Virtual Show Prop Shelf

The dismantling of my Virtual Magic Show is continuing. Today I took apart the spinning shelf that held all of my props for the show.

As the show progressed, I simply rotated the shelf counter clockwise to get to the next set of props. From an efficiency standpoint, it was great! It was also nice to glace at the holders, and if there was an empty one, then a prop wasn’t set for the show or was missing!

I’m getting rid of the board, and keeping all the holders. If I need to recreate this, it won’t be hard to do.

-Louie

Own Your Magic!

About a month or so I picked up the book Own Your Magic A Magicians Guide to Protecting Your Intellectual Property by Sara Crasson. It was recommended by Christopher Weed, who is a super smart guy!

If you’ve read this blog, you’ll know that I’ve learned a lot about protecting the magic that I sell and that I’ve been very successful in keeping knock offs of my magic products off of sites like ebay and aliexpress.

I think this is something that all magicians should read, it not only covers the different types of intellectual property (IP), but how it applies specifically to magicians. Hopefully it will inform idiot magicians who don’t know about IP from commenting in social media groups with factually inaccurate information about IP.

My favorite is when a magician says a trick is protected as a “trade secret”. Sure it can be, but if I’m not a party to the trade secret agreement and can figure it out, I’m (legally) free to use it. Trade secrets only apply to those who have signed the agreement.

If you’re a creator, I hope if gives you a base for where to start to protect an idea for a trick and the different processes for doing it. For example, I personally don’t want to patent a trick due to time and expense. I choose to copyright the art and instructions. That allows me to remove knock offs from popular sites because they are using my text and art. Most of the people knocking off don’t want to spend the time it takes to write ad copy and create art, so it narrows down the amount of knock offs out there.

If someone uses my idea and creates their own art, text and ad copy they are legally free to do make my product. Sure, I’d rather they don’t, but I’ve accepted that’s how it is based on what I was willing to do to protect my products.

I’m always amazed at how many magicians have taken the basic step of registering the text and art of their instructions and ad copy. It’s less than $100 and easy to do online.

Get the book Own Your Magic A Magicians Guide to Protecting Your Intellectual Property, read it and at least be informed!

-Louie

The Moisture Festival Podcast – Zero Boy

This week on the Moisture Festival Podcast connect from the three corners of the USA to bring you ZeroBoy!

The moisture festival podcast - zeroboy

We talk about his start as a performer, the different characters he performs as and how he developed his unique sound! You’re going to love this episode!

Adding Production to Your Show

I’m always thinking about how to use video screens to make the show play bigger. It’s technology that 10 years ago really wasn’t within the grasp of the average magician, but now for less than $1,000 you can have a compete set up…even less if you already have a laptop computer!

micheal buble

One of the things about the Micheal Buble show that I was recently at, was that the screens weren’t just for making him bigger. There were three screens and sometimes there was a “set piece” like a the moon above. Sometimes it was a close up of a band member or the audience in the middle with Buble on the sides or vice versa.

This is something that doing a couple seasons on Masters of Illusion taught me, that the background adds a lot. In their tech sheet they ask if there’s something you want as your background. Something simple like adding a picture of a workshop when you’re doing a bit about inventing a trick, or a picture of your wife when you’re doing a routine about your wife adds a lot of production value to your show, and that’s just still images.

-Louie

Michael Buble and Adding Time to Your Show…

micheal buble

Last night my wife and I went to see Michael Buble, and that guy works his butt off onstage. He did just over two hours with no opening act, and the two hours flew by!

One huge thing to note is that it wasn’t all music. In between each song the told jokes. It was a mini stand up set that usually introduced the next song or was about the city we were in. Telling jokes between routines is a great way to add personality and time in your magic show. I used to do this more, and need to get back to doing more of it.

Basic math says if you do eight tricks in your show, and if you can add 2 minutes of jokes between those eight routines, you’ve added 12 minutes to your show without having to carry any extra props. That would turn a 45 in show into almost an hour!

– Louie

Changing Seats…

Somedays I get to a gig and see that it’s really set up for my show to struggle. Here’s the set up at a recent fair:

view from stage

The hay bales are probably 35-40 feet way from the stage, and in full sun. Due to the direction the stage faced, there really wasn’t much I could do about the sun, but I could work on the hay bales. I drug most of them closer to the stage:

stage

Closing the gap to the audience really helped me connect. It also stopped people from using the area in front of the stage as a walkway through the fairgrounds. I always do what I can to give my show the best possible conditions based on the situation.

-Louie

Auto Spring Fan Card Revelation: version 2

Okay, so I tried the Auto Spring Fan Card Revelation with misdirection to flip the fan over. The idea is that they don’t see me turn the fan over, their attention is elsewhere, and when they look back all of the cards have changed.

Here’s sort of what it looks like (it doesn’t work on camera as it’s an open move that’s covered by misdirection):

The reaction it gets has a delay while people notice it at staggered times, so it’s not at punchy as openly flipping the fan over. Reaction wise, it’s say it’s about the same either way, but flipping it covered by misdirection is a stronger magic trick. What’s nice is that it can be done either way and you can choose at the last minute how you are going to do the revelation, you aren’t really locked into one way or the other.

-Louie

Auto Spring Fan Revelation in Action!

The card revelation that I’m playing with got tested out at the fair, and it’s getting good reactions:

It’s not the most magical trick ever, it’s a novelty revelation. Sure there are layers to it, like showing the backs of the cards, but at the end of the day if anyone wanted to explain it, they’d say you turned the cards over.

I did have an idea this morning that might make it a little more magical. What if I did the turn over of the fan while they weren’t looking. So when the look back at the fan it’s changed to all the same card. I’ll have to try to figure out a moment to flip the fan, so it’s not like I’m intentionally making them look away.

-Louie

Auto Spring Fan Card Revelation

When I travel, I usually have a ziploc bag full of things that I can use to make gaffed items or fix broken gaffs.

magic trick inventors kit

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about gimmicking an Auto Spring Fan. It’s because of this bag of stuff I was able to start work on making the gimmicked Auto Spring Fan.

Gimmicked auto spring fan with flap card

I spent some time splitting cards, so that they fan wouldn’t be super thick and glued them over the existing backs of the cards on the fan, and added a flap card

Auto spring fan card revelation

I’m happy to report from a technical standpoint, the trick functions properly. The next step will be to actually try it for an audience!

-Louie

Auto Spring Fan…

The other day I was at a magic shop in Mesa, AZ and I bought an auto spring fan of cards on a whim. If you don’t know what an Auto Spring Fan is, it’s a packet of cards that pops open into a fan automatically. I thought I was probably just going to have a kid hold them in pictures after the show.

Magic shop mesa, AZ



During the drive to the gig, I thought about what else could be done with them. There’s not a lot you can do besides open them. Then I got an idea, they could be used as a card revelation. The idea is the whole fanned deck would turn into the selected card.

I realized that if I held the closed deck face down and fanned them so that I was tightening the spring, I could show the backs of the cards on the edge that’s normally hidden.

This allows me to have all the cards on the back (except for the top card) to have the corner shown when fanned to be the same card. Having the top card change would simply be making a flap card.

…at least that’s how it is in my head. Now to actually make the gimmick, which is the real work!

-Louie