My segment on Masters of Illusion aired last night, but I didn’t get to see it until this morning as we don’t have cable anymore. It was a good segment and that got me about 2 1/2 minutes of airtime, which is great!
If you missed it, here it is:
The normal routine runs 6-8 minutes, so there’s a lot of stuff that got cut out of the routine to tighten it up for TV.
Here’s a bit of the story behind this routine:
Way back in 2019 I went to Holbrook AZ to perform my magic show at the Navajo County Fair. My bags were overweight, so I left my cards at home, thinking I could get them in Holbrook. When I got there I couldn’t find playing cards anywhere in town! I wandered the stores looking for something “card like” that I could use instead of cards. A box of crackers caught my eye. Over the week I developed a card trick that used crackers instead of cards!
You can also search the tag: Cracker on this blog for more info about the routine.
This is the cracker card trick that I starting doing in 2019 (I think). I was performing in Arizona at a fair and didn’t take any cards with me, thinking I could buy them in the town I was performing in. Unfortunately it was a smaller town and I couldn’t find anywhere that sold cards in town and the closest city was over an hour away!
At that time I did a card stab style trick, so I tried to figure out what other object I could substitute for cards and essentially the same jokes and routine structure. I decided on Ritz Crackers and worked out a routine for it. Over the course of the week I was performing the routine started to take shape. It’s different from the original routine enough, that they could be done in back to back shows, the only prop they share is the drop cloth.
I always love it when something created out of necessity becomes something bigger than what it was a placeholder for!
One thing you should do if you haven’t already is set up a Google Alert for your name or the name of your show. In theory whenever Google indexes something new with your alert terms, it will email you. I just got this alert:
So it looks like I’ll be on Masters of Illusion next week on Saturday 7/16/22. It’s a new episode and I haven’t seen the official press release, so I don’t know what routine I’m doing on the show. Hopefully I’ll get the official press release later today and can better promote it. -Louie
The briefcase show made a little bit of progress yesterday. One thing thing a while ago my ship agent mentioned to me is that he doesn’t like the look of a case onstage. That was reinforced the first year I did Masters of Illusion, are also opposed to the look to having a case sitting on the stage. One thing that both my agent and Masters of Illusion agreed on was that having the case draped is acceptable.
With that in mind, I looked at my case and noticed how beat up it is and decided it definitely needs a cover.
It’s a simple matter to take a bit of black cloth and sew some loops into it so that it can hang off the top of the briefcase.
It’s a very simple solution that only costs a few bucks, but it really does make it look much better. I’ve still got a lot that needs to be done before the briefcase show is ready.
Last week I was in New York City for Christmas. We went to check out some shows, one of them was Stomp NYC.
If you don’t know what Stomp is, it’s a show that’s percussion based and they use “everyday objects” for their instruments and there is no talking or singing.
There’s a lot to learn about performing from this show. For me the huge thing was relatability. The characters were relatable, but the bigger thing was all of the props were relatable. They were things we all see and touch almost every day in our lives. From things like a recycle bin, to a plastic chip bag, everyone has a point of reference for all of the props. This makes the show soo much more relatable than if it used some strange percussion instrument that was invented for and only exists in this show.
When you look at the props in your show, looking at relatability for your props is important. Keep in mind you don’t need to use things that exist in real life, that’s an artistic choice you are making. However when you do, I think they should be things that actually are when they look like, versus things that pretend to be something in real life. Once again this is an artistic choice An example of something pretending to be something real would be an illusion that’s painted to resemble a cardboard box. Everyone knows it’s not a cardboard box, they know it’s a stage prop.
If you look at my two appearances on Masters of Illusion last season, both use “everyday objects” that people have seen or interacted with before.
The first used a paper bag and some toy animals:
And the second used a inflatable dinosaur costume
The props in those two routines were much more relatable than had I used props that were created just for magic tricks. It gives them a simpler feeling than fancy props and that’s the vibe I’m going for. I’m an everyday guy, not someone solves problems with money. In the end it all boils down to your artistic choice for your show. I’ve made some very intentional choices, and while I don’t expect you to make the same choices, I do hope in my heart that whatever you choose to do, it’s intentional.
I looks like tonight on The CW the 2021 Masters of Illusion Holiday Special will be airing at 8pm. Back in March I did a trick for this special, but don’t know if I’m in it or not.
That’s the crazy thing about doing TV, you don’t know what will make it or not. Of the stuff that I submitted for the next season of Masters of Illusion, I probably put the most work into the holiday trick as it was something that was totally new to me. Where the other stuff for the normal episodes were things that I had done before.
Last night I stumbled upon someone on Facebook writing about the episode of Masters of Illusion that I was recently. Basically the guy crapped on everyone that was on that episode. I was going to reply, but that really doesn’t do anything positive. Not that this post is going to be super positive.
Something I started doing a few years ago when someone craps on someone online is to research them. Not anything crazy, just check out their website and maybe watch their promo video. That tells you a lot about the person, and what filter they see the world in.
In this particular case, the person who wrote the post about the show isn’t my demographic based on their promo video. They were doing 1970’s style magic in an 1970’s way. There’s nothing wrong with that, however it’s not what I prefer to watch. He’s stuck in an older style of magic, and I think anything new or edgy probably isn’t his flavor. I can see that he’s stuck performing in a style of the magic he probably saw in his 20’s and never decided to grow. He does a Jimmy Hoffa joke in his promo video, Hoffa disappeared in 45 years ago, I had to google that…that’s how fresh the joke is!
If that’s his “art” cool. It’s not my “art”.
If you ever put anything out there into the world and someone doesn’t like it, before you get upset, look at the lens that they are looking at you through. It gives you a lot of perspective.
Nick knows every beat of that trick. starts out with energy, establishes his character and the magic is strong.
Pay attention to how each joke moves the act forward. There are no jokes shoehorned in there. It all relates directly to him or the trick.
The appearance was just under 2 minutes, and I counted 9 laughs in those two minutes. That gives him 4.5 laughs per minute. That’s pretty solid, my goal is 4 LPM’s. You’ll notice he front loads the routine with jokes and then the final 25% is magic, and he doesn’t really mix the two.
I think everyone who wants to be a comedy magician can learn a lot by watching Nick’s appearance.