Author Topic: Axtell Magic Drawing Board  (Read 14563 times)

Professor QB

  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • Professor QB
Axtell Magic Drawing Board
« on: November 06, 2012, 03:30:48 PM »

The Axtell magic drawing board is one of the strongest effects you can put in your show. It ALWAYS plays well.

I've noticed that some people are a little hesitant to use it because they don't want to worry about the audio track and they can't do ventriloquism.

You can get a lot of play from the Axtell drawing board without the audio track and without vent.


Do a lot (A LOT) of look don't see when the board's eyes are moving. This builds the anticipation and is where the magic happens. I find the talking at the end is just a kicker. It gets screams of surprise and delight but the longer it goes the less impressed people seem to be.

I start talking to the kids and get at least one kid to talk to me. I focus like a laser on the kid speaking and so does 90% of the audience. While they are speaking I move the eyes 1/8 of an inch. Just enough so someone gives it a second glance. They immediately start telling those sitting by them to watch the eyes.

I keep the eyes still while I ask another question and get a child to answer and then focus on the child. I let them talk 15-30 seconds before I do anything so that most of the attention is on them. Then, I again move the eyes about 1/8 of an inch (as slight a movement as I can).

At this point someone usually yells about the eyes moving.

I say, well yes, I'm moving the board around while I talk. The eyes and the whole board is moving. But if it is distracting you I will be very still. Then I ask another question. While the audience member is answering about 90% of the group is focused on the eyes. I move it as tiny as I can. Then EVERYONE is screaming that the eyes are moving.

Then it becomes "look don't see" it moves a lot when I am talking to the audience and then is still when I'm looking at it.

Like all tricks along these lines the kids get so animated.

I play that game nice and slow until I think anticipation is at a high.

Then I look at the board when the eyes are moving.

I ask the kids, "Why didn't you tell me the eyes were moving?"

They go crazy.

Then, and this is important, I speak directly to the picture on the board but I say this very quietly, "Hey, your eyes can move."

Of course most kids don't even hear it because they are going crazy. I say it again softly, "Hey, your eyes can move."

Keep saying it softly until the room gets quiet to hear you.


Say this as many times as necessary to get the room quiet and to build a strong sense of anticipation.

Then do the following short vent routine. You can say the following without moving your lips (even if you are not a vent). Do it in a high nasally voice and they will think you are a pro.


NOTE: Try the following while looking into a mirror. You'll be amazed at what a pro you seem. All of the board's words are words that ANYONE can say without moving their lips. Make as much contrast as possible between your voice and the voice you use for the board. Silly, high-pitched nasally voices are the best to get a good reaction.

After you see the eyes move, you talk directly to the board.

You: Hey, your eyes can move!

Board: Uh course they can. (There are no "labials" which are just sounds that have to be formed with the lips. Be sure to say "Uh course" instead of "Of course" will sound the same and you can do it with still lips).

The audience will scream in shock, delight, and surprise. Wait until they get quiet again.

You: Well, we've go a lot of magic to do. Do you mind if I erase you?

Board: No, I don't care.

You: Boys and girls, say goodbye to our friend here.

(Audience response)

Board: See you later.


That's it! The real interaction comes with you moving the eyes. The mouth moving is just the big finish. I feel that a long routine after that is just anticlimactic and waters down the effect.


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • The Magic Experience
Re: Axtell Magic Drawing Board
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 12:24:41 PM »
That is a cool routine you have here.  I may try it.  I have the effect, but have never found the right way to use it.  One thought I had was to offer the audience if they want my friend to sing a song.  when they say yes, dub in a few lines of a song they all know and don't like.  Justin Beiber for example.  I will see how I can go with this one.  Thanks for the tip.

Professor QB

  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • Professor QB
Re: Axtell Magic Drawing Board
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 04:40:30 PM »
Yep, any fun "bits of
...dub in a few lines of a song they all know and don't like...

That's really a good idea. Any "bits of business" here adds to the fun. Kids really like to react.

I do more full on vent. I tell the kids I can draw anyone. They tell me a celebrity's name and I just draw a simple goofy picture that doesn't look ANYTHING like the celebrity. They react and it's one more fun laugh.