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Topic: How to make an Umbrella appear?
Message: Posted by: maylor (Nov 14, 2003 04:09PM)
Hi guys. I'm working on an idea where I want to make an umbrella appear at the end of my act. I know about appearing parasols as performed by Fukai etc.

But has anybody got any ideas on how I could make full sized Umbrella appear?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 14, 2003 08:07PM)
I have played around with this idea myself and have come up with several ideas and suggestions that may work well for you.

First, you will want to get one of those automatic opening umbrellas. They make a great one that folds down very small and will extend out and open on a push of a button. They also come in various colors so that you could find one to match a silk color or color of your act.

Because of the small size (probably around 10 inches when closed) you can really create a pocket in a silk of the same color and use this as a table steal. It would be quite easy and could work the same way.

I hope this helps give you some idea.
Message: Posted by: boltt223 (Nov 14, 2003 09:23PM)
Darren... it's funny you ask this now. I was just telling my wife that I wanted to come up with a new stage act using umbrella's. :smiles:
Message: Posted by: Leo B. Domapias (Nov 15, 2003 05:57AM)
Hi Darren,

Kyle is right. Production umbrellas should be the type that opens automatically. You will do well, however, if you stayed away from the folding ones. When you produce the umbrella, it should open in a flash. Folding umbrellas open in at least two stages, which is not the kind of effect you want to create.

The advantage of folding umbrellas is that it folds small, thus easier to hide behind covers, such as silk handkerchiefs. The disadvantage is that it doesnít deploy as rapidly as the non-folding types.

Use childrenís umbrellas. I find they are the right size for production, and since most of them have colorful designs, they can easily be hidden in silk handkerchiefs.

The umbrella you want should have a round tip, as opposed to pointed tips that are common among menís umbrellas. I'll tell you why via PM, if you want, as I think the reason behind the round-tip choice will expose the basic technique for umbrella production.

You have also to saw off the handle of the umbrella to remove the lockís housing. When you have done that, close the umbrella by wrapping around the small ribbon like cloth (I donít know the English term for it) thatís sewn toward the handle end of the umbrella.

My umbrellas, sans the handles, measure 17 inches long in closed position. This is just the perfect size for me---itís big enough for a flashy production and small enough to be hidden in a body load. (Donít forget to unfasten the ribbon cloth when you load the umbrella, otherwise it wonít open during production.)

Now, you have at least three options for producing the umbrella(s)óbody load, table load, gimmicked handkerchiefs. If you want a production thatís strong and visually pleasant, go for a body load steal. A one-umbrella production is not very difficult if you have experience producing doves from body loads. Once you have produced the first umbrella, the second is a breeze to produce, since you are going to use the just produced umbrella for cover to produce the second umbrella.

A two-umbrella production is very strong magic. Itís even stronger if you perform it without a jacket and in short sleeves.

Theoretically, you can produce six to eight umbrellas from body loads, if you find the right umbrella sizes. Itís a good idea to produce different sizes of umbrellas for aesthetic and practical purposes---some of the hiding places in your body can only accommodate small umbrellas.

If you want to build a complete umbrella production act, itís also a good strategy to vary your method, say, steal one or two from behind the table or produce a couple from gimmicked handkerchiefs.

Needless to say, if you produce more than two umbrellas from body loads, you need a jacket or costume that will hide all those umbrellas.

Iím withholding some of the information, as I donít want an unintentional exposure. If you need more info, just PM me.

Ben Benjay
Manila, Philippines
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 15, 2003 08:33AM)
I would also be intersted in hearing more of the details on your body steal production of the umbrella. I have been playing around with the idea myself and it sounds good. If you could PM me that would be great. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: maylor (Nov 15, 2003 09:16AM)
Many thanks Guys that is brilliant information. Ben, I would be very appreciative if you could PM some more of the detail on this subject, as I'm brand new to it. Once again, many, many thanks.

Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Nov 15, 2003 01:21PM)
There are some umbrellas that are automatic that also are telescopic that you ought to be able to have in the back if using tails.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 15, 2003 02:13PM)
Hey??? Are you serious??? Everyone in the world knows that umbrellas are self-opening. I don't think this would fool anyone.

Unless maybe you produced 100 of 'em out of a Grant Temple Screen. :wavey:

OK put one up each sleeve and one up each trouser leg... pull 'em out of your sleeves... will be sort of funny, but not baffling, but when you pull 'em out of you pants leg (followed by one from your fly) maybe it would get some laughs. :fear:
Message: Posted by: maylor (Nov 15, 2003 02:25PM)
That's a good point Pete. Thining about it, I'm not sure how impressed I'd be either. Anybody else got any thoughts on this.

I like your routine idea. That would be funny.
Message: Posted by: Leo B. Domapias (Nov 15, 2003 04:20PM)
Kyle and Darren,

I'll PM you as soon as I get back from my show. It's Sunday over here, so I gotta work first.

Best regards,

Ben Benjay
Manila, Philippines
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Nov 15, 2003 04:35PM)
Pete makes a good point, everybody knows umbrellas collapse. I think the reason Fukai's routine is successful is the sheer speed of the productions. I don't mean how fast the umbrellas (parasols) open, I mean the speed at which he produces them, they just keep coming and coming. It makes you lose track easily.
Message: Posted by: maylor (Nov 15, 2003 05:06PM)
Good point Scot. It really is a puzzling routine and after a while you just give up trying to figure out where they came from. So does anybody think there's any way to make the appearance of just one or two umbrellas impressive?
Message: Posted by: Leo B. Domapias (Nov 15, 2003 05:14PM)
On 2003-11-15 17:35, -The Scot- wrote:
Pete makes a good point, everybody knows umbrellas collapse. [/quote]

For laymen, that knowledge isn't much good, though. The umbrellas are produced in the open position, not in the collapsed position. In fact, that's the reason why the use of a rapidly opening umbrella is important. The audience doesn't get to see the umbrella until it's already opened.

In the open position, the umbrella is wider and bigger than the performer's body. If the umbrella is produced correctly, even the rocket scientists in the audience would be baffled as to where in your body you hid a "big" open umbrella. ;) That bafflement increases when the performer wears no jacket and is performing away from tables.

Don't ask me why, but the audience psychology at work here is that when you produce a collapsible production item in its extended or open position, lay people think you had it hidden all the time in that open position. That, I think, is the same psychology governing the production of appearing canes, candles and 10-ft. poles.

Unfortunately, I'm not a psychologist, so don't quote me on that. :hmm:

Ben Benjay
Manila, Philippines
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Nov 15, 2003 05:53PM)
But can you spot the difference between an umbrella and a Fantasio Appearing Candle?

Most people have used an umbrella, and know it folds down for ease or carrying etc. But the reason the appearing candle works is the audience presume it is a solid candle, like the one which might be used in a romantic dinner. They have never seen a candle folded down in any way. The same is true for the canes, bird cages, 4ft wands etc.

[quote]when you produce a collapsible production item[/quote]

Then you later said:

[quote]is the same psychology governing the production of appearing canes, candles and 10-ft. poles.[/quote]

Audiences should not know that the appearing canes and candles fold down, that's whats magical about the production of them.

I hope this makes sense...

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 15, 2003 08:33PM)
I do agree with you on your point, but audiences also know that parasols also collaspe as well. So, if they know that parasols collaspe, why are they still in awe when Shimada produces them? I will try and explain my reasoning below.

If you produce several large open umbrellas in a rapid fire sequence, I am sure the audience will be impressed and enjoy the entertainment value just the same as they would a sequence of parasols or even silks.

I do not think they would be as apt to think that they just collaspe. It becomes a matter of where could he hide that many umbrellas and how did he produce so many of them in the open state.

It is almost the same psychology at play of producing a lot of silks in a silk sequence before a body steal. The audience knows the silks can be rolled up and that they do not take up much room. However, they never think that way and they do not make this connection. This is why they are still amazed and they still appluade for it.

They never see the steal of the silk until the silk is already out in full view. It is the same for parasols as it would be for umbrellas. If done correctly, the audience never sees the steal at all and therefor never sees the umbrella until it is already out in an open state.

To them, they are amazed at the silks, umbrellas, and the sudden appearance of them and the color startles them. They do not have a chance to start thinking logically, so they never question where they came from. They simply enjoy what you are producing because they can not make the connection of where it came from in the first place.

The umbrella, silk or parasol is already out in full view and extended before their mind ever registers it or sees it.

I often find that we magicians tend to over think things a bit too much. I think a use of an appearing umbrella, if done right, can be very startling and effective in a nice sequence.

Just my humble opinion.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Nov 16, 2003 03:58AM)
I'm not familiar with Shimada's routine, but if it is anything like Fukai's - it is very quick paced. that's the startling thing about it, Fukai's parasol spring open in front of the audience on several productions, then another one springs open in his other hand, when he has 3 in his hand he pulls down and another one springs open.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think the spectators think they have been hidden in the opened state, rather he is producing them in a clever way to distract you.

I do see where you are coming from, though, maybe it's a personal opinion of mine.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 16, 2003 07:59AM)
Thanks for the reply. My point is that if your act is paced the right way, the audience never gets a chance to even start to think backwards to where it could have even come from. There is too much already to see, that by the time it registers to them, you are already into more produictions on into a new sequence.

Of course all of this is assuming that your steals are clean as well as the productions that you are performing.

I do not think the auidiences think they were stored in an open state. I know they do not think that way, but they also do not know where it came from nor do I think they stop to think about it. If your act is good and paced well, they simply sit back, watch and enjoy. =)
Message: Posted by: maylor (Nov 16, 2003 08:52AM)
Isn't the point this:

One can produce a billiard ball or a card. These are tiny, but the audience will not know where they came from so they will be surprised.

With regards to a folding umbrella. Yes, people knwo they fold down - but they don't fold down into nothing.
Surely the surprise comes from the audience not seeing the umbrella in the folded state - thus the effect is - it has appeared from empty hands - just with the production of a dove or something else. Therefore - is the fact that people know umbrellas fold up really that important - if the steal and production are done well???

Maybe a bit waffly, but hopefully you can see what I'm trying to say. What do you guys think??

All the best, Darren.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 16, 2003 03:11PM)
Exactly my point and it is more or less what I stated in my last post as well. We magicians tend to over think things a bit too much.
Message: Posted by: Salazar Magic (Nov 16, 2003 07:45PM)
I went on tour with Shimada a couple of years ago. He did his parasol act. The stuff that he did would blow you away. I wish I could talk about the methods. But, they're highly guarded.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 16, 2003 09:46PM)
Man I am so so jealous. I would wipe Shimada's feet just to hang out with him for 5 mins. I admire his work so much.
Message: Posted by: Leo B. Domapias (Nov 16, 2003 10:31PM)
On 2003-11-15 18:53, -The Scot- wrote:
Most people have used an umbrella, and know it folds down for ease or carrying etc.

Kyle is right. Sometimes we magicians over think our magic and forget how it feels to be a layperson.

I donít see the point of fussing over the fact that people know about the collapsibility of umbrellas. I believe that knowledge will not undermine in a big way, if at all, the impact of the umbrella production, provided the magician employs psychological touches and subtleties in his performance.

Most people know that sponge balls can be compressed. But that knowledge doesnít prevent skillful magicians from getting bug-eyed reactions from his audience when the sponge ball multiplies inside the closed hand of a spectator.

Most people know that the magicianís lady assistant can assume a near fetal position inside the box when it is sawn in half. That knowledge has not prevented the ďSawing a Lady in HalfĒ from becoming one of the most enduring classics of magic.

Most people know that the lady assistant can contort her body inside the Zig-Zag. But that knowledge hasnít stopped this chestnut from baffling audiences around the world for many years, no thanks to Valentino.

Most people know that a magician has the skill to control a card seemingly lost in the deck. That knowledge hasn't prevented magicians from entertaining audiences with the Ambiious Card.

What does all this mean? I think it means that people watching a magic performance can start with a basic assumption of the principles employed to produce a magical effect. Whether accurate or not, that assumption does not necessarily weaken the impact of the trick, provided the trick is clothed in psychological subterfuges that counteract, cancel out or nullify the suspicion stemming from the basic assumption. In other words, audience suspicion is not necessarily a deterrent to the performance of good magic.

Ben Benjay
Manila, Philippines
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Nov 17, 2003 06:30AM)
Sure they use umbrellas and knowe that they colapse but they don't knowe thhat you can have six or seven hiden on your body and isn't that what the production is for a layman, "where does all thise parasols come from?"
Everybode has used a deck of cards and knowe that it is smal and that they can be held in a fan. Most do that themself when they are playing cards, but they still reacte when you produce fan after fan in a card secuense or when you do a fan for pick-a-card-trick.

Ofcoure it wouldent be much magic just to take the paralols out and opening them but with cover of a large silk or something and time misdirection the paralols come from the silk that to laymen cant hide anything.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 18, 2003 07:01AM)
You do have a point hwoever your job as a maghician is to CHNAGE this thinking in the lay person. Do not make them leave your act thinking where did they come from and how did he do that. Make them and force them to leave saying,"Man I was entertained and had a great time. That magician was very good."

There is such a huge difference between the two. We are not about fooling anyone and magic should never be about that. It should be about entertaining people in the best method possible through magic, acting, character and style on stage.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 18, 2003 12:09PM)
On reflection, if the appearance of an umbrella makes sense to the act, then by all means do it.

Just think about the misdirection, the handling and the color and effectiveness of the production.

Should it be HUGE or just a surprise ??

Can you do something to follow that will KILL ??

Let us know. :coolspot:
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Nov 19, 2003 06:08AM)
Pete, Kyle:
You are both right I use the production of umbrellas in my act like a running gag. It seams like I can't get rid of the umbrella. People are entertained as well as suprised of the endless producton of umbrellas. As for the kill I use the umbrellas as a cover to produce my assistant at the end.
Message: Posted by: limkris (Dec 15, 2003 03:08PM)
A french magician named Alpha sells a burning torch that changes in a big parasol.
Does anybody know about a broken and restored umbrella?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 15, 2003 03:15PM)
Your thinking of the mutulated parasol effect.
Message: Posted by: limkris (Feb 26, 2004 04:08PM)
Yeah, but without silks.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 26, 2004 08:05PM)
The umbrellas do not make the magic the performer does.

I had the good fortune to work backstage with Shimada at Abbott's last year. I have also worked backstage with Fukai and Kimika (sp). I was also priviledged to be around Ward Thomas who basically did a dove act with umbrellas. He could even take off his coat at the end and get rid of the body loads. I won't tip his act but he bought his umbrellas at the dime store and gaffed them himself.

The thing all of these acts have going for them is color and flash. Eye Candy. Real people love to watch pretty stuff being produced. All work fast and everything has been honed out over thousands of performance. Blocking sells every production to the audience.

Having said all that, let me say I produce an umbrella shortly before I produce 2 eleven bloom bouquets, a 25 bloom botania on a pot and 150' of mylar coil from a garden of flowers foulard. I use the umbrella to catch the coil.

When I worked with an assistant years ago, I had Abbott's make me two Flash parasols to match my Mutilated Parasol. As I finished the routine, I handed the restored parasol to the assistant who moved in front of me and knealed. At the same time, I stole the two matching parasol from a back load on me and produced them holding them to the sides and above us. It made a nice picture and gave a tada to the routine.

Jay Marshall always said "Paint a picture". In reality, that is all the parasol productions are...painting a picture.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Mar 11, 2004 02:21AM)
Umbrellas From Silks:
Message: Posted by: Karl Danne (Jul 26, 2004 08:24PM)
I don't exactly remember who was the one asking for ideas to the umbrella production. I will only say (trying not to give away the effect): relate the umbrella to the V. cane (Fantasio).
I don't know, perhaps it suits you well for your act. Then you can make the cane that has disappeared appear again.