When I’m out performing at fairs in the summer, I can have a lot of down time in between shows. I try to be productive during those times. Last week I bought a ton of clocks and spent some time between shows gimmicking them!
I ended up being a photo opp for all the other performers as it looked like I had a little sweat shop going!
Using that bonus time I have during the day frees me up later in the day to do other things!
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.
The clock routine I’m working on uses the Pitata Magic Time Hacker. It’s no secret how it works and they give it all away on their website, however I have made a modification to the gimmick.
A while ago I accidently broke the pin that engages the clock. When I went to order a replacement, they didn’t have them, just the new gear style attachment that engages the clock. Personally I don’t like the gear as it requires double stick tape which I felt was unreliable after practicing with it.
My solution was to glue the gear with pin from the clock to the gear attachment and it works like a dream!
The nice thing is that it’s easier to detach from the clock than the original pin attachment that came with the Time Hacker trick. This arrangement is easy to change if it gets worn down. I’m glad I stumbled onto this solution!
Also in my routine the clock is “broken” so it doesn’t matter that the the clock is non functional at the end of the routine.
Last week I learned a lot about using the Pitata Magic Time Hacker/UTP. For example mine’s range was only reliable within about 10 feet of the unit when using the remote control. This isn’t a deal breaker, but something that is good to know and be aware of!
The bag that I have the clock in has the top edge rolled down, so I can peek inside and see if the hands have moved, this is a bit of security so that I know at least it’s gotten some sort of signal and moved before I take it out. I do still need to figure out some sort of “out” for when it doesn’t work.
I’ve also started a habit of hitting the clear button before I key in the time. The feedback from the clear lets me know I’m in range…or at least gives me the sense of security that I’m in range!
In my opinion, push button electronic tricks are some of the hardest tricks to do! There’s soo much that can go wrong with them, and it’s not like sleight of hand, where you can sleight of hand your way out of a problem! If you just blindly take out the clock and it misses the signal, you’re screwed!
I’ll keep working on this as I really like the routine I’m working on, and hopefully it’s something that sticks in my show!
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.
This morning I’m heading out to AZ for my first fair gig of the year. When I do fairs, I try to work on new material. I’ll be doing something like 15 stage shows, plus I can do as much close up as I want in between shows.
The presentation is based on a old myth that was popular during the WWII era myth that Asians can tell time by looking at a cats eyes. I had some posters made of my cat and someone is going to try to guess the time and that’s the time on the clock.
I’m hoping the idea of having a cat and talking about my cat will suck people into the trick. I’m not sure how it’ll play, but I have five full days of shows to try to figure it out!!