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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Wand Opinions (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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William Dee
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Who uses a wand now a days?

Im interested to know if by in large this is a thing of the past; could it be vanishing, maybe its used more now than ever.

Why do use one?

Why don't you use one?

I use one myself as I think it fits me and I don't mean just a character that I play. I think it is an extension of the person I am and is the bridge between me and character I play. I could perform without it and often do but when I am in full performance mode it is part of that.
Leo H
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The wand is quite beneficial for effects like the Cups and Balls and Cylinder & Coins. Certain magic props have gone out of fashion over the last 150 years, but the wand is still with us. A wand gives the hand that is holding out a small object a much more natural appearance and also gives the performer a bit more time to hold out the object. Beyond its utility as an instrument to enhance innocence and naturalness, the wand delineates the moment of magic. The audience should know when the moment of magic happens. For example, at the end of a cups and balls routine, a tap of the wand on each cup signals that the final loads are about to appear. A wave of the wand over your fist signals that the object inside has vanished.
Yellowcustard
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I would say the cups and balls is were you see it most. However the idea mentioned above about it helping with a busy hand is something used a lot but not with a wand. I have used purse frames, ligthers, sharpies and in a Benson bowl routine I use a wooden chop stick.

I think they are still there and they could make a come back. Do some cleaver wand spins and manipulation or put a reel in it like a spider pen hey go and make your millions.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Leo H
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Quote:
On Oct 4, 2015, Yellowcustard wrote:...and in a Benson bowl routine I use a wooden chop stick.


That's a wand too.
bigfoot
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I know that Harry Potter created an overwhelming expectation that all witches and wizards carry one but would that be for magician too?

I think that having a wand is completely beneficial. Just seeing you spin one from across the room tells people what your about to a degree and it also can create interest in you. Let alone when you vanish something making people forget the "it's in the other hand". And the reality is there are so many things that can be wands not just a black stick with white tips.



_
Leo H
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According to Ricky Jay in his C & B routine, Max Malini used a celery stalk as a wand for his impromptu C & B routine. R. Paul Wilson used a Sharpie for one of his Cylinder and Coins routines, and Carl Andrews also used a Sharpie as a wand for his tablehopping C & B routine. Michael Skinner used a butter knife for his C & B routine on the Johnny Carson show. Larry Jennings used a telescoping antenna rod for his Single C & B routine.
Julie
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Carrying a MAGIC Marker makes sense, too.

Julie
plink
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David Williamson calls a wand his motivation stick. Ditch, pick up and cover a dirty hand it has a good use. Don't forget Michael Close's 'OK' to add humor and misdirection.
Dick Oslund
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For years, I've "entered" with a wand in my hand. I don't mention it, but just give it a "casual" flip in the air. before placing it on top of the closed prop case. I'm greeting the audience as I do this.

During the show, overusing the wand to "make the magic happen", could slow down the tempo. Other than a comedy routine (5-6 minutes) which uses the "regular" wand, a brakawa wand, a .22cal shooting wand, and, a brakawa fan, I only use the wand for the 20th Century Silks. --The small boy is given the wand to vanish the silk.

In a cups & balls routine, I can readily appreciate the "need" for a wand.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Leo H
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Quote:
On Oct 5, 2015, Julie wrote:
Carrying a MAGIC Marker makes sense, too.

Julie


Especially when you're having cards signed, but I prefer to use the 7 and 1/4 inch wood and brass Slimline Wands made by Paul Howard for close-up. The audience knows it's a Sharpie and the magician is pretending it's a wand:

http://professional-magic.co.uk/index.ph......t_id=514
Ray Haining
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Nice site. I knew nothing about Paul Howard. Thanks.
Leo H
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You're welcome Ray. I still a have one or two more Paul Howard wands on my bucket list.
malaki
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I never used to use a wand, preferring to wiggle or snap my fingers to make the magic happen. The basic magician's wand never seemed to fit my Medieval persona. Wands at that time didn't seem to have much of a place in magic at that time. The B&W ones looked like (and usually were) plastic, and the nice wooden ones were out of my price range.

Then came Harry Potter. Because I started making wands, I made one for myself and found that I really like using my ornamentally turned purple heart wand! It has become a normal tool in my bag now, and has even enticed me to expand my C&B routine to include the Chop Cup. I now make a wide variety of standard magician's wands as well as the HP styled wands. I now even have a Lichtenburg wood burner that burns lightning-like marks in the wood!

I have often said that the reason I became an artist was because my tastes far exceeded my budget. Now I make what I wish I could afford from others, still trying to keep my prices as low as possible (wands start at $20 + S&H).
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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You ought to throw up some info about the wands malaki
Lawrens Godon
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The wand is a big part of my manipulations.
I couldn't imagine doing my cups & balls routine without it, because I have developped both "misdirectional" and direct effects with it Smile
I possess only one wand since 25 years, a Michael Ammar one. It's a part of me now.
Dick Oslund
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This is an old thread, but I noticed that Malaki and Lawrence have added a few thoughts, so, I'll add a few, myself:

My first wand, at age 13, was home made, from a drumstick which had the "working end" broken off! That wand, got me started, and I used it for a year, before, Gen Grant had a "sale", and I bought one for one dollar! I stopped using it a few months later, when Harry Blackstone, pere, signed it!

When I met Stuart Ross, my first mentor, a year later, he was doing the old standard vanishing wand. He showed me how to make the necessary fekes, and I did. It was a wonderful addition to my simple little show. As I progressed, I stopped using it (about, 1950, I think.) I can't remember why!

A couple years ago, my friend, Tom Ladshaw, wrote a book, and described a session with Billy McComb. They were discussing "tricks seldom seen". Billy said, "Vanishing Wand"! That motivated Tom to rethink the VW. He came up with a funny routine for kids. It involved a newspaper cone, and, lots of schtick! finishing up with wrapping the wand in the traditional fashion, and vanishing it. It's 5 minutes of FUN, and, interaction, with a strong finish, and, all that's needed is a standard vanishing wand, a half sheet of newspaper, and, a bit of imagination (plus a wee bit of talent). I have a "suitcase full" of the necessary fekes! I can't live long enough to use them all! I have suggested the routine to several of the young lads, I'm mentoring. It meets my CRITERIA!

P.S. Abbott's usta make a "Tantalizing Wand". I bought one. It's a funny bit that I use when I need a few extra minutes. It's just a few minutes of visual fun, with a very FUNNY FINISH. It does take at least 5 seconds to reset. I don't see it listed anymore. Maybe, there weren't enough guys interested. (I'm glad! I have a bit that no one is using, as far as I know!)

Neither Tom's Vanishing Wand, nor Abbott's Tantalizing Wand, are for adult groups, or high school groups, but, they sure pack light, and, play big for the young kids. They also meet my criteria!

All kids know that a magician uses a magic wand. Just don't overuse it. Finger snapping and woofle dust are for "little" tricks. I use the wand for "special" tricks. (See my post above)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
55Hudson
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I always carry a wand with me, but don't always use it.

I've had an extra-deep pen pocket installed in all of my vests (I always wear a vest when working) and carry a simple 8 1/2" wand in that pocket. If I need it, it's there. If not, then it doesn't bother me to have it in the pocket.

I do have some nice wands, Levit/Moonlight Magic, but rarely use them for fear of breaking them. I had a woodturner make several simple one-piece wands for me out of a few different types of wood. Found him at a Farmer's Market selling wooden cooking utensils. Provided him with a sample and he was able to quickly, and inexpensively, make several wands for me.

Hudson
KirkG
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I think you and your audiences are missing out if you don't use a wand. Smile

Personally, unless you are finding a coin inside the pen cap, I abhor using a Sharpie or butter knife as a wand. Have some respect for your art. A decorative or fancy chopstick is a fine substitute, but I think it fits best when there is an Oriental or Asian component to the performance.
Dick Oslund
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P.P.S. (!) I almost forgot to mention that I use the wand for the Cords of Phantasia!

My wand is a "central" part of the Cords routine. I only use the Cords when I need to pad out the show. On the road, the assembly bureau would occasionally book an evening program. Usually it was for a family night, and the PTA or school would ask if I could do an hour. (During school hours, 45 minutes was the "standard" time.)

When I occasionally, in the summer, did some "phone promotion" shows, I needed 60 minutes, and the Cords, the Lyle Paper Hat, and, one "big prop",like the Phantom Tube production of a bunch of big silks, were easy to carry!

I already had the wand, and, with 2 extra silks (actually they were "nylon") that matched the "Slydini Silks", I had about 5 extra minutes. I used DANTE'S idea! (The "LAZY MAGICIAN") as, like Dante, I liked the opportunity to sit down and rest my legs!

The routine also needed two little girls, and, audience participation is always appreciated by both parents and kids!

Oh! Dante used his cane, I just used the wand to "mark" the center of the ropes! (and of course, the wand provided the necessary gaff.)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
DaveGripenwaldt
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Yes, wands are anachronistic...and yes, they have a very practical function, which is why all the people mentioned in Leo's post created substitutes so they still have the benefits of using a wand prop. The issue is justification - they obviously felt a classic wand didn't work for them.

For me, the occasional use of a classic wand works because my persona is one of presenting things in more of an historical framework, so now the prop is interesting in itself and fits as you do an effect, "just as it was seen in the drawing rooms of London's nobility". So it becomes part of the theater of the presentation and therefore anachronistic is fine.
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