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Topic: Ever had a problem with the growing and shrinking head illusion?
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 17, 2008 11:56PM)
I recently bought the Growing and Shrinking Head Illusion from Bruce Kalver, and I tried it out on my family. At a distance of about 10 feet, it worked on my mother and father for the growing but failed to work for my sister. In reverse (shrinking) it did very little for all three of them. I made sure they were looking for at least 30 seconds and they were directly in front of me.

Am I just too close? Or have you had problems with certain people regarding the effectiveness of the illusion?
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 18, 2008 09:10AM)
It works for about 80% of people. That's why it's good to do it for a crowd, because you're guaranteed to get a good reaction.

Also, I found that it doesn't work very well for many senior's, as their eyes aren't what they used to be. I did it at a senior's show one time, and never got a reaction at all. Well, I knew the trick wasn't broken, so there had to be another explanation. :)

Brian
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Dec 18, 2008 09:23AM)
I have found the more distance the better. (At least 15 or 20 feet) ...And Brian's right, it doesn't work on everyone, but for those it does work on, it always gets an awesome reaction!


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Dec 18, 2008 10:28AM)
It also requires the appropriate time and intense focus. This weakens the eye muscles and makes the affect work. So, make sure in your patter you allow enough time and consistent motion / speed in the spin. Other than that, I agree with Lyndel and Brian.
Message: Posted by: itsmagic (Dec 18, 2008 10:43AM)
It NEVER works on my wife. I did it for a mixed group of children and adults (about 15) and there was no reaction - so I had to ask if anyone saw anything unusual. A couple of hands went up. I think it's much better to play for a larger crowd, because then you'll have more reaction.
Message: Posted by: Rodney Palmer (Dec 18, 2008 11:15AM)
Make sure that your BATTERIES are Fully Charged or you are using new ones. I tend to talk and have them concentrate for approx. 45 seconds. I play an eerie music in the background that I purchased from Barry Mitchell. At 45 seconds I then count down from 10 to 1 and then tell them to look at my head or a spectators head. In order to succeed you must keep talking to your audience to make sure that they are keeping their eyes on the CENTER of the Disc. If they take their eyes off for even a second it will not work.


Rodney
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Dec 18, 2008 11:56AM)
It never worked for me. Got absolutely no reaction the several times I tried it which is why I sold it on eBay shortly after buying it.

A trick that only works occasionally is not a trick worth doing for me. Its my job to entertain everyone, and if it doesn't work on even just one person, then most likely that is the person that starts talking instead and ruins the momentum of the show. Too high a risk for such a limited trick.

Then the transportation of such a flimsy piece of cardboard was always a problem, and having to carry a drill everywhere which got a few worried looks, and having to recharge the battery all the time...
There are better tricks with a higher success rate that have far fewer problems associated with them.

Steve
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Dec 18, 2008 02:27PM)
I don't consider this a "high risk" effect at all. If you have an audience, and present it properly, this really rocks. From experience, I don't do it on older audences, and don't do it for children's shows, but for a mixed crowd this gets fantastic reactions.

jim
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Dec 18, 2008 02:27PM)
I've been doing this for about 1 and 1/2 years now, and have had terrific luck with it. Audiences NOT to do it for include small children (8 and under) and Nursing Homes. The very young just don't concentrate or enough to "get it" and the few times I've performed it in nursing homes, several people SHUT their eyes! I don't think they like the busines of the spinning disk.

However if the audience is at least 10-15' away, and mostly tweens and older, this never fails to get a great reaction.
Message: Posted by: Larry Bean (Dec 18, 2008 03:21PM)
I've had great success using this. I would not do it for an all seniors audience for reasons mentioned in the above posts. With the proper distance and people following your instructions I think it will work for almost everyone. It has worked well enough that on several repeat bookings they specifically asked that I perform this effect.
Message: Posted by: MAGICBYTIM (Dec 18, 2008 03:29PM)
What do you use to spin it? I bought a drill but it would spin the disc extremely fast. Does the speed of the spinning have anything to do with it? I did not have a variable speed drill. It was an on/off drill.
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 18, 2008 07:04PM)
I use a small battery operated Black and Decker screwdriver. The bolt that extends out the back of the disk will fit perfectly in the slot where the screwdriver bits normally go. No bulky drills; no re-charging.

Oh, and here's a tip -- go to a local pizza place and ask to have a pizza box. I got one free from a pizza place by telling them that wherever I perform this trick (yes, I told them what it was for), I would be advertising for them. The box works great to protect the disk and the screwdriver.

Brian
Message: Posted by: Larry Bean (Dec 18, 2008 10:27PM)
I use a variable speed battery operated drill and that seems to work well - I even vary the speed a little during the presentation. I have a pizza box too - it does work very well.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 18, 2008 10:36PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 12:56, ku7uk3 wrote:
A trick that only works occasionally is not a trick worth doing for me. Its my job to entertain everyone, and if it doesn't work on even just one person, then most likely that is the person that starts talking instead and ruins the momentum of the show. Too high a risk for such a limited trick.
[/quote]
I purchased one also. I tried two shows. I did not get the reaction I expected. So I agree with you, Steve.
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 19, 2008 12:16AM)
Dynamike & Steve-

So very sorry for you two!

I don't know what kind of audiences you guys play to but I have been using this for the last TWO SEASONS to open my County Fair Shows, (that's Approx. 450+ Shows!), and I have had TREMENDOUS REACTIONS!!! I don't know how you guys were doing yours, as I NEVER FAIL to get Phenomenal Responses!

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Dec 19, 2008 06:57AM)
I tried it on my friends one evening and it didn't work but I think they where too close/drunk.

I want to do it with a hand drill because I think it will look more comical and interesting before I use it. Any reasons why I shouldn't?

George
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Dec 19, 2008 07:52AM)
I agree with Frank, I get awesome reactions. If you are in a smaller than desirable room, stand as far away from the audience as possible, even if you have to move away from your performing area to distance yourself to get the maximum effect. If you are on a stage, it works perfect. I have been using it now for about 6 years.

Scott is right, not for small kids and definitely not for nursing homes where the average age is . . . deceased!
Message: Posted by: konjurer (Dec 19, 2008 09:22AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 07:57, magicgeorge wrote:
I tried it on my friends one evening and it didn't work but I think they where too close/drunk.

I want to do it with a hand drill because I think it will look more comical and interesting before I use it. Any reasons why I shouldn't?

George
[/quote]

I use a cordless, variable speed hand drill. I ask for a victim, err...I mean a wizard's apprentice and then pull out the drill (with no drill bit) and hit the trigger a few times. That creates a little comic tension.

The only issue with my drill is that it is challenging to keep it at a constant speed. However, after a practicing a few times it isn't a big deal.

This is a new effect for me but I've gotten some great reactions (do it again, do it again). I first saw a local magician do it about a year ago at a charity event and it blew me away. It is sooo visual and hilarious.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Dec 19, 2008 09:44AM)
Cheer KJ,
By cordless do you mean battery operated?
I was thinking of one of these jobbies:
http://www.grendle.co.uk/pics/handdrill.gif

G
Message: Posted by: konjurer (Dec 19, 2008 10:07AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 10:44, magicgeorge wrote:
Cheer KJ,
By cordless do you mean battery operated?
I was thinking of one of these jobbies:
http://www.grendle.co.uk/pics/handdrill.gif

G
[/quote]

I meant battery powered. That hand-crank version looks hilarious but you may have trouble keeping it held steady and that may diminish the effectiveness. The disk needs to be very steady to feel that tunnel effect.
Message: Posted by: itsmagic (Dec 19, 2008 10:39AM)
I bought a Black & Decker drill from Wal-Mart for $8, even comes with batteries. Only thing is the screw doesn't fit very well into the drill. So the disc will wobble. Anybody have any tips?
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Dec 19, 2008 11:48AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 11:39, itsmagic wrote:
I bought a Black & Decker drill from Wal-Mart for $8, even comes with batteries. Only thing is the screw doesn't fit very well into the drill. So the disc will wobble. Anybody have any tips?
[/quote]

Wrap a little electrical tape around the screw on the disck. That should take up any slack problems you are having...


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 19, 2008 12:16PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 12:48, Lyndel wrote:

Wrap a little electrical tape around the screw on the disck. That should take up any slack problems you are having...

Lyndel
[/quote]

Real men use duct tape! :lol:

Brian
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 19, 2008 12:35PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 11:39, itsmagic wrote:
I bought a Black & Decker drill from Wal-Mart for $8, even comes with batteries. Only thing is the screw doesn't fit very well into the drill. So the disc will wobble. Anybody have any tips?
[/quote]

How is the speed? Does it turn the disc slow enough?
Message: Posted by: danryb (Dec 19, 2008 01:18PM)
The fact that this is a 80/20 type of effect always played to my advantage.

I do it once and then ask "who got it?". about 80% raise their hands. I tell them that it is an optical illusion and therefor it doesn't work for everyone but let's do it again.

I do it a second time and again get the same reaction (80%) but I sometimes notice that different hands go up and some of the previous hands don't. So I say "let's do it one last time" and this usually get's everyone as focused as possible because those that 'didn't get it' the 1st and 2nd time do their best at 'getting it' this time.

usually by the 3rd time whoever didn't get it the 1st and 2nd time will not get it this time however the majority 'do get it' and 'love it' and therefor it will stay in my show.

I use a chargeable handheld drill with a bit and do it in both directions at a good easy to follow pace. It is a good in betweener and not presented as an illusion or magic trick but solely as an optical illusion.

Dani
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 19, 2008 02:03PM)
Like Dani, I do it three times, but on the last time I get one of the organizers of the event to come stand next to me. This time, I have the disc going in the opposite direction. I explain to everyone that this time they are to look at my helper's head, and that they will something a little different than what they already saw.

It works great, and is a simple way to get the show sponsor/organizer (etc.) involved. I then have everyone applaud for my helper as she goes back to her seat.

Real crowd pleaser! I've had female teachers ask me if the effect will work on other parts of the body on a permanent basis. I told them that if I could do that, I'd be a millionaire! :lol:

Brian
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 19, 2008 02:20PM)
Brian,

Which do you do first, the growing or shrinking?
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 19, 2008 02:41PM)
I ALWAYS do "Shrinking" first.

For some reason, the "Growing" gets even Larger responses so I do it last, and like Brian, I bring up a Volunteer for it.

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: itsmagic (Dec 19, 2008 03:17PM)
Thanks for the duct tape tip. I'll try it. The speed on the walmart b&d drill is moderate. And you can use it to spin the disc forward and backwards.
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 19, 2008 03:30PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 15:20, MagicByUriel wrote:
Brian,

Which do you do first, the growing or shrinking?
[/quote]

I do the growing first. But since Frank said he gets a better response by doing the growing last, I may try that. :)

Brian
Message: Posted by: CarlEJones (Dec 19, 2008 07:43PM)
Sad to say my results were not so great either....
Message: Posted by: CarlEJones (Dec 19, 2008 07:51PM)
Sad to say my results were not so great either....
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Dec 20, 2008 03:49AM)
So lets narrow this down.

It doesn't work for children.
It doesn't work for old people.
It doesn't work for people with long distance problems.
It doesn't work for people who aren't listening to what they have to do.
It doesn't work to those that can't hear due to music / lots of background noise.
It doesn't work for those that just don't get it.
It has never worked on me, or anybody I have ever tried it on.

Look guys, I know you said you had some mild success and got a 50% reaction from your audience which your apparently happy with but... For the 50% of the audience that it doesn't work for, its 'dead time'. That's the moment you lose the momentum and they go off to the bar or another activity, often taking all their friend's with them.

What I simply don't get is why you would even perform a trick which only works to such a small majority of the audience? Just do a normal magic trick that works to everybody!!! Its not as if the magic world is short of effects to perform.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Steven True (Dec 20, 2008 04:48AM)
I agree that this trick, so to speak, does not work on everyone. My ex wife was not able to see it work when we went to a hypnotists show a long time ago. I could see it and a lot of others in the audience saw it. There werew some that did not see it but I still thought that the effect was really great. I also agree that we as performers need to do effects that works for everyone, but not all tricks that people do have a great response all of the time. I think that we try and entertain as many people as we can. Not make them waatch magic that WE thnk will always work. Not trying to be the baad guy here but I think it is a great effect and I am going to add it to my show. Just my opinion here.

Thanks
Steven
Message: Posted by: danryb (Dec 20, 2008 10:59AM)
Steve,

You sound quite negative about this possibly from your own experience. I have experienced a good laugh per minute on this effect and when I say 80% of my audience (I do this effect in my 7 - 11 yr old show) I actually mean 80% of the audience 'get it' each time I do it and I do it 3 times.

So, not all the same people get it each time and that means that 80% get it each time. So some of those that didn't get it the 1st time will get it the second time and vice-versa. The same applies to the 3rd time.

In total I would say there is only about 5% of this age group (including parents in the audience) that don't actually ever get it. If you consider an average audience of 40 people and 5% don't get it this amounts to 2 people in total that might lose momentary momentum but are easily brought back into the show in the effect that follows. I'm willing to perform any effect in my show that 2 children might not like as there is no garauntee that the entire audience will like any single effect be it this one or any others I perform. 2 out of 40 is not a bad deal and when 38 get it and laugh and 2 don't - I can live with that and so can they for a few minutes.

My routine is about 3 - 4 minutes and this gets 3 good laughs (one good laugh each time I do it).

Looking at it positively:

It is a good fast paced routine
It plays very well for 95% of the audience
It gets 3 good laughs in 4 minutes
It packs flat and plays big in almost any environment (indoors or outdoors)
It is a great in-betweener to keep the momentum going
It makes a change to another magic trick during the magic show
It is not terribly expensive so if ever got ruined could easily afford a new one
It comes in strong plastic these days - not card as I believe it used to

Use it in your show or not, that is your porogative but I am very happy with this effect and I think you can see why.

Dani
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 20, 2008 06:13PM)
I actually planned on using it as my closer, as I saw a magician do in a camp I was in and he got great reactions; me included.
Message: Posted by: konjurer (Dec 20, 2008 11:59PM)
I used this as my opener tonight. HUGE reactions! This was at a Christmas party in a home. The adults in the back started laughing. Only about 50% of the kids reacted the first time. So I moved the kids back about 10 feet and we did it again. Everyone reacted strongly including the kids.

After the show the kids and some of the adults were begging to see it again. Several families arrived late and I had a pretty good crowd all standing as far back as possible. The adults were howling and the woman who hired me made the comment about "can you do it to other parts of the anatomy?"

Without a doubt, it was the hit of the night (along with the 3D Sponge Bunnies).
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 21, 2008 12:58PM)
I am shocked and simply amazed at what I am reading here. I do this almost every show. why? because it plays for just abiout everyone. I mean except real young kids ages 4 and under, this plays for everyone else. I mean I get huge reactuons every single time and often get requests to do it again.

The reactions I get off of this every show is just huge and I keep it in my show just because of that. it simply plays well all the time.

Now the problem I see is that a lot of magicians perform it wrong. It must be done right and with certain things factored in for full effe3ct;. But if you knows these upfront and have these in your routine, it will play every single time gaurenteed.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 21, 2008 04:26PM)
O.k. let's just settle this right now!

I think EVERY Magician should Stop doing this trick IMMEDIATELY!!!!

Every Magician except for ME, Of Course! ;)

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 21, 2008 05:42PM)
Lol Sorry Frank. How about you get rights for your area and I get the Philadelphia area rights. lol I love this thing too much. I get such great reactions and I perform it all the time.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 21, 2008 06:08PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 11:39, itsmagic wrote:
I bought a Black & Decker drill from Wal-Mart for $8, even comes with batteries. Only thing is the screw doesn't fit very well into the drill. So the disc will wobble. Anybody have any tips?
[/quote]

I bought that one today and it's perfect! The bit is the perfect size and it turns at just the right speed.

Using this B&D Screwdriver I tested it on my Mom, Dad, and two sisters (13 and 21) and all of them reacted like crazy both ways; and it didn't work on my 13 year old sister with the previous screwdrivers I tried.

This is the one I got - http://www.shrunklink.com/bkgu . Except the one I got at Walmart is packaged differently and only costs $8.97! If you don't have something to turn your illusion then I highly recommend you get this one!

Thanks a ton itsmagic !
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 21, 2008 06:24PM)
Yers. It really is ctrtical that you have the disc spinnign at a constant anf smooth speed. This iads in the impact of the effect on the audience.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 21, 2008 07:16PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-21 19:24, magic4u02 wrote:
[b]Yers[/b]. It really is [b]ctrtical[/b] that you have the disc [b]spinnign[/b] at a constant [b]anf[/b] smooth speed. This [b]iads[/b] in the impact of the effect on the audience.

Kyle
[/quote]

Has Kyle been dipping in the eggnog again? :lol:

Brian
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 21, 2008 07:38PM)
It is called chipping ice off the car and truck for 2 hours and then trying to type on this laptop that has a bad keyboard. lol Sorry folks.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 22, 2008 01:26AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-21 19:08, MagicByUriel wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 11:39, itsmagic wrote:
I bought a Black & Decker drill from Wal-Mart for $8, even comes with batteries. Only thing is the screw doesn't fit very well into the drill. So the disc will wobble. Anybody have any tips?
[/quote]

I bought that one today and it's perfect! The bit is the perfect size and it turns at just the right speed.

Using this B&D Screwdriver I tested it on my Mom, Dad, and two sisters (13 and 21) and all of them reacted like crazy both ways; and it didn't work on my 13 year old sister with the previous screwdrivers I tried.

This is the one I got - http://www.shrunklink.com/bkgu . Except the one I got at Walmart is packaged differently and only costs $8.97! If you don't have something to turn your illusion then I highly recommend you get this one!

Thanks a ton itsmagic !
[/quote]

Yup!
That's the one I use as well!

I too got it at Wal-Mart for $8.97

I've seen it in Orange, Silver and Black.
Never seen it in Blue like the one in your link though.

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 22, 2008 01:27AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-21 18:42, magic4u02 wrote:
Lol Sorry Frank. How about you get rights for your area and I get the Philadelphia area rights. lol I love this thing too much. I get such great reactions and I perform it all the time.

Kyle
[/quote]

O.k. Kyle, you can have Philadelphia! ;)

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Dec 22, 2008 07:26AM)
Dibbs on Florida! :)


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 22, 2008 07:38AM)
This works for me. Except I want occasional access if I vacation in Florida so I can perform as a guest with lyndel. hehehe

In all seriousness, I always get great results with this. I do think some folks do not because they may be doing some things that may cuase the effect to not be as great as it could be. I want to list some of what I do in hopes that it may help someone reading this.

1) people can not be too close to the disc as it is spinning. The further back you are the better the overall effect will be. You will want at least 1o=15 feet distance if you can get it.

2) People need to be center to you and not so far on the asides of the disc. This is why I state this ahead of time and allow for the audience to move before I start the disc spinning. I give them proper time to get into place if they choose to do so.

3) You want to have the disc spinnign at a constant rate and not obstructed. By this I mean you do not want your hand to be spinning it. I use a cordless screwdriver that it attaches to and I can go in eiother direction. it keeps a steady and smooth movement and works great.

4) You want to keep is spinning for at least 30 seconds before having them look at your nose. This gives maximum effect.

5) You want the disc to be fairly close to you. If they have to look far from the disc to your nose, they will lose some of the immediate effect.

6) offer to do it again but reverse directions. this gives a different effect. It also allows those who missed it or did not want to participate a chance to do it the second time. trust me, they will want to see it a second time and it goes over so well.

These are some of the major points I use all the time.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 22, 2008 02:10PM)
DITTO for what Kyle says above!

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: jkvand (Dec 22, 2008 02:13PM)
Like you, Kyle, I also get GREAT reactions from this, and use many of the same tips you have just provided. One thing I also do - if the room is wide, I will do the middle of the room straight on so most people can get the effect, then I will turn slightly to the left side and do it again, then to the right and do it again, so people on the sides can see it too. It has never failed me, and I am so glad to have it as a part of my show. I also use it in my inspirational shows, as an example of how what we choose to focus on can impact the way we see the world around us. It always goes over great.
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 22, 2008 02:29PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-22 15:13, jkvand wrote:
Like you, Kyle, I also get GREAT reactions from this, and use many of the same tips you have just provided. One thing I also do - if the room is wide, I will do the middle of the room straight on so most people can get the effect, then I will turn slightly to the left side and do it again, then to the right and do it again, so people on the sides can see it too. It has never failed me, and I am so glad to have it as a part of my show.
[/quote]

That's exactly how I do it, so that everyone is covered.

Brian
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 22, 2008 05:09PM)
Dibs on Jersey! ;)
Message: Posted by: profgizmo (Dec 22, 2008 08:55PM)
I love this thing! I do it for all shows. I always do it at least twice. The ones that didn't see it the first time concentrate harder, and most will usually see it. I make my head get bigger twice, and if things are going well I will finish with making it smaller. It does work better with big crowds, but I have done it many times in living rooms with great results.
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 22, 2008 09:23PM)
Bigger crowds are my favorite, simply because as soon as I stop the wheel, pull it away from in front of my face and say,

"Look at My Nose"

there is always a two second beat and then comes the big...

"W-W-H-H-O-O-O-A-A-A" sound in utter disbelief that flows from the crowd like a big wave!!!

I just LOVE that Sound!!!

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 22, 2008 10:00PM)
I would like to do it three times to make sure the most amount of people get it. Do you think this would work?

1.Shrink MY head
2.Shrink the head of the person sitting next to the spectator.
3.Bring up an adult and grow their head.

Tell me what you think veteran users!
Message: Posted by: danryb (Dec 23, 2008 01:12AM)
MagicbyUriel - that sounds fine albeit I think a lot of time might be wasted and momentum could get lost when selecting and bringing someone up to do the effect on.

I used to do this with a volunteer who was already on stage with me following a previous trick but have since changed this and now, in order to keep the flow going I do it this way:

1. I pull out the drill and tell the audience that "I am going to mess with their heads! - only kidding (I then put the disc on the drill and say) - I'm actually going to mess with my head!"

I explain and after the first spin I get the entire audience to focus on my nose.

2. I ask "who got it" and then explain that because it is not a trick but rather an optical illusion, those that didn't get it the first time (not everyone are focused the first time) should get it the second time.

I explain that this time they'll see something else (I do it the other direction) and after the spin, again, get the entire audience to focus on my nose.

3. finally, after the 3rd spin I simply get the entire audience to turn their heads left or right and to look at the person sitting next to them. This is crazy and for the majority the audience goes into hysterical laughter at seeing their friends heads swell up right next to them.

the 3rd pitch gives me time to put all away and bring forth my next item as the audience will be chattering and giggling for a good few seconds.

So:
1. on myself
2. on myself
3. envolves the entire audience

Dani
Message: Posted by: profgizmo (Dec 23, 2008 08:19AM)
I have been spinning it by hand for at least 10 years now. I have a dowel that fits in the back, and I spin it using both hands. Probably not as efficient, but it still is the one trick I always do when doing festivals. Also, this works on video too. I had my show taped at a school show, and copies were given to all the teachers. I had people telling me for days that they played it at home and it worked great!
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Dec 23, 2008 12:48PM)
You are correct! It DOES work on Video as well!

The very first time I saw it was on Bruce Kavler's Demo
& I couldn't believe it!

=Frank=
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Dec 24, 2008 08:06PM)
I just did this at my kid show, and it was great! Ages 6-11ish + adults. About 40 kids, 15-20 adults.

I did it in this order:
1.Shrink my head
2.Grow my head
3.Grow adults head
Message: Posted by: danryb (Dec 25, 2008 12:53AM)
Glad to hear it magicbyuriel.

that's the way to do it and there is no reason it should not play well. it is a selfworking effect. there is no manipulation required just audience control but this effect goes into the category of self audience controlled as the minute that thing goes spinning you are bound to get everyone attention. when most of the audience 'get it' the 1st time, they and the rest of them will automatically be drawen back for the 2nd and 3rd time.

Dani
Message: Posted by: bsears (Dec 27, 2008 12:44PM)
I understand the frustration some people are having - this didn't work for me the first few times, and I almost gave up. I'm so glad I didn't! I've closed lots of shows with this, including many for seniors.
Message: Posted by: CurtWaltermire (Dec 28, 2008 12:24PM)
I made my own prop for this effect out of a piece of masonite board, using a round pizza tin as a template for the circle. I use an arbor to lock it into place in my cordless drill, and off I go. It is a sturdy and easy to manage prop.

My main purpose in any of my performances is to simply entertain, and though magic is a large part of that, it is sometimes not the main thing. I use this effect early on in my birthday shows and do it mainly like everyone has discussed it here, repeating it a couple of times and reversing the effect from growing to shrinking. The momentum of any performance is largely the responsibility of the performer, regardless of his effects or any prop malfunctions. If the effect doesn't seem to play well for someone, then perhaps it isn't the kind of thing that fits their style. I personally find card manipulations boring, yet I admire the skill that it takes to pull them off. I do a few basic moves, but never in my act. I would not attempt to make an argument that card manipulations are not worth doing for others, but they aren't for me. As far as the percentages of people who are able to see the effect is concerned, I would venture to say that 20% of an audience could be uninvolved at any given point during a show, and for a host of reasons, regardless of how perfectly executed a particular routine may be.

I enjoy this little bit, and plan on keeping it as a part of my working repertoire for a very long time. It has problems like anything else, but for me it has great entertainment value and the pros actually outweigh the cons.

$.02
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 12, 2009 07:39AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 10:44, magicgeorge wrote:
I was thinking of one of these jobbies:
http://www.grendle.co.uk/pics/handdrill.gif
[/quote]

just to let you know, I bought said jobbie and it works well. I will be trying the thing out tonight on an adult audience.

Thanks to Kyle et al for all their tips. It's got me wondering why it doesn't work for some. (Especially Steve!!) What's the main problem? Speed, distance or actually selling the thing to make people commit to staring at something for 30 seconds?

George

P.S.BTW I just noticed Wes Holly has a clip of himself performing it and getting a fantastic reaction in the show your vids thread)
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 12, 2009 09:40AM)
I do not find you have to sell it so much for them to want to stare. You just have to tell them ahead of time what they need to do and reinforce this as the disc is spinning. As it spins I am telling them to stare at the center and no where else. Focus all attention to it. don't look away. I am reinforcing what they are to do through my patter.

The most critical elements for me is distance away from the audience, consistent speed of the spinning disc and having the audience centralized and no too far on your side angles.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: kimmo (Jan 12, 2009 09:42AM)
Just saw the Wes Holly vid - it certainly worked for me. Carolyne watched it with me and said she couldn't see anything, but when I asked 'didn't you see his head growing' she said she thought it was a glitch on the video. When I told her that you would get the same effect live, she said I should order one immediately!!
Message: Posted by: Alikzam (Jan 13, 2009 02:11AM)
Wow! I'm very glad I came across this thread. I purchased this effect, but I wasn't able to get it to work on my tests with family and friends. I was always trying the effect with them being too close to the disc. I tried the effect again on myself in the mirror standing a fair distance away and it finally worked!

Thanks again to the people that mentioned the importance of the distance from the audience.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 13, 2009 06:24AM)
Tried it for the first time last night. Worked very well, got a great reaction...apart from the looking at the person next to you that didn't realy work. Think they're too close.

It was a great way to start a night of entertainment. I'll be using this for stage shows in the future.

George
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Jan 13, 2009 11:44AM)
Congrats George! You've found a new weapon in your entertainment arsenal! :)

I do it three times, twice with the head growing, and then once with it shrinking (usually on a prominent member of the audience).

Here's a video of me doing it at a school fundraising show I did about a year ago. It's the second video.

http://www.brianlehr.ca/magic_videos.html

Brian
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 13, 2009 12:13PM)
George: It does not work for looking at the person next to you. You do not want them having to move too far from the disc to yourself. I keep the distance very close. You also want to have the distance the same. Meaning you need to be at the same distance as the disc is. Hope this helps.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 15, 2009 09:50AM)
Cheers Kyle, yes afterwards I wasn't really that surprised that it didn't work on the person next to them. Someone in this thread said it did so I assume they don't do the trick and were just suggesting an idea.

I was thinking today (steady george) do you think it would add or take-away from the effect if you stuck your thumb in your mouth and puffed out your cheeks for the expansion?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 15, 2009 05:47PM)
It should work as long as you stay on one spot. =)

Kyle
Message: Posted by: danryb (Jan 17, 2009 02:48AM)
I mentioned that I get the audience to look at each other. For me this works!

initially, I get them to look at me (grow), then I do again (shrink) and finaly the 3rd and last time I tell them to look at each other (grow).

This is not an idea - this works (for me and my audience). A bit of trial and error should tell you what works for you and your audience.

Enjoy,

Dani
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Feb 16, 2009 12:39AM)
I don't own the trick you're talking about, I remember Rudy Coby did a version on television (actually on both of his specials) where he showed the wheel for 30 seconds and then told the audience to look at their hand, and the skin looked like it was moving.

You guys are saying that the audience looking at the person next to them doesn't work, so looking at their hands wouldn't work either?
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Feb 16, 2009 02:06AM)
I assume it's the portion of your vision that is occupied by the wheel is affected. Therefore a far away head or a close up hand.
I expect when it works for Dani the audience see movement in the centre of the persons head not the whole head like they would see with someone on stage.
Message: Posted by: Ireland (Feb 16, 2009 07:02PM)
I seem to recall when I purchased this, it came with a silver colored spinner that works with two AAA batteries...it came as a set...the disc and the spinner.
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Feb 17, 2009 03:55AM)
I still think that a trick that only works with 50% of your audience is a bad trick to perform.
There are so many tricks that work with everybody, I don't know why you would perform a trick which only has a 50/50 success rate.

I understand that the visual element is intriguing, but its not really magical. You just stand there are press a button. Hoping that the audience heard you and follow your instructions (and that the batteries in drill don't die).

It doesn't demonstrate your skill in any way, and I've seen lots of iPhones with the illusion on recently, which means its becoming quite known and when you perform a trick the client can do, it makes them think, why did I hire you?

You won't see me performing it.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Feb 17, 2009 10:51AM)
To me this works for 90% of every audience I perform it for very single time. You just have to learn how to perform it correctly and the right and proper set up. Is this an effect that shows great skill? Of course not. But my job is to entertain an audience and this entertains a LOT. It is powerful and dynamic and gets a great response every time out. I always perform this in most shows and it goes over amazingly well.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: konjurer (Feb 17, 2009 05:20PM)
[quote]
On 2009-02-17 04:55, ku7uk3 wrote:
I still think that a trick that only works with 50% of your audience is a bad trick to perform.
There are so many tricks that work with everybody, I don't know why you would perform a trick which only has a 50/50 success rate.
[/quote]

I do it three times and by the second time everyone sees the effect. Then they howl with laughter and beg to see it again. Why wouldn't you want to do a trick that has that kind of reaction?
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Feb 17, 2009 06:33PM)
Because when it fails that first time, you look stupid. The reaction you get the second time, of you hand looking a little messy, has never impressed me, ever. Its not magical, it just a stupid optical effect. With the head its a little more interesting, but not by much.
Some of the audience will be disturbed by whats happening, some won't even care and the rest it never even worked on.

Its also inconsistent. For some the growing works but not the shrinking, and vice versa.

Then the people it didn't work on think your a bad magician and decide that's the time to go to the bar. Losing members of your audience which in turn creates the domino effect until there are only a handful left.

Every trick I perform has to at least work for everybody. The trick doesn't have to be impressive (although it usually is), but everyone has understood what the effect was and that something magical has happened.

I don't care how well this effect plays for the few people it works on. Its the people it doesn't work on that ruin your show. I won't allow any opportunity which loses my control over the audience, and this trick is filled with them.

As for doing it three time's well that's just dragging out time, and that too will kill the pace in my show. I perform up to 90 minutes of pure magic, and any trick that works like this; kills the time that I can keep their interest.
I understand that if you do a shorter 30 minute show, then you can probably get away with 'filler' tricks like this one, because your audience don't have to stay as long. But if you want to stay on stage for long durations at a time, this trick simply doesn't cut it for me.

Steve
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Feb 18, 2009 09:11AM)
See that is the thing. When I perform this, it never fails.. not even the first time. I make sure in my routine as well as set up that it works every single time whether I do it once or 3 times. It is all in making sure you understand how to perform it effectively and your routine is set up in a proper fashion. I have never had a single problem with it. I just get great reactions every time out. In fact, I will be performing it tonight.

It also works for all ages. if you are young or old, it still works just as well. This is why I do it at festival shows cause hearing 500+ people react at the same time is a really great way to get the festival client noticing.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Feb 18, 2009 11:42AM)
Why anyone wouldn't want to add this much excitement to their show baffles me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK1_klpfp_A

To say it's only a stupid optical illusion, and therefore not magic, is like saying, "Wait a second, that's not magic, those are gimmicked cards!"

Brian
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Feb 18, 2009 01:18PM)
Steve, I think you must've been doing it wrong.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Feb 18, 2009 03:55PM)
That's what my wife told me.

Jim
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Feb 18, 2009 04:12PM)
You press a button and make a piece of cardboard spin.

And to think I was worried about my thimble manipulation act!
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Feb 18, 2009 05:14PM)
Mine doesn't have a button. I do agree it's a low skill trick but there are still lots of factors to ensure its success.
The speed has to be right, the audience has to be the right distance away and at the right angle, they also have to be convinced to look at the cardboard for that amopunt of time. If any of these are wrong you could end up with the effect not working for over 50% of your audience. Imagine that!!!

Anyhow I've performed it twice now for an adult audience. It worked for everyone watching and the second time I did it I was approached about performing it on the tellybox. So maybe not just filler...

george
x
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (May 2, 2009 12:51PM)
[quote]
On 2009-02-17 04:55, ku7uk3 wrote:
I still think that a trick that only works with 50% of your audience is a bad trick to perform.
There are so many tricks that work with everybody, I don't know why you would perform a trick which only has a 50/50 success rate.

I understand that the visual element is intriguing, but its not really magical. You just stand there are press a button. Hoping that the audience heard you and follow your instructions (and that the batteries in drill don't die).

It doesn't demonstrate your skill in any way, and I've seen lots of iPhones with the illusion on recently, which means its becoming quite known and when you perform a trick the client can do, it makes them think, why did I hire you?

You won't see me performing it.
[/quote]
One less guy out there performing it. Put another check in the "plus" column for that.
Message: Posted by: bsears (May 3, 2009 10:06PM)
Here's an interesting phenomenon I've recently learned about this effect: people are going home and making them. I just performed at a Birthday Party where the family had seen David Kaplan do this the weekend before, and the father and son decided to make one of these as a little weekend project together. And I'll bet they're not the only ones!

So, on the one hand, this is a little off-putting - who really wants audience members with no magical knowledge duplicating what we do, in their own living rooms, with almost no effort?

On the other hand, this is one of the most talked about effects in many professionals' shows.

For me: this stays in. Even if its not an overt demonstration of skill, its entertaining. Isn't that what we get paid for?
Message: Posted by: Futureal (May 4, 2009 02:22AM)
[quote]
On 2009-02-18 17:12, ku7uk3 wrote:
You press a button and make a piece of cardboard spin.

And to think I was worried about my thimble manipulation act!
[/quote]

It's 2009 and you're still doing a thimble manipulation act?
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (May 4, 2009 01:31PM)
Yes. My Thimbles gets amazing responses. Its my opening trick to all my kids shows. Don't believe me, check out the videos on my website.

As for being old, so is the cups and balls, torn and restored newspaper, colouring book and a bunch of other tricks. Its how you routine them that brings them to the present.

Back to the original problem - the shrinking and growing head. I saw a pocket size, table version at Blackpool which was very impressive. Same effect, but it spun on its own without a drill or batteries. Just a metal disc. It could only be done close-up, but its the first time the effect has ever worked on me.

But I still didn't think much of it.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (May 4, 2009 02:06PM)
I believe it's a matter of how you present an effect like this. Most folks are aware of the phenomenon of optical illusions....so the challenge for the magi is to make the illusion "magical".....i.e. funny. As a closer, probably rather weak, as an opener, lots of potential. Or, combine it with another routine (Lou's Vent Mask, for instance), and use the illusion simply as an effect.
With so many people about who really don't warm to "magic", I feel it's important to consider illusions like this, as well as puppets, music, etc, as a way to creat more variety in your show. As for the 10% who don't "get" this illusion, they're possibly different to the 15% who find magicians deadly dull?
:)
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 5, 2009 06:51AM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-04 14:31, ku7uk3 wrote:
I saw a pocket size, table version at Blackpool which was very impressive. Same effect, but it spun on its own without a drill or batteries. Just a metal disc. It could only be done close-up, but its the first time the effect has ever worked on me.
But I still didn't think much of it.
[/quote]

With regards to the very impressive version that you didn't think much of. You can get them in Hawkin's Bizarre.
Message: Posted by: Professor DoDad (May 5, 2009 07:16AM)
I do mine as the Growing Peppermint.(Mine is red & white) I use it during my Christmas show. I have it wrapped in clear plastic to look like a piece of peppermint candy. Also I blow a peppermint smell over the kids so they can smell it as well.
I know it goes over GREAT every time I use it.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 6, 2009 10:26PM)
The effect goes over amazingly well. This is why I use it in my larger shows ALL the time. It just plays that good. It gets a great reaction and I get requests from folks to see it again.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (May 21, 2009 08:08PM)
Awhile back on a thread about the shrinking head there was a mention of another more professional version that could pack flat ... Maybe made out of cloth and you didn't need to handle it in your hands... I cant find it in the search.. he claimed it was on a certain website but I couldn't find it.. Any ideas guys?
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (May 21, 2009 08:26PM)
Further checking I found a mention of it:

QUOTE:
"These issues have been solved by the guys at MacGyver Magic. They have created a version of this classic optical illusion that is 20" (instead of 18) in performance mode. It will fold down to 11" or even 6" and fit into almost any performance case. Since it is made of cloth, it has no glare issues. It uses a wire in the outside rim that allows it to fold down once or even twice much like a sunshade for a car. It has a scissor cross bar frame that attaches by magnets and it comes with a cordless screwdriver." END QUOTE

However I cant find any mention of if on there site
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 21, 2009 09:12PM)
Kevin is corect. I saw them do a full lecture and this was one of the items they had in it. However, the plastic version from Bruce Kalver is not bad at all, and packs as flat as you want it to be. Hook it up with a cordless screwdriver, and you are in business.

I just did this today at 2 large outdoor shows and it just killed. It is amazing hearing that many people freak out at the same time.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (May 22, 2009 11:19AM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-21 22:12, magic4u02 wrote:
Kevin is corect. I saw them do a full lecture and this was one of the items they had in it. However, the plastic version from Bruce Kalver is not bad at all, and packs as flat as you want it to be. Hook it up with a cordless screwdriver, and you are in business.

I just did this today at 2 large outdoor shows and it just killed. It is amazing hearing that many people freak out at the same time.

Kyle
[/quote]

Its not on there site though
Message: Posted by: MagicJim (Jul 18, 2009 03:29AM)
I just performed this today at a county fair in WI (4shows) and it has been a big hit. Two seconds and pop! It works great for large crowds! The reaction is the same every time! AWhhhhhh! followed by laughter..
Kyle, I use it the same way. Placing the proper context is essential. It works every time!
And yes, the people who hired me, were present for the last show of 300 people. It is memorable. I have found that if done properly (using good patter), most 7 year olds on up also see the effect.

I do it near the beginning of a show, after I warm upm the audience with a few quick jokes and some audience interactive "magic" stunts (knotted hands, as one example). I have established a relationship with the audience. The mood if fun and festive. We are reading to have a good time. This serves as a great transition from warming up the audience to other forms of magic effects.

If you don't have it, get it ...unless you live in the midwest:)
Message: Posted by: Jay Ward (Jul 18, 2009 03:51AM)
It can be difficult to get people to focus on it if they don't realize what is going to happen. I usually say, I know I've been really silly today, but take this one seriously. If you really focus on this one, your mind will be blown. It is the greatest optical illusion ever created. Then on the countdown, keep reminding them. 10, 9, 8, keep staring,7, don't take your eyes off, 6, 5, go down the tunnel, 4, keep going down that rabbit hole, 3, etc. I also don't make any eye contact during this part so as not to distract. This is a trick they talk about long after your show is over.
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Jul 18, 2009 06:06PM)
I have had this for 10 months now. It does not work for everyone.
Sorry but your audience might not be telling you that it is not working.

Kids will hear their friends react and want to be part of it so will say they they see it. After my adult brother said he could not see the effect we tried it several times at many speeds and it would not work for him.

Also I was filmed doing this and I told the camera man NOT to zoom in. He did and when the camera panned to my nose, the effect was lost instantly.
I watched the tape a few times to confirm that the effect disappears fast if ther eis too much eye movement.


When you have a large crowd you might be fooling yourselves that is working as well as you think. The ones who can see it usually react loud and audible.
I feel bad for the ones who can not and found their behavior in pretending to be interesting.


I pretty much for the last few months have taken a poll of who see it it or not.
If I can not scan the faces fast enough I say "If you saw it clap you hands" I see how many hesitate and then join in. Those are the ones who really did not want to see it but do not want to feel left out.