Out For Beers!

Last month when I was at the Abbott’s Magic Get Together, I was doing my trick Out For Beers. This combines a brand new gag card with a classic principle. Many of the magicians who I showed it to asked if I would sell it to them. I didn’t have any with me to sell, so I couldn’t. Because of that demand, I made up some sets for sale.

Here’s what it looks like:

out for beers magic trick

What I like about it, is you are using the gag to get into the trick. Where most of the tricks that use the Out to Lunch principle, the cards are the focus of the trick. They have no reason to be there aside from the trick. That’s what makes Out For Beers great, the trick is unexpected.

Here’s What You Get:
*Gimmicked card to show the full beer pitcher
*50 cards showing the empty pitcher
*Rubber band
*BONUS: 5 extra cards that show the full beer pitcher

Out For Beers $19

Another Cage…

Awhile ago I realized I collected vanishing birdcages. At the last Potter and Potter auction they had an old brass vanishing birdcage.

The description said they think it’s from the 1930’s. I personally think it’s more modern than that. I decided to bid on it, and I’m the only one that bid, so I got it for next to nothing, which is great for me!

I’m very curious how heavy it is and how well it collapses.

The blobs of solder look like they’ll rip your forearm open if you vanish it with any force. I wish I knew a little bit more about the cage’s history. That’s the thing, so many makers worked for different companies and people. It’s hard to know what came from who. When I was at Abbott’s Magic Get Together, I chatted with a lot of people who are very knowledgeable about the vanishing birdcage to try to figure out who made the one I use. Everyone gave me a different answer and told me that the other people were wrong.

Do I need to know who made it?

Not really, since they aren’t made anymore, I can’t just go out and buy one. Knowing the history of your props does make you a better performer. I’m not sure why, but I think when you know your props on a deeper level, the audience can sense that. The prop becomes something more to you, and that comes through when you use them.

The Artist’s Way – Week Two…

I’m still going through the book The Artist’s Way, which is a book about being more creative. It’s a 12 week program that has a lot of writing you need to do. I’m just starting week two, and I’ll say, I’m getting more than I expected to get out of it.

For me, the big thing is the morning writing you do each day. It’s just putting a pen to paper and writing for three pages. It’s a free writing scenario, you write whatever’s on your mind. I’ve had a couple of great ideas come out of the writing. It’s also giving me more depth as a person on and off stage as it’s making me explore some internal things that I might not really have looked at.

One of the ideas that came out of the daily writing is a trick with a jar of candy. The jar is full, then I produce candy and when you look back at the jar, it’s now half full. You then put the candy you just made appear back into the jar and it’s full again. The method is solid, and practical. I wouldn’t really have this trick it if it wasn’t for the daily morning writing. I still need to make the trick…but it wouldn’t exist on paper at least without the morning writing!

Anything that gets you to write is good.

Great Theme!!!

A couple of weeks ago I got to work with John Park who does the Funny Waiter Show. It’s a great theme for a juggling act. All of his props and tricks are waiter themed.

John is a very strong performer and keep the show going. He’s been a street performer for probably as long as I’ve been alive. He’s always working on his show, even thought right now it’s a great show, he’s always trying to make it better.

His show is a great example of adding a theme to your show to tie it together. A “funny waiter” is easy to theme, you don’t need pe0ple to get on board with a strange character or concept for the them. It also doesn’t feel like something that’s for kids. What I mean by that, is the character is an adult feeling character, it doesn’t feel like it’s geared for kids like a train conductor.

If you get a chance to see his show, you’ll learn a lot by watching it!

Do It Live…Please!

Last week I worked with an 1880’s Frontier Show. The description made it look like it was one of the shows where the kids from the audience get dressed up and they do a show. Usually these types of shows are circus themed and the kids do the circus acts. This one was frontier themed. They have a very limited amount of the kids being dressed up, and they have one kid do the bit alone. Which is strange as the kids alone really lack direction and don’t know what to do.

Their set up looks great and had activities for the kids to do all day. The show lacked a lot. It was all done to a track and they performers lip sync’d the show. This took any sense of spontaneity out of the show. That’s the fun thing with kids, funny and unplanned things can happen. Most of the show was the people who run the show performing. It was pretty sad, I don’t want to see someone lip sync a song, I want to see them sing the song, that’s why you got to live entertainment!

They had a ventriloquist (I think that was the intention) tell a story that was all to a recorded track.

The picture above pretty much sums up the energy level of the show. If they simply switched to doing all the songs, and talking live the show would instantly get better!

Here’s what I learned form watching this show. People go to live shows to see people exhibit their talents…and to see them do it live. People don’t want to see you mouth along to a prerecorded track. They want the experience of something happening now!

The Moisture Festival Podcast – Jay Alexander

This week the Moisture Festival Podcast is joined by the magician to the stars, Jay Alexander!

The talk about Jay’s beginning as the doorman at a rock club, his relative that was a vaudeville strongman, living on a boat and owning his own magic theater! This is a great episode, where you’ll learn about Jay’s amazing life!

Don’t Be Creepy…

In a facebook group someone asked for advice on how to deal with preteen hecklers. Now, I’ve written in the past about how advice on the internet is pretty much always crap advice. Well here’s a good example. Here’s Pete’s suggestion and my reply:

Objectifying a pre-teen girl without their permission is wrong. This is also misguided, as the girl may not be the one causing the problem. Another issue is that preteen’s probably don’t know what misdirection is, so they won’t get the joke.

He tries to defend it by saying he’s not in the USA, and where he lives it’s culturally OK. That may be, but that doesn’t make it right. There’s a place in the USA (Massachusetts) where it’s legally OK for an adult to marry a twelve year old, but that doesn’t make it right.

Then he goes onto personally attack me:

I respond with a couple bullet points of my resume and Pete says that he’s never heard of me. This is very interesting because he just made a lot of statements about my show. How could you make the above statement if you know nothing about me?

So which is it Pete, do you know about me or not?

When I asked him to explain his statement, the confirmed he had no idea who I am. That’s when I asked him:

He then says he never made any statements about my show. That’s when I quoted his statement about me copying other people and then here’s the exchange that followed:

FYI: he lives in the UK, which has libel laws that are much more strict than in the USA.

His only response to me asking why he felt the need to make up stuff about me was to try to bully me.

This is the problem with trying to crowdsource advice on the internet. You can get advice that’s not very good. Then the people giving that poor advice aren’t exactly people you’d want to take advice from.

The bigger point is that we all should try to be better. Things that were OK in the past may not be OK now. Look at it this way, if you don’t objectify women in your show, no one is going to see the show and say, “I didn’t like how the magician chose to not comment on that preteen’s look, I’m not going to hire them for my event.” However there are people who will see the show and chose not to book you because of how you objectified a child.

Challenges Extracting Silver…

I’ve been working on this Silver Extraction coin trick style routine at the fair this week. I’ve learned a lot. First of all, I think the more complex method I’ve come up with to switch the coins, has some advantages over simply doing a shuttle pass. A shuttle pass is a solid method for doing the trick, however the advantage of my complex method is that I can hold the coin more openly after the switch.

One of the problems I’ve encountered working on this is getting the shell to stick to the magnet on the lighter. The solution was simple, I added a second magnet to the lighter and some more shim steel to the shell coin.

Having more magnets and more steel to grab solved the problem. The lighter really firmly attaches to the coin.

Another thing that I’ve learned about the trick is that I need to call attention to the three layer of the coin. Most people have noticed the layers, but never really thought about them. The trick has been getting great responses from the people at the fair this week. I really like how strange the trick is.

More Silver Extraction…

Yesterday I started messing around with the Silver Extraction coin trick. Traditionally how the trick goes, is you give them the coin that they hold in their fist. You then pull the silver (silver blob) through their hand and they are left with a clear coin. I think the pulling through the hand is fun, but I think this particular set of coins has a different effect possible.

here’s the idea:

I like the visual of the shaking and having the silver blob sliding around on top of the copper center of the coin. Method wise, I’m not sure it’s an improvement over just a shuttle pass. I’ll be trying out both methods today at the fair.


Silver Extraction…

Many years ago when I was working at Market Magic Shop, I used to demo and sell a trick called Silver Extraction. The effect is you take a half dollar and it ends up turning into a blob of silver and a clear coin. Then at some point someone made a coin that was just the copper center of a half dollar. I don’t know what the routine was, but I’m going to assume it was a similar effect.

I always thought it would be great paired with the blob of silver that came with the Johnson Silver Extraction. Unfortunately they stopped making the Silver Extraction a long time ago, so that was something I never did. Well, recently I came across one of the blobs of silver and bought it.

Now that I have the two of them, I can try it out!