Pin Thru SD Card…

We live in a really cool time right now. I got an invite by Tommy Burnett to his lecture for IBM Ring 26 and was able to pop in and watch it while I was running at the gym! One of the the silver linings of the pandemic is that sometimes these Zoom magic meetings and lectures can be attended while you’re doing other things, like working out.

After the lecture they had their club meeting and I got to do the SD card trick I’m working on. That’s another silver lining of the pandemic, is that through Zoom you are able to get an audience almost instantly if you want to try out new ideas. Here’s my first time doing the Pin Thru SD Card trick (sorry, for some reason my screen recorder didn’t pick up my audio)

It’s always nice to get your first live performance out of the way. It’s a good way to shake the nerves of doing the trick and give you some confidence…or it’ll be a train wreck and show you the weak spots in the trick.

If you’re one of the holdouts not embracing Zoom after almost two years, you really should learn to use and perform on it. It’s a great learning tool.

Erasing Memory…

Sometimes playing with an idea without a real goal in mind will lead to something unexpected. Originally my first idea using and SD card was pen thru SD card (pen thru bill). That’s really an unoriginal idea, it’s just putting the pen thru something unusual, but doesn’t really contribute anything to the effect.

Well, last night I came up with an idea, where the effect is essentially pen thru SD card, but different. Here’s what I came up with:

From a creative standpoint it’s a much more interesting solution to penetrating the SD card with another object. This effect was inspired by the Flexible Mirror trick and the old Paper Coin Fold trick. Method wise, it’s different from the Paper Coin Fold, which was fun to figure out. The shape of the SD card makes the method work, where if it was done with a coin, you really couldn’t do the move. Sometimes changing the prop will open the door to a new method and that’s why play is an important part of creating!

Printing Memory…

The idea of using SD cards for magic tricks is interesting to me. I’m not sure why, it’s basically a coin trick, but there’s something about the prop that I find interesting. I think that it’s potentially fragile and has value. The value can be either monetary or sentimental, and usually both.

Designed a SD card for my 3D printer

and printed them out:

There are a few different ones. Regular SD card shaped and then the ones with the holes could hold micro SD cards in the slots. I’m not sure what I want to do with the ones that will hold micro SD cards, I’m thinking a 16gb card turns into two micro 8gb cards.

I’ve got another fun idea, that’s sort of like an “omni” SD card. You mention that memories are contained on them. Someone from the audience mentions a topic that someone would take pics of. Let’s say they choose “Pets”. The SD card turns clear, but inside there’s a the image of a cat.

Now the fun part, playing until I find an idea I like!

Memory Magic…

sd card

This morning I was doing the writing I do in the mornings and started playing with the idea of using an SD card for magic. I quick Google search makes it seem like no one has really worked on much with them. The SD cards are essentially coins, with them being about the diameter of a half dollar.

My initial idea was to do a Pen Thru SD Card as all of the props are related at office things. There’s really no new territory to explore there, it’s either a gimmicked pen or SD card and a pretty basic idea. However that idea got my brain going, so it did have its place.

One of the ideas I liked was having a 32 gb SD card, magically split it into two 16 gb cards, then finally split one into two 8 gb SD cards.

Another idea was doing a color changing SD card or a transposition with one black and one blue card.

Then I started thinking about making novelty SD cards with my 3D printer. Since they are essentially plastic, it would be easy to make a jumbo one, or a stretched one, or whatever.

Well…I have something new to play with.


RIP – Retire It Please

One thing that struck me was the amount of love for the Amazing Jonathan I’m seeing in FB posts.

amazing jonathan

It’s not the love for him that’s surprising, it’s the people who are doing it. There are a lot of people who I know have swiped gags from the Amazing Jonathan’s show and use them in their show, but are posting RIP’s on their social media. Are they really mourning his passing, or are they mourning the passing of their source free material.

These posts are like being sad when circuit city whet out of business, but not being sad because you were a customer, but because you used to shoplift laptops and it was easy to steal from. If you’re really sad he’s passed, you’d put the rest all of the gags stole from his show.


Amazing Jonathan…

Last night I went to bed with the news that the Amazing Jonathan wasn’t doing well and woke up to the news that he had passed. I didn’t personally know him, but he had a huge influence on how I perform. His modern (for the 1990’s) style of performing didn’t use a lot of magic boxes, it was a lot of normal looking objects.

Unfortunately I never got to see him perform live, I just know his work from television. I did try to see him live once when I was about 19 at a local comedy club. The early show was an all ages show and the night I went it was sold out…the whole weekend was.

Jonathan has probably had more bits stolen than any other comedy magician. All of his gags are super strong and work as a stand alone bits. His work will live on as gags in other people’s show, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I guess after I’ve left this world, it’d be pretty cool if people doing my material, but while I’m alive I’d probably have a different view of this…

Runner Up Twist

A while ago I wrote up the sequential twisting effect that uses what I think is an original count of mine that I’m calling the Runner Up Count. I finally made a quick video of it:

Here’s what I think the pros and cons are of it when compared to the original Twisting the Aces:

– The sequential nature makes it easy to follow what has and has not flipped
-There’s no variation in the sequence, all the counts look the same.

-starting with a double deal as the first count is difficult

Honestly I don’t know if every phase looking the same is a good or bad thing.

Shell Game Collection…

We’re wrapping up our first move for the first time in 16 years, and it’s amazing what you accumulate over a decade and half. At our new place I set up my collection of three shell game sets, and I have more than I thought I had, and in the picture below there are no duplicates:

There are some interesting sets in the collection. For example I have three sets of Rivera Shells that are all made out of very different material. There are both sets of Karl Normal Shell Game which are bowls, the original run has a divot in the top, where the second run of them doesn’t.

The shell game set I own that’s not pictured is my main working set. I really should get a second set as a back up, and to have in the display.


Area to Improve…

This morning I’m reflecting on the two senior shows I did over the last two days. Normally I wouldn’t put too much thought into them, however it’s been a while since I’ve done a full, in person show. I’ve been doing a lot of shorter bits lately, and that’s a different skill than 45-50 mins.

I think the areas I could improve would be to have a few more “non contact” tricks in this show. What I mean is have non contact options. There are a few spots where I needed to go into the audience, as I wasn’t allowed to bring people on stage. For procedural things, it’s not a huge deal. I’ve already added non contact options for things like “pick a card” an instead I have them name a card. It makes for some more interesting methods and makes me not be lazy.

There are some magic tricks that the person has do for the effect to really work. A good example is a I a Key R Rect / Seven Keys to Baldplate sort of trick and the impact is very much lessened when I turn the keys, versus having someone from the audience do that. The bigger problem is that the action happens in the audience, so it’s harder for people to see. The nice thing is that when it opens there’s a CLICK noise.

One solution I have though of for the Key R Rect trick is to have 3 people pick numbers from 1-4 and whoever picks the number I wrote down wins. I think it works, but in my head I feel it’s lacking something. It could just be that guessing a number doesn’t feel like a game to me. I do need to just go out and try it and see how it plays…


Lip Reading…

Yesterday I did my second day of senior shows and it was a lot of fun. I think I may finally be figuring out how to make my coat hanger thru silk routine work. I just need to let the effect marinade and sit with the audience even longer. The trick is a very strong and visual trick, and I think brains just take a long time to process it.

Another thing I’m learning is how much people use their eyes to listen. When we listen we also do a lot of lip reading. When someone is masked, it’s harder to understand them because we can’t lip read. This makes a ton of sense looking into the past. For example my wife uses the captions when she watches movies on a smaller screen like her phone. It makes it easier for her to “hear”. Because of this I’m talking a lot more slowly and deliberately in my shows.