Author Topic: Christmas Routines On YouTube (Christopher T. Magician Presents!)  (Read 14827 times)


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Hey all.  Christopher T. Magician here.  If you're on the magic cafe, you'll also find this posted there.

Just wanted to let everyone know that Christopher T. Magician Presents! Episode 4 is FINALLY up on YouTube.  This episode features routines and ideas for all those upcoming Christmas shows.  I was hoping to have it out a week ago, but you still have over half a month til December.  So hopefully you’ll get some useful information in time (“hopefully” referring to “useful” as well as “in time”).

Here’s the link...

If for some reason the link isn’t working, search for Christopher T. Magician Presents and click on Episode 4.

To save time and keep distractions to a minimum on the video, I decided to write a lot of my thoughts on the four major routines here instead of in the video.  Keep reading below for the “behind the scenes” of the episode.  Feel free to watch the video first then check back here to get my further thoughts and comments about the episode.

Thanks so much for all the positive feedback on the series so far.  The fact that you guys are excited for new episodes definitely keeps me motivated.   I hope this episode holds up to what you’ve seen so far.  I’ve had a lot of fun putting this one together, so at the very least I think you’ll be entertained.

And now for thoughts on the episode:


Routine 1 - “The Forgotten Tale Of Randall T. Elf”
This routine was inspired by Rich Marotta’s “Mugged” routine (which itself was based on previous routines with the same theme).  The basic plot is that a robber steals the magician’s ring, watch, and cash, but a moment later the stolen items vanish from the robber’s bag and appear back on the magician’s finger, around his wrist, and inside his wallet.  If you own any version of that effect, you can easily adapt it to a Christmas theme by claiming you were in the Whoville the very night that the Grinch was stealing Christmas.  He found you on the street and stole your items, but little did he know that you are a magician...  And the story goes from there.

Randall T. Elf is what I call a Basement Box Routine, which means you don’t have to use the effects I use here.  Instead, check those boxes cluttering up your basement, attic, etc and find effects you already own that work with the routine.  You can even change some lines of the script to coincide with the tricks you have (If you’re stuck with a rhyme or two, feel free to email me, and I’ll help where I can).

If you absolutely HAVE to go out and buy these specific props, here’s what you’ll be looking for.  A Crystal Silk Cylinder, Drawer Box, Devil’s Handkerchief (Hank), Growing Sponge Ball.  The paper restoration uses Jay Sankey’s “Paperclipped” which is what I consider a must-own effect.  It is a bit of knowledge you’ll find a ton of uses for.  I came up with the idea of using it for the restoration here, and this is just one example of how versatile the effect is.  I found the three “presents” in the dollar section at Target.  And the ribbon bows were just hot glued onto a long strip of ribbon.

For filming purposes, I shot the whole video while standing behind a table to get everything in one continuous shot.  You by no means should feel stuck behind a table.  Move around, act out the story, and have fun.  You can even get four children up to hold the props/tricks while you tell the story.  One holds the ribbon trick, one holds the torn paper pieces, one holds the devil’s hank, and one holds the drawer box.  This will either involve great assistant control (maybe have them hold the props on top of their heads to prevent them peaking in and seeing any secrets) or possibly replacing certain effects that are more child assistant friendly (e.g. a dove pan instead of a crystal silk cylinder).

Routine 2 - “A Christmas Card Story”
There’s nothing new to this type of routine.  If you YouTube “storytelling decks” or “story with deck of cards” etc. you’ll find plenty of videos with this basic concept.  The only thing new here is that I wrote my own story with a Christmas/Santa theme.  Though this video version is done close-up on a table, the trick can easily be done in a “stage” setting.  Here is a link to a bonus video (a dvd extra, if you will) that shows me doing it “upright” for an “audience.”

This normal-sized version can be done for Christmas shows that take place in living rooms or small parties, but a jumbo deck of cards can be substituted for larger audiences.  The act of cutting the jumbo cards multiple times is an easy matter and enough to convince an audience that the deck is thoroughly shuffled.  Email me for information on methods if you have any questions.

Routine 3 - “Milk & Cookies”
I’ll be honest, there’s a good chance you won’t be using this in your shows.  I’m hoping the little bit of magic at least sparks your creativity (and maybe gives you new ideas on how to use that old magic funnel).  But keep in mind, this routine can be reworked and made a little simpler and less sleight-of-hand-y with a devil’s handkerchief or other utility props (it’s not that I’m a sleight of hand pro; i just had the advantage of a camera and delete button).  The major inspiration for you to take here is that this routine is based on the classic “Orange, Lemon, Egg, Canary” routine (YouTube it if you don’t know it).  Take classic routines that have stood the test of time and rethink them.  “Why an orange, lemon, and egg?  Why not a...?”  The same idea applies to “A Christmas Card Story,” the Mistletoe Change Bag idea (which is a take-off of the classic Measle Bag, Spot Can, Spotty Bag, etc. routines), and the Comedy Snow on Head idea (based on the Comedy Egg Can Trick). 

Routine 4 - “Real Christmas Magic”
This is a simple routine for the classic snowstorm effect.  I tried to write the script and time it to Danny Elfman’s music for Edward Scissorhands.  The track I use is “Main Titles/Ice Dance.”  Whether or not you use this routine, I do highly encourage at some point in your holiday show to give your audience an “ahh” moment.  Give em a nice goose-bumpy, heart-stringy-pully, tear-jerky moment, and your show will not only LOOK Christmas-y (with all your red/green silks, props with pictures of Santa and Rudolf, etc), but it will feel Christmas-y too.  Then you’re golden.

Free Gift -
Though I don’t mention this in the video, if anyone emails me requesting the Christmas Light video, I would really appreciate it if you’d leave a quick sentence with an idea for a future episode.  Whether it’s a theme show, a specific holiday show, a question.  Anything.  I’m not asking you to ask me because I’m an expert.  I’m asking because I only have so many ideas for episodes, and I need some help.  :)  It’s not a requirement to get the gift, but it would be lovely.

Last but not least, I made the mistake of proofreading my video after my sluggish computer finally exported it, so I caught too late that at the end of the episode, you’ll see a website -  There’s no such thing.  Thank you and goodnight.


That’s all the commentary.  I hope you guys enjoy and find some useful information.  And like it says in the video, if you have any questions on methods or anything at all, PM me here or email me at

Merry Christmas!

Christopher T. Magician

Professor QB

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Re: Christmas Routines On YouTube (Christopher T. Magician Presents!)
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 07:57:25 PM »

You continue to do such great work.

I love how you have it so that you don't give any secrets away but still make it so anyone can learn.

I've added this to the big list that is sticky at the top of this section.

Thank you again.

Professor QB

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Re: Christmas Routines On YouTube (Christopher T. Magician Presents!)
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 01:24:14 PM »
I'll go out on a limb here and say that this series is one of the best things going. Here are ten reasons I say this.

1) It is helpful.

2) It is accessible to the public and yet does not give away even ONE secret. (I'm impressed with that).

3) I've said before, it goes above and beyond the call of duty to respect the originator of ideas and help others find the original source material.

4) They have been timely. Often someone does one good thing like this and you never see or hear from them again. These are consistent and are getting even better with each video.

5) They not only teach good stuff to do, they spark ideas for performers to use what they already have or take an idea and make it their own. It's not just, "Here's exactly what to do. Copy my every word and gesture."

6) The production quality is outstanding. This is not just a talking head in front of a wall or a video of a show that is hard to see and hear. They have a fun live quality without the downside like bad lighting or audience comments that the microphone can't quite pick up.

7) They are fun to watch. Not only is the production quality good but it is fun to watch. The characters and scripts give this a feel of a whole group teaching. :)

8 ) If a person wants to find out more or does not understand a routine they can ask questions via email. This keeps it helpful but also weeds out those just searching for "Magic Exposed" type videos on YouTube.

9) Christopher T. Magician "The T stands for Taco" comes across as a genuinely nice guy who is humble and willing to listen to and take suggestions.


10) All of this is FREE!!!!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 04:01:22 PM by Professor QB »