Social Distance Magic

Well, in the span of two days the world has really changed, or at least the United States has. In a span of 48 hours we’ve have bans on events of over 100 people and entire states close their school districts for over a month! Many performers are complaining about this, instead moving forward and … Continue reading “Social Distance Magic”

Well, in the span of two days the world has really changed, or at least the United States has. In a span of 48 hours we’ve have bans on events of over 100 people and entire states close their school districts for over a month! Many performers are complaining about this, instead moving forward and innovating.


Right now as a performer you don’t have control over attendance caps on events or the venue being able to sanitize it, so let’s look at something we can control, close up magic. Right now no one wants to touch anything. Everything is getting wiped down and people are constantly sanitizing. It’s gotta be a hard time for a close up magician. One of the advantages is that people can touch the props and the magic happens in their hands.


Currently having someone hold sponge balls isn’t socially acceptable, I’d argue it hasn’t been for a while as they are full of germs. Even if you wash them every night, they are gross by the time the second person holds them. Sponge balls are crutch for lazy close up performers. It’s easy for a beginner to get a reaction with them, and I’ll admit it’s a good trick. If you took it out of your close up set, would people like your act the same?


I’m looking at my close up show and thinking about what I can do without people touching anything. I don’t do sponge balls, or sponge anything, so that’s no problem. My ambitious card routine (technically a multiple revelation) needs one bit cut out of it, which is the card to mouth phase. This is a bit I started to get uncomfortable with a few years ago, and this is what I need to force me to take it out. My linking pins routine has two in the hands phases, however those are newer additions to the routine, and I can revert to the old routine which is almost as strong as the current one. The shell game,and cup and dice routine all can be done without people touching anything.


Look at your close up show, can you do it in our current climate of “social distancing”?

Linking Pins…

One of my favorite close up tricks to do is the Linking Safety Pins. What I like about it is that is uses an common object and the magic is direct and visual. Those two things save me a lot of time with the expository phases of the trick. I don’t really need to explain … Continue reading “Linking Pins…”

One of my favorite close up tricks to do is the Linking Safety Pins. What I like about it is that is uses an common object and the magic is direct and visual. Those two things save me a lot of time with the expository phases of the trick. I don’t really need to explain what they are, but I do. I also don’t need to explain what going to happen, because it’s obvious.


The other thing about my routine for the Linking Pins trick is that all of the props are handled by the audience and all but the first effect in the routine happens in their hands. This makes a simple trick a bit more hard hitting.


Sometimes when I’m out doing my routine, after the pins go through each other the first time, someone will say they are trick pins. I tell them they can keep them after I’m done. I have a pocket full of pins so leaving a set is no big deal. This 100% removes the idea that they are trick pins.

How to Stand Out…

This week I’m at another conference where I’m showcasing. This week I’m doing close up magic. There are a lot of close up magicians at this conference, so how do I stand out? I have two ways, first is a unusual trick and there other is by making myself desirable to other magicians. Everyone here … Continue reading “How to Stand Out…”

This week I’m at another conference where I’m showcasing. This week I’m doing close up magic. There are a lot of close up magicians at this conference, so how do I stand out? I have two ways, first is a unusual trick and there other is by making myself desirable to other magicians.


Everyone here does card and coin tricks, and probably some sort of cup and ball(s) type trick. What I do is add an additional trick that’s no one else will (probably) be doing. For me that’s usually the Linking Pins. It’s a trick where the right gimmicks haven’t been available in decades, so not many people do it.

The second thing I do is that I talk to other magicians. When bookers see other magicians seeking me out to talk to or to jam with, that shows them that I’m good and respected by other magicians. It also shows that I’m easy to get along with and that I can get along with other acts.

So be unusual and be friendly!

Something Special…

When I do roving magic my main tool is a regular deck of cards. The reason for that is you can do a lot just a deck of cards. Also they are larger than a rubber band or a coin and when someone walks by they know that you are doing magic tricks. When doing … Continue reading “Something Special…”

When I do roving magic my main tool is a regular deck of cards. The reason for that is you can do a lot just a deck of cards. Also they are larger than a rubber band or a coin and when someone walks by they know that you are doing magic tricks.


When doing roving magic I also try to pack one other thing to perform that’s special. Something that’s fairly unique, so something that they wouldn’t see another magician typically do. Frequently this is the Linking Pins or something I’m working on that uses a unique prop. I save this for special groups that fun to work for.


Last night at a roving gig in addition to my normal card set, I did a trick with a nut and a bolt. Basically the nut and bolt unscrew while covered by a cup, then you repeat it. It’s a great trick and something that I love doing, but more importantly, it feels special. People really seem to dig the special trick, and can feel that it’s not something from your normal set.