(Close Window)
Topic: Peripatetic Walnuts
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 11, 2019 08:17AM)
Hi everyone, I remember years ago I saw a clip of someone perform The Peripatetic Walnuts and I was completely fooled and entertained. I later learnt that it was created by Marc Jacobs and published by Dai Vernon. I learnt the structure of the routine I perform from the DVD by Brian OíNeill. Iíve tried to develop my own patter for the routine using a lot of stock gags and puns! I purchased the gimmick from Randi Rain some years back but it stayed on the back burner till now. Iím really happy with the quality of the gimmick. The rest of the props used in the performance were all purchased from a local 2 dollar store. You can see my routine here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u86yuo5-kkQ
It is another work in progress. So Iíd be really happy to receive any advice or criticism that could help me improve the routine. But I also wanted to share it as it is a classic and I havenít heard much talk about it recently. I do throw in a disclosure in case someone in the audience has an allergy to tree nuts. Iím not sure what you guys think of the disclosure I make but in Australia, food and nut allergies are a problem. John
Message: Posted by: Nala Nosmoht (Mar 11, 2019 02:54PM)
Very well done! fooled me. thoroughly enjoyed it.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 11, 2019 06:22PM)
Mixed feelings on this one. A kernel of impossible transportations with dialogue I am not nuts about.

Not just puns - I am reflecting on what does not sit right for me. I have always like tricks with walnuts and other natural objects. Great.
Some of the moves are interesting and the "double catch" ploy new to me.

Glad to see someone use the 'toss'' masked by the full body movement - something I call "Sway Reverse" in many writings. I can send you some ideas there is you wish.
There is even a possibly better move you might consider for that sequence, or have in reserve for a repeat for same crowd.

but ...

a drinking glass and plastic cover seem inconsistent with the natural nuts. Why nuts rather than stones or plums? Yeah, I realize you want them to rattle.
For those who have seen some magic performances, the use of walnuts might get their attention. The plastic cover can loose it. Glass Ok if there is a reason.

The set up of a solid base plate, solid and transparent glass and a third, inverted container is supposed to make the transportation seem more impossible and astonishing.
This is "serious magic!" So, the levity could be seen as discordant to that "most magic thing you have ever see,"

Alternately, you could be trying to 'laugh it off" since the magic is so profound and serious. (reduce the fear). If so, it should be clearer why you are about.

If one borrows Al Schneider's labels of Clown, Theater and Virtual magic, you are mixing Clown and Virtual with no Theater.

Not saying this should be all Virtual but could be - and be far too serious/powerful for many. Who is your intended audience?

More questions than answers, I know. Glad you are trying new things and posting.

I enjoyed it, yet feel that magic came up short when it could be the hero.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Mar 11, 2019 09:50PM)
You have stated, "So Iíd be really happy to receive any advice or criticism that could help me improve the routine."

I shall offer some.

The biggest problem I see is division of your communication style.
You use your voice and body to communicate somewhat humorous patter.
This is opposed to using the magic and body moves to communicate magic events to the observers.

This is very subtle. I would recommend communicating to the audience with the magic alone.
Every motion during the presentation should be focused on forwarding the magic.
Then, every word spoken and every body action should be focused on supporting that effort.

I understand that this is contrary to the standard way of presenting magic.
This is: talk for a few minutes then do a magic move.
Then talk without doing magic for a few more minutes.

Your magic is acceptable and your moves are acceptable.
The gimmick and your use of it is quite powerful.

However, I visualize that if you use the magic alone to communicate to the audience you would have a piece that would transcend the moves making up the trick.
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 12, 2019 02:43AM)
Hi Nala, Many thanks! I'm really glad you liked it. You can probably see why I like your easy going style and good humor.

Hi Ken, Really appreciate you taking the time to offer feedback. The double catch is something Brian O'Neill did as part of the routine he teaches. I think Brian may also have done a more subtle version of that toss move, if I remember correctly. But I've been doing that move for years with coins, etc. Have no idea whether I learnt it in Bobo's or it kind of morphed from something I'd read or seen?

Here's the main issue for me. I don't think I want the magic to be the hero. I don't want my audience to go away thinking "must be magic." That's not what would make performing interesting to me. And it's not about me being the hero. I do want to surprise and baffle my audience but I also want to entertain them, make them laugh or smile, share with them my fascination with misdirection and psychology (without giving too much away!) and how clever our brains are. That's the kind of character I'm going for or trying to develop. It's a bit superficially intellectual/academic combined with a bit of unsureness and with magic sometimes being out of control/going wrong. Not suggesting I've been able to bring all these elements together successfully in an act but that's what I've been trying to achieve:).

Hi Al, Thank you so much for your advice too! I think I know what you are saying to me because I have followed other comments you've made in the cafť and also watched enthusiastically a number of your routines. I know you are not asking me to do anything you're not doing yourself. I don't want the magic moments or impacts to be diluted and will try and address that. But I keep coming back to the type of person/character I want to project, the reasons I'm holding onto in terms of why I think an audience would enjoy giving me their attention and the experience I would hope they have. You've presented me with ideas that are very challenging and thought provoking! John
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Mar 12, 2019 03:24AM)
I did not know of your agenda. Sorry I made a comment.
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 12, 2019 04:02AM)
Hi Al, I hope you donít regret commenting. I do very much value your insights and observations. Youíve made me think harder about what Iím trying to achieve and how I present myself. Take care, John
Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 12, 2019 05:17AM)
"I do want to surprise and baffle my audience but I also want to entertain them, make them laugh or smile, share with them my fascination with misdirection and psychology (without giving too much away!) and how clever our brains are."

OK, I can try and support that objective. Difficult for me to consider that to be magic,
but I have used performance magic technique for teaching and allegory also - just did not call myself a magician when doing so.

In that light, I do feel that this is the wrong magic effect to accomplish your objective. It is too powerful to dilute or treat lightly.
The very fact that you feel called to offer a disclaimer for the prop is a clue.

I would suggest you look for routines with a lot of audience involvement where the expectation of the audience is on fun instead of magic.
On the plus side, anything that you can do to simulate live-thinking as opposed to tiny-screen myopia is a good thing.

I will watch your offerings with interest with a hope you can consider me a focusing lens rather than a bucket of cold water.
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 12, 2019 06:19AM)
Many thanks Ken🙂 I donít want to give the impression that I actually give my audience a lecture on magic or misdirection! I guess what Iím trying to say is that I want my spectator to think ďI know this is a trick, he has told me he is going to use misdirection (in a non challenging way) but I have no idea how he did it, I didnít see a thing!Ē Maybe thatís a better way of articulating my objective in terms of the impact of the trick itself. In terms of my broader performance style, yes Iíd have to add wanting the audience to have fun. I hear what you are saying about choosing routines with more audience participation. One of my staples has been the invisible deck. But after all the laughs that come with that the final reveal has a very strong impact and the magical moment is very clear and uncluttered by any bad puns! Thank you for your observations Ken. And I do want to know what people really think even if it is sometimes slightly bruising to my ego. Iíd much rather become better at performing than remain unchanged and wonder why Iím not connecting with my audience. I did make some changes that you recommended that I think improved my cups and balls routine btw🙂 John
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Mar 12, 2019 10:09AM)
You really are full of fear aren't you. Don't worry, there is hope.
Message: Posted by: gallagher (Mar 13, 2019 02:37PM)
I have to admit,
I had to look that one up!

The funny thing was..
{Someone who travels around to work.}

Kanawati, thanks for sharing your film clip,.
your thoughts,
your questions,..
and your patience.
It's actually an enjoy-ible discource.

Thanks to everyone else, as well.
Interesting thoughts.

My feelings are:
1.) I like this character of a comedian struggling with his comedy(!).
I find it funny.
Magicians use the ruse often enough...
'Magicians struggling with Magic.'
,...nice turn.

2.) As mentioned,
the Magic is very good.
'Puzzling', at the very least.

3.) Off the wall,
Nala Nosmoht, the second poster,
plays with 'a nut and rope' routine,..
he's showing it,
a couple of forums above this,..
in the Sidewalk Shuffle.
I couldn't help but thinking,
of going from 'a nut' to 'a nut',
with the third vanish and production.
"Now l'm screwed!"
You two should talk,....
you'd find a lot of common passion.
He's a good guy.

4.) Al Schnieder's thoughts are provoking, as well,
..for me.
The thought of Magic standing 'on its own',
is something I truely believe in...and struggle for.
But, self,....have not achieved. Yet.
It was a pleasure to read someone else mentioning it.
,....so strongly.
It's a hard one.

That being said:
You know what YOU want.
,..what YOU are struggling for.
It IS hard.
It does take courage.
You have the right to question yourself,
...be scared about it.
But,...KEEP persuing it(!).
The greatest thing any of us have to offer,
...is what we find in ourselves.
Share our OWN feelings,

I appreciate you doing it.
As does,...
believe it or not,...
everyone else..

Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 13, 2019 03:01PM)
Many thanks Gallagher my friend!
Message: Posted by: Nala Nosmoht (Mar 15, 2019 07:19PM)
Kanawati, I'm glad I was the first to respond to your video post!
I would not have wanted to be influenced by any others that posted after.
Good feedback advice and suggestions for sure.

After reading some I went back and watched it again, Ö same result,
I thoroughly enjoyed watching it again!
hope to see more
sorry it was removed!
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 15, 2019 09:03PM)
Many thanks Nala! I was having a slight technical problem with the props that I purchased from the 2 dollar store that was affecting the smoothness of the handling. I found a solution to it and was planning to film it again but Iíll leave up the original clip as it is. Itís back up. Thanks again to everyone for the feedback on the routine🙂 John
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Apr 5, 2019 01:02AM)
Hi everyone, I just wanted to also thank Neal Austin (his Cafť member name is Sealegs) who is a professional performer with a focus on comedy magic. I reached out to him directly for advice on how I could further develop this work in progress. Neal was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge. He even took some of my ideas, completely reworked them, added new ideas, and re-wrote a script for me. A script which I couldnít help laugh out loud over as I read it! Over just a couple of pms I felt like I had attended a masterclass in scripting, delivery, pacing and presentation. He explained themes and ideas that work better to engage an audience and shared information on how to add jokes and humor without diminishing the magical impact. Finally, he gave me a script that showed me how those ideas applied in a practical sense. I canít thank him enough! John
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Dec 28, 2019 06:02PM)
I was happy and glad to be for some help John. It was my pleasure. Sorry it's taken me nearly 10 months to see and then respond to your post!... but belated thanks for the mention. :)
Message: Posted by: Rudy Sanchez (Jan 4, 2020 06:12PM)
With permission from John here is my version. This is a magic trick I learned back in the late 60ís.

I do consider this more of a parlor effect.

I learned this and many other tricks from Joe Berg and other magicians that would hang out at his shop. Some of the worlds best magicians of that era would congregate and of course I would linger and listen and take in all the secrets I could learn.

Anyway this is the ďwalnutĒ trick and what you see in the video is exactly what you would see if you were standing in front of me.

I studied Dai Vernons, Harry Riserís and Mariano GoŮiís versions then came up with my own methods.

No camera tricks, no electronics, no monkey business (ok a little funny business😉)!

I hope you enjoy the ďWalnutĒ trick!


Thank you John!
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Jan 5, 2020 11:43PM)
Rudy, what a great magical routine!
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 7, 2020 09:21PM)
Excellent work, Rudy. Really really nice.
Message: Posted by: doug brewer (Jan 27, 2020 12:15PM)
I'm a big fan of this trick and worked on it extensively a number of years ago. Because of the gaff this can only be used in a parlour situation - a tough one where I wanted to perform this close-up. My solution was to invert the inverted cup (how about that) so now it's upright and NOT gaffed. You don't need the plate as a result and this reduces the clutter by one. (Peter Biro I believe came up with a similar idea). Okay, enough about me.

I have a motto in magic performance I live by: you're allowed one pun

I realize that there can be a place for puns but for me a pun works best, and is at it's funniest, when it's extemporaneous and created in the moment. It can kill then. A run of puns as a substitute for humor or comedy often gets groans - not what you necessarily want in a performance.

You have a funny/humorous personality and delivery.
Your facial expressions are great.
Your technique is good and deceptive. I like the idea of the "guessing game" of the presentation. This builds interest and involves the spectator versus passive watching.

I believe you can be funnier than you presented here. Much funnier and organic in the moment. I would work on your script - perhaps asking questions to your audience at particular sequences. Audience answers can be funny in themselves - generating humor from the audience is a classic way to build a "comedy" act.

Good job. And you're brave to ask the peanut gallery for comments.


P.S. Haha, well I was reading further up in the comments after I posted but it looks like you did just this. Hope you have great success with this routine.
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Jan 27, 2020 06:05PM)
Doug, I really appreciate the great feedback and constructive advice! I've been enjoying the process of learning about making a script more engaging. The other big thing I'm working on is trying to be more genuine and natural!

Rudy, The way you do the vanishes and your handling of the props is very smooth and natural. Many thanks for sharing your presentation!
Message: Posted by: Rudy Sanchez (Jan 28, 2020 04:08PM)
[quote]On Jan 27, 2020, Kanawati wrote:
Rudy, The way you do the vanishes and your handling of the props is very smooth and natural. Many thanks for sharing your presentation! [/quote]

Thank you Kanawati and thank you for allowing me to post my version in your post.