I’ve always said that creating tricks based on holidays is one of the easiest ways to generate content. Here’s an interactive Halloween magic trick you can do at home, just print out the pdf below and follow the instructions
I was scrolling through Instagram last night and came upon a picture of overhead projector bills.
I was thinking of what could be done with these. I think you could create a makeshift projector using the flashlight on your phone. If you combined that with a glass table I think you could do some fun stuff on the ceiling.
One thought was you could do a “touch the screen” type effect with the bills on the ceiling for a group of people.
If you have a $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50 dollar bills and line them up in numerical order, you can do some spell count procedures to eventually force a bill. The basic routine would be:
Touch a bill and spell the value of it (ie ONE), jumping one bill per letter and keep touching that bill
Remove the end bills ($1 and $50)
Spell the value of one of the eliminated bills (ONE or FIFTY)
They are now on the $10
You could then reveal the prediction of having a ten dollar bill in your phone case.
This summer I’m doing a few virtual shows that will be cryptid themed. I’m starting the brainstorming process and I remember seeing Bigfoot Finger Feet. These are little bigfoot feet that go on your fingers. They would work great with a virtual show because you can zoom in on them and make them play big on the screen.
The idea that I came up with that I liked was to have five cards (actually blank drink coasters) with the names of different bigfoot sighting locations. I could show each card and talk about and/or show video of the sighting. I would use the feet to walk over the cards as I talked about the sightings. Then they would pick one. I’d pour water over all of the cards “to make fresh mud for the tracks” and when I do that, bigfoot footprints would appear on the selected location’s card!
From a method standpoint there’s a lot of ways I could force the location. I could use: Quinta, Hotrod Force, Math Number Forces, etc. Then for the reveal, simply using a hydrophobic spray and an stencil would do the trick.
I think using the video element of the sightings adds a lot of production elements to the trick that wouldn’t be in a typical in person library show. The nice thing is the investment for this trick will be about $20 and with showing the short video clips, I can probably get 4-5 mins out of it.
The picture below is from back in 2017, I had an idea to use a foam hand for a trick.
The idea was inspired by a math based trick in a Jim Steinmeyer book. The problem I faced in the trick was giving clear instructions. I tabled the trick shortly after I started doing it in 2017. Then shortly before the pandemic hit in 2020, I reread in Gary Oulette‘s book of his columns in Genii magazine called Fulminations about the challenges David Copperfield had to get through when giving instructions for his “touch the TV screen” tricks. The instructions had to be clear, even for the biggest idiot.
Then the pandemic hit and I started playing with some tricks that used counting on a hand, and went out and remade my foam hand. I never used the foam hand in a show, because in a virtual show my hand plays big.
Right now I’m cleaning up and downsizing the props I have, and I came across the giant foam hand. It’s sort of gimmicked, or at least altered so that I can bend the fingers down and they stay down. In a couple of days I head to Arizona for a month long gig and I think I’m going to take the hand with me and try to figure out the routine.
One thing I think it lacked was an ending. It needs a good way to reveal that they are all touching the same finger. When I made the last foam hand, I also bought a foam hand that just has the pointer finger up. The challenge was how to reveal this. I was playing with it and essentially found a pull the giant hand off my hand to reveal my hand is holding a giant foam hand with just the index finger up!
Now I have a moment to punctuate the reveal of everyone on the same finger.
It’s still got a challenge. Am I going to do the trick looking at the audience or not? Traditionally in this type of trick you don’t look at the audience, however I’m not sure I want to do that. You lose a lot of control by not looking AND you can’t keep an eye on people doing the procedure.
I think I can solve this by having my instructions fixed. By “fixed” I mean something that I can’t change. It could be a recording, like in the Banana Bandana style of trick. I really don’t like performing to a recorded track, it takes away a lot of what makes a live show fun. I think I may make a flap card, that has a five on one side. You turn it over and it has a three on the back side. Then when you turn it over again, the five has changed to a one. That gives the audience something interesting during the boring counting procedure. I also think going from five to three to one, makes the counting easier as it’s getting simpler each time.
I’ll have some playing to do, but luckily I’ll have a monthlong venue to try them out!
There are tons of magicians that hate it when people show the magic tricks. Honestly I’m not sure why they’d dislike it. When you watch a trick you are encouraging someone that’s into magic on some level. You are also not being a jerk. I understand that there’s a common magic trick that people show … Continue reading “Magic From Non-Magicians…”
There are tons of magicians that hate it when people show the magic tricks. Honestly I’m not sure why they’d dislike it. When you watch a trick you are encouraging someone that’s into magic on some level. You are also not being a jerk.
I understand that there’s a common magic trick that people show us and it’s a horrible trick and quite often the person fails to find the card because they don’t practice enough. However you never know when you are going to see something interesting.
Here’s a bartender that saw Chris Beason and I jamming magic tricks and offered to show us a trick:
While the trick was a math based trick, it was something I think I had read as a kid, but had never seen anyone do it. It was an interesting trick and while not the greatest trick in the world, it was worth watching 10 bad tricks to get to one that was fun!