The Pole!

One of the things that’s a challenge when performing at fairs is when there’s a visual obstruction right in front of the stage. A couple of weeks ago the fair I was performing at had a tent that the stage and audience seating was under, but it had a support pole directly in front of the stage.

Before I go any further, I will say that I will take an audience with shade and a visual obstruction over an audience in the sun with a clear view every day!

The challenge with the pole in front of the stage is that no matter what, someone’s view is going to be blocked. In my morning shows, which are slower, I pack everyone to one side of the audience and that solves the problem. Later in the day when it’s busier, that’s not really an option.

After years of trying to come up with ways to deal with this, I think I’ve finally figured out what to do with it. My solution is to accept that it’s there and simply do my show as if it’s not there. That’s really the only thing you can do. Once I mentally decide that the pole is part of my life for 45 minutes, it’s much easier for me to not pay attention to it and just do my show.

If you have a solution that works for you, let me know, I’d love to hear what you do!


Improvised Storage!

This week the stage I’m performing on has a dressing area off to the side of it. I’ve been using it as storage for my show props overnight. I don’t just leave my props set up overnight because the dressing area is a tent. I pack the show back up, but leave the cases in the dressing area.

Since the fair is still open after I’m finished for the day, and no one is really patrolling the dressing area when the fair is closed, I lock up my gear.

magic show props

I’m using a bicycle cable to lock my gear to one of the tent posts. Sure, someone could probably cut the cables or locks, but I’m guessing the average person doesn’t bring cable cutters to the fair!

This gives me a bit of peace of mind and keeps me from having to lug my gear across the fairground at the beginning and end of day.


Getting Better With Anverdi Color Match

Well, it looks like a few things are starting to come together with using the Anverdi Color Match! The last few days I’ve had 100% success rate with all the pens giving me a signal.

One of the things that I have changed is what I tell the person from the audience to get them to exaggerate their initial motion with the pen. I tell the to, “Take a pen, hold it up and show it to the audience“. That seems to get them to make a larger motion that’s more reliably triggering the pen.

I do need to rewatch the instructional video, I seem to remember seeing something about the receiver being able to tell you if a pen is low on batteries. I could be remembering wrong, but hope that’s a feature that exists!


Anverdi Success Rate…

The Anverdi Color Match set is something I’m still trying to make work. I’m still at about 70% failure rate, where at least one pen doesn’t send a signal. This isn’t the end of the world, as I can still figure out what they colored where, but definitely not the ideal situation.

There seems to be no consistency as to when color fails. If it was only one color failing, that’s not a huge deal as I can make an educated guess. Right now I can’t, as it seems pretty random.

anverdi color match and pen set

In an attempt to make this work, I bought a second Anverdi Color Match set. The idea will be to put two sets of the gimmicks into each pen. I probably can’t use the pens that come with the set, however I bought a refill pen set to see if I can alter the ink cartridge a little bit to make room for a second gimmick.

Having some redundancy will give me some piece of mind…if it works!


Anverdi Color Match – A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day for the Anverdi Color Match set. I did three shows without an issue. This is a good development and really helping with my confidence with this prop!

The challenge is figuring out why it’s not sending the signal when it doesn’t. The closest thing I can guess is that someone isn’t moving the pen enough, however it appear from reviewing video that the pens have plenty of movement. Unfortunately if not enough movement is the problem, I can’t think of a good solution to get the person to move the pen more. I can’t say, “pick up the pen and shake it like it’s 1987 and it’s a can of Aquanet“.

I did have the thought of buying a second set of the Anverdi color match and put two gimmicks into each pen. That would give me a redundant system and allow me to have two receivers.

I’m going to see how the success/fail rates play out over the next few weeks before I buy another set.


Failure Rate With Anverdi Color Match

Well, it kinda sucks, but I’m currently having a at least one pen not signal with the Anverdi Color Match in 75% of my shows! It’s not consistently the same pen that’s not firing. Luckily I have a backup plan that will bail me out of when I don’t get a signal from the pen.

This is something I’ve always said about electronic “push button” magic, it’s some of the hardest stuff to do because when it fails, it fails HARD!

Essentially when I do a trick with this style of method, I run a second method at the same time to cover me in case the cleaner method (electronic) fails. It’s a pain in the butt to do, however it’s what has to be done to have it appear to the audience that you have a 100% success rate!

I still have a few more days at this gig, hopefully I can lower that failure rate!


Final Kid Show of the Summer!

In the summers I do shows for kid’s summer camps. I just did my last one of the summer! My goal this year was to create a show that was something that I could set up and pack up in 10 minutes.

kid magic show

The case that the show fit into is the size that fits into the overhead bin of an airplane. I don’t fly with this show, but wanted it to take up minimal space in my car.

The tricks in this show don’t borrow props for any other show that I do, so what’s in the case stays in that case and it has it’s own audio gear. The only thing in that show that I use that’s in other shows is the speaker.

It’s super hand to just grab the case and go!


Pop Up Banner to the Rescue!

This week I’m sharing a stage with a show that has a large structure for puppets.

This structure can’t move between shows, so I have to perform in front of it. I don’t like having other acts stuff behind me while I perform and normally I will make the other act move their stuff to the side during my show. However that’s not an option this week. Luckily I had my pop up banner with me that I use at library shows.

This was a decent solution to covering up their puppet structure. The bonus is that it also has my name onstage behind me while I’m performing.


Using Anverdi Color Match

Yesterday I tried out the Anverdi Color Match in the show. I was super nervous trying it out and didn’t do it my first two shows, but did it in my third show. It worked as it was supposed to, there were no surprises. The thing with electronic tricks, is that you really only learn how and why they work when they fail.

anverdi color match

One of the things I don’t like about the Anverdi set is that with the receiver, I can’t keep it in my sock. However I did learn that if it’s in my pocket, I can touch it with the roll of duct tape that’s in my left hand and get the signals very clearly through the roll of tape.

That really helps me out with my routine, in case I need to use the reset button.

I’ll keep doing using it and hopefully I’ll have a failure so I can learn a little bit about why it doesn’t work when it doesn’t work.


Giving Anverdi Color Match Another Try

Anverdi COlor match

About 9 or 10 months ago I tried out the Anverdi color Match that was put out by Murphy’s Magic. I had some thoughts about it, and you can read them here

This week I’m kinda in a pinch, I normally use the Promystic Color Match set, however they were doing something funky and don’t want to use them for my current gig. My set is super old and I think it’s probably time to just buy a new set.

With me not being able to use the promystic set, I can drop the trick from the show, OR I can give the Anverdi set another try. I’m at a two week gig and have plenty of time to give it more time to figure out how to make the Anverdi Color Match work for me.

The biggest challenge is where to put the pens before and during the routine I think I’m going to have to go with having the pens upside down in the cup on my easel before the trick. Then at the beginning of the trick, I’ll set them down on my table. In the time since I initially tried the Anverdi set the first time, I have more table space available to set the pens on.

Hopefully they’ll work out…