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Topic: Billy McComb's Half Dyed Hank - yay!
Message: Posted by: drhackenbush (May 18, 2006 03:22PM)
Just got a set today - thought I'd seen it at Barry's and when I went in, there it was, complete with Billy's own instructions (y'know, they're even fun to just read and you can almost hear his voice). Already practicing, and this should be a great addition to my shows. It's the Abbott's version (copyright 1983) and it all just fits so well together as a routine. I really decided to get this 'un after watching the Magic Castle video of Billy performing this and his birdcage that Whit has on his website - and frankly was intrigued about what the fuss was all about regarding "Sucker Silk" on the Ken Brooke interview tape, "It's Better Than Digging Roads". I was looking into getting the recent Viking release, but went with my local shop just because. The white silk has a tiny but visible permanent-looking black smudge that and I might replace it sometime soon, but this won't stop me from practicing the heck out of it and when I need to, I'll get another 15" white silk. The bag for the trick had "18" silks" written on it, but they're more like 15", which I much prefer. In any case, the real treasure is Billy's instructions.
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (May 18, 2006 04:43PM)
I am currently working on this routine at the moment. It is a great trick.

I am however having difficulty understanding the logic of the patter in one part of the trick. You are setting up for the climax by pushing the white hanky into your fist and then the white hanky bursts out the top of the fist.

The patter for this moment is, "this white hanky must be stuffed well into the fist and not allowed to fall into view." Well, the white hanky has been in view while you have been stuffing it into your fist, so I find this moment a little odd. It is played as an accident but I wonder whether the audience see it as such. Am I confused, or has anyone else used alternative patter at this moment?

As I practice the trick I notice that my white hanky is turning a shade of pink...

I would appreciate some advice from those who have been working with this routine.


Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 19, 2006 08:16AM)
Billy used 15" silks.

Message: Posted by: drhackenbush (May 19, 2006 02:31PM)
I was actually quite happy to discover that the silks that came with it were 15"-ers - I'll bet the bag it was in was previously used to hold single 18" silks, hence that sharpie notation. Am I correct in my observation (having not bought 'em yet) that the DVD's/videos of Billy available only show him performing the Half Dyed Hank routine and not teaching the handling per se? I am learning a lot of course, from watching his Magic Castle act courtesy Whit's website.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 19, 2006 08:26PM)
The IMS has a video that teaching the handling and I think Steven's tape do also.

Message: Posted by: drhackenbush (May 20, 2006 12:42AM)
Richard - thanks for the clarification; as I've been reading different posts on HDH, I just couldn't quite tell which was performance-only or teaching. Gonna have to look into both of 'em.
Message: Posted by: magicbern (May 21, 2006 01:17AM)
On 2006-05-19 21:26, hugmagic wrote:
The IMS has a video that teaching the handling and I think Steven's tape do also.


I have the Stevens DVD of Billy McComb and the Half-Dyed Silk is only a performance version with NO explanation.
Message: Posted by: drhackenbush (May 21, 2006 08:44PM)
Once you get the order of what's what (what?), it's a wonderfully smooth, rather elegant routine... Billy has spelled it out so well and in such detail, I'm kinda glad it's priced how it's priced - it's one of those routines that once learned and made personal has the potential of being a reputation-maker. All the whys and wherefores are spelled out for you and I now understand why it's held in the high esteem it is. Back to the mirror, now...
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 21, 2006 08:51PM)
Billy knew how to give excellent instructions.

Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (May 21, 2006 08:58PM)
Billy taught this rotuine to me at the PCAM Convention in Calgary in 1997. I bought his signed lecture notes, that I still have, and I have performed this routine in every show since then.

It's not only a wonderful piece of magic, but Billy's presentation is superb! I haven't changed a word of it.
Message: Posted by: drhackenbush (May 21, 2006 10:25PM)
You are lucky to have gotten personal instruction!

I wonder if the newer licensed Viking version is the same as my Abbott's from the 80's or if he'd updated it for that once again? I know he says that the Abbott's version was updated from "25 Years Wiser".
Message: Posted by: drhackenbush (May 22, 2006 03:17PM)
Hmm, from the ads, the newest version seems to be the same but with magnetic tchotchkas (I can see where they might come in handy). Sort of on the same subject, I was very impressed with Viking's service when I placed my first order with them.
Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (May 22, 2006 05:53PM)
I haven't seen the Viking routine so I'm not sure how it differs, if at all, from the original routine. Perhaps there are some changes that necessitated the use of magnetic gimmicks?
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (May 23, 2006 06:30PM)
I use the silks from Dazzling Magic. The line between the colors is quite distinct and not faded like most - makes working with them much easier.

Also, get the Laflin DVD on the Palmo Ball. Duane Laflin details an excellent handling for the Half-Dyed that eliminates the switch of the tubes.