20 min magic show in 44 seconds

Last month I performed in a magic show in California with five other magicians. Here’s the highlight reel of my show:

@louiefoxx 20 min comedy magic show in 44 seconds! #hermosabeach #magic #comedymagic #california #louiefoxx #hoopandcup #balancing ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

Also if you’re not following me on Tik Tok, shoot over there and give me a follow at tiktok.com/@louiefoxx!

-Louie

Beast’s Transformation!

When I was at Tokyo Disneyland one of their new attractions is the Beauty and the Beast ride. At one point in it the Beast turns into a human and it was one of the most magical things that I’ve seen in person with my eyes!

It’s super cool, however something like this would be unrealistic in 99.99999% of any magic shows as the staging/lighting it would take to do it wouldn’t travel well…or handle being moved very well. That said, I think the bar of what magic tricks can be is being raised by things that aren’t presented in magic shows. There’s soo much amazing stuff that’s just out there for the general public that it proves Arthur Clarke’s third law.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

We’re leaving the days of having a bad trick with a good presentation being acceptable, and entering a world where you need a good trick with a good presentation. Honestly, I would argue that we’ve been in that world for at least a decade and most magicians have just been unwilling to accept it!

-Louie

Finger Off Extreme

I love fun little sight gags and Finger Off Extreme by Luca Bono is FANTASTIC! It’s a silly little gag where you pull you finger off.

@louiefoxx Sleight of hand!! #sleightofhand #magic #magictrick #pinky #degloved #louiefoxx #brokenbone #ouch #wtf ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

What’s great is the visual of the bone is soo unexpected. The trick isn’t hard to do, you do need to palm the piece, but that’s really not a big deal. The props are well made, the packaging is fun (if that’s important to you).

I highly recommend Finger Off Extreme!

You can get it at: https://kranzomagic.myshopify.com/products/finger-off-extreme-by-luca-bono

-Louie

News Spot

Here’s a news spot I did earlier this week:

It’s an OK media spot, not the best. They wanted 90 seconds, and I ran the card trick for the camera guy and producer and they wanted the whole routine, just done in 90-120 seconds. That made the spot rushed, I should have let most of the effects linger longer for displays of the card.

Then the camera work during the card trick missed a lot of things because it was tightening up when it should have been wider. All in all, it wasn’t a bad TV spot, but it wasn’t great.

-Louie

How To Show Them What You Do!

Five Simple Steps to Making a Sizzle Reel

Let’s start out with what a sizzle reel is, they are typically a short, fast paced promotional video. In variety entertainment they are usually some between one and three minutes long.  The goal is to give a buyer a feel for you and what you do. 

Here’s how to make sizzle reel for your show:

Step 1:  Go to the movies and watch the trailers for upcoming movies. These are longer than a variety act’s sizzle reel, but they are a good reference for what you are going for.  Notice that the movie trailers don’t show whole scenes of the movie.  The goal is to give you the vibe of what the movie is about and this is the goal of your sizzle reel, to give the vibe of what your show is.

Step 2: Go through video footage and audio and pick the best clips.  I’m assuming you have a bunch of video because you’re regularly recording your show.  You should be doing this to work on your show to make your show better. Also, you’ll notice that I mentioned audio, your audio should be recorded separately from your camera.  You want clear audio of your voice if you use it in your sizzle reel.

Step 3: Edit out most or all of the set ups to your tricks and just show the magic. An agent explained it to me this way when he said, “I don’t want to see your rope trick, I want to see that you do a rope trick.”

Step 4: Find music that fits the feeling of your show and put your video clips to that music.  I use Envato Elements for mine.  It’s a subscription service that you get the license to use the music for web purposes. This eliminates any YouTube or whatever copyright claims.   

Step 5: Upload it to YouTube or wherever you host your streaming videos.  In addition to YouTube I use JWplayer.  I pay annually for this service, because there are no ads or suggested videos at the end of your video. This gives you more control over what the potential client sees and you don’t have to worry about YouTube suggesting another act after your video.

One thing I should mention, when you’re compiling the clips, you need to think about the flow and what you want your target audience to think about.  For example, I just made a sizzle real for my Incredible Idioms school assembly show, and I want to show the fun vibe of my show, but I also needed to show that there is educational content in the show, it’s not just a magic show.

-Louie

P.S.  Here’s the sizzle reel for the Incredible Idioms show:

It’s the Little Things in Videos

While I was working on my promo video, a video of a magician came across my feed. The trick is fine, but there’s a few things about the video that should have been addressed. Here’s the video:

I’m assuming you noticed the fake audio reaction in the video. They never sound quite right and they way most people use them, they’re never proportional to what they’re doing. It’s always too much.

The other thing you may not have noticed was the guy on the left standing on stage like some sort of body guard. At about the 18 – 20 second mark his face pops into frame. The “audience” is going nuts and he looks bored as hell.

Why is that guy even in the video?

Cropping him out would be a super easy job. As long as you’re in there adding audio tracks, might as well crop him out. It’s the small things that you need to notice in the videos you make. I always try to crop out people who look uninterested or people in the background. It’s not always possible, but you gotta try!

-Louie

New 2024 Promo Video

Way back in about January of 2020 I added a task to my To Do List, and that was to remake my promo video as it was about two years old at that point. It was a low priority item, so I didn’t immediately get to work on it. Then the whole “2020 thing” went down and making a stage magic promo video became super low priority!

Well, four years later I finally got around to making a new promo video for my stage magic show.

This one took me about a 20 + hours to make. Most of that time wasn’t the actual editing, but going through 6 years of video to find the videos that I wanted to pull clips from. It’s pretty easy to know right off the bat if a video is useable based on the background and general video quality. That removes about 60%-70% of videos right way, but it’s still a time consuming process!

The other super time consuming thing is watching the final video over and over again to notice small things, correcting them and then making a new final video. Then repeating that until I’m at final video version 12 or so. There is a point when you just need to be done with the video and barring something crazy you didn’t realize, it’s time to put it out into the world!

I’m glad I finally did it and can remove it from my To Do List!

-Louie

Intro Video for Live Shows

Over the weekend I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters. It’s a fun show, and totally worth checking out if they’re in your area. One thing that they do (as most sporting events do) is they have an introduction video.

The pictures above don’t really do the intro video justice. It’s really just a quick sizzle reel to hype up the crowd and also give them a little bit of context as to what they’re about to see.

This is something my old agent Sunny had me do for showcasing and it’s carried into many shows where they have the capability of an intro video. It tells the audience it’s start time and will introduce me and my show better than 90% of people who introduce me. My intro video won’t say my name wrong, and will get my intro right 100% of the time and not try to add in things that it thinks is funny, but isn’t.

These don’t have to be very long, maybe 30-60 seconds and are really just a sizzle reel, to get the crowd to shift their attention to the stage.

-Louie

Silver Rocket Box by Richard Himber

I’m a huge fan of Richard Himber and his magic. One of the things that magicians say is that he had a huge ego and they support that by mentioning that he named his tricks the “himber wallet“, “himber ring” etc. That’s not quite true, those tricks were marketed under different names that didn’t have himber in the titles. Magicians started calling them himber ____.

At a magic auction a while ago ago I picked up a Silver Rocket Box that Richard Himber put out. It’s a super clever trick for producing silks.

@louiefoxx Silver Rocket Box vintage magic trick by Richard Himber! #vintagemagic #antiquemagic #vintage #magic #antique #collectiblemagic #louiefoxx #stagemagic #richardhimber ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

I added the cup production. One thing that most silk productions lack is an ending. Usually they end with one big silk, which I think isn’t a good ending. You need to bunch up the silks and produce a bowling ball or whatever.

-Louie

Busker Organ

About 10 years ago I worked at an event where there was a Street Organ / Busker Organ. These are hand crank organs that are cranked by an “organ grinder”. I was fascinated by it, and it’s something I’ve thought about doing. I even bought a set of John Smith‘s plans for make my own, but never did.

Then few months ago I was in Mexico City and these street organs were everywhere!

@vintageorgan Street Organ in Mexico City! #streetorgan #mexicocity #busker #buskerorgan #oldetyme #streetperformer #mexico ♬ original sound – vintageorgan

That got me very interested in doing it again and I went out and found a guy who could make me one! Here’s the organ that was made for me:

@vintageorgan Busker Organ! #streetorgan #organgrinder #organ #buskerorgan #vintageinstrument #holland ♬ original sound – vintageorgan

It was custom made in Europe and I should have it in a few days. I have some ideas for what to do with it, and we’ll see what happens when it arrives!

I went ahead and got all the socials for it:

https://www.tiktok.com/@vintageorgan
https://www.instagram.com/vintageorgan
https://www.facebook.com/vintageorgan

Go and give them a follow!

And the website www.vintageorgan.com

-Louie