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Topic: Levitation Hoops
Message: Posted by: ziffkher (Dec 12, 2020 10:33AM)
Blaney Great White Hoop and Miracle Levitation Hoop. They are advertised as it is NOT gimmicked and can be fully examined.

What is the key difference with some other levitation hoops?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Dec 12, 2020 12:05PM)
The Blaney Hoops are gimmicked and cannot be examined. The Blaney hoops can be “operated” with only one hand. With practice it can look crazy smooth (see videos of Copperfield for best example of smooth operation).

If you’re on a budget, Pro-line makes a great looking hoop, but it has to be operated with 2 hands after the pass.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 12, 2020 01:33PM)
[quote]On Dec 12, 2020, ziffkher wrote:
Blaney Great White Hoop and Miracle Levitation Hoop. They are advertised as it is NOT gimmicked and can be fully examined.[/quote]

Here's a link to the website so you can re-read the ad copy:

https://www.walterblaney.com/illusions/levihoop.html

https://www.walterblaney.com/illusions/greatwhitehoop.html

- Donald
Message: Posted by: ziffkher (Dec 12, 2020 09:33PM)
At the the Miracle Levitation Hoop page, under the sub-heading SPECIAL NOTE TO BLANEY MIRACLE HOOP OWNERS:
For the first time I have made available a solid hoop that looks exactly like the Miracle Hoop. It can be fully examined, as of course it is not gimmicked.

The second paragraph states: Should anyone come backstage and "fiddle" with the hoop, they will learn it is indeed a simple, solid hoop.

What does it mean "fiddle" here?
Message: Posted by: the Sponge (Dec 12, 2020 09:47PM)
[quote]On Dec 12, 2020, ziffkher wrote:

What does it mean "fiddle" here? [/quote]

touch it, play with it, try and see if it opens.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Dec 12, 2020 10:07PM)
[quote]On Dec 12, 2020, ziffkher wrote:
At the the Miracle Levitation Hoop page, under the sub-heading SPECIAL NOTE TO BLANEY MIRACLE HOOP OWNERS:
For the first time I have made available a solid hoop that looks exactly like the Miracle Hoop. It can be fully examined, as of course it is not gimmicked.

The second paragraph states: Should anyone come backstage and "fiddle" with the hoop, they will learn it is indeed a simple, solid hoop.

What does it mean "fiddle" here? [/quote]

That’s if you want to buy a second solid hoop that is not gimmicked. So you can buy both the gimmicked hoop, and the solid one. They look identical.
Message: Posted by: ziffkher (Dec 12, 2020 10:17PM)
So it seems to me, there is a gaff in the hoop. I keep reading people talking about "operated", "activated", "workings" and "closing the locking mechanism". I am confused here.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 13, 2020 11:01AM)
[quote]On Dec 12, 2020, ziffkher wrote:
So it seems to me, there is a gaff in the hoop. I keep reading people talking about "operated", "activated", "workings" and "closing the locking mechanism". I am confused here. [/quote]

There are 2 hoops mentioned on that page. One that you use in performance, which is gimmicked and cannot be examined (priced at $4495). One that is not gimmicked, that is switched out after the show, and left backstage that you "allow" people to look at (priced at $795). There's also a stand for the hoop, which is priced at $200.

The pricing for the gimmicked hoop is mentioned on the pricing page (link by the photo of the hoop), not on the description page.

https://www.walterblaney.com/illusions/pricing.html

- Donald

P.S. Remember that Walter passed away recently, so I'm not sure how much of this equipment is readily available.
Message: Posted by: ziffkher (Dec 13, 2020 11:50AM)
I got it alright. A big thank you for your response.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 15, 2020 08:55PM)
Technically the White Hoop can be operated completely one handed. The Miracle Hoop (Chrome) does require 2 hands for the “get ready” but after that... only one hand for the actual pass.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 16, 2020 10:44AM)
A member of the Café here named SpellbinderEntertainment Has an opinion on hoops and such props. I wish I could find the article. Maybe I'll PM him and ask him to come here. you will find it FASCINATING!

Doug
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 16, 2020 11:20AM)
The Hoop supposedly as the Holy Grail to prove the magic of levitation. What a hoop actually accomplishes (along with most any magical “proving”) is converting a mystery offered by a conjurer into a puzzle perpetrated by a trickster.

It seems we magicians love to –prove– things to our audiences, and those proofs often kill the wonder and enchantment for the audience. It’s an addictive game of running when we’re not being chased, trying in our dysfunction to become honest charlatans. Imagine an actor portraying Hamlet suddenly turning to his audiences and shouting “This is a rubber dagger I didn’t really kill him!”

What could be more poetic and delicately beautiful than an elegant lady, defying gravity and floating above the stage floor? Yet, at the moment our spectators are delighted and enchanted by the sight, Mr. Magic feels compelled to pull out a shiny hoop and prove something.

I truly believe the moment a hoop is brought on stage, the magic is killed and replaced by a puzzle to be solved in the spectator’s minds. It becomes a “how” is she up there or “if not wires, then what” and your spectators are back in an analytic mode, after you’ve worked so hard to put them into an accepting right-brain mode. There is a part of us that does not want to know there is no “happily ever after” and the beast eats the handsome prince after he’s ditched the cheating princess.

If you were really a Magician– for instance if the great Merlyn himself were performing, would he need to prove anything? Would he dare even let his audience think him less than powerfully magical?

No–
He would say:
“%)(#*@%$ You!”
I’m Merlyn!
It’s Magic!
–And that would be that.

A hoop has become a crutch rather than a tool “Look she must be up there I have a hoop” is the unspoken message, rather than “We are here to astound and move you”.

I know many disagree (I’ve had chairs hurled at me during workshops when I bring up this sacred cow) but this is not only the case when presenting Illusions, whenever possible do not have your audience “examine” any prop without a theatrical reason for having them hold it. If you assume it is real and unprepared they will assume the fact as well, mirroring the acting phrase “if you believe, they’ll believe”.

When you perform are you choosing to present a puzzle to be solved?
Or a mystery to be appreciated?

We do many things in magic because "that's the way it's always been done! " All I ask, is that we examine our magic in a new light and in new ways. Look at it from a stance of Wonder and Enchantment, not trickery and doubt …with endless proofs and caveats.

The justification of the hoop "but it has always been used" is no longer valid in modern magical thinking, and don’t get me started on the use of the “hoop stand” elevating the proof to honored status! If your method or presentation is so heavy-handed it needs a hoop then please... change that up as well, some traditions are just begging to be forgotten.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 16, 2020 11:21AM)
The above is quoted from my book "Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic" if you're interested in exploring this topic and other ways to strength the Magic in your magic, it's available from Penguin Magic. Thanks! Walt
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 16, 2020 12:25PM)
The best book on magic I have! A MUST for beginners!

https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/5214

Doug
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Dec 16, 2020 02:36PM)
It’s an interesting thought but you’re basically saying you know better than Walter Blaney, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Rick Thomas, etc,
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 16, 2020 07:18PM)
[quote]On Dec 16, 2020, thomasR wrote:
It’s an interesting thought but you’re basically saying you know better than Walter Blaney, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Rick Thomas, etc, [/quote]

Agreed. It’s an opinion and I’ll take it as that. I still use a hoop.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Dec 16, 2020 07:30PM)
I happen to agree with Walt's opinion, especially in cases where the hoop takes a life of its own and becomes more than just a simple way to "prove" there are no wires. I've seen performers take the hoop, show it, feel it, practically pay homage to it or dance with it while she's up there supposedly floating by magic. So it becomes a question of what's the important thing here - the floating lady or the hoop?

And I don't see any reason to hand it for inspection or leave it lying around. Again, it's calling attention to the hoop instead of the magic.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 17, 2020 12:38AM)
[quote]On Dec 16, 2020, thomasR wrote:
It’s an interesting thought but you’re basically saying you know better than Walter Blaney, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Rick Thomas, etc, [/quote]

Every magician will do what he wishes, that's how we create our unique shows. And, by the way, I've had angry magicians hurl folding chairs at me when I talk about this in lectures, more than once. Our habits are very ingrained, and because magic is an art passed down from one performer to another sometimes there's a monkey-see monkey-do thing at work.

It's always hard to think 'out of the box' but it is very rewarding to be innovative. If there is a way to justify the use of a hoop in the premise or plot or story of the illusion then it might not intrude on the magic, but that rarely happens.

I'm not saying I know "better" than the famous performers you mentioned, but I do have strong opinions that have served many magicians well. It's up to anyone reading this what they choose to do or think, and if someone gives the issue some thought I've done what I've set out to do.

It's great to follow what others have done, and lord knows "hooping" has been done for hundreds of years. But it's also great to look forward to what could be done to make our Magic more Magical and be far more than mere tricks or illusions.

Thanks, happy holidays!
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Dec 17, 2020 03:04AM)
[quote]On Dec 17, 2020, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:

And, by the way, I've had angry magicians hurl folding chairs at me when I talk about this in lectures, more than once. ! [/quote]

Were they chairs from a chair suspension? :-p
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 17, 2020 10:32AM)
[quote]On Dec 17, 2020, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:

I'm not saying I know "better" than the famous performers you mentioned, but I do have strong opinions that have served many magicians well. [/quote]

I am one of those magicians. Been doing magic for 50 years. Walt's book changed my life! He gave me a "why" to do Magic! Taught me how to write a story around a trick! I have always abhorred The Sucker Sliding Die Box. Then I read Walt's book. I won't go into details, but that changed EVERYTHING! It was now The Wizard's Herb Chest and a whole new story proceeds...

I paid almost $400 for a custom-made chest! Now the magic makes sense! Not that it's "better" than the original. Just fits ME better! ;)

Doug
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Dec 17, 2020 12:23PM)
[quote]On Dec 17, 2020, Dougini wrote:
[quote]On Dec 17, 2020, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:

I'm not saying I know "better" than the famous performers you mentioned, but I do have strong opinions that have served many magicians well. [/quote]

I am one of those magicians. Been doing magic for 50 years. Walt's book changed my life! He gave me a "why" to do Magic! Taught me how to write a story around a trick! I have always abhorred The Sucker Sliding Die Box. Then I read Walt's book. I won't go into details, but that changed EVERYTHING! It was now The Wizard's Herb Chest and a whole new story proceeds...

I paid almost $400 for a custom-made chest! Now the magic makes sense! Not that it's "better" than the original. Just fits ME better! ;)

Doug [/quote]

I had a similar revelation on the Die Box after reading Gene Anderson’s book. I had always loved the die box, but couldn’t figure out how to make it work for me. While Gene’s routine wasn’t right for me, it set me down the path of creating my own.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 18, 2020 08:18PM)
We as magicians can spend a lifetime justifying choices we use to create things which are inherently unbelievable. Sometimes they matter to an audience but frequently they only matter to us which is ok as well. For me personally, my goal is to create an impossible premise for the audience, then bring it to life in pure defiance of their logic and reasoning by systematically destroying each method they arrive at just as it occurs in their mind. To do this I need to lead them down a path and know what they are thinking and about to create as a potential method and then eliminating that just as they happen to think of it. This is, of course, a choice in my personal style but my goal is lay to create strong magic which short circuits their senses to create a state of wonder and amazement. Some are happy to simply “entertain” which is my goal as well. Some just want to “trick them” which for me is the cheapest of all the potential emotions we can create as magicians. Yes, we are story tellers and entertainers but so are many other art forms. My goal is not to have them say... “Well... that was sure clever.” In fact, if they are even able to form words when I’m finished with an effect, I haven’t done my job well.

Whether we accept it or not, Magic is a cerebral art form. It requires thought which takes it away from emotion at times. The box is empty, now it’s full, therefore something must have happened. We can spend years justifying the box and creating a wonderful story around it, but if it doesn’t serve to create a false memory for the viewer that creates an impossibility in their mind when retelling it, it doesn’t serve magic... only theater. Again... that’s a choice. I have made my living as a professional actor and I love it... but my job as a Magician, although using many of the same skills, is very different. Yes, I am a storyteller and lead them on a wonderful adventure but my goal is to crate something so impossible, it is simply beyond reason an comprehension for them. Again... my choice.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 20, 2020 09:32AM)
Ray, you sound like the magician I always inspired to be...but I'm afraid I failed! LOL!

Doug
Message: Posted by: Kendrix (Dec 31, 2020 02:05PM)
I remember Max Maven asking Tommy Wonder on his DVD set. Is this an example of running when they aren’t chasing. Tommy said “They are always chasing you “ . I rarely see Levitation and Hoop Illusions performed. Never had an audience member say My God I thought she was floating and you brought out that hoop and everything changed
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 31, 2020 10:30PM)
[quote]On Dec 20, 2020, Dougini wrote:
Ray, you sound like the magician I always inspired to be...but I'm afraid I failed! LOL! [/quote]

If you find your voice you have succeeded. To be fair, all of my greatest advancements come from a failure. Only by giving up before that next bit of inspiration evolves could it be considered as “failed” as that signifies cessation of trying. You are always growing, always learning and always applying knowledge so I know you haven’t failed!

Hope you have an amazing new year and we ALL get more chances to fail and grow from it!
Message: Posted by: Daston (May 20, 2021 09:47AM)
Any tips on how to deaden the noise made by a h****d hoop. I bought it from an estate auction with no handling info. I can pm someone with pics if you think you can offer help?
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Jun 8, 2021 02:15AM)
[quote]On May 20, 2021, Daston wrote:
Any tips on how to deaden the noise made by a h****d hoop. I bought it from an estate auction with no handling info. I can pm someone with pics if you think you can offer help? [/quote]


What is a h****d hoop?