Get Them Invested…

For the last seven days I’ve been performing at a fair that’s about an hour from my house. That means I was able to drive to the fair instead of flying and that allowed me to bring some bigger props. One of the bigger things that I brought was my flea circus. The biggest challenge … Continue reading “Get Them Invested…”

For the last seven days I’ve been performing at a fair that’s about an hour from my house. That means I was able to drive to the fair instead of flying and that allowed me to bring some bigger props. One of the bigger things that I brought was my flea circus.




The biggest challenge I have doing the flea circus as a roving act is there’s a portion of the crowd that I stop that only wants to know if there are real fleas. That’s it, and the second they learn they are real, they will walk. I personally don’t hold this against them, however I goal is to get them invested, so they don’t walk.


What I started doing last week was a much longer talk up to the first actual circus trick. In this talk up I do the Haunted Deck card trick, which is a “demonstration” of a flea training technique. There is no card picked, the flea simply moves the cards. During this talk up, the crowd builds, that anchors in people, so it’s harder for them to leave.


Another thing I’ve been doing is having the crowd say things. This gets them invested into the show, they’ve put energy into the show. Between the talk up and more participation they amount of people that walk once they realize there are no fleas is much less. I’m happy about that!

One of the tricks I’ve always loved is the Haunted Deck. It’s an amazing trick, the first one I ever bought as a kid was horrible, half the deck was gimmicked, and you were attached to it, so it wasn’t the most practical version of the trick. It worked, but it could be better. This … Continue reading “”

One of the tricks I’ve always loved is the Haunted Deck. It’s an amazing trick, the first one I ever bought as a kid was horrible, half the deck was gimmicked, and you were attached to it, so it wasn’t the most practical version of the trick. It worked, but it could be better.


This is where innovating comes through, there’s are better ways to do the Haunted Deck, and it’s a good thing we didn’t stop at the version I bought as a kid. A similar version is the one popularized by Eugene Burger, which while similar in method, allowed you to use the deck after the trick. This is a huge leap in the method.


Then you have a version using Loops, which allows you to use a borrowed deck, but can be unreliable as the gimmick is fragile. A few years ago I discovered Haunted 2.0, which fit the bill for me. 100% reliable, allowed me to use the deck before and after the trick, it’s great and the version of the trick that I do. However last week at a magic session a friend of mine showed me an impromptu version. It’s at about the 37 second mark of this video:


I think this version looks amazing and the only reason I haven’t switched to it is that in Haunted 2.0 you don’t have to touch the deck, which is one of the strong points of that version.


If we stopped innovating with “good enough” the Haunted Deck would be a trick that I wouldn’t be doing now. So go out there and make good tricks better!