be clear that I don’t consider a kid asking me to do a back flip a heckle. It’s really not malicious, they’re having fun…but it’s still an interruption in the show and I don’t want to encourage that.

Since I made that card, I haven’t had someone ask me to do a back flip, so I don’t know how it plays, or if it encourages interruptions. The nice thing is that it doesn’t take up any space, so it’s not a big deal to have with me during the show.

If I ever get to use it, I’ll report back on what happens…


Magic in Focus for NOLA

Yesterday I wrote about doing magic trick where a picture of famous art starts blurry, the magically becomes in focus. In the example I used yesterday it was the Mona Lisa, however it just hit me this morning and I’m getting ready to pack for a trip to New Orleans for the Sideshow Hootenanny was that I should make the trick themed to New Orleans.

I remembered that on my first trip to New Orleans that I randomly came across Banksy’s Nola (Rain or Umbrella Girl) on a street corner. Using Nola for the trick makes more sense as it’s local to where I’ll be.

There’s not much to the trick, it’ll simply be a flap card that changes from a blurred image to an in focus image.

A quick Google search shows that the art has been moved to a hotel, so no longer on a street corner. I could do the trick from where the art was…

This is a good example of trying to give a trick some context, more than just check out this ace of hearts that changes to a two of club. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with just having eye candy, but some sort of context is always nice!


Magic in Focus!

As I get older, my up close vision has started to go. Reading had gotten difficult and when I realized that during my morning writing, I couldn’t read what I had just written I knew it was time to go to the eye doctor. He prescribed me glasses for reading and what a difference it makes!

Having a new view on the world…as long as it’s about 12 inches from my face got me thinking about a trick that has to do with vision. My first idea was to have blurry writing on a notecard that then changed to in focus writing that was readable. The problem with that idea is that it’s small, it wouldn’t really play for many people, unless it was a social media video.

The next idea is better, it’d be a picture of the Mona Lisa, or whatever, but blurry. Then it changes to in focus.

This could easily be accomplished by making it like a flap card.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever do this, but I think it is a good idea!


Auto Spring Fan…

The other day I was at a magic shop in Mesa, AZ and I bought an auto spring fan of cards on a whim. If you don’t know what an Auto Spring Fan is, it’s a packet of cards that pops open into a fan automatically. I thought I was probably just going to have a kid hold them in pictures after the show.

Magic shop mesa, AZ

During the drive to the gig, I thought about what else could be done with them. There’s not a lot you can do besides open them. Then I got an idea, they could be used as a card revelation. The idea is the whole fanned deck would turn into the selected card.

I realized that if I held the closed deck face down and fanned them so that I was tightening the spring, I could show the backs of the cards on the edge that’s normally hidden.

This allows me to have all the cards on the back (except for the top card) to have the corner shown when fanned to be the same card. Having the top card change would simply be making a flap card.

…at least that’s how it is in my head. Now to actually make the gimmick, which is the real work!


Event Promo Videos…

Frequently I’m asked to make little promo videos for events that I’m performing. Here’s one a made for a gig a few days ago:

They wanted me to thank the sponsors and to do a quick trick. One of my “go to tricks” for situations like that are flap cards for a quick color change. I do the first change in the glass (which as far as I know I’m the first to do) which I think adds to the impossibility of it changing. Then the second is just the toss change.

Having a quick and visual trick you can do for things like this helpful. Also essentially having a formula for doing videos for events, so you’re not reinventing the wheel every time. I just grab my glass and card and I’m good to go!


High Tech Hypnosis…

A while ago I saw Kreskin do his show and hypno show. One thing that struck me was his “induction” to people onstage. Kreskin handed them a card, and they passed it around while he played the piano. As they passed the card around the people (mostly) fell asleep. From the audience’s perspective it was really cool to watch.

I’ve been told that the card says something like, “Please play along and go to sleep”. I don’t know for sure, but that gave me an idea, here’s how it would look:
You have a big QR code and you have everyone onstage scan it. They all look at their phones and fall asleep. Also you turn the card around and have the audience scan it if they want to follow along. They see a “hypno wheel” spiraling. You then do your hypno show.

Here’s what’s really happening is one of two things. The first solution, is the QR code changes to another image at a certain point. So the first qr code has the message to play along, then changes to an image of a hypno wheel. When you have the audience scan it, it’s already changed to the image of the wheel and the play along message is gone. The other method would be a flap card, so the audience is actually scanning a different link. With this method, you’d still want the original scan to change so that no one could see the first message.

This is something I’ll probably never do…


Finding the Right Gaff…

In my hotel room last night I made a ton of color changing card gaffs. I made them with latex and with elastic. I made them flip vertically and horizontally. Here’s what I learned, I prefer using the ones with the seam the goes across the length of the card. I also prefer them to … Continue reading “Finding the Right Gaff…”

In my hotel room last night I made a ton of color changing card gaffs. I made them with latex and with elastic. I made them flip vertically and horizontally. Here’s what I learned, I prefer using the ones with the seam the goes across the length of the card. I also prefer them to have the elastic thread, so basically I’m using the “Hondo” style gaffed card.

How to make gimmicked cards for magic tricks

I think trying a lot of different ways to make the gimmick will let you know for sure which is right for you. Sometimes what’s available to buy isn’t quite right for what you are doing. For example my hands prefer the gimmick to be latex and with the flap’s seam going across the short sideof the card. However how the gimmick is used an elastic thread gimmick with the seam running the long way visually looks better.

It’s important to know why you use a gimmick over another one or variation of it. If I stuck to what feels good in my hand, what actually looks better to the audience would be lost. In theory, it’s all for the audience!

Gaffed Cards…

One of the things that I want to play with this summer are gaffed cards. More specifically, I want to use flap cards to do some changes. I’ve got a few ideas for what I want to do with the flap cards. Ideally I want to put together a close up set that’s 5 mins … Continue reading “Gaffed Cards…”

One of the things that I want to play with this summer are gaffed cards. More specifically, I want to use flap cards to do some changes. I’ve got a few ideas for what I want to do with the flap cards. Ideally I want to put together a close up set that’s 5 mins that can be projected onto a screen.

This is one of the places where a flap card will shine, because people can’t reach for the cards, and it allows you to more easily ditch things. The formal close up allows you to do some fun magic that’s highly visual…and doesn’t require a lot of space in the luggage.

Last night I was playing with more traditional “dental dam” flaps. They work great, however they have seams in them that the more modern “Hondo” style flap cards don’t have. Hondo has really solved a lot of problems with the dental dam flap cards. However, the Hondo flap cards do have their own disadvantage, and that’s that you can potentially see the elastic as it’s on the outside of the card.

All in all, I think both gimmicks have a place where one is better than the other. Now to figure out what I want to do in my card set….