He’s doing the trick “French Kiss” which is a card transposition. I’ve seen it done by several performers and only once have it seen it where it wasn’t cringy. I should say that the trick unless it’s framed perfectly leaves you open to having a pissed off spouse/partner etc. The guy from the audience shouldn’t have shoved Ben, and there’s a lot of context missing as we don’t see the whole routine. I don’t know how suggestive Ben was, from what I can see the routine is being done as flirty, or with sexual tones, but that may not be what’s actually happening. In our modern times, I think this sort of routine really needs to stop being done…or have very clear expectations of the person coming to the stage.
A good, but very different example is when Rob Williams makes a sandwich with his feet. He’s very clear with what’s going to happen and what’s expected of the person from the audience.
The other problem I have with the trick like French Kiss is in the post covid world, I wouldn’t want my me or spouse to have their face that close to a stranger’s face for hygiene reasons. The lamest way to get the flu or covid would be from a card trick!
I’m essentially using my forearm to block the drop of the fork. It’s a good clean up, that honestly I think only magicians will notice or appreciate that I didn’t take the lazy route of just dipping my hand to the edge of the screen. It’s not always possible to do it this way, but I think whenever possible using slightly more creative ditches are better.
It’s something that really fills the stage without much in the way of props. It’s the two metal triangles, some rope and 4-6 people from the audience. I think the stunt is very relatable, you’re playing “tug of war” against two groups of people from the audience at the same time.
For me a lot of strength feats fall flat because it’s a “look how cool I am” sort of thing, but I with this particular one, no one wins and you’re fighting a losing battle and essentially it ends in a three way tie. I really like it and I’m surprised more people don’t do it.
There was a great mix of traditional skills, and crazy new twists on classic stunts! One of the highlights for me was Chris Broken and his chainsaw guitar! Going to events like inspires me to be better. If you’re not going to industry events to see how people are pushing boundaries within their art (and yours), you really should be!
Many years ago on a John Cornelius VHS tape he did a quick bit that wasn’t explained that I always thought was cool. He took a flower off his lapel and it turned into a silk. The silk then turned back into a flower. The flower disappeared and was back on his lapel. The whole thing took about 15 seconds, but was visually really cool and went full circle.
Here’s a trick that was inspired by John Cornelius’s trick:
I’m getting ready to offer my Take Out Box to magicians. This is a Chinese style take out box that you can use to produce, vanish or change items. There’s a lot that goes into making thing for sale, and one of them is shipping. I made a batch in a slightly larger size but decided to go with the smaller size for the main marketed version. This was mostly due to packing/shipping concerns.
Here’s the Take Out Box in action:
I had 3d printed about a dozen gimmicks in the slightly larger size and instead of throwing them away, I’m offering them at a discount.
With the Take Out Box you’ll get a fully assembled box with 3d printed gimmick installed, a template to use when moving the gimmick to a new box, video instructions and two ungimmicked take out boxes.
These will be available through Hocus-Pocus.com and and here on my daily magic blog at www.magicshow.tips in a few weeks and will be $40.
Save $10 and get FREE USA SHIPPING!
I was playing around with making them in a slightly larger size, but decided to keep the size that I use. This choice was based on packaging them for retail sale. I made about a dozen of the larger size and if you want one of the larger ones you can get them for $30 with free shipping in the USA!
International shipping is a flat rate of just $10!
One of my favorite tricks that I did last month in my school assembly show is my Take Out Box. This is a utility box that I created that can make items appear, disappear or change. In the show I used it to make a Tennis Ball Appear.
Here’s it in action:
What I like about this is that it’s a magic box that’s a normal box…well by normal I mean something that people have seen before. It’s also handheld, so you don’t need a table. Personally I’m anti-tricks that happen on a table in stage/parlor shows as the table puts a barrier between you and the audience. The table also limits the sight lines of what can be seen. The exception would be if you’re using projection.
The extra bonus is that the box is versatile. It has more than one use, unlike many other stage magic props.
I’ve always been interested in Tommy Wonder’s Cups and Balls routine. I finally plunked down the cash and picked up this set:
Right out the gate, I think the bag is a little bit too small (not long enough) for the cups. You need to be able to tie it shut with the string with the cups in the bag. I really had to force/stretch the bag to get the cups into it and tie it shut. This isn’t a huge deal, as over time I imagine it will stretch and get easier (I hope).
I started by reading the routine in The Books of Wonder Vol 2 and working it out. The routine didn’t feel right, so I then watched some videos of Tommy performing the routine. There’s a lot of flow that’s missing from the book and it really would have benefitted from having a bullet point list of the effects that happen in the routine.
Here’s one of the videos I watched:
One thing that I noticed about the routine is that it’s not a show stopper like when you see Gazzo, Ammar or Bob Read do the cups. At the end of those, there’s a punctuation at the end, a definite end. Tommy’s routine is more of a middle piece than a closer.
In Tommy’s book he mentions that he’s known to magicians for his cups and balls. There’s a clue there, I don’t think he thought it was the best for non-magicians. It’s certainly innovative in how the loads were done, with none from the body/pockets, and resets instantly, but I’m not sure that translates to non magicians as much as it appeals to magicians.
I’m going to learn the routine, and give it a try, hopefully I can get it down in about a month for a week long run of shows I’ll be doing next month.
One of the routines that I really liked that I was doing on the school assembly tour was my tennis ball routine. It opens with a production of a single tennis ball from my Take Out Production Box, then it goes into mulitplying balls style routine and ends with a tennis ball turning into confetti.
Here’s the routine:
At about the 1:50 mark you’ll notice one of the kids in the middle showing the kid next to her that she thinks the balls are coming out of my sleeve. When I reviewed video of the show I noticed that, I added a bit where I show my sleeves empty. It’s a little thing, but it makes the routine stronger.
I really like this routine and would like to use it elsewhere, however the challenge is that I need the book to ditch the final tennis ball. I’ll need to figure out another way to ditch the final palmed ball.
A while ago I bought a money paddle that was made from wood that was reclaimed from Houdini’s house in New York. I really don’t like the money paddle, but having one got me to play with it a little bit and I came up with a couple of ideas that weren’t standard.
the first uses money on the paddle, but the effect is slightly different: