One magic trick that I’m fascinated by is the Cup and Ball trick. Most of these are “Chop Cup” routines as that reduces a lot of sleight of hand. Unfortunately many of these routines are very similar and use the gimmick in the exact same way. My Cee Lo routine uses the gimmick as a holdout, and not to replace sleight of hand and it’s a great, working cup and ball(s)/chop cup routine.
I’ve had an idea in a notebook for while and finally got around to figuring it out and posted it on Tik Tok. Also if you’re on Tik Tok, give me a follow @LouieFoxx
What’s interesting about it is that it doesn’t have the traditional chop cup move where you shake the ball in the cup. It also has a final load not being a physically larger version of the ball, but the bill changing to a larger denomination bill. I don’t know if that ending is better than producing a bigger item…
It’s very direct, the packet of Splenda turns to a packet of sugar. No crazy moves, just cover it with a cup. I’m pretty proud of this, and I don’t think this technique has been used yet (but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had)
I’ve recently started posting on Tik Tok, and you can follow me there @LouieFoxx. When I post magic trick videos, I have some criteria. The trick has to have something original about it. I’m not just buying a trick like the card to watch trick and doing it.
It could be in method, presentation, or prop. For example, I do a trick that was popular on instagram in 2020 where you make a pen float and pass a hoop over it. The original angle is that I’m doing it with a chicken wing. Then there’s some tricks that are 100% original like this one:
My goal is to use Tik Tok as an outlet for ideas that I have, and ones that I’ll probably never do in my show, but I think still has some sort of merit. My goal is to publish a trick every 2-3 days, which is a lot!
One of the easiest ways to create magic is to put restrictions on whatever you are creating. Right now everyone on social media is complaining about egg prices. So the natural thing would be to create a trick with an egg. Here’s a quick and simple trick with an egg with the presentation hook of egg prices.
I’ve been working on a trick for my platform/stage show that’s essentially an invisible deck. Well, it started out as an invisible deck and has gone through a lot of changes and doesn’t really resemble a traditional invisible deck routine.
The effect is that the audience eliminates half of the cards over and over until there is one card left, and that card matches the prediction.
I’m working on a platform version of it for my carry on luggage magic show. This will end with the card in an envelope in my wallet. Here’s video of an early test of it:
This is essentially Mark Oberon’s Bang On, but modified so that I only need two wallets and can show the back of the card as it comes out of the wallet.
This routine is really no longer the invisible deck or the Bang On routine. It’s now a mix of methods and you couldn’t do the trick how I do it with the standard props that come with either of those tricks. To me this is what more magicians should be doing. Taking standard tricks and really making them their own, not just with adding a joke or “filtering it through your personality” but actually changing the trick to fit your artistic vision.
Got out there a make actual art, not paint by numbers art.
Last week in Seattle, he had an ice storm where the city got covered in a sheet of ice from freezing rain. That gave me a day off to play around, no shows or emails to return. I used this time to get to some ideas that have been in notebooks for awhile.
Here’s a close up dancing hank style magic trick that I had a while ago:
The ending with the smoke in the jar was an idea I had for another trick that didn’t work out, but added something to this trick.
Is this trick better than a standard floating bill? I don’t know, it’s potentially more workable as there’s less issues with the IT being visible. It could work in a parlor type setting. It would take away my biggest issue with using IT and that’s dealing with lighting or having to cut the bit because you can’t make it work with the existing lighting.
I may play with this a bit more, as the jumping action for me works better with my performing persona that the bill floating.
-Louie PS I’m aware that this is essentially a smaller version of Sean Bogunia’s Extreme Dancing Hank, but with a different, but similar gimmick and a slight variation in method.
One of the things that I really like is using confetti in my show. I think it’s something that makes a lot of tricks “pop”. It’s an interesting challenge to frequently use in a show. It’s not easy to steal as a pack, unless you’re using a snowstorm packet, which is a lot more than I want to use for most tricks.
It’s got some limitations, and I don’t like that the gimmick ends up on the floor after the trick. While it sorta blends in with the confetti, if it’s in the performing area, you will need to pick it up, or kick it out of the way.
Yesterday I hit another solution. A while ago I picked up one of Jay Scott Berry’s FS2 gimmicks from a junk magic bin. I just happened to see it the other day and realized that it would be a perfect confetti holder!
Here’s the trial run:
I don’t know if Jay Scott Berry has used confetti in it or not, but it’s looking like the solution I need for the confetti production I was trying to add to the end of my ball routine!
This discovery for me is a classic case of having routines never being finished AND having your vision of what the trick will look like and constantly trying to achieve that. Sometimes you won’t get there, other times you figure it out quickly and usually for me it’s a years long journey to hit the solution. The key is sticking with it!
Sometimes I have ideas and they are works in progress that make slow steps. The Stand Up Cup and Ball routine that I’m working on is still making baby steps towards what will hopefully be a cool routine.
Here’s an early version of the Stand Up Cup and Ball Routine:
What I don’t like about is that I go to the pocket, so that needed to be eliminated. There are also some rules for this routine. It needs to be done solo onstage, done without a table, and my hands don’t openly go into my pockets. I can do steals, use sleeving or things like a topit or holdout.
Here’s the current routine idea I’m playing with:
I’ve eliminated the ball going to the pocket, but I also had to eliminate a phase that I really liked. Where I toss the ball out of the cup, the ball is put in the pocket and it’s immediately reproduced by tossing it out of the cup. If I could come up with a way to vanish the ball without going to the pocket, I could add that phase back in. I haven’t given up on that phase, but it’s not looking good to keep it in.
This trick is a good example of a trick that will probably never be finished. The first version was alright and passible, but not what my vision for the trick is. There’s always things to discover and improve.
At the end of November I posted an idea for a trick that was a card split where an 8 turns into two 4’s. Then the next day I posted a routine for the card split. I was able to try out the routine at a magic jam and it played well.
The routine is fairly straight forward, you end up with a problem, then magically solve the problem.