One of the issues I have with the Die Box magic trick is that I’m not sure what it is. It uses two very unusual props, a giant die and the strange box. Well, yesterday I was at a junk shop and found this box. It’s not a die box, but it sure as heck looks like one.
The shop owner didn’t know what it was for. Now that I’ve found something that looks like a die box, that’s not made for magic, it really doesn’t justify it as a prop.
I’ve been working on this Silver Extraction coin trick style routine at the fair this week. I’ve learned a lot. First of all, I think the more complex method I’ve come up with to switch the coins, has some advantages over simply doing a shuttle pass. A shuttle pass is a solid method for doing the trick, however the advantage of my complex method is that I can hold the coin more openly after the switch.
One of the problems I’ve encountered working on this is getting the shell to stick to the magnet on the lighter. The solution was simple, I added a second magnet to the lighter and some more shim steel to the shell coin.
Having more magnets and more steel to grab solved the problem. The lighter really firmly attaches to the coin.
Another thing that I’ve learned about the trick is that I need to call attention to the three layer of the coin. Most people have noticed the layers, but never really thought about them. The trick has been getting great responses from the people at the fair this week. I really like how strange the trick is.
One thing I was working on over the weekend at the fair was freezing and holding for applause and for the effect to sink in longer. This can be hard to do, just standing still and waiting for the audience to do something.
I need to be better about this at the end of the effect and after telling a joke. Letting the effect or punchline marinade with the audience for a little bit. I’ve noticed the difference between the first day of this fair and the last day in the amount of applause and laughs I’m getting.
Doing this can be hard if you have a dead crowd, as you’re standing and waiting for very little audience response. One thing I’ve notice is that it builds throughout the show.
One of the tricks that I came up with during the pandemic was a gag card that used the Out To Lunch principle. The gag relies on the similarity of the words “pitcher” and “picture”. You offer someone a “free pitcher/picture of beer”.
The card shows a full pitcher of beer, and you write their name on it. Then the pitcher magically becomes empty.
I’ve been doing this trick since shows started opening back up and about a month ago, I was doing it at the Abbott’s Magic Get Together. It was a hit with magicians, and many asked if I was selling it and at the time I wasn’t.
Recently, I’ve been doing it a lot and am convinced that it’s an amazing trick to non-magicians. I think the gag is very strong and that strengthens the magic trick as it’s unexpected. I’m trying to decide whether to write up the trick for a magazine, or to do make up sets and sell them. I think if I sell the sets, more people will do it as it’s easier to get a set of the cards than having to make you own set from scratch.
Everyone things performing on the road is all fun and games. My current run is about 15 weeks long, sure there are some gaps in the schedule that I fly home, but 15 weeks is a long time on the road.
There are some things that I do to keep myself sane, like going for walks or to the gym. This particular trip I’m driving, so I was able to take some tools with me. Last night was a big night, I hunted down about 50 bottles for my Evaporation trick and then made them in my hotel room!
Later today I’ll be working on a couple of custom props in the hotel room after a full day of shows at the fair! The glamour of working on the road ever ends!
Right now I’m performing in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, and about 20 minutes away is Spokane, Washington. Spokane has a magic club and I know most of the people there. I swung by an did a mini lecture with Adam The Great and Cecil Lewis. We talked about working the fair circuit and taught some tricks.
This is a three phase routine where the silk goes through a coat hanger. Each time the penetration is a little bit different. The first two phased are pretty standard silk and ring moves, but the third is a move that’s unique to using a coat hanger.
This was fun to finally teach! I’m glad I’ve now put it out there into the world. Honestly, I’m not sure how many people will ever do it, as it’s a pain to do and the reel is expensive!
At the fair I was performing and at the end of the show I looked down and my giant spoon had broken in two pieces!
The spoon act was something that I had taken out of my show a while ago, but started doing for a gig this summer. It’s been in the show all summer since!
I do have more spoons at home, the issue is that the spoon is big and heavy. My car won’t be home until November, so if I want to grab another one, I’ll have to fly with it. Luckily, my friend Elliott Hunter understands metal and gave me some advice to try to get it through the summer. The simple crutch is some JW Weld and hopefully that will hold.
I’m going to have to be careful with it, but with a bit of luck, I won’t have try to fly with one of these!
Here’s another packet trick that I got from a collection of magic that I’m revising. Today it’s Five Card Surprise, and there was not creator listed on the packaging. It’s sort of like an illogical princess card trick.
Here’s the video of me doing it the original way as written, then doing a revised version for a real audience:
This trick suffers from trying to make it easy to do. What I mean by that is the card selection is you simply telling them what card to take. I think it not being a choice weakens the trick a lot. The simple addition of a force of the card (any force) greatly improves the trick.
This week I’m performing in Minot, North Dakota. I’ve worked out here many times over the years. When getting into town, I drove by a Menards hardware store.
Normally this isn’t a huge deal, but this is the hardware store where I bought all the stuff to create my Evaporation trick! It’s also the store where I bought a lot of the parts for all the previous unsuccessful versions of the trick.
Many magicians think that finished ideas just pop out of people’s heads, and while that does happen, it’s rarely the case. Usually it’s a idea, that eventually after a lot of work gets to the final idea.
The key is to trying to create a new method for a trick is to not give up. I tired many, many bad (in retrospect) ideas for how to make the trick bottle. However each bad idea taught me something, and they all moved me closer and closer to the final goal!
Last week while performing at the fair, I was doing a trick I thought of about six months ago, but do to the pandemic, I didn’t really get a chance to do in person. The trick uses a gag card that I thought of. The gag is you offer them a “free pitcher of beer” but it’s really a “free picture of beer”.
You can read a bit more about the gag at: http://www.magicshow.tips/magic-show-tips/free-beer/ and http://www.magicshow.tips/magic-show-tips/adding-a-line/
There’s really nothing new to the this aside from the gag. It’s the old out to lunch principle. For a very old method, it still works really well and is very deceptive!
I had a blast doing it last week, and look forward to doing it more in the future!