August 30, 2023 in Blogs
I perform Barrie Richardson’s “One in a Half Million”
As I mention in my opening bit, I do have a collection of classic magic books, and there are sadly a number of routines in them that you really can’t do anymore given how things have changed over the decades. But when I saw the business directory in my mailbox after work one day I took it as a sign. I’d actually be able to do a phone book prediction in 2023. I admit my handling was a little rusty, and I fell into a blunder that many before me have (asking a volunteer with poor vision to read something when they don’t have their glasses), but I’ll try to recover from these mistakes and refine it into something better for the future.
August 21, 2023 in Blogs
I do a variation on the classic “Memory Thief” routine
This is a trick I’ve actually done several times before at open mics and a few shows, but I’ve never been able to share a successful version until now. The reason actually pertains to the joke I make during the set-up: I tried it with audience members who HAD drank too much and weren’t able to remember any of the symbols. And when I saw Donald coming up with his beer bottle I was worried this would lead to another incident like those. Thankfully my fears were unfounded, and this turned out to be the best attempt so far.
August 1, 2023 in Uncategorized
I perform a prediction routine inspired by Doug Slater’s “Spiritual Attraction.”
This was another trick inspired by real world circumstances. My great aunts came to visit my grandmother for the 4th of July and they bought some old jewelry that belonged to their parents to give to her. One of the rings really caught my eye and I thought about finding a way to work it into a routine. Admittedly it was a little challenging as most ring tricks usually revolve around linking them together or vanishing/reappearing, but I found one effect in my “Syzygy” collection that I was able to tweak for the show.
I admit I could’ve interacted with Dom a little better, because looking back it feels like I might’ve left him in the lurch with my explanations or made him feel like the butt of a joke at points, and that is never my intention, so apologies if I came off like a jerk.
July 25, 2023 in Blogs
I perform the original routine “Psychic Detective”
This is a bit I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I had to wait until a night when we had a good crowd and enough people whose acts/personalities I was familiar with. So I kept bringing the props with me until the time came when I could do it, and I got lucky.
I played this one up more for laughs rather than any attempts to mystify or astound. There really isn’t much to the trick. I just wanted to have some fun with the absurd premise of a murder mystery where the victim is clearly still alive, and try out some improv when thinking up motives for why each of the suspects would want him dead. And I think it paid off; everyone seemed to enjoy it.
July 10, 2023 in Blogs
I perform Timon Krause’s “Mental Pickpocket” routine.
There are a lot of techniques that I learned about when I first started practicing that I didn’t pursue seriously for the rather embarrassing reason that I wasn’t very good at them (I still can’t pull off a great center tear, to my chagrin). So I ended up falling back on a lot of tricks that didn’t require a lot of skill on my part or where a prop could do the difficult part for me. But when I was trying to think of a good effect for this week’s performance I checked out Timon Krause’s Penguin lecture (which I purchased a while ago but hadn’t watched until now), saw the premise for an intriguing routine, and as he was going through the set-up I recognized the technique being used as one I had already learned. So I went back to practicing it until I felt I had it down, and luckily it paid off. It’s true what they say – put in the effort and you will be rewarded.
BTW, the opening story about the book of pickpocketing techniques – didn’t make that up. It really is for sale. I’m sure no one will use it for any purposes other than entertainment (sarcasm).
June 18, 2023 in Blogs
I perform a variation of James Randi’s magazine test.
Last June I decided to mark Pride Month by doing a trick James Randi made popular and it went over well, so I chose to repeat the theme this year. He really was an incredible magician and a champion of reason, and his presence is sadly missed when we have so many more frauds and charlatans taking advantage of the gullible.
This trick also gave me a chance to practice my preshow work. I’d say it was mostly successful, but there are some areas to improve on.
June 11, 2023 in Blogs
I do a lie detection routine.
During the summer it’s hard to tell how many people will be at an open-mic due to other events happening, so I’m trying to hedge my bets by preparing two tricks for every one I go to; one that works for a small crowd, and one for a larger audience. We actually had a pretty good attendance at this show, but it was mostly newcomers and the bigger trick I had planned would’ve worked better with people I’m more familiar with. So I put that on the backburner and went with the simpler one, which still thankfully went over well.
June 4, 2023 in Blogs
Despite how good he’d felt after finishing his manuscript, Wood was unsure whether Louis Langston would be willing to hear him considering the working relationship between them over the last decade had been less than stellar. Miraculously, after some initial hesitation Langston did listen to the old writer’s pitch and agreed to speak with him, noting that he had a free hour the next day to review Wood’s submission. So that Wednesday morning Nicholas Wood found himself in Langston’s office at Liberty Press for the first time in nearly two years, waiting for judgment to be passed on his work. Read the rest of this entry →
May 28, 2023 in Blogs
I perform “Color Psychology.”
I’ve wanted to do a color match routine for a while, but wasn’t able to before now due to the simple reason that a lot of the props required to do one successfully are, let’s just say, out of my price range. Thankfully I found a good workaround so I was finally able to take a crack at it, and I’m happy it went over well. It was fun coming up with some of the psychological profiling questions – I tried to make them strange without being too overtly funny (except for the slam at the late night hosts). Might switch them up for some others if I do this again.
May 18, 2023 in Blogs
For those who didn’t see when I announced this on Twitter, I’ve taken the plunge in writing a mystery novel. I’ve wanted to for years, but kept putting it off because I couldn’t get the right motivation. Recently though, I’ve been on a renewed mystery kick, and rereading the works of some of my favorite authors like Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr, along with contemporary writers Gigi Pandian and Tom Mead, helped ignite that spark to get my ideas put to paper. I’m going for a bit of an interesting hybrid, a police procedural impossible crime novel. Basically think of Columbo if he was investigating a locked room murder.
This is going to be a lengthy process. I need to stay focused and try to get a little bit written each day if I want to have it complete by the end of the year. But I’m determined to see it through to completion. I want to share some of my progress, so I’ll be posting the first chapter here. It’s still a first draft and may be revised later, but I hope it will intrigue some readers. With that out of the way, please enjoy chapter one of The Master of Miracle Murders
May 13, 2023 in Blogs
I perform my drawing duplication routine “Reverse Art Analysis.”
When I started to get serious about performing I knew I wanted to have a good book test and drawing duplication in my act. The first one I managed to achieve pretty easily (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMo1OgJW7-Y) while the latter took some significant trial and error. A lot of routines I studied had moments where it would be pretty clear that you peeked if someone thought hard enough, and I had to eliminate that as a possibility. I also tried quite a few props that also didn’t cover for a peek, or were to difficult to handle without my accidentally revealing the secret. Finally I managed to find one that covered all my bases and lets me do the trick clean while still entertaining the audience. It was a big hit at paid shows, but this is the first time I’ve recorded it, and I hope you all enjoy it as well.