Horn Tootin' #1

In yesterday’s post, I was saying how spending your time on message boards and facebook groups may make you less likely to get out there and actually perform. I’m not saying that’s true for everyone. I’m just saying for some people it’s likely to scratch that itch.

However, one positive aspect of message boards that you don’t get on this site is feedback from other people who are trying these things out and having success with them. You kind of only hear my experience and then that’s it. And I never go back and say, “No, seriously, you guys need to really go try this [trick or technique],” because that’s just not my personality. And I’m usually onto something new (even if, in my real life, I’m still performing the trick regularly).

But I realize it can be motivating sometimes to hear from other people who have tried something out and had success with it. So I’m starting a new series that I’ll put up every couple of months or so where I post some email feedback I’ve received about certain tricks/techniques.

As you can probably piece together due to the fact that I run the site anonymously, I’m not someone who requires much praise. I’m facetiously calling this series “Horn Tootin’,” but the purpose is not to try and beat into your head how special I am.


I’m posting it because I’m hoping it will cause you to go back to something you overlooked or forgot about and inspire you to get out and perform some more.

I’m not going to dip too far back into the email archives, so don’t feel like your words didn’t resonate with me if I don’t post your email. This is just something I thought about doing in the last few weeks and these are some of the emails that came in during that time….


Yento blew the doors off with my kids and family, and is something they'll be talking about for a long time.  It's also started some threads that will persist when it comes to the weird secret society of magicians that works in the background that will pay off down the line, so that's fun. -- MJ


I recently decided to try "Memphis" from the JAMM 11 with one of my co-workers. [...] Anyway, later that weekend I got a picture of two people holding the same card and the message "IT FREAKIN' WORKED!  CALL ME NOW!".  I texted back how awesome it was that it worked and that I'd call her the next day and get her feedback (I had set up part of the presentation as something really difficult I was trying in an effort to complete a particularly tricky WWS assignment).  Here was her response:

“Sounds good!  I did it with some family friends too and they loved it.  Awesome way to spend time together!” -- JR


“A Very Unusual Camera” from JV1 is an effect I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now. It took me a few read throughs of the effect just to really understand it. Initially it seemed like the most complicated trick I’d ever read, but I finally had the chance to perform it this weekend and the way it came across in performance is actually so simple and powerful. […] One of the people in the group I performed for knew some magic and he was convinced someone else must have been in on it or some app was involved. — P.H.


One more data point for you and your emphasis of presentation over impossibility. I’ve performed Paul Harris’s Perfectionist trick for years. I can say for sure my wife has seen me perform it for other people at least three times in the past. Recently though I performed it with your “gypsy curse” presentation and she has become completely taken with the trick and has asked me to perform it a number of times at different gatherings since. I said to her a few days ago after another performance, “You realize I’ve been doing that trick for years and you saw it multiple times in the past, don’t you?” But she is 100% convinced she hadn’t.

I can’t say I was in agreement with most of the stuff I read on your site initially, but the more things I try out, the more of a convert I’m becoming. —D.A.


[…] For instance I was able to present Yento to my daughter after I got back from a business trip to Japan. I told her I had been going in small shops in Tokyo and found this small shop of mysteries down a narrow alley where they were selling sealed "Secret Boxes". When I mixed it in with the other souvenirs I got for the family it was a big hit. It wasn't me doing a magic trick, it was a piece of magic from a far off place! -- JC


I reconnected with a close friend this weekend, having made the trip out to a small gathering for his birthday. His girlfriend, who in the time I've known them has seen no shortage of my old repertoire, spent most of the first hour asking me to "show everyone a trick." I eventually pulled her aside with the "show you something I'm working on," and went into A Firm Background in Remembering. [From The JAMM #2] This was my first time performing something you've written about, and it sincerely was a unique and remarkable experience. I certainly wasn't prepared for either the magnitude or nature of the reaction she presented at the end. It was wild dude. I was able to offer her something that was inherently so distant from being “here's a trick that you won't be able to figure out,” and it was fantastic. So thank you for that, and looking forward to always having this in my pocket from now on.  — J.K.


Re: TweAK 47

Just read this from 2016. Using a "fake miss" as an equivocal technique is downright brilliant. -NS


My girlfriend, who is well aware of equivoque, was floored by the built-in effect in volume one. [The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style effect demonstrating 3rd Wave Equivoque from The Jerx, Volume One.] — H.K.


I also wanted to share a couple highlights of my year that were based upon discovering your blog this past September. First, was on Halloween with my wife and kids ages 7 and 3. I had just finished tiling a room, so it was empty. I explained that some invisible creature had eaten my sandwich and we should try to communicate with it. So we spent the afternoon devising a summoning circle with chalk, candle, rocks, water, etc. It was a fun family arts and crafts project. We lit the candles, the kids would place things in the circle. and things started happening.  A face up/face down deck reordered itself and separated by colors, showing that this was spirit of order. Blank slips of paper folded up with pencil lead wrote messages in answers to questions (with the spirit making verbal jabs at me personally). It culminated with coins and paper clips wrapped in tissue paper transforming in a flash to medallions to help protect against bad dreams if hung above the bed. Obviously, being kids, the medallions were lost within a week, but they still talk about the "House Spirit" months later.


Yes that is underwear on his head.

The second was a Christmas present for my wife. It used your idea for the Konami Code. I had our two children in different outfits and locations around town, pointing in various directions. I thought my wife would find it cute, but it was actually a very emotional effect. Having so many pictures of people you love doing something special for you is an intense experience, regardless of any magic component. The Konami Code itself allows the magician to take the back seat and not step on the moment, since everything happens in the participant's hands and is derived from their actions. Your performance adds the emotional personal component, the meaningfulness. The reveal photo was one of the three of us, arms outstretched, taken in the same location as she performed the code. So at the reveal we could strike the same pose as the photo. Much better response than the smart watch I also got her. — B.O.