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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Knots and loops » » Whit Haydn is my new hero... (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jolyonjenkins
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I have thought along similar lines and even tried it (with Fiber Optics). Harder than it looks because, essentially, the endpoint for the spectator is the same every time: one long bit of rope.
Jolyon Jenkins
Whit Haydn
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The idea of having the spectator "keep up" with the magician was original with the "Whit Haydn Comedy Four Ring Routine." The turning around and seeing that the spectator is keeping up with you, is the comedy premise that I created for that routine. It can be used in a number of situations.

David Copperfield used the bit in "Orient Express" with a rope routine. He gave the spectator non-working scissors, and every time he cut and restored the rope, when he looked back, the spectator's rope was "back together." I suggest you look there for ideas for rope routines. I was given a place in the rolling credits for that special.

Chuck Fayne used the bit in a "you do as I do" color-changing silk routine.

Dai Vernon was the one who insisted that I publish the ring routine with Jay Marshall back in 1978. He said that the bit was the "first new comedy premise" in magic that he had seen for "thirty years."

He thought that the only way to protect the credit for something that would be taken and used in a lot of different situations was to publish it. I think he was right, and have always been glad that he suggested it.
erlandish
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It beats the pants off the usual stuff that passes for comedy. "Hold out your hand. No, the clean one... Oh, that was the clean one. OK then..."

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CJRichard
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Although I understood how to do the Mongolian Pop Knot after viewing Whit's online video, I wouldn't perform it--or even practice it--without first buying the routine. I ordered the booklet last week and got it today.

I just want to say that this booklet is very, very clearly written. Each and every bit of business is explained. The photos are clear and helpful. It's a great piece, and the price is right, too.

I just don't know who the young guy on the cover is...

Oh, by the way, Whit, Jon Stetson and I share a hometown (even though he advertises he's from "BOSTON"). Last time I saw him--walking his dog this spring--I had not yet renewed my interest in magic and joined the Café. Next time, I'll be sure to mention I've watched your four ring routine.
"You know some of you are laughin', but there's people here tryin' to learn. . ." -Pop Haydn

"I know of no other art that proclaims itself 'easy to do.'" -Master Payne

Ezekiel the Green
Whit Haydn
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Don't forget that I was using Jon's rings and they looked great, and he is such a champ for giving them to me... etc.
marty.sasaki
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There are posts scattered around the Café giving advice on dealing with spectators who want to see the props. In general, the advice is to firmly say "no." In the Mongolian Pop Knot, the rope is handed out for examination, and when it is returned the performer says something like "It's an ordinary rope, otherwise I wouldn't have let you look at it." Does this present problems with folks wanting to look at other props?
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
Ed_Millis
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For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the video clips. I am in an isolated area and rarely see another magician perform; to see such a professional and entertaining performance did wonders for my imagination and expectations for my own performances! (Not to mention lowering my ratings of most of our county fair performers!)

A question for Mr. Haydn and others - here are the video clips, the manuscripts are for sale, and people are openly talking about performing these very routines. Mr. Haydn even mentioned his newspaper tear was Gene Anderson's "almost verbatim". I have been a casual dabbler in magic, now trying to make this thing go. I have read many postings about copy-cats and imitators. How would you feel, Mr. Haydn, to go to some county fair (for instance) and see the performer doing your rope or ring routine almost exactly like your video clip? Or, what are the guidelines for "copy" and "imitate", and when do those lines get crossed in the wrong direction?

I'm sure this has been discussed in large quantities elsewhere - it just seemed like a good place to ask this given all the talk of these routines.

Ed
TheAmbitiousCard
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Whit's answers to that question are found in his "Chicago Surprise" booklet.
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CJRichard
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Whit also posted these thoughts in the Café here:Against Originality in Magic

In the version of Whit's Pop Knot I'm rehearsing for myself, I've altered one line, added one line, and (at least temporarily) I've changed the name of the knot from Mongolian to Wampanoag.

I considered changing the Pixie Dust to something else, but nothing works as well.

My character is very different from Whit's, but the Pop Knot routine itself will be nearly identical to his.
"You know some of you are laughin', but there's people here tryin' to learn. . ." -Pop Haydn

"I know of no other art that proclaims itself 'easy to do.'" -Master Payne

Ezekiel the Green
Ed_Millis
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Thanks! Exactly what I needed.

Ed
Whit Haydn
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Different performers have different takes on this.

It is important to remember we are only talking about material that has been released.

I believe that it is important to imitate in order to learn, and that for some, a good imitation may be the best they can or want to achieve. There is nothing wrong with a good imitation. It should be judged by how well it is done. But, it will always be judged inferior to something that is fresh and unique.

The artist doesn't strive to be original so much as to express what is inside him.

In order to do that, one must become an original--simply by being oneself.

By the way, it is always a kick for me to see my routines being performed, whether verbatim or modified. It is like writing a song and hearing someone else perform it.
walid ahumada
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To be a magician does not mean we have the skills to write down good patter. It's like a good actor - he is just a performer, and someone else is writing the script.
“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” BEN OKRI quote
airship
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I'd seen Whit's 'Knot' video before, but upon watching it again, I felt compelled to order the booklet. You know, that guy, Whit, is pretty good. Smile
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Pop Haydn
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Ten years later:

leondo
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Pop, you're still the king! Bravo. 👏👏
Philip Busk
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Love to this routine!
Philip Busk
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Oct 10, 2006, marty.sasaki wrote:
There are posts scattered around the Café giving advice on dealing with spectators who want to see the props. In general, the advice is to firmly say "no." In the Mongolian Pop Knot, the rope is handed out for examination, and when it is returned the performer says something like "It's an ordinary rope, otherwise I wouldn't have let you look at it." Does this present problems with folks wanting to look at other props?


I have not had a problem with this. My show is tightly constructed and scripted, so the audience doesn't have much chance to ask questions or ask to see things. Also, the line "otherwise I wouldn't have let you look at it" makes them feel a little silly to ask to see something. When it is necessary for the argument of the trick, the prop should always be examined.
Pop Haydn
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BTW, if you don't let them examine the rope at the beginning, they will be screaming to examine it at the end. Once you have let them examine the rope, they won't ask again.
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