I frequently have people ask me about why I like Leo Smetser’s Three Shell Game set. I like it because it’s the shells are heavy, and I prefer the bowl shape. Another thing is that it all fits together into a nice container that fits neatly in my pocket.
I just started doing a phase that’s unique to this shell set. This set has rubber O rings on the top of them, and I use those for a phase:
With Leo’s set, you can do soo much more than with just a regular set. I really dig this set, sure it’s probably not everyone’s flavor, but I’m a fan! -Louie
When you are out performing, I always try to keep an eye out for photo ops. Moments where I can take a picture and it will make good social media content. Once you do this a while you start to have some ones you do often. Things like a dog watching my flea circus or law enforcement playing the three shell game!
Once you have a few “hits” you know what to look for, but don’t get soo blinded by the hits that you aren’t on the look out for new things!
For example the new thing I’m doing where I peel the picture off of the card and stick it onto a kid. This is a great photo op!
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:
And here’s what everything is:
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!
These are made from the original mold and look great!
I like the shape of this shell with it’s high top. It covers any flash if your fingers have a gap at the back of the shell. The shape of the shell really poops the pea out the back nicely!
I have several sets of shells made from this mold:
What I like the Medina Set is that it looks semi realistic, less like plastic that’s pretending to be a shell than the other sets. I’m home for a couple of weeks doing local shows that are all stage shows, so I won’t be able to try them out for real until I hit the road…but I’m excited to try them!
Today’s show is going to be a stressful show. It’s a virtual show that’s for a group that wants and interactive show…but I won’t be able to see or hear the audience and chat won’t be enabled on Zoom. When I was talking to the booker, I clarified that they want an interactive show, but I can’t interact with the people in the audience and they confirmed that was the situation.
There are essentially two options at this point:
Decline the gig
Take the money and do it
I decided to take the show as a challenge to see what I could come up with. I’m treating this show like a live prerecorded virtual show. What I mean by that is it’s the content I would put into a prerecorded virtual show, however I’m doing it live. This opens up some possibilities, like I could roll dice for a random number or spin a wheel to get a random item. While those methods of selection aren’t as strong as having someone from the audience select the item, it gives me options that aren’t there with a prerecorded virtual show.
I have one trick that’s a “touch the screen” style of trick which is a custom version of Interactive that I made that uses Bigfoot sightings. I do have some tricks where the audience has a job at home, but what they do doesn’t really affect me or the outcome of the trick. One of these is the shellgame, which is good because they can play along at home by picking the shells. I’m using my Russian Shell Game for the show as it’s got a fun ending.
I’m always on the look out for fun photo ops when I do my show. One of the things I do is the shell game, and whenever I see police officers, I always try to get them to play it.
With everyone now having a camera in their pocket, it’s super easy to get these pics. You just need to be alert and looking for opportunities. Right now is a good time to get pics of you doing tricks for Santa or elves.
When you start looking for photo ops, you’ll see them everywhere.
A couple of nights ago I went to a Seattle Mariners baseball game. It was interesting as there was virtually no one there. In the state that I live in they can have vaccinated sections as well as pod seating. I sat in the vaccinated section, which was pretty empty…the whole ballpark was pretty empty.
What was really interesting was the things that they played to get the crowd pumped up. All the little graphics with sound effects fell flat on the crowd. Whoever plays the sounds was playing them like it was a bigger crowd. I don’t know if they have incentive to mess around with other techniques, especially when our state opens up in less than two weeks.
Performers know that you really need to work a small, spread out crowd differently than a packed house.
Here’s what worked: The interactive things on the jumbotron, we have a hydroplane race where the crowd cheers for a color, and they do a shellgame with baseball hats and a baseball.
Seeing that I would have tried doing some facts or trivia about the batter, then rolling the reaction into a sound/graphic that pumped up the crowd. I don’t know if it would have worked, but it would probably have done at least as well as what they were doing.
Later this evening I’ll be performing a family night show for the first group I did a full, live virtual show for. I’m amazed that a year later I’m still doing these shows and the show has come a long way! I’ve added a bit more production, I’m using more audio effects, and have tricks that are better suited / created for the virtual viewer.
This is the promo video I made from that first show:
It’s also the promo video I still use to promote virtual shows. I probably should have updated it a months ago, but it’s gotten me a lot of work!
Some of the core of that show hasn’t changed, like the silk in peach and the gypsy thread, however a lot has been changed or added.
I used to do a coin sequence that ended with some jumbo coin manipulation. That’s gone, it’s been replaced with my coins under glass routine.
Right now the show opens with the three shell game, a year ago that was in my recorded preshow video.
The show used to open with my flea circus, which was great, however it’s now too much work to set up. Early on in the virtual show timeline, I had a studio in my buddy’s garage that I could leave the flea circus set up in. Unfortunately he moved and that studio is now 5 hours away and my virtual studio is now my office. There’s really not enough room to do it in the office.
I would close the show with a password prediction, but that has changed to the Wheel of Dinner.
I’ve learned soo much over the last year, it’s been a very educational time. Like any show, it’s evolved over the last year and I’ve evolved in how I perform in the show as well!
Yesterday I wrote a post about what playing with gimmicked shells, pea and table for the three shell game. Here’s a simple sequence I put together with them to highlight what you can do with the combination:
My end goal is going to be having “zones” on my table that make the balls appear under that specific shell. I think will have some interesting possibilities…
When I was a teenager I ended up with a set magnetic set of shells for the Three Shell Game. If I recall they were Martin Swindle Shells. This set of shells had a magnet in them and a magnetic pea. I never really used the magnet as I couldn’t really figure out a way to get the pea off the magnet. That function seemed to be simply for a vanish of the pea, and that’s it.
Over the weekend I was playing with the idea of getting the pea off of the magnet while in the shell. The second phase of the video has what I’ve come up with:
My solution to getting the pea off of the magnet in the shell was to use a stronger magnet in the table. When the shell goes over that spot, it pulls the pea off the shell and onto the table. The larger idea is to have multiple magnets in the table, so it can be a larger routine with more phases.