For years I’ve been interested in the book Body Magic by John Fisher. I like the idea of a book of tricks that just use your body, however the older edition when they popped up was priced usually at $100+ and I wasn’t that curious about the contents.
It was republished a while ago and I finally picked up a copy:
I’ve only flipped through the book and it’s not quite what I expected. There’s more than physical magic, there’s some things like mnemonics in there and some math stuff. I’m not saying that those are bad things, but expected it to be all physical, not mental stuff.
I’ll probably have a different opinion once I actually read it!
Of course this wasn’t planned, but I’ve done things like a coin flurry in the past, so the structure of what I was going to do I was familiar with. The part I was worried about was the sleeving and I was kinda amazed that I got the pretzel into my sleeve! Sleeving is something that I can do, but never really have done it in a show, so it was fun to do.
Personally I love “playing” with magic, it’s what keeps me in love with it. I think if I did the same thing the exact same way every time, I would have burnt out a long time ago!
Recently I picked up the Card To Wallet from TCC’s Magic Wallet Universe. For my close up magic shows, I use the Real Man’s Wallet and love it. I’m not trying to replace it, but looking for something that’s more of an everyday wallet for me to have in my pocket when I’m not performing.
Here’s the video for the wallet:
Ok, so I watched the video before I bought and am aware that it’s a no palm method. Personally I prefer a palming for card to wallet as I think the physical separation of the deck and wallet makes the trick stronger. Also with something like the Real Man’s Wallet the card is in a sealed spot of the wallet, there’s no way you could slip it in there. The TCC wallet lacks both of those points, the strength for me is that it’s a minimalist wallet and something that I would have on me at all times (outside of a paid show where I would have the Real Man’s Wallet).
Just a note, the card can be loaded into the wallet from a palm, but it’s kinda clunky, but possible.
Overall for $20, it’s a decent Card to Wallet, and it’s nice that I’ll have that option on my all the time.
One of my favorite every day carry magic trick is my Splitting Image mismade bill routine. It fits in my wallet and takes up the space of two one dollar bills. Aside from that it just needs a borrowed cellphone with a camera. It’s a great routine that’s easy to do at a moments notice.
Here’s what it looks like:
It looks like Hocus-Pocus has them on sale right now for $32, which is a great deal! If you’re interested in getting my Splitting Image trick, order from them now, I don’t know how long the sale will last!
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.
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.
One thing that has always bugged me are magicians that won’t do magic for people they run into who ask them to “show a trick“. There thinking is that no one else in any profession gets asked to work. That’s simply not true. Lawyers get asked legal questions, doctors get asked for medical advice, it’s not unique to magicians. It’s unique to professions that have “secret knowledge“. What I mean by that is they have knowledge or understand things that the average person doesn’t.
Looking back in time, all of the great magicians a hundred years ago made reputations doing impromptu magic. Max Malini biting the buttons off of coats or Hermann who pulled the coins out of rolls or eggs at the market. I think most magicians hesitancy is they lack the technical skills and knowledge of tricks to “do a trick” at a moments notice. I’m a huge fan of always having a trick on you. You don’t have to do it, but sometimes it makes a huge difference having something always ready.
The other night someone at the bar where I was having dinner recognized me from my show earlier in the day. They told the bartender that I was a magician and he asked if I could show him a trick. I asked if the bar had a deck of cards, and they didn’t. He handed me a pen and asked if I could do a trick with that, so I swallowed the pen by lapping it. Then I did my Splitting Image (mismade bill) trick, which was a solid end to my “impromptu” performance.
Not relying on what you can find around you, but having something on you that you are guaranteed to kill with is a huge advantage. Planning ahead and keeping a few tricks in your wallet makes a huge difference! -Louie
This morning I was doing my daily writing and came up with cool idea for a trick…one that I have no method for. Here’s the idea:
You have a pen, you unscrew is and take out the ink cartridge, which is see thru and it’s full of black ink. The pen is reassembled. Then someone says a color and the pen writes in that color. This is done several times.
This is essentially Think a Drink where a tea kettle pours various drinks that the audience calls out, but done with a pen. I think the problem with the trick would be that the it’s a trick that would easily be explained by the audience as “color changing ink”. Even if that wasn’t your method, you’d have a hard time convincing an audience it’s that, or paper that changes the ink’s color.
A method could be a borrowed pen and using a stack of business cards set up for the out to lunch principle. The borrowed pen eliminates the possibility of color changing ink. Letting them keep the card and where they could write on it with the same pen and have it not change color would also eliminate or at least reduce the explanation of special paper.
If using the out to lunch principle, you’d need a way to make the colors called feel random. This could be a force, multiple outs or a combination of the two.
Feel free to play with this idea and if you come up with a cool method, let me know! -Louie
One thing that you do when you perform at a lot of events is “media”. This is when you get up super early in the morning to entertain the local morning news or visit a radio station. Later last night I was called to do media this morning, and all of my gear was at the fairgrounds and that was about half an hour out of the way from where I was going. I really didn’t want to get up any earlier than I had to.
I had a deck of cards and a sharpie in my car, so I was confident I could make it happen with just that. In my wallet I have short show that’s always ready to go. Having this on me at all times has saved my butt on my occasions, and opened some doors.
One of the tricks in my impromptu wallet show is my mismade bill routine that I call Splitting Image. The picture below is the finale of this routine!
The effect is you take a picture of them holding a regular dollar bill with their phone, then you rip it in half. You restore the bill, but backwards…then the picture on their phone now has the bill in the mismade condition!
What I like is that this trick doesn’t rely on technology, so there’s no apps to use, it’s just the camera on their phone. It’s low tech, and 100% reliable!
If you don’t have a wallet show, you really should…or at least think about it and what you could do with just the stuff that’s in your wallet. -Louie