Pics to Envelope!

Oh man, we’re hitting the homestretch here! A few days ago I started writing about wanted to do Goshman’s Cards Thru Newpaper and how it has morphed into a completely new magic trick.

The final change to the physical props was to get rid of the jumbo card that the pictures reappeared under. I was texting my friend Terry Godfrey, who is a very smart magician and we came up with the idea of changing the jumbo card to an envelope that starts out holding the pictures.

Magic trick

I ended up making the envelope, so it’s not a standard size. It’s a little bit smaller than the jumbo card that I was using.

Card magic

At this point I have an original magic trick. The next step is to clean up the handling a little bit.

Pics to Jumbo Card.

The last couple of days I’ve been writing about doing Goshman’s Cards Thru Newspaper and how it morphed to Cards To Jumbo Card. Today we’re going to talk about the next leap it’s taking, and that’s starting to get rid of the cards. In place of the four regular cards, I’m using Polaroid pictures of my daughter and our pets.

Magic trick

The cool thing about these is that they are slightly smaller than playing cards, which makes a lot of the sleight of hand much easier! The nice thing about coming up with a method that doesn’t use a duplicate, they pictures could be of people from the audience, or of a company’s products, or whatever.

Once again, the video below wasn’t intended for people to watch other than me. It’s a “proof of concept” video that was for me to watch and see how well everything worked and also to remind me of what I was doing.

Things are starting to come together, but there’s still one thing I don’t like, and that’s the jumbo card. Tomorrow we’ll talk about how I got rid of that.

Color Change

The other night while watching TV with the family I was fiddling with a deck fo cards and came up with a strange color change. There’s a lot wrong with it, and in its current state it’s not a good color change.

The main problem with it is that it’s not good for video. I can see the flash that happens when you palm the card being hidden in a live show, but not on video. Also there are better ways to do a color change.

It was fun to play with.

Cards To Jumbo Card…

Yesterday I wrote about working on Albert Goshman’s Cards Thru Newspaper. Then I took out what I didn’t like, the newspapers and it left me with cards thru jumbo card. In the original effect the cards penetrated up through a newpaper that was laid out like a mat. In the reworked version of the trick, the cards disappear from my hand and reappear under a jumbo card.

My thinking was to have the four cards that disappear one at a time and reappear under the jumbo card be signed, or be blank cards with spectator’s signatures. With this change to each card being unique, I can’t use Goshman’s method that has a duplicate. I needed to figure out a new way get the cards there, or more specifically to do a switch or two.

I started working out a sequence that made sense. What I came up with, for the most part was identical to Albert Goshman’s routine, just without the newspaper and instead of the cards penetrating the newspaper, they teleport to under the card.

The video below wasn’t intended to be watched by anyone other than me. I’m posting it to show how I create. When working on a sequence, I’ll just turn the camera on and play around. The nice thing is that if something works, I can easily go back and find it. This was probably sequence number 43 of the evening. There’s not a lot you can see in the video, but enough for me to know what I did.

At this point, I’ve removed a prop, and reworked the method, so technically it’s an original trick. However it’s still a card trick right now, and I’m trying to not add card tricks to my show. I’ll talk about my solution to making it not a card trick tomorrow.

Cards Thru Newspaper

A magician friend of mine a few months ago performed Albert Goshman’s Cards Thru Newspaper for me. I remember reading it in Goshman’s book, however I remember reading it and working through it and it didn’t feel spectacular. I was also probably 17 years old at the time, so that might have affected my opinion of the trick.

If you haven’t seen the trick, here’s Goshman doing it:

Compared to a lot close up magic, it’s pretty slow. It’s still a good trick for non magicians and had a couple of good moments in it. I like it as a “formal” close up thing that could be done via video projection. However, I have to look at what I don’t like about it. The biggest thing I don’t like is the newspaper.

In the trick there are two newspapers, the one laying flat on the table and the one being used as a cover. The cover newspaper was easily replaced by a jumbo card.

Cards thru newspaper magic trick

Replacing the flat newspaper on the table made me have to rework the method of the trick. There’s a couple of moments in Goshman’s routine where you need that newspaper. I could replace it with something like a handkerchief, but decided to rework the routine.

What I ended up with is something complete different than Goshman’s Cards Thru Newspaper, and an original trick. Taking a trick as a starting point and then continually removing what you don’t like is one way to create original material.

Original Magic!

I found the trailer for the upcoming season of Masters of Illusion and you get to see a trick I invented at the 27 second mark:

One of the great things about creating original material, not just presentations is that when you are pitching acts to a TV show you don’t have to worry if something has been done before. This applies to more than just TV, it’s a huge advantage for variety shows as well. You don’t need to fight over who gets to do what trick.

Original content is king!

Masters of Illusion…

Several months ago I hinted that I was putting together some material for a TV show. I always assume that I’ll have my bit cut and end up no being on the show. I recently got an email of the list of acts that will on the show, and I’m on the list!

I’m excited to be a part of the 7th season of Masters of Illusion on the CW network!

It was a lot of fun getting to work on a TV show and hanging out with all of the acts!

My First Virtual Show

I’ve now gotten my first live virtual show completed and it was a huge learning experience. First of all, it wasn’t a full of show of me, it was a variety show that I co-hosted. Pulling together all of the technical things to make it work was a huge challenge for me. There’s a huge learning curve.

In the show we did, the format was Matt Baker and I hosted live acts. Bringing in those acts was a bit of work after reviewing the video I’ve learned to make the transitions much smoother.

I think the key to doing virtual shows is to actually go back and watch them and see what you could do better. Treat not just the show as something that can be improved, but the medium it’s delivered in. Would the show be better if it had title cards, or a canned video as a transition? Things like that, you’re not doing a magic show, you’re doing a live TV show!

Rethinking LIVE Close Up

Lately I’ve been thinking about how live magic is going to change after shows start up again. I’m thinking mostly about material selection and what people will be willing (or not willing) to do in the context of a show. Before COVID you could get people to do just about anything, however I’m not sure what the future holds.

One thing I know is that if your “Go To” trick is sponge balls, you probably need to come up with another trick. I think they’ve passed their prime. Most who magicians rely on a trick like sponge balls don’t have much going for them. If you can’t crush a close up set without them, then you’re doing something wrong.

For close up, I’m lucky that I stopped doing sponge balls a long time ago. However I do the a card that appears in held in my lips as a phase of my ambitious card. I’m going to need to rethink that phase, and come up with something else to do, or just eliminate it.

Make It Easy To Watch!

This morning a buddy of mine sent me a video of a magician doing a card trick and wanted to know my thoughts on it. The thing that stood out to me, and is something that I should have realized before is that most of us are doing card tricks for social media incorrectly.

Many videos of just the hands have them coming down from the top of the screen, or are from the spectators point of view showing more of the magician. If you are doing any card tricks that require you to spread the cards, the indexes are upside down.

If you are someone that frequently handles cards, it’s pretty easy to tell what is what. However, most people are not. If you asked someone to memorize a card and they saw it upside down there’s a great chance they will struggle with it. It’s also visually unappealing to look at. Here’s my suggestion, use a left handed deck of cards.

left handed cards

This cards spread this was a so much easier to identify for someone that’s not familiar with cards. If you don’t spread the cards, like in an ambitious card routine then it’s not really a issue.