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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » What's Mike Close's Big Surprise (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

flooglestreet
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Fstarsinic mentions an effect, Mike Close's Big Surprise. What is it (complete effect, routine in a book, etc.) and who carries it? fstarsinic has an excellent idea. I was thinking of doing a single coat rope penetration routine from vol 1 of Tarbell, but this production may be better. If you are reading this fstarsinic, thank you and break a leg.
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Adam V
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It can be found in the 3rd Workers book.

Basically, you get a spectator up on stage and get them sign a document. You put it in your pocket and hand them a container. Their job is to make sure it remain unopened. The show goes on and at the end you open it and it contains the signed document.

I'm sure you've probably already worked out how this is accomplished. However, there are a lot of little subtleties in there. Even if I never perform the effect I will use many of the ideas.

Personally, I'm too chicken to perform it because if they open the can the whole effect is kaput. Not a good thing to end your show with. Audience management is extremely important here and I'm not experienced enough to risk it. Still, I have a friend who has done it and swears by it.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Here I am!!! I appologize for the long post....

I just tried this at a birthday party show last weekend for kids and adults and it was a blast!

I've modified the effect a bit and continue to look for the best way to do it. I feel that for a street act it can play VERY BIG!!!

So, here goes. Add your ideas and critique mine.

Someone signs a contract that they will NOT open the can and will not allow anyone else to touch the can until the magician says so.

I currently keep The Big Surprise with me on the close up table but there is a gotcha with that... read on.

I also provide a Horn with one of those squeezee things that is LOUD!!! I give this to the person that signed the contract. Anytime someone even gets close they honk the horn.

There is a lot of inherent humor with this.
I touch the can HONK!!
touch it again HONK!!!
barely touch it HONK!!!
reach for it HONK!!!
stuff like that...

At one time, the can looked as if it was a honking can. I press, and it honks. Over and over again.

For the street ,this draws a crowd. Lots of laughter. Lots of fun. Lots of noise!

I thought of the HORN idea after seeing Cellini and learning about his theory on street magic. This effect provides...
1. The drawing of the crowd (show that there will be a big surprise)
2. Keeping the crowd (the want to stay to see what the heck is in there)
3. The Noise Factor (The Horn or other noisemakers plus laughter, etc.)
4. COLOR. You can have a significantly large and colorful Big Surprise such as a large Pringles Can or even bigger with a pinwheel (or whatever to draw attention to it).
5. It is the finale for the show for lots of applause (more noise and a big hat).

The size of my can is such that nobody can put their hand into it. Narrow and about 5 inches tall. As long as it's narrow at the mouth, it could be any size and shape and color!

You could also hand out other noise makers to help join in the fun.

If the person with the horn is not doing their job, have them pass the horn to someone else.

The spectators do get lazy. I was able to slip a signed playing card under the can (a la card under glass) and no honk. You have to train them to be vigilant. "Hey, you should have been honking!!! You're fired! Give the horn to the next guy!"

At this point, nobody's walking away!!!!

So you go on with the show.

In the end, in my BIG SURPRISE CAN is the contract, a pen cap (that i've been complaining about not finding the whole *** show) and a murcury folded signed card.

You really need to purchase Workers #3 and you really need to purchase the Very Very Close #1 (I think) video to appreciate the theory behind the effect.

I do not give it to a spectator (yet) but I'm considering it.

The "gotcha" is that the audience MUST KNOW that you never opened the can. If they think they've been misdirected, the trick is a bust. This happened to me at a corporate show. I was having the audience throw big rubber balls around in the audience to help select a spectator a la Copperfield, and they were having so much fun throwing and ducking, I could have dragged an elephant out on stage. I should have had the spectator in the audience hold the can that time(but then the horn idea doesn't really apply... no noise, less fun).

So there's the rub!! How to solve this problem. I believe the can could be "over there" and you go over every now and then in a playful way to invoke the horn. That way, the audience is pretty darn sure you never opened it, and lots of honking.

so... honk in with your ideas!!!

It is a lot of guarenteed FREE FUN!!! And you don't even say a word. You just walk over or lean over or whatever and touch the can every now and then, and go with the flow.

p.s. This is NOT how Michael close does it. His is pretty much out of sight out of mind until the end (except he does ask the spectator to shake the can in the middle at some point which I also do).

Frank
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DonB
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What a great idea-using a horn in the routine. It's another example of something that seems so obvious when you point it out that I wonder why I didn't think of that! Added audience participation, fun, a running gag throughout your work!! Thanks for sharing your work with all of us.

DonB
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2002-12-12 01:45, fstarsinic wrote:
Here I am!!! I appologize for the long post....



Don't appologize! This is one of the best ideas I've seen on this site! BRILLIANT idea for a street trick.

Best,

Dan-
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Pokie-Poke
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I LOVE the horn idea!!!!
If you want to hand it to a spectator, have them hold it over ther head so every one can see that it is "safe". I do this with kids and spunge balls. but why give up the horn?
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.

I forgot...

This also provides the "promise" of something bigger to come; also one of Cellini's rules of thumb.

You can also have the whole audience yelling ..."THE BIG SURPRISE" everytime you ask "What are you going to get to see at the end?"

"What is it you want to see?"

I'm not really a street guy. I think I'm too low-key to draw a crowd well!

Anyhow,
This effect would help in that regard but mostly I find that The Big Surprise done this way really gets the audience laughing right out of the blocks. It's just so strange, and mysterious. And a horn is just plain old funny all by itself.

My big surprise also says "The Big Surprise" right on it just in case anyone forgets.

One last thing is that I am very comfortable starting an act by talking about The Big Surprise. It makes for a wonderful transition into my act. For me this is much easier than...

"Hey, here we go kiddies. Watch me juggle and walk around in my big red shoes"

That's just not me!

Especially because I can't juggle and I don't even have big red shoes.

Frank
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Alym Amlani
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I just wish I knew what the fine print was...it wasn't in the video! Smile
Logic Defied
TheAmbitiousCard
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The fine print.... ah yes, the fine print.

Actually, it's nothing much.

I'm sure you could come up with something similar or better. It's nice!

Frank
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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BroDavid
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I have loved this idea since Frank first spoke of it!

It sounds like a killer way to add some fun audience interaction, keep the suspense, and deliver a closing punch.

For some reason, maybe the loud honking horn, the idea reminds me a bit of Kerry Pollock's "BONK" game show parody. And I am wondering if one might even build a fun street act around a game show concept... Just thinking out loud here...

But obviously, Frank is onto a "big idea" here. Way to go Frank. Thanks for sharing it with us.

BroDavid
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Werner G. Seitz
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Just a shorte note that I too think, that horn-idea is outstanding!
One of the best ideas I've heared of for a long time re keeping ppls interest and a great running gag.
Also the idea of sneaking something under that object/can whatever (in another routine) without the 'hornblower' noticing it..Kind of Goshmania.. Smile
Congrats Frank..
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
Greg Arce
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I love the Big Surprise... so much so that in the late 90s I developed a routine similar in premise to it. Basically, a female was brought up early in the show and given a small pay envelope to hold... it had a small hole through it and a chain was put through the hole so the person could hang it around their neck throughtout the show.
At one point in the show I did a signed burned bill routine where I end up not being able to bring it back.
At the end of the show I bring back the spectator that has kept the envelope. The envelope is torn open and inside is the guy's bill.
I wouldn't have even thought of this routine if I had not read all the Workers series... Great books!!!
Greg
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mattisdx
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Anybody else here enjoy Michael Close's new eBook thouroughly? I loved it! Smile
TheAmbitiousCard
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I have the CD sitting on my bookshelf.
I have not looked yet. Perhaps tonight!!

Frank
Quote:
Kind of Goshmania

:rotf:
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Werner G. Seitz
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Quote:
Kind of Goshmania

:rotf:
Yep Smile , I was a great fan of good ol' Albert and had the pleasure of meeting him many times at diff. places..one of the all time greats of close-up magic, sadly missed...: (
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
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