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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Silks in a Detergent Box (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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David Todd
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Quote:
On Sep 26, 2021, gregg webb wrote:
The big plastic bottles, jugs really, are pretty colorful. Can we gaff those? I don't know. Thinking out loud.


No reason to gaff the containers ... I'm thinking of the ones that contain detergent "pods" ... Soft Soap could be performed in the traditional manner and at the end the container is shown to be empty by tipping it forward so the audience can see it contains no duplicate handkerchiefs. Not quite the same pizazz as casually ripping open the cardboard box and tossing it away , but I think it could play.

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Bill Hegbli
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When I was a teenager, I purchased the Soft Soap outfit from the local magic shop. Took it home, and found 3 silks with lipstick lip printed on the silks.

I found the stuffing the silks in the box and was very difficult, as the gimmicked silk only used a toilet paper cardboard tube. IT was not very strong, and no place to hold the tube silk. So stuffing was very hard as accomplish, as it moved all around. You could not squeeze the box, as the tube just crushed, and still moved about.

It really needs a hold or a thicker tube. So I never presented it again.

Then came out the effect with heavy thick white cotton cloth. Boy that was even worse, as they did not fit in the gimmick. Needless to say, I never bothered with this trick again.

Yes, there need to be some kind of gimmick holder, that cannot be seen when showing the container empty.
David Todd
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Bill , I wonder if the toilet paper cardboard tube could be replaced with a plastic tube, open at the top, closed at the bottom , that has a thin , but strong neodymium magnet glued in to the bottom of the tube. The interior of the Tide Pod container has a sheet of thin metal (cut the same size/shape as the bottom of the container) glued in, so it will hold the magnetized tube upright. (the sheet of metal glued into the bottom of the Tide Pod container would be painted the same color as the inside of the Tide Pod container.)

The magnetized tube will be held firmly upright and stationary so it's easier to poke the dirty silk handkerchiefs into it, but it would still be easy enough to lift it up and away.
Bill Hegbli
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David, the last silk removed after the shaking is the gimmicked silk. I was concerned that as the gimmicked silk was removed, the load was only covered by the clean silk. The shape was heavy at that point, and handling like the other silks, the form throw. A plastic tube would even be heavier. Remember you handle the box at the beginning and end of the effect. Of course you do not show the inside of the box at the beginning. It was a real pain to use your wand to stuff the dirty silks into the "box" at the beginning. All of the first dirty silk went into the gimmick, then the other two dirty silks.
It was just difficult to handle with only a wand. If you attach the gimmick as you describe, there is not enough room for the other 2 dirty silk. Which usually go into the covered gimmick that has a clean silk glued around it, and dangles from the bottom of the tube and holds the 1st silk being pushed through the tube to make room for the other two silks. Bottom attachment would not work with the original set up.
David Todd
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Quote:
On Nov 11, 2021, Bill Hegbli wrote:
David, the last silk removed after the shaking is the gimmicked silk. I was concerned that as the gimmicked silk was removed, the load was only covered by the clean silk. The shape was heavy at that point, and handling like the other silks, the form throw.


When I've done it in the past I always removed one of the regular handkerchiefs first , then the handkerchief concealing the gimmick (so the combined bulk of both the first handkerchief and the second one are covering the gimmick), then the third was the final regular handkerchief. The same handling is taught on one of Duane Laflin's videos. (I can't remember which one. It was a while ago on VHS tape ) Actually, you can see Laflin perform it here: https://youtu.be/Blk47rvt3Rg?t=166 Watch the video from 2:46 - 3:04 . He shows the first clean handkerchief front and back, then the second (with gimmick) and third are removed very casually and laid aside. (in the viewer's mind there is no heat on the handkerchiefs , all the heat is on the detergent container , where they "know" the duplicate dirty handkerchiefs are hidden)

Quote:
On Nov 11, 2021, Bill Hegbli wrote:
A plastic tube would even be heavier.


A bit , but not much. I'm not suggesting a heavy plastic tube. But if it worries you, the same magnet idea I mentioned above could be used with a magnet glued in to the bottom of a cardboard tube to hold it in place. The magnet idea may be over-thinking it (?) ... you mentioned you had trouble keeping the tube in an upright position to receive the silks, so that's what started my mind going in that direction, trying to think how the tube could be held in place.

Quote:
On Nov 11, 2021, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Remember you handle the box at the beginning and end of the effect. Of course you do not show the inside of the box at the beginning. It was a real pain to use your wand to stuff the dirty silks into the "box" at the beginning. All of the first dirty silk went into the gimmick, then the other two dirty silks.
It was just difficult to handle with only a wand. If you attach the gimmick as you describe, there is not enough room for the other 2 dirty silk. Which usually go into the covered gimmick that has a clean silk glued around it, and dangles from the bottom of the tube and holds the 1st silk being pushed through the tube to make room for the other two silks. Bottom attachment would not work with the original set up.


I understand what you're saying , but I'm not so sure that it won't work . I haven't tried it yet ... but I think it is worth playing around with. It might require a slightly larger tube than the "toilet paper tube" size , so it can hold all three silks. If I did it I would not use the pre-printed silks with simulated "lipstick" , ink stains, etc. , but would probably just use ink or coffee to legitimately stain the handkerchiefs. the first could be a full size 18" silk displayed fully by holding it from the left and right corners so the idea is implanted that the silks are dirty. After the initial display of the first silk, the other two silks could be diagonal cut silks , so they are not fully opened out for display like the first , but the audience can see that they are also stained ... by using diagonal cut silks it would mean less volume to compress into the tube.

Honestly, if I were to start performing this effect I would most likely use one of the cardboard boxes (Arm & Hammer or Borax , as in the links I posted earlier) , but as you noted the cardboard boxes are becoming less common for packaging laundry products , so I was just brainstorming an idea to make use of one of the plastic detergent pod containers to present this old classic. Nothing happens without some experimentation. I think it's feasible. Won't know for sure until I try it.


-------

If using the cardboard detergent box , have a look at R.C. Buff's "Improved Soft Soap" gimmick in Rice Volume 2 . (It can not be performed surrounded, so if that's a requirement , then this method is not suitable). But it looks as if R.C. Buff's handling would eliminate any problem holding the tube steady when poking the silks in.



.
Bill Hegbli
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David,

The tube has a silk wrapped around the tube, and a tail is hanging from the tube. It is sewn closed to hold the extra silks.

I take it you do not have this effect. The tube with silk is pulled out last. you have to be careful showing the tube silk, because if you use silk, you can see the shape of the tube inside. The tail hold the soiled silks in the tail.
David Todd
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Quote:
On Nov 11, 2021, Bill Hegbli wrote:
I take it you do not have this effect. The tube with silk is pulled out last..




Hi, Bill -

I don't currently have the props for Soft Soap , but I have in the past. I made my own from instructions in Mickey O'Malley's column in Genii , around 1974 - 1977. I just hopped on to the Genii digital archive to look it up. It was in the March 1976 issue. I'll send a scan to you via your PM . Mickey O'Malley's instructions read, in part:

"The first hank to be removed is one of the real unprepared hankies. It is shaken out and placed on your table. THE SECOND HANKIE IS THE GIMMICKED ONE. When this one is removed you place it on your table, not quickly ... but casually. Now you are home safe. The last hankie you can pull out of the box and toss it into the air. From this point on you can play up the sucker effect for a while, and then open the box to show that it is completely empty."

So that's how I've always done it. As I mentioned I also saw Duane Laflin teach the same handling on one of his videos.

(By the way, it's the same order for removing the silks given in the Rice Enyclopedia of Silk Magic Vol. 2 , Soft Soap , where it says: "Open the bottom, remove one white silk, shake it, and lay it aside. - - Now taking the bead, remove the faked silk (Figure 182) shaking it. Folds will fall down and cover the loaded tube. Lay the second (faked) silk aside. - - Repeat with the third silk. Audience believes three soiled silks are still in the box." )

Ok ? So, you don't have to remove the silk with the tube last. Did you look at the video of Duane Laflin's handling that I posted above?

https://youtu.be/Blk47rvt3Rg?t=166 Watch the video from 2:46 - 3:04 . He shows the first clean handkerchief front and back, then the second (with gimmick) and third are removed very casually and laid aside. (in the viewer's mind there is no heat on the handkerchiefs , all the heat is on the detergent container , where they "know" the duplicate dirty handkerchiefs are hidden)
David Todd
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Another tip on Soft Soap I found while perusing the Genii digital archive comes from the Nov. 1995 issue, from Jay Frasier who wrote:

Quote:
"I found a Johnson’s Baby Shampoo bottle works great as a handkerchief tube. I just cut the bottom half off, then glued some white fabric around it. Several of my friends who purchased Soft Soap have also replaced the cardboard tube in their manufactured props with a shampoo bottle, because the plastic bottle works so much better than the cardboard tube. The shape of it is much easier to push the dirty handkerchiefs in."


Do they still make Johnson's Baby Shampoo in that style of bottle ? I don't know , I haven't looked at any lately. But I'm sure a similar style bottle can be found on your local grocery store or drug store shelves.

The handling for removing the clean handkerchiefs will definitely need to be adapted if you use the Tide Pod container instead of the traditional cardboard detergent box , because the opening of the small size Tide Pod container is rather narrow . It's wide enough for me to push my hand in, but I'm not sure about how to remove the clean handkerchiefs (in traditional Soft Soap you turn the box upside down and remove the clean hanks from the other end). The other possible drawback to using the Tide Pod container is that with the narrow opening it may be difficult for the audience to see into it clearly to see that it contains no hidden duplicate silks as they suspected . This could be solved by presenting it with an audience volunteer assisting , so the volunteer is given the empty Tide Pod container to look into and verify that it is indeed empty after you've flashed the interior to the audience . This lacks the panache of ripping apart the detergent box (or flipping it open dramatically if you're using the velcro tab idea so you can re-use the box several times instead of destroying a box at each performance.) It might also be a good solution to use a larger Tide Pod container , but the small size I have here at the house is a nice size to hold in one hand. I would experiment with different size containers to find one that works best.

An OxyClean container has a lid that comes completely off, so it has a wide opening to allow easy access to stuffing the dirty hanks in. It would be easier to show it completely empty at the end.

Image


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David Todd
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On Jan 14, 2020, TStone wrote:
I debuted a new handling 2 months ago. Ungaffed silks, and ungaffed carton. Felt pretty nice to end clean and examinable.



Tom , is this new handling you came up with something you have published in a book or lecture notes , or is it something you are retaining exclusively for your own use ?

If it's in print, please let me know how I can purchase it from you. Thanks.




.
David Todd
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So I have been experimenting with different boxes using the classic sort of gimmick for SS . (easy to make). Using a plastic Tide Pods container or a plastic Oxi-Clean container creates somewhat awkward handling in trying to use those style containers with the classic SS gimmick (even with a gimmick having a wider opening as posted above , re: using a shampoo bottle). The awkwardness in handling is not insurmountable. I do like the idea of using the Oxi-Clean container (3 lb. size) , which fits nicely in one hand and with the lid removed it can easily be shown to be completely empty. But I'm going to pursue a few different ideas for surreptitiously removing the three dirty handkerchiefs , rather than the classic method. This will be a new way of doing the effect if it works, but more experimentation is needed.


For the classic method , I find a smaller, narrower size detergent box works better. The two I found that still come in cardboard boxes (Arm & Hammer and Borax) work fine for doing the classic Soft Soap. A smaller box with a narrower opening justifies the somewhat unnatural action of stuffing the handkerchiefs into the top of the box , which is an action I would like to eliminate in my other version I'm working on , so the hanks would be placed into the container in a casual way , no "stuffing" action required. I haven't tried it yet using the smaller individual-use detergent boxes that are sold in laundromats . Those boxes may be too small (?) , but might actually justify the stuffing action because of the narrower opening of the box.

But for the classic method of SS , either of these two currently available detergent boxes work:

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Detergen...... Cleaner (3.7 lb size box) 9.25" high x 6.13" wide x 2.13" deep

Slightly larger box:

20 Mule Team All Natural Borax Laundry D...... Cleaner (4 lb box) 9.7" high x 7.7" wide x 2.4 deep

Or maybe just use a change bag -- three dirty hanks go in , three clean hanks come out . No fuss, no bother , no skill required, and it's basically the same effect, right ? (ok, I'm joking about the change bag! Smile )

Click here to view attached image.
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