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Continuing to Build, Beyond the Magic

Every day, I’m practicing and researching the magic. But you know what? The magic is just a part of my virtual magic show. There’s always more work to be done.

Implementing new technology. Zoom audiences should have a seamless virtual magic experience, and this week I’ve been furthering that. A new touchpad for switching scenes, new software to improve the audience immersion, improvements to my foot pedals. I try to keep up with the technological advances, so the audience remains entirely unaware of anything except the magic.

Developing my set. The backdrop is such a huge part of the character and the virtual magic show. The original concept was designed with a generous set-decorator from some of my favorite shows, like Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City, and based on the “obsessive cop” shows I’m obsessed with, like HBO’s True Detective and The Wire, as well as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Each piece in the backdrop represents a story in the character’s head, such as the Mandela Effect, Subliminal Advertising, the Moon Landing, JFK, and Helena Blavatsky. Each of these could be the focus of an entire virtual show, and perhaps one day will be.

Building the character. My magician character is obsessed with conspiracies and cults, and I can’t shirk my duty. I need to know about them, too. Some terrify me, like QAnon and Anti-vaxxers and David Icke. Those stress me out, but I also study the fun ones.

This month is all about Bigfoot. I just finished watching Todd Standing’s incredible documentary Discovering Bigfoot on Amazon Prime, which feels almost like a parody of itself. It’s breathtaking and fun and a little bit frightening. I’m reading John Zada’s In the Valleys of the Noble Beyond: In Search of the Sasquatch, which is way too verbose, but every fifth page is perfectly wonderful. And while it’s not about Bigfoot, I’m finishing up an astounding audiobook about another simian legend, Douglas Preston’s The Lost City of the Monkey God. It’s about a quest for a lost Honduran city, filled with jungles and snakes and curses. (Which makes it all sound rather Indiana Jones-y and culturally imperialist, a question that appears regularly in the book.)

Of course, my magician character has some lost cities of his own, that he’s tracking down. He won’t talk about those. Not yet.

Developing the 18-Minute Virtual Magic Show

Every group that hires me for virtual magic shows has a different expectation. Some corporations expect a one-hour Zoom mentalism show. Amazon recently hired me for just eight minutes of “mind-blowing online magic,” to introduce a huge team meeting.

But my favorite is the 45-minute virtual magic show. It’s immersive, interactive, and it’s not entirely online. Predictions are mailed out before the event, and twisted, ESP-bent spoons are sent out after. (You should see the gorgeous packaging!)

And yet this week, I’ve been working on my 18 minute set. It’s a specific number. It means I have to cut some of my favorite effects–anything that takes longer than a minute or two is gone! I have to take a carving knife to some amazing jokes, and mind-bending revalations.

And yet it also means I’ve got something very tight, very concise, and very, very fun.

We did six preview shows this weekend, and ~150 households tuned in. Initial feedback was all outstanding!

“FABULOUS show! Thank you so much.” – Diane D.
“We had such a fun time! Thanks for putting on such a great show!” – Mike V.
“Really terrific show this morning. So glad I was able to score a ticket. So good!” – Chris M. 
“Brilliant. You are a fantastic performer. I’m so stumped right now. Thanks so much for a great show!” – Chris T.
“It was amazing!! The best moment was probably the end when OUR cards were right!” – Zoey B.
“That was so fun!” – Heather B.
“My boys (and I) loved the show! Thank you thank you! You’re amazing!” – Arati K.

Awwww…. thank you!!! I’m still making improvements, and still tweaking it, but I always will be.

Let me know if you’re interested in seeing the new magic and mindreading show. It’s a blast.