About a month ago I was part of an online presentation that Nick Lewin did called NOTHING. It had to do with what happens when your show doesn’t show up.
In the past I’ve written about having a three trick set on me in my wallet all the time. In my part I talk about what’s always in my backpack (which I always have on me) that allows me to flesh out more of a show, with only two packs of cards and that will play on a stage!
In addition to me, you hear from other great magicians and at $9.95, it’s a hell of a deal!
I had a blast being a guest on Nick Lewin’s talk about what happens when you props don’t show up when you do when travelling. If you’re not on Nick’s mailing list where you can get notified of his talks, you need to be on his email list.
If you’re not reading Nick Lewin’s Blog, you are missing out. He just put out a post called “new rules for magicians 2021“, which are 8 rules for magicians. Each of them is solid advice. I want to comment on his first one, which is:
New Rule #1 Realize that not everyone is fascinated by Houdini.
This is 100% true. It’s just a name, not someone that YOU are personally acquainted with. Using Houdini in most instances is a lazy way to find a hook. Usually it’s used in an escape and someone says that they will escape faster than Houdini did. Let’s make an analogy, if I went to see an show and the signer said they were going to sing 9 to 5 better than Dolly Parton, that doesn’t draw me in at all. Just sing the song.
One rule I’ve had in my show for a long time is that I don’t mention any other magician in my show. There’s a reason for that, most people don’t have a connection to that. Not too long ago a local magician had a huge bit where he described a trick that Criss Angel did, but then he related that to a just ok coin trick. Watching this, my impression was that he told me about a TV show he watched where a magician did a way better trick than what the local magician is about to show me. Mentioning the magician took away from the trick.
I think the one exception to mentioning another magician is if you have a relevant personal reason to do it. If you were on Fool Us, then mentioning you did the trick for Penn and Teller makes sense. If you invented a trick for David Copperfield, then mention it. Name dropping those has meaning, just mentioning another magician because you were too lazy to write something better is just that, lazy.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.