My kids are currently obsessed with clicking the reaction emojis during video calls.
So naturally, my thoughts turned to magic, and how to integrate them into a trick.
Here’s a way to adapt a classic mentalism routine to Zoom shows:
Adapt the method of Symbologic, the ESP symbol-matching trick by Hen Fetsch, to the reaction emojis on Zoom/Skype.
If you know Symbologic, you’ll see how easily it can be adapted. Just make a up a set that replaces the pairs of ESP symbols with reaction emojis – laughing, clapping, etc. If you don’t know the trick, it’s well worth getting, as the procedure is cleaner than many of the subsequent ‘improvements’.
During a virtual show, introduce the idea of predicting people’s reactions, then say you’ll use the emoji cards to rule out any suspicions of techno-wizardry.
Given the remote aspect of the performance, you’ll need to handle both sets of cards.
Have your prediction cards face-down on one side, and have their reaction cards face-up on the other.
Each time, you study their face to supposedly guess their upcoming reaction, then lay down a face-down prediction card. Then have them click their chosen emoji, and place their choice face-down on top of your prediction card. Finish the routine as usual.
- Please don’t make the mistake of dismissing this as just a cosmetic change to a standard trick. In the eyes of the audience, it turns the ‘strange symbols’ trick into the ‘Zoom emojis’ trick, making it feel more current.
- For another presentational hook that reframes how the audience remembers a trick, check out David Regal’s admirable (and adorable) ‘The Puppy Trick’ in Approaching Magic.
- Yep, I know the title of this post sounds like a Jumanji spin-off series. And I’m okay with that.