I got home late last night from spending a week in New Orleans at the Sideshow Hootenanny. It was four days of watching incredible acts doing some crazy things! For me the value of these festivals is to run into old friends and make new ones within the industry. These are people I’ll work with in the future or hang out with when I’m in their town, or their in mine.
A great way to do this is with shared housing (aka Air BnB). By putting you all in the same spot, there’s coffees in the morning, or whatever and you get a chance to really bond with a group.
These people you meet understand what it’s like to be a performer and are a great support system and great people!
I highly recommend making friends with people in your industry, and not looking at your peers as “competition”, it will make you a happier person and will open a lot more doors for you!
A couple of weeks ago Duane Duvall passed. Duane was a huge part of the Portland, OR magic scene. I didn’t know Duane super well, but had plenty of conversations with him over the years. His magic business card collection was amazing!
Here’s bit of Duane:
Thanks Duane for all you’ve done for Northwest magicians! -Louie
Most of the time when I hear about a how great a certain magicians is, over and over for years, when I finally see them I’m let down. Sometimes it’s because what I’ve heard has them build up soo much in my head, and other times they’re just above average.
I’ve heard about John Cassidy for years and finally saw his show and he’s AMAZING!
If you’re somewhere that he’s performing, go out and see the show! It’s a great show and you’ll learn a lot by watching it! He has a great way of tying together unrelated gags to make them cohesive, and his magic is good!
Oh man, so yesterday I posted a routine for a card split routine. Part of the routine you expose a double envelope and it got me thinking about what is exposure. To me 99% of the magic that’s exposed doesn’t matter…well doesn’t matter in the context it’s exposed. I think magic that’s exposed in the moment it’s being done is the 1% that matters.
Ok, now for some of my general thoughts on exposure. I think magicians are the worst at exposure. They routinely give away “secrets” during their shows without realizing it. How they do it is when they cancel methods. For example, simply saying “no stooges” or “we haven’t prearranged anything” in a mentalism routine exposes a viable method.
Other ways things are exposed unintentionally through cancelling methods are things like, “check out the box, there’s no trap doors, mirrors, hidden assistants…” That tips three methods right there. Or at the end of a prediction when the magician/mentalist tears apart the envelope and says, “there’s nothing else in here” also exposes a method.
In the card split routine that I posted, I’m exposing a double envelope. I’d argue this method is exposed by soo many performers in the context of cancelling methods, it’s really not a secret. Also, it’s a logical method for any audience member to think of, to have an envelope with more than one prediction in it. That’s why it’s a common thing that magicians or mentalists expose to eliminate a method.
If your trick relies simply on an A/B prediction where the mystery hinges upon you simply opening one side or another of an envelope, your trick probably isn’t very magically sound. You need to add a lot more layers to your trick to make it a decent trick.
In less than two weeks I’m showcasing at a booking event and my retractable banner is missing. I needed to order another one ASAP, but of course, I’m on the road and can’t find the original files.
Working off a picture of the old banner, I had it recreated with a couple of more recent pictures and some new credits.
Having to remake the banner was sort of a blessing in disguise as it needed to be redone anyway. That and the retractable base was getting pretty banged up, it didn’t work very smoothly.
If I was at home I had pictures on a hard drive that I would have rather used, but sometimes you just need something that’s “good enough”. This will get me through the event and with banners at about a hundred bucks, if I only use it once before I redesign it, it’s totally worth it!
I’m working my way home to Seattle from FISM, and writing this during a 5 hour layover in Chicago. My plan heading there was for me to write these blog posts every morning, but the reality of the schedule there, that just wasn’t possible if I wanted to sleep. The schedule there ran from 8am to 11pm, most days, and some days the official schedule went to 1:30am, with your starting again at 8am the next day!
When I landed in Quebec City, it was 10pm and after a cab ride and loading into my hotel it was about 11pm when I began my 10 minute walk to the venue.
Quebec City is gorgeous and I want to be able to return sometime to explore the city. The picture above was taken from the door of my hotel!
Unfortunately, since I got in after registration had closed, I couldn’t attend the late night FISM events, but my buddy Clive who was already in Quebec City was willing to hang out with me! After a few attempts at finding a place still open that served food, we found Ninkasi, which turned out to be a place we be at almost every night. The staff there was super cool, and I think it was the closest place that had beer to the convention center.
While we were there, I had Clive show me some of the stuff he’s working on. One of which used a single sponge ball, and that caught the eyes of Pere Rafart and his friend whose name I don’t remember.
This convention is soo big compared to any other magic convention I’ve ever, there are people who I know were there, but never saw. Then Pere, who it felt like I was constantly passing in the halls. I later learned was a competing in the close up competition (he took 2nd place in close up card magic!)
Staying up way later than I should have, I said goodnight to everyone and took the short walk to my hotel.
I needed some sleep as it was going to be an early morning the next day! -Louie
The Moisture Festival Podcast records on location at Hale’s Ales and welcomes in magician and historian Jamy Ian Swiss. Jamy discusses how he made the switch from selling animal products to performing magic around the world.
Also, we discuss his contributions to the magic world that include the creation of Monday Night Magic in New York City and some of his literary contributions. We hear some great stories from a prolific career that has spanned 40 years. A great conversation that we know you are going to love.
I’m getting ready to head out for the beginning of my “Fair” season of 2022. My first one for this year is also the first one that I had cancel on me in 2020 and it also ended up cancelling in 2021. I recently did an interview with a reporter and did a quick search for the article. It doesn’t look like it’s been published yet, however I did find this one from right before the 2020 fair:
I like how the article does get a little bit of my “flavor” in there about going to ghost towns. It really doesn’t do a lot to put butts in seats, the show description lacks a lot of sizzle. I think it may not have been the writers fault, I may have not told them about the show in a super exciting way.
Reading this makes me remember how important it is for me to convey specific things and emotions from the show. Also, the line about me debuting a trick, I need to sell that a lot more. It’s lacking a ton of sizzle.
The season is just getting started, and I’ll have more chances to work on it! -Louie