Can Your PK Deck Do THIS?!?!?! (video)

Can your PK deck do this? Probably not. But you can do all those things and more with mine, and I’ll give you one FREE!

This is my “pet” PK deck, not a mass-produced product. I need a super-strong, super-thin PK deck gimmick for a signature routine—unpublished—that I perform every year at a special event. The spectator selects a deck for me to use from an unopened brick. I have to make a dozen PK decks every year, but only need one. Giving away the extras has become a tradition.

This means I only have 11 DECKS LEFT!

Update! Only 10 DECKS LEFT!

Update! Only 9 DECKS LEFT!

Update! Only 7 DECKS LEFT!

Update! Only 6 DECKS LEFT!

There are two ways you can get one of these decks: Place an order for $50 or more, write “FREE PK DECK” in the comments box during checkout, and I will give you one FREE! Or click the link below to buy one of my PK decks for $39.95, plus shipping.

Limit one deck per customer, please.

This deck does not come with instructions. It is a professional prop meant for magicians who are already well-versed in PK magic. If you are new to PK magic, there are a variety of items at The Depot to help you get started.

U.S. magicians click here:
International magicians click here:

 

Dollar Shotpossible (Full Trick)

When you are out with friends or family at dinner, the environment of the table is ideal for Dollar Shotpossible—a direct trick, easy to do with interaction from your spectators. Perform it for those you know during the intimacy of a meal, or for an audience of strangers as part of your parlor show.

The Effect

IMG_0344Have a dollar bill signed or in some way marked or noted. Fold it into fourths and set it in the center of the table under an inverted clear glass—no way out for the dollar. A rocks glass is ideal due to its size and shape. Cover the glass with a napkin and have someone on the other side of the table cup the glass with both hands, keeping it securely on the table.

Move some of the items from around the glass out of the way—other glasses, plates, etc—giving yourself some room to work. Make it clear that the spectator is charged with making sure the dollar does not escape. In contrast, you are tasked with stealing the dollar from under the glass. The heat is on!

And guess who wins?

The Reveal

I like to perform Dollar Shotpossible after the check has arrived, so that I can point to the little black tray or portfolio that so often holds the check: inside, is the spectator’s signed dollar! Having escaped the glass despite the spectator’s steady assurance to the contrary.

After the reveal, the spectator guards an empty glass, yet they hold it so tightly and with such conviction you must verbally request they let go and remove the napkin; a second reveal as it were. But of course, the glass is empty. You can reveal the empty glass before or after the dollar, I like showing the glass empty afterwards, as it is the perfect punctuation to the trick.

The Method

We might imagine that a trick so simple must be incredibly difficult. But the method, like the performance, is easy to do.

Remember, the glass does not move during the trick. Shotpossible is not a Cups and Balls technique. This trick loses some of its perceived impossibility if the glass is scooted forward as there is not additional routine to mask the action—the magician could simply tilt the glass and steal the dollar during the move, which is easy for the audience to recall in a single phase routine. Instead, begin with the dollar in the center of the table and set the glass straight down on top of it.

When you fold the dollar slip a shim inside or keep it folded tight with a paperclip (sometimes available with the check). Set the bill on the table and bring your right knee up under the table, wearing the Shimpossible PK Power Strip.

Set the inverted glass over the dollar and cover the glass with an opaque napkin (either cloth or paper work just fine). Demonstrate how you want the spectator to hold the glass, cupped between both hands, and in the process, secretly steal the dollar from under the glass.

The Steal

While demonstrating how you want the spectator to secure the glass, secretly lift the glass with your left hand. Your left arm appears to be lying on the table, but is actually only touching the table at the elbow—your arm being angled upright about an inch to the glass.

Resist the urge to tilt the glass. Hold it level, as if it were sitting on the table.

Your right knee sweeps at an angle following the angle of your left arm, removing the dollar from the glass and depositing it under your forearm.

End Game

Slowly and quietly, lower the glass back to the table as the spectator cups their hands around it. Your left arm moves backwards with the dollar. You can either drop it in your lap, or as you start to move the glasses and plates out of your way, palm off the dollar and pick up the check tray, leaving the dollar on top as you set it aside. Move a number of objects before and after, disassociating the contact.

Alternatively, you can slide the dollar under another glass, slip it into a friend’s pocket, or reveal it in your own wallet via Card in Wallet. Substitute a dollar for a signed sugar packet, a paper napkin, a spectator’s ferromagnetic ring, or even a folded playing card, though the latter seems to ruin the spontaneity. You can also use the check itself, which provides a good reason for it to appear back in the tray or portfolio. If the check is stapled, you already have your shim.

The smaller the shim, the more powerful your power source needs to be. The Shimpossible PK Power Pack, featuring the PK Power Strip, is perfect for Dollar Shotpossible.

Stage Flying, PK Magic, and Viral Coin Video

IMG_2101

Grid loft above the Coleman Theatre stage. Much of this was installed in the 1920’s, including the 2×4 slats where I was standing over fifty-feet in the air. The Coleman is on the National Register of Historical Places.

Last month, I completed the design and overhead install of a fly rig at the Coleman Theatre for a large MLT production of The Wizard of Oz.

The fly was a single point pendulum line set. I used CMI for the pulleys and continuous slings at a 15:1 safety factor and 4:1 mechanical advantage, 500 feet of KMIII half-inch black static line, 3/8 inch wire rope slings at the rigging plate, locking steel carabiners and Crosby three-ton shackles for the connections. Each component proof tested at the factory.

It took four techs to operate the lines, one lift line and two traverse lines.

It was an intense six weeks. Crawling around on the grid seventy feet above the stage like Spider-Man before every performance, numerous municipal board meetings for contract negotiations, and the mental exhaustion of strict cues on a three-hour show with over one-hundred actors and crew over the course of four-nights—a total of twenty stage flights plus two weeks of rehearsals.

Add to that pyrotechnics and smoke effects. I definitely have a feeling of accomplishment, but I also have bruises, blisters, and torn ligaments in my fingers. Now that the nightmares have stopped, I can’t wait to do it again!

But first, Halloween. As the manufacturer of the STAT brand of products—one of the most popular lines this time of year—my focus is in the workshop. I get there early in the morning and stay until late at night. We ship gallons upon gallons of stage blood every October. Our FedEx driver finally asked, “What’s with all these First-Aid kits?”

Commando Trick: What’s in Your Wallet?

Jeff McBride famously promotes the benefits of a “commando act.” An act you can perform in any venue, for five minutes or an hour, silent or patter, for any demographic. Jeff’s commando act made him a star. But what about a “commando trick?” A trick you can easily keep with you and perform for anyone, at any time—individuals, groups, children and adults. For this I keep a Folding Coin or a Bite Coin in my wallet. They are cheap, don’t take up much space, and I always have something ready to go; an amazing closer to some impromptu magic.

How to Make the PK Match

IMG_2113My inbox was flooded with questions about the matchstick pic on Instagram. What you are really seeing in the picture is a cut, squared toothpick with a dab of PK Putty Magnum on the end. It isn’t stuck to my finger, but rather moving back and forth under the control of a PK Power Strip, part of the Shimpossible PK Power Pack (you can also set it on the spectator’s finger or palm). PK Putty is an easy way to shim objects on the fly. If you want a PK Matchstick, cut the end off a regular match and mold a new head with some Magnum. A complete box of these “matches” creates a whole new PK prop. You can make the matchbox stand on end, twist around, or even come to your hand.

The PK Palm Beetle Revealed!

IMG_2118Speaking of the Shimpossible PK Power Pack, another question I get all the time is if magicians can use the PK Palm Beetle to replace their PK Ring. Yes and no. The Beetle is worn like a PK Ring, but there are some differences. Instead of being disguised as a ring, it is rubber coated and includes flesh strips for camouflage. The Beetle is dense, very strong, and easily loaded and ditched during performance. I thought the best way to help you visualize its uses is to simply post a picture of it. Currently, it is only available with the Shimpossible PK Power Pack.

 

Young Mueller Performs Viral Coin Magic

This video of Moritz Mueller is going viral right now and I think you can see why: the young man is extremely talented. Even the mainstream media has recognized his gift. Important for beginners to note is his confidence and sincerity. This kid is going places.

Will this liquid revolutionize your closeup magic?

black_liquidThis innovative liquid transforms one of magic’s most popular tools into an even more versatile method.

When the liquid is applied and allowed to dry, it removes the gimmick’s telltale shine and replaces it with a light-absorbing, flat-black invisibility. And unlike other methods for “cloaking,” this liquid works its magic with only a slight reduction to the gimmick’s strength.

Visibility is one of the two major reasons cited by magicians for not using this gimmick as part of their regular closeup repertoire.

The second reason is frustration.

But today, both problems are easily solved.

The black liquid in the picture—formula SR9—is a very special mixture of synthetic and natural ingredients compounded together for the exclusive purpose of removing shine and providing camouflage for polyurethane-polyurea copolymers and aliphatic polyamides: Invisible Elastic Thread and Nylon/Kevlar Invisible Threads.

For years, individual magicians and independent manufacturers have used repurposed dyes and pigments, even black markers, to color their Invisible Thread to reduce visibility under performance conditions.

Since the surface of Invisible Thread is slippery like plastic, the only colorants that will stick contain a solvent, which destroys the thread wall and weakens it dramatically.

With a basic understanding of how these polymers bond together, one will immediately recognize the damage that can be done by removing even a nanoscale layer of the thread wall—a variable of great importance for static fibers, multiplied exponentially for the delicate structure of elastic threads.

Some magicians have given up entirely and have chosen a black Invisible Elastic Thread for closeup applications. But the color is not what the audience glimpses from the corner of their eye. It is the hint of shine reflected from ambient light. Black Invisible Thread is often just as shiny as its white/clear counterpart.

Magicians have balanced a tradeoff: alter the molecular structure of the thread, reducing its strength, or run the risk of flashing under ambient light.

SR9 is phobic to common IT and IET polymers. It wraps around the structure of the thread, concealing it without altering the structure of the thread itself. Does it still reduce strength? Yes, to a small degree. The particles are so fine they can embed in microscopic cracks and imperfections in the thread, adding weight and causing friction. Compared to harsh solvents, however, this reduction in strength is trivial.

SR9 solves the visibility problem, but it still leaves the second issue: Invisible Thread is a huge hassle.

Here is the truth about Invisible Thread…

Almost everything you want to perform with “regular” Invisible Thread—Nylon and Kevlar—can be performed with Invisible Elastic Thread, bypassing much of the frustration.

With Invisible Elastic Thread, 1) there is no stripping of a single thread from a bundle of other strands; 2) its elasticity absorbs minor shock loads that will snap regular IT; 3) it acts as its own reel.

The last example is the “reel” reason you should pay attention.

A thread reel adjusts the length of Invisible Thread during performance.

Anchored Invisible Elastic Thread performs similarly without a reel.

The elasticity of a high-quality Invisible Elastic Thread mimics the performance of a static thread in a thread reel, but with much less bother—providing you have the proper setup.

cylinderTypically, Invisible Elastic Thread is supplied wound on a spool or bobbin. Performing with IET while it is still attached to the spool causes the loose end of the thread to dig in under the rest of the supply. When the thread breaks, the end is lost. The spool is useless.

The secret is to wind about ten feet of the thread onto another cylinder. Unwind the amount you want to use—one foot will get you three-to-five feet depending on the brand—and then slip the thread into a double notch to hold tight the thread not in use at the time. Put the cylinder in your shirt pocket and you are ready to go.

When the working end of the thread is stretched, the burden is at the notches, leaving the balance of the thread untouched. When the thread snaps, the loose end is right there at the notch, ready to be WaxTaqed. You are setup for the next performance.

With this technique, you might get fifty performances out of ten feet of thread, instead of [barely] one performance from a hundred-foot spool. PK magic at your fingertips!

Click HERE to try SR9 Cloaking Fluid in an easy-to-use applicator pen.