The Shell Game at Sea…

The other day I saw Phil Cass‘s show, and kinda briefly mentioned his shell game routine. Phil’s routine on his VHS tape in the late 1990’s was part of what got me going with the shell game when I first got serious about it.

Here’s the trailer for Phil’s video:

It’s always great to meet people who have had some influence on what you do and how you do it…it’s also a bonus when they are cool people!

It was great hanging out with Phil and Phillipa Cass while we were on the ship! The shell game video is still available from phil, you can get it at:

If you’re into the shell game, it’s worth checking out!

A Tight, Loose Comedy Magic Show

When watching Phil Cass’s show the other night, and I’m such a magic nerd, I saw the early and late show on the same night, I was amazed at how tight the show felt, while still feeling loose and unscripted.

phil cass magician

Phil has a ton of verbal and physical jokes and bits to use when the occasion presents itself, but he doesn’t always use. These gags are what fill the dead spots in the show and give it a sense of happening now, versus him just saying the same lines every night over and over again.

This tightness is something that takes years to develop and you need a mental toolbox full of jokes, bits and gags that you can pull from whenever a situation happens. It also makes you stay present is your show, as sometimes you’ll use a joke from later in the show because it fits something that just happened.

If you get a chance to see Phil Cass, I recommend it, there’s a lot to learn from watching his show!


Phil Cass Show

Phil Cass Magic Show

The other night I caught Phil Cass’s show. He’s been on my radar since the late 1990’s when Bob Sheets told me about Phil’s shell game VHS. Bob also showed me Phil’s handling of a making water go from one hand to the other.

Phil’s show was a packs small plays big sort of show and he was heavy on use of people from the audience. He does a great job of having multiple effects happening at the same time, so when they all start to wrap it, it feels much bigger and more triumphant and if he did them one at a time.

Phil is also the first person I’ve ever seen do the Electric Chair bit in person. Previously I’d only read about it or see it on video. It was fun to see it actually done and to see how it played for a real audience. It played well and something I’ve thought about incorporating, but had a feeling it’s not for me, and the nuts and bolts of how it actually plays onstage confirms that feeling.

Phil closed with the water that disappears from one hand and reappears in the other. It’s a very small trick, and plays pretty big! I’m glad I got to see the creator do it in person!