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Topic: Endless chain
Message: Posted by: Airborne Ranger (Aug 9, 2005 10:28PM)
Maybe not the right place for this but I'll try. I am thinking about buying an endless chain routine. Outside of the SFS chain, are there any other good ones on the market? I've been looking for one on eBay but can't seem to find what I'm looking for?

I like the SFS chain but would love to compare it to a few others.
Message: Posted by: Paul D (Aug 10, 2005 06:58AM)
Have you seen the routine performed by Johnny Thompson on his Commercial Classics videos? I think but Im not sure that David Roth also has a routine to it aswell.
Happy Hunting,
Pauly Prestige
Message: Posted by: Airborne Ranger (Aug 10, 2005 09:19AM)
Yes, I have the JT DVDs and his routine is great! I'm looking for a chain though.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 10, 2005 10:08AM)
Check out Marc DeSouza Chain Gang at Camirand Academie of Magie. They had a decent chain, also.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 10, 2005 10:29AM)
SfS had some compelling arguments for their particular chain style, so no matter which way you go you should at least stay with the French Rope style. Aside from magic shop offerings, some malls have kiosk stores called something like "The Chainery" where you can buy chain by the foot. I doubt that they'll be able to do what SfS did and weave the ends together. You'll probably have to settle for some sort of jump ring or clasp.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 10, 2005 10:52AM)
That is true Dave. I have used mine for so long I don't think I remember which was Marc's and which was S4S.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 10, 2005 11:10AM)
I have the DeSouza Chain and video. I also have the SFS DVD.
My chain seems fine. It's long. Which is good in case you venture
into other displays. the chain gang video has some neat history in the presentations and a variety of displays.

But only the SFS DVD will bring the con to life for you.
The SFS DVD is absolutely the best of the two.

My concern was always that if the spectators think they cannont win,
they will become immediately disinterested. The SFS DVD gives the
feeling that it is really a 50/50 proposition every time.

If the spectators are not convinced that it is truly 50/50, the trick
is NO GOOD. A waste!

It is NOT like the shell game where they try to catch you doing something.
It's the opposite.

For this effect, I say....
SFS. SFS. SFS.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 10, 2005 01:32PM)
The S4S chain is steel French Rope chain that has been very heavily gold-plated. You can buy chain by the inch as someone suggested above, and have a jeweler connect the ends for you for five or ten dollars. Chain similar to the School for Scoundrels chain should go for between $1.50 and $2.50 an inch. You will need 60 inches or 84 inches for the De Sousa length chain.

It will not have as thick a gold plating, but that is good because otherwise you could not have the ends woven without cracking the gold. Our chain is plated after the chains are formed into loops, which enables us to put on such a heavy coating.

You will need five feet of chain for the standard hour glass figure, and if you want to do the three and four loop figures from Fred Lowe and George Blake that DeSouza teaches, you will need seven feet.

The S4S does not recommend doing those more complicated figures--it waters down the effect in our opinion. If the spectator can't win choosing between two loops, why would he think he would have any better luck with four loops to choose from?

Further, there is no way to prove with two or three loops that one of the loops would actually hold fast, so the audience is likely to be suspicious of the set up.

The "history" of the chain that De Souza teaches is just part of the patter--none of it is meant to be taken as "true." The only historical patterns with "Fast and Loose" that we know of before George Blake's book in the forties is the hour glass pattern of "On the Barrelhead" and the folded and rolled belt of "Pricking the Garter."

DeSouza's chain is brass and very lightweight. It will tarnish very quickly.

The S4S chain is guaranteed for life not to chip or tarnish.

The cheapest way to go and get a good chain is to find the French rope steel chain and have a jeweler connect it into a loop. You can take this to a plating place and have it nickel or gold plated.

Even cheaper, you can use ball chain, such as used for lighting and plumbing fixtures, and have it connected into an endless loop by a jeweler, or using one of the fasteners used to connect or extend that type of chain. This can also be plated if you like.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 10, 2005 02:05PM)
I use a chain I got from the dollar store.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 10, 2005 03:36PM)
I all you want is chain, go to your hardware store. They have a rack of chain. Get the ball chain, for flusing tolets or pulling light switches. This is what was used way back when. They sell connectors also to form a loop.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 10, 2005 06:07PM)
So, unless you're going with ball chain with it's inherent disadvantages, at $1 an inch you're looking at $60 for inferior quality chain. Then add $5 or $10 for attaching the ends, and you've paid twice as much for an inferior product. SfS sells better quality chain at a much lower price.

Hmmmm... What to do...

Whit won't say it, so I will. Go with the SfS chain and you won't be disappointed. And go out to dinner with the money you saved.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 10, 2005 06:20PM)
I am now sure I had Whit and Marc's chains confused I've been using it a long time and don't bother with any other.

Whit it is the French Chain that works so well for the routine I sent you because it looks like jewelry and contrasts so starkly against the damaged wood and pewter crucifix I use with it.

Definitely go with the SFS cjain and you won't be disappointed.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 10, 2005 06:27PM)
Thanks, Dave. There are many different ways of looking at these issues. If I were working the streets, I would probably use our nickle-plated chain. At a trade-show, the our gold chain has certain advantages. Not everyone has the same needs.

The S4S products are really designed to meet the needs of only two performers--me and Chef Anton. We don't sell expensive products because we feel that we will make more money that way. Our products are expensive because they are the best for our work, and we made them first for ourselves.

They meet our needs, and sometimes finding the perfect product is finding one that is more expensive to obtain.

The Colorado Silver Shells are designed for me. They are the ones that I use in my work. Before that, the Golden Shells were designed for me--they are what I used in my work. The Street Shells were something I needed for walk-around magic, to make it easier to carry the shells in my side coat pocket. All of these shells were cast from the original real walnut shell that I puttied and carved as the perfect shell to work with our "Perfect Pea."

All of our products are actually designed for our own work, to create for ourselves the props and gimmicks that we wanted to use--with all the features, advantages, and the quality of appearance and design that we insist on. Chef and I have high standards for this, our work for major corporations demands it.

So, yes, our Gold "Fast and Loose" chain is a good value, and I think it is also the finest available chain for the effect. It is a fairly priced retail product, and you would not easily be able to make anything similar for less unless you are able to purchase in quantity at wholesale.

I can't think of anyway to improve it other than to make it out of solid gold, and that would add a layer of security problems to the use of the chain that would not be worth the advantages to me.

You can get just as much entertainment value out of a piece of ball chain. We would not want to pull out a piece of bathroom hardware at one of the fancy corporate events we want to work for. The ball chain does not lie flat and stay in position well, the French Rope does. We want something that lasts forever, and will continue to look good without much upkeep, and gold does not require polishing like silver (That is why we went with nickle instead of silver for our less expensive chain). Also, the gold is more likely to please and attract the eye, especially of ladies who are often more interested in jewelry than men.

String, rope and the flat chain and the ball chain are less confusing to the eye, and it is easier to follow the lay of the chain with these than with the more confusing to the eye design of the French rope.

All of these as well as some other considerations that we discuss in our book and DVD go into our decisions on how the props should be constructed.

I was shown a beautiful gold-plated chain that was very similar to ours at a magic lecture I was giving. The magician said he was selling them at half the price that our chain was going for. I asked him how he could make a profit on them. He said he didn't, that he just made them for fun and sold them to other magicians for cost. Cutting and linking the chain is a lot of work, though, he agreed. I wished him luck, and secretly, a better business model.

So, we will always go for the best possible prop to work in our usual venues--regardless of cost.

As Gazzo says, "A pro can't afford cheap props."
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 10, 2005 07:09PM)
BTW, my price comments were based on my purchase of the nickle plated chain. Even with your "cheap" chain it's far superior to anything else I could have made up myself.

Admittedly, I was reluctant to pay that much even for the nickle chain sight unseen, but now that I've seen it and used it... WOW!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 10, 2005 09:56PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-10 19:07, Dave VanVranken wrote:
So, unless you're going with ball chain with it's inherent disadvantages, at $1 an inch you're looking at $60 for inferior quality chain. Then add $5 or $10 for attaching the ends, and you've paid twice as much for an inferior product. SfS sells better quality chain at a much lower price.

Hmmmm... What to do...

Whit won't say it, so I will. Go with the SfS chain and you won't be disappointed. And go out to dinner with the money you saved.
[/quote]

My hardware store does not charge a dollar an inch, more like a foot. So for six bucks you have a chain to do the work, I got the connector for free. It all depends on your needs as Whit Haydn says. Most all routines come with a chain. So if you do not have the George Blake book from Mickey Hades then you will need a routine and will get the chain with it.

Doc Wayne put out his 'Chump Chain' don't know if it is still available. Come with audio tape of the routine. I think the language is a bit harsh.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 10, 2005 11:03PM)
Uh, William, he said "UNLESS you are going with ball chain."

That means that the chain he uses costs $1.00 an inch, not the ball chain. At least that's the way I read it.

One of the disadvantages of ball chain is that it is limited to how sharp a bend it can make.

But at least you can use it to flus a tolet.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 11, 2005 06:39AM)
If one wants to go cheap or in a usable form for a medieval act you can use a loop tied from a long suede shoelace. I buy suede lace by the spool and and 60" would cost less than $1.

So $1, $10, or $60 it is all about your goals. Whit and Chef lay out their's very well in their book.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 11, 2005 08:11AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 07:39, Euangelion wrote:
So $1, $10, or $60 it is all about your goals.
[/quote]
Or choice in props. I feel the routine and entertainment value to the audience is much more important than props. The Misers dream can be done with a sand bucket. The shell game with bottle caps.

Find what fits YOU and make it work.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 11, 2005 09:38AM)
Glenn, the props serve the goals not the other way around.
Message: Posted by: willmorton (Aug 11, 2005 12:00PM)
I'm a bit new to this - but is fast and loose the con game where a chain is looped on a table, and the mark puts his finger in one of several loops. When the chain is pulled, if the chain stays around his finger the mark wins.

If Fast and Loose isn't this game, what eactly is fast and loose? Also does anyone know the name of the game I am referring to? thanks!
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 11, 2005 12:07PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 10:38, Euangelion wrote:
Glenn, the props serve the goals not the other way around.
[/quote]
Is your goal nice props? Or to entertain the audience? Nice props are nice props but without the magician and the routine they are just nice props. Nice props need a magician to make them work.

Props are just that - props. The magic is in the magician! And the magic EFFECT is performed by the magician and is an experience that is felt by the audience.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 11, 2005 12:28PM)
No, Glenn, the props are not the goal.

I said the props serve the goals, ones goals, not the props are your goals.

If you are a collector and your goal is to collect nice props fine, then the props and the goal may be synonynous.

If you goal is to present a stylized gambling piece as entertainment a la Whit then your goals are different and your props may be different.

If your goal is performing in a Renaissance setting then you goals may require a different set of props that are authentic to the period.

You must know and understand your goals in a performance before you can even purchase a prop. Knowing the goals helps to determine the prop.

Props are one aspect of means to a goal, as are sleights, patter, dress, etc.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 11, 2005 12:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 13:00, willmorton wrote:
I'm a bit new to this - but is fast and loose the con game where a chain is looped on a table, and the mark puts his finger in one of several loops. When the chain is pulled, if the chain stays around his finger the mark wins.

If Fast and Loose isn't this game, what eactly is fast and loose? Also does anyone know the name of the game I am referring to? thanks!
[/quote]

That's the one! It's been played under various names. Endless Chain, On the Barrelhead, Pricking the Garter, are all variations of the same type of game.
Message: Posted by: willmorton (Aug 11, 2005 12:57PM)
Thanks Dave :)
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 11, 2005 01:02PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 09:11, bishthemagish wrote:
..The Misers dream can be done with a sand bucket. The shell game with bottle caps.
[/quote]

Sorry, but if I were playing the Magic Castle (not likely in my lifetime, but I can dream) I can't imagine coming out with a sand bucket. Just like the saying "The clothes make the man," to me the same applies to my "tools." They are part of the entire "show" and unless I'm doing some sort of "character act" where it would be appropriate to use cheap plastic props, if I dress more upscale (see my avatar) I'm expected to maintain that "look" by using props that match.

So far, my inventory includes (not performed all at once) Dice stacking (leather dice cup), McAbee Rings (Riser rings, not the plated ones), Fast and Loose (Haydn's nickle chain, matches the rings), Shell game (La Maggiore), Cups and Balls (Super Animal cups, handmade leather balls).

My "costume" is just as important. Well polished shoes, dress slacks, neatly pressed shirt, silver vest and topped off with a high quality Bowler. I don't intend to hustle tips in this outfit, and my persona tells them I'm not hurting for money. I'm just out there because I enjoy being out there.

If I were to do this for a living, I'd go for something other than street money, aiming for paid corporate shows instead. (No disrespect to street performers, after all I'm learning more from them than anyone else)
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 11, 2005 01:24PM)
The props are very important in establishing the performer, as is dress.

One of the greatest magicians that I ever knew was Al Goshman. He could fry an audience with his brilliant act. But he was a terribly sloppy dresser, with grease stained tie, dirty shirt, and rumpled suit. When in a tux, it was always several seasons old, with dirty shirt cuffs, etc. He had plenty of money, but was very frugal, and just indifferent to his appearance--like one of the chess masters that used to hang out at the chess shop and play you for 50 cents a game.

It didn't hurt people's appreciation of his magic, he was always a hit. But it did interfere with his career. He lost a lot of jobs simply because he was not willing to make the effort to dress nicely for corporate gigs.

Glenn has said many places on the board that it is not the props, but the performer. He is right of course--in some ways--but then again, you want to have an appearance that tells the audience you are worth the money they are paying you, and that you will make them look good for having hired you. If you come dressed shabbily, and then pull out cheap plastic shells that look like children's toys, or scraggly silk scarves and a beat up old deck of cards, people will not view you with the esteem and respect that you would want.

Even as a street performer, I always wanted to look sharp, and not like a beggar.

I think the love and care that you put into the acquisition and making of your props shows through to the audience. They can sense when you care deeply about your craft, and when you have put love and thought into every detail of your performance.

So, the quality of the props isn't everything, but that doesn't make it unimportant. Everything that contributes to the success and booking of your act is important--the shined shoes are as important in some ways as the perfectly practiced double-lift. So the entertainment value is primary, but then that itself is made up of a number of important little details.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 11, 2005 02:03PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 14:02, Dave VanVranken wrote:
Sorry, but if I were playing the Magic Castle (not likely in my lifetime, but I can dream) I can't imagine coming out with a sand bucket.
[/quote]
My father the late Billy Bishop USED a sand bucket with the misers dream all his life. Including performing on the stage of the Palace theater and Billy Roses Diamond horseshoe - to many appearances on television.

There is an old thought in magic that when a magician uses dressed up props that it makes the effects look more like a magic trick.

The canvas covered box my father used looked like an old beat up wood box. A lot different than the slick sub trunks of today. Yet he performed this effect on some of the finest stages that existed in his day.

Getting there was because of his ability to entertain an audience. Not in the choice of props. Entertainment is what is sold to the client and that is the market that makes money. Clients that book magicians because of the props they own often are disappointed.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 11, 2005 02:15PM)
Glenn,
I didn't expect to change your mind, just offering another point of view.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 11, 2005 02:18PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 15:03, bishthemagish wrote:

Entertainment is what is sold to the client and that is the market that makes money. Clients that book magicians because of the props they own often are disappointed.

[/quote]

That may be true. But you don't often get to explain that to the buyer. When people have spent thirty thousand dollars on decorating a hotel banquet hall--worrying about whether the napkins are the same color mauve as the centerpieces, they are not going to be very impressed with a performer whom they are paying five grand to perform for them if he shows up with dirty shoes and props that look like they came from a garage sale.

Like I said, if you are a great performer, then that part of things is taken care of. Now you simply have to pay attention to the other details so that your act looks as good as it is.

Surely you are not recommending that people should not care how well their props are built and how nice they look?

I think that you are coming across as backing a losing cause. It is one thing to say that the quality of workmanship and the look of a performers props is not the "most important" thing. But how can you possibly be suggesting that performers "should not" care about the quality and attractiveness of their props when all else is the same?

A child's sand bucket may seem more innocent than a silver champagne bucket. On the other hand, lay people never suspect the bucket has anything to do with the Miser's Dream--the magic "happens" in the performer's hands. Only a magician would think that way.

A beat up old packing crate may look less like a magic prop than a shiny trunk, but a clean, well-cared for packing crate looks every bit as innocent.

Old beat up props may help create the impression that you want to create for your performing character--say you are presenting a comedy portrayal an old hack performer. But if they are not directly related to the image you want to project, you should consider a different look.

If you are saying that corporate big wigs, talent agents, and casino bookers who hire entertainment do not care what the act "looks like," you are very, very wrong. They care very much, and will dismiss out of hand any promo materials that don't reflect the "look" they want for their event, stage, revue, etc. No one is about to put a worn-out looking set of props or a magician in a decades-old tuxedo and dirty shoes on a stage they have spent millions of dollars outfitting, dressing, lighting and decorating to create an impression of opulence and beauty.

I spend a great deal of time and energy working on every detail of presentation and routining for my act. But I also concern myself with costuming, props, and set dressing. I have used the same linking rings for thirty years, and they have been just fine, thankyou, but when I came into possession of a better set of rings that shows up better from stage and enhance the effect, I put them right in. I always look for the best of everything for my shows--costume, props, lights, sound, music, etc.

Surely you are not recommending to all the young magicians that they should not care about these other details that make up a theatrical presentation and only concern themselves with the moves, patter and presentation. While these are the most important elements, the other things are important as well, both for the satisfaction of the audience and for the promotion and sale of the act.
Message: Posted by: DwightPA (Aug 11, 2005 02:53PM)
I believe that Whit is absolutely correct regarding personal appearance. That being said, Billy Bishop's use of the sand bucket and a canvas covered box must have worked quite well for the PERFORMANCE. Props can often look a little dingy or shabby when removed from stage lighting and seen closely in the cold light of day.

Dwight Powell
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 11, 2005 03:01PM)
There are also differences in venue. An act that is perfect for an open air show at an amusement park or a Lion's Club banquet may not be right for a cruise ship or Vegas stage. It is good to consider how your act looks and what market you are seeking to sell. It is silly to suggest that the quality and look of your costume and props does not effect bookings.

Those who book a show have many other considerations to keep in mind alongside the relative entertainment value of the performers--something they often have a hard time evaluating from a video. They will very often book the better-looking over the more entertaining act. That is not something anyone can change, it is just the way it is.

Smart performers will keep that in mind when working on their acts.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 11, 2005 03:12PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 15:18, Whit Haydn wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 15:03, bishthemagish wrote:

Entertainment is what is sold to the client and that is the market that makes money. Clients that book magicians because of the props they own often are disappointed.

[/quote]

That may be true. But you don't often get to explain that to the buyer. When people have spent thirty thousand dollars on decorating a hotel banquet hall--worrying about whether the napkins are the same color mauve as the centerpieces, they are not going to be very impressed with a performer whom they are paying five grand to perform for them if he shows up with dirty shoes and props that look like they came from a garage sale.

Like I said, if you are a great performer, then that part of things is taken care of. Now you simply have to pay attention to the other details so that your act looks as good as it is.

Surely you are not recommending that people should not care how well their props are built and how nice they look?

I think that you are coming across as backing a losing cause. It is one thing to say that the quality of workmanship and the look of a performers props is not the "most important" thing. But how can you possibly be suggesting that performers "should not" care about the quality and attractiveness of their props when all else is the same?

A child's sand bucket may seem more innocent than a silver champagne bucket. On the other hand, lay people never suspect the bucket has anything to do with the Miser's Dream--the magic "happens" in the performer's hands. Only a magician would think that way.

A beat up old packing crate may look less like a magic prop than a shiny trunk, but a clean, well-cared for packing crate looks every bit as innocent.

Old beat up props may help create the impression that you want to create for your performing character--say you are presenting a comedy portrayal an old hack performer. But if they are not directly related to the image you want to project, you should consider a different look.

If you are saying that corporate big wigs, talent agents, and casino bookers who hire entertainment do not care what the act "looks like," you are very, very wrong. They care very much, and will dismiss out of hand any promo materials that don't reflect the "look" they want for their event, stage, revue, etc. No one is about to put a worn-out looking set of props or a magician in a decades-old tuxedo and dirty shoes on a stage they have spent millions of dollars outfitting, dressing, lighting and decorating to create an impression of opulence and beauty.

I spend a great deal of time and energy working on every detail of presentation and routining for my act. But I also concern myself with costuming, props, and set dressing. I have used the same linking rings for thirty years, and they have been just fine, thankyou, but when I came into possession of a better set of rings that shows up better from stage and enhance the effect, I put them right in. I always look for the best of everything for my shows--costume, props, lights, sound, music, etc.

Surely you are not recommending to all the young magicians that they should not care about these other details that make up a theatrical presentation and only concern themselves with the moves, patter and presentation. While these are the most important elements, the other things are important as well, both for the satisfaction of the audience and for the promotion and sale of the act.
[/quote]

Whit:

You are spot on with this. Could you imagine Steve Cohen performing for millionaires using a sand bucket for the miser's dream? Or a chipped "Brown Betty" teakettle for "Think-a-Drink."

When I got my first John Cornelius Pen Thru Bill, I took the top off a Mont Blanc and made it fit the gimmicked section of the Cornelius pen. I was performing for people like Exxon, BP, KPMG and the like. They were expecting a Mont Blanc. There are things I do specifically because the audience I work for is the class of people that demand them.

Some people think that using a $20 gold piece for Scotch and Soda is a bit "over the top," but it fits the Mont Blanc and Rolex crowd perfectly. And that crowd can afford me.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 11, 2005 03:32PM)
Just watched a tape of Charlie Miller. He did the misers dream with a PLASTIC sand bucket. And his magic wand was a card board tube from a hanger.

Back in the days of Malini and Leipzig they did magic with what looked like normal objects. In other words they did magic with things that did not look like they were constructed for trickery.

I have performed shows (continued booking for years for a client list I still continue to do shows for to this day) for people that were millionaires and done the misers dream with a sand bucket. And for many corporate clients like Philip Morris and others. Magicians and magicians that sell magic props to magicians have gone more than a little over board on the subject of the finest props.
Message: Posted by: Jerrine (Aug 11, 2005 04:09PM)
Airborne Ranger, are you doing any corporate work? Working the Mont Blanc and Rolex crowd? Are you looking to get into the casino market? Where do you perform? What are your needs? I'm too curious.

I missed the part where Glenn advised wearing dirty shoes, dressing shabbily, and finding the cheapest, dingiest, props you could. I haven't read him telling new performers that looks don't matter. Airborne Ranger asked for options to the S4S chain, Glenn offered that he uses one he got at a dollar store. Whit states, "The S4S products are really designed to meet the needs of only two performers--me and Chef Anton." Glenn states, "Find what fits YOU and make it work."

Whit states, "I think that you are coming across as backing a losing cause. It is one thing to say that the quality of workmanship and the look of a performers props is not the "most important" thing. But how can you possibly be suggesting that performers "should not" care about the quality and attractiveness of their props when all else is the same?"

I've read and re-read Glenn's posts and can't find where he said or implied that, "performers "should not" care about the quality and attractiveness of their props when all else is the same?" I did get the idea that props aren't Magic, Magic is created in the mind by the Magician and his use of props. That is not, for me, a "losing cause."

The S4s chain is quality stuff, no bout-a-doubt it. Is it for everyone? Obviously not. It's wonderful that Glenn had the chance to offer an option to the S4S chain. Not so wonderful the reaction to, "I use a chain I got from the dollar store."

One last thought. Whit has a dog in the fight(sales), Glenn does not.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 11, 2005 04:39PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 16:12, Bill Palmer wrote:
Whit:

You are spot on with this. Could you imagine Steve Cohen performing for millionaires using a sand bucket for the miser's dream?
[/quote]
Yes I can if it fit him and what he was trying to do with the routine!
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 11, 2005 05:24PM)
Whit, thanks for fleshing out what I was saying with far more detail.

What are one's goals? simply to entertain. Fine but if one wants to be a career, support one's family, maintain adequate business and profits to fund a retirement plan then all the things you mention and more come into play.

Furthermore what worked a generation ago no longer works in many venues today. Life changes. Most often people never know the limits they place on themselves because of the subtle ways in which they present themselves.

Early in my ministry in rural PA I learned not to wear a suit when visiting my parishioners. Why? Because they were mostly farmers. When I walked into the barn they were more worried about me getting dirty than anything else. So they always would stop what they were doing. When I wore jeans and short-sleved clerics to see them they'd keep on working and I'd help them as we talked. I've discussed Luther and the meaning of law and gospel while attaching milkers and cleaning stalls. I'm just thankful that someone was willing to explain to me the impact it had on a part of my effectiveness that I never suspected.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 11, 2005 05:48PM)
There will [i]always[/i] be exceptions to the rules. In today's age of video clips and sound bites, many of them have their minds made up about us in the first few seconds. I'd rather not have to expend the extra effort to change their minds and convince them I'm worth watching.

Can we move on now before a perfectly good topic gets locked?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 11, 2005 06:04PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 17:39, bishthemagish wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 16:12, Bill Palmer wrote:
Whit:

You are spot on with this. Could you imagine Steve Cohen performing for millionaires using a sand bucket for the miser's dream?
[/quote]
Yes I can if it fit him and what he was trying to do with the routine!
[/quote]

Glenn, obviously you don't know Steve or the audiences he works for.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 11, 2005 06:06PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 18:48, Dave VanVranken wrote:
Okay, we get it. There will [i]always[/i] be exceptions to the rules.
[/quote]
I would say only one real show biz rule. Find what works for YOU and DO what works for YOU.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 11, 2005 06:07PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 19:04, Bill Palmer wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 17:39, bishthemagish wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 16:12, Bill Palmer wrote:
Whit:

You are spot on with this. Could you imagine Steve Cohen performing for millionaires using a sand bucket for the miser's dream?
[/quote]
Yes I can if it fit him and what he was trying to do with the routine!
[/quote]

Glenn, obviously you don't know Steve or the audiences he works for.


[/quote]
I don't know Steve - But I have performed magic for the same kind of an audience many many times over many many years!
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 11, 2005 06:39PM)
To me, it is not the quality or style of props and costumes but the intention of them. You can look like almost anything as long as it looks as it is both intended and justified.

For example, if you turn up to a kid's party unshaven, with torn and patched clothing, with a broken shoe and a permanent frown on your face, you'd be a disgrace. But if you attended the same party as a tramp clown then suddenly you are a success.

If you have a battered old handbag as a prop you look unprofessional. If you borrow the handbag from a lady in the audience then no one cares that it isn't the nicest prop in the world.

Performing with bent playing cards if a sin but in a bent corner monte routine it becomes a vital part of the entertainment.

Its all a matter of context.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Aug 11, 2005 07:17PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 19:39, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Its all a matter of context.
[/quote]

True, and in a valiant attempt to pull this back on topic, [i]in my context[/i] a silver chain is appropriate. It matches the rest of my "look." For others a beaded chain or a leather lace is fine. I never intended to say that a beaded chain "cheapens" the act. There are technical reasons why the French Rope simply works better.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 11, 2005 09:21PM)
Amen.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 12, 2005 12:37AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 19:39, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Its all a matter of context.
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2005-08-11 20:17, Dave VanVranken wrote:
True, and in a valiant attempt to pull this back on topic, [i]in my context[/i] a silver chain is appropriate. It matches the rest of my "look." For others a beaded chain or a leather lace is fine. I never intended to say that a beaded chain "cheapens" the act. There are technical reasons why the French Rope simply works better.
[/quote]

I find that beaded chain tangles easily and is hard to follow. That is, if beaded chain is the style of chain used to connect pens to banks.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 12, 2005 04:19AM)
The worst problem with the beaded chain or with a necklace of beads (one of the props George Blake started with) is that these do not hold the shape of the figure well. A finger grazing the chain, or a slight bump of the table and the figure will lose its shape.

That is why Fred Lowe's flat-link chain was an improvement. The flat-link had problems of its own. It tended to kink up and not flow right, especially with the drop-off knot. Also, its simple design, like the beaded chain, made it too easy for the eye to follow the lay of the chain.

Chef Anton and I first suggested the French Rope design because it's more complicated design makes it hard for the spectator to follow the lay of the chain. It also is superior in its ability to flow and not kink up, and of course, like the flat-link chain, it doesn't roll out of position. We also find that because of the doubled sets of links, the French Rope is sturdier and will take more abuse than the flat-link chain.

I suggest that if you use string, rope, flat-link chain, beads, or beaded chain that you go for a slightly longer chain. The loop should be seven feet or more. This gives a larger figure which makes it difficult for the eye to take in the whole figure at once. You have to follow along the chain with the eye from one side to another. This makes it much more difficult to comprehend the layout--something that might be more possible if the whole figure is in the frame of vision at once.
Message: Posted by: saranacbo (Aug 20, 2005 11:00AM)
This thread is an example of why I like and pay close attention to the Magic Cafť: It goes all around the mulberry bush, but I learn from it. First, there's the issue of "the right" way to present a trick, or "the right way" to look or act like a magician, or "the right props," and so on. Of course, there is no right way--it's entirely personal and based on our experience (that is, our successes and failures). As for props? With me it's a variable--but I can explain what I have and why, which to me is the important point. For instance, I have a set of P and L rice bowls. They're beautiful to look at and handle, and I think the audience unconsciously appreciates their beauty. I got them years ago for a very good price, and I know they have not lost their value. So in that case, I have a top-of-the-line prop. I also do chink-a-chink and uses bottle caps. It's no accident--the point is it demonstrates "magical powers" with everyday objects. If the prop there was really fancy, it would also be suspicious, as if it itself was doing all the work.
As for fast and loose: I just ordered the S4S chain and book. My reasoning there is I want to learn it well and while I could use shoelaces or light chains, I know S4S's chain will be the best (and thus easiest and most impressive) to work with. Plus it's guaranteed against manufacturing defects. And if worse comes to worst, I'm sure I can sell it--especially since I've seen posts here talking about not being able to find a really good chain.
So the issue is really specific to the person and their wants and style (and budget). Similarly, I do the Don Alan chop cup routine--end all my close-up with it. But I won't buy a $125.00 chop cup--mine I got from Al's magic years ago for 15 bucks, as I recall. Not that the Don Alan cup isn't a work of art, but it's just not something that I feel would add anything to my presentation.
This type of argument rages about Gazzo's pouch. It costs over $300 and is considered perfect--if you're going to do Gazzo's cup and balls. I don't, and my apron came from the Apron Man (found on Magic Cafť). It was custom made, is nylon, is perfect for my needs, and cost twenty bucks (including postage, I think). Gazzo's pouch would be a complete waste on me. . . and on my complete waist.
Message: Posted by: kuma62 (Jun 8, 2019 05:43AM)
So are there other effects using a normal chain or other scams like the endless chain
Message: Posted by: bropaul (Jun 27, 2019 10:24PM)
Since I was scanning this thread, and I donít want to break any rules, I have a routine that just works. (ďĒGet A Job.Ē) Keep it fun. This is a great thread.

Check my site if interested and donít miss Fast & Lose by Pop Haydn. Now go make some money. AND have fun.

Bro. Paul West
Message: Posted by: warren (Jul 17, 2019 02:27PM)
[quote]On Jun 27, 2019, bropaul wrote:
Since I was scanning this thread, and I donít want to break any rules, I have a routine that just works. (ďĒGet A Job.Ē) Keep it fun. This is a great thread.

Check my site if interested and donít miss Fast & Lose by Pop Haydn. Now go make some money. AND have fun.

Bro. Paul West [/quote]

Couldn't see a demo to show what we would be purchasing.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Bones (Jul 23, 2019 11:02AM)
[quote]On Jul 17, 2019, warren wrote:
Couldn't see a demo to show what we would be purchasing. [/quote]

There's almost always a reason for that!
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Jul 23, 2019 12:27PM)
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Mr. Bones wrote:
[quote]On Jul 17, 2019, warren wrote:
Couldn't see a demo to show what we would be purchasing. [/quote]

There's almost always a reason for that! [/quote]

What you are purchasing is the routine. If you use it, itís money well spent. I donít think that the man is in the business of handing out free samples.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Bones (Jul 24, 2019 10:24PM)
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, jakeg wrote:
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Mr. Bones wrote:
[quote]On Jul 17, 2019, warren wrote:
Couldn't see a demo to show what we would be purchasing. [/quote]

There's almost always a reason for that! [/quote]

What you are purchasing is the routine. If you use it, itís money well spent. I donít think that the man is in the business of handing out free samples. [/quote]

Well you see, the chain, like the top'n'ball is illegal to work on the street with money on the table, whether you claim to the cop that it's "just for entertainment" or not.
This chap has clearly implied that you can make money with the chain ... so you would have to agree that there's a disconnect between what he's advertising, and what's actually legal to do.

That's what needs to be explained, and no doubt why the question was asked.
Message: Posted by: sgiandubh (Jul 26, 2019 07:51AM)
[quote]On Jul 24, 2019, Mr. Bones wrote:
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, jakeg wrote:
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Mr. Bones wrote:
[quote]On Jul 17, 2019, warren wrote:
Couldn't see a demo to show what we would be purchasing. [/quote]

There's almost always a reason for that! [/quote]

What you are purchasing is the routine. If you use it, itís money well spent. I donít think that the man is in the business of handing out free samples. [/quote]

Well you see, the chain, like the top'n'ball is illegal to work on the street with money on the table, whether you claim to the cop that it's "just for entertainment" or not.
This chap has clearly implied that you can make money with the chain ... so you would have to agree that there's a disconnect between what he's advertising, and what's actually legal to do.

That's what needs to be explained, and no doubt why the question was asked. [/quote]

OK I picked this up and can see how it would work, it is completely different to the actual con guys out on the street. Now if where you live you cannot have actual cash on the table without committing an offence you might have a problem. The way this is presented is that the money that you get to keep is not a result of direct betting but there are some subtleties involved that you may or may not be comfortable with. Will I perform like this? hell yes! I think it's a great idea. I believe people will believe they have been entertained (and they are) not ripped off (and they are not) and will have no problem leaving you with the money.
Message: Posted by: Brandon (Jul 28, 2019 07:07PM)
I loved the chain that was included with Marc DeSouza's Chain Gang...School for Scoundrel's was too big, and do not want to go with the ball-chain type from a hardware store. Does anyone know where/if I can still purchase DeSouza's video that game w/ the chain? Any and all help is much appreciated!
Message: Posted by: sgiandubh (Aug 5, 2019 03:35PM)
Brandon, I don't know if the chain has been changed since you last had one but the chain I have with Marc DeSouza's Chain Gang is lighter but longer than my SFS chain. Just in case you find one and then find its longer than you wanted!