Balls in Hat Routine!

The last couple of weeks I started working on a Balls In Hat routine that I learned from Jimmy Talksalot. It starts with two in the hand and one in the pocket and ends with a nine balls coming out of your hat! It’s a really solid routine!

You can see parts of it in this reel from the fair I was performing at:

@louiefoxx Magic at the @sanmateocountyfair! #magic#sanmateocountyfair #sanmateo #closeupmagic #magician #bayarea #countyfair #louiefoxx #magictricks #cardtrick ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

There’s a ton of great info and routines on Jimmy’s Substack. There’s free info as well as stuff for subscribers. It’s $8 a month to subscribe and totally worth it to read and watch all the content he has up there. The magic and essays are focused on street magic, but there’s a lot to be learned there if you don’t do street magic.


Get the Event Flow Schedule!

Here’s a huge tip when performing a events, always try to see the event flow schedule and take a picture of it! Here’s event flow that I from the banquet staff at the hotel:

magic show event flow

I took the picture right after I arrived at 4pm and I was supposed to rove for an hour at 5pm and do an 30 min show after dinner at approx. 7pm. If you look at the schedule, that’s not what’s on the schedule.

For starters, I was scheduled to rove from 5pm to 6pm, but the event didn’t start till 5:30pm. Shifting the roving 30 mins isn’t a big deal as I there was going to be a gap between that and the show. However they had the show listed as 90 minutes and I don’t do a show that long for a holiday party. This was quick to clear up with the booker, and they confirmed they were only expecting me to do 30 mins.

The shift from a 7pm show to an 8:30pm show could be a challenge if I had a late night gig after that one. One thing I was doing this year was only one show on each Saturday in December, so they were buying out my night. This is great for the client, so they don’t have to worry about the show running late and me having to leave. I confirmed the 8:30pm start time and said “no problem“.

I did leave the client a business card with my cellphone number on it and told them that with a gap that long I’m not hanging out in the banquet room, but they can text me and the show can start in 15 minutes.

Lucky me, I got a text at about 7:15pm and the show started at 7:30pm! As a super bonus, they were a great audience!

The takeaway lesson from this year is having companies buyout my Saturdays nights is the way to go. It’s less stress free for me and the client. They can throw almost whatever at me and I can say, “no problem” and mean it! Everyone wins!


Yeah, Don’t Punch Me

Last month when I was performing roving magic at a fair, I had an interesting interaction with a family. A guy approaches me and asks me if I would show his family a magic trick. Of course I said YES, then he said, “I’m not going to watch because I’ll probably get frustrated and punch you.” Then he looked away and his family had a great time watching some close up magic.

I personally thought it was really cool of him to give his family a moment to see a magic trick. I should add that the guy looked like he’d punched a few people in his lifetime. I’m glad he knew his personal limitations and didn’t put himself in a position where he would punch me!

I mentioned this to another performer who was shocked at how “violent” and inappropriate this guy was. I look at this like someone who had a problem with alcohol not wanting to see me do a show at a bar. This guy wanted his family to have fun, even if it was something he wasn’t into. Did he need to tell my why he wasn’t watching? Probably not, but I would have wondered why he asked, then didn’t watch…and probably would have tried to engage him (and gotten punched!)


Roving Close Up Magic

In my roving magic shows in Arizona, my set was essentially two parts. The first part coin magic, which is about one third of the close up set. The second part is my card set which in the remaining two thirds of it.

Here’s a little highlight reel of my close up roving magic set:

@louiefoxx Close Up Magic at the Yavapai County Fair! #closeupmagic #cardtrick #cointrick #magician #sleightofhand #louiefoxx #yavapaicountyfair #prescott #arizona ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

Sometimes I will another part to this, and that is the shell game. I don’t do the shell game for every group as it really needs to be the right group for it to play how I want it to play.

Also, I’m really digging Craig Petty’s Apparition coin set! One thing with it is I’m trying to use the purse less. Right now the coin set I’m doing with it has four parts and only the first two use the purse. I’ll probably write a bit more about what I’m doing with the Apparition coin set and why I’m doing it the way I am.


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Spoons

I’m glad I started doing spoon/fork bending again, it’s a lot of fun, but it also makes really great pictures!

A lot of magic tricks can’t really tell a story, but a bent fork or spoon definitely does! I’m having a blast doing this in my show! If you’re interested in spoon/fork bending, look into Ben Harris’s book Bend it Like Geller!


Roving Magic at Fairs…

Last week I was doing roving magic at a fair. When I do this, I do either a street show, or close up magic, depending on which I think will get better results. The fair I was as had my times scheduled and my 1pm timeslot wasn’t the best for trying to do a street show as it was slower at the fair and there wasn’t really any shade. For those shows I did close up magic and went to the people who were in spaces more conducive to watching magic.

Here’s the props for my close up set:

close up magic props

And here’s what everything is:

real mans wallet, shell game and card tricks

The nut is actually over 2 inches across, hole is 1 1/2 inches. I bought the nut on a whim, and put it into my pocket and figured I’d think of something to do with it. I did come up with a way to produce it and use it!


Fair and Festival Roving…

I think I was scrolling through facebook and I came across this video on the props that another magician uses for strolling at a fair:

There’s a lot of stuff in this that I disagree with, but the first thing is what he says he wears. He says his costume (whatever you wear while performing is a costume) is a t shirt and cargo shorts. I’m someone who is pretty dressed down compared to most magicians, but I don’t think I would perform in a Tshirt and shorts.

The other thing that I don’t agree with is how much material the he’s taking. I should say that I don’t agree with it “for me”. You really don’t need that many props, you’re doing roving, not a formal 22 minute magic castle close up set.

Here’s the props for my roving set:

That’s a 20 minute set if I wanted to do it as a long chunk, however I normally wouldn’t do it that way. Normally I’d do it as a 5-10 minute set. There’s a lot of variety in what you see there. Obviously there’s a lot that I can do with the deck of cards, then there’s the linking pins and finally the wallet. The wallet is a card to wallet, but inside it I have my Splitting Image trick, and a bunch of business cards that I can do mentalism with.

That’s the core set, then if I’m working on something new, I will add that to my those props. The whole works will fit into my two front pockets. Just because you have a ton of pocket space, it doesn’t mean you need to fill them with tricks!


Let Them Perform…

Very frequently magicians will post in social media groups that they don’t understand why people want to show them magic tricks. I’ve got no problem with that, and unless it’s at a totally inappropriate time, like in the middle of a formal show, it let them.

I think the reason for this is that magicians have ego problems and they can’t let the spotlight on someone else. Usually it’s a trick like the 21 card trick and it won’t remotely step on anything you’re doing. You can get some great moments out of it, like immediately forcing the card they failed to find if the trick doesn’t work. The key to doing something like that, is acting like it just happened, so it doesn’t look like you’re one upping the person.

I’ve seen some crazy things that I never expecting, like a old guy that did a perfect tabled faro shuffle with my old beat up deck of cards! I then spent the next half an hour with him teaching me the basics of how to do it. Or this guy:

That guy also taught me the basics of ripping a deck of cards in half, and with the help of my friend Todd Gardner who is a strong man I can now rip a deck of cards in half!

Your job is to be an ambassador for the event you’re working, and with that in mind I almost always say YES when someone offers to do a trick!


Out For Beers – Review

I woke up today to a great review of my Out For Beers trick!

I really love this trick, the play on words gag really works with my personality. I also think the trick works better than most of the Out to Lunch style tricks because it starts as a gag that is motivated. The trick sneaks up on the audience, which make it even more amazing!

This trick has been a huge hit at the booking confrences I’ve been at over the last few months and has driven a lot of traffic to my tradeshow booth and gotten me a lot of work. Get yours now!

Out For Beers $19


Let Them Show You…

The amount of magicians that complain when people want to show them a magic trick is staggering. I don’t get it, why not let the person show you?
The person will be the star for a minute, and I think that’s where the problem is, most magicians have a ego that won’t let them step away and let someone else into the spotlight.

At a gig the other night a someone wanted to show me a trick and I say “yes”.

They did the trick with the glide where at the end the slap the cards out of your hand and one card is left in your hand and it’s the selected card. When I let her do it, she nailed it! That’s going to be one of the memories from the party for the dozen people that say it, and something they’ll talk about longer than my roving set.

I’m not saying you should 100% always let the person show you the trick. There are times when it’s inappropriate, like in the middle of a ticketed formal show. but if you’re roving or after a show, why not? It’s not going to hurt anything.