Like the rest of you, whenever I am traveling, I am always looking for things that would benefit my shows, or my business as a bookseller. I'd like to share a few things I've found.
First, David Jonathan did a great online "class," Mental Mysteries with David Jonathan, released through Alakazam.co.uk. In it, he teaches many do-it-yourself mentalism routines.
He also showed Blank Flash Cards, cards that you can use to create our own routines with. I have some on my site, and therefore played around with them.
They are Parlour size, bigger than standard poker-sized playing cards. They have BLACK backs and WHITE faces, but I realized that if you want to draw with a gold or silver paint marker, you can use the black as the face, and the white as the back. They look great, and regular blank faced Bicycle decks cost $15.00, but these are as nice, and BIGGER, for the same price.
Another new thing that was created by lybrary.com's Chris Wasshuber is the Card Illustrator. It allows you to create a spread, or fan, of playing cards (including ESP symbols), to use as an illustration for your magic lecture notes, books, or online instructions.
To utilize it, go into your Lybrary.com account, and click on TOOLS, then CARD ILLUSTRATOR. You can use plain card faces, Bicycle backs (red or blue), Bee backs, ESP cards, and even blank cards.
Here are a few I created, all within a minute's time:
Third is another useful item that I've used over the years: Post-It Note Tabs. They stick well, but are also easily removed when you want to. You can move them around, and even write notes on them.
For a while, I color-coded mine for ROUTINES, SLEIGHTS or IDEAS. I then realized that it wasn't necessary. Of course, you can also use full size Post-It Notes if you want to make longer notations.
Finally, something I've done for the last 8 or 9 years is get two versions of my business cards printed.
The first version is the full business card, one that I would hand to someone if
they requested one (the phone number on these is NOT current).
Then I also had a large batch printed without me on the unicycle. I then have groups of 6 or 7 cards secretly marked and rubber banded together in my close-up case.
Whenever there was a group of at least 6 or 7 people, I would perform Larry Becker's Sneak Thief routine, and end up with each participant taking my business card home with them. If I was performing at a fair or festival, I would have participants write down a music star, or their favorite music group that they would wish to see at their fair. It was a great way to do a 7-10 minute mind reading demonstration, and give out your business cards at the same time.
Now I realize that none of these are groundbreaking ideas, but they are things that make being an entertainer so much more interesting.
I'd love to hear of tips & tricks you've used over your performing career. Some entertainers have even written books filled with those tips and ideas.
Well, until we meet again, stay warm, stay safe, and keep reading your books!