At the beginning of the show I take out the alarm clock and say “It’s time to start the show” and the alarm clock rings. Then throughout the show whenever I say the word “time” the alarm clock rings. I don’t call attention to the connection of the word time and the ringing of the alarm clock. I let the audience discover that, and the do fairly quickly.
This gag definitely has it’s roots in Pee Wee’s Playhouse with their use of a secret word and when it’s said everyone screams. I like the gag because it’s not exactly a look don’t see as it’s an action that’s triggered by something else happening, so it’s funny, but the kids don’t feel a need to explain anything to you after the connection of the word and action are established.
I have a feeling this is going to be a great lead into the vanishing alarm clock once I have finished making the couple of extra props that I need for it.
One of the things about doing virtual magic shows is that I think the audience has no idea of what is going on behind the scenes. Here’s what people see of the set of my virtual show:
Then there’s what’s really going on just below the camera’s view:
Normally my set up is what’s just below my working tabletop, however the show from a couple days ago I had to over prepare as I was told I wouldn’t be able to interact with the audience.
It’s crazy how quickly we all had to learn and figure out these virtual shows. Early on in March or April 2020 people were still trying to do their stage shows (unaltered) on Zoom and I think pretty much everyone has figured out there’s a better way to do it!
Not too long ago I added the remote control chattering teeth bit from my in person shows to my virtual shows and to my surprise, it was a hit! Honestly I didn’t think it would play as well over the screen. After trying it, it’s staying in the family virtual show!
One thing that I didn’t like is that my hand had to drop out of frame to push the button. Honestly, this really isn’t a big deal, and I don’t think that anyone notices it and this isn’t really a magic trick, but a comedy bit. I was going to build the remote transmitter into a foot pedal, then noticed I an old telegraph key kicking around. Here’s what I built:
I had to 3d print the base under the telegraph key to hold the remote transmitter and battery. The telegraphy key simply sits on the floor and I push it with my foot.
I’m a huge fan of props with things that no one sees but you, and there’s some embellishment that only you know about. I know I just built thing, but whenever I look at it, it makes me smile!
Right now some of the only live, in person performing that’s available to do are masked, no contact, socially distant, small group magic shows. These are magic shows for kids. The big challenge with these shows is wearing a mask when performing for younger children (ages 3-5).
One thing that I’ve added to the show is a prop that I built for a show a couple of summers ago, but the routine never played well. The prop that I build are Remote Control Chattering Teeth!
I started out using them as a warm up, which is right out of David Ginn’s book Comedy Warm Ups for Children’s Shows. However, I quickly moved the routine deeper into the show, and it’s not a warm up, but part of a full routine that I was working on.
The teeth are now used in the Silk to Peach routine, and that routine has built out into a 7 minute routine full of laughs! I’m glad I dug the teeth out again and started using them!