Fair Magic Show Set Up

It’s always interesting to look into other magicians prop cases. Last week I did my first fair of the year and here’s what my set up look like.

First the bin that sits on my table:

And here’s the prop case that sits on the floor to my left:

That’s a 45 minute stage show and it all can pack down into the prop case. The fully loaded case is just under 50 pounds, so I can check it on the plane as luggage for no additional fees!


Jumbo Card Boxes

For years I’ve been quietly hoarding the old stock Bicycle 8082 Jumbo Cards. These are about twice as thick as what bicycle currently makes. The cards are amazing and super durable, unfortunately the boxes aren’t. I’ve been stockpiling the decks for the boxes, more than for the cards.

In the past Billy Diamond had made a box that you cut out from a giant sheet of plastic that held the Bicycle 8082 Jumbo Cards, and that was an OK solution. However he now makes a fully assembled plastic box for 8082 cards and they’re amazing!

These are a bit price at about $40 a box, but they’re much more durable than the old stock boxes that you’ll pay $40 a deck for. It’s a much better deal to have a box that will last longer and will stay looking sharp!

If you use Jumbo Cards, look into these boxes!


Removing The Force…

I finally got around making a trick that’s been on the back burner for a couple of months. I really like the trick 52 B Wave 2.0 by Vernet. This is essentially a brainwave deck with the kicker of all the cards being blank at the end. It’s got a great three beat ending.

52 B'wave  2.0

There’s one thing that I don’t like about it. What I think is the weakness is that you have to force a color (red or black), which isn’t a huge deal. I do see how adding a second bank of reveal cards would bump up the price and possibly make working it a little more complex.

I decided make it so that I could do the trick and have any card named. I went out and bought some matte finish spray to make some rough cards. It was a pretty easy process to make the black deck, the one surprise I had was the Vernet jumbo cards are a tiny bit shorter than the Bicycle Jumbo Cards, so I had to trim down my reveal cards. Other than that, it was pretty painless.

The routine I’m doing has people throwing cards, and before I had to force half of the card initially, then after that it was a free choice. Now I don’t need to do the initial force, just toss the pack to the audience and they start tossing away cards. It should be much cleaner this way.

Torn & Restored (not a) Card

I love it when I’m working on something and things happen quickly. The connections between problems and solutions are quickly found. What started not too long ago with me and a couple of friends ripping up playing cards, quickly became a solid method. Then in my quest to make it play a little bit bigger, I think I hit on something to make it bigger, but also a presentation hook!

torn and restored card

I was looking for some of the Phoenix Parlour Cards that I have around here somewhere, and a stack of postcards I send out as “thank you cards” caught my eye. I took one and gimmicked it for the torn and restored card, and it worked!

The cool thing about using postcards is that they are bigger than the Phoenix Parlour Cards, and they are really easy to gimmick (much easier than playing cards). Also if this is something that I’ll be doing in the show, they are cheap and easy to get.

This brings me to something that my friend Robert Baxt always tells me, which is, “can you do it with anything other than playing cards?“. He’s right. I’m a card guy in my heart, but he’s 100% correct, it’s almost always better with something other than playing cards. Also by moving things away from playing cards, you free up a slot in your show to use playing cards. I know freeing up a space for a card trick is not Robert’s intention, but is also means one less space for a card trick!

Making the T&R Card Play Bigger…

The last couple of days I’ve written about the torn and restored card that I’m working on. Now that I have the technical end pretty much worked out, the next step is figuring out how to make it work in a show. Right now with virtual shows, it’s easy because I can hold it close to the camera. Once “socially distant” shows are more common, I’ll need to make it bigger than just a playing card.

The original version that Harry Anderson did used a card that was bigger than a jumbo card. Yesterday I made a gimmicked card using a jumbo deck and while it’s visible, the way the current jumbo cards are made, they are too hard to make to be practical for use in every show. That got me thinking about the Phoenix Parlour Decks. These are between a standard deck and a jumbo deck. Being slightly better is a huge advantage for visibility.

While I’d love to be able to do the gimmicked cards in jumbo size, the availability of the old stock jumbo bicycle cards makes this something that would have a limited life. Ideally when I create, whatever I use will still be in production, so I can at least stock up on them.

Ten Card Deal…

I’m very luck that have places to “work out” routines, not a lot of magicians have that. Personally I prefer to work out stuff in a real show over an open mic. With an open mic typcially the audience isn’t invested in the show like they would normally be in a show that they paid … Continue reading “Ten Card Deal…”

I’m very luck that have places to “work out” routines, not a lot of magicians have that. Personally I prefer to work out stuff in a real show over an open mic. With an open mic typcially the audience isn’t invested in the show like they would normally be in a show that they paid a ticket to see.

Last night I hosted a show and as host, not the feature or headline act, I can play a bit more with new stuff. Currently I’m working on a stage version of the 10 Card Poker Deal. It ended well, but was a hot mess up until the ending.

ten card poker deal

In my stage poker deal, it uses jumbo cards and ends with a prediction. Somehow I wasn’t paying attention and ended up having the wrong prediction after the first deal. Luckily I know a lot of poker deal variations and was able to do a second deal and end up with the prediction that matched the one I had on the table.

This is where it’s important to know more than just the routine you do. Whenever possible I try to have a deeper knowledge of the concept or the trick. Knowing more that just what’s required for the routine bailed me out of the situation last night.