Magician has been set a challenge to perform magic tricks for a blind audience
Anton writes: Hey guys, firstly thanks again for the suggestions and advice you gave me regarding my gig at a Labyrinth/Fantasy themed wedding. My routine involving soap bubbles changing to contact juggling balls leading into an anniversary waltz effect with the King and Queen of Hearts initially revealed in the balls went down a storm and will certainly become a mainstay of my act.
Now, I’ve been presented with a challenge. A friend works for a local blind service veteran care home. The residents are of various ages and degrees of disability. All of them injured on active service in various conflicts from WWII to Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Iraq etc. Few of them are totally blind, but all are seriously visually impaired and some have hearing difficulties too. This doesn’t prevent them from leading active lives (my friend has recently led them in sessions of archery!) and they apparently all have a wicked sense of humour (they are ex service men and women after all).
I think you can probably guess my challenge. I’ve been asked whether I could devise a magical entertainment for them. I’ve given it some thought and have come to realise that 99% of close-up magic relies on the visual. Any ideas or thoughts for magic tricks for the blind and visually impaired would be most appreciated.
That certainly is a challenge! The team at MoM have performed magic for a few blind people if the past. More thought than you think is always necessary.
Magic tricks for the blind can’t have a strong visual aspect, unlike much of the magic that is performed today. Touch is what you have to concentrate on, also sometimes it really helps having someone around who the blind person trusts to verify everything is as it should be and you are just taking advantage.
Two tricks are causing a coin to flip on their hand (well actually in their cupped hands) and invisible touch, the invisible touch involves someone verifying nobody touched them, if the verification spectator is not trusted by the blind audience members then it can feel a little flat. You can use a M5 Kit and a magnetic coin to create the flip, what you could do is use a coin unique. Lay the ‘two’ coins on their hand, have them close it, nesting the coin unique and creating the vanish. Then ask them to cup their hands all around the coin to seal it away from you, make sure their hands are loosely cupped, not tightly. With the M5 you can cause that coin to flip inside their hands, you can wave over the coin to make it vanish at the end, although they will feel like it lifts up into the air really. With the M5 you also get a matchstick you can cause to stand up on their hand, they can lift it up a couple of inches and let it drop and it will land upright on their hand and when you remove the magnetic field it will drop down flat onto their hand.
For Invisible Touches you could check out Invisible Touch by Lior Manor, Touched by Morgan Strebler (This DVD has a LOT of ideas for this routine) or there is a PK Touch routine taught with the tutorial on Inner Circle by Yigal Mesika, this is extremely similar to Lior Manor’s routine.
It is also possible to do mental magic tricks for the blind, you could perform (with a bit of thought) Peter Turner’s Isabella’s Star where you tell the spectator their birthday, they would need to write something so this would maybe only work for the visually impaired as opposed to the 100% blind. You could also check out some of Fraser Parker’s work, something like Rose where you guess ( without a billet) someone’s name that has never been said before or written down anywhere.
It may seem like you are taking advantage, but I honestly reckon if you learned to steal a watch, you could get a great reaction from them if you managed to steal a watch or two, load it into an envelope in your pocket and hand it to them as a present. Here are some links you may find relevant:
I hope this helps Anton, keep us up to date with how it goes!