Fair Sizzle Reel

One of the things I’ve started doing to “add value” for the fairs that book me is to make little sizzle reels of me performing at the fair.

Here’s this weeks video:

You’ll see me do my version of Sticker Kicker in this video. I’m still working out the flow of the trick. I like it and it’s such a strange visual when you peel the back off of the card. I really like it!

-Louie

Another Shell Game Set!

I remember a long time ago chatting with Dr. Lloyd Cripe who was a brain doctor and now retired and he said, “everyone collects something” and at the time I didn’t realize it, but I was starting to collect Three Shell Game sets. Currently I have a giant collection of shells, and it getting harder to find shell sets that I don’t already have.

I found this lot at a magic auction site:

Three Shell Game

I don’t have the upper set of gold shells. I can’t tell what they are made from, it could be plastic or metal, I won’t know until they show up. It looks like I was the only bidder, so I got them for the opening bid price, which is nice!

I’ve had the Dr. Beaumont Shell Game book in the past, and it’s been a while since I’ve read it. I’ll give it a reread when it arrives with the shells and probably sell it with the Vernet Shells which come with this lot.

If you’ve got a unique or uncommon set of shells, send me a note, I’d love to see a pic of them!

-Louie

Medina/Chanin/Rivera Shell Game Set

Yesterday was an exciting day at the post office, I had one of Rolando Medina’s Chanin/Rivera shell game sets arrive and an extra set of peas!

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!

-Louie

Shell Game Collection…

We’re wrapping up our first move for the first time in 16 years, and it’s amazing what you accumulate over a decade and half. At our new place I set up my collection of three shell game sets, and I have more than I thought I had, and in the picture below there are no duplicates:

There are some interesting sets in the collection. For example I have three sets of Rivera Shells that are all made out of very different material. There are both sets of Karl Normal Shell Game which are bowls, the original run has a divot in the top, where the second run of them doesn’t.

The shell game set I own that’s not pictured is my main working set. I really should get a second set as a back up, and to have in the display.

-Louie

Russian Shell Game – Tutorial…

I’m trying to get ahead of orders and have a few more things in stock. Yesterday I needed to make a new mold for my Russian Shell Game trick. I figured I show you what goes into it. I had already made the bottom part of the mold, so here’s how the second half was made.

I put left the shells in the mold and gave it a coat of mold release, otherwise the silicone would stick, and I’d just have a block of silicone with some shells inside that I couldn’t get out.

russian shell game by louie foxx


Then I measured out the silicone and mixed it up:

russian shell game by louie foxx

That gets poured into the existing mold:

russian shell game by louie foxx

Once it poured, I need to wait until it’s fully cured:

russian shell game by louie foxx

And violia! I’ve got the second part of my mold!

russian shell game by louie foxx

Now I take the resin, color it and mix it up, and that goes into the mold:

russian shell game by louie foxx

I put the top on the mold and let that cure until it’s finished hardening:

russian shell game by louie foxx

Once it’s done, I pop that out and I have the almost finished shells. They still need to be sanded. This is a quick way to produce the sets of these shells.

russian shell game by louie foxx

And here’s what the finished product does:

I hope this little walk through of what it takes to make some of my magic props will give you a little insight into the work that goes into prop building!
-Louie

Magic Club Holiday Party…

A couple of nights ago I went to the Tacoma Magic Club’s holiday party. I always try to support the magic clubs in my area whenever I can. It was a fun night and towards the end, people in the club can get up and do some magic. One of the magicians did one of my tricks!

It was a lot of fun to see John Villarreal do my Russian Shell Game! This is a shell game that end with 15 shells on the table. This routine is one of tricks that I wrote in a notebook years ago and have been wanting forever. Then a couple of years ago, I made a set and it took off!

If you do anything that I’ve created and I’m at a magic club meeting, please do it! I love seeing what I’ve created out there in the world being used!

-Louie

Three Shell Game Review…

One of my favorite tricks and the opener to my virtual show is my Russian Shell Game routine. This is a three shell game routine with an ending that has 15 shells on the table. Someone just sent me a link to this review of the trick:

One little correction to something that he mentions in the review. The shells are not 3D printed, they are cast in resin. The original set that the mold was made from was 3D printed, but the set I use and sell is resin.

I love this routine, and still really enjoy performing it!

On The Big Screen…

For a long time I didn’t really use any video projection in my show. Mostly because I didn’t understand how it worked and how to work it. In late January of 2020 I decided I was going to start to figure out how to use it in my live, in person stage shows. Shortly after I started working on using projection, the COVID pandemic hit and any work on in person shows went onto the back burner as I had to figure out virtual shows. Luckily those virtual shows have translated into me starting to understand how to incorporate video elements into my in person show.

Recently I did a theater show and got to start to use video projection. One thing I didn’t like about video was that I didn’t want the audience essentially watching TV. The ideal trick for this is the Three Shell Game. It’s interactive, and fills the screen nicely, but plus it still have whole audience interaction. I chose to use my Russian Shell Game as it has a payoff with the production of a dozen shells.

Here’s my first show using video projection:

It played well, and one of the silver linings to come out of the COVID pandemic is me not being afraid of using video projection/production in my show!

Vertical Three Shell Game

Last night I was playing with a set of mini cups and balls that I have. This particular set was made by Leo Smesters. These are a great little set, however honestly I don’t have much of a use for them. When I originally bought them I had an idea, but haven’t done much with them.

I had the idea of doing a vertical three shell game. The ball would switch places vertically while the cups were stacked. Here’s a quick video of the basic idea:

There’s a little bit more to the full idea I have. Right now the cups are ungimmicked and they will stay that way. However the balls have magnets in them and they stick to each other through the cup. So the cups can sort of function like a chop cup or regular cup depending on the positions of the two balls.

My idea is to have one ball with a very strong magnet in it and then two others with smaller magnets in them. The audience is only aware of one ball. You will steal the ball with the strong magnet and use that magnet like you would a use thumbtip with a magnet inside of it. That will give much more options with what you can do with the cups.

Now I just need to make the balls…

More Eyes…

Having a second set of eyes helps a lot when working on things. Every now and then when I do virtual shows I’ll sneak a friend into the zoom and have them write notes on the show. Recently my friend noticed a rookie mistake I made.

In my three shell game routine (my Russian Shell Game routine) I have a graphic overlay pop up with the numbers 1, 2 and 3.

I wear a white shirt and the numbers are white. My friend pointed out that they blended into my shirt. It was a simple fix to add black borders to them for the future

Now they’ll work with pretty much any background.

Having a fresh set of eyes watch your show for little things make a big difference!