Father’s Day Magic Trick!

I was playing with an interactive “touch the screen” style trick for father’s day. This is the type of trick where someone starts by touching a object, then spells/counts several times eventually ending up on an object that you know.

The cool thing that I noticed is that if you spell the three words HAPPY FATHERS DAY the math works out for each word for to make it easy.

To do this you’ll start with five objects. These could simply be little pieces of paper that say things about dads, or whatever. You will line these up. For simplicity, I’m going to just use the numbers 1-5.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5

Touch the one on the left. You are going to move one space per letter. You can move left or right, but only to the one next to it, you can jump spaces or from end to end. Spell HAPPY, moving one space per letter and keep touching that one.

You’re not on the one or the five, so I’ll eliminate those.

2 – 3 – 4

Now you’ll spell FATHERS moving one space for each letter.

You’re not on the four, so I’ll take that one away.

2 – 3

Now spell DAY, moving one space per letter.

You’re on the 2!

That’s a very simple interactive math trick you can do for father’s day!


Making Videos More Watchable

When putting out videos whether it’s social media videos or promo videos for my shows or magic products, one thing I try to avoid are things that can cause the viewer to click away. I’m not an authority on this, but I’ve noticed that using less copyrighted music seems to give me less ads on my videos. That’s the last thing you when someone is watching you promo, them having to get through an ad!

One of the ways that I do this is with music where I license the rights to use, so there’s no copyright issue that YouTube or whatever then tries to monetize. The service I use is Envato Elements and it has a HUGE catalog of music that you can sort by length, style, beats per min and even by instruments!

Another thing that I do on my booking website is that my videos are hosted by JWplayer. This allows me to host videos and not have YouTube put ads on it or “suggested videos” at the end of it. In fact I have the video on my booking website to play “suggested videos” of mine in a specific order if someone wants to keep watching more than my general sizzle reel!

I think that paying for a service like JWplayer is totally worth it as after my promo I don’t have to worry about YouTube suggesting a competitor’s video!

Magic in Focus for NOLA

Yesterday I wrote about doing magic trick where a picture of famous art starts blurry, the magically becomes in focus. In the example I used yesterday it was the Mona Lisa, however it just hit me this morning and I’m getting ready to pack for a trip to New Orleans for the Sideshow Hootenanny was that I should make the trick themed to New Orleans.

I remembered that on my first trip to New Orleans that I randomly came across Banksy’s Nola (Rain or Umbrella Girl) on a street corner. Using Nola for the trick makes more sense as it’s local to where I’ll be.

There’s not much to the trick, it’ll simply be a flap card that changes from a blurred image to an in focus image.

A quick Google search shows that the art has been moved to a hotel, so no longer on a street corner. I could do the trick from where the art was…

This is a good example of trying to give a trick some context, more than just check out this ace of hearts that changes to a two of club. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with just having eye candy, but some sort of context is always nice!


Topical Magic

One of the easiest ways to create magic is to put restrictions on whatever you are creating. Right now everyone on social media is complaining about egg prices. So the natural thing would be to create a trick with an egg. Here’s a quick and simple trick with an egg with the presentation hook of egg prices.

@louiefoxx Egg Buying Price Hack #eggprices #eggs #lifehack #louiefoxx #magictrick #magician #kitchenmagic #cholesterol #browneggs #whiteeggs #moneysavingtips ♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

The trick is simple and direct, it’s an egg color change, with a presentation hook of white eggs being cheaper than brown eggs. As far as I know, I’m the only one doing color changing eggs this way…


Get a domain…

Sometimes I see people post things on social media that confuses me. I will also agree that I maybe old and not seeing things with a young person’s lens. The other day someone in a magic group asked if anyone still uses a website. What they meant by that is that they only have a facebook page…and that’s how they book all of their work.

I think just having a facebook page is a bad idea for several reasons. First of all you put all of your eggs in someone else’s basket that you have no control over. Second they’re soo much distraction that they can get when looking you up, that you really don’t have their dedicated attention. Finally if your name is hard to spell, or there’s more than one person with your name, it can be hard for someone to find you easily.

Why not just have a domain name you use and have it redirect to facebook? That solves two of the three of the problems of just using a facebook page. If facebook becomes the digital Sears, you can simply point your domain to a new space. You can also pick an easily spelled and remembered domain name that you can give to people.

Having a domain doesn’t solve the problem of distraction. Someone looking to book you will still have all of their facebook notifications on the top popping up.

Domains are cheap at about $20 a year, that’s less than $2 a month. Suck it up and buy a domain.

More Social Media Magic

Over the last few days I’ve been writing about social media magic videos and why to post them. Either the trick has to be good (amazing or entertaining) or the trick has to offer something interesting from method standpoint. Here’s a video I just posted:

What’s interesting from a method point of view is that I’ve take a trick and made it go backwards. Of the thousands of this trick that has sold, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the bolt tighten. Not that it’s a huge leap, but it’s something different.

The trick is typically done as an animation, where the nut moves on its own. My vision was for the trick to be done as a penetration. It didn’t quite work out that way for the video and I had limited time to record it, so that’s why it was put out the way it was. Ideally the trick will look like I grab the nut and slide it up the bolt, penetrating the threads of the bolt. Since the video was posted, I’ve gotten it to look like almost how I want it to, but it’ll still take some work.

What’s the Purpose…

The last couple of days I posted about a four ace production that someone posted on facebook, then posted one that’s better. It got me thinking about what are the reasons to post a magic trick on social media. For me, I usually do it because it’s interesting from a method standpoint, or something unique happens during it.

Here’s an example of a boring magic trick that’s interesting from a method point of view:

Safety Pin and Ring Trick

Here's the first Magic Trick in a Hotel video for 2018!

Posted by Louie Foxx- Magic and comedy on Monday, January 1, 2018

That video is a few years old, but what makes it interesting is the transposition of the pin and the ring. There are a couple of methods working at the same time to accomplish the trick. My reason for posting isn’t simply to have my friends tell me I did a cool trick, but to show something I’ve created.

Before you post a video, think about why you are doing it. What does posting it do to contribute to magic?

Making a Story…

Probably the most magical trick you can do is turn a one dollar bill into a one hundred dollar bill and give it to someone to keep. That will have more impact that almost anything else you can do. That’s why bill change tricks are popular, everyone has an emotional investment in them.

The nice thing about the standard Hundred Dollar Bill Switch is in a live show the folding process takes time which is good. Now let’s move the trick to Instagram where you have up to 60 seconds…and the attention span of the audience is even less. By the time you set up the premise and start folding the bill, you’re losing people. That’s why visual magic is HUGE on social media.

Another factor to consider in social media videos is that the bill isn’t borrowed, so some of the impact is lost. It’s always more amazing if the magician took MY dollar and turned it into a hundred, than used HIS dollar and turned it into a hundred.

Personally I think setting up a premise is important for a quick trick. There are a couple of ways to do that. You can do it in the video, or you can do it in the text of the post.

Here’s a video of a quick bill change for social media:

My friend asked me if I could turn a $5 into a hundred…yes I can!…….#magic #moneymagic #sleightofhand #nocameratricks

Posted by Louie Foxx- Magic and comedy on Thursday, April 9, 2020

In the video I set up the premise, which is that it’s a “challenge” a friend gave me. I take up the problem, and solve it. I also solve it in an unexpected way. There’s a story there, I’ll admit, it’s a weak story, but it tells a story in about 12 seconds.

Personally I think it’s important to tell that story. Based on the analytics of my videos, the ones that are just quick tricks without the storyline never get the same amount of views as the ones that do. Of course this is my own experience, and I’m sure there are people churning out eye candy and racking up some big numbers in views.

To Post or Not To Post…

The other night I was chatting with Matt DiSero about the Bounce No Bounce Balls trick. If you don’t know the trick, it’s a ball that bounces and a matching ball that doesn’t bounce. He came up with a really cool ending for the trick and I made a quick video of it:

Here’s the dilemma I’m having, in the video I feel like flash the palmed ball too much. Should I post the video on my social media or not?

Before you say, “why don’t you just rerecord it?“, let me tell you that I can’t. I had just sold the set of balls, so this was recorded right before I boxed them up. Now before you say, “why didn’t you rerecord it before you shipped them out?“, let me tell you that I couldn’t. I only had one tomato, and with the current self quarantine, I didn’t feel that a trip to the store to buy tomatoes would have been a wise decision.

For now it’s living on this blog. I may post it as sort of a look behind the curtain of how magic tricks develop.

Broom Balance…

On social media yesterday a hoax about balancing a broom upright went around. Well the hoax was that “because planets were aligned” you could do it, besides the fact that you can do it anytime, you just need to try. If you keep your eye out for trends like this, they are a good way … Continue reading “Broom Balance…”

On social media yesterday a hoax about balancing a broom upright went around. Well the hoax was that “because planets were aligned” you could do it, besides the fact that you can do it anytime, you just need to try. If you keep your eye out for trends like this, they are a good way to pitch yourself to get on the local news or have a picture get shared a lot.

Here’s what I did:

Unfortunately, I was busy most of the day and unable to hustle this picture early in the day. I think that a video of someone doing the trick Balance or Stasis if presented properly would would go viral, or at least get someone some media attention.

Keep an eye out for things that are blowing up on social media and think about what you can do with that premise. Sure it’s probably something that you won’t be doing outside of that particular instance, but it’s a good for creativity and if something goes viral, then it’s good for you!