Working on a Briefcase Show…

A while ago I started thinking about putting together a “briefcase magic show”. This would be a show that would fit in a briefcase and have minimal set up and take down. Ideally there wouldn’t be much more set up than simply opening the case.

You can read my previous post about it here.

The end goal would have this show as a totally different show from my normal show, so there is no duplication between the two shows. Right now the set list I’ve written for it is:

  • Ruler prediction
  • Choices Card Trick*
  • Ball of Yarn*
  • Lotto Prediction
  • Spoon/Fork/Knife*
  • Game Show
  • Birdcage

The things with the asterisk after them are tricks that are also in my current main show. That means I need to figure out how to either move them out of the main show, or out of the briefcase show. It’s a fairly mentalism heavy show, with 4 predictions (if you count the card trick as a prediction).

I think I might need to add another magic trick to it…not sure what. I guess that means it’s time to get to work on that.


Fun Pics….

I’m always on the look out for fun photo ops when I do my show. One of the things I do is the shell game, and whenever I see police officers, I always try to get them to play it.

With everyone now having a camera in their pocket, it’s super easy to get these pics. You just need to be alert and looking for opportunities. Right now is a good time to get pics of you doing tricks for Santa or elves.

When you start looking for photo ops, you’ll see them everywhere.


Virtual KAX 2022

I’m excited to be a presenter at the 2022 KAX conference! KAX is for family performers and is geared towards all sorts of variety acts: magic, juggling, puppetry, storytelling, etc

This will be my second year as a speaker at KAX. Last year I did a talk about shadowgraphy. This year I’m going to be doing a talk that I’ve wanted to do for the fair industry, and that’s on how to improve your show.

The talk will cover how to watch your show, how to write notes for your show, and how to implement those notes. I honestly don’t think a lot of people know how to actively work on their show. It’s work, and it’s not fun work, but the payoff is huge and can yield results very quickly!

I was looking at the schedule and there’s a ton of great speakers! You can get more info and register at:


Tooth Fairy Magic…

tooth fair magic trick

The other day I had a strange idea. I wanted to do a transposition between a tooth and a quarter. Using the toothfairy as presentation hook is a no brainer for this. The challenge was that I wanted one of them to be held in the spectator’s hand and obviously they are very different shapes.

The solution finally hit me, why not hand them a folding coin that was folded in thirds? This will have roughly the same shape as a tooth, and have some textures like a tooth. Once that was figured out, the rest of the mechanics were pretty simple. Here’s me trying it out:

It works! This was a great solution for strange problem.

– Louie

Googly Eye Magic…

In my daily writing that I do in the morning, I was brainstorming some ideas using Googly Eyes. One of the tricks that I came up with was essentially a spellbound using a coin an a googly eye. The kicker would be the coin ends up inside of the eye where the black googly part would be.

One of my thoughts was that maybe I should do it with a signed coin. I ended up discarding this idea. The main reason I got rid of the idea of a signed coin was that if the coin changes to the googly eye, then it should still be signed. Well…it should be signed if we’re trying to prove it’s the same coin. Logically if we’re magically transforming it to something else then the signature doesn’t have to be there.

I think magicians get hung up on having things marked, where I think that non magicians don’t need it as much as we think they do. YES, there are times when it makes the trick stronger, like bill to lemon. An ambitious card with a borrowed deck doesn’t. Usually an ambitious card with your deck doesn’t need to be signed.

Now for the next part, which is when the coin appears inside the googly eye, should the whole coin appear inside of it? That’s the thing, if the outside of the eye is still there, then shouldn’t the coin that is replacing the black part inside just be the inside of the coin?

I do have a coin that’s just the center copper part of a half dollar. That would be what would make the most sense inside of the googly eye.

Is that too much logic?


However all of that thinking gives me a more unique trick!


Sequential Twisting…

Well, I was just on another long flight and I was playing with the Twisting the Aces that uses the false count of four cards that hides the card that is second from the top. I’ve been calling the count the Second From the Top Elmsley Count, but I think I’m going to call it the Runner Up Count as it deals with the “second place”

Click here for the routine for Twisting the Aces

While I was on the flight, I got to thinking about how I bet the spectator doesn’t really remember which aces have flipped over and which haven’t. What I mean by that is if you stopped in the middle of the trick and asked which two aces haven’t flipped over, I think most people couldn’t tell you. That’s a problem with the Twisting the Aces premise, the audience is taking your word at what’s flipped or hasn’t flipped.

While I was on the plane I started to play around with the handling to be able to do it with an Ace – 2 – 3 -4 instead of four aces. Luckily I was able to do that with pretty minimal changes to the handling.

Here’s the handling, and the changes have been added in bold:

You start with an Ace, Two, Three and Four in that order face down in your left hand.

GET READY: Have the cards in a fan and gesture towards a person from the audience. As you do the gesture, your right hand takes the top two cards and the bottom card, leaving the second from the bottom card in the left hand. Your right hand then sets it’s cards on top of the single card in the left hand.

  1. Triple turn over to show the “top card”.
  2. Kill your wrist and turn just the top card over.
    -The position of the cards are: face down – face up – face up – face down
  3. Do the “Thru the Fist Flourish”, but don’t flip over the packet.
  4. Do the Runner Up Count and this will show the first face up ace. When you count the fourth card, DO NOT put it on top of the packet in the right hand, but but under the top card.
  5. Do the “Thru the Fist Flourish”, but don’t flip over the packet.
  6. Do a regular Elmsley and this will show the second face up ace.
    -The position of the cards are: face down – face up – face down – face up
  7. Do the “Thru the Fist Flourish”, and secretly flip over the packet.
  8. Do the Runner Up Count and this will show the third face up ace.
  9. Do the “Thru the Fist Flourish”, but don’t flip over the packet.
  10. Do the Runner Up Count and this will show the fourth face up ace.
    As you do the count, leave the final ace out jogged.
  11. Strip out the final ace and put it on top of the packet face up
  12. Half pass the bottom card as you spread out the packet to show the three face down bottom cards (this is the Asher Twist move)

That’s it, a simple displacement at the beginning of the trick and then one displacement after the first count and it will work with a set of cards in numerical order. While this is essentially still Twisting the Aces, I’m happier with this now that I was a few days ago.


Bigfoot Sightings…

This summer I’m doing a few virtual shows that will be cryptid themed. I’m starting the brainstorming process and I remember seeing Bigfoot Finger Feet. These are little bigfoot feet that go on your fingers. They would work great with a virtual show because you can zoom in on them and make them play big on the screen.

The idea that I came up with that I liked was to have five cards (actually blank drink coasters) with the names of different bigfoot sighting locations. I could show each card and talk about and/or show video of the sighting. I would use the feet to walk over the cards as I talked about the sightings. Then they would pick one. I’d pour water over all of the cards “to make fresh mud for the tracks” and when I do that, bigfoot footprints would appear on the selected location’s card!

From a method standpoint there’s a lot of ways I could force the location. I could use: Quinta, Hotrod Force, Math Number Forces, etc. Then for the reveal, simply using a hydrophobic spray and an stencil would do the trick.

I think using the video element of the sightings adds a lot of production elements to the trick that wouldn’t be in a typical in person library show. The nice thing is the investment for this trick will be about $20 and with showing the short video clips, I can probably get 4-5 mins out of it.


My Eyes Hurt…

Oh man, someone sent me a video a Rich Freeman performing at a sweet 16 party. The guests seem to enjoy what he’s doing…but the video is unwatchable:

Here’s the thing, I’m not trying to crap on the guy, but he made the video publicly available and out there. There are a lot of things wrong with this video.
After the title screen, he opens with an immediate transition. That transition then ends with him yelling at a kid about toilet paper with no context. The constant shapes that appear in the video make it impossible to see anything that’s going on. Outside of his control, you have a kid sitting behind him the whole show that looks bored as hell.

I’m not sure of the purpose of this video. Is it to try to get him work, or for social media content? It’s listed on the video section of his website, so I’m guessing it’s promo to get him work. Whenever you put a video on your site, you need to think about what it’s purpose is. Is it a fun video or is it to get people to book you? If it’s fun, it belongs on your social media. If it ends up taking off and getting millions of views, then you might want to move it your main site.

Upload videos with a purpose…and make them watchable!


Correct Banquet Seating!!!

Last week at the conference I was at, I finally ran into the correct way to have seating in a banquet hall! Normally when there are round tables, the chairs are seated around the entire table.

The problem with this is if there’s a show or presentation, one to three people have their backs to the stage. Commons sense thinking for event planners is “people will just turn the chairs“. Unfortunately the reality is that most people don’t turn the chairs. They start watching with their bodies contorted in the chair to watch the show. This gets very uncomfortable and even if you engage them the entire time, it’s still hard for them to enjoy the show.

The simple solution to this is to ask people to turn their chairs. What always amazes me is that this never gets 100% compliance. You’ll get maybe 25%-75% of the people to turn their chairs.

The banquet room I was at last week had the chairs arranged like this:

All of the chairs are facing forward and there’s no chair at the front of the table. That’s how you get good value from whoever you hire for a show!

Let’s hope this trend continues (it won’t)


Magic Jam – Texas

I just wrapped up a conference in San Antonio and in my usual style I got the magicians together to have a little magic jam.

The two guys in the middle I’ve hung out with many many times. The guy I’d never hung out with before is Josh Farley (holding the cards in the pic). Here’s his Penn and Teller appearance:

Josh is a fun guy to hang out with and BS magic. He’s got an interesting move with a double lift. If he’s ever in your town, go check out his show!