First Draft For the Pail…

Yesterday’s blog post was about getting a Himber Pail, a prop I’ve been chasing for years and trying to figure out how to use it within my show. Last night I sat down and starting writing some ideas. Here’s what I wrote last night:


When I was a teenager I saw the most amazing magic trick, and the magician taught me to do it. I’ve been doing it ever since…so for 3 years. If it was on the mount rushmore of the greatest magic tricks, it’d be 17 miles down the road at Crazy horse…because he let me use it.  

I bring you the milk bucket trick!

Did you know most asians are lactose intolerant?  Shouldn’t surprise you, how many do you remember on the Got Milk posters in your elementary school gym?

Show got milk posters

Nope nope nope… Michelle kwan … that’s it.  start hashtag #gotMilkSoWhite

I should mention that I used to be lactose intolerant.  But now, I’ll drink white and chocolate milk.


Pour milk 

Oh shoot, I messed up the trick…I forgot to put in the bottom

Hand thru bucket and show it empty

Let’s do the trick in reverse…

Lift the bucket like you are going to pour its contents into the bottle.   Contine flipping so its upside down and pour milk into the bottom. 

And that’s the greatest trick I’ve ever seen!


That’s not the very good, but it’s as start. I took action by actually writing, and that’s the first step. Waiting for something to just pop into my head randomly, isn’t an effective way to come up with a routine.

It’s interesting that the routine I wrote ended up having a them. When writing it was just some jokes I wrote around the hook of “the greatest magic trick I’ve seen” and the props , but the bit turned out to be a piece about racism. It’s not something I’d probably do in my show, but it’s a start.

What I do like is the “do it in reverse” part which motivates the pouring of the milk onto the bottom of the pail. I think that’s the keeper out of my first try to figure out what to do with the Himber Pail.

Revising a Script…

Today is an extension of yesterday’s post. I’m working on a script for my Polaroids to Envelope trick. I’ve build upon the yesterday’s script and fleshed out the hook a little bit more. Here’s the script as of this morning:

This is some of the most important stuff in the world to my wife and I. These are Polaroids of our pets and our daughter.

We have Talia who is a dog. She’s a Lhasa Apso which is means food vaccum.  Talia’s favorite things are belly rubs, long walks and playing call of duty…and we don’t even own an xbox.

Then there’s Taco Tuesday who is a cat.  He’s loves cheese, milk and pineapple on pizza.  Which is how you know he’s a rescue.

And finally we have loucy who is a rat, she loves bossing around the dog and cat. We’ve got a reverse Tom and Jerry situation.

Here’s a common day at the home, when I’m home…I turn on the vacuum turn on and Talia disappears!

Of course you’ll always find her in Ella’s Room…Her extremely messy room.

Then when the UPS guy knocks on the door, Taco Tuesday will won’t be found.

You’ll find him hours later buried under the blankets on Ella’s bed.  A bed that I asked ella to make two years ago.

Later in the day when I go to feed loucy, she’s totally gone!

Of course she hasn’t been there for hours, she’s been hanging out on Ellas desk…distracting her from doing home work.  Ella calls it “proRATstinating”

And that’s a normal day at home!

I need to go back and make a lot of the punchlines stronger. I also need to start doing the trick while saying the lines. That will help me rewrite what doesn’t flow naturally from my mouth. Still more work to be done, but the trick is making progress!

On The Job Training…

One thing that’s been a staple of my close up work is the Three Shell Game. It’s been something I’ve done since I was a teenager. It’s a great trick, everyone knows what it is and how to play it. This week at my gig at the airport I added the Trade Show Shells. These … Continue reading “On The Job Training…”

One thing that’s been a staple of my close up work is the Three Shell Game. It’s been something I’ve done since I was a teenager. It’s a great trick, everyone knows what it is and how to play it.


This week at my gig at the airport I added the Trade Show Shells. These are a jumbo set of shells and they work differently than a standard set of shells.


I’ve owned a set of a long time, and never really had a place to use them. When I do stage work, it’s hard to make them play, as I’m usually on a raised stage with the audience below me. That makes it hard to see the pea or follow it.


What’s cool about doing this at the airport is that they want the people to win. We’re playing it for prizes, so it’s not a “magic routine“. What that means is that I get to practice handling the props and doing the manipulation. In each group, there’s one person that I use the gimmicks on and am working out a routine that way. Essentially I’m getting paid to work out a routine for the trick!!! It’s great!

Borrowed Item Production Before the Item Vanishes…

There’s a trick I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s never played how I want it to. The trick is object in ball of yarn. Over the years I’ve done it in various form, like coin or dollar bill. I know why it doesn’t play (for me) is that once the coin is gone, it’s … Continue reading “Borrowed Item Production Before the Item Vanishes…”

There’s a trick I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s never played how I want it to. The trick is object in ball of yarn. Over the years I’ve done it in various form, like coin or dollar bill. I know why it doesn’t play (for me) is that once the coin is gone, it’s not a surprise where it will reappear when the ball of yarn comes out.


About a year ago I thought, what if the ball of yarn is being unraveled before the dollar disappears? Would that make it more of a mystery when the dollar is on the end? I think it does.


One hurdle I’ve hit is a presentation one, why are they unraveling the yarn in the first place? I played with it being a race, if they could unravel the yarn before I completed a task, they got the dollar. This felt too manufactured.


Another hurdle is how to make the dollar disappear. I don’t use fire, so burning isn’t an option. I dislike the idea of a shredder because the item doesn’t disappear. Ideally the vanish would be subtle. Like the bill is folded up and dropped in a glass, then after the dollar reappears in the yarn, it’s gone from the glass.


I’m not sure the direction this will take, but I think it’s a great idea.


Three Ball Routine

One of my current projects is working on a routine for the three ball routine.  That’s a trick, where aside from the patter, there’s not a lot new you can put into to.  The balls go from hand to hand, your pocket to hand and then maybe end up with the balls turning into a … Continue reading “Three Ball Routine”

One of my current projects is working on a routine for the three ball routine.  That’s a trick, where aside from the patter, there’s not a lot new you can put into to.  The balls go from hand to hand, your pocket to hand and then maybe end up with the balls turning into a larger item.  The less common effect within the routine would be a color change of the balls, or using it with three different colored balls.  


My routine’s framework is pretty simple.  The balls go hand to hand twice. They go from the pocket to the hand once.  The second time they go from the pocket to the hand, there will be a surprise production.  I’m thinking I might do an egg production. 



There’s an coin in egg trick by Nefesch that I think is called Hatchling.  It’s a signed coin in egg…where the coin is actually in the egg.  It’s interesting, and I think that the production of the egg could be topped by the object in the egg.  Especially if it’s unexpected, so not linear where you borrow the object, it disappears, then the reappears.  Making something like  a signed card reappear in the egg that was used earlier in the show. 



The  next step is to work out the patter, and figure out what I’m going to put into the egg…and the general logistics of how it will play out.

Ripping Routine Part IV

Today we’ll start writing the meat of the deck tearing routine. Basically I’m going to write a narrative script. This is going to be the essential things that I need to say for the trick to work, or to make sense. I’m also going to write the accompanying action with the trick. There are essentially … Continue reading “Ripping Routine Part IV”

Today we’ll start writing the meat of the deck tearing routine. Basically I’m going to write a narrative script. This is going to be the essential things that I need to say for the trick to work, or to make sense. I’m also going to write the accompanying action with the trick.


There are essentially two tricks in the routine. The first is where they both pick and card and it’s the same card. The second is where you rip the deck, they both pick an card and they don’t match, but do match your half and half prediction


Here’s the bare bones script:


EFFECT 1:
“Take a card, and don’t let me see it.”
Have a card selected and returned to the deck.


“And you’re going to grab one, don’t let me see it.”
Have a second person select a card and return it to the deck.


“On the count of three say your card out loud. One, Two Three.”
They both say the same card.


EFFECT 2:

“We’re going to make it a little bit harder. We’re going to cut the cards”
Rip the deck in half


“You’re going to take a card and you’re going to take a card. Hopefully your cards will match each other and my card.”
Set your prediction card on the table and have a card selected from each half of the torn deck.


“The cards match perfectly on the back…”
Line up the tear on the face down selected cards.


“On the front…”
Flip the cards face up to show they don’t match, and react.


“Oh, wait. I put my card here, hopefully it matches one of your cards.”
Flip the card over to show it matches the halves they picked and react.

Currently we’ve got three things done. We have a presentation hook, we have a few random jokes and we have a bare bones script. Tomorrow we’ll start working on putting those together and punching it up.