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  • Cool Costume, Bro - Weekly Recap

    Posted on May 16, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    This week we discuss the costume or outfit that you wear when you perform magic. I think that everything comes down to character. I've talked about this a lot in the past, but you guys brought up a lot of good points this week so let's take a closer look:

    The Talent Show Playlist features new video content that you can't see anywhere else. You can check it out by clicking HERE.

    The featured product this week is E2 (or Extractor V2). This is a very cool gimmick that will enhance your card magic from mere "tricks" to absolute miracles. Freely selected signed card is put back into the deck (by the spectator!) and the box is closed up and put away. Not only will you be able to name the card, but you will be able to reveal it from any location that you can think of! Whaaaaat?! Flippin' awesome!

    Extractor V2

    We also talked about a previous Weekly Recap where I give pointers on a breaking up a magic effect in order to practice various details in isolation. You can check that out by clicking HERE.

    I also mentioned something that I had learned from the book Strong Magic (I called it "Stronger Magic" in the video because I'm not perfect.) Anyway, in that book, Darwin Ortiz covers a bunch of ideas that will actually make your magic "Stronger". It is one of my all-time favorite magic books.

    Strong Magic

    We also touched on Jeff Kaylor's TKO Gimmick. If you are looking for a traditional topit, might I suggest the 21st Century Topit by David Penn.

    Be sure to use the coupon code and get your name into the drawing for the N3 Coin Set by N2G.


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  • School Talent Show Magic Tricks

    Posted on May 14, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    We get asked all the time for recommendations for magic that would work well for a school talent show. So what we did was put together a YouTube Playlist to showcase some of our favorite effects to perform.

    Some of these routines range from supre-easy to advanced and each one can be found by licking their image bellow.


    'Fraid Knot

    'Fraid Knot:
    My signature rope routine and one of the few on this list that I personally used in my actual high school talent show.

    appearing straw trick

    Appearing 8 Foot Pole:

    This trick is so visually stunning that it is the perfect fit for staged talent shows; and best of all: it's super easy!

    D'Lite D'Lite Pair:

    This easy trick is great if you have control of the lighing in the theater. Ask them to bring some of the front lights down and magically produce and manipulate a ball of light.
    hoppin Spots Hoppin Spots:

    This is one of my favorite tricks to do because it's easy, has a compelling story line and ends in a very magical way.
    Losander Floating Table Losander Floating Table:

    Just doing this effect once for a live audience will make you truly understand how powerful it is. If you want to fill the stage with mystery and get oohs and ahs from your audience, this is the way to go!
    Gold Zombie Ball Gold Zombie Ball:

    This classic levitation effect is absolutely beautiful. I recommend finding some good music that fits your personality and choriagraph the routine to match up with the song.
    Inexhausible Sponge Inexhaustible Sponge:

    Such a funny sight gag. You continuously wipe your forehead and fill a sponge with sweat.
    Vanishing Bandana Vanishing Bandana:

    This routine has built-in scripting. All you have to do is follow along with the recording and try not to laugh along with the audience.
    Silk Fountain Silk Fountain:

    This is a great moment to add to a routine that already uses silks. It's funny how big of a reaction this simple effect gets.
    Six Card Repeat Six Card Repeat:

    This routine does two things: amazes audiences and fills time. If you want to fill an entire performance with one routine, this is the one.

    If you have any trick ideas that work well for talent shows, post it in a comment. Also, what do you want our next playlist to be about? Best card tricks? Coin Tricks? Street magic? Let us know in the comments section.


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  • Silky Smooth Magic - Weekly Recap

    Posted on May 9, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    This week we take a look at silk and handkerchief magic. Yay! Let's do it:

    Our featured trick this week is Swag 2.0 by Taiwan Ben. This is a very complete set of gimmicks and supplies to perform several card revelations. Some happen in the spectator's hands, some appear slowly in the open while sill others happen instantly with the wave of your hand.

    Swag 2

    As promised, here is a list of silk tricks and why I like them:

    20th Century Silks: In this routine, a silk is vanished and found tied in between two silks held by a spectator.
    Mismade Flag: The Mismade flag always gets laughs. It's one of the best tricks out there to perform for children.
    Silk to Egg: magicians have created countless routines around this effect. It's a classic that continues to baffle.
    Blendo: Four small silks of different colors become one solid silk consisting of each color.
    Chameleon Silk: This is another classic crowd pleaser. Silks change color as you push them through your hand.
    Always Full, Always Empty: This little mystery starts and ends completely examinable.
    Rope to Silk: This trick is so easy to perform that sometimes people don't give it the credit it deserves. But it's a great trick.
    Crystal Clear Cube: The most visual and best way to make silks appear on stage or at birthday parties.
    Change Bag: One of the essential tools for birthday performers. Makes any silk trick more visual and baffling.
    Chameleon Silk Streamer: This is a stunning effect where the streamer changes color visually at the fingertips.
    Silk Fountain: This is a great addition to any stage silk routine. It looks beautiful.
    Polka Dot Silk: The polka dots fly off this large silk banner and then stick right back on!

    This week on the Recap we also talked about my Sharpie trick Permanent and how it might be used in conjunction with the Omni Pen and SansMinds Sharpie.

    permanent magic trick

    I also touched on the idea of "organic magic" and threw out the names of a few tricks like the Linking Mints and Innercircle by Yigal Mesika.

    And lastly, I talked about how Magic Geek now carries Magic Magazine. This is a fantastic source for material, theory, magic history and aside form all of that, it's just plain fun! This week we are giving away FIVE copies of last month's issue! That means your odds of winning this giveaway is five times greater than an average Weekly Recap giveaway. Plus you get that 5% discount which everyone loves. Be sure to use that coupon code before May 16th.


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  • Fixing That Rope Magic - Weekly Recap

    Posted on May 2, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    This week's topic is "Rope Magic". Thanks for all of the great questions:

    Congrats to Jefferson Rose, winner of last week's Stir Crazy Giveaway! Don't forget to get your name into the running for this week's giveaway and get yourself a nice little discount while you're at it!

    Our featured trick for this week was the N3 Coin Set by N2G. This is a very cool gimmick that will allow you to visually transpose two coins without any cover, nothing hidden in your hands and you begin and end totally clean. Good stuff!

    N3 Coin Set

    We talked about so much magic that I thought I'd lay out everything for you so that you could get more info on each item:

    Acrobatic Knot:
    A classic effect that ends with a white knot jumping from a white rope onto a red rope and then fusing--actually becoming a part of the red rope.

    'Fraid Knot:
    My signature rope effect. I love it because it's modular and uses lots of audience participation.

    Fiber Optics:
    A fantastic instructional DVD with ultra-visual rope moves and routines.

    Innercircle:
    This is a combination of one of the most popular magic gimmicks of all time, a new way to carry and protect them, and the definitive instruction manual in digital form.

    Loops DVD:
    Some of us learn better through DVDs. This two DVD set will teach you how to use your Loops in the most effective way.

    Classified Case:
    This is the best way to carry around your magic. It keeps things protected and organized in a professional way.

    In & Out Rope Escape:
    Tony Clark's simple, comedic, and amazing escape routine.

    Roped:
    One of the strangest rope routines out there. A length of rope passes through your jacket and then through your body.


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  • How to Play with Food - Weekly Recap

    Posted on April 25, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    This week our topic is "Food Magic". I love performing magic with food because it's organic, people are familiar with it, and--you know... it's delicious.

    Our first question was asking for food magic recommendations, so here you go:

    Food to Go
    Food to Go

    This week's featured product is Defiance by Mariano Goni. This is a fantastic set which includes gimmicks and four all-new concepts in levitation. Levitation is one of the strongest effects that you can perform in magic, this DVD covers how to float various borrowed objects with new techniques.

    Also mentioned were the Michael Ammar Cups and Balls DVDs. These fantastic resources are now available as instant downloads as well!

    Congratulations to Elliot Evans winner of last week's drawing, your copy of Sorted Affair is on it's way! Don't forget to use the coupon code in today's Weekly Recap to get a discount and a chance to win "Stir Crazy" by Dan Hauss!


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  • How to Get Better at Card Tricks

    Posted on April 18, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    This week I answered your questions about card tricks; and I touched on one of the best bits of advice I have ever gotten in my career in magic: break it up.

    We featured two new products this week: the Classified Case and Mentally Exposed. One is a fantastic case to carry your magic in and the other is a DVD filled with brilliant mentalism effects.

    I also recommended that you check out the Easy to Master Card Miracles DVDs and the Armstrong Card Magic DVDs.

    Don't forget to use the coupon code for 5% off and your chance to win a brand new Sorted Affair trick.


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  • You Can't Do Magic - Weekly Recap

    Posted on April 11, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    This week we talk about developing a character for your magic show.

    THis week we took a closer look at Mark Elsdon's Infallible. With this trick you will be able to make two perfect predictions while the audience believes they have a completely free choice. The predictions can be texted to the spectator ahead of time as a video file, making for a memorable event that they can refer to at any time!

    Infallible

    We also talked about ways to protect your playing cards. Click on any of the images below to learn more about the pocket card protectors.


    Card Guard
    Pack Jacket Card Clip Poker Card Case

    And finally, we touched on my use of the Losander Floating Table. The table that we carry is an official Losander table and I understand that it is a bit of an investment to get one of these sets, but I'm telling you that it is absolutely worth it. The instructional DVD is absolutely top-notch and the craftsmanship on the table and anti-gravity box are superb.

    Losander Floating Table

    Don't forget to enter into the drawing for the private mini-lecture. It's a new thing that we are trying out with some of my unpublished work. Each week I will video chat with one of you and teach you the ins and outs of a new trick that I've developed. All you have to do is place an order at Magic Geek and type out "Lecture Me" in the comments box at the end of your order.


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  • Don't Be Boring - Weekly Recap

    Posted on April 4, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    Today I answered your questions on producing your own show. I didn't mention this on the video, but it's super important... If you think that you are ready to produce your own show make sure that you surround yourself with lots of supportive people. It's a lot of work and I would not have been able to produce my live show if it wasn't for my wife and my family helping out.

    The featured trick this week was the Travelling Deck 2.0. It's a very cool, visual bit of magic that works great as a closer for a card set. Click on the image to see the video demo we did on the street.

    Travelling Deck 2.0

    I also mentioned my favorite opener for parties which is Food to Go by Twister Magic. It never fails to get my shows going on the right note.

    This week's prize is very, very cool and I'm extremely excited about it. Don't miss your chance to get a FREE private mini lecture form me (Chris Ballinger). If you liked any of my previous releases: Redemption, The Shark, Mad Sponges, Moustache, etc. then you are not going to want to miss this opportunity. All you have to do is place an order and write "Lecture Me" in the comments section of your order. If your name is drawn at the end of the week you will get a private lesson from me on a trick that has not even been published yet!


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  • Turtle: Ruiner of Magic - Weekly Recap

    Posted on March 28, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    First I want to say congratulations to Jackson Fyfe for winning the copy of Hot Flush from this week's drawing. Your prize has been shipped and is on it's way to you now!

    This week we took an in-depth look at packet effects. Packet effects (if you don't know) are also called fractal card routines and basically involve a packet of cards which do not make up a full deck. In the Recap I go over a few of the problems with packet effects as well as solutions and talk about some of my personal favorites:

    We mentioned a lot of packet effects this week, including Eye Exam, B'Wave, NFW, Nothing But the Truth, Ace and Panic. As well as mentioning two John Bannon DVDs which are packed with fractal card magic: Fractalicious and Bullet Party.

    Eye Exam magic trick

    I had a hard time picking the featured trick this week because so many great things got released this week. I mentioned 3D Crystal and the At the Table Lectures. But because of today's theme, I decided to stick with Shock Twist by Gary Jones. This is a fantastic packet effect with a double-kicker ending which actually makes sense. Check it out by me perform it for real people that I just met out on the street. WATCH DEMO: CLICK HERE.

    Shock Twist

    I can't wait to read your questions for next week when we talk about your live show. How to put one on, how to promote it, how to structure it, etc.


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  • I'm Gonna Touch You - Weekly Recap

    Posted on March 21, 2014 by Chris Ballinger

    This week we talked about all kinds of things. Thanks for all the fantastic questions!

    Our first question featured the Yigal Mesika's Innercircle. It's an awesome utility gimmick that will help you perform visual miracles. We also talked about my upcoming show in Los Angeles. If you are in Southern California on April 1st, get your ticket right HERE because this show is selling out fast!

    Next up, we talked about justifying the use of Sponge Balls. Two of the solutions I use on a regular basis are the 3-D Sponge Rabbits and Mad Sponges.

    A few months ago I did a Weekly Recap on Stage Fright and confidence. Instead of having you dig through the YouTube archives for the video, I thought I'd re-post it right here:

    The title of this week's Recap came from a question about controlling your audience while performing the trick Ace by Richard Sanders. This is an astonishing routine and audiences LOVE it, but it is important to have full control during the routine. Hopefully me little tips will help out with that.

    The featured trick this week is Cakes and Adders. This is a fabulous trick to perform at children's birthday parties. For tricks that are aimed at children, I always test them out on my kids; sometimes I do it on camera. Be sure to check out my kids' reaction to Cakes and Adders in the Magic Geek Video Demo.

    Cakes and Adders

    Wow 2.0 is such a visual trick! It's worth the justification it takes to perform. This week I gave a couple of pointers on performing it, including using it like a collector's case that protects special cards from warping and fading.

    Want your wallet to be set up like mine? Here's what you'll need: a Mesika Wallet, an Innercircle gimmick, and Torn 2 Pieces. Now get out there and fool people!

    For those of you who are worried about your Classic Force failing, here are three routines that I use and where to find them... The Ambitious Card can be found in the Royal Road to Card Magic; Fourced Outcome is an instant download that can be found right here at Magic Geek; and Triumph by Dia Vernon can be found in volume 1 of Michael Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles.

    Don't forget to use coupon code flush and get 5% off your order. That's also going to get your name into the drawing for Wayne Dobson's new effect Hot Flush. But hurry the coupon code expires on March 28th.


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