Duane Duvall

A couple of weeks ago Duane Duvall passed. Duane was a huge part of the Portland, OR magic scene. I didn’t know Duane super well, but had plenty of conversations with him over the years. His magic business card collection was amazing!

Here’s bit of Duane:

Thanks Duane for all you’ve done for Northwest magicians!
-Louie

An Amazing Show!

Most of the time when I hear about a how great a certain magicians is, over and over for years, when I finally see them I’m let down. Sometimes it’s because what I’ve heard has them build up soo much in my head, and other times they’re just above average.

I’ve heard about John Cassidy for years and finally saw his show and he’s AMAZING!

If you’re somewhere that he’s performing, go out and see the show! It’s a great show and you’ll learn a lot by watching it! He has a great way of tying together unrelated gags to make them cohesive, and his magic is good!

-Louie

What is Magic Exposure?

Oh man, so yesterday I posted a routine for a card split routine. Part of the routine you expose a double envelope and it got me thinking about what is exposure. To me 99% of the magic that’s exposed doesn’t matter…well doesn’t matter in the context it’s exposed. I think magic that’s exposed in the moment it’s being done is the 1% that matters.

Ok, now for some of my general thoughts on exposure. I think magicians are the worst at exposure. They routinely give away “secrets” during their shows without realizing it. How they do it is when they cancel methods. For example, simply saying “no stooges” or “we haven’t prearranged anything” in a mentalism routine exposes a viable method.

Other ways things are exposed unintentionally through cancelling methods are things like, “check out the box, there’s no trap doors, mirrors, hidden assistants…” That tips three methods right there. Or at the end of a prediction when the magician/mentalist tears apart the envelope and says, “there’s nothing else in here” also exposes a method.

In the card split routine that I posted, I’m exposing a double envelope. I’d argue this method is exposed by soo many performers in the context of cancelling methods, it’s really not a secret. Also, it’s a logical method for any audience member to think of, to have an envelope with more than one prediction in it. That’s why it’s a common thing that magicians or mentalists expose to eliminate a method.

If your trick relies simply on an A/B prediction where the mystery hinges upon you simply opening one side or another of an envelope, your trick probably isn’t very magically sound. You need to add a lot more layers to your trick to make it a decent trick.

-Louie

Good Enough…

magician trade show banner

In less than two weeks I’m showcasing at a booking event and my retractable banner is missing. I needed to order another one ASAP, but of course, I’m on the road and can’t find the original files.

Working off a picture of the old banner, I had it recreated with a couple of more recent pictures and some new credits.

Having to remake the banner was sort of a blessing in disguise as it needed to be redone anyway. That and the retractable base was getting pretty banged up, it didn’t work very smoothly.

If I was at home I had pictures on a hard drive that I would have rather used, but sometimes you just need something that’s “good enough”. This will get me through the event and with banners at about a hundred bucks, if I only use it once before I redesign it, it’s totally worth it!

-Louie

FISM day 1

I’m working my way home to Seattle from FISM, and writing this during a 5 hour layover in Chicago. My plan heading there was for me to write these blog posts every morning, but the reality of the schedule there, that just wasn’t possible if I wanted to sleep. The schedule there ran from 8am to 11pm, most days, and some days the official schedule went to 1:30am, with your starting again at 8am the next day!

When I landed in Quebec City, it was 10pm and after a cab ride and loading into my hotel it was about 11pm when I began my 10 minute walk to the venue.

FISM Quebec city

Quebec City is gorgeous and I want to be able to return sometime to explore the city. The picture above was taken from the door of my hotel!

FISM schedule

Unfortunately, since I got in after registration had closed, I couldn’t attend the late night FISM events, but my buddy Clive who was already in Quebec City was willing to hang out with me! After a few attempts at finding a place still open that served food, we found Ninkasi, which turned out to be a place we be at almost every night. The staff there was super cool, and I think it was the closest place that had beer to the convention center.

FISM clive hayward performing magic

While we were there, I had Clive show me some of the stuff he’s working on. One of which used a single sponge ball, and that caught the eyes of Pere Rafart and his friend whose name I don’t remember.

FISM magic: clive hayward and pere rafart

This convention is soo big compared to any other magic convention I’ve ever, there are people who I know were there, but never saw. Then Pere, who it felt like I was constantly passing in the halls. I later learned was a competing in the close up competition (he took 2nd place in close up card magic!)

Staying up way later than I should have, I said goodnight to everyone and took the short walk to my hotel.


I needed some sleep as it was going to be an early morning the next day!
-Louie

The Moisture Festival Podcast – Jamy Ian Swiss

The Moisture Festival Podcast records on location at Hale’s Ales and welcomes in magician and historian Jamy Ian Swiss. Jamy discusses how he made the switch from selling animal products to performing magic around the world.

Also, we discuss his contributions to the magic world that include the creation of Monday Night Magic in New York City and some of his literary contributions. We hear some great stories from a prolific career that has spanned 40 years. A great conversation that we know you are going to love. 

Hitting the Road from the Past…

I’m getting ready to head out for the beginning of my “Fair” season of 2022. My first one for this year is also the first one that I had cancel on me in 2020 and it also ended up cancelling in 2021. I recently did an interview with a reporter and did a quick search for the article. It doesn’t look like it’s been published yet, however I did find this one from right before the 2020 fair:

magic show
magic show

I like how the article does get a little bit of my “flavor” in there about going to ghost towns. It really doesn’t do a lot to put butts in seats, the show description lacks a lot of sizzle. I think it may not have been the writers fault, I may have not told them about the show in a super exciting way.

Reading this makes me remember how important it is for me to convey specific things and emotions from the show. Also, the line about me debuting a trick, I need to sell that a lot more. It’s lacking a ton of sizzle.

The season is just getting started, and I’ll have more chances to work on it!
-Louie

FISM Membership…

FISM membership

This summer I’m planning on attending FISM. I bought my ticket in 2018, so been waiting four years for this to happen. I realized my FISM card had expired, so I renewed it.

The card is less than $15 if you belong to another magic organization like the International Brotherhood of Magicians…and it’s even cheaper if you just want a digital card. It’s an easy way to support a magic organization, and it’s a fun, unusual thing to keep in way wallet.

If you got a FISM card when they started selling registrations for FISM to get the cheaper rate, you should check your expiration date, it’s probably expired.


-Louie

Working on Comedy Magic…

A while ago my friend Monty Reed mentioned he was working on some comedy magic, and I suggested we go to an open Mic. Our schedules finally worked out and we went to one last night:

Monty reed and Louie Foxx

This was Monty’s first comedy open mic, and there are some “rules” that people need to know. It’s always easier to go with someone who has done them before, they can kinda show you the ropes.

There’s nothing crazy you need to learn, however if the concept of “The Light” is new to you, it’s important to know. The light is usually a literal light of some sort, so a flashlight, or phone, but can be something as simple as a someone waving to you or sitting in a chair. It’s a signal that you’re running out of your allotted time onstage. Usually they “light” you when you have one minute left. When you’re new or working on new material, it’s hard to tell how much time you have done and the light is really helpful…if you know what it means!

-Louie

Choices….

Sometimes you find things you weren’t expecting when you are searching for other things on the internet. I ended up finding a video clip of me performing an early version of the final version of my “invisible deck routine“, which I call Choices

Here it is:

It’s not really an invisible deck, but that’s how I describe the routine to other magicians as that gives them an easy idea of what the effect is. Before I go further, yes I understand the trick would be stronger if I said, “Name a card” then it was reversed. HOWEVER, that’s not what I’m going for. First of all, I’m trying to get a little bit more time out of the routine.

The video above starts about 45 seconds into the routine, so that gives me a routine that’s about 4 minutes. It also allows me to involve more than a couple people from the audience. The trick also reveals some personal information about me (that’s at the beginning of the routine that’s not in the video). The routine is a lot more personal than, “I had a dream someone picked a card and when I work up I flipped it over“.

I’m happy with how this routine has progressed since that was recorded in October.
-Louie