Many years ago on a John Cornelius VHS tape he did a quick bit that wasn’t explained that I always thought was cool. He took a flower off his lapel and it turned into a silk. The silk then turned back into a flower. The flower disappeared and was back on his lapel. The whole thing took about 15 seconds, but was visually really cool and went full circle.
Here’s a trick that was inspired by John Cornelius’s trick:
One magic trick that I’m fascinated by is the Cup and Ball trick. Most of these are “Chop Cup” routines as that reduces a lot of sleight of hand. Unfortunately many of these routines are very similar and use the gimmick in the exact same way. My Cee Lo routine uses the gimmick as a holdout, and not to replace sleight of hand and it’s a great, working cup and ball(s)/chop cup routine.
I’ve had an idea in a notebook for while and finally got around to figuring it out and posted it on Tik Tok. Also if you’re on Tik Tok, give me a follow @LouieFoxx
What’s interesting about it is that it doesn’t have the traditional chop cup move where you shake the ball in the cup. It also has a final load not being a physically larger version of the ball, but the bill changing to a larger denomination bill. I don’t know if that ending is better than producing a bigger item…
Last week in Seattle, he had an ice storm where the city got covered in a sheet of ice from freezing rain. That gave me a day off to play around, no shows or emails to return. I used this time to get to some ideas that have been in notebooks for awhile.
Here’s a close up dancing hank style magic trick that I had a while ago:
The ending with the smoke in the jar was an idea I had for another trick that didn’t work out, but added something to this trick.
Is this trick better than a standard floating bill? I don’t know, it’s potentially more workable as there’s less issues with the IT being visible. It could work in a parlor type setting. It would take away my biggest issue with using IT and that’s dealing with lighting or having to cut the bit because you can’t make it work with the existing lighting.
I may play with this a bit more, as the jumping action for me works better with my performing persona that the bill floating.
-Louie PS I’m aware that this is essentially a smaller version of Sean Bogunia’s Extreme Dancing Hank, but with a different, but similar gimmick and a slight variation in method.
Years ago Charlie Frye put out a little gimmick that let you spin a poker chip on your finger tip called Frye’s Chips. Here’s the video of it:
It’s a clever little gimmick that does exactly what’s in the video. I always thought it’d be cool to do it with a coin and not a poker chip. However I think the reason he did it with a poker chip is that it’s easier to gimmick a poker chip than a coin.
The idea has been in my head and a couple months ago I was at Hocus-Pocus digging around in some junk magic bins and found the card and coin for the trick Esoteric Kennedy.
Here’s the demo of Esoteric Kennedy:
The coin from that trick should work for the Frye’s Chips trick. Now I need to make the other half of the gimmick to see if it will actually spin on my finger!
In playing with the Esoteric Kennedy props, I thought that the trick really should be done with a dollar bill, as the coin and card really aren’t connected. I moved the gimmick from the card to a dollar bill:
It looks OK on a video, but I’m going to be 100% honest, the trick isn’t good for actual performance…whether it’s the original version with the card, or my version with the bill. The problem with the trick is that everything is gimmicked and nothing can be examined. You could switch out all of the props, do a Bobo Switch for the coin and top change for the card, but is all that work worth the trick?
One of my favorite every day carry magic trick is my Splitting Image mismade bill routine. It fits in my wallet and takes up the space of two one dollar bills. Aside from that it just needs a borrowed cellphone with a camera. It’s a great routine that’s easy to do at a moments notice.
Here’s what it looks like:
It looks like Hocus-Pocus has them on sale right now for $32, which is a great deal! If you’re interested in getting my Splitting Image trick, order from them now, I don’t know how long the sale will last!
In my show I do a bit where a kid gets a dollar, loses the dollar, and eventually gets another dollar bill. I thought it would be fun instead of giving the kid a paper dollar. I swung by a coin shop and picked up some Eisenhower Dollar coins.
The problem I’m running into is that the kids don’t know what a silver dollar is and maybe 10% don’t want to take it. The finale of the routine plays a lot better when the kid takes the dollar (paper or coin) at the end. If the kid doesn’t take the dollar, the routine has a feeling like I hustled the kid, and that affects the applause at the end.
I’ve added a line that adds some context to what I’m handing the kid. I say, “…a silver dollar…also known as a giant quarter” and that’s upping my acceptance rate. I’m also thinking of buying it off the kid for a two dollar bill. I’ll have to swing by a bank and pick some up, that may be the solution…
When I was up in Quebec City for FISM, I was chatting with Chris Hanowell about names for a trick. We thought “Regicide” would be a great title for a magic trick, and Chris is working on it. A few weeks later I had an idea for a trick called “American Regicide” and finally got around to making a test version:
I have a better idea for how to make the gimmick that animates it that will eliminate hand movement. It’s something that I need to 3d print, so it’ll have to wait until I’m home for longer than a day or two for me to design, print, tweak and reprint.
Here’s the sizzle from my show at the theater the other day:
I was messing around with more “epic” music. I’m not sure I like it, but it sure gives the video a different tone from what I normally use. It’s crazy how much the music can change the feel of the video!
Think about that when using music in your show, song selection can dramatically change the feel of the trick you’re doing.
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.