When I was a teenager I saw a magic lecture (Michael Close?) where they did a trick that left the audience with a little prop. I think it was an origami bunny from a dollar bill. The lecturer said that clients could see that the magician was actually working by how many people had the origami bunny.
The idea of having something visual that people walked around with after you performed for them has stuck with me. I’ve had versions of things over the years. Currently the end of my ambitious card has the face of the card peeled off and stuck to the person who drew on the card’s shirt.
Recently I was performing at a large event and afterwards the booker commented on how many people had my cards on their shirts. Having visual reminders for bookers that you’re there and working is smart! While not 100% necessary, it is helpful at large events where the booker may never see you.
I’m still going through the JP Vallarino book and I hit this description of a card move. The only part I’m talking about is the paragraph that mentions fig 1 and fig 2 along with those pics:
Figure one doesn’t show the set up that’s mentioned in fig 1. Those aces shouldn’t be visible, as they should be on the bottom of the deck and it doesn’t show the indifferent cards. Figure two should show a pinkie break, not a thumb break.
Things like this make learning from the book difficult. I’m really surprised that no one noticed that there were wrong. If this book was a self published thing I’d expect small errors, but from a big magic company like Vanishing Inc, I’m amazed that got by them.
Now I’ll say something positive about the book. I just started the Ace Assemblies section of the book. The first one is called Ultimate MacDonald’s Aces and is pretty good! It’s very heavily gimmicked, but not really in the tradition sense for the MacDonald’s Aces.
I personally don’t really do ace assemblies, however if I did, I would probably do this one!
It doesn’t take much to create an “original” magic trick…well it depends on your definition of original. My goal for at trick to be original is 60% unique. How I came up with this number is there are really three parts to a magic trick. You have the method, prop and routine. If I can get two of the three, then it fits my criteria as original, however the goal is all three.
At it’s core, it’s a thumb tip production from a bill and this part isn’t original. However the presentation and props are unique to me. I honestly don’t think there’s anyone producing syrup out of Canadian money…but there could someone that I’m not aware of.
Having metrics makes things easy. Without the rules and the goal, it’s really hard to create.
One of the comments I got was someone trying to explain the trick:
This tells me that going off screen isn’t an unknown technique to people anymore. However it’s now more like a “it went up your sleeve” kinda comment, where it’s an explanation that’s wrong 99% of the time.
What I love about the comment in this particular trick is how far off they person was with guessing. The two pins are super gimmicked, the only thing that’s ungimmicked is the RING!
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.
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:
As I get older, my up close vision has started to go. Reading had gotten difficult and when I realized that during my morning writing, I couldn’t read what I had just written I knew it was time to go to the eye doctor. He prescribed me glasses for reading and what a difference it makes!
Having a new view on the world…as long as it’s about 12 inches from my face got me thinking about a trick that has to do with vision. My first idea was to have blurry writing on a notecard that then changed to in focus writing that was readable. The problem with that idea is that it’s small, it wouldn’t really play for many people, unless it was a social media video.
The next idea is better, it’d be a picture of the Mona Lisa, or whatever, but blurry. Then it changes to in focus.
This could easily be accomplished by making it like a flap card.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever do this, but I think it is a good idea!
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.
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:
Last night I was trying to come up with some ideas for a Valentine’s Day magic trick for social media. I had some ideas, one was a touch the screen type trick, another was a rose pedal to confetti as well as a couple of other pretty generic ideas.
The one idea that I liked enough to actually record was this:
There’s not much to it, it’s my Take Out Production Box made from a box of Valentine’s Day candy. The shape of the candy box had a couple of challenges to covert to a production box, but it was fun little challenge!
I frequently say that holidays or national days are great days to be creative and try to come up with new tricks around that theme. Some days you’ll simply put new clothes on something old, and other times you’ll come up with something completely new!