Magic Clubs!

One thing that I hope still sticks around are some magic clubs getting together on zoom. While I think that meeting in person is more valuable, the Zoom ones tend to be more beneficial to me.

I just happened to be passing through Minneapolis on their magic club night. I looked it up and it was on Zoom (not in person). While I would have loved to visit in person, doing it online was OK.

Whenever possible, I try to get to magic clubs. I think they are extremely valuable in growing as a magician. I hope they figure out (as a whole) how to fix sagging membership numbers as they’re something I’d rather not see go away.

Go out there and support your local club!

Magic Inc!

I’ve wanted to visit Magic Inc for a long time, however every time I’ve been in Chicago it’s been closed. I finally made it to Chicago when it was open.

Inside I noticed they had my Evaporation trick in stock! It’s always fun to see my trick out there in magic shops.

While I was there I picked up a copy of Theseus by Nathan Colwell.

theseus by nathan colwell

It’s an interesting idea, it’s basically a book that’s just one trick, with a lot of methods for it. It sounds like it’s a bit of a journey through how the trick was created. I haven’t really had a chance to dig into it yet, but I’m excited to read it!

Abbott’s Day 6

The final day of Abbott’s for me was getting up early and giving Elliott Hunter a ride to the airport, then hitting the road for my next gig. I also forgot to mention the Elliott won first place in the competition!

On my way home, I stopped at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin. I watch my friends Adam Winrich do his fire whip show and Lynx Kim do his sword swallowing show!

Both are them are top notch acts, and worth checking out if you’re in the area!

One thing I noticed at this particular fair and I think Ren Faire’s in general is that the audiences are there to have a good time. If I try to overanalyze it, they really commit to going. They get dressed up and spend time and money on that. That gives them the incentive and mindset that they are there to have a good experience.

Now I just need to figure out how to get my audiences to commit to my events before they leave their homes!

Abbott’s Day 5

I got up early after sleeping in my car, and caught Franz Harary’s lecture. It was more of a Q&A and he shared a lot about how he thinks and how he works.

Then I had a little birdcage jam with Thomas:

We got really nerdy about the cages, it was a lot of fun!

Then I ran into Larry Kahlow from Eagle Magic, which was the shop that I went to when I lived in Minnesota!

It was great to catch up with Larry!

Before the convention, my daughter had made some buttons out of the George Shindler’s beginner’s magic book. I ran into George and gave him one of the buttons!

When I gave him the button, he told me that he does the trick on the button. I told him it was his trick from his book!

The evening show was Lance Burton and Friends:

It was a fun show and got a deserved standing ovation!

I’m now trying to figure out how to get to Abbott’s next year. It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be able to go, with me taking time off for FISM next summer.

Abbott’s Day 4

Day four began with me checking out Trino’s street show:

It was a fun show with some twists and turns in the effects. Then it was back to the high school to see Chad Long and David Williamson’s lecture:

David Williamson has a really cool stage size card trick he teaches in it!

After the lecture, there was a storm blowing in, so we went outside to pull canopies and things that shouldn’t be outside in a storm, just in time! As we were finishing, we had to pile into an RV and wait out the storm

We dried off in time to catch the evening show:

In the middle of the show, we could hear the rain pounding down on the roof of the gym. After the show I went out to check on my tent and the top of a garbage can had smashed it!

My tent poles were destroyed, so I decided to sleep in my car!

Abbott’s Day 3

Today started with a walk down to Abbott’s shop where there was some vintage racist art on some props:

I think it’s time to pull these props off of display. I’m not necessarily saying to throw them away, but not having them on display for an asian family to see when they walk into the shop wouldn’t hurt.

That afternoon, I went on the graveyard tour which was hosted by Al The Only.

The tour was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it!

We did the spaghetti dinner at the church:

The highlights of the dinner were Bill Cook playing the piano and Fielding West telling dirty jokes while Lance Burton scolded him for telling them in a church!

The evening show was great!

and then I finished the night at the American Legion hall with some late night jamming:

I’m having a blast at this convention!

Abbott’s Day 2

Yesterday was the first official day of the Abbott’s Magic Get Together. I spent a good chunk of the morning in the dealers room showing people the products that I brought with me. Then I walked (15 mins) into downtown to see the street performer:

People liked him, however he was a little bit too standard for my tastes. All standard tricks, done in the standard way, with standard patter.

Later in the day was Nick Diffate’s lecture.

It was good, he shared some good stuff.

The stage show that night was fun, and it was good to see Stuart Mcdonald’s act.

There are a few choices that performers make that make me scratch my head. The first is when you’re dong a magic convention and in the evening show, why would you do a standard trick in the standard way? I honestly believe that professor’s nightmare has no place in a show at a magic convention.

The other was they had a speed painter who added a mentalism bit to his speed painting. The effect was he was going to paint the person that someone was thinking of. He used an Amazebox to force it, and from the audience I could tell something didn’t look right. The speed painter got to the end and when he asked the person to reveal the person they were thinking of, it wasn’t who he painted. It took all of the air out of the trick. If you have a skill that’s very interesting, don’t try to add a magic trick to it…especially if you’re not a good magician.

So far, the first day has been a blast!

Abbotts…Day 1

Yesterday I got into Colon, MI, which is a day before the Abbott’s Magic Get Together starts. The day begins at 10 am, so I figured it would just be easier to arrive the day before.

Somehow, despite not really knowing anyone here, I got invited to a amish chicken dinner! It was a lot of fun. The dinner was amazing, then we went to an amish farm and did a show for some families.

I was invited to perform, so I did my spoon act and it went over really well! I was worried about a few lines in it, but it played great and I’m glad that’s the act I did.

Today is the first day of the Abbott’s Get Together, and it looks like it’ll be a fun day!

Learning By Cutting…

Reflecting back on performing with World of Wonders last week, it really got me out of my comfort zone. Performing in a three minute context isn’t something I really do anymore. When I was starting out I built my show at comedy open mics in 3-5 minute chunks, however it’s been a while since I’ve worked in that format.

The big thing for me is that it’s gotten me to edit. I was cutting out things that really didn’t need to be there. Also when you’re doing a routine as a stand alone bit, you’ll notice what’s a strong joke or bit and what felt like it was a good joke, but it’s just your momentum from the whole show that helps you get a laugh.

I’ve also written some new jokes and come up with some new bits for the routines I was doing.

I’m really glad I did this, it’s not my normal thing. I learned a lot!