Rapid City, SD
Posted: Sep 4, 2003 2:58am
I saw you at the Castle some time ago and then we met at Magic in the Rockies in 2001 and we've talked several times. You’ve influenced me through your lecture, your advice, and your postings here on the Café as well as through the routines you’ve released. I have your Street Magic and Chicago Surprise booklets, the Mongolian Pop-Knot video and the wonderful Teleportation Device (TPD). They are all wonderful! It’s somewhat surprising that you would release so much of your “A” material. Thank you for sharing.
The TPD is such a complete and polished routine that I’d like to know about its evolution. Knowing about the steps it took to get the routine to its current level would help me, and maybe others, in polishing routines that are a work in progress. The easy answer could be – “Perform it 1,000 times and it’ll smooth out.” But I know you must have made a logical progression towards the perfection of this routine. Would you care to share some advice on how to evaluate, critique and polish such a routine?
P.S. – I mentioned to you that at my first public performance of the TPD, the gentleman that signed and verified the bill, approached me immediately after the show and said, “I’ll pay to see that again!” He gave me his date and I was brazen enough to quote him nearly double my normal rate and he booked me on the spot. I can’t give a higher recommendation than that!
Be Amazed! + Enjoy The Magic!
Posted: Sep 4, 2003 10:05pm
The evolution of the routine was interesting. I am not an extremely creative person, and most of my work has been a matter of taking classic magic and simply re-working it to suit my needs, tastes, and philosophy of magic. Basically it was a matter of problem-solving.
I was looking for something to add to my comedy club act, and found a trick in Wifred Johnson's Magic Tricks and Card Tricks. It was a bill in egg routine. It captured my fancy because of a comedy bit in the routine, one that never made it into my version, but that I liked a lot.
In the book's routine, the magician borrowed a bill, had it signed and folded it into a piece of paper napkin. It vanished in a flash of flame. He then asked, "Does anyone in the audience happen to have an egg with them?" A stooge in the audience raised his hand, and then brought an egg out of his side coat pocket.
The magician thanks him and takes the egg and beats the end with a spoon. He then reaches in with his thumb to suddenly realize the egg is raw. He then takes some tweezers and pulls out the signed bill.
I loved the part about the borrowed egg, but I wasn't happy with the vanish. I wanted the hands to both be shown empty more clearly after the bill was wrapped, and before it went up in flames.
I thought about maybe balling the paper up and fastening it on a spindle of some sort--like they used to slide receipts on, so both hands could come away clean. An alligater clip turned out to be more practical than just trying to spike the paper on a spindle.
Then it seemed it would be more magical for the whole thing to go up in flames by itself without a match or lighter. I thought about putting some batteries in the wooden base of the spindle, and bit of resister wire, like a heating element in the aligator clip. The base would have to be bigger than I liked.
I thought why not make the bigger base into some kind of machine? A Teleportation Device! That's when the whole thing came together for me.
My four year old daughter was running around with a ray gun that made lots of different electronic sounds and flashing lights. I managed to trade her out for it, she was a tough negotiator, and then took it apart. I put the bread board and lights and speaker into an experimenter box, and then added a phono clip for the aerial.
I soldered an alligator clip to the other end of the brass tube I used for an aerial, and voila! A teleportation device with flashing lights and various electronic sound effects. Lights, noise, fire, lemon juice, raw egg--perfect!
I've always felt that the only thing that plays as big on stage as an animal was fire and liquid. This had that plus electric lights and sound effects.
I had always liked the bill in lemon, and it just seemed that a scientific experiment would just be better if it were repeated.
So I decided to do the bill in lemon and then the bill in the egg--if it's really science, and not some cheap magic trick, like say cold fusion, the experiment should be repeatable...
By using two different methods, I could further confuse the audience. At the end, the bill was signed, had a quarter with the serial number torn off, was singed around the edges, and covered with lemon juice and egg!
So everything just flowed from trying to solve the problems and make the trick fit my idea of a perfect routine. I wanted the audience to have a choice of two lemons (equivoque), and a free choice of any one of a dozen eggs so that there really would be a free choice the second time, so I had to finally drop the comedy bit about the spectator having an egg in his pocket.
But that is the way things evolve.
Pop Haydn's 21at Century Website
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Sphere of Destiny
Los Angeles magician
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