Corkage Fee…

Sometimes you get an idea stuck in your head. For me it’s the title of a magic trick, and it’s not a good title either. The title is “Corkage Fee“. For me that just leads to something involving money and a cork. My original idea was a cork turning into dollar bills. The second idea was a cork that disappeared when rolled into a dollar bill. I came up with a barely working version of the second idea.

I started playing with a third idea for a trick using a cork and a coin:

While not the best idea, I think it may have some uses for Instagram type videos.

Putting It All Together…

This week I’ve written about putting together and interactive coin trick. Today, we’re putting it all together the force and the coin gimmicks. Here’s an example of what the trick could look like:

I like how the vanish at the end gives the trick a feeling of closure. It also builds off of the mini effect of knowing they picked the dime.

This is my first attempt at creating an interactive virtual magic trick from scratch. I think I did alright.

Feeling Like A Non-Magician!

Sometimes there are moments when as a magician, you get to feel like someone who isn’t a magician. I was having a magic jam with a couple of other magicians and Jonathan Friedman did this:

Magic can be cheesy! Check out my man Louie Foxx’s reaction! That’s pure cheese!!!

Posted by Jonathan Friedman on Monday, August 24, 2020

What you see me expressing is complete surprise of the trick. It was great. He gave me all the clues in the set up as to what the pay off would be, but I didn’t see it coming. It worked out like a great joke.

How can you get that level of surprise from your audience and still have the trick make sense?


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!

An Old Idea…

A couple years ago I was playing with using black 2.0 paint to make a coin appear. The problem with it was that it really didn’t work in an in-person context for the show. Well, in the current world of virtual shows, I can control performing conditions in the room I’m in, so I’ve started playing with it before.

Here’s a test video:

Personally I like the production more than the vanish. I like how there’s a “pop” to the coin when it appears. Now I need to figure out what to do with it and how it will be used.

Don’t Apologize…

This morning I watched recording of a local magician’s livestream of magic. It was pretty rough to watch, it was almost four minutes into the video before he started doing a trick.

What happened the first four minutes?

He spent that time apologizing for not being able to do a coin trick. Then explaining why he couldn’t do it. Finally he apologized for his livestream being a livestream and not an in person show.

When you perform, you should be performing! Don’t tell me why you can’t do something, or the limitations of the venue (yes, livestream is a venue).

In a live show, would you start by apologizing and having no entertainment for 4 minutes?

Heck no.

Do your opener, once you’ve established yourself, you can mention a limitation as it becomes relevant.

Conditions on a Coin Routine…

The last couple of days I created and refined a coin routine. Here are the two routines and the conditions:

Initially the conditions were:

  • Viewed from the front
  • Done for the camera
  • No table
  • Face must be framed

I will say that I initially fudged the face must be framed because I put the coin in my pocket, however there’s still action by my face as that’s where my right hand stays holding a coin.

After coming up the first version, I added a couple more conditions:

  • Hands stay in frame
  • Usable in a LIVE show with video projection
  • Able to set up quickly

With the second set of conditions, I’m thinking about actually using the routine. In the second version, I’m playing the the camera for the two times the coin disappears from one hand and reappears in the other, but it will still work live. The set up quickly condition is huge, I need to be able to reach into my case, grab the coins and be good to go.

Then there’s a small challenge with the condition of my hands not leaving the frame. I have the stupid penny to keep hidden after it changes into the two silver dollars. It sounds simple, but was a pain to figure out how…until I came up with a very simple and obvious solution to holding out the penny for almost the whole routine.

The next step would be to start to work on a verbal routine, or at least intro, to get more than 30ish seconds out of the routine.

Continuing Creating a Coin Routine…

The coin routine that I started yesterday started with a penny turning into two silver dollars. One silver dollar repeated traveled from the pocket to the hand and for a finish one of the silver dollars turned clear. It’s a decent routine, however after playing with it, I added a couple more conditions (I’ll write about the conditions tomorrow) and here’s what the routine changed into:

The first big difference is the routine is about 17 seconds shorter. I took the coin going from the pocket to the hand, that I felt was pretty redundant after I did it more than twice. It doesn’t feel as impossible with a coin as it does with a ball. It’s interesting that the routine started with a billiard ball manipulation premise, however moved away from that.

The ending with both coins turning clear makes more sense than just one of them doing and the final display of one in each hand is better.

Keep Working On It…

One thing that I’ve been working on is learning to cast things in resin. I’ve been doing little projects for people to give me things to do to learn with. One thing someone asked me to do was make the coin for the Silver Extraction magic trick, but with a Silver dollar instead of the half dollar that it’s traditionally made with.

If you’re not familiar with the trick, here’s a dealer demo of it:

The trouble I was having was getting the coin made in resin without too many air bubbles. After a lot of work and learning, I’ve gotten a workable clear resin coin:

I think if I make another one, I will remake the mold with my newfound knowledge and that will give me an even better result. When I’m learning something new, I love working on projects for friends, as it helps me learn to do thing and try them in ways I wouldn’t normally.

Play Around…

The other day I was hanging out with a magician friend, we were working on something not magic trick related. At some point we always end up goofing around with magic. and that’s when the good ideas come out. Unfortunately this day it was just goofing around. One of the things we were playing with … Continue reading “Play Around…”

The other day I was hanging out with a magician friend, we were working on something not magic trick related. At some point we always end up goofing around with magic. and that’s when the good ideas come out. Unfortunately this day it was just goofing around.

One of the things we were playing with was a bottle cap. Here’s one of the things that we did:

It’s not a great trick, or even that original, however it’s a good example of part of the creative process. It’s just playing with an item and seeing what comes up.