One of the things that a lot of magicians use are magic tricks that use electronics. They are fun and you can do a lot of really impossible things with them, but the hard part is finding an “out” if the electronics fail. And they will fail at some point if you are out there working.
In my show I use a Rubik’s Cube that a special something inside and if that ever fails, in most routines you’re really screwed. Awhile ago I 3D printed a box for it, so if it does fail, I can use the box like the old color vision box. The color vision trick is a pretty good trick on it’s own, so having that as my back up method isn’t the worst out in the world.
I’ve been using the 3d printed box for a little over a year and wore it out!
I think a combination of me working outside a lot in the heat and it just getting banged around during travel shortened the box’s life. Luckily with 3d printing, it’s a very quick and easy fix. I just hit a couple of buttons and I had a new one with virtually no effort on my part!
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
About a hundred years ago, there were a lot of tricks where objects when through a hat. Stanley Collins had several giant dice through hat methods, and I think P & L made a dice thru hat as well. Then there’s glass through hat. I have one that’s about 100 years old, and while I think it’s over engineered for the effect, it is fun to do.
Here’s my first time trying it out:
From a method standpoint, it’s an interesting solution to making a glass penetrate a hat. I don’t think it’s the best solution and I would never do it in a show, however it is fun to practice! That the thing with magic is that you have to have fun, I still love magic. It’s not just my job, I love learning about it, I love playing with it and I love performing it.
In Seattle we recently got our first NHL team, which is exciting. I finally made it out to a hockey game at our team’s first season. At the game for the preshow and the filler during the intermissions, they used the ice as a projector screen
This got me thinking about how to use space like that in a magic show. The rough thing is that in most venues that I would perform in the entire audience wouldn’t be able to see the floor.
They did a bit where they played bingo with specific sections, it was produced well, they lit the four sections that were playing and the bingo cards were projected on the floor.
It was a great use of the ice as a screen and the way they lit the audience made it play well.
I wonder if for a magic trick you could have essentially a bingo card that was projected onto the stage and people stand on numbers. You then have some process to eliminate people and end up predicting the final person standing. -Louie
The estate sale that I picked up magic from last week had a lot of magic from the 1930’s. It’s really interesting how magic changes over time and the trends seem to stick for a long time. The 1930’s was the era of everything being nickel / chrome plated!
Not too long after this era, we entered the brightly colored boxes with Asian characters on them. Currently we’re in the time of “everyday props” or props that pretend to be everyday items. However there is some movement to using props that don’t resemble everyday items as a “special” moment in the show.
There are soo many crazy methods to these tricks and soo many of them are over engineered by today’s standards on how to accomplish things. For example this table was used to make glass disappear!
The crazy thing is that the glass isn’t that big, it’s maybe 8-10 ounces! There are better ways to do it…but they’re a little bit harder and not as fun to play with! -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
Last night I was playing with a deck of cards while I watched the final couple of episodes of Dexter New Blood and came up with a little pop out of a card from the deck. It’s pretty easy to do:
Hold the deck in your right hand in biddle grip.
Swing cut the top half into your left hand into mechanic’s grip
Your left thumb side jogs the top card about half an inch to the right
As your righthand approaches the left hand, the back of the right hand’s middle fingertip contacts the side jogged card. The right hand continues moving forward and slightly up. That will cause the side jogged card to flip face up. When that happens, your right hand moves down to put the two halves of the pack together.
That’s it. It’s not much, and it feels really familiar. I think it’s a mix of a lot of thing that I already know and that’s what makes it feel like it’s something I already know.
After playing with it with one card, I started thinking about producing a second card. That ended up being a four card production:
While not the greatest or flashiest four ace production, it was fun to come up with last night! -Louie
I woke up today to a great review of my Out For Beers trick!
I really love this trick, the play on words gag really works with my personality. I also think the trick works better than most of the Out to Lunch style tricks because it starts as a gag that is motivated. The trick sneaks up on the audience, which make it even more amazing!
This trick has been a huge hit at the booking confrences I’ve been at over the last few months and has driven a lot of traffic to my tradeshow booth and gotten me a lot of work. Get yours now!
This trick is kinda interesting with the shotglass production kicker. I used Black Fox’s Shot Glass Production, that I don’t think he ever really released, or maybe no one really bought. He gave me one 15-20 years ago and I found it while cleaning up. I used to use it sometimes when I used to do the egg bag.
It’s been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks, and I finally had an idea for it, and that’s what I did for the Tik Tok video. It was fun to figure out something to do with it! -Louie
Every now and then I end up with a trick that I like, but it doesn’t have a place in the show. These tricks end up in the preshow section of my show until I either come up with a routine for them, or give up on trying to figure out a way to fit them in show. The spoon and fork transposition is something that’s a great trick, but stayed in the preshow part of the show for years.
I finally fleshed out the routine a little bit, so it was more than a quick trick. It’ s a two phase routine, with an ending. Recently I tried it at a virtual magic open mic and it went well:
One thing I didn’t think about was the “hips gag”, I don’t think it played virtually. One of the problems was I was sitting, which I really should have realized before I started. Sometimes little things slip, that end up being a much larger problem that you’d think they would be. At least I now know for future gigs!