First Draft For the Pail…

Yesterday’s blog post was about getting a Himber Pail, a prop I’ve been chasing for years and trying to figure out how to use it within my show. Last night I sat down and starting writing some ideas. Here’s what I wrote last night:


When I was a teenager I saw the most amazing magic trick, and the magician taught me to do it. I’ve been doing it ever since…so for 3 years. If it was on the mount rushmore of the greatest magic tricks, it’d be 17 miles down the road at Crazy horse…because he let me use it.  

I bring you the milk bucket trick!

Did you know most asians are lactose intolerant?  Shouldn’t surprise you, how many do you remember on the Got Milk posters in your elementary school gym?

Show got milk posters

Nope nope nope… Michelle kwan … that’s it.  start hashtag #gotMilkSoWhite

I should mention that I used to be lactose intolerant.  But now, I’ll drink white and chocolate milk.


Pour milk 

Oh shoot, I messed up the trick…I forgot to put in the bottom

Hand thru bucket and show it empty

Let’s do the trick in reverse…

Lift the bucket like you are going to pour its contents into the bottle.   Contine flipping so its upside down and pour milk into the bottom. 

And that’s the greatest trick I’ve ever seen!


That’s not the very good, but it’s as start. I took action by actually writing, and that’s the first step. Waiting for something to just pop into my head randomly, isn’t an effective way to come up with a routine.

It’s interesting that the routine I wrote ended up having a them. When writing it was just some jokes I wrote around the hook of “the greatest magic trick I’ve seen” and the props , but the bit turned out to be a piece about racism. It’s not something I’d probably do in my show, but it’s a start.

What I do like is the “do it in reverse” part which motivates the pouring of the milk onto the bottom of the pail. I think that’s the keeper out of my first try to figure out what to do with the Himber Pail.

Holy Grail of Props…

For years I’ve wanted a Himber Pail. I think it’s one of the coolest props. If you don’t know what it is, here’s a video:

I’ve missed them at auctions due to internet or time issues on multiple occasions. The prop has been just out of my reach for years. Recently Stevens Magic Emporium had some made and I jumped at the chance to get one.

Here’s the problem, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. How am I going to frame it from a presentation stand point. I could just play some music and do it, but I think it needs more than that. Once I figure out the hook, everything else gets easier.

Himber Book…

For years I’ve been a huge fan of Richard Himber, he’s put out a lot of great, innovative magic. I’m not sure why I’ve never bought his book, however recently there have been a lot of them on the market, so the price got pretty low and I picked one up.

This honestly isn’t the best book. The first half is basically instructions sheets, it’s still interesting if you’re a Himber fan, but there’s not a lot you can do out of the book as they really don’t go into how the prop was made. One of the descriptions of what the prop went something like, “it’s like a duck pan with box of cards…” without pictures, it’s not much help. I think whoever worked on the book was a friend of his and not really a magician.

However, it is an interesting book if you’re into magic history and it is more magic knowledge going into my brain. It got me thinking, why did the Himber Ring and Himber Wallet get those names. Those aren’t the original names that those props were given?

One thing Himber knew was how to market his magic, they have reproductions of his ads and he sells it! His fame as a band leader really helped him with the style of selling he did, and it wouldn’t have really worked for most other people.

My verdict is that if you’re into Himber and can snag the book at about $40 you’ll enjoy it.

The Trick I Can’t Do…

There’s one trick that I’ve been fascinated by for decades and it’s the Himber Pail. Here’s a video of Richard Himber doing it on Don Alan’s Magic Ranch:

I love this trick, the effect is good and it’s got a ton of suprises and hits all of the beats! The problem is that the are hard to find and when the pop up at auctions, somehow I always miss bidding on them.

Then a few years ago, I set out to make a version of the trick. Here’s what I came up with:

The technical end of how it works is completely different than Himber’s method, but the effect is the same. Himber’s method is way more practical than mine. Also my method wasn’t 100% where his is.

This is a trick I revisit very now and then, and still have yet to come up with a practical way to do it. Himber’s method doesn’t scale down to a cup size very well. Eventually I’ll come up with a way…