Pete Biro’s Nutty Surpise

Right before I headed to Arizona a couple of weeks ago I came across Pete Biro’s Nutty Surprise at a magic estate sale.

This is a routine where walnuts disappear from you hands and reappear in a covered glass. Then it ends with surprise production of a giant metal nut!
Here’s Pete Biro doing it:

I took the set with my to the fair I was performing at and started playing around with it.

peter biro's nutty surprise

There are some moments in it that I really like and some things that I don’t. I’m not a huge fan of how the large metal nut is hidden. It’s not bad, but it work work for how I work. I also don’t like how the production was from the bag. I changed the load procedure to a body load and load the nut under the glass. I tried two ways of loading the nut, one with the glass covered and one uncovered. I thought the production from the uncovered glass would get a stronger reaction, but it didn’t. The revelation from under the glass while covered was stronger!

I have more ideas with this routine that I want to play with, and this is an interesting set of props that’s worth looking into!


A-paw-colypse Meow

On Friday I’m performing in a cabaret show called Morbid Curiousitease. I don’t do a lot of these burlesque shows anymore, for several reasons, but the one I’m going to talk about to today is because they are usually themed. It makes sense, if you’re putting on a monthly show, you need to have people performing different acts. I think it’s easier for a dance based act that’s 3 mins to come up with a new routine every month that it is for a talking act. I’m not saying its EASY for a dance act, but I think it’s easier than for a talking act.

I took this gig because the producer is cool and I want to support them. They also said that I don’t need to follow the theme, however I’m looking at this as a challenge. The them this month is “cults”, so I need to either create something specific for this show, or figure out a way to make something I already do fit the theme.

In my morning writing, I’ve been jotting down ideas and I think I’ve figured out what I’m going to do. Here’s the routine:

“My wife and I love watching documentaries on cults. On these cards the names of five docs about cults that we’ve watched. Give me a number between one and five…”

Remove the number selected and show the other ones, then put all the unselected cards away.

“You picked Apocalypse Meow, which is a cat cult! Cats are really little furry cult leaders. I really think they missed the mark, it should have been called A-paw-colypse Meow! They’re charismatic, even after they’re A-holes to you, you still want their love and you gladly clean their toilet!”

Direct attention to an oversized envelope that’s on your table.

“I put a picture of my wife’s favorite cult leader in here, let’s see if it’s the same as the cult you picked…”

Open the envelope to show the picture of a cat!

“Who belongs to the feline cult? What’s your tiny cult leader’s name?”

That’s it, it’s an intro that then gets me into the routine I do about my cat. I’m only doing a 10 min spot and that routine is 7-8 mins. I think I’ll close with my rope routine that I can connect to the cat routine as “my cat’s favorite trick”.

There you go, it only took about three mornings of writing to figure that out!


Larger Size Evaporation Magic Trick Available Again!

I’m excited to say that the old, larger size of the Evaporation trick will be available again soon! The original 16 oz bottles haven’t been available for a long time, but I’ve just found a bunch of them, so I’m making up a batch of about a hundred of them soon!

evaporation magic trick

I should have these bottles gimmicked in the next couple of days and they’ll be available on my website and shipped out to Murphy’s Magic, so available at your favorite dealer soon!


Giant Linking Safety Pins

giant linking pins
large soft pins

Years ago I built a set of soft pins for the linking pins trick out of giant 5 inch safety pins. These aren’t as easy to make as you’d think. There are a couple of challenges, like the safety pin take a lot of force to open and close. The tension on the spring make getting the pin over the lip a challenge to open and close the soft pin.

My solution was to cut off the lip of the safety pin, so that the the pin had less distance to travel, making it easier to open and close the soft pin.

giant linking pins
large soft pins

That partially solved the problem the of opening and closing the soft pin. The final part was to shorten the needle of the pin, so that it was easier to load things on and off of the safety pin.

After that, the final alteration was to bend the pin so that it functioned like a traditional soft pin. I’ve been using these pins for years and they work great. I’ve seen in magic groups on the internet people ask about gimmicking these giant safety pins and other magicians say that you can’t. Those magicians are wrong and I’ve intentionally not really mentioned you could. I liked keeping this thing for me…or so I thought.

Recently while digging through a junk magic bin I found this:

Magic with Giant Pins by jose de la torre

In this book from 1994, Jose De La Torre came to almost the exact same solution as me…but 30 years before me! While I’m disappointed I’m not the first person to solve this problem, I’m also not surprised. Scaling it up in size logical extension of the close up linking safety pins.


Performing For Seniors!

A couple of days ago someone asked in a Facebook group for more info on how to get gigs performing for seniors at things like retirement communities and my book was recommended!

I used to perform 1-2 senior shows A DAY on the weekdays when I was younger, and would go on road trips where I would perform up to 5 seniors a day for a few days in a row!

I still love performing for seniors, however my current performing markets make it hard to do very many of them anymore. But I have a blast when I get a chance to do them!

Here’s a taste of one of my shows for seniors from a few years ago:

You can get the directly from me at:

Or you can support a family owned magic shop by ordering from

Have fun out there!


Take Out Boxes!

I’m getting ready to offer my Take Out Box to magicians. This is a Chinese style take out box that you can use to produce, vanish or change items. There’s a lot that goes into making thing for sale, and one of them is shipping. I made a batch in a slightly larger size but decided to go with the smaller size for the main marketed version. This was mostly due to packing/shipping concerns.

Here’s the Take Out Box in action:

I had 3d printed about a dozen gimmicks in the slightly larger size and instead of throwing them away, I’m offering them at a discount.

With the Take Out Box you’ll get a fully assembled box with 3d printed gimmick installed, a template to use when moving the gimmick to a new box, video instructions and two ungimmicked take out boxes.

These will be available through and and here on my daily magic blog at in a few weeks and will be $40.

Save $10 and get FREE USA SHIPPING!

I was playing around with making them in a slightly larger size, but decided to keep the size that I use. This choice was based on packaging them for retail sale. I made about a dozen of the larger size and if you want one of the larger ones you can get them for $30 with free shipping in the USA!

International shipping is a flat rate of just $10!

Click Here to Order the Take Out Box!

These are ready to ship out and there are a very limited quantity of the larger Take Out Box available and once they’re gone there won’t be anymore at this size available, so order now and save!

Sponge Tennis Balls

alan wong sponge tennis balls

For years I’ve used a sponge tennis ball in my show. I only use it as a one time production item. The first two sets I had were made by Alan Wong. Sometime between my two purchases, he changed how they were made and the newer ones were more dense and didn’t pop open nearly as well as the first (older) set.

I’ve been searching for a new set as my original set is pretty beat up looking and I recently found a set of sponge tennis balls by Daba

sponge tennis balls

I will say that I’m not a fan of the routine, as when you squish the balls, it takes away from the earlier productions. The first half of the routine is good, but the second half I don’t like. The sponge tennis balls are great! They compress very small, and pop open nicely! They will make great replacements for my original Alan Wong set!

If you need a sponge tennis ball, I recommend these!


Stand Up Ball Thru Cup

In playing with the stand up, cup and ball routine, I came up with this move:

I like it, but it’s a little be angle sensitive. I like the ball going up into the mouth up cup more than I when the ball drops into a mouth up cup and comes out the bottom.

I don’t know if it’ll make it into the final routine, but it’s adding to my move vocabulary for this routine!


Stand Up Cup and Ball Routine

For years I’ve had an idea of doing a chop cup style routine that doesn’t use a table. The big drawback of a chop cup onstage is the table, it cuts blocks the view of anyone who is sitting below the table top.

Probably 20 years ago I saw Charlie Chaplin’s daughter’s husband do the chop cup in their theater show. I saw it twice, once from the balcony and it was great, and the second time from the floor and couldn’t see much.

Seeing that show really changed how I perform, I don’t have any action that happens on the table top in my parlor or stage shows. If they can’t see it, they can’t enjoy it.

Now, back to the chop cup, I’ve always said creating with rule makes creating much easier. Here are the main conditions:

1: Plays big enough for parlor/stage no table

2: No one from the audience onstage IF their only purpose is to use their hands as a table/surface

3: Quick set up, ideally just grab the cup and go
I think this is the condition I may have to bend on as when there’s a final load, it’s usually not self contained.

The idea is that this will be something that could be used as an MC spot or a solo piece in a bigger show to break up things where you use people from the audience.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Here’s what I don’t like about what I have:

1: The steal of the second ball from the sleeve.
-I need to make a ball dropper/hold and steal it from the edge of my coat

2: Don’t like that my hand goes to the pocket.
-It makes the final load production more impossible if you never put your hand in your pocket.

3: It really needs a second kicker after the pool ball appears.
-Not sure how to make this happen…if you have any ideas let me know!

This is definitely something that I’m going to keep working on, I really like the idea. I don’t know if it’ll ever meet all of my conditions and desires for it, but you never know until you try!


Baby Lindy Vanishing Bird Cage!

A while ago I order one of Daniel Summers’s Baby Lindy Vanishing Bird Cages. This is the Jim Riser Baby Lindy Vanishing Cage that’s built by Daniel. Jim Riser’s cages are sought after for magicians as he didn’t make a lot of them as he’s not currently making them, didn’t sell them to just anyone, you had to prove you could do the cage for him to sell you one. It’s great that Jim has authorized Summers to make them for him.

Mine showed up in the mail the other day:

Jim Riser Baby Lindy Vanishing Bird Cage by Daniel Summers

It comes with a pull, canary and carrying bag.

When collapsed it will fit through my wedding ring:

Jim Riser Baby Lindy Vanishing Bird Cage by Daniel Summers

I hooked it up to my Take Up Reel and in theory, I won’t need to change the pull length as it will take the corner to the same spot in my sleeve as the Owen Vanishing Bird Cage that I’m currently using.

After practicing with it, there’s a lot I like about it. It’s just the right amount of rigid, not too stiff and not too floppy. It’s smaller than I thought it would be, for some perspective, it’s slightly larger than a Milson Worth Silver Meteor Vanishing Cage. When the vanish is complete, the bottom goes past my elbow, so I have more use of my are than I do with the Owen cage.

As for what I don’t like about it, there’s really nothing I don’t like about it. If I had to come up with something, I guess it would be the price. I’m not complaining about the price, I understand what goes into making them, it’s just a big leap from the cost of an Owen cage. I do think the Summers/Riser cage is 100% worth it!

I really like this cage, and can’t wait to start to use it in my shows next week!