Taking It Further…

In yesterday’s blog post about progressive anagrams, I mentioned a good way to use them for internet shows without any memory work. That doesn’t solve the problem of people not knowing how to spell words. The easy way is to use simple, common words, and not things like astrological signs like, “Sagittarius” which took me 4 tries to correctly spell it before I did a web search to figure it out just now.

The next problem and what I think is the biggest weakness is when you get the letters wrong. There are some instances where you will get no letters wrong, but you can’t count on that. There are also some where you’ll only get one wrong and immediately know the word, which is the problem. It feels like you are doing exactly what you are doing, figuring out the word by the letters.

To remove the idea that you’re just guess based on the letters, you need a prediction. Something physical to show that you knew it all along. This could be a written prediction, or whatever. A simple solution (depending on your words) would be a nail writer. Another easy way would be an index of the words, or multiple out set up.

What the prediction does is makes it harder to backtrack the method. If people talk after the show it ends up being, “If he was just guessing, then how did the prediction match what I was thinking of?” Taking it a step further makes it a more solid trick!

What Me Worry…

It really cracks me up when magicians worry about exposure of tricks where the method is technological. The “exposure” they are worried about is when this similar tech becomes used in applications for the general public. A good example is someone makes a die that you assign tasks to, and have an app linked to … Continue reading “What Me Worry…”

It really cracks me up when magicians worry about exposure of tricks where the method is technological. The “exposure” they are worried about is when this similar tech becomes used in applications for the general public. A good example is someone makes a die that you assign tasks to, and have an app linked to it. You put the side up when you are working on that task. The app knows what side it up and tells you how long you devote to each task. This is essentially a tech that’s been used for magic for a long time.


I think there are two reasons that people that are upset with magic tech becoming everyday tech. The first is that when it’s magic, it’s a niche market and very specialized, so it’s expensive. These people are upset that the value of their investment has been decreased. The second reason is that these people aren’t willing to put in the time to learn to do it any other way (i.e. Sleight of hand).

Here’s a good example, many people make a little cube that has different colors on all of the sides. Due to the tech, you always know what color is on top. However if you are aware of a similar device to keep you on task at work, then the impossibility of the trick is diminished. How can you do the same trick?

Here are two ways:

1. Instead of the cube, they write down a color on a business card and put it in their pocket. Using standard mentalism techniques you can easily know their color.

2. You put a prediction on the table. The pick a color on the block and it’s covered up so you can’t see it. You turn over the prediction and it’s the color they picked. Methodwise this is simply using the block to tell you what color was picked, then you use nailwriter for the prediction.

Both methods will have the same impact as just using the tech, but won’t become obsolete when the magic tech becomes everyday tech. The moral of the story is to go out and learn some sleight of hand.