(Close Window)
Topic: Dancing Cane - How safe is it to perform?
Message: Posted by: Magic_streak (Apr 19, 2004 01:13AM)
One of the most magical effects on stage, but also the most dangerous. How often do you guys get caught? I've often heard people advise against performing in strong daylight but even in a controlled setting in a theatre with just a normal ray of light on you, the audience may sometimes still see the gimmick.

Is it the movement of the hands to conceal it? The magic is best presented when the cane moves slowly around you. Do you guys move quickly to conceal the gimmick? Tell me how you perform this miraculous act. Thank you!
Message: Posted by: Jordini (Apr 19, 2004 02:57AM)
Get Losander's cane, and his notes on dancing canes. I have not seen a better dancing cane act in my life.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Santos (Apr 28, 2004 12:57PM)
Yes, Losander's cane looks brilliant. I would also suggest getting his Dancing Wand, for something cheaper. The tips are gold plated and it is an item kids and adults are familiar with. It suits you as a magician. It's the most commom magic prop a magician can have. Also, I'm sure you can use it as a regular wand for the rest of your act. Good luck!

Daniel Santos
Message: Posted by: markis (Apr 30, 2004 12:58PM)
Along those lines do you think one of those super strong magnets would hold together two sections of a dancing cane or in my case a Creekmore Dancing pool cue?
Message: Posted by: ufo (May 1, 2004 01:49PM)
The cane is an awesome effect by anyone's standards but the issue of keeping the method unseen is very delicate indeed.
I have seen the cane done dozens of times at conventions and in shows. I can think of one maybe two times I could not see the method at least some.
Jeff McBride suggested putting some silk streamers on the cane at top, middle and bottom (the thumb*** streamers that is!) and the waving streamers create a good bit of misdirection but still......be careful not to be the only one who thinks you cannot see the "whatsit"!
good luck!
Message: Posted by: John Cass (May 2, 2004 09:36PM)
I saw Mike Rogers do this. He used a solid cane (very lightweight). He also recommended that you do the cane while wearing gloves, and take the gloves off as the cane was dancing. It looked great!
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 13, 2004 03:48PM)
I've had tremendous success with the Dancing Cane, but you are absolutely correct about the risks involved in it. Losander and Jeff McBride (On Stage) both have excellent advice to help reduce the risk of getting busted. In general, here are some tips to try:

1. Blue Spotlighting
2. No Backlighting
3. Black Jiffy Marker (Can't get into more detail without risking exposure)
4. Keep the routine extremely short.

I've been doing my routine for years. Trust me - these tips work!
Message: Posted by: markis (May 14, 2004 04:38PM)
I do the dancing pool cue and wear a "busy" dark shirt and the gimmick is rarely outside my shirt area for the short routine. Self-induced black art.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (May 14, 2004 06:48PM)
Keep it short and learn to light it. NEVER top or back lighting. Don't -- PLEASE -- dim the lights. That's a dead giveaway.

VEry bright, straight front light works great.

Make the dancing primary and the cane secondary.

10-15 seconds max.
Message: Posted by: Michael Lee (May 14, 2004 10:30PM)
Hello all

I would be very interested to hear your opinion on Copperfield's cane work as was done in his "American in Paris" segment.

The late Peter Pit also did an interesting cane routine.
Any thoughts Pete?


Message: Posted by: dsilverfield (May 15, 2004 05:47AM)
Hi John,
How did Mike take off his gloves when the cane was dancing?
Hi Michael,
DC used the Creek Noore Cane and yes the routine is excellent.
There is a guy in the U.K called LOki and he also does it well.
Message: Posted by: rannie (May 18, 2004 12:12PM)
I agree with Mr. Biro. Please keep it short guys!

Message: Posted by: magicsam (May 18, 2004 03:54PM)
I would also like to know how Mike Rogers took his gloves off while the cane was dancing?!
Could you PM me with more information?!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (May 18, 2004 07:31PM)
I have only seen two versions of the Dancing Cane that "I LIKED."

1: Ken Brooke. He opened his cabaret show by DANCING on, a funny eccentric dance, the cane just came along for the ride. When he got to the mike stand, he stopped, threw the cane off to a waiter (pre=positioned) and said, "Sell it."

2: A French magician, some years ago, at a FISM competition started to do it and the cane went crazy and started to beat him over the head, hit him and knocked him to the floor. NOW THAT WAS FUNNY.

None were endless flings of a stick on a string.

If you ever see a cop at a Parade, like in NY City... they stand around with their billy clubs, on thongs, and do the same moves.

The Walsh Golf club premise was good. You didn't dance it, but it had a balance bit, and a single throw it out and it came back... that's enough.

Do not get greedy with the principle.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 18, 2004 07:56PM)

Mike Rogers, just did it. He worked it out when he was a teenager, he said. He removed the glove by pulling one finger at a time, then removed the full glove, then the other hand. He only showed the effect when I saw his lecture at Abbott's many years ago.

No one can give this to you on a silver platter, as only hard work and persistence is the answer.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (May 18, 2004 09:14PM)
And learn to DANCE... the cane should be secondary. Don't turn down the lights either.

Or I will personally come find you and break your cane... :kermit:
Message: Posted by: Magique Hands (May 24, 2004 01:09AM)
How safe is it to perform? Well, sometimes out of the clear blue, I get a t****d cut! Never been rushed to the emergency room yet.

Seriously now... Just like any and all types of effects which utilize the gimmick, it is critical that you take into consideration and TESTING of lighting, background, and such. I test all aspects of lighting, background, and audience viewing lines, and if those tests don't pass... it doesn't get performed on that stage, period.

I have produced a nice DVD just on the Dancing Cane. You are more than welcome to go to http://www.magickits.com or http://www.magicmafia.com to order it. The DVD is very detailed, and covers pretty much everything there is when performing the Dancing Cane.

Everyone so far has given GREAT advice on this post. Keeping the routine short, DANCING (a big point to stress), and keeping both hands involved while the cane is moving... it's all great advice.

Have Fun,
- - Troy
Message: Posted by: magician81 (May 24, 2004 01:45AM)
I think Peter Loughran's Ultimate Dancing Cane is the best!!!!! A flaming dancing cane!!!! And the flame is 8 inches high!!!!
Message: Posted by: David Todd (May 24, 2004 08:08AM)
On 2004-04-19 02:13, Magic_streak wrote:
One of the most magical effects on stage, but also the most dangerous.[/quote]

It is dangerous. Many have died of boredom watching this effect.
Message: Posted by: Dmann (Dec 12, 2004 11:50PM)
Again, I have to jump in and tell you fellas about the Dancing Cane 101 DVD. This is put out by Precision Magic, Inc. If you haven't seen this you are certainly missing out!
Message: Posted by: The Magi (Dec 13, 2004 05:32PM)
My partner Ken has an uncle with whom he toured as a kid. Ken is constantly recounting stories of his uncle Paul's routine. He had some real creativity in that routine -- and wasn't just your boring 10 - 15 second routine. He had all sorts of stuff in there, it's crazy. Ken does a version of that routine - and he does it to music. It's fantastic how much stuff you can come up and make it truly entertaining.

Something which really adds to the effect is the fact that we make our own dancing canes -- out of colored paper, which means they are REALLY light. You can use a 'smaller' gimmick. Ken has been able to get it down to 2, if that makes any sense without giving anything away... Actually, he has been able to go to a 1, but it breaks far too easily and then you have to fix it -- and that's certainly not safe in an audience.

Ken's uncle was able to dance around the audience members in broad daylight because I believe he only used a 1. Ken uses a size 2, and he can stand right in front of someone, and visibility is not affected a whole lot from that extra size up.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 13, 2004 08:56PM)
Dangerous? Only if he bored members of the audience! CHARGE THE STAGE with swords drawn!! :kermit:
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Dec 28, 2005 02:39AM)
There is only one dancing cane worth it on the market.. Steven's Sells it..

It's called the Ulitmate Dancing Cane.. it's only slightly heavier than two ounces.. which means the secret is very very very thin..and can be done in almost any light..

and it looks like an old walking cane.. not a magician's prop..

Look on the stevens web site. What it doesn't say on the website is that the directions are AMAZING.. the late Gene Poinc said that the directions were better than he'd ever seen for any magic trick EVER.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 28, 2005 06:09PM)
The smallest gimmick will show up when strong lighting is involved. I once saw a young magician who came from Australia to attend the Abbott's Get-together, he walked most of the way.

He carried a Dancing Cane with him at all times. He perfromed on the lawn in front of the school and he was so good they asked him to perform in the showroom. It was very good, fast and magical. He used a click sound he made with his voice for his music like those piano player timing devices.

I believe he was hit by a car on his way home, but I retain his memory. He had a stong impact with his performance. It was not the gimmick you watched but his performance and the cane.

There comes a point: which is more important, fooling your audience or entertaining them? If you believe, so will they. This will transmit to your audience.

Play some music from the computer and start to move. Yes, as Pete Biro mentioned above, if you have no rhythm then take some dancing lessons. If you do, just get in the mood and practice and dance with your cane. If your wife looks at you funny, change partners! :)
Message: Posted by: Magic Enhancer (Dec 31, 2005 09:29AM)
I just bought a Losander Candle. Does it work the same way as the cane? Please advise.

Message: Posted by: Jacob Smith (Dec 31, 2005 06:40PM)
Dmann is right. Dancing Cane 101 is a great resource of information. There is even a 201 coming soon.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jan 7, 2006 10:08PM)
Does anyone think The Dancing Cane and Disappearing Cane to Silks go together? The silk should hide the t-----. But will the r--- mess up the disappearance?
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jan 8, 2006 03:41PM)
On 2006-01-07 23:08, Dynamike wrote:
Does anyone think The Dancing Cane and Disappearing Cane to Silks go together? The silk should hide the t-----. But will the r--- mess up the disappearance?
That's what the Fantasio Dancing Cane is. I used to perform it when I was in college.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jan 8, 2006 08:17PM)
Thank you, Alan.
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Jan 10, 2006 07:32PM)
I was named a Gold Medal Finalist doing the cane. By the way, I used Precsion Magic's cane, and I took the time to get some 1 on1 time with David Mann to make sure I was top notch! It paid off too. Joe Turner commented in his review in the Linking Ring, that I performed some very innovative cane work. Thanks David!

Speaking of the Precision cane. It is by far the best I have used, and I've used a lot of different canes over the years! David's cane is sturdy. You can travel on a commercial airline without fear of it getting busted or bent. The gimmick is wonderful to use. It is easy and leaves you for all intents and purposes, clean if you wish. And the finish will not chip! A solid investment, cheap at twice the price.
Message: Posted by: Magic Enhancer (Jan 16, 2006 02:24PM)
David, Your cane doesn't vanish or appear like fantasio's cane, right?

Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Jan 17, 2006 12:10PM)
It does not. But, you could probably figure out some clever handlings to do either.
Message: Posted by: Dmann (Jan 30, 2006 09:08PM)
The trouble with doing the vanishing cane with a Fantasio Product, to me seems to be if you do the silks for the effect they seem to throw the weight off of the cane and cause it to move erratically. I personally have done it but not after a lot of experimenting with how to make the silks stay where they belong.
Message: Posted by: AlmostAmazingJames (Jan 31, 2006 02:07PM)
How safe is it? Hundreds of magicians have died attempting to perform it.
Message: Posted by: Dmann (Jan 31, 2006 05:47PM)
Almost Amazing James,
You're kidding, right?
Message: Posted by: magician211 (Jan 31, 2006 08:58PM)
I think I have nailed myself in the head a couple of times. I might get a concussion soon!
Message: Posted by: AlmostAmazingJames (Feb 2, 2006 02:09PM)
Dmann, do you need to ask?
Message: Posted by: Dmann (Feb 2, 2006 06:30PM)
Nope! Hundreds have been killed and mamed!
Message: Posted by: WolfgangWollet (Feb 3, 2006 12:28PM)
I personally like the Mikame Dancing Cane. It looks and feels like an elegant wooden walking stick. I like the fact that it is wood colored and not black. The Fantasio Version is nice but it is IMHO a little more involved to set up, because you have to extend the spring just right so that the gimmick sits at the right position to balance it. Of course the added effect of the cane disappearing is nice.
Pete is right about short, the audience gets it after a couple of second that the cane is dancing and there is no need to bore them with 30 seconds of it. I prefer if there is a reason for the cane. It makes sense when an elegantly dressed magician with top-hat and tails has an elegant wooden walking cane but when a kid in a t-shirt and shorts that seems to be fine on his feet has one it screams "out of place".
Message: Posted by: Dmann (Feb 4, 2006 09:15PM)
I just wanted to jump in to let everyone know that Chris Compton one of my personal interest protege's (sorry if I didn't spell it right) just took second place in the Juniors Division at the Columbus Magi-fest convention. Needless to say I am very Proud of him! I rest my case on the Dancing Cane that can be done longer than 15 seconds. Christians routine is 7 minutes long to the second.
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jan 16, 2008 05:30AM)
I was absolutely in love with a dancing cane I had gotten from England in the 70's. It weighed 2 oz. hollowed out balsa wood, heavily lacquered.
I performed it in 1983 at the Wilshire ebell in LA for the PCAM convention. Didn't know Peter Pitt was in the audience.
I was MC for the show, and introduced the set by making a comment as to how much I love this cane, you might say I've become rather attached to it. And that comment brought down the house. But, I swear that I had never said that before and didn't realize the joke until after I had said it.
That cane was so pefect, I could virtually stop it anywhere I wanted to.
I shattered it in a car door and never found another like it.
So, yes, it was a fatal attraction .....for the cane.
I believe whenever doing the cane, I allow it to "lead" as we dance, and I follow it. This allows me to compensate if a strong wind comes along.
Here is a video of a cane (home-made), that snapped on me during a show. We all screw up sometimes. It was a killer.
Message: Posted by: Magic Enhancer (Jan 16, 2008 07:41AM)
I wound up purchasing the precision Magic Dancing cane along withtheir Cane 101 DVD. I can't be happier. Awesome moves and best of all, a PERFECTLY balanced cane.

McBrides DVD is also a nice supplement to Precision Magic's.

Robert Haas
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Jan 17, 2008 12:50PM)
Update on my cane work with Precision Magic's Cane.

Last year I won the 2007 Magi-Fest Stage Competition with it, and have now been booked to returnthis year as the host of the Thursday Night show!

The Dancing Cane was the best investment (time & money) I have ever made.

As for being caught. I have pretty much eliminated that possibility. Lighting and movement conceal the gimmick, but some of the moves I do completely eliminate the possibility of the suspected workings. Even IF some 20/20 vision guy sees a glimpse, his beliefs will be destroyed by some of the moves, and decide he was wrong about the method.
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Nov 2, 2011 02:11AM)
I know.. this is a super old thread.. but I loved the title..

and with a 2 oz cane.. how can it possibly be dangerous?

Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 2, 2011 02:26AM)
I use to do this at Magic Mountain in Valencia, California in a outdoor theatre. I had my girl friend stand at different parts of the theatre to make sure the gimmick could not be seen. Also, I didn't use black, I used a purple gimmick. Then I painted the gimmick with different colors like camouflage. If you keep the cane moving, even if it's just a little bit, it should not be seen, but do take the precaution and do the pre-show work to make sure.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Nov 4, 2011 12:51PM)
On 2008-01-16 06:30, magicians wrote:
Here is a video of a cane (home-made), that snapped on me during a show. We all screw up sometimes. It was a killer.
I am glad you survived by keeping the act alive. That makes you a hero.