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:
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…
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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….
One of the things I do when I buy a magic book, is that I try to work through everything that’s reasonable to work through. What I mean by that is that I I’m not going to build an illusion if it’s in the book, but I will build simpler project. I try work through … Continue reading “Work It Out…”
One of the things I do when I buy a magic book, is that I
try to work through everything that’s reasonable to work through. What I mean by that is that I I’m not going
to build an illusion if it’s in the book, but I will build simpler project. I
try work through every trick that doesn’t require a crazy gimmick I don’t have.
I think this makes me a better magic creator and performer. It allows me to improvise much better as I’ve
already done something a few times, it makes it easier to recreate when the
moment occurs. It also makes you look at
When I travel, I try to make little videos of magic tricks with things found in my hotel room, or in today’s case my state room as I’m performing on a cruise ship this week. This morning when I was brushing my teeth, I noticed the cups in the bathroom were big enough to hold a deck of cards. That then led me to thinking about the trick Everywhere and Nowhere by Hofzinser that uses a glass to isolate a deck of cards. That led me to wondering if a “flap card” would work in a glass. Turns out a flap card works great in a glass, and I like the isolation that the glass adds to the change of the card.
Now it’s got me thinking about how I can use this in a show. In a cabaret show, or a stage show where you have video projection, it would be a great reveal for a tossed out deck. You start with one card in glass as your prediction. The three cards are selected and the prediction changes to three different cards. If they saw their card they sit down. This moves the flap card from essentially a close up trick to something bigger.
Maybe I’ll start to write a tossed out deck routine using the flap card as the premise/ending.