Clown Tutorial – Clown Magic – magic card magic – free magic trick
Welcome back – today, the rubber meets the road, and we introduce a free magic trick that you can introduce into your clowning. As always, you want to adapt these things to fit your character.
A very simple magic card trick is the concept of “free choice”. For example, the clown can pull out a deck of cards, and start dealing the cards into three piles. Now, the clown grandly announces, he will predict the future! He takes his prediction, and seals it in an envelope. Now, you are invited to pick a pile – you have a free choice. Having made your choice, the clown is magnanimous. You can change your choice, or stay with what you’ve chosen. It’s still your choice. The clown takes away the two unchosen piles, and shuffles them back into the deck. If this is a gospel presentation, the clown can talk about how God chose us before the foundation of the world, even though it doesn’t always seem that way. The clown opens his prediction to read that you would choose the 3 pile – he’s right!
How does this work? Quite easily. Unlike with God, this “free choice” isn’t truly free. The three piles of cards contain, respectively, 1) any three cards 2) the four cards containing the number 3 (3 of clubs, 3 of hearts, 3 of spades, 3 of diamonds), and of course 3) the third pile. Whatever choice the person makes, fits the answer.
Now, as described, this could work as a serious magic trick, or as comedy magic. How can we make it clownish? Probably in your reaction to your prediction actually being correct. “It worked? It worked! (happy dance) I can’t believe it worked! It really worked! (resuming your demeanor) I mean, of course it worked! I’m the world’s greatest clown magician, after all! (moving on…)”
Or, your prediction could be totally incorrect “My prediction is: a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and a dozen eggs!” (reaction, etc.) “Whoops, wrong side!” and flip it over to reveal the correct prediction. You can milk this idea as much as you wish, with each succeeding wrong prediction being more outrageous, and in a stranger place (inside your shoe, etc.) finally revealing the correct prediction. Possibly pinned to your back, and revealed to the audience when you turn around – and “playing” with the audience when they see the prediction, and you (of course) don’t.
Next time, we’ll see some more magic tricks, talk about some of the “don’ts”, and see how to integrate that into your clowning. See you then!
Bibliography for clown magic
- Clown Magic, by David Ginn
- Creative Clowning by Bruce Fife, Tony Blanco, Steve Kissell, Bruce Johnson, Ralph Dewey, Hal Diamond, Jack Wiley, Gene Lee
- How to Be a Compleat Clown by Toby Sanders
- Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson
- Modern Coin Magic by J. B. Bobo
- Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Lessons in Sleight of Hand by Bill Tarr