Anthony Hernandez and Dawn!

Last week I worked with Anthony Hernandez and Dawn in California. We instantly clicked and I had a blast chatting with them!

anthony hernandez and dawn magic show

They do a great show, they are both very likable on stage. One of the huge advantages of being a duo act is how they run their music. Every act they do in the show is to music and it well chosen. As they hit the end of the trick and the magic happens, the music’s audio bumps up. It’s great!

Another great thing Anthony does is how he sells the effect. He really pauses, and stretches out the magic. It made me realize I still rush the end too much, and I go a lot slower than I used to!

They do a great show, and if you get a chance to see them, I recommend it. I learned a lot from the show and also enjoyed watching it!

-Louie

Fork Force Routine…

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog post about a way to force a fork. I’ve gotten a chance to try it out as a triple prediction (most of the time).

I start with the spoon, knife and fork laid out in position for the force. On the back of the fork I secretly drew an X with a sharpie and I have a folded up piece of paper in my hand (but don’t call attention to it) and a second piece of paper hidden.

They touch one and if they touch the fork, the trick is over, have them flip the fork and you reveal the X. If they touch the knife or spoon, you do the procedure to force the fork. For the reveal you open the paper in your hand to show it predicts the first and second objects they picked as well as the third item they didn’t pick.

For the papers you need two, and simply switch the visible paper for the hidden one if necessary to have the correct reveal.

The first challenge I had when doing the force was getting people to move properly. There was too much going on, and people would get going really fast and do a double jump. What I started doing was having me call out the letters slowly and not doing the next letter until the jump was complete. It’s a simple solution to an unforeseen problem.

-Louie

Cinco De Mayo Trick…

Yesterday I posted about a way to force a fork that used spelling to work the force. Today being Cinco De Mayo, here’s a spelling force that uses that.

cinco de mayo magic trick

Honestly, I’ll probably never do this, so feel free to do what you want with it.
-Louie

Impromptu Magic Idea…

The last week I was at a coffee shop in Santa Maria and realized that if you lay out a fork, knife and spoon with the fork in the middle you can force the fork. While this isn’t the best stand alone trick as it’s a force of one object out of three and there is potentially some process involved, but it’s something that would be handy to have in your brain in case you ever need it.

Ask someone to touch one of them. If they touch the fork, you’re done. If they touch the knife or spoon, you have them spell that item, moving from one item to the next (forward/backwards) to an adjacent item for each letter. Due to the number of letters and how the math plays out it, they will always end on the fork (if they do it correctly).

You’ve now forced the fork, you can use that however you want.

-Louie

Unsigned Cards…

When I’m doing close up magic, one thing that I don’t do is have people sign cards. There’s frequently a strange hesitancy when you ask people, like they aren’t sure exactly what you want them to do. Instead I have people draw a picture on the card.

I say, “Draw a picture on the card, it can be anything…Bigfoot fighting a ninja, so it’d just be a picture of a bigfoot. I won’t judge you…till later. I don’t care what you draw, I’m not your mom…wouldn’t be the first rocket ship I’ve seen today.” That has 2-3 laughs but it also gives them a moment to think about what to draw and I disarm them about worrying about the drawing being bad. It also takes away the incentive for a teenage boy (or drunk adult) to draw a penis as I’ve already gotten the laugh from that.

The other thing this does is gives me a real moment in the show that’s happening now that I can comment on. I can talk about the picture and everyone knows this is real and not preplanned.

Play around with using alternatives to signatures you might like it.

-Louie

Trying the Pins…

Over the weekend at the fair I was performing at I got to try out Shrapnel by Kim Anderson

It’s working great, however I’m not sure if I like it than the larger Andrus Key Pins. The nice thing about Kim’s set up with Shrapnel is the pocket management with how the pins are carried with you. I like size of the Andrus pins, they play a little bit larger, of course the downside of the Andrus Pins is that you need to find them used as they haven’t been made for a long time.

I’m glad I have Shrapnel and while I may not use it as much as the Andrus Pins, it’s great to have another option that’s still available!

-Louie

The Moisture Festival Podcast – Nox Falls

In this episode we welcome Nox Falls to Hales Ales. Nox discusses growing up in Texas and how burlesque was a way to combat shyness.

We learn about where some of the ideas for Nox’s routines come from and which ones get selected for shows. Nox also spits some spoken word poetry (which is a first on the podcast.) A really great conversation with a fantastic human being. You are going to love because we did. 

In a Puff of Smoke…

If you read this blog, you’ve noticed I reference Gary Oulette every now and then. His Fulminations column in Genii Magazine when I was a teenager had many things that stuck with me, like always producing the card a second time from your wallet.

in a puff of smoke by gary oulette

He put out a manuscript called In a Puff of Smoke which had his system for creating smoke from the hands. This was supposedly used by David Copperfield in the 1990’s in this torn and restored baseball card.

I finally came across the one of the manuscripts at a reasonable price. It’s not a trick I’ll ever do, especially in the over 30 years since he put it out the technology for making smoke has greatly improved.

What I do find interesting is his thought process for putting the gimmick together and making it work. Especially using 1991 (or earlier) technology. I sometimes wonder what crazy stuff Gary Oulette would be putting out now if he was still alive? He was definitely someone who figured out how to make an idea happen!

-Louie

Show Them How…

In mentalism one of the things you can do for the presentation is show them the process. What I mean by that is you show them what you are doing to know what they are thinking. That’s why things like NLP are popular presentation angles in mentalism.

I was at Disneyland a couple of days ago and I’m pretty sure they are using this idea with the lines at the theme parks. You will have someone who works there waving people through a line, then they will suddenly start asking how many people in a group. From my watching, it was usually after asking three groups they would hold the line at that point. I honestly don’t think that person was counting people, because usually the next place the people were moving to didn’t have any capacity issues. There’s a psychological reason they hold and move people and they justify that by showing some sort of process. By asking how many people there are in a group, they are implying that there’s a capacity issue ahead. If they simply said, “Hold here for 5 minutes” that would annoy people, but by showing the people process, we accept it.

Seeing this done in a non magic context really reinforces it’s effectiveness to me. If you do mentalism and aren’t showing process, you are missing out on a great presentation.
-Louie

Old School Vanishing Cage

One thing that you’ll know about me if you’ve read this blog at all is that I’m a Vanishing Birdcage nerd. Last night I was watching a clip of Harry Blackstone Jr. doing the Vanishing Birdcage on the Magic Palace TV show.

Here’s the clip:

There are two things I noticed about just the vanishing birdcage segment. First is this gag where he asks the girl to put her hand on his had and reacts and says, “Isn’t that nice

That gag was probably acceptable at the time that this was recorded, but by modern standards it’s creepy. I hope that if Harry Blackstone Jr. was alive now, he’d be aware enough to drop the bit.

The next thing that I noticed is right after the cage vanishes…listen for it…

Did you hear it?

A kid says, “ouch“. I’m guessing the kid has his fingers between a couple of the bars and got pinched when the cage vanished. I also hope that if he was still alive, he’d change how he did this part of the trick so that there was no way a kid could get hurt. I’m thinking that when this was recorded, an occasional pinched finger was okay.

Look at your magic, what are you doing that may have aged out. Usually the performer is the last person to realize when something in their show has hit its expiration date.
-Louie