What’s In Your Pockets?

I was setting up a school assembly show and was about to put all of the props that I have in my pockets or hidden on my person and decided to take a pic of it!

magic show props

Here’s the prop list:

  • Mic pack and microphone
  • Media Star Remote
  • Remote control for alarm clock
  • two sponge ball droppers
  • two sponge tennis balls
  • mic holder
  • silk parakeet
  • Take up reel

A lot of magicians are afriad of using their costumes for stealing or vanishing props. I use my costume for both! When you start to consider your costume a prop, it opens up a lot of things you can do!


Packing The Street Show

Here’s all of my street show props packed into the wagon that they’ll travel in.

street magic show

This is everything, including the sound system. It’s important that the show is very mobile and sets up quickly! This show will be starting this week, so we’ll see how much the set up and packing changes by the end of the week!


Breaking in a New Routine…

Over the weekend my daughter and I had a booth at an arts fair. Sher was there selling her art, and I had my book C is for Conspiracy: The ABC’s of Conspiracy Theories for sale. I was also doing a little bit of magic every now and then.

magic at arts fair

The routine that I was working on while there was the new ending for my Cee-Lo dice trick where I make a giant metal nut appear under the cup and then an even bigger one appear under my hat!

I’m not doing any body loads for this routine, all of the production items come from my doctor’s bag that hangs on the back of my table.

Magic show prop case

After doing it a lot over the course of the day, I’m confident that the loads will work in a close up context. The plan is to use it in a half circle style show, so hopefully the loads will translate to that larger audience that’s further back. I head out on the road later this week and will get to try it out!


Walnuts to Glass Magic Routine: UPDATE

I’ve been working on a walnut to glass routine for a little while and there’s one challenge I keep hitting: Why walnuts?

Using balls with cups and balls makes sense as it looks like the shell game which people are aware of. Even though it’s cups and balls and the shell game visually are very different to people who do them, to the general public who have never seen them in real life, it’s appears to be the same.

The challenge with using nuts is basically I’m fighting the whole routine being a testicle joke. I can’t call them “nuts” in the routine, they have to be walnuts. However every time I handle them, I think I’m going to be fighting people in the audience making their own jokes. I really just don’t want that.

I’m switching over to using my Cee Lo dice and cup routine and doing the hat load of the giant metal nut. I’m also using a devils hank for a vanish of all three dice instead of doing a two in the one in the pocket sequence. The bits I have planned for the devil’s hank before the vanish will hopefully help the routine play larger!

I’m hitting the road in a few days and I’ll know if it plays or not soon!


Side Show Banner!

Quite a few months ago I had Tom Sciacca make me a sideshow style banner. Well, he did the art for it and sent me a digital file. I had has it printed as stickers months ago, but never had the banner printed out. I finally did it and it looks great!

Tom Sciacca sideshow banner art

I’m glad I got this done and it’ll look great when I have the chance to put it up at a show!


How I Got Hurt At A Hypnosis Show

Last night I drove an hour to see a magic and hypnotism show. I love seeing magic shows, and supporting people who are out there performing. I never ask for a free ticket, I always buy one. Before I get into what I think of the show, let me tell you how it ended. I walked out of the show and asked for my money back.

Was the show that bad?

The quality of the show isn’t why I left, I love all magic shows, good, bad. I walked out because I got physically injured by a hypnotist during his show and he didn’t seem to give a crap about it. That’s why I left, the performer intentionally hurt me and didn’t seem to care.

OK, so let’s get into the what happened:

The second half of the show is a hypnosis show. He does the some of the standard full audience stuff, like pretend you have a balloon tied to your hand and feel it lift up with your eyes closed. As this is happening, he taps people in the audience on the shoulder and if he tapped you, you’re invited to come onstage. After the audience qualifying bit he askes people who got tapped to come onstage. I didn’t want to go onstage, and since the tapping on the should bit is discreet, no one would know that I’m declining. Four people come up, but one has a cane, so he sends her back to her seat. Then he looks right at me, gestures towards me and says that he tapped me and verbally invites me to the stage. Being a good sport I go up to the stage after I was specifically singled out.

He does his induction, I’m not hypnotized (as far as I know), but following his directions. So I’m doing what I think he’s asking me to do. Then he gets to the bit where people play imaginary instruments and I guess I didn’t start soon enough and he walks over and has me look at him and he starts shaking my arm. Apparently I wasn’t doing it right, so after a few times of me trying to do what he wants and not doing it correctly, he grabs my arm and violently yanks it towards him and says, “sleep”. It was the opposite of making want to sleep, it hurt and I heard my shoulder make a noise.

I told him that it hurt and that I was done onstage. I walked off the stage, grabbed my coat, asked for a refund and left the venue. I really wanted to yell at him on stage about how inappropriate what he did to me was.

The hypnotist was recording the show that night, so he has this on video. I’d love to see this video and to see that I’m over reacting, however my shoulder still being sore this morning almost 12 hours later tells me I’m not.

In my heart, I hope that the hypnotist reviews the video of this show and my interaction with him and realizes how forcefully yanking on someone’s arm with no warning is a horrible idea and a great way to injure someone, someone that paid for a ticket AND drove an hour to see his show.

This should also serve as a reminder that people in the audience are actual people and not props. What you do with them on stage can have lasting effects and can skew how their opinion of future shows like yours. For example if I was the holiday party booker for a company, I’d probably never book a hypnotist in the future based only on this one experience. I used to think it was unfair when people has a bad experience with a magician and won’t book any magician, now I totally understand that position!


Walnut Routine

One of my the routines that I’m working on is a Walnut to Glass routine. My starting point is Pete Biro’s Nutty Surprise. I’ve added a devils hank for one phase and a hat load for the finale.

Here’s a picture of the end of the routine on my normal table:

Walnut magic trick

Working the routine on that table is hard because there’s not a lot of workable space due to the trim on the table. After working on it a few times, I remembered I had a larger table that I could use. And here’s what the end looks like on that table:

Walnut magic trick

The second table is about the same width as the first one, but without the trim, it has more usable space. The second table is also deeper allowing more room once the hat is on the table.

The next challenge or decision I need to make for the routine is whether to use a bottomless glass for the routine, or just a regular glass. I like Mariano Goni‘s version of the bottomless glass in his trick Nut Waltz. I won’t be doing this close up with people on top of the cup, but still a little bit worried about people being able to see it. I guess it’s something I’m going to have to actually try for people and either have it pass or get busted.


Wayne Dobson’s Legacy

The new addition to my library is Wayne Dobson’s Legacy. I’ve been a fan of Wayne’s ever since I saw him at the Desert Magic Seminar (It may have changed the name to the World Magic Summit at that point) in Las Vegas.

A while ago I got the book Wayne Dobson – The Definitive Collection. This was most of the stuff that Wayne had put out, plus a few interviews and unpublished things. It’s a great book, but then Wayne Dobson’s Legacy came out, so I figured I should get it.

Wayne Dobson's Legacy

I suspected when I ordered the new book was that the tricks included were going to be what was in the Definitive Collection book and based on a quick flip through the book, it appears that’s correct. There may be an additional bit here or there or a trick could be completely rewritten, but at a glance the material looks the same. I didn’t buy the book for the descriptions of the tricks, I got it for the biography which is book one of the set.

I’m only about 40 pages into the book so far and enjoying it, and if you’re a fan of Wayne’s I think you will too! If you’re just looking for the tricks, it looks like you can get Wayne Dobson – The Definitive Collection for about $25 as an ebook and I’d suggest you go that route. Either way, Wayne’s material is solid!


Playing to a Slow Room

Last week I drove out to watch my buddy play guitar at a casino. There’s a lot that you can learn by watching people who perform things that aren’t magic. Joe plays guitar, but he also does an act with comedy songs. In this venue he does a mix of the two. He plays cover songs, and throws in a comedy song here and there.

It was a slow night in the casino restaurant that he was playing in. He easily could have phoned it in and played some ambient cover songs and got his check and everyone would be happy. That’s not what he did. He played with energy, talked to the crowd, did bits and played a couple of comedy songs. And over the course of the hour I watched him play, I saw him win over the tables that weren’t initially watching.

The huge take away is to never phone it in. That doesn’t mean necessarily doing your show as planned, as sometimes that’s not what the audience needs. However no matter what you do, give them 100%!


Self Vanishing Headphones by Ellusionist

Way back in June I put together a quick little sequence with my Airpods. There’s nothing crazy here, it’s a sponge ball sequence and a matrix move. However it’s a solid impromptu sequence.

@louiefoxx Airpod trick! The 10 and 2! #airpod #headphone #appleairpod #apple #trick #10and2 #sleightofhand #louiefoxx #magic #magician #technology ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

I think that needs more and a while ago at a magic club meeting someone had Ellusionist’s Self Vanishing Headphones. Here’s what the trick looks like:

They are describing the trick as a modern ball vase, however they totally missed what makes the ball and vase great. In the ball and vase you can take the ball out of the vase, you can’t take the airpods out of the case. I altered my case by drilling some holes in it so that it can actually hold the Airpods.

Ellusionist Self Vanishing Headphones

Now I’m able to do the classic ball vase where I take out the Airpods, put them in my pocket, they reappear in the case, then vanish from the case and reappear in my pocket. Now it’s a ball vase. That’s not what I do with the trick, but with the simple addition of adding some holes to it so that it actually holds the Airpods makes the prop soo much more versatile!

Whenever I get a gimmick, I always try to think of how it could be better for me and what I want to do with it. Being able to start my routine with the Airpods in the case is HUGE!