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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Range of effectiveness for thumb tips (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Craig Peterson
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89 Posts

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I am just beginning to work with a TT. I was wondering what range it can be effective in. Can it work close-up, or is a parlour setting as best as you can expect? I understand nobody should ever really see it, but then why would you bother getting it flesh colored then? Is there a good discussion on the application of the TT in some book that I am missing? Actually, I have search the Café and not found anything here either - but maybe I am missing something. Thanks.
Kent Wong
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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I understand that the flesh color of the TT is a relatively recent "improvement". Originally, the TT was made of unpainted metal. Therefore, the original design was such that it could not be used in any manner where it could be seen by the spectator.

By making the TT flesh colored, you can now get away with quick flashes, with the TT being aimed directly at the spectator. Since the TT is pretty much in constant motion, there is some misdirection to allow it to be quickly flashed in a close up setting.

Now, just because something "can" be done, it doesn't mean it "should" be done. Whenever possible, I try to ensure that the TT is completely out of view of the spectator and I only provide the flash when absolutely necessary.

The real trick in effective use of the TT is a natural handling of the hands. Although many spectators don't even know that such a device exists, an unnatural handling can often telegraph that "something" is happening. By creating the suspicion that "something" just happened, you risk destroying the temporary suspension of disbelief.

Hope that helps.

"Believing is Seeing"
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5771 Posts

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There are some really good books out there on TTs. I especially like the work of Gary Darwin. He has a lot of resources available to magicians on this subject.
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
1185 Posts

Profile of ufo
You may also want to find and study the TT video by Salvano. He handles the thing so that it is invisible to spectators but is used in many, many ways. Good luck.
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
Dusty the magic clown
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I use it frequently in my wlakaround and upclose 90% of people never see it occasionally you will find someone who saw an expose and knows how the trick works, but be careful do not leave it in front of them for more than a few seconds or they might see it I hope this helps
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Profile of carbone1853
With skilful handling of the TT the audience should NEVER get a direct look at the TT. Think of the color as protection against accidental exposure. If you use a handling where the audience gets a direct look at the TT, you are rolling the dice and hoping the audience does not notice.
Ron Reid
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

Profile of Ron Reid
Hi cjp24:

In addition to the advice above, I recommend you buy Patrick Page's DVD on Thumb tip Magic - it's VERY inexpensive. You can buy it directly from for $12.50 with free shipping.

Here's a link to the DVD:

The DVD is about an hour long, and he really answers all your questions. He talks about how to use the thumb tip so it's natural and won't be detected. The DVD is excellent for someone just starting out with a thumb tip, but there are excellent routines too.

Pat Page is the UK's version of Dai Vernon - he is just about the best teacher I've ever seen. You won't regret getting this DVD.

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1958 Posts

Profile of kregg
Wear it around for a day and see how many people notice it.
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