It’s the Little Things in Videos

While I was working on my promo video, a video of a magician came across my feed. The trick is fine, but there’s a few things about the video that should have been addressed. Here’s the video:

I’m assuming you noticed the fake audio reaction in the video. They never sound quite right and they way most people use them, they’re never proportional to what they’re doing. It’s always too much.

The other thing you may not have noticed was the guy on the left standing on stage like some sort of body guard. At about the 18 – 20 second mark his face pops into frame. The “audience” is going nuts and he looks bored as hell.

Why is that guy even in the video?

Cropping him out would be a super easy job. As long as you’re in there adding audio tracks, might as well crop him out. It’s the small things that you need to notice in the videos you make. I always try to crop out people who look uninterested or people in the background. It’s not always possible, but you gotta try!


Match Trick Patter

A couple of days ago I wrote a couple of posts about a vanishing and reappearing match trick idea and method. It’s a decent idea for 20 or more years ago when matches were common. Bars don’t give away matches anymore and most smokers have lighters now and not matches, so it’s a trick that missed it’s time.

I wrote out a little script for the trick to try to make it relevant for our current time.

Here’s the routine:

Start with match box in left hand under cover of a handkerchief

“This is the most dangerous trick that I’ve ever done. It’s soo dangerous, I was kicked out of my third grade talent show for doing it when I was 13 years old!

More dangerous than running with scissors or putting honey on my chest to try to breast feed murder hornets…it’s playing with matches!”

Pull the handkerchief off your hand to show the matches.

“I thought I’d be the hottest act”

Strike match and put it into handkerchief covered fist (and into thumb tip)

“but my show went up in smoke”

Squeeze the tip to make a puff of smoke come out.

“Luckily the trick didn’t leave a mark on my permanent record”

Open handkerchief to show the match is gone and not damaged

“The crowd was fired up”

Reproduce the match from the handkerchief

“To this day I can still taste the excitement”

Put the match out on your tongue.

It’s got a little bit of a presentational hook and a couple of chuckles and justifies using the match. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it, but it was fun making the routine.


Gilbertino’s Master Silk Tube

One of the fun things about acquiring collections of magic, is that you don’t always know what you have. Sometimes you’ll find parts and have to figure out what goes with what.

In a recent box of magic I found a tube with two end caps (and a gimmick). To me it was obvious what it was supposed to do, however I didn’t know what it was. After some research I found out it was a Gilbertino Master Silk Tube!

Gilbertino Master Silk Tube

I still didn’t have any instructions, but the description of the effect I found online confirmed how I thought it worked. Here’s a quick demo of the first trick I thought of for it when I found it in the box:

I have a lot more ideas for it, but unfortunately it’s really not a trick for my show, so I sold it. It’s a great trick for someone show!


Verbal Card Magic…

There’s a lot I don’t like about how a lot of card magic is presented. A lot of them are “magiciany” things that we think everyone knows. Let’s start with the fact that there’s a chunk of people that don’t know what the spade and club suits are called. We assume they know that, they don’t.

The one that gets me is that magicians expect people to know what the “mate” of a card is and they use the word “mate” which really is an industry term. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, but when we use industry terms it doesn’t really help. Recently I watched someone do a card trick, they showed the seven of spades and they asked, “what’s the mate to the seven of spades?” The person didn’t know what they were talking about. It would be easier to say, “that’s a black 7, so we’re looking for the other black 7, which would be the seven of clubs…” There’s really nothing gained by asking them what the mate is, and not telling them.

I think “mate cards” are the card magic version of calling scarves “silks”. It still works to convey the idea, but it doesn’t work really well.


Tina Lenert – Rings and Silk

A couple of weeks ago when I was performing at the Moisture Festival, I did a weekend of shows with Tina Lenert. She did her Rings and Silk act, which is fantastic! Here’s a video of the act:

There is soo much magic that happens in that 6 and a half minutes and it’s all pretty strong magic. I think it has almost as many effects per minute that a manipulation act! My favorite part is when she holds the ring behind her back and drops it onto the silk:

It’s a fabulous act, and if you ever get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it!

Magic Lectures on the Road…

Right now I’m performing in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, and about 20 minutes away is Spokane, Washington. Spokane has a magic club and I know most of the people there. I swung by an did a mini lecture with Adam The Great and Cecil Lewis. We talked about working the fair circuit and taught some tricks.

One of the things that I taught for the first time is my silk and coathanger routine.

This is a three phase routine where the silk goes through a coat hanger. Each time the penetration is a little bit different. The first two phased are pretty standard silk and ring moves, but the third is a move that’s unique to using a coat hanger.

This was fun to finally teach! I’m glad I’ve now put it out there into the world. Honestly, I’m not sure how many people will ever do it, as it’s a pain to do and the reel is expensive!

Coin To Silk To Egg with a Kicker!

Right now I’m working on finishing up some videos for a client and I’m just over halfway finished. I had and idea for a little routine, I wanted to essentially do the Sucker Silk To Egg, but take it a bit further. If you’ve seen the lecture that I do for magicians, that’s the message of the lecture, take your magic a step further!

I remembered reading in a Karrell Fox book about a method for the Silk To Egg that he called Super Simple Silk-2-Egg. The was a great method for the Silk To Egg that got rid of the gimmicked egg, which then eliminated the switch of the real egg and the fake egg.

My next challenge was to figure out what direction further I wanted to take the trick. My original idea was to turn the silk to the egg, do the fake explanation and peel off the sticker. The ending would be the silk was then actually inside the egg! The problem with this is that the silk would really need to be signed and that doesn’t really work for a pre-recorded video.

With my original idea not going to work for this specific gig (but I may work on it for other shows), I kept thinking. Then I remembered a book I picked up in a discount magic bin for about a dollar. The book was Hatching by Nefesch, which is a signed coin in egg. This is an interesting effect as the coin is actually inside the egg with all off the egg goop when you crack the egg open.

The sequence of the routine was now starting to take shape. A coin will turn into a handkerchief, which then turns into an egg. At that point I’ll do the “sucker explanation”, and when it’s time to crack open the egg, the coin will come out of it.

It’s not the most amazing magic routine out there, but it definately taking the Silk To Egg to another place (not sure if it’s a good place).