One of the tricks that I’ve always wanted in my show is a rope trick but I’ve have trouble making them work in my show. I think part of why rope tricks don’t fit is partially my performing style and part trying to find the framework for the trick. I have trouble finding the “why” I’m sharing a rope trick with the audience.
Recently I was playing with Daryl’s Rope Routine and while it’s a great routine for Daryl, it really doesn’t fit me AND one it has a Professor’s Nightmare phase. While I think that Professor’s Nightmare is a good trick, it’s way too overdone and I don’t want visuals that are common in my show. Unfortunately not doing the Professor’s Nightmare phase in Daryl’s Rope Routine cuts the routine in half and the routine lacks something…which is a second half!
A couple of years ago I remember Ken Scott doing a rope routine called Four Nightmares DX at a virtual magic convention. There’s a video of Ken doing it on his website, and here’s the video of it that I could find on YouTube:
What I like about this routine is that it can be done solo onstage, so you don’t need to bring someone onstage to help you like in most cut and restored rope routines. It’s also has a lot of effects that are pretty visual and fairly different. Lots of effects using the knot, but they are different effects with the knots!
My fear with this trick is that its’ something that I will end up liking, but then it will become unavailable. Also keeping the rope clean and white. If I end up liking this routine, I’ll have to learn to make my own gimmicked rope.
Recently I did my clock prediction at a virtual magic open mic. I stumbled on a couple of jokes and probably could have “listened” more, but I think it went well.
One thing I that wasn’t really possible due to me being in a hotel room was that I couldn’t have the clock displayed the whole time. I kinda had it balanced on a chair, but it kept falling off. The routine still has a bit to go, but I like it!
I’ve been working on a routine that I call “choices”, this is essentially a card prediction. This has had many different versions and methods, with the first version simply using an invisible deck for the reveal. It’s had many different reveals from the selected card in a wallet, to it being the only red backed card in a blue backed, blank faced deck.
The trick was just OK, the final reveal was lacking something…or had too much. Then a while ago Nick Lewin put out the 6 Star Miracle Prediction, which is his version of Al Koran’s 5 Star Miracle Prediction. I’m a HUGE Nick Lewin fan, and get everything he puts out. I honestly didn’t think I’d use the trick, however it ended up being the solution for the Choices routine.
The ending where I’m just holding two cards gives a great picture and ends with me in an applause position. The nice thing is the whole thing fits inside a jumbo card case, so it packs relatively small. This trick is intended for stage shows, so I have no desire to use a regular pack…however it could be downsized to that size and play well on a stage.
I’m not sure if this is the final version of this trick, but it feel pretty close!
Recently I was hanging out with some magicians and Eric Stevens showed us is Warp Two. Essentially this is a card where the image moves and and looks really strange.
I was playing with it and had an idea for how to work it. Then I saw post from Kevin Peel that he needed people for his Virtual Open Mic Magic show that happens on Wednesdays. I decided to pop in and try out the trick.
It’s a quick bit, but I think the idea of using your glasses to show the image change is a good quick presentational hook and much better than, “hey watch this”.
Last week I think I did my final virtual show…well at least the last one with all the technical bells and whistles. This was lower tech, I didn’t use my ATEM mini, or any production software, just Zoom and a stream deck.
This was a fun show because I did it with Roberto the Magnificent and Dennis Forel at an airBnB while we were performing at a different event.
It’s been a year since a did a virtual show and it’s not worth keeping up with how to run the technology if I’m only doing one virtual show a year. However it’s easy to use Zoom as a camera switcher, and simply play music in the room instead of playing it through a virtual cable on my computer. It’s not as slick as using production software, but doable.
The dismantling of my Virtual Magic Show is continuing. Today I took apart the spinning shelf that held all of my props for the show.
As the show progressed, I simply rotated the shelf counter clockwise to get to the next set of props. From an efficiency standpoint, it was great! It was also nice to glace at the holders, and if there was an empty one, then a prop wasn’t set for the show or was missing!
I’m getting rid of the board, and keeping all the holders. If I need to recreate this, it won’t be hard to do.
Well, I think I’ve finally accepted that virtual shows aren’t really a part of my business any longer. Sure, I can see one or two occasionally popping up, but they are really in my rear view mirror. Before heading out on the road last week, I disassembled my virtual show table and it returned to its former life as my street show table.
I still have all the parts and can easily rebuild it for virtual shows. One of the things that I really liked about the table was how high it was. The base was a speaker stand, and the table was about armpit height. The reason it was soo high was so that I could easily frame my face and the tabletop in the camera frame.
I’m a little sad to see the virtual show go, it was fun to do.
One thing that drives me nuts is when a magician will post a picture to social media of a craft store and say something like, “I could make so many magic tricks here” but then they don’t say what they made. These are people who are lazy and want to appear creative without doing any of the actual work. It’s not hard, but something that’s visually interesting and figure out a trick with it.
When I was performing last month in Casa Grande, AZ I went to a few junk shops. I’m normally looking for things for my oddity collection, but sometimes I find props to use with magic. One of the shops had about a dozen vintage milk caps.
Milk caps were used in the early 1900’s to seal bottles of milk. These are made of cardboard and slightly larger than a silver dollar, but about one third as thick. These were stuffed into the neck of a glass milk bottle. They didn’t create an airtight seal, but they did keep out debris and bugs.
The size of milk bottle caps lend themselves to coin magic. I’m sure in the 1990’s during the POG game’s popularity, tons of magicians used them. I had the idea of using them for some platform style coin magic, and figured I’d give it a try at a virtual magic meeting the other night:
I think it went well for a first run, now I need to write a routine for it and some jokes and I’ll be up and running! -Louie
One of the greatest challenges in magic is getting audiences in virtual shows to turn on their cameras. In the pic below I’m doing performing for about 50 people, but only a handful have their camera’s on.
There are a lot of reasons why people don’t turn their camera’s on, and I honestly don’t blame anyone who keeps their camera off. There are some solutions, for example some ticketed shows have a requirement that all cameras are on. This isn’t an option when you’re hired by someone…I guess you could put that in as a condition in your contract, but I bet it would be a hard sell for a corporate meeting.
The first step is simply asking for people to turn their cameras on. That’s the single step you can take that will yield the most cameras to turn on. In my experience the more I interact with people the more cameras turn on. Once someone figures out a way to get 90% of the camera’s on without requiring it, these shows will be soo much more rockin! -Louie
We live in a really cool time right now. I got an invite by Tommy Burnett to his lecture for IBM Ring 26 and was able to pop in and watch it while I was running at the gym! One of the the silver linings of the pandemic is that sometimes these Zoom magic meetings and lectures can be attended while you’re doing other things, like working out.
After the lecture they had their club meeting and I got to do the SD card trick I’m working on. That’s another silver lining of the pandemic, is that through Zoom you are able to get an audience almost instantly if you want to try out new ideas. Here’s my first time doing the Pin Thru SD Card trick (sorry, for some reason my screen recorder didn’t pick up my audio)
It’s always nice to get your first live performance out of the way. It’s a good way to shake the nerves of doing the trick and give you some confidence…or it’ll be a train wreck and show you the weak spots in the trick.
If you’re one of the holdouts not embracing Zoom after almost two years, you really should learn to use and perform on it. It’s a great learning tool. -Louie