I just stumbled across a video of the trick Ink Hole and I really like it!
Here’s what the trick has going for it:
it’s not a card trick. Yes, I know there are plenty of tricks similar to this with a card and hole. My thinking is the less tricks that I do that don’t use cards, the better. I’m not anti card trick, however for texture in the show, if I can avoid a card, I do!
It’s very visual and in a strange way!
it happens in front of your body and not on a table.
What I don’t like about it is that there is (as far as I can tell) a requirement that you wear a black shirt. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it is definitely a consideration.
I’m on the fence about getting it, it’s more the wardrobe condition that’s keeping me from ordering it.
Even if I don’t get it, I still think it’s a really cool effect!
A couple of months ago I had a garage sale find of a lot of vintage magic. I sold most of the props a few weeks ago. I kinda regretted selling the spirit bell that was part of that find. Well, the magic gods led me to another spirit bell! This one belonged to John Pomeroy whose company was GEM magic.
This one is a little bit bigger than the previous one that I had, it’s also heavier. The nice thing is that I have an extra glass bell. This one doesn’t have a stand, but it does have the wand that makes it ring.
The wand on this one has a better design than on the other one. The previous one had a button you pressed, where this one has a button you slide. The sliding action is more ergonomic and makes your hand move less when the bell rings.
Life is funny sometimes, I’ve never seen a spirit bell in person, and in the span of four months, I’ve owned two different ones!
The Linking Safety Pins has been one of my favorite tricks for years. One of things that I do are two phases where the pins are totally out of my hands and someone from the audience links or unlinks them. However my favorite part is the final unlink where I pull the pin through the pin that they are holding.
What draws me to this trick is the simplicity of it. It uses two large safety pins. Everyone knows what they are, they can be examined before and after the trick. Also they take up virtually no space in my pocket.
The downside is that the good oversized linking pins haven’t been made for a long time, so they have to be found on the used magic market. There were soo many sold, they frequently pop up and I’m always buying them whenever I find them. If you’ve never done the linking pins, the trick Shrapnel which is currently available is a good routine and it uses more standard size safety pins and worth looking into.
A couple of days ago I wrote about finding some rocks that were attracted to a magnet and trying to figure out a trick to do with them. The idea that I came up with that’s the best is a “heads or tails” sort of trick. You have two rocks, one is black and one is gray. You hold a cup behind your back and someone from the audience picks a rock, holds it in their fist and drop the other one in the cup behind your back. You know which rock is where.
The method is simple, it’s a magnet in your hand. You could put a magnet in a thumb tip, however with how your hand would hold a cup behind your back a Sanada Gimmick with a magnet in it would be a better choice as it’d be behind the cup. You simply tip the cup so the rock would be near the magnet, then tip it the other way and if the rock moves, it’s the one that’s not attracted to the magnet.
Now we need to add a layer to the trick. What if it ended with a prediction? So you guess which one the person is holding correctly two out of three times. On the third time, you reveal a prediction that says:
I will WIN – LOSE – WIN and you can keep the GRAY rock you are holding
Method wise, it’s pretty easy. Since you can know which rock is where, you can control the outcome of the three rounds. For the prediction, you will need two predictions, each revealing a different colored rock. You would keep this in a double sided envelope, Himber Wallet, Shogun Wallet, or whatever that would allow you multiple outs.
Adding the layers of multiple guesses with a final specific guess makes it much harder to backtrack to a rock with a magnet in it.
It was nice out, so I went magnet fishing out at the river. Essentially magnet fishing it having a very strong magnet on the end of a rope and tossing it into the water and seeing what metal it brings back. Unfortunately I didn’t get any big chunks of metal, but I did get a handful of decent sized rocks that are attracted to a magnet.
I think the average person who is not a “rock hound” thinks about river rocks as something that you would use with a magnet. That’s something that I could use to my advantage. The key to any trick using these would have to be that the trick isn’t about the rock being attracted to a magnet.
What I mean by that is that if you did a trick with Frixion Ink and just made the ink disappear, the method is the trick. However once you add a layers, like it reveals a card AND not all the ink disappear, the method is no longer the trick.
Trying to distance the obvious method from the trick is another challenge. For example you make a nail move by itself on the table, it’s less effective than if you made a die roll by itself. This reason is that dice aren’t normally associated with a magnet, which is the obvious way that trick would work, where it’s not a huge intellectual leap to connect a magnet and a nail.
I need to sit down and do some brainstorming to figure out what I can do with these… -Louie
One of the things that I wanted to do when I was in Las Vegas to hang out at Magic Live was to go to Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart. Omega Mart is a huge immersive art installation that’s a strange grocery store and you can actually buy the things there. If you explore there are hidden doors that take you to the crazy places!
It’s totally worth a stop in you’re in one of the cities where they have locations. While we were in the store portion of the Omega mart, I saw an avocado purse, this is a realistic avocado that is made of rubber, but is hollow and has a zipper on it.
The magician in me got thinking about what I could do with it. The obvious trick would be to take something out of it, then at the end of the routine it becomes a real avocado! The addition would be to have a zipper on the reel avocado that you peel off at the end then cut open the avocado.
For a routine you open the purse and take out an avocado pit. Do a trick with it, like a one coin routine, with the pit continually reappearing in the avocado purse. Then the finale is it’s a real avocado.
Another idea is you could cut it in half and now you have an avocado shell. You could do multiplying avocados, or use the shell to steal something else.
Hmm…what if you have a paper cup, an plastic knife and an avocado pit. You do a cup and ball routine, ending with the avocado purse. You get the surprise of the avocado appearing, but then you blow it off by revealing it’s a purse and the pit is inside it. Use that moment of surprise to steal the real avocado and switch the purse for the real one. Do another phase, and steal the avocado like a in Tommy Wonder’s cups and balls and produce it again. This time ask them to open it, and they can’t. Offer the plastic knife you’ve been using as a wand to them to cut it open!
I hope this inspires you when you see things that would be good for magic tricks to think of things you can actually do with them and not just that you could do things with them.
I’ve been playing with adding remote controls to things recently. The company that I get the remote controls for my Remote Control Chattering Teeth had send me the wrong ones a while ago, and instead of sending them back, I decided to keep them in case I needed them for another project.
Here’s the most recent thing that I’ve made:
The idea is that the bell is rung by the corded button. However I can also secretly ring the bell via the remote control.
Some ideas for routines to use this to add comedy to are:
Having someone ring it when a trick happens. This would probably be better for a juggling style trick.
When doing a timed trick, like an escape.
When someone does something. For example, you need a kid to stay standing on a spot, and you if they move someone is supposed to ring the bell.
Those are all routines that you could very easily add the bell into. It’s the sort of thing that can turn a 2 minute trick into a 5 minute trick. For an example of this style of trick, look into my Order Up routine from Vanish Magazine #43. It’s the Cube Libre magic trick, but I added a bell and I used a sound effect on my PA to make the ring, but it played really well.
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.