Magic Jam!

The Magic Jam that I put together in Seattle on Tuesday was a blast! We had a good turn out of people I knew and magicians I didn’t know!

Magic Jam in Seattle

For me one of the takeaways is that it reminded me that there are soo many different styles of magic out there and there’s not really one right or wrong way to do it! Peoples styles are heavily influenced by where they perform, whether that’s just for their family and friends, busking, corporate shows or whatever. The venue dictates a lot of the material you do.

Thanks to everyone that came out to hang out!

-Louie

A Day Booking Fairs

My core market is performing at state and county fairs across the USA. I do perform in a lot of other markets, but that’s the one that’s the biggest chunk of my income. Magicians and other performers frequently ask me how to get into fairs. Most fairs book at conventions, and here’s what a day looks like at a fair convention.

Get up and head to the coffee shop for breakfast and to do my morning writing and to get any work out of the way as I’m going to be busy until I go to bed. Then it’s a walk back to hotel to get changed and head to the convention center.

I’ll be exhibiting at the trade show as well as showcasing my act later in the day. I get the tradeshow floor early to chat with people and do some networking. You can get a lot of work from friends referring you for a gig because they’re unavailable, or from an unrelated act that a booker mentions they need a magician to.

The trade show was open 5 hours, so I spent most of that time talking to people and doing close up magic at the booth.

fair trade show

After a couple hours in the booth, I ran over to the showcase stage and did a 15 minute showcase.

louie foxx fair magic show

After the showcase and briefly talking to people at the stage, I headed back to the booth to wrap up the tradeshow day doing close up magic. The trade show booth is immediately packed up once the trade show closes.

trade show
close up bar magic

Now that the tradeshow day is over, I head back to the hotel room and freshen up before I head out for an evening of networking. This is where the real relationship building happens. I’m out around town meeting and hanging out with people. I normally just hang out and don’t do a lot of magic for people, but occasionally I do when it makes sense. Also when hanging out, many of the people who run fairs are my friends, so I’m chatting with friends and not always trying to sell my show.

Another thing that I like to do at these is find other magicians and jam with them.

magic jam in salt lake city

Some performers think that jamming is a waste of time at these because you’re not out talking to bookers. I do it for a couple of reasons. First it shows bookers who are all around and see this know that I’m a MAGICIAN, not some dude that does a couple of magic tricks, and second I love jamming magic!

Then I go to bed, and get up and hop a flight home!

These conferences take place over several days and it’s exhausting, but also a lot of fun. I think they’re a great way to book shows, however they’re not necessarily the best way for everyone to book shows. Some people aren’t good in a trade show booth, or can’t nail their show every time at a showcase. Then there’s the financial consideration, these are expensive to go to, and without any sort of guarantee of a payout…and the gig won’t happen for months!

-Louie

Magic Jam Highlights!

When magicians get together and have a magic jam playing with tricks they are working on, it’s a ton of fun!

Magic Jam highlights from Nov 2022

I learn a lot at these magic jams, and get to hang out with some great friends! I don’t think I’ll ever understand magicians that say they don’t hang out with other magicians.

Do you self a favor and make friends within the magic community!

-Louie

Magic Mondays!

Last week I was in town for a hot second and apparently had agreed to perform at Magic Mondays in Seattle.

This is a cool magic open magic that’s been going on for over 25 years! The show is fun, but the real fun is hanging out afterwards!

One of the new guys (Bohdi) did a fun mismade torn and restored card:

And some magic jamming!

It still baffles me when magicians say they don’t hang out with magicians. There’s soo much you can learn, and it’s fun to hang out!

-Louie

FISM day 5

Well shoot, I slept in and work up at 11am, a solid three hours too late and missed the stage contest.  After a quick shower and running out the door, I realized that I couldn’t get off the block my hotel was on, it was barricaded.  With a little bit of hangover, I figured one of the breakfast spots on my block would be just what the doctor ordered.  Little do I know that I would be eating my eggs benedict while the pope drove by!

This led to my second disappointment of the week, and that he was in a Fiat, not the famous Pope-Mobile.  I’m giving FISM a pass on this as the Pope’s choice of car was beyond their control.

I was able to catch the close up contest in the afternoon and it feels like as the week goes on, the competitors in both contests are getting stronger and stronger.  I don’t know if it’s designed that way, or if it was just a coincidence. 

After the contest, I snuck down to the dealer room to make my first purchase. I had seen a lot of the different smoke devices that were being offered by different dealers and I’ve had an idea for one, but the technology really hadn’t been there until recently to do what I wanted.  These devices that create smoke have come a long way in the last few years.  During all of the contests, smoke was frequently used to enhance the vanishing or appearances.

The show tonight was the close up show hosted by Rob Zabrecky.  It was set like a late night talk show.  Aside from some camera issues, the show was great.  Tickets to these evening shows are sold to the general public and I always wonder what they think after seeing something like this.  There are soo many inside jokes that non magician’s wouldn’t get. Then in the show both Paul Gertner and Michael Ammar did the cups and balls.  If I wasn’t a magician, I’d wonder why at a huge show in an international magic championship that two people would do the same trick?

After the show it was down to the dealer’s room for the late night jam. A quick word about the layout of the convention.  The stage and close up competition rooms were upstairs and almost everything else was two floors down. They had escalators to take you up and down two the two floors.  These escalators were constantly breaking.  At first the hotel thought it was too much weight on them and would only allow a few people on them at a time, but that didn’t solve the problem and as the week went on they were frequently closed.  I’m not complaining about walking up the stairs, but I know for some magicians with mobility issues, this was really inconvenient and painful.

Tonight in the back of the dealer room Olmac from France was showing off some of his card color changes.  He has a very unique take on this, it’s all with a “single card” and he has many different techniques for achieving the change which range from amazing to impossible!

When the finally closed down the dealer room jam at 1:30am, it was back to the Ninkasi bar, but this time to the upstairs floor (I’ve been going there all week and didn’t know it had an upstairs) for some super late night beers!

At 3am when the bar closed, we all moved out into the street and kept the magic flowing until way too late.  I don’t know what time I crawled back to my hotel as my phone had run out of battery power long ago!

Backstage Magic Jam…

Last week at the Moisture Festival, one of the acts was Just Felice. She’s a street performer out of the Boston area. We did some magic jamming back stage at the festival. Here she is doing an in the hands three card monte routine for one of the stage crew:

We also did some BSing with the second deal, which is a move neither of us really use, but can do. We both have decent technique, but still kill our wrists a lot to hide the move. I think if I ever had a need to use the second deal in a routine, I’d put in the extra time to be able to do it without turning my wrist. For me, the second deal is an emergency move that’s in my tool box.
-Louie

Magic Jam – Texas

I just wrapped up a conference in San Antonio and in my usual style I got the magicians together to have a little magic jam.

The two guys in the middle I’ve hung out with many many times. The guy I’d never hung out with before is Josh Farley (holding the cards in the pic). Here’s his Penn and Teller appearance:

Josh is a fun guy to hang out with and BS magic. He’s got an interesting move with a double lift. If he’s ever in your town, go check out his show!
-Louie

Magic Jam on the Road…

Last week I was selling my show at a booking conference, and got involved in a little impromptu magic jam! It was Cecil Lewis, Jeff Martin, Dan Paulus and me.

When you’re on the road, you need to take time to do things that fill your soul. This is one of the things that keeps me moving, I love jamming with other magicians!

-Louie

Hanging Out…

Whenever I’m out doing shows, I always try to spend time any magicians that are in the audience. Sometimes I don’t know who is a magician, so I apologize in advance if I don’t hang after the show.

I am still very passionate about magic and really enjoy watching and learning it. If you come out to one of my shows and be sure to mention you are a magician. Sometimes I don’t have time to hang after the show…but if I am available, I always love to jam for a little bit!

Abbott’s Day 3

Today started with a walk down to Abbott’s shop where there was some vintage racist art on some props:

I think it’s time to pull these props off of display. I’m not necessarily saying to throw them away, but not having them on display for an asian family to see when they walk into the shop wouldn’t hurt.

That afternoon, I went on the graveyard tour which was hosted by Al The Only.

The tour was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it!

We did the spaghetti dinner at the church:

The highlights of the dinner were Bill Cook playing the piano and Fielding West telling dirty jokes while Lance Burton scolded him for telling them in a church!

The evening show was great!

and then I finished the night at the American Legion hall with some late night jamming:

I’m having a blast at this convention!