I’m still going through the JP Vallarino book and I hit this description of a card move. The only part I’m talking about is the paragraph that mentions fig 1 and fig 2 along with those pics:
Figure one doesn’t show the set up that’s mentioned in fig 1. Those aces shouldn’t be visible, as they should be on the bottom of the deck and it doesn’t show the indifferent cards. Figure two should show a pinkie break, not a thumb break.
Things like this make learning from the book difficult. I’m really surprised that no one noticed that there were wrong. If this book was a self published thing I’d expect small errors, but from a big magic company like Vanishing Inc, I’m amazed that got by them.
Now I’ll say something positive about the book. I just started the Ace Assemblies section of the book. The first one is called Ultimate MacDonald’s Aces and is pretty good! It’s very heavily gimmicked, but not really in the tradition sense for the MacDonald’s Aces.
I personally don’t really do ace assemblies, however if I did, I would probably do this one!
It doesn’t take much to create an “original” magic trick…well it depends on your definition of original. My goal for at trick to be original is 60% unique. How I came up with this number is there are really three parts to a magic trick. You have the method, prop and routine. If I can get two of the three, then it fits my criteria as original, however the goal is all three.
At it’s core, it’s a thumb tip production from a bill and this part isn’t original. However the presentation and props are unique to me. I honestly don’t think there’s anyone producing syrup out of Canadian money…but there could someone that I’m not aware of.
Having metrics makes things easy. Without the rules and the goal, it’s really hard to create.
Let’s talk a bit more about protecting your marketed magic creations. I’m amazed at how many creators and magic companies don’t take the most basic step of copyrighting the art and ad copy for the magic tricks that they release.
Before we go any further, let me say that I do understand that technically you have the copyright to whatever art/ad copy as soon as it’s created, but you can’t enforce that without registering it with the copyright office. It costs about $65 to register a copyright, so it’s not a huge hurdle.
Once you have that copyright registration number, you can actually enforce it.
It’s been a while since I’ve gone onto AliExpress to have knock off products removed. I did a search and there were five knock off products.
There’s one listing that was blatantly using my copyright protected Evaporation artwork, so I filed a claim and that was taken down the next day. That left these four knock offs of my Evaporation trick.
All four of them use “Louie Foxx” and I own the trademark to that. Trademarks are like copyrights in that you technically have a trademark when you start using it in business, however you can’t really enforce it until you have it registered with the government. This cost about $300 and took some time to be approved, but it wasn’t difficult for me to do by myself without a lawyer.
My next step was to file a trademark violation with AliExpress and they immediately took down three of the four listings, and a new one popped up.
The new one that used my Evaporation artwork was pulled the next day, but there was still one listing left.
I’m not sure why this one wasn’t taken down by AliExpress with the rest of them as it’s a clear cut infringement on my trademark. I took a peek at the listing and noticed that in the listing they show my copyright protected instruction sheet.
That let me file a copyright claim as well as the trademark claim on the listing. The next day that listing was taken down and as of this morning there were no more products on AliExpress that I could find that used my trademark or copyrights!
It’s an easy process, I had probably 30 minutes total put into getting the listings pulled. It’s not hard to do, and I’m really surprised more magicians don’t take the very basic step of copyrighting their artwork. Sure you shouldn’t have to do this, but actually doing something is better than just whining about it!
When I started marketing magic tricks to magicians, I chose to not protect the trick with a patent. It was a conscious choice and I believe is magicians don’t take steps to protect their intellectual property, they can’t be too upset if it gets knocked off. When you sell a magic trick, that makes you a business, and you need to act like any other business.
I made a business decision that it’s not worth thousands of dollars and years to possibly get a patent and to ultimately have that patent become public domain after a couple of decades.
Yes it sucks to have an idea knocked off.
However there are some basic steps you can take to protect. You can get a copyright or a trademark to help stop counterfeits. Personally I have decided to do a combination of the two. I copyright art, instructions and the ad copy of the tricks that I release and I have a trademark on the name Louie Foxx™ .
By not allowing knock offs to use my art, descriptions or name, it makes it much harder for them to sell my products on larger platforms like AliExpress or Ebay. Both of those sites have easy ways for me to report people that infringe on my copyrights or trademark and are usually pretty quick at removing them.
I occasionally search the bigger platforms for my products and file IP claims. I just did a round of this on AliExpress and as of writing this right now, there’s nothing that infringes on my IP there.
This week we welcome in the amazing Brad Weston. He tells us about his interest in the variety arts at a young age and describes some of his first street shows at a zoo.
We learn about clown college, a school for comedia del arte and the differences between the two. Brad also tells us about how one contract at a theme park allowed him to move his whole family. A great conversation that comes on the heels of first appearance at the Moisture Festival.
Recently I was performing at an outdoor event where it dumped rain all day. My stage was covered so that was nice, but getting around the event I was frequently getting soaked. This the glamourous side of show biz:
In between shows I would go to my dressing room to dry off my socks and shoes so that I’d be comfortable at my next show! There’s nothing worse them stepping onstage and having something like wet shoes bug you. No one in the audience can see the discomfort, but it’s something that takes you mentally out of the show.
Keeping yourself comfortable in the show is important!
I’m a little bit late on this thinking as it’s May and Easter was weeks ago, but I’m surprised that no one is making Easter Peeps as sponges for the sponge ball/bunny trick. The make total sense and the marshmallow has a sponge like visual texture.
If you didn’t want to do a traditional “in their hands” style vanish and productions, you could use them more like multiplying bananas. They’re topical, visual and really wouldn’t take any additional skill to learn if you already do the bananas.
They really wouldn’t be hard to make a mold of, assuming the ingredients in the Peeps don’t have a bad reaction with the mold material. For me this is a deep back burner project, maybe I’ll get to it by next easter…
Currently I do several shows for different venues or audiences. Each of these shows has its own case, however there are some props that I only have one of, so I need to move that prop from case to case. I’m in the process of building or acquiring the multiples of that prop.
While I was putting the remote controls into the Applause Please V2‘s that I’m building, I wired up a second alarm clock with a remote control.
I use this prop in my Incredible Idioms school assembly show and in my general kid show. By not having to move it from case to case, it saves me time and I don’t have to worry about it not being in the case!
If you do multiple shows, having a dedicated case and props really saves a lot of time as there’s no packing to do the show, just grab the case and go!
I don’t know why, but I’ve been fascinated by the Phoenix Ace move. I don’t know the official name of the move but this is the one where you have a multiple cards held as one and you palm off the stack leaving one card visible. I think it’s really more of a stage more, but I’m trying to come up with uses for it where you’re palming off of the deck.
One I’m playing with uses an outjogged double card that’s in the middle of the deck. Another one is this one below:
Originally I was against going full remote control as the parts can be hard to replace if something breaks when you’re travelling. However, after enough people had been asking me about it over the years and me finally starting to make some for friends and one for me I’m convinced this is the way to go.
I’ve been using the fully remote controlled one I made for myself since late 2019 and it’s still working great!