One of my favorite every day carry magic trick is my Splitting Image mismade bill routine. It fits in my wallet and takes up the space of two one dollar bills. Aside from that it just needs a borrowed cellphone with a camera. It’s a great routine that’s easy to do at a moments notice.
Here’s what it looks like:
It looks like Hocus-Pocus has them on sale right now for $32, which is a great deal! If you’re interested in getting my Splitting Image trick, order from them now, I don’t know how long the sale will last!
I think I was scrolling through facebook and I came across this video on the props that another magician uses for strolling at a fair:
There’s a lot of stuff in this that I disagree with, but the first thing is what he says he wears. He says his costume (whatever you wear while performing is a costume) is a t shirt and cargo shorts. I’m someone who is pretty dressed down compared to most magicians, but I don’t think I would perform in a Tshirt and shorts.
The other thing that I don’t agree with is how much material the he’s taking. I should say that I don’t agree with it “for me”. You really don’t need that many props, you’re doing roving, not a formal 22 minute magic castle close up set.
Here’s the props for my roving set:
That’s a 20 minute set if I wanted to do it as a long chunk, however I normally wouldn’t do it that way. Normally I’d do it as a 5-10 minute set. There’s a lot of variety in what you see there. Obviously there’s a lot that I can do with the deck of cards, then there’s the linking pins and finally the wallet. The wallet is a card to wallet, but inside it I have my Splitting Image trick, and a bunch of business cards that I can do mentalism with.
That’s the core set, then if I’m working on something new, I will add that to my those props. The whole works will fit into my two front pockets. Just because you have a ton of pocket space, it doesn’t mean you need to fill them with tricks!
One thing that has always bugged me are magicians that won’t do magic for people they run into who ask them to “show a trick“. There thinking is that no one else in any profession gets asked to work. That’s simply not true. Lawyers get asked legal questions, doctors get asked for medical advice, it’s not unique to magicians. It’s unique to professions that have “secret knowledge“. What I mean by that is they have knowledge or understand things that the average person doesn’t.
Looking back in time, all of the great magicians a hundred years ago made reputations doing impromptu magic. Max Malini biting the buttons off of coats or Hermann who pulled the coins out of rolls or eggs at the market. I think most magicians hesitancy is they lack the technical skills and knowledge of tricks to “do a trick” at a moments notice. I’m a huge fan of always having a trick on you. You don’t have to do it, but sometimes it makes a huge difference having something always ready.
The other night someone at the bar where I was having dinner recognized me from my show earlier in the day. They told the bartender that I was a magician and he asked if I could show him a trick. I asked if the bar had a deck of cards, and they didn’t. He handed me a pen and asked if I could do a trick with that, so I swallowed the pen by lapping it. Then I did my Splitting Image (mismade bill) trick, which was a solid end to my “impromptu” performance.
Not relying on what you can find around you, but having something on you that you are guaranteed to kill with is a huge advantage. Planning ahead and keeping a few tricks in your wallet makes a huge difference! -Louie
One thing that you do when you perform at a lot of events is “media”. This is when you get up super early in the morning to entertain the local morning news or visit a radio station. Later last night I was called to do media this morning, and all of my gear was at the fairgrounds and that was about half an hour out of the way from where I was going. I really didn’t want to get up any earlier than I had to.
I had a deck of cards and a sharpie in my car, so I was confident I could make it happen with just that. In my wallet I have short show that’s always ready to go. Having this on me at all times has saved my butt on my occasions, and opened some doors.
One of the tricks in my impromptu wallet show is my mismade bill routine that I call Splitting Image. The picture below is the finale of this routine!
The effect is you take a picture of them holding a regular dollar bill with their phone, then you rip it in half. You restore the bill, but backwards…then the picture on their phone now has the bill in the mismade condition!
What I like is that this trick doesn’t rely on technology, so there’s no apps to use, it’s just the camera on their phone. It’s low tech, and 100% reliable!
If you don’t have a wallet show, you really should…or at least think about it and what you could do with just the stuff that’s in your wallet. -Louie
In my magic lecture I talk about how you should be taking your magic one step further than what’s already out there. This is especially true if you are doing stock magic tricks. One of the twists I’ve put onto a standard magic trick is my finish to the Midmade Bill trick. It’s a trick I call Splitting Image, it was just reviewed by a magic reviewer:
With everything I do, I try to move it a step beyond where the store bought version is. This is advancing the act, simply doing sponge balls doesn’t.
When I’m doing roving magic, one of the tricks that I frequently do is the Mismade Bill. I have two versions that I do, in the most basic I borrow a dollar, rip it in half, and restore backwards. The other version is my marketed “Splitting Image” trick. In this version I take a picture … Continue reading “It’s The Little Things…”
When I’m doing roving magic, one of the tricks that I frequently do is the Mismade Bill. I have two versions that I do, in the most basic I borrow a dollar, rip it in half, and restore backwards. The other version is my marketed “Splitting Image” trick. In this version I take a picture with a spectator’s phone of them holding the bill, then I tear it, restore it backwards, and make the picture change from a normal bill to the mismade bill.
In the basic version, I let the person keep the bill, in the second the keep the picture on their phone. Occasionally I’ll have someone try way to hard to figure it out. They’ll track me down an hour later at the gig to tell me the bills serial numbers are different. If they are going to look at the bill that closely, they’ll also notice the bill doesn’t exactly line up.
Normally I don’t care if they notice something like that after an hour of examining the bill. However, I’ve got a TV spot coming up and with the super high def TV’s, I don’t want people to be able to freeze the show and check numbers. The odds of anyone checking are very slim, but wanted to have that covered.
Here’s my bills:
It’s a small touch that took me 10 mins to do, so it wasn’t a huge undertaking. It’s the small touches that will make the experience for that one guy who tries to check the serial numbers more “magical”!
I recently has my trick “Splitting Image” reviewed in Vanish Magazine (December 2018 issue) it got 5 out of 5 stars! Here’s the review, and then I’ll make a couple comments it after: REVIEW BY NICK LEWIN Louie Foxx will probably be familiar to readers of Vanish Magazine from his excellent column and the routines … Continue reading “Don’t Rely on Apps…”
I recently has my trick “Splitting Image” reviewed in Vanish Magazine (December 2018 issue) it got 5 out of 5 stars! Here’s the review, and then I’ll make a couple comments it after:
REVIEW BY NICK LEWIN
Louie Foxx will probably be familiar to readers of Vanish Magazine from his excellent column and the routines he contributes. Louie and I met up recently in Las Vegas and he showed me this routine. I loved it. I have been performing it ever since and can assure you that it is an absolute winner. It even leaves the spectator with a very cool photographic souvenir. I consider this one of the finest new close-up items I have seen in years.
The eﬀect is a decidedly diﬀerent take on both the torn and restored bill and the mis-made dollar bill. The performer borrows a phone and takes a picture of the spectator holding a dollar bill. The magician rips the dollar in two and then restores it into a single dollar bill that is now “inside out.” When when the spectator looks at the picture he took of the dollar with their phone, it has magically changed into a picture of the mis-made dollar bill.
This item is GREAT magic with a series of surprises that will astound any layman. The phone is a genuine borrowed phone with no special apps, pre-work or Internet access needed. The two special bills are superbly made and take the Mis-Made Bill to a new level. This is one of these special eﬀects that is as much fun to perform as it is too watch. At this price it is a bargain, heck at twice the price it would be a bargain. You will carry this trick with you and use it a lot.
OK, that’s a positive review and Nick notices a couple things about the trick that are important to me. Mainly that it’s a cellphone trick that doesn’t use anything but an actual borrowed cellphone.
A couple months ago I was in a show where a magician asked the audience to download an app to do a trick. This is what’s wrong with magic on a cellphone, once they download the app, it’s the app that does the magic, not you. This particular show the magician hit another problem, no one took out their phone to download the app. Then after some begging, someone took out their phone, but they had no cell service! Finally someone did the trick using the app that was already on the performer’s phone…and the trick didn’t work!!!
This illustrates my policy that any trick that uses a phone must just use the phone, no “magic” apps, no internet…just a borrowed phone. I’ve published a couple methods for book tests using the Kindle or iBook app on a borrowed phone. Sure the tricks are harder as they will end up using some sleight of hand on your end, but it’s better than a trick failing!