Comedy Magic

About a week ago I did a little chat with Nick Lewin and Fielding West about performing comedy magic. It was a live Zoom chat and it was a lot of fun and the feedback was very positive. A few people have asked if it would be available afterwards. It looks like Nick has it as a download on his website www.lewinenterprises.com

If you missed it, here’s a little video teaser

One of the key takeaways from this talk is that most magicians that call themselves comedy magicians don’t understand comedy. You need to go out and learn to write jokes, and create comedy. There’s a real interesting moment in the talk where we create a joke to fill a spot in the show that’s just expository patter. Not only do we create the joke to fill an slow spot, we tweak it and add a tag to it!!

I was honored to be part of this panel and it was a lot of fun!

Free Comedy Seminar…

On February 27th I’ll be joining Nick Lewin and Fielding West to chat about comedy magic.

This is FREE to people who are on Nick Lewin’s mailing list. You can get on it at www.lewinenterprises.com

I’m very excited to this, if we do as half good of a job as Richard Lake and Nick Lewin did for their Making Virtual Shows Magic talk, it will be amazing!

Pedal to the Metal!

In an effort to streamline things for my virtual show, I picked up some foot pedals. Each pedal acts as a button that you can program to do a specific task.

The first thing I did was something that Richard Lake mentioned in the talk he did with Nick Lewin and made them up and down arrows. I then went through my show in OBS and made a scene for everything, so my show basically went straight down. It was a pain to do, but useful if I’m doing the show without a producer.

Normally I have a producer in the room running my OBS scenes, so I changed the foot pedals to activate a camera shot. So I have my general, tight, and close up that I can control with my feet. I’m really liking having the control of the cameras with my feet.

Masters Of Illusion…

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Tonight there’s an encore presentation of an episode of Masters of Illusion on that I appeared on. It was a lot of fun and I recorded a few routines for them, we’ll see if any others make it on this season.

I’ve worked in TV before, and this particular show was a ton of fun! The hang out that goes on at the hotel before and after your taping day was a blast.

Nick Lewin wrote about a day on the set in Vanish Magazine and you can also read it on Nick’s blog.

Cee-Lo Review

One of my favorite routines is my Cee-Lo cup and dice routine. When I sat down to put the routine together, I really thought out what I wanted it to be. I didn’t take someone else’s existing routine and alter it, I built the routine from the ground up…and am still adapting it.

It’s nice when other people recognize that you’ve got a good routine. Cee-Lo was just reviewed in Vanish Magazine. I love how Nick mentions that the routine doesn’t feel like there is padding before the two jumbo dice loads.

Honestly, I wish I could bang out creating routines like this. One of the nice things about when I was putting this together is that I was performing on the “fair circuit” and doing 3 shows a day, plus I could do it before the show, after the show, or pretty much anytime I wanted. Having all those opportunities to test out different sequences in a very short amount of time really helped tighten up fast!

Dealing With The Wind…

This week I’m an a conference for the fair industry. A good friend of mine, who is a great magician was also there and we were chatting magic and the subject of the Torn And Restored Newspaper came up. We were chatting about doing the trick outdoors, and the challenges of doing it in the … Continue reading “Dealing With The Wind…”

This week I’m an a conference for the fair industry. A good friend of mine, who is a great magician was also there and we were chatting magic and the subject of the Torn And Restored Newspaper came up. We were chatting about doing the trick outdoors, and the challenges of doing it in the wind.


He doesn’t do it outdoors, where I do. There’s one difference that allows me to do it outdoors (usually) and that’s the style of newspaper tear we do. He does the Gene Anderson Newspaper Tear and I use Nick Lewin’s Slow Motion Newspaper Tear. The Newspaper Tear that I do has less pages to it, so that means less changes for the wind mess it up.


The routine that most people use with the Gene Anderson Tear, is the one that I think was popularized by Doug Henning:

In this routine the newspaper is held open and flat a lot. Also all of the tears happen from the newspaper in an position where it’s flat. In Nick Lewin’s version, the newspaper is tear is started from a folded position and that helps a lot with wind.



Magic Videos…

A month or two ago Nick Lewin wrote an article about Magic Flix (you can read it here), which is a streaming magic video website. Nick’s article go me interested in check in it out. I found a free month trial code and checked it out. What I’m really enjoying watching on MagicFlix is the … Continue reading “Magic Videos…”

A month or two ago Nick Lewin wrote an article about Magic Flix (you can read it here), which is a streaming magic video website. Nick’s article go me interested in check in it out. I found a free month trial code and checked it out.


What I’m really enjoying watching on MagicFlix is the Stevens Magic Emporium Greater Magic Video Series. These were put out in the early 1990’s and feature a lot of the older magicians, so the up and coming ones, like Micheal Ammar, Daryl, and John Carney. When I was a kid I couldn’t afford these, and it’s very interesting to watch them now.


My goal is to make it through the whole series. There’s a clear point where close up magic changes, with the style of routines that guys Ammar or Carney were doing. That’s the style that’s existed until Blaine came on the scene. Then there’s been another change with Shin Lim and the close up manipulation act style of magic.


From a magic history standpoint watching these videos is amazing!

Make it Yours…

One of the new tricks I added to my kid show this summer was the Gypsy Yarn (this is Nick Lewin’s version of the Gypsy Thread). I’m using his method for the set up / handling, and string/yarn. Whenever there’s a trick I want to do, if Nick Lewin has a routine for it, I’ll … Continue reading “Make it Yours…”

One of the new tricks I added to my kid show this summer was the Gypsy Yarn (this is Nick Lewin’s version of the Gypsy Thread). I’m using his method for the set up / handling, and string/yarn. Whenever there’s a trick I want to do, if Nick Lewin has a routine for it, I’ll always use his as my starting point.


Here’s my final routine:

In the video I should have paused a bit longer at the end of the trick showing the string restored.


If you are familiar with Nick Lewin’s routine, you’ll see that while I use the foundation of his, the routine is 100% different. I think the only thing the same is we both reference a spit ball. This is a good example of taking an existing routine and making it yours. It takes more than simply filtering someone else’s script through your mouth.


You need to actually put yourself into the routine. In the video above while you don’t learn “facts” about me, you get a peek into my personality with how I interact with the kid.


You’ll also notice there are no standard “kid show” bits. It doesn’t feel like a “kid show” magic routine. Yes it’s silly with the counting bit, but there’s no Look, but don’t see, or sucker magic. It’s a fun original routine for a standard trick…and the trick is good!

Gypsy Thread…

I posted a while ago about the Gypsy Thread trick and trying to figure out how to make it work in my library shows. The problem I was having was kids had two ridiculous explanations of how the trick worked. Either magnets or trick string that just goes back together. I heard both enough that … Continue reading “Gypsy Thread…”

I posted a while ago about the Gypsy Thread trick and trying to figure out how to make it work in my library shows. The problem I was having was kids had two ridiculous explanations of how the trick worked. Either magnets or trick string that just goes back together. I heard both enough that it’s something I need to address.


Here’s my solution, I bring a kid on stage to help with the trick. This is good and makes the trick play bigger. The kid tries to put half of the pieces of string together and they can’t on the first try. This effectively cancels out the theory of magnets or trick string. Then the kid ends up holding all of the string and it restores while they hold it. After making this little change, it’s playing a lot better.


However there is a change I want to make to the trick. I just need to find time to work out the handling. I want the kid to hold all of the strings at the first failed restoration attempt. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first way is that I could add in the length of string with the ball of string on it after they’ve handled the string the first time. This wouldn’t be hard to do. The second method would be much bolder and have them hold all of the strings including the one with the ball of string. I’d just shove it into their fist and have them hold it.


Either way I think would make the trick stronger from someone trying to back track it. I know it’s a trick I’m doing in a kid show, but what makes art is going a step further.


P.S. I think Nick Lewin sells the best thread for the Gypsy Thread trick…at least for how I do the trick.

Advice from Billy McComb

Frequently I end up driving several hours to gigs. Last night I had a gig at a casino that was only 90 minutes away, but quickly ended up being a 3 hour drive due to unusually bad traffic for the time of the day that I was travelling. I always give myself plenty of time … Continue reading “Advice from Billy McComb”

Frequently I end up driving several hours to gigs. Last night I had a gig at a casino that was only 90 minutes away, but quickly ended up being a 3 hour drive due to unusually bad traffic for the time of the day that I was travelling. I always give myself plenty of time to get to the gig, so this wan’t really a problem. Once I notice I was going to have some time, I listened to a CD set where Nick Lewin interviews Billy McComb.

casino magician

This CD set is amazing, there are three CD’s and every few minutes there’s great advice. One of the things that Billy McComb talks about is the advice that is giving to magicians to have a “flash” opening. A quick, visual trick you can do right off the bat to establish yourself as a magician. Billy doesn’t agree with this.


Billy thinks you need to establish YOU first and that he starts his show with a monologue. He bases this on the theory that if they like you, they’ll like your magic. I agree with this theory.


Last night at the casino I started started my show with jokes that I normally do elsewhere in the show and front loaded my show with jokes. My opening was just a series of jokes about me and my life. The audience was very receptive to that and I’m glad I made the change!