The trick I’m working on today uses a spoon. Here’s the first proof of concept video of it:
I found the tiny spoon at a garage sale a few months ago, and have been trying to think of a use for it. Obviously it would be some sort of shrinking or growing effect. For the method, I think the first shrink is interesting, the final shrink is less interesting to me.
For the first shrink I really stumbled upon when I was working on a different trick with a spoon, and realized I could essentially make the first shrink self contained. That eliminated the need to have to steal anything or ditch anything initially. Ideally, if I could avoid sleeving the spoon for the second shrink, that would be the best, however I can’t think of a way to do that without ditching the spoon. The nice thing about sleeving (or using a topit) is that you end with nothing palmed.
When I was at Disneyland a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that they are trying to get me to use my smartphone more and more. For example the old paper Fast Pass that would allow you to access a shorter line is now Genie Plus which is entirely on your smart phone. There were many food stands where you had to order and pay through your phone. I’m not a dinosaur when it comes to using technology, but here’s why I think this is not a good idea. If I’m at the park all day, will my phone still have power 12 hours later?
The bigger issue is what happens when I can’t get my phone to connect to the internet? I ran into this problem, I couldn’t access my Genie Plus while at the park due to a spot where there was no internet. I had to walk across the park to get it to connect.
OK, so how does this relate to magic?
Simple, do you use an magic app that’s based on the internet like Inject 2? Guess what, it wouldn’t work there and you may not know it until it fails and it’s not the apps fault.
Now let’s fast forward to my gig last weekend, the venue was soo packed that the internet was going at a snails pace. Any internet based magic app wouldn’t work. If you use internet based apps, what’s your out, if it looks like you have internet, but it fails? The rough things with those apps is that it’s hard to run a second method at the same time as a backup to seamlessly switch to. I’ve found that while I own a lot of magic apps, I only use ones that aren’t internet based. I’m at too many large events where internet isn’t reliable.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
One of the things that I try to do when I travel is visit magic shops and support them. Last week when I was flying into to San Francisco and driving a couple hours north, I stopped by Misdirections Magic Shop!
While I was there I picked up Shrapnel by Kim Anderson.
This is a linking pin type routine that has a lot of phases that use a finger ring. I’ve been doing some stuff for a few years with a finger ring and an Andrus Key Pin, so this was similar something I was already doing.
I really like the smaller pins for the trick. That was the part I was unsure about, I didn’t think I would like using the smaller pins. Kim’s routine is great and the instructions are pretty clear and I had fun learning it. I haven’t tried it out yet, but heading back out on the road in a few days and will give it a whirl! -Louie
One of the things I’m trying to do is be better with my time while I’m on the road. When travelling and performing in cities away from home, there’s a lot of free time. I usually go out and see the local sights, and hang out with the other acts, however there’s still a lot of down time.
One trick that I do in my close up is the Linking Pins and I use Jerry Andrus’s gimmicked pins, but I’ve never really gone through Jerry’s book. This morning before I headed out to the airport I grabbed my copy of Safety Pin Trix and some regular and gimmicked pins.
I’m planning on going through the book in my hotel room. I’m hoping there will be some things in it that I can add to my current routine!
I used to do a video series where I created magic tricks with things I found at my hotel. It’s been a long time since I’ve done one, they take a lot of energy to do. I stopped doing them pre covid, and I just made my first one in a couple of years.
It’s not the greatest trick in the world. However it’s getting me back into thinking creatively when on the road and it led to another idea with the forks.
What if you have two forks. You unwrap one and someone picks a tine and breaks it off. The second fork that is still wrapped is missing the same tine!
Methodwise you’d need to force a tine and then prebreak and reseal the other fork. easy peasy… -Louie