The current project I’m working on is making a couple magical cocktail demos for IBM convention this summer. It was an honor to be asked to do this for them, it also shows that I’ve got something unique that I’ve started doing during quarantine.
One of the hard things about making these demo’s is using only the ingredients and the utensils that are needed. There are people that do a mixology or cooking videos, but crowbar in magic tricks that aren’t really related to the drink or recipe they are making. In my opinion that’s the guy that does his normal magic show and then at the end says, “kids don’t do drugs” and sells it as an anti drug school assembly magic show.
For one of the tricks in one of the cocktail videos I’m using is the Joao Miranda’s Gravity reel which I wrote a blog post about recently. It worked great and did what it needed to do, however I did find the thing that I don’t like about it. You can’t just preload a crap ton of thread into it. You need to put in a bit more than you plan to use. If it breaks, it tends to get tangled with itself, which has led to me cutting out and wasting a ton of thread. You are better off simply respooling what you need. Honestly, it’s easy to respool the thread, so it’s not a huge deal. I’d just prefer to load a bunch of thread on it and then pull it out as it breaks.
Last week I had a “Treat Yo Self” day and picked up Gravity by Joao Miranda. This is an electric invisible thread reel and it’s pretty cool. I personally don’t use invisible thread in my in person shows, as there’s too many variables for me to use it reliably. However I do use it frequently for prerecorded videos as I can control the conditions and breaking the thread isn’t really an issue. The main reason I got it was there’s been many times where I needed a thread to be pulled for something and it was just me in the room and had to rig some janky pully system. This should solve that problem.
The Gravity reel has three modes
ITR: It handles like an old school ITR with constant tension on the reel.
Remote: It’s slack until you trigger the remove which will then put tension on the reel.
Programable: You program a series of retractions into the reel
It’s the programable mode that has me the most excited. It’s super easy to program. I’ve wanted to have the bird from my vanishing birdcage routine do a trick in my virtual shows for a long time. Here’s my first attempt at programing the reel:
It was a bit after I made the video that I realized I could probably make the bird and card move at the same time very easily with the Gravity reel. That’ll be something I work on later today. So far I’m loving the Gravity reel!!!
Right now I’m on the road performing in Alaska and I tend to practice more when I travel than when at home. There are a few reasons for this, but the big one is that I think I just have less distractions. All of the things that I can use to put off practicing at … Continue reading “Sketch Money…”
Right now I’m on the road performing in Alaska and I tend to practice more when I travel than when at home. There are a few reasons for this, but the big one is that I think I just have less distractions. All of the things that I can use to put off practicing at home don’t exist in a hotel room in another state.
Right now I’m working on a trick with a dollar called Sketch Money by Joao Miranda.
For my summer show I needed a way to produce a dollar bill and I remember seeing a review of this trick. This is follow up to the trick Sketch, which was a similar production of a card. The one with the dollar bill was also very poorly reviewed, where the card got good reviews.
I think the main reason for the difference in reviews was that the card one was better for close up where the dollar one has a problem, that can really only be solved by distance between you and the audience. I think most of the people that bought it were looking for a close up trick and that’s the why no one liked it.
The solution on the instructional video was for you to simply step back 6 feet from the audience. That’s a horrible solution to the problem, as it’s strange if you are table hopping and doing stuff under the audience’s noses, then step back two meters. This is a platform trick, not a close up.
I did some reworking of the gimmick to make it slimmer, and I’ve got some ideas to improve it even more, however they were beyond what I could make in a hotel room. The gimmick supplied could be made better, however I understand why it is the way it is. It’s got to be made to hit a price point, and make it reasonably easy for the average person to be able to make.
This is where being willing to rebuild something you paid for is a good trait. You can take something and make it better than the mass market version. Your custom version will be better 99% of the time!