Learning at Open Mic’s

Last night I went out to an open mic at a bar that’s not too far from where I live. I always say that magicians can learn a lot by going to these, not just performing but by watching comics work.

The acts that did the best were the ones that hopped onstage and got into their material. The acts that got up, mumbled, fussed with the mic stand, then 45 seconds later got into jokes were the ones that didn’t do as well.

One comic got on stage and immediately started making fun of a guy at the bar. It turned the audience really quick on the comic. Without liking the comic, you can’t do “insult humor” or roast anyone before you establish yourself so the audience is with you. It was interesting to watch someone make that choice, especially when you only have 3-5 mins onstage. I guess open mics are about taking risks, and that comic definitely took a risk!

If you’re a magician, especially a “comedy magician” you should pop into these every now and then.


New Book Delivery Day!

It’s always a fun day when I get new books in the mail! I got The Bammo Flim Flam Conglomeration and The Comedy Helpline.

The Bammo Flim Flam Conglomeration and The Comedy Helpline.

I’ve been a fan of Bob Farmer’s ever since his Flim Flam articles in Magic Magazine. The other book was is comedy magic tips from many different magicians. I’ve started the Bammo Flim Flam book and I’ve already got a bar bet I’m going to try out!


Magic Jam and a Coin Trick

One of the things I love when I’m home is being able to get together with other magicians.

While magic jamming with Jonathan Friedman and Chris Beason, we came with with this strange little coin trick:

It’s not really practical, but a fun little magic trick for a video.


Spirit Rapping Hand

A few months ago I bought a cool looking vintage spirit hand and planned to use it to make a mold to make my own spirit hand.

I didn’t have any pigment for my resin, so my hand came out looking like a zombie hand! The original one would have come with a gimmicked board to make it move. I gimmicked mine so that is doesn’t need the board.

It works, and if I make another one, I’m probably going to go for a less dead looking skin tone!

Masters of Illusion – Cracker Card Trick!

My segment on Masters of Illusion aired last night, but I didn’t get to see it until this morning as we don’t have cable anymore. It was a good segment and that got me about 2 1/2 minutes of airtime, which is great!

If you missed it, here it is:

The normal routine runs 6-8 minutes, so there’s a lot of stuff that got cut out of the routine to tighten it up for TV.

Here’s a bit of the story behind this routine:

Way back in 2019 I went to Holbrook AZ to perform my magic show at the Navajo County Fair. My bags were overweight, so I left my cards at home, thinking I could get them in Holbrook. When I got there I couldn’t find playing cards anywhere in town! I wandered the stores looking for something “card like” that I could use instead of cards. A box of crackers caught my eye. Over the week I developed a card trick that used crackers instead of cards!

You can also search the tag: Cracker on this blog for more info about the routine.

hope you enjoy it!

The Moisture Festival Podcast – Backstage Interviews

We’re still hanging out backstage at the 2022 Moisture Festival chatting with the performers and people that make the festival happen!

The backstage hang out is one of the highlights for the performers, and we know you’ll enjoy hanging out via the podcast!

Strange Vanishing Birdcage Proportions

I found a Vanishing Birdcage on eBay that I don’t have in my collection. I don’t know who made it.

aluminum Vanishing Birdcage

This one is interesting because of its dimensions. Its 5 x 5 x 5 inches, so a square. For perspective, my Owen Vanishing Birdcage is 5 3/4 x 5 x 5, so a rectangle.

Riser / Summers baby lindy vanishing birdcage, owens challenge cage, and maker  unknown vanishing birdcage
Left to Right: Baby Lindy – Unknown Maker – Owens Challenge Cage

What I find strange is the square dimensions make cage look smaller and not really give you any advantage as the cage collapsed is virtually the same size as the Owen cage.

Riser / Summers baby lindy vanishing birdcage, owens challenge cage, and maker  unknown vanishing birdcage
Left to Right: Baby Lindy – Unknown Maker – Owens Challenge Cage

The amount of bulk reduced in your sleeve after the vanish is negligible, and it’s only one bar shorter than an Owen Challenge Cage.

What is interesting is the weight of the cage. I compared it to my Baby Lindy and Owen cage and this cage is 20% lighter than the Riser/Summers Baby Lindy Vanishing Birdcage and about 2/3’s the weight of the Owens Challenge Cage.

The lighter weight is the only advantage for this cage, however I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t have made it a bit wider or shorten it’s depth to give it that rectangle shape to reduce bulk.

I’m glad to have it in my vanishing birdcage collection!

Hat Coil preparation

I’ve got a few summer camp shows this week. Yesterday I mentioned that I use a Hat Coil in my summer camp show.

hat coil magic trick

Last night I was getting them ready, so here’s how I prep them. I start by removing the inner brown cardboard from the hat coil. Then I take a bit of the middle and I crumple it into a ball. That ball then gets shoved into the middle of the hat coil. That makes it easier to pull out when I’m ready to produce it.

Next I cut off some of the outer layer and throw it away. I use tape to secure the end. The reason that I do that is because the hat coil slows down a lot towards the end and the last bit just takes forever. By cutting off a little bit is makes it a little punchier:

It takes about 10 minutes to do 7 -10 of them, so it’s pretty quick.

hat coil magic trick

Now I’m good to go for the week!


Magic Mondays in Seattle

In the Seattle area we have a show called Magic Mondays. This is essentially a magic open mic, and a great resource for local magicians to work on material, or just have a chance to perform in front of a real audience. This show has been running for years and has a built in fan base, and the audience came back when the show returned after 2 years off during the pandemic.

Last night we got to see Jim Earnshaw perform some coin magic, then David Regal’s Will The Socks Match. I really liked the sock trick!

jim earnshaw performing a coin trick

Next we had Frederick Turner doing a “do as I do” style card trick, with a bell as the transition prop. I really liked the used of the bell and it was great signal at the end of the trick.

frederick turner card magic

In the show was a new to the Seattle area performer, David Hirata. He did some great rope magic, card magic and was a lot of fun to watch!

david hirata rope magic

Finally we had Master Payne who did his fabulous coin in bottle routine. He’s going to be doing a presentation at FISM in a couple of weeks and will be doing this routine, so he was practicing it.

Master payne coin in bottle

Last night’s show was solid show and best of all, it’s FREE to the audience!
This is a great show to catch is you’re in the Seattle area on the second Monday of the month at Third Place Books (Ravenna).