In less than a month I’ll be debuting a new school/library show. I’ll be on a school assembly tour for five weeks. The show is called “Incredible Idioms” and is themed on idioms.
The great thing about breaking in shows by doing three a day for over a month is that the show gets really good, really quick…Or you realize by the end of the 5 weeks you don’t like the show and never do it again.
The key to these is actually putting in the work. I’ll be doing a lot of reviewing video and writing every night and the first week or two the show will be rough, but then it’ll be super tight for the rest of the tour. Oh, by rough, I mean just good, and not great. I’ve done school shows for a long time, and have a good general sense of what kids like (but the do surprise me sometimes).
Right now I have a ton of half built props and half written routines. It feels like the show won’t be ready in less than a month, but once one routine gets completed, they’ll all domino into being built.
When I was a lot younger I used to do a ton of summer day camps. By a lot, I mean 2-3 a day all summer. Now I do about a dozen or two a summer. I really enjoy doing them, however I’m trying to get 5-14 day contracts and having a single day camp show can get in the way of booking those longer contracts.
Here’s my case from one that I recently did:
While this show isn’t what I would consider what “my art” is, it still has a lot of things in it that I find interesting. One of those is my hat coil routine. It runs about 5 mins and is what currently is closing the show. There’s not much to it, it uses a hat, electric deck, two loose cards and a hat coil.
A while ago I had a use for hat coils and had bought a bunch of them, then stopped doing the routine, it just wasn’t playing how I wanted it to. So they sat for a while and I decided I wanted to get rid of them, so I started throwing a couple in my case to try to find a use for them. Over a few years I eventually came up with a routine that works.
One the surface, hat coils are expensive at about $4-$5 each retail plus any shipping. However, I had bought a bunch of them initially, so I didn’t pay that much for them. Now whenever I’m at magic swap meets, frequently I can find them and pay virtually nothing for them. Enough old time magicians have these in their collections to keep me doing this routine for a while! Even if I have to pay retail, the routine is worth it!
I’m still working on a redesign for my Applause Please trick.
This is my take on the liquid in light bulb effect, but instead of using a lamp, it uses an applause sign. This has been unavailable for a while as the Tim Rose who built them for me passed away about 2 years ago. I’m working with a new builder and should have it available in the near-ish future.
One of the changes that I’m working on is having it all battery operated. I’ve fought thing as I don’t like to rely on batteries, but I frequently get that suggestion. I think LED technology is catching up for the lumens that I need for the trick that can be run off of a 9 volt battery.
I should mention one of the reasons that I’m not using a rechargeable lithium battery is that you can’t fly with them. If the battery was built into the prop, you’d have to hand carry it onto a plane. Another thing is that I don’t trust myself to always charge it. With a built in battery, if you forget to charge it or don’t plug it in fully, you can’t do the trick. With a 9 volt battery, you just throw a fresh one in there and you’re good to go.
Another change I’m testing now is that I’ve rewired it so that the foot switch and hidden remote work together to so there is less secret pushing of the button on the remote control than in the current version of the trick that I’m using.
Hopefully these will be available by the end of the summer!
One of the new tricks I added to my kid show this summer was the Gypsy Yarn (this is Nick Lewin’s version of the Gypsy Thread). I’m using his method for the set up / handling, and string/yarn. Whenever there’s a trick I want to do, if Nick Lewin has a routine for it, I’ll … Continue reading “Make it Yours…”
One of the new tricks I added to my kid show this summer was the Gypsy Yarn (this is Nick Lewin’s version of the Gypsy Thread). I’m using his method for the set up / handling, and string/yarn. Whenever there’s a trick I want to do, if Nick Lewin has a routine for it, I’ll always use his as my starting point.
Here’s my final routine:
In the video I should have paused a bit longer at the end of the trick showing the string restored.
If you are familiar with Nick Lewin’s routine, you’ll see that while I use the foundation of his, the routine is 100% different. I think the only thing the same is we both reference a spit ball. This is a good example of taking an existing routine and making it yours. It takes more than simply filtering someone else’s script through your mouth.
You need to actually put yourself into the routine. In the video above while you don’t learn “facts” about me, you get a peek into my personality with how I interact with the kid.
You’ll also notice there are no standard “kid show” bits. It doesn’t feel like a “kid show” magic routine. Yes it’s silly with the counting bit, but there’s no Look, but don’t see, or sucker magic. It’s a fun original routine for a standard trick…and the trick is good!