At my gig this month, I’m really trying to streamline my show and what props I’m lugging around. I have way more stuff than I need in my table. However I also noticed that for the coin trick that I do, the coins right now lay in a stack on my table bin. I think it would be easier to have them in a vertical stack. They’ll take up less space and be easier to grab. I also am playing with a bit where I need to grab some confetti from my case. An easy way would be to have a little holder that attaches to the side of the case.
This is where 3D printing comes in handy. It took me about 5 minutes to design the two holders:
It took about an hour for the two holders to print, and I’m good to go! 5 minutes of active work and here’s what I ended up with:
It’s little things like this, that if I had to make from “found materials” it would have taken me more that five minutes to make. This is why I’m such a fan and suggest to everyone that they learn to 3D print!
One of the tricks I’ve been doing a lot lately is my “Free Pitcher of Beer” trick that’s based on the out to lunch magic trick principle. I’m packing for a show and realized I didn’t have any thick rubberbands to hold the cards together. I quickly made a 3d model of a business card holder and printed it out!
His holder has a little recess in it to hold the half card. The half card is actually taped in place, so it can’t come out. In the traditional method, friction holds it in place.
We’ll see how well this actually plays out for real people tomorrow!
Not too long ago I added the remote control chattering teeth bit from my in person shows to my virtual shows and to my surprise, it was a hit! Honestly I didn’t think it would play as well over the screen. After trying it, it’s staying in the family virtual show!
One thing that I didn’t like is that my hand had to drop out of frame to push the button. Honestly, this really isn’t a big deal, and I don’t think that anyone notices it and this isn’t really a magic trick, but a comedy bit. I was going to build the remote transmitter into a foot pedal, then noticed I an old telegraph key kicking around. Here’s what I built:
I had to 3d print the base under the telegraph key to hold the remote transmitter and battery. The telegraphy key simply sits on the floor and I push it with my foot.
I’m a huge fan of props with things that no one sees but you, and there’s some embellishment that only you know about. I know I just built thing, but whenever I look at it, it makes me smile!
In a continuing effort to use my virtual performing space wisely, I added a little bit more to the shelf below my working surface.
The four ball holders on the left are new, along with the coil holder. This also eliminates a couple of body loads that would have been in my in person show. There are still a few prop holders that need to be added, however it’s just a matter of time to design and print them.
I feel like I’ve put a lot of work into the table I’m using for virtual shows. I think it’s really made a difference in the flow of the show. It’s soo much more efficient use of space than how I was previously doing it.
Here’s one view of the shelf:
And here’s the shelf rotated 180 degrees:
The nice thing with having holders is that I can look down and immediately know if something isn’t there as it’s holder will be empty. There are two wild cards as far as set up goes, the rest of the props can stay set up all the time. Those are the Gypsy Yarn and the silk in apple/peach. Both of those routines I set up on the day of the show.
You’ll also notice some redundancies, like each trick that uses a pen has it’s own pen. This is because I don’t want to be searching around for a pen, and it makes sure I have a back up pen if one dries out.
The holder I was printing out the other day is finished and works great! I designed this to display to hold an envelope, or jumbo card upright so that it’s more visible than laying flat on a table. I also put a magnet inside of it so that I can simply stick it to the front of my small case.
Here’s the finished holder:
Here it is holding a giant card:
It holds it very securely, the card won’t fall out under normal circumstances.
It also hit me that I could put a magnet behind my virtual backdrop and use it there.
If I end up using it for virtual shows, I’ll need to print out another one to keep with that show’s props. I really dislike moving props around from case to case. That’s a easy way to forget or lose things.
A couple of days ago I posted a video of a coin production and vanish I had played with a little while ago. Then a day later I posted a video of a short routine idea with that coin production. Those videos were works in progress, and it’s still a work in progress, however I’m working on solving one of the problems, which is probably one of the biggest problems. That is triggering the coin appearance or vanish.
Essentially I needed to design a triggering system for the coin. Here’s what I came up with:
I designed it and it’s 3d printing right now. I’ll assemble it later today and hopefully it will work without any major redesigns!
One of the Facebook groups that I belong to is a Magician’s 3D Printing group. It’s an interesting group, a few people in it are making some cool stuff. Recently someone asked if anyone had made a chop cup before. I mentioned that I had and made stack of nested cups as a final load for it.
I no longer have the set of cups, but here’s an idea of what they looked like:
This set was 100% inspired by Gary Ouellet‘s column Fulminations in Genii Magazine where he had a series of nested cups as the ending for a cups and balls routine. This led to my Russian Shell Game trick, which is a Three Shell Game that ends with a ton of shells on the table.
The fun thing about the time we live in, is with a little bit of tinkering around, you can make virtually any prop you’ve ever wanted with 3d printer!
One of the tricks I’m adding to my virtual magic shows is Cee-Lo which is my cups and dice routine. One of problems going from an in person show a virtual show is that you can’t move the audience’s focus around as easily. At one point in the routine I need to load the cup and doing it in the room with people there is super easy, however it’s much harder with the focused eye of the camera.
Normally I would load this from my pocket, however that won’t work for the reason above. What I’m going to do is load from the table. I designed a holder for the dice and they will slide up into the cup from behind the table’s edge.
This holder is currently printing out and I’ll try it out later today. This is something that I normally couldn’t use in my live shows because I perform in conditions where people can frequently see behind my table. This is one of the interesting things about working on a virtual show, I can use techniques that don’t work for my in person show.
Right now we’ve all found ourselves with a lot of extra time. I’ve been using mine to try to catch my “Great White Whale” of tricks I’ve always wanted to create. This trick has been in my head for over a decade and a lot of things had to come together to for it to happen.
Here’s the trick, and be sure to watch the whole thing:
I’ve been fascinated by the idea of using a nested replicas of the main prop as a final load ever since I read Gary Oullett’s cups and balls routine in his Fulminations column in Genii magazine. Then about 10 or 15 years ago I thought about applying it to the shell game. The hurdle was getting shells to nest and enough of them.
Then the breakthrough came when I got a 3D printer. I could print the shells, however the problem was they didn’t look like shells. They looked like plastic things that kinda looked like walnut shells. A friend of mine sent me a link of how to make molds and I tried to learn off of youtube videos with limited success. I ended up taking a 4 hour class on making molds and resin casting that really helped speed up the learning curve.
I kept making baby steps to get towards the end result and finally got there. I’m not done yet, ideally in the future I’ll have some shells that look a little bit better, but for now I have a workable version of the trick!