Seven Things I’ve Learned…

Last week my wife and I had a tourist day in Seattle and part of it we went to see Ira Glass‘s talk called Seven Things I’ve Learned.

Seven Things I've Learned an Evening with Ira Glass

At the beginning of it he talks about the title and it’s really just a frame to write a talk around. That was interesting to hear him say that, because essentially that’s what every school assembly magician is doing when they put together a themed show.

At one point during the show, there was an interruption. Someone got up and started yelling that we shouldn’t be laughing when there were people dying in Sudan. I’m not going to call this person a heckler, because it wasn’t really related to what was happening onstage or the performer, it was someone shouting their message. It was unclear whether the person bought a ticket or somehow snuck in.

Ira handled this interruption in an amazing manner! The whole thing felt like it took 5 minutes, but in reality it was probably closer to 90 – 120 seconds. What Ira did was say that the guy is right, that people dying in Sudan was important and that it doesn’t get as much news coverage as it should. He was diffusing the situation. At one point people in the the audiences started booing the guy that interrupted, however Ira kinda shut that down. That’s the right tact, by encouraging the audience to boo, the guy would have gotten louder and louder. Towards the end of the interaction Ira said something like, “I agree with you, the media needs to do better…” and eventually the guy was escorted out.

Then to get the audience back, he did said “I’ve done stories about that…but didn’t feel it was appropriate for a saturday night crowd” and that got a laugh and tension started to leave the room. Then someone in the crowd yelled, “Welcome to Seattle” and Ira replied, “Thanks, so all of your shows have a guy yelling about Sudan…” this got a HUGE laugh and really got the rest of the tension out of the room.

That’s the thing with someone who is interrupting the show with an unrelated matter, no amount of heckler stoppers will do anything. Ira was right by diffusing the situation and not escalating it. Magicians are really bad about escalating their interactions with hecklers or interactions instead of deescalating it. It’s really the better choice in most scenarios, give it a try!


ReLearning a Magic Show

Last week I did a run of school assemblies that were sponsored by a library system to promote their summer reading programs. The show I was doing my my Incredible Idioms school assembly show, which I wrote for a 6 week school assembly tour in January/February of this year.

school assembly magic show

The challenge remembering the show as the last time I did the show was mid February, so about 3 months ago. What works for me to relearn a show is to listen to audio recordings of the show. This is also why it’s important to record your shows. It’s not hard to do, simply use the voice recorder on your phone.

The week before I had these shows I listened to the audio of the show while I drove in the car or on headphones as I worked around the house. For me passively listening really helps my brain bring back the “mental muscle memory” of the show. This is something that also helps for learning a new show or routine. I record myself doing the script and listen to it over and over while doing other things.

Hope you remember this tip when you need to relearn a show!


Aces Front Variation

Many, many years ago when I was a teenager, I remember a trick if Tarbell that used a wine glass and a deck of cards. The deck was in the wine glass and the card at the front of the deck changed. Then a few years later Lance Burton did it on TV and the version he did was basically Alan Wakeling’s Aces Front.

I’ve liked this idea and for a long time wanted to do a version with three selected cards. The first two appear at the front of the deck and the third one rises out of the top of the pack. I’ve had all the stuff I need to try to figure out the trick, however just lacked time/motivation to start playing with it.

I’m coming up with a lot of challenges for the trick. The main one is that with only a couple of cards, the deck will be in a crazy face up and face down condition for what I’m envisioning. Then it hit me, what if I revealed the a card this way:

This was a situation where playing with the cards ended up coming up with a solution for changing a card inside of a wine glass, and one that I don’t think has really been done before.

Now to work out a sequence…

Let Them Know You’re There!

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.

close up magic

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.


Applause Please 2: The Encore

Applause please 2 the encore by louie foxx

The new version of Applause Please is now available at! Right now there are only five units available and they have them all, so if you want one, be sure to order one now!

I don’t know when I’ll be able to get more of these made. I probably won’t have time to make any more until after the summer.

Applause Please 2 the encore

Applause Please 2: The Encore Applause Please has been a hit of Louie Foxx’s show for about a decade! After releasing it to the magic community 8 years ago, the prop has gone through many changes based on feedback from magicians who use the trick and Louie’s pleased offer Applause Please 2: The Encore!

Louie has performed it for kids, adults and everything in between at libraries, school assemblies, comedy clubs, theaters, and on cruise ships! The basic effect is you use an applause sign that lights up when you step on the foot switch throughout your show. During your show something disappears and reappears inside the lightbulb inside of the applause sign!

The Applause Sign and base have been redesigned by MagicCrafter and built in high quality wood. The remote control units have been upgrade to be completely battery powered, so you don’t need to plug it into a wall, this makes it much more versatile than the original version!

Warm Up:
You show an applause sign and light it up by stepping on a switch and the audience claps. When you look away the sign lights up on its own and the audience applauds. The applause surprises you and you look back at the sign just as it turns itself off. This comedy “look don’t see” bit is repeated until the audience is warmed up and ready for the show!

Routine 1:
An applause sign is utilized throughout your show. During your show, you pour a bottle of juice into a folded up newspaper and the liquid vanishes! You step on the foot switch to turn on the applause sign and it DOESN’T light up. When you open it up the light bulb inside is FULL of the juice that just disappeared! You twist the end off the light bulb and pour the juice out!

Routine 2:
An applause sign is utilized throughout your show. You show a handkerchief, and it changes color from Red to Yellow. You then teach the audience how the trick works and reveal that there are two handkerchiefs. You demonstrate the trick again, while “teaching” how the trick works and at the end the red handkerchief has vanished! You step on the foot switch to turn on the applause sign and it DOESN’T light up. When you open it up the light bulb inside is the missing red handkerchief!

Bonus effect 1:
An applause sign is utilized throughout your show. At some point during your show, you make a red handkerchief disappear! You step on the foot switch to turn on the applause sign and it DOESN’T light up. When you open it up the light bulb inside is the missing red handkerchief!

Bonus effect 2:
You borrow a dollar bill and have it signed, it ends up inside the lightbulb of the applause sign! You get video of a routine that Louie did for a library tour almost a decade ago. The method isn’t taught, but if you own a thumb tip, you can figure it out and is included as another example of a routine you can do where an object reappears in a lightbulb.

You get:

– Remote controlled applause sign!
– Plastic lightbulb with 2 bases (one for liquid and one for the silk routines)
– Flash drive with instructional video
– 9v battery
– Evaporation liquid vanishing trick (sports drink style bottle)
– Dye tube
– Yellow and red silks

You get everything you need to put Applause Please 2: The Encore into your show right away!

This is currently only available from


Using Evaporation with a Puppet

Recently in a Facebook group someone was asking about a way to make it look like their puppet was drinking. My Evaporation prop was mentioned and I immediately had some people ask me how to use the prop with one hand.

It’s not hard, here’s how:

Enjoy having your puppet drink!


Mikame Treasure Box

Yesterday I wrote about some collectible magic tricks that I had recently acquired. I was looking at the Mikame Treasure Box and thought it could be more than just a production of silks or spring flowers.

Here’s what I came up with:

@louiefoxx Vintage Magic Trick! Mikame Treasure Box! #vintagemagic #mikame #treasurebox #magictrick #silkmagic #louiefoxx #magic #magician #antiquemagic #vintage ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

One of the things that I added and really like, but I think gets lost is that the single silk becomes tied to the chain of silks. There’s really not much to this, it’s just a couple of magnets. Then I think the trick needed a finish, besides a lot of silks, so ending with the drink production puts an end to the trick.

It was fun to brainstorm something fun with this prop!


The Phoenix Ace Move

I don’t know why, but I’ve been fascinated by the Phoenix Ace move. I don’t know the official name of the move but this is the one where you have a multiple cards held as one and you palm off the stack leaving one card visible. I think it’s really more of a stage more, but I’m trying to come up with uses for it where you’re palming off of the deck.

One I’m playing with uses an outjogged double card that’s in the middle of the deck. Another one is this one below:

@louiefoxx Waiting for the post office to open, so heres a card trick! #cardtrick #magictrick #postoffice #waiting #sleightofhand #kingofhearts #car #bored #louiefoxx ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

I don’t think this is something I’d ever really do, but it’s fun to play with. I think that maybe if I keep playing, something useful will happen with the move.


King of Conjurers book

Over the last month or so I’ve been trying to get through the book King of Conjurers: Memoirs of Robert-Houdin. This is the biography of Robert-Houdin and for me this is a hard read. It’s probably that it was translated from French and it’s not the best translation is what’s making it a hard read.

It’s an interesting book and one that I feel I should read at some point as everyone loves to quote Robert-Houdin as saying, “…a magician is an actor playing the part of a magician…

While reading the book, I found this advice (bottom paragraph) about working slowly:

I think he’s right in many instances, but not 100% of the time. Yes, working slowing has it’s place, and most magicians could benefit by working a little bit slower. Someone like Hans Klok whose style working fast works for him.

I’m heading out to a show in a bit and I’m going to try to slow it down a bit…


Audience Interaction Tricks…

Last night I went out to see the band The Interrupters and one thing I noticed was that they use a lot of things to tell the audience what they want them to do. This is something that in my show I try, but subtly. After watching this show, it made me realize that asking an audience to do something isn’t bad. It can be repetitive, but not necessarily bad.

the interrupters

Something like telling the audience how to respond when a trick happens is effective, because sometimes they don’t know how to respond. If you want people to clap along to a song, you need to tell them.

I need to reevaluate my show and look at places where I’m not getting the desired audience response and try to find spots where I can tell the audience what to do!