One Deck of Cards… and A Suitcase Full of Lighting Equipment


Last week I was performing at the EG conference in Monterey, California. I wasn't presenting per se this time, but instead doing something a little unusual. Mike (the organiser) had asked a few magician "friends of EG" to present a series of close-up magic shows in between the main conference sessions.

One of the core concepts behind EG is encouraging people to be vulnerable, try something new, and give a fresh and unusual experience for everyone there. After a lot of thought about that, I decided to do a show consisting of five card tricks.

When it comes to things being new, fresh, and unusual, the phrase "five card tricks" isn't normally the kind of thing that springs to mind. However, my plan for the show was to play off the generic image of a card trick, and go in some unusual directions with it.

For example, take the list of objects that ended up being involved in the show.

The obvious props: one deck of playing cards.

The less obvious props: a hat, a copy of Moonraker by Ian Flemming, a portable speaker system, a laptop, a spotlight (Dedo DLH4 light head), a dimmer power pack, a 110v-to-240v transformer, a long XLR cable, a universal clamp, a lighting stand, a golf club, a violinist, and a cellist.

With the exception of the golf club, violinist, and cellist (all of which were encountered at the conference), I dragged everything with me from Australia. The golf club was provided by Amy from the EG volunteer team, and the violinist and cellist were Charles Yang and Phillip Shepard respectively.

While it was a pain in the ass to carry that much gear between continents for a show that could theoretically have just been done with a deck of cards, the surprised and enthused reactions from so many people in the audience made it more than worth the effort.

I will, however, definitely be looking for a more compact lighting power supply. And maybe a collapsible golf club.




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