Releasing New Magic…

take up reel

Recently I released my Take Up Reel through Hocus Pocus and the response has been amazing. Honestly, I thought they would sell two of them, but they are selling as quickly as I can make them!

I just want to say “thank you” to everyone that has supported this magic release. It’s been several years in the making. From the initial development of it to me road testing and tweaking it…to having other people road test it and doing some more tweaking.

Here’s the next batch of Take Up Reels that are going out.

I wish these reels were easier to make, they take about a week from start to finish to make…and I can only do them in small batches.

Here’s some advice if you are thinking of putting out a magic product, actually put in the time to work it out. Don’t rush ideas out to the market. There’s soo much that’s put out that you can tell wasn’t really tested out on audiences in the real world…whether that’s an in person or virtual show.

Interesting to Uninteresting…

Recently someone in a magic group posted a video of them doing a 12 minute “flash” act, which is essentially a series of tricks. The opening trick they did was show a torch a long time, then it turned into a cane. This is a marketed trick called “torch to cane” and you can watch a demo of it below:

Here’s the thing with the trick, you are taking something very interesting which is fire and turning it into something very uninteresting which is a cane. I think you’d be better off showing a torch and then doing fire eating (which is interesting) than turning it into a cane. The magician’s style of cane has been out of style pretty much my whole lifetime, so no one instantly know what it is.

A better idea would be turning fire into an animal.

The above video isn’t how I’d do it, but a dove is way more interesting than a cane. Fire is cool to look at, so make something appear that’s cool to look at. Maybe touch it to your palm, and your palm catches on fire, you toss the fire to the audience and it turns into a throw coil! That’s way more exciting than a torch to cane. Also if you think an appearing cane is really fooling anyone, think again. At best is a B- of a trick. Sure, it has it’s place in the right act, but it’s not a huge mystery.

When you are doing a transformation from one item to the other, the final item must be as interesting as the first. Torch to cane…nope. Cane to lit torch…YES!!!!

Bigger Props…

Right now I’m at a showcase for performers and last night a friend of mine performed. He uses larger props in his magic show. He does things like balloon to dove, dove to rabbit and walking thru a plate of steel. It’s crazy how much bigger his show feels than mine does. Using larger props … Continue reading “Bigger Props…”

Right now I’m at a showcase for performers and last night a friend of mine performed. He uses larger props in his magic show. He does things like balloon to dove, dove to rabbit and walking thru a plate of steel. It’s crazy how much bigger his show feels than mine does.


Using larger props really fills the stage. In a show like mine, it’s just me and some hand held props. I think that my early days performing in comedy clubs and cabaret shows really molded how I perform. In those venues you really can’t have big props. Even something like a table is a lot of real estate on a tiny stage.


I’ve learned to make small props play larger (usually). For an act like mine, that’s important, keeping the props to a minimum. I want to the show to feel less formal and having large props makes it feel way too formal for me.

Great Visit!

The other day I visited a magician friend who isn’t doing too well from health standpoint. I drove several hours each way to visit him. It really lifted his spirits, we had a good time jamming and laughing. If you know another magician that’s not doing well, pop by and visit them. One of the … Continue reading “Great Visit!”

The other day I visited a magician friend who isn’t doing too well from health standpoint. I drove several hours each way to visit him. It really lifted his spirits, we had a good time jamming and laughing. If you know another magician that’s not doing well, pop by and visit them.


One of the things we chatted about was my silk and coathanger routine. This is something that I’ve been working on all summer and have hit a wall. The problem I’m having is that the trick gets stunned silence. Each phase adds to the stunned silence. The problem is getting a reaction out of it that’s not silence.


My friend who is known as a close up guy, but has amazing knowledge of stage magic gave me a great suggestion. He said the trick is lacking the release of tension. Instead of looking for a finale to the trick, blow it off with a laugh. Now I just need to figure out what that blow off it and to try it.

Big Stages

The variety show that I was in last night was a lot of fun. A couple of the acts were thrown off by how wide the stage was. The stage was probably 24 feet wide and 8 feet deep. I personally don’t mind a wide stage, but work on them fairly frequently. The picture above … Continue reading “Big Stages”

The variety show that I was in last night was a lot of fun. A couple of the acts were thrown off by how wide the stage was. The stage was probably 24 feet wide and 8 feet deep. I personally don’t mind a wide stage, but work on them fairly frequently.

The picture above is form the venue last night. You’ll notice one of the things that I do is “define my area” on the stage. My case and table create the edges of where I work. This keeps me from wandering the stage to get props if my case or table were at either end of the stage.


Having a wider stage is way better than a narrow stage where you are crammed into. Currently I’m working hard on my show to play larger. I’m not a pack small, play big person. I prefer to use props that fit what I want to do…but hopefully make it play large!

Adding Texture to Predictions…

A friend of mine who is a mentalist from Ireland is in town and we had coffee yesterday. We were chatting about mentalism and the struggles to make it play big. One of the things he showed me was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen this year (more on this in a minute). Part of … Continue reading “Adding Texture to Predictions…”

A friend of mine who is a mentalist from Ireland is in town and we had coffee yesterday. We were chatting about mentalism and the struggles to make it play big. One of the things he showed me was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen this year (more on this in a minute).


Part of the challenge of mentalism is you need normal-ish looking props. Once you know make a die 24 inches big, or use a calculator that’s build for bigfoot, you lose what makes mentalism great, which is the lack of propy props.


This is where what he showed me comes in. He showed me Phil Smith’s Quinta Force.

This is an amazing way to force one object out of five that feels very free and has some theatrical build up to it as well.


My idea is to borrow five different objects from people in the audience. You introduce a padded envelope that has your prediction in it. They give you a number, let’s say it is 28. You count to that number per the Quinta Force and let’s say we end up on a cellphone. You open the envelope and inside is a cellphone…then for the kicker on the back written in marker in giant numbers is 28!


I haven’t finished reading the book, so someone may have thought of this already.


That’s something that will play fairly large, I guess it could be done with paper prediction that unfolded into a large display. My thinking was to try to get away from a printed prediction as that’s fairly common way to reveal things and I wanted something that would add some texture to the show.