Saturday, August 17, 2019

A question about the OBJECT TO IMPOSSIBLE LOCATION theme....

Every time a magician does an object to impossible location... the denouement of the routine is supposed to be the revelation of the verified object inside the object of impossibility. However, the audience reaction after the "vanish" always comes as the lemon, wallet, or box or whatever is brought into view. 

The actual revelation and verification of the bill, coin, phone, card or whatever seems secondary  to many audiences.

During most bill to lemon routines, including the routine I used to do, the big audience reaction comes when the lemon is presented  because the audience knows that the bill or ring or other object is inside.

How do you move the audience expectation to the ACTUAL end of the routine? When the bill, card or whatever is actually produced and verified as the same object?

There's always polite applause at the revelation of the signed/ borrowed thing, but the big reaction always comes at what I would consider the "wrong spot" in the routine.

I feel it's a conditioning problem.  Audiences are EXPECTING their object to be in the impossible location, but the big gasp comes at the wrong moment which SHOULD be the revelation of their object. not the presentation of the object.

The question is.. what can be done to move the reaction to the verification of the object... the signature or whatever as proof?

I've had long conversations with some of my smartest friends... and we haven't come up with a "best" solution.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The long long history of The Phone in the FedEX box trick.. WHATS IN THE BOX??!!!?

This trick has a REALLY long history that I'm going to tell you about in my first blog post in a VERY long time...
A very long time ago... I was with my friend from Singapore Kyle Ravin.  We went on a road trip to Las Vegas, and in addition to pilgrimages to David Copperfile, Mac King and others... of course we went to see PENN AND TELLER.
They did one effect that had a profound effect on me. It was their Phone to Fish routine.  A brilliant effect, with brilliant choreography.  Effect meets method in a diabolical way.... however.... it was not efficient for those of us who work alone.

I decided to delve deep into my years of magic and invention and come up with a practical version.  For over a year... I was going more in the direction of Tommy Wonder.. using very complicated tables and custom boxes and little motors and some remote controls.  While this would have all worked; it was overly complicated and beyond my workshop to build alone.  Let alone THOUSANDS of dollars per each.

Then I had a creative moment... and a "thing" came to me.  I took an old trick that I had as a kid, refined it, changed it a LOT, and made it practical to add to a FedEx box that could be handed out and casually handled by an audience member so the magician can give the box away at the START of the routine.   After another year (I've been up to my ears for 6 seasons on a TV show so its slow) and 4-5 prototypes to get a version I could make in a production environment, I finally had something that I could show magic friends  to work on a routine and get opinion.

Thanks so much to Dan Sylvester, Chance Wolf, Mike Elizalde, Walt Anthony, Chris Stotz, Cosmo Solano, and several more I boiled the prep, the prop,and the routine down to their most efficient elements and built a story that made sense, but wasn't so restrictive that it HAD to be used.

I made the prop available to only a TINY few people in advance... and universally the reviews were beyond my expectations.   I sold a few at a steep discount and refined the routine even more using  suggestions by people who had used it in their shows.. sometimes in over a hundred performances in a real world situation in an amusement park,  Can't get more "broken in" than that!!  (Thanks Ben Zabin!!!)

At any rate..I finally was able to shoot some video for a demo, and an instructional video. My friend Grant Smith edited it all together and I realized that I'd LOST SOME IMPORTANT FOOTAGE!!!  To make it worse, I was getting ready to leave for another season of the TV show I worked on and couldn't work on it more for 6 more months.

To make matters worse, I ended up moving my home and workshop from Los Angeles to Atlanta, GA.

At any rate, I finally reshot the demo, and the instructions and got all the pieces together... sold some more preview versions... was universally told that the price was TOO LOW!!!   I raised the price some.. but not as high as was suggested by several.  and now.. after such a long story, it's here and is available directly through my website at:


 Any questions? I'll mostly gladly answer them at