Strait Jacket and Chain Escape!

I’m relearning to do the strait jacket escape while wrapped in 50 feet of chain. One of the things that I recently figured out, which made me feel dumb that I never realized this before was the chain management.

straitjacket and chain escape

I used to just throw the chain in the bottom of my case. The problem with that is that it would frequently tangle. I started keeping it on a spool and it makes a huge difference! The spool makes laying it out and cleaning it up really easy!

The locks also are locked to the spool making it an neat and tidy package!

-Louie

Still Working On The Street Show…

One of the challenges of trying to relearn to do a street style show is trying to figure out what the show is. Is it a close up show or a bigger half circle show? I really love doing close up magic when roving at a fair, and I’m finding it hard to transition from building a crowd with close up to then turning that group into a circle show crowd.

Part of the challenge is “ego”, I’m finding that I have some fear of losing people and I need to get over that. I’m afraid of failure in this context. I’m pretty fearless on stage with taking risks and trying new things, so I’m not sure why this has gotten into my head. I’m afraid of people leaving. I know that people will filter in and out of the show and that’s just what it is, but I my mind can’t get over seeing people leave.

I did find when I went out to do my “roving” set, if I immediately put up my rope front row, that kept me from doing tabled close up magic, and really helped for me to just do the bigger stuff. I do need to make a judgement call based on how busy the areas that I’m assigned to are at my assigned times as to what will be more effective, close up magic or a half circle show. Sometimes there’s very little foot traffic and I think it feels strange trying to build a big show for the handful of people that walk through the area.

Hoping to get some of my fearlessness back soon!

-Louie

ReUpholstering a Dice Cup

As I get ready to head out on the road to do a week of street style shows, I spent the day cleaning up my props. The dice up that I use for my Cee-Lo dice routine was pretty beat up on the inside.

Cee Lo dice trick by Louie Foxx

I’ve been using this particular cup for probably 6 years (or more!) and it’s showing a lot of wear on the inside. I had changed the outer black cover in the 2020’s to a tan leather so that it would show up better for virtual shows.

Cee Lo dice trick by Louie Foxx

I carefully removed the old lining on the sides and used that as a template for the new felt that I was going to stick into it. I decided to keep the bottom part as is and just recover it with new felt. I’m not sure this was the best decision…I’ll see how well it holds up over time.

Here’s the finished cup:

Cee Lo dice trick by Louie Foxx

It came out alright, I probably should have just made a new cup from scratch. This cup still works great and transferring the leather outer layer or making a new leather covering would have been a pain.

We’ll see how this works this week.

-Louie

Breaking in a New Routine…

Over the weekend my daughter and I had a booth at an arts fair. Sher was there selling her art, and I had my book C is for Conspiracy: The ABC’s of Conspiracy Theories for sale. I was also doing a little bit of magic every now and then.

magic at arts fair

The routine that I was working on while there was the new ending for my Cee-Lo dice trick where I make a giant metal nut appear under the cup and then an even bigger one appear under my hat!

I’m not doing any body loads for this routine, all of the production items come from my doctor’s bag that hangs on the back of my table.

Magic show prop case

After doing it a lot over the course of the day, I’m confident that the loads will work in a close up context. The plan is to use it in a half circle style show, so hopefully the loads will translate to that larger audience that’s further back. I head out on the road later this week and will get to try it out!

-Louie

Uncle Otis

Last week I got to perform with Cousin Otis!

cousin otis

We’ve met and chatted in person before but never really hung out or worked together until now! His street show is great and it’s always a pleasant surprise when someone lives up to what you’ve hear about them! There are soo many acts I’ve heard about and the show is just OK. But Cousin Otis has a great show that the audiences loved!

You can learn a lot by watching his show. He does a good job of “billboarding” the big trick that’s the finale of the street show. AND all of the other tricks are good.

If you get the chance to check him out, do it!

-Louie

Brent Fiasco

Last weekend I was working at an Oddities Expo with Brent Fiasco. Brent crushed his shows and does a great street style show. He does a solid crowd built, and a great job of uniting the audience.

Brent Fiasco

In his 30 min set, he does four routines. He does three routines in the first 12 minutes and one in the last 18 minutes. The show does a good job of building the crowd in the first three routines and then selling the “big trick” and prolonging it as long as possible in the last 18 minutes.

Brent Fiasco

Brent’s show is a great lesson in how to structure a street show and he also does a great job of living in the moment. If you get the chance, his show work worth checking out!

-Louie

It’s a Sign…

The book To Lure With Spectacle by Jimmy Talksalot is fantastic! One of the pieces of advice that I fought for a long time was to make a simple sign that says, “Magic Show”. I finally did it a month or so ago.

magic show sign

It’s crazy the difference that little sign has made. It helps build a crowd before I’ve started. Sometimes the simplest things make a big difference! Also go out and buy his book.

-Louie

Street Performer in New Orleans

In the French Quarter in New Orleans I ran into a street performer. He was doing standard stuff in a pretty standard way. It wasn’t bad, but for me it was just “meh”.

street performing magician

He closed with the cups and balls. If you look at the picture above, you can see the table top. The above picture was taken with the camera held above my head.

I also took a picture of with the camera at my eye level:

Magician street performing

I was in the 3rd row and couldn’t see a thing. The busker had trouble building past the second row, and that’s because you couldn’t see what he was doing.

I know I write about this a lot on this blog, but most magicians would learn a lot about what’s visible if they saw a picture of their show from the audience’s eyeline.

Have a friend take a picture of your show and check out your audience’s sight lines, it’s eye opening!

-Louie

Street Show Table…

Well, I think I’ve finally accepted that virtual shows aren’t really a part of my business any longer. Sure, I can see one or two occasionally popping up, but they are really in my rear view mirror. Before heading out on the road last week, I disassembled my virtual show table and it returned to its former life as my street show table.

street show buskers magic table

I still have all the parts and can easily rebuild it for virtual shows. One of the things that I really liked about the table was how high it was. The base was a speaker stand, and the table was about armpit height. The reason it was soo high was so that I could easily frame my face and the tabletop in the camera frame.

I’m a little sad to see the virtual show go, it was fun to do.

-Louie

Ring and Rope…

After a street show at a fair a guy asked if he could show me a trick. I always try to say “yes” when people ask me. This guy took a piece of rope that was leftover from my show, and his wife’s ring and made the ring end up in a knot in the middle of the rope!

ring and rope magic trick

I’m familiar with the trick, but it’s the first time that I’ve been shown it from someone in the audience! I know I’ve posted this before, but people’s magic trick that they show me have gotten much better the last couple of years!

-Louie