Father’s Day Magic Trick!

I was playing with an interactive “touch the screen” style trick for father’s day. This is the type of trick where someone starts by touching a object, then spells/counts several times eventually ending up on an object that you know.

The cool thing that I noticed is that if you spell the three words HAPPY FATHERS DAY the math works out for each word for to make it easy.

To do this you’ll start with five objects. These could simply be little pieces of paper that say things about dads, or whatever. You will line these up. For simplicity, I’m going to just use the numbers 1-5.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5

Touch the one on the left. You are going to move one space per letter. You can move left or right, but only to the one next to it, you can jump spaces or from end to end. Spell HAPPY, moving one space per letter and keep touching that one.

You’re not on the one or the five, so I’ll eliminate those.

2 – 3 – 4

Now you’ll spell FATHERS moving one space for each letter.

You’re not on the four, so I’ll take that one away.

2 – 3

Now spell DAY, moving one space per letter.

You’re on the 2!

That’s a very simple interactive math trick you can do for father’s day!


Pi Day Magic Trick

One of the things I do to try to keep creative is come up with tricks for holidays. While Pi Day 3.14 isn’t a traditional holiday, it’s a theme that I can create a trick for. Here’s a counting trick using Pi Day as the theme.

“We’ll the first 5 digits of Pi which are 3.1415, without the decimal, so we’re using: 31415”

“Let’s start on the first digit, so touch the three. Now you’ll spell “Pi Day” jumping one number per letter. You can move forward, or backwards for each jump, you just can’t jump from end to end. Go ahead and start jumping now.”

“Pi is a number that never ends and I’m going to guess you’re not on either end, so eliminate the 3 and 5. That leaves us with the 1, 4, and 1.”

“Using the number you’re touching, jump that many times, forward or backwards.”

“I’m guessing you’re not on the first number one. That leaves us with a 4 and 1.”

“Using the number you’re not touching, jump that may times.”

“You’re on the number one!”

There you to a simple trick that could be used as a social media video or as newsletter content!


Human Calendar Stunt…

The other day I was at the Pike Place Market and walked by a street performing pitch and saw this:

Unfortunately Mr. Unity wasn’t there, so I can only form my opinion based on his milk crate stand.

It looks like he does the day of the week birthday calculation. This is something that I’ve personally never understood why is impressive. It’s clearly a math calculation, not a memorization feat (at least when I’ve seen it). And the end result is something that I didn’t know or have any connection to.

I think if it was reversed and you told the magician the day of the week you were born on and the year, and they told you your birthday, it’d be much cooler. However, I’m going to imagine that would ultimately give the magician a 20-25% success rate, unless there some some fishing for where in the month the birthday is.


Body Magic by John Fisher

For years I’ve been interested in the book Body Magic by John Fisher. I like the idea of a book of tricks that just use your body, however the older edition when they popped up was priced usually at $100+ and I wasn’t that curious about the contents.

It was republished a while ago and I finally picked up a copy:

Body Magic by John Fisher

I’ve only flipped through the book and it’s not quite what I expected. There’s more than physical magic, there’s some things like mnemonics in there and some math stuff. I’m not saying that those are bad things, but expected it to be all physical, not mental stuff.

I’ll probably have a different opinion once I actually read it!


St. Patrick’s Day Magic Trick

st patricks day magic trick

Here’s a rough idea I had for a St. Patrick’s Day themed magic trick that’s a “touch the screen” style trick. You’ll need a four leaf clover with the leaves numbered 1 to 4.

The rules are people will jump on leave for each number, the can only go clockwise or counter clockwise, back and forth NOT diagonally. They also cannot pass the stem.

The touch any leaf, then count the number they’re touching, jumping one leaf per number.

They’re not on the 1, so remove that one.

st patricks day magic trick

Now they spell IRISH jumping one leaf for each letter.

You can now eliminate the 2 and 4 and reveal they are on the number 3!

st patricks day magic trick

NOTE: It might be good add a phase after they spell IRISH, where you eliminate the 4. Then have them spell LUCK, then eliminate the 2 and reveal they are on the 4. That might make it seem more random?

That math seems to checkout, and feel free to use this for whatever…


Halloween Trick!

I’ve always said that creating tricks based on holidays is one of the easiest ways to generate content. Here’s an interactive Halloween magic trick you can do at home, just print out the pdf below and follow the instructions


Projector Bills…

I was scrolling through Instagram last night and came upon a picture of overhead projector bills.

I was thinking of what could be done with these. I think you could create a makeshift projector using the flashlight on your phone. If you combined that with a glass table I think you could do some fun stuff on the ceiling.

One thought was you could do a “touch the screen” type effect with the bills on the ceiling for a group of people.

If you have a $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50 dollar bills and line them up in numerical order, you can do some spell count procedures to eventually force a bill. The basic routine would be:

  • Touch a bill and spell the value of it (ie ONE), jumping one bill per letter and keep touching that bill
  • Remove the end bills ($1 and $50)
  • Spell the value of one of the eliminated bills (ONE or FIFTY)
  • They are now on the $10

You could then reveal the prediction of having a ten dollar bill in your phone case.


Bigfoot Sightings…

This summer I’m doing a few virtual shows that will be cryptid themed. I’m starting the brainstorming process and I remember seeing Bigfoot Finger Feet. These are little bigfoot feet that go on your fingers. They would work great with a virtual show because you can zoom in on them and make them play big on the screen.

The idea that I came up with that I liked was to have five cards (actually blank drink coasters) with the names of different bigfoot sighting locations. I could show each card and talk about and/or show video of the sighting. I would use the feet to walk over the cards as I talked about the sightings. Then they would pick one. I’d pour water over all of the cards “to make fresh mud for the tracks” and when I do that, bigfoot footprints would appear on the selected location’s card!

From a method standpoint there’s a lot of ways I could force the location. I could use: Quinta, Hotrod Force, Math Number Forces, etc. Then for the reveal, simply using a hydrophobic spray and an stencil would do the trick.

I think using the video element of the sightings adds a lot of production elements to the trick that wouldn’t be in a typical in person library show. The nice thing is the investment for this trick will be about $20 and with showing the short video clips, I can probably get 4-5 mins out of it.


Give Me Five…

The picture below is from back in 2017, I had an idea to use a foam hand for a trick.

foam hand magic trick

The idea was inspired by a math based trick in a Jim Steinmeyer book. The problem I faced in the trick was giving clear instructions. I tabled the trick shortly after I started doing it in 2017. Then shortly before the pandemic hit in 2020, I reread in Gary Oulette‘s book of his columns in Genii magazine called Fulminations about the challenges David Copperfield had to get through when giving instructions for his “touch the TV screen” tricks. The instructions had to be clear, even for the biggest idiot.

Then the pandemic hit and I started playing with some tricks that used counting on a hand, and went out and remade my foam hand. I never used the foam hand in a show, because in a virtual show my hand plays big.

Right now I’m cleaning up and downsizing the props I have, and I came across the giant foam hand. It’s sort of gimmicked, or at least altered so that I can bend the fingers down and they stay down. In a couple of days I head to Arizona for a month long gig and I think I’m going to take the hand with me and try to figure out the routine.

One thing I think it lacked was an ending. It needs a good way to reveal that they are all touching the same finger. When I made the last foam hand, I also bought a foam hand that just has the pointer finger up. The challenge was how to reveal this. I was playing with it and essentially found a pull the giant hand off my hand to reveal my hand is holding a giant foam hand with just the index finger up!

Now I have a moment to punctuate the reveal of everyone on the same finger.

It’s still got a challenge. Am I going to do the trick looking at the audience or not? Traditionally in this type of trick you don’t look at the audience, however I’m not sure I want to do that. You lose a lot of control by not looking AND you can’t keep an eye on people doing the procedure.

I think I can solve this by having my instructions fixed. By “fixed” I mean something that I can’t change. It could be a recording, like in the Banana Bandana style of trick. I really don’t like performing to a recorded track, it takes away a lot of what makes a live show fun. I think I may make a flap card, that has a five on one side. You turn it over and it has a three on the back side. Then when you turn it over again, the five has changed to a one. That gives the audience something interesting during the boring counting procedure. I also think going from five to three to one, makes the counting easier as it’s getting simpler each time.

I’ll have some playing to do, but luckily I’ll have a monthlong venue to try them out!

Magic From Non-Magicians…

There are tons of magicians that hate it when people show the magic tricks. Honestly I’m not sure why they’d dislike it. When you watch a trick you are encouraging someone that’s into magic on some level. You are also not being a jerk. I understand that there’s a common magic trick that people show … Continue reading “Magic From Non-Magicians…”

There are tons of magicians that hate it when people show the magic tricks. Honestly I’m not sure why they’d dislike it. When you watch a trick you are encouraging someone that’s into magic on some level. You are also not being a jerk.

I understand that there’s a common magic trick that people show us and it’s a horrible trick and quite often the person fails to find the card because they don’t practice enough. However you never know when you are going to see something interesting.

Here’s a bartender that saw Chris Beason and I jamming magic tricks and offered to show us a trick:

Bartender magic trick

While the trick was a math based trick, it was something I think I had read as a kid, but had never seen anyone do it. It was an interesting trick and while not the greatest trick in the world, it was worth watching 10 bad tricks to get to one that was fun!