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Topic: Don't do this at the bank.
Message: Posted by: dreidy (Dec 24, 2003 02:29AM)
I had to cash a cheque at a local bank (one I don't usually use) and they require a current drivers licence as identification. Knowing this I put the licence into a tenkai palm before handing over the cheque. Then when the teller asked for the ID, I reached up and 'picked it out of the air'. Then, despite the photo on the licence, the woman wouldn't accept it. I had to pull other cards out of my wallet before she'd hand over the cash.

It's the first time I've ever actually fooled anyone using that manoeuvre, or perhaps she'd just had a long day.

Message: Posted by: Chout (Dec 28, 2003 04:45PM)
A similar thing happened to me, except involved a credit card and two cashiers at the local supermarket. She ended up having to call over a colleague to help identify me.
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Dec 29, 2003 07:32AM)
Those sound like some real idiots. No sense of humor, no sense of fun. I've worked in two supermarkets by now, and by golly, when a customer comes through and is actually interesting and fun, you should be ready to hug their neck . . . some people just don't get it.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 1, 2004 02:18AM)
:dance: :dance: :dance:

Daff totally agrees with you, because he had an experience that parallels yours.

I had just purchased the new effect where you pull our business card out of a wallet, and it is on fire, then the flames go out leaving the card unburned. It's called Hot Leads wallet, by Jim Pace.

Anyway, I walked into my health food store, and while speaking to one of the owners, had opened a door for myself as she was going to let me talk to the main owner about performing in her store.

So, I figured I'd drive home my contact, and I proceded to pull out the business card in flames. Brother, I'm telling you, I have never seen such a look of fear and horror on anybodys face in all my life! Her eyes got as big as saucers, her mouth dropped open, she gasped for breath, jumped back about a foot, and after catching her breath, gave me a piece of her mind.

She was angry! She thrust her hand forward in a pushing away gesture, and refusing to take the card now, she let me know in no uncertain terms that she did not appreciate fire in her store. GEEEEESE lady, give me a break here, I'm not an arsenist or anything like that, I'm just a poor slob magician trying to get a break in the world, looking to make my mark wherever I go. Is that a crime? I guess in her book it was.

Anyway, the point is, that some people are going to, as you say, be dumb. I prefer to say remain in their ignorant little shells. What can you do? Just tell yourself wer'e not the weird one, THEY ARE!
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jan 2, 2004 01:41AM)
Daff, you actually did a couple of things that she was perfectly justified in getting mad at you for:

1) Violation of City Fire Code. Open flames in most retail operations is strictly against the law.

2) Violation of the terms of the store's fire insurance policy which undoubtedly states that any fire that results from any violation of the City Fire Code is not covered by the policy.

3) Possibly scaring the customers as you undoubtedly scared her. Not good for customer relations.

4) Possibly setting off the sprinkler system IN the store (which I have seen happen to another performer making the same mistake). The store's insurance company nailed him in subrogation for the replacement costs of all of the inventory and store equipment damaged in the deluge. Subrogation is where the insurance company goes after any person responsible for a paid off loss to recover THEIR costs.

5) Violation of applicable State and federal laws regarding pyrotechnic displays.

After the tragedy in Rhode Island in 2003, cities are REALLY cracking down on fire code violations. Because you were not carrying proper licensing for a pyrotechnic display in your city (I am willing to bet), then you could even be liable for any applicable fines and/or jail time should an inspector find out about your use of the wallet.

Sorry to disagree, but you were the one who made the mistake, at least from a legality standpoint.

Trust me, my lawyer had a LONG, and tough talk with me about this very subject, just recently, so I have a bit more knowledge about the liabilities than I really wanted to have.


Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 10, 2004 07:32AM)
O.K., point well taken. I was wondering about these things and now I have some clarification.

Now the logical conclusion to all this is that Jim Pace invented a wallet that none of us can really use, at least not for the stated advertised purpose of the effect.

So what does that leave? Well, I suppose you could perform it outdoors, but then you have the problem of wind blowing the flames either at you or at a spectator. Not good either.

O.K. No outdoors, no indoors because of codes etc.,
Umm, where does that leave?

There is another thread on this effect under the review section, and if you havn't allready posted this information there, perhaps that would be a good thing to do, as from reading the thread, it seems to me that their are a lot of firebugs performing this new release in public buildings. They all need to know the information you have presented. :)

Oh, I was wondering if you set off any fire alarms or sprinkler systems when you performed that effect where the smoke rises from the ashes, then it bursts into flames on the tray?
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jan 11, 2004 05:32PM)
Well, the esteemed Mr. Pace invented the wallet before the Rhode Island tragedy and had no way of knowing that the fire codes would be tightened up.

In general, if one is going to use a fire wallet, it is best to check with the venue first and get written permission, absolving you of all liability. Unfortunately, your chances of that anywhere but in a private home are slim, to say the least.

It's unfortunate, but White Snake really messed this up for all of us.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 12, 2004 08:07AM)
And on that note, let's hold off on producing our cards from packets of white powder, fake blood and boxes marked with nuclear, biohazard and/or radiation symbols... for now.
Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Jan 12, 2004 02:22PM)
"It's unfortunate, but White Snake really messed this up for all of us."

Ha! The band was Great White! I thought an esteemed fellow like yourself would know your 80's Hair-Metal bands!

Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jan 12, 2004 04:48PM)
Sorry Firedice, but I'm a Child of the 60's who got stuck in traffic when the Beatles first landed at O'Hare (no, I was NOT driving!), saw the Dave Clark Five at the Rockney Theater on Division Street and whose main interests in music during the 80's was jazz.

Get me going on Dave Brubeck (especially the Joe Morello drum solos - the guy could do a drum roll with ONE HAND while maintaining a 5/4 riff with the other on the ride cymbal!), Stan Getz, Don Ellis or Buddy Rich and you'll have my undivided attention.

Even though I have appeared at Mancow's Christmas party in Merrillville, IN (on stage with Cheap Trick, no less) and have performed for the likes of BB King, 80's hair-metal isn't all that big on the horizon for me.

Not that I don't appreciate good, kick-fundamental-body-parts rock (Aerosmith will get my full ear, anytime, as will a certain pair of long beards from Texas, Kiss and a few others), I still go for jazz and blues more.

Matter of taste, I guess. My bad.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Jan 21, 2004 05:50PM)
I can see where fire might get you into trouble, but the guy who originally posted was just talking about a cute way to produce his driver's license. One thing can be said for it, though . . . if they wouldn't accept your ID, your magic certainly must have been convincing . ..
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 22, 2004 08:18AM)
Yeah, gotta chime in, here...

I no longer do 'fire' stuff...in fact, I no longer do magic at banks, grocery stores, business establishments, and I'm beginning to think restaurants are next...Judy The Mouse, case in point...you've heard this one before:

"Sir, we don't allow live animals in the restaurant", so I took "Judy" by the tail, and slammed it on the table, and held it up by the tail swinging...I was immediatly asked to leave, much to the chagrin of the people of whom I was a guest...

That was several years ago, after I saw that same routine done by another magician. He got laughs, and guffaws from the wait-staff...not me...never again.

Sense of humor is going the way of the "Magic Shop", I'm afraid...

(DISCLAIMER: no animals were harmed in the above description)

Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jan 22, 2004 11:35AM)
I've got to say that, on occasion, when there is no one in line behind me at the bank, I will do a little rubber band magic for the teller after she has handed me my money or proof of deposit.

Doing so actually got me a well-paid gig at my bank in downtown Chicago, so, I guess, like it says in the Good Book, "To everything, there is a season under Heaven!"

My guess is that it all boils down to timing when you are doing the magic in the transaction and framing the fact that you ARE doing a trick, not trying to scam the person waiting on you.

In every case where I've done magic after the transaction, as a sort of "thank you," the response has been quite positive.

Maybe I've just been lucky.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 24, 2004 08:39PM)

I think "wise" may be a better answer, Lee. You see, no one ever told me how to "act" as a magician. I was on my own, and tried to emulate every magician I saw. A lot of the time, I'd see a "wise-guy" type, and think, "Yeah! I gotta DO that"...


Bad one.

It took me well into my forties, and totally stopping the hobby so many times, to get to the point that graciousness, consideration, and a touch of class, is the best approach, as well as a well-practiced routine (no slamming around finger puppets in restaurants).

I still like a laugh or two, but my approach is much more "me", and a lot of the time, I try to be "halfway through something" before they realize I'm performing an effect. It doesn't always work, but magic needs to be preserved, and thought of in a revered way, not, "Oh, yeah...I knew a guy that did tricks..."

No, Lee...you have the right frame of mind...I only wish I'd learned sooner...I've been very, shall we say, "enthusiastic" in the past, and have paid dearly for it, and so has magic, I'm afraid.

Great post!

Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jan 25, 2004 04:58AM)
Thanks for the kind words, Doug. It took me a long time to learn when and where to do magic.

This evening, I had a not-so-good hypnosis show (I had to fall back on some other material because it was such a tough crowd) and, got stuck having to wait almost an hour for my car as the line at the valet stand were quite long.

To make a long story shorter, I did a bit of sponge ball work for my waiter (I had decided to pass the time with a little dessert).

The outcome?

Well, I got my dessert and Royal Kona coffee for free and a table of four across the aisle asked me to come over and show them something. Never being one to refuse a pretty lady (and she WAS!), I did.

When I walked away, I found, slipped under my coin purse, a fresh, new, $20! And they refused to take it back and insisted on getting my business card as well.

The restaurant manager also asked for my card as well.

Not bad for a night where I kind of tanked. ;)

Live and learn, I guess!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 26, 2004 08:17PM)

I'll bet that's no ordinary Sponge Ball Act, there, Lee! That's one I'd like to see! I need to break out my Blue J Surprise sponge routine...that's a good one to carry...hmmm...got me a-thinkin' :idea: Thanks!

Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jan 28, 2004 11:25PM)
Doug, all I did was a 10-count and the ball to spectator's hand for the waiter. Of course I followed it with CMH! ;)

Nothing special, really.


Trust me!


Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 28, 2004 11:48PM)
Back in the days when I played with a band, there was a local magician who used to follow us around. He had been the number 3 man at a pizza parlor I had played in, and he figured that since I was a magician, he would be welcome in any night club I played in, doing random acts of magic for our customers.

It wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't sucked!

The poor man would walk into the club (this was a night club with a dance floor) wearing a black suit, white shirt, western tie, a half-length costume cape that was about the right size for a 9 year old and a tattered pressed felt top hat -- the tapered kind. He also carried, you guessed it -- a Fantasio appearing cane.

He never went over to the customers and did magic for them. Instead, he would sit at a table, nurse a drink, and watch the crowd like a hawk. If he caught someone's eye, he would make the cane appear. Or he would pull a lit match out of the air. Or pull a half dollar out of the air. Kind of a solitary infliction of magic upon the unsuspecting customers.

Finally, one night the owner of the club came over to me and asked, "Who is that (anatomical reference deleted) in the weird costume that keeps pulling (reference to fertilizer deleted) out of the air? He says he knows you."

I told him the guy's name. He said, "Is he such a good friend of yours that if I threw him out on his body part, it would cause you any problems?"

I said, "I'm glad you asked that question? How far would you like to throw him. Can I watch?"

And he disappeared like a puff of smoke.

I don't know if he is still around. Maybe he will read this. :bigsmile: :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jan 30, 2004 05:16AM)
Reading about the fire magic reminded me of how far political correctness has gone. I had occasion where I did the sponge bunny routine, and one of the sponge bunnies hit the mans head which he claimed caused permanant brain damage.

OK, so it hasn't happened yet, but someday....... :D
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 30, 2004 10:54AM)
Getting back to the original story before the firey tangent I think they're are quite a few people who are a little wary about magicians especially when money is involved. I'm not suprised really, you have shown them something with no logical explanation therefore you might be able to do other things with no logical explanation ie make the money disappear from the till or produce the credit card of the guy behind you in the queue.

I went into a pub once and there was a patron at the bar with a pack of cards I couldn't resist borrowing the cards for a few jaw droppers. I was egged on so followed with a couple of quick coin tricks. When I bought a second drink I was short-changed. It took me quite a while to convince the barmaid that she had really short-changed me and that it wasn't another trick. (The argument that won her over was that if I was going to use magic to steal a couple of quid I wouldn't have shown my skills in front of her before doing it)