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.
April 15, 2023 in Blogs
I perform a voodoo routine inspired by the work of Richard Webster.
Last month I was tapped to be one of the opening acts for a local performance by the Cutthroat Freak Show, a troupe that performs burlesque numbers and extreme sideshow stunts (not for the squeamish, just to warn you in advance.) I was honored by the invitation, and wanted to come up with a nice bizarre effect that would fit the mood of the show. Every day leading up to it was a struggle to keep my nerves in check, and I almost panicked the night of the show when I got to the theater and realized I’d forgotten a prop (but thankfully they had a replacement on hand). Even though it was small scale for a large crowd, to my relief it went over very well. I definitely think having someone I personally knew assist me helped put me more at ease (you’re a lifesaver, Logan.) So despite my fears that I’d flub before the biggest audience I’ve seen so far AND a group that was on America’s Got Talent, I managed to keep myself together well and deliver a strong performance. All in all, I’m feeling pretty good.
I know that it’s hard to see the drawings clearly – the phone mount was positioned near the back of the theater and this was as far as it could zoom in, so you’ll have to rely on my descriptions and Logan’s confirmations as to what’s happening. I also apologize that my voice gets faint at times; I had asked if the theater had hands-free microphones, but I should have been clearer and specified headset mics. I’ll look into purchasing one of them for future performances.
March 13, 2023 in Blogs
I do a take on “Guided Visualization” by Andy of The Jerx.
Not a lot to say on this one, other than I tried to put a spin on the routine with a “magician in peril” premise and spice things up with a few jokes. Whether or not they were effective is for viewers to decide. As I mention at the start, the format for open mics has changed so they’ll now be every other week. I think this might work out as now I won’t feel pressured to have a new trick each Friday and risk burnout, plus the longer period between gives me time to work on more complex bits, which you’ll all hopefully be seeing soon.
February 26, 2023 in Blogs
I perform a variation of Larry Becker’s “Simpli-City.”
As I mention during the video, this was the first routine that Paul Mellan showed me back in 2019 when I went into his shop in Scranton and told him I was interested in mentalism. It was the gateway that helped set me on the path I’m on now, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. I regret that I didn’t get a chance to see Paul one last time before he passed, but I hope that he’d be happy with the progress I’ve made.
February 19, 2023 in Blogs
Another performance of Max Maven’s “Kurotsuke”
I try not to repeat tricks I’ve done before, but my original Kurotsuke was definitely clumsy in its execution. I think I got the handling down better, as well as made the patter more entertaining. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, so that’s a good sign. Though I decided against it for the Saturday show – went with something that could involve a larger number of participants. It went over well, thankfully.
February 12, 2023 in Blogs
Just about everyone loves a good cup of hot chocolate on a cold night, but while the mix packs might do the job okay, they don’t really deliver a satisfactory indulgent experience. Here’s a simple recipe for a very indulgent mug of cocoa. No frills, but you don’t really need anything fancy if the end result tastes good.
Apologies for the flubbed lines and lack of edits – this was basically a spur of the moment video and I don’t know how to edit on my phone. Still, hope you all enjoy.