Last week I performed at a fair that was very windy and dusty. One of the things that the wind and dust (plus the sun) does is put a lot of wear and tear on your props. After the fair wrapped up, I got up early the next morning before my flight home and did some cleaning and maintenance on my props.
There were several things that I just had to throw away as the dust made them not work properly and I really couldn’t get inside them to clean them. It was also a good time to give my magic show props a good once over to look for things that need repairs, or touch ups.
The nice thing about doing this clean up before I left is when I fly back to CA in a couple of days, I won’t have to clean my props, I can just load into the next gig.
My first night hanging out at Magic Live, there was a free show that I could attend. This show was technically not part of Magic Live. It was a show that was honoring the Amazing Jonathan. It was produced and hosted by The Shocker and it was a ton of fun!
The show was billed as an edgy show. Some of the people performing did their acts and other people did what felt like custom things for this show (I can’t imagine why they would do it anywhere else).
One of the highlights for me was Chris Korn. He did a strange thing where he “switched places” with someone from the audience. I’m not going to say what the trick was, you had to be there, but I will say the trick really fell flat, however I loved it. Chris took a risk, and big one and had to commit 100% to the bit. I admire and respect that!
The show makes me want to be more fearless onstage! -Louie
Last week I worked with Anthony Hernandez and Dawn in California. We instantly clicked and I had a blast chatting with them!
They do a great show, they are both very likable on stage. One of the huge advantages of being a duo act is how they run their music. Every act they do in the show is to music and it well chosen. As they hit the end of the trick and the magic happens, the music’s audio bumps up. It’s great!
Another great thing Anthony does is how he sells the effect. He really pauses, and stretches out the magic. It made me realize I still rush the end too much, and I go a lot slower than I used to!
They do a great show, and if you get a chance to see them, I recommend it. I learned a lot from the show and also enjoyed watching it!
Working on the road at fairs allows me two work with all sorts of acts. Last week I worked with Scotty and Rich and Orion. They are all variety acts and with very different styles!
One of the great things is chatting ideas with these different acts. Everyone comes at it with a different background and preferences as to how a show should be done. Talking to other acts and getting feedback often will show you things in your show you didn’t see or thing of.
If you work with other acts, talk to them and use them to help you grow! -Louie
One of the cool things about having a 3D printer is it helps me make my ideas a reality, and do it fairly easily. Last week I got the idea in my head of having a remote control party popper. If you don’t know what a party popper is, it’s a little tube with a string. You pull the string, there’s a bang and and little streamers shoot out.
The mechanism is pretty simple, it’s going to be a motor on a remote control. The party popper needs something to hole it in place, so I designed a little holder for it, with a hole in the back:
The plan is to attach this to a board with the battery, remote receiver and motor. To load it, you’ll put in the party popper, tie the string to the motor and when you’re ready, simply push the on button on the remote.
We’ll see if this actually works once I put it together later today… -Louie
The easiest step to being likable onstage is smiling. That’s it. If you can do that you’re soo much closer to the audience liking you.
Smiling makes you look like you want to be there and you are having fun. Yes, there are times you don’t want to smile, and those times should be well thought out. Your default should be a smile.
Many years ago I heard an interview with comedian Neal Brennan on Tom Papa’s podcast Come to Papa. He mentioned that he thought he was smiling onstage, but realized he wasn’t. Onstage you need to smile bigger than you think you need to for it to play to the audience. Hearing that interview really helped my show! -Louie
I’ll be doing hand shadow act and probably my bullwhip act during the shows this weekend. One of the things that the festival likes about what I do is that it doesn’t really conflict with things that other magicians do.
One huge thing that’s really helped me with my career is having a “novelty” act that I can do. It really helps out when you are in variety shows, or even in just plain ol’ magic shows with other magicians. It makes you a lot more versatile as an act. -Louie
The thumb tip began being used by magicians in the late 1800’s and it’s actual creator isn’t exactly know, there are two people that clam it’s use. Recently I was at a museum and they had some Egyptian finger and toe caps:
These are essentially thumb tips, but used for decoration, and not for magic. There’s a lot of stuff that exists in the real world, that magicians notice and start to use for magical purposes. I wonder if these could have been the inspiration for the thumb tip?
We’ll never know for sure, but they sure do look usable!
Last week while performing at the Moisture Festival, I hosted one show. One of your jobs as MC is to read their announcements, which is a pretty long list that has to happen up front before you introduce the first act. The announcements are things like fire exit instructions.
During my MC spot, I took those on right away and did those the first thing out. It really fell flat, and I had to dig out of a hole.
After the show Jamy Ian Swiss pulled me aside and reminded me of something I already knew, but didn’t do. He said, “Never start the show with announcements“. He’s right, and I’m glad he mentioned it to me. It’s something I know, put didn’t put into practice. I’m 1000% glad he mentioned that to me, otherwise this could have been the beginning of starting a bad habit while MCing.
One of the trends in the county/state fair market is the fair putting the performers up in a house like an Air BnB instead of a hotel. Usually this is a great thing, I haven’t been housed with anyone I don’t get along with…yet.
The camaraderie that’s built hanging out at night BS’ing over a few beers around the table is one of my favorite things. In the carnival world that call it “cutting up jackpots“
This is also where a lot of networking and creative brainstorming happens. I know some performers like a space to themselves, but they are missing out one of my favorite parts of working on the road!