Small Changes…

One of the tricks I’ve been working on, sort of on and off all summer is based on Alan Wong and Luca Volpe‘s The Key of Fate. I’m using their basic framework for the trick, but have changed the props a lot. I’m using totally different forces for the prizes and the method for forcing the winner. The basic effect is you predict the outcome of game and what prize the winner gets.

When I first started doing this I was using a larger piece of paper, but the paper got damaged and all I could find was a smaller piece of paper. The small piece was about 15×10 inches, so still fairly large. The trick wasn’t hitting, but due to my schedule I was having trouble finding time to hunt for bigger paper. The effect was playing just OK with the smaller paper and I was thinking of giving up on it. I was attributing the OK response to my performance. Then I had time to hunt down some giant paper, that’s 30×20 and rewrote the prediction.

Here’s the size comparison:

The new prediction is soo much bigger than the previous one. Much to my surprise, the trick is hitting soo much harder with the bigger paper than with the smaller paper. Sometimes it’s small changes that can make a huge impact to a routine.

Now I’m wishing I had done thing a long time ago, I would have gotten a lot more work on this routine done this summer.


Even More Key of Fate…

A few weeks ago I wrote about working on Luca Vulpe’s Key of Fate, you can read about it in these posts:

The big change to the initial changes I made is that originally I was using four keys with three spectators, with the idea that I none of them would win, and then I’m surprised when one of them wins. I’m now doing it with three keys and three spectators, so that one of them is going to win, and two lose. I think knowing that one is guaranteed to be a winner, and it’s a game takes some of the sting out of the two that don’t win.

The other change is the prize. I’m forcing the prize as a bar of soap. This prize is something funny, easy to travel with or acquire in any city and for some reason the kids who have won it seem to be excited about it!

I just ordered a box of hotel soap:

It’s pretty cheap, coming in at less than 50 cents per bar. I bought a box of fifty, so I’m kinda committed to doing this routine fifty times, unless it really starts falling flat with audiences.

Capping the Kicker…

I’m really trying to clean up the sloppiness that has crept into my show over the last 18 months of not really performing it much. That’s my main goal this week at the fair. However I am adding some newer stuff to the show and also trying to figure that out.

One thing I’m working on in my version of Luca Volpe’s Key of Fate. It’s playing alright, but it was missing some punch at the end. I was trying to figure out what to do, as the trick has a kicker ending, so I can’t really add another kicker on top of the first one.

What I ended up trying was adding some “stinger” music. Music that’s upbeat that I play right after the kicker is revealed, and it worked great! It got a much more applause at the end. Now I’m not sure this is how I want to do it, but it is a definite improvement!

More Key of Fate…

Yesterday I wrote about some changes to the Luca Volpe’s Key of Fate routine that I’m making. I figured I should write out the effect:

I show lock that’s locked to a little case and four keys in a cup and only one will open the lock. There are also three colored notebooks and three matching colored spots on the floor.

Three people from the audience are invited onstage to play a game. Whoever’s key opens the lock will win one of the prizes written on one of the pages of one of the notebooks. Each person grabs one key and one notebook, leaving a single key on the table for me. They are to stand on the spot on the floor that matches their notebook’s color.

You flip the pages of the notebook for the first person to see what prize they are playing for. They end up picking 500 Pesos, but unfortunately their key doesn’t open the lock. The first person returns to their seat.

The second person selects the ice cream sundae from their notebook as a prize, but their key doesn’t open the lock. The second person returns to their seat.

The final person, who is standing on the blue spot selects a prize, which is a banana. When they try to open the lock, it opens! Inside the case is their prize, a banana!!! They can keep the banana and return to their seat in the audience.

For the kicker, you show underside of the two spots from the people that didn’t win and there’s nothing under them. The spot of the person that won, has some paper taped to the bottom of their spot. It says, “Congratulations on winning the banana, sorry the other two people didn’t wind the ice cream sundae and the 500 Pesos!”

Ok, so that’s how the routine plays. I’m a huge fan of being able to describe what happens in the trick in a sentence. If I take those six paragraphs of how the routine plays and condense it into one sentence it would be:

The magician predicts the outcome of a game played with the audience.

That’s the effect, it’s a prediction of the outcome of a game.

Reimagining The Key of Fate…

This week I’m heading down to California to perform for 8 days at a fair. It’s been over a year since I’ve done a fair gig, and that’s my core market. I’m working on something new, that’s a variation of Luca Volpe’s Key of Fate routine. I’ve made some major changes to stream line it for how I perform. The big change is that I can’t have the audience write their prizes. For me, that takes too much time, and logistically doesn’t really work out.

In lieu of this, I’m going to use SvenPads to force the prizes. I bought three of notebook SvenPad‘s that look like this:

For the routine I needed three notebooks with different covers. I bought three notebooks and swapped out the covers.

The picture above shows the process of switching the cover. Below is the final product of the three covers:

I think that using these three notebooks to force the three prizes streamlines the process. We’ll see how it ends up playing…