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Professor Piper
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Ok...

BEFORE anyone jumps down my throat here:

I've read many of the threads on the topic of using a Wand in the C&B routine...I understand that it is considered a "Standard"...I understand that the Wand is one of the symbols of Magic and it's history.

I LIKE Wands....

What I'm curious about is this:

Does anyone have any source material or clips of performers doing C&B's WITHOUT a wand?

I've been practicing a neat little routine without a Wand and am liking the results...Just want to know if there are any others out there that have done it and how they approached it.

Thanks.

Prof. Piper
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geoffa
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The routine in "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic" doesn't utilize a wand. I picked this book up on eBay recently for minimal cost.
-geoff
Michael Baker
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One of my routines uses no wand and I won a close-up competition with it. The typical purpose of the wand is for misdirection and aiding in justifying the nature of a guilty hand. There are certainly other ways to do this. I have read many. many routines where no wand was used. Charlie Miller's routine as written in Bruce Elliots', "Classic Secrets of Magic" is but one. Although taught there with coffee cups, it can just as easily apply to standard magic cups.

The John Mendoza Routine uses no wand, nor does Dan Fleshman's, Johnny Paul's, Fred Kaps, Tommy Wonder's, and scores of others. The wand's popularity, as used with the Cups and Balls was written of at least as far back as Hoffmann, and certainly appears in illustration further back. Although many later routines are sans wand, there exists a sector of magicians who are dominated and transfixed by the works of Dai Vernon, and those who's only experience witnessing the Cups and Balls are when in the hands of Gazzo or his multitude coattailers.

No one is going to jump down your throat Prof. They'd have to go through me first. A rule is only valid until someone creates a good reason to break it. Going against the standard is giving yourself a voice where others may never have one of their own. I'd love to see what you work out!

~michael
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Professor Piper
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Geoffa, thanks for the tip...I'll have to give Wilson's book a look..

Mr. Baker...

Thank you so much for not only the info, but the words of encouragement...Not to mention 'having my back'!

Quote:
A rule is only valid until someone creates a good reason to break it. Going against the standard is giving yourself a voice where others may never have one of their own.


This statement, in a nutshell, depicts who I am as a performer...

One example: I am a Ventriloquist as well as a Juggler, Fire-Eater, and now Magician...In my Vent. act I have, over the last few years, developed a 'spin-off' of the old 'drinking water while talking' bit...

Me? I eat fire while talking....To great effect I might add.

Going against the grain is what defines me, and I thank you for backing that way of thinking.

Quote:
I'd love to see what you work out!


When and if I'm ever fortunate enough to have the show I'm building actually see a stage, you will be amoung the first to get free tickets, and if unable to attend, a video of the show.

Thanks again.

Prof. Piper
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TheAmbitiousCard
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John bannon's routine does not use a wand.
charlie frye's routine does not use a wand.

If I didn't use one, I'd be sad.

However, if I had a good reason not to do so, I'd feel better than sad.

Bannon's was my first venture into the cups and balls and oh how I yearned
to use the wand and the tipover load and put the balls on top of the cups and all the classic moves. so I stopped doing it.

If you've been there, done that, well then do whatever you want with good reason.

what are your reasons?
I can think of a couple.
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KirkG
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Rafael Benatar does not use a wand also.

After you try a routine without a wand, fully learn one with and then make your choice after observing reations to both. I think for most of the routines I have seen, a wand would improve the routine. Of course, it may just be the abilities of the magicians I have seen that influences that belief.

In a nut shell, the vanishes are more convincing and more magical when done with a wand. So if you don't do any, then there is a reduction of needing a wand. Use of a wand provides for a more natural hand position and gives a natural "resting place." From a historical and traditional position, a wand is used. Of coure, so are three cups and some have changed that admirably.

So, change for change sake, is no good, but change for an improvement is fine. Just make sure your change, is an improvement.

Kirk
Euangelion
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Apparently nobody uses a wand and we've all been duped into thinking they do.
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KirkG
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While we are on the subject, please use a wand, not a pen, butter knife or other equally lame object. If you need (or want) a wand, use a wand. I make an exception for coin in pen cap, but that is about it.

Kirk
Vandy Grift
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Butter knife would work fine, in an impromptu setting with teacups for example. Worked for Michael Skinner on the "Tonight Show".

Speaking of Michael Skinner, He didn't invent it, but he used the "Rub a Dub Dub" patter for a wandless C&B as well.
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KirkG
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With all due respect to Mr. Skinner, I don't think it looked as good (image only) as it would have with a "real" wand.

That is all my opinion is really about. I just don't think routines look as "nice" or finished as they do when you use the formal props. I feel a wand is the symbol of the embodiement of power of a magician. If you don't need a wand, why use a spoon? What is the message you are trying to send?

Kirk
Vandy Grift
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Well, I think in an impromptu situation using teacups and cherries or grapes on the dinner table, You'd look like something of a dork using a "real" magic wand. It's completelty incongruous. What would you say? "Here let me show you something using these three teacups a couple of cherries from the bowl here, and this ebony wand that I carry around with me?" If you have your wand, you probably have your cups, so why do an impromotu routine?

I think in Skinners teacup C&B routine, a formal wand would have completely out of place. I do know this, Michael Skinner was a heck of a magical thinker, and didn't do much without having given SERIOUS thought to it first.

I'm talking impromptu, formal props aren't appropriate for a true impromptu effect.

Vandy
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Michael Baker
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While I generally agree with Vandy Grift on the "Wand vs Other long object" issue, the possibility for debate here may lie in the venue under which this was presented. It doesn't strike me as entirely impromptu, as much as would a similar performance at the dinner table or from behind a bar.

Understood that the facade of impromptu magic should rarely be the accurate truth, and that the substructure it is built upon be a well-rehearse performance piece. Even if conveyed to be impromptu, there seems to be a point when contrivance is stretched beyond reason. Too bad Mr. Skinner is not here to offer his thoughts.
~michael baker
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Vandy Grift
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Michael,

You've seen Skinners "Tonight Show" performance haven't you? I think the situation was pretty much as you described in your second paragraph. I think when Mr Skinner did his bit on the "Tonight Show." It was presented as "impromptu" but obviously an appearance on a televison show is about as far from impromptu as one can be.

But when Skinner was on the tonight show Johnny was always very good about talking about close up magic and always seemed to be very enthused about introducing close up to a large group of people that had never seen it.

Now, if I'm not mistaken, when Skinner did the C&B with the teacups. Johnny had a guest host (Tony Curtis.) But Michael talked about impromptu magic and doing magic with everyday objects. I think when he went into the routine by saying something like "now, when I say impromptu, I really mean impromptu. Here I have some teacups and I'll use some cherries that I got from the guy mixing Manhattans backstage" or something to that effect. In another words, the entire routine was set up to demonstate what a magician could do anytime with everyday objects.

I agree venue is key as well as impromptu. Whether it's "true" impromptu or carefully structured routine that is meant to be seen as impromptu. The props should fit in with the conditions of the presentation.

You're sure right about what a shame it is that Mr Skinner isn't with us anymore. What a magician!
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RS1963
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Vandy your not mistaken that is what Michael said in that performance on the tonight show. I have watched My tape of that performance so many times I am sure I could recite it in My sleep.

I agree too that with the way Michael did the routine it would have looked out of place for him to use a traditional wand. He would sometimes do the "impromptu" routine in the restaraunt he performed in as well. He wouldn't use a normal wand then either. Of course when he was using his metal cups he would use the more traditional style of wand.
Vandy Grift
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RS,

Thanks, I've watched that performance many times myself Smile I was pretty sure I remembered correctly. And you are absolutely right, with his regular routine he used a normal wand.

Think about that for a second. The guy had three (at least three, probably dozens more) routines and the props seem to make sense for each. The teacups with the butter knife. The classic routine with formal cups,balls and wand. And the wandless Rub-a Dub routine using the little multi-colored plastic "flowerpots" and fuzzballs that come with the most basic beginners magic set. Each one using the proper materials for the presentation.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-09-13 20:50, Professor Piper wrote:
...
Does anyone have any source material or clips of performers doing C&B's WITHOUT a wand?...


Has anyone mentioned the Tommy Wonder DVD's and books? As I recall it he does not use a wand in his routine.
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Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2005-09-14 15:10, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-09-13 20:50, Professor Piper wrote:
...
Does anyone have any source material or clips of performers doing C&B's WITHOUT a wand?...


Has anyone mentioned the Tommy Wonder DVD's and books? As I recall it he does not use a wand in his routine.


Michael Baker mentions Tommy Wonder a few posts up.
KirkG
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Vandy Grift,

How would this play for you? M Skinner layout the cups and cherries and then produces the wand that makes it all magical. He could produce it anyway, like from a cup or one of those small cigar purses(bag o tricks). The use the instrument of magic to effect miricles. Or just grab an old butter knife. I don't discount M Skinners ability or thinking ability(ok slightly modified by the stroke), but could the piece have looked better with a "real" wand?

This way the magic is in the wand and the performer, not the cups and cherries as they are "ordinary." To take it a step further, why use a knife/wand at all? He didn't need the knife to move the cups as if they were still white hot coming from the ceramic kiln. How did he impart magic powers to the knife? Did he? He was "doing the trick to the cups," so why the knife? I think it is easier to suspend disbelief if there is a reason.

Kirk
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2005-09-14 13:47, Vandy Grift wrote:
Michael,

You've seen Skinners "Tonight Show" performance haven't you?


Actually, I have not. It sounds like his manner of presenting the effect was to demonstrate what impromptu magic is, rather than perform impromptu magic, regardless whether actually impromptu or contrived. It almost gives the magic a third person perspective, the same as, "I once saw a guy who did such and such..."

Very clever, indeed!
~michael baker
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Vandy Grift
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Michael,

When Shane gets his website back up you may be able to see it there. I have it on tape and have watched it many times. It is clever. He really blows them away with the final loads. Jack Lemmon says "I truly believe that's impossible".

Kirk,

You make some good points but I have to stick with my original thoughts on this one. And also have to defer to Mr Skinners thinking. This appearance was YEARS before the stroke. The man was in his prime. I think we all agree that if had wanted to, Michael Skinner could have produced a wand and made it walk, talk, snort, jump through a hoop and do somersaults on the table. He didn't. I'm sure he had his reasons. For me, I don't think it would have been more magical with a formal wand. The magic wasn't in the teacups, cherries or even in the knife. The magic was in Mr Skinner.


Just my opinion. The beauty of a classic effect like C&B is the variety that different performers lend to the trick. I just feel in my gut that the props should be congruent with the presentation. Impromptu or percieved impromptu, no formal props. Classic routine,classic props. Lighthearted kiddie type presentation (Rub a Dub),lighthearted kiddie type props.

I wish we could get his thoughts on this. I don't know if he would agree with either one of us but I'd sure like to have heard his reasoning. You can bet the reasons would have been thoughtful and thorough.

Kirk, have you seen the "Tonight Show" piece? It really is a great apperance. He absolutely knocks their socks off. Tony Curtis is literally giggling with glee when the final loads appear. He's like a little kid.

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
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