Over the past few months I’ve written about working on my Pitata Magic Time Hacker routine. One thing I noticed in a picture of it was that the gray hands on the white background don’t really pop visually onstage.
I took a black marker and colored in the hands on one of my clocks:
It really makes the hands easier to see and the clock play a few rows further back in the audience. The bigger issue that I think this trick is fighting visibility wise is glare off of the plastic clock face. I don’t think there’s really a reasonable solution, unless there’s an easily applied anti-reflective coating, but even then I don’t know how much that would actually help.
On Saturday I performed at the Oddities and Curiosities Expo in Grand Rapids, MI. This was a fairly unusual situation for me performing as the audience was standing, there was no seats. For me, the challenge was getting people to stand for 30 minutes. A standing audience is very different from a sitting audience.
It was also a family audience that wanted edgy, which is a very fine line to walk during your show. I was able to do a lot of bits that I wouldn’t normally do in my show as they’re slightly too edgy for a general audience, but worked great for this crowd.
This was an audience that was ready to see a show, and there were great audiences, and we packed the space with people standing. If I ever do one of these again, I’d probably take more tricks that have a lot of build up, and a singular payoff, versus routines that have multiple smaller effects.
For example I brought my object in ball of yarn that’s 8 minutes and has a couple of mini tricks before the final trick a the end. I should have done my blindfold which is also about 8 minutes and has a single reveal at the end.
Last week I performed in the Moisture Festival in Seattle and had a blast. One of the acts that I worked with was Paul Draper. I didn’t know a ton about him, I think we both did a virtual magic convention together a couple of year ago.
It was a blast seeing him, he’s got a lot of energy onstage and is very likable! Being likeable is 99% of the game!
One night Paul hosted the show I was in and he’s also a solid host, who kept the show moving. This is an important skill when the show has 9 acts plus the emcee!
If Paul is performing near you, check him out, you can learn a lot by watching him!
-Louie PS I did interview Paul Draper for the Moisture Festival Podcast and you can listen to his episode here: http://www.magicshow.tips/moisture-festival-podcast/the-moisture-festival-podcast-paul-draper/
While I don’t think this is the best idea for magic app, if someone made it, I would buy it. The premise is someone names a place and time and that’s the meta data on the photo. The app would change the meta date for a picture. Ideally this would be a picture that you text someone, but could be on your phone.
I’m going to imagine that it wouldn’t be hard for someone to make an app that does that. You could key in the state and time info when you use your six digit unlock screen.
I don’t think the trick is strong enough for a stand alone trick, but used in conjunction with something else as a kicker to a prediction. Like maybe it’s a confabulation, so the picture is one reveal, and the date and time are another reveal.
One of the symptoms of getting older is that my vision is going. One of the tricks I’m working on this week is Time Hacker by Pitata Magic. The device has switches and the functions are molded into the plastic. Unfortunately I can’t easily read this stuff anymore, so I had to add labels the unit and a cheat sheet to the board that the remote is mounted on.
It’s little things like this that make setting up the show much easier and will reduce the chance of mistakes. For example the remote has two modes and two switches, and it’d be easy to forget which is which. Now I really have no excuse to flip the wrong switch.
Look at your show and try to find spots where you can dummy proof or at least reduce the odds you’ll make a dumb mistake.
The other night my wife and I went to a hockey game and it got me thinking about magic with a hockey puck. The nice thing about them is that they can be big, or fairly small depending on the side you have towards the audience. It’s also a really well known thing, at least in the northern hemisphere.
This morning I wrote a bunch of ideas and found one that I kinda like:
You have five different colored hockey pucks on the table. You ask if someone in the audience played hockey or a sport as a kid. Ask them if they remember their number and using that number you count across the pucks back and forth finally ending on one. Let’s say they ended on the green puck.
You then have a prediction that shows they picked the green puck…but then on the back of your puck has their number on the back!
This is simply Phil Smith’s Quinta Force and a nail writer.
Not much to it. It’s a pretty simple and direct trick. You could use any force like PATEO or the Hot Rod Force, but I personally like that with Quinta you can use their jersey number.
The show I did last month for school assemblies opened with a flash opener, that’s not really a trick, but something visual and exciting. Then the first actual magic trick in the show is the Prestige trick. This is a mentalism trick where you have 5 numbered cards with different things written on them and someone picks one and what’s written on the back of that number is your force.
Here’s what the trick looks like:
How I’m making the trick work for kids is that I’m building a pattern of the same thing on all of the cards, then shattering the pattern with the revelation of something different. This is basically how a joke is structured, you build an assumption (set up) and then you change that assumption (punchline). This is a structure that kids can understand and that’s why it works.
Another thing that makes this effective is how direct it is for the selection of the item, because the number is a free choice. There’s nothing complicated like with the PATEO force or that feels strange like with the hotrod force. The effect how I do it would lose impact if I had a process heavy force, and it definitely wouldn’t work in the opening spot in the show if I had to use a lot of procedure.
I really dig this trick, it works out great for me.
For this tour I started using my Media Star remote control that runs my music with the magnet ankle switch. Early on I realized that it was running about 2 shows before it stopped reliably working. Changing batteries every couple of shows solved the problem, but is annoying and I have a feeling that’s not how it’s supposed to work.
In the show I use the ankle (magnet reed switch) in a few spots to make the music play seamlessly, however there’s one spot where I need it as I can’t use my hands. I have someone from the audience playing sound effects from a fake music remote, and I need to trigger them when they push the button. With the ankle switch giving me problems, I needed to think of a way to make the gag work.
I defaulted to the mentalist’s old friend, Dual Reality! I put three different colored dots on my remote control.
I simply say “push the blue dot” or “push the red dot”, which implies to the audience that there are different buttons, when in reality it’s all the same button. I’ve done this for one day (2 shows) and it’s working out well and is a great, simple solution to the problem of the ankle switch not behaving properly.