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
One of the most common joke questions people ask is if you can turn a one dollar bill into a hundred dollar bill. When people ask things like this they think they are the first person to every ask you that. There are three ways to deal with it. First you can laugh with them, … Continue reading “As You Wish…”
One of the most common joke questions people ask is if you can turn a one dollar bill into a hundred dollar bill. When people ask things like this they think they are the first person to every ask you that. There are three ways to deal with it. First you can laugh with them, next you can try to one up them with a joke, and finally you can do what they ask.
Of the three reactions to the joke, the only one I don’t recommend is the second one. Let the person have their moment, they are going to allow you many more. Now as for the first and third option, I prefer being able to comply, but that’s not always possible with the “make my wife disappear” jokes, so then you have to laugh it off with them.
For something like turn my dollar bill into a hundred dollar bill, you can comply. You can keep a hundred dollar bill in a thumb tip and do a bill switch, however if you do this you have to give them the hundred dollar bill. It’ll cost you ninety nine bucks, but you’ll have created a miracle that they’ll talk about forever.
Another way would to be to take their dollar and switch it for a bill that has the serial number altered. The serial number reads “A 00000100 S”, so it’s a hundred dollar bill. You could also have the serial number read “1 HUNDRED”. Either way you’ve turned their bill into a hundred. Changing the serial number takes a bit of work, but it’s a lot cheaper than spending $99!!!
One of the cool things about being a magician, is you frequently have the ability to change someone’s day. What I mean by that is showing someone a little card trick can change their mood. Here’s an example, I was stuck in line that wasn’t moving. Someone recognized me a the magician from the show … Continue reading “Using Magic For Good…”
One of the cool things about being a magician, is you frequently have the ability to change someone’s day. What I mean by that is showing someone a little card trick can change their mood. Here’s an example, I was stuck in line that wasn’t moving. Someone recognized me a the magician from the show and we chatted for a minute. Then I offered to do a card trick. Everyone in the line went from being annoyed at a non moving line, to laughing and having a good time. One little card trick changed the mood and experience of 30 people.
Sometimes I wonder why so many magicians say they never do a trick for people outside of being paid. Personally I thinks it’s a very self centered approach. Being willing to do a little magic trick, if very different than feeling like you have to do a magic trick. You can say no, and sometimes you’re asked to show a trick and it’s just night a right situation and in the end no one will really gain any real joy from it. But when you know it’ll improve someone’s day, you should do it!
This is part of leaving your mark on the world. Jeff McBride is really into this type of
“giving” with magic. It doesn’t mean
doing a show, just a quick thing to make someone’s day a bit more fun! That’s why in my wallet I always have a trick
that I can do, that’s a good trick, with a direct plot, but also quick. It’s not a long routine, it’s a quick trick.
I actually have a 15 min show in my wallet, but usually don’t do the full
As a magician you need to be able to do magic anytime. It doesn’t mean that you have to do magic whenever someone brings it up, but you should be able to do something. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about having an impromptu show that you’ve practiced as a show that you always have on … Continue reading “Improvised Magic”
As a magician you need to be able to do magic anytime. It doesn’t mean that you have to do magic whenever someone brings it up, but you should be able to do something. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about having an impromptu show that you’ve practiced as a show that you always have on you. I’m not writing about that today, but the ability to improvise magic.
You need to be able to look at a scenario and mentally go through your “toolbox” of sleight of hand, subtleties, or whatever and to make a trick happen. For example last night my family was at dinner with another family and they had a kid who wanted to see a magic trick. I’m a horrible human if I say no to a 7 year old kid. Now, this doesn’t mean I need to do a whole show, but a quick trick.
Looking around the dinner table there was standard stuff like cups, plates, silverware. What I ended up doing was improvise a little routine. I told the kid I was going to teach him how to do a trick and then I taught him how to stick a spoon on his nose. I then told him I was going to make mine disappear off my nose. I held a napkin in front of my face, wiggled my nose so the spoon fell off, and lowered the napkin to show it was gone. The kid of course saw what happened…but then he was blown away when his full glass of chocolate milk appeared in my napkin!
I’ve done the appearing cup in the napkin before, but needed a way to get the misdirection to steal it. The idea of dropping the spoon off my face was something that came to me in the moment and worked out great. It was a funny moment and everyone let their guard down, which allowed me to steal the cup.
Understanding magic and how it works allowed me to work out this routine at a glace of the table.
Last year at the Southern Sideshow Hootenanny in New Orleans, I saw legendary showman Aye Jaye speak. Aye Jaye has been around circuses and carnivals his whole life and is a fun guy to hang around! He always has a trick on him, and he’s always ready to do it. He has a name for … Continue reading “Always Be Amazing…”
Last year at the Southern Sideshow Hootenanny in New Orleans, I saw legendary showman Aye Jaye speak. Aye Jaye has been around circuses and carnivals his whole life and is a fun guy to hang around!
He always has a trick on him, and he’s always ready to do it. He has a name for this, which I don’t remember, but it’s essentially a “gift” he gives people. For the longest time I hated the idea of always having a trick on me. I used to think there was no good reason for it, besides “dancing” like a trained monkey.
As I’ve gotten older, I have had many doors open and opportunities present themselves simple because I could do a magic trick. I don’t force magic tricks on people, but having something you can do is frequently beneficial!
A good example of this was I as having a drink with some performers after a trade show. We ended up chatting with a group that was in a position to book a couple of us performers. Of the magicians I was the only one that could do a trick on the spot. I did my three trick set that lives in my wallet.
I got the gig. I’m not saying that to brag, but when you are in a formal networking situation you 100% should have a trick ready to go. This goes for informal networking, which is pretty much all day, every day.
Think about it, let’s say you randomly meet someone and they learn you are a magician and they mention they need a magician for an event. What do you think will leave a bigger impression, if you hand them your card, or do a trick, then hand them your card?