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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Distance needed for canes (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rob Pond
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Scott, OH
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I work with Fantasio canes and I was trying to find out how close you could be to the audience and the secret still be hidden. I was thinking about using them in a parlor setting where the audience would be 10 to 15 feet away. I also wondered if you could be closer if you used a metal cane? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Rob Pond
magic4u02
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Well move,ment for one will help conceal anything that an audience might possibly see. If the cane is in slight movement through the routine, there is less chance of the audience spotting anything.

Also, your lighting has a lot to do with visibility of the canes and an audience seeing something. I have been fairly close to my audiences and they never have suspected anything. One reason is that they have no idea what to even look for so they are not tuned into seeing it.

Secondly, I have music playing and the cane is displayed and in movemtnwith a little twirl spin. When I do a color changing cane, a silk of a color is on the cane and the silk shoots across for the change to take place. The silk has the action that covers the magic.

Hope this helps.

Kyle
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Rob Pond
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Thanks Kyle. This proves to me that you can do it. I would keep them in movement anyways( I like to twirl them). Does anyone else have any thoughts?
Pete Biro
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VAnish or produce? For a vanish use the Bobby Baxter (Jay Marshall and Fred Kaps used it this way) vanish in a rolled newspaper.
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magic4u02
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That certainly is a beautiful way to vanish the cane and also make sure no one sees anything skeptical about the canes. However, if you use the cane in a natural way, most audience members will nto suspect anything at all as they are just not aware canes even exists as we known them to. because of this simple philosophy, we magicians tend to think that because we know it is a certain way, so will our audiences. In most cases the audience will not be looking for it so will not pick up on it even if fairly close-up.

Just my opinions is all.

Kyle
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kregg
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I keep as far away from them as I can. I've seen them mishandled so often, I stopped using them all together years ago.
For those who use them, I'm not advocating that you stop. However, one should know that even with proper care and handling the canes, especially the appearing, have a life span. I've seen magician's use them past their expiration. The magician produces the thing, gives it a twirl and stops- the cane looks like the rubber pencil gag, only, the wobbly center remains when held out for all to see- along with the mysterious candy cane stripe. The idea behind the appearing cane is the surprise! So, keep it moving and the audience won't have time to figure it out.
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Ron Reid
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Hi Rob:

Eugene Burger has an excellent essay about canes in "The Experience of Magic" book; it's worth reading if you have it. Really, what he says is that magicians are infatuated with these canes (appearing and vanishing) and use them in many places where it's not appropriate - places where the audience is close enough to see the spiral marks. Audiences know those marks mean the item opens and closes like the Chinese YoYo.

I think he's right, but the canes still seem to please. There was a time years ago when I used the canes and they really did get good responses - and I used them in situations where I know the audience could see the spiral pattern.

I think audiences know about these things, just like I think they know magicians can backpalm cards. But it doesn't seem to stop the audience from enjoying the magic, which I guess is the bottom line.

Anyway, just something to think about. Good luck to you. BTW, that's a Harakhan cane in my avatar and you can see the spirals.

Ron
Bill Hegbli
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I have used both the Fantasio Canes and the metal canes 6 to 10 feet from the audience and nothing was noticed.
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Rob Pond
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Thanks for all of the responses. I think that I will use them in my show, but I will be sure to keep them moving. Thanks again.
Rob Pond
Alan Munro
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Quote:
On 2006-07-29 11:46, wmhegbli wrote:
I have used both the Fantasio Canes and the metal canes 6 to 10 feet from the audience and nothing was noticed.

It seems that the lighting would have to be tightly controlled for that to work. I've seen the spirals on a cane from 30 feet away. I've even seen IT, meant for closeup work, from 30 feet away, with lighting at the wrong angles. Be VERY careful.
Rob Pond
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What angles do you recomend for canes? I tried looking in the mirror with different lighting angles, but I really couldn't tell a difference.
Rob Pond
kregg
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Distance and motion are more important, in this instance, than are lighting and angles. Any time you have an edge or a flat surface it will catch the light. Methods can be used to break the edge. Though, it isn't necessary with canes, as a practice natural daylight and backlight are best avoided.
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magic4u02
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Just a hypothetical explantaion here and something I thought I would bring up. Have you ever wondered if we magicians tend to overthink things too much? Perhaps we are thinking too much like magicians sometimes and not as laymen?

I am not saying thinking like a magician is not important, because it is to the success of what we create. But maybe there are times where we as magician overthink things and need to take a step back.

I only bring this up because I am skeptical to think that even if a laymen were to see the spirals of the cane(appearing or vanishing) would he or she really think anything less then perhaps it is a design or part of the design of the cane itself.

Keep in mind here that laymen do not very much know that such "magic" canes even exist in their world. We know they exist because we know the tools of the trade. But too a laymen who has never seen one nor knows one exists, would he or she even be looking for it in the first place? My suggestion is probably not.

If this be the case, then they are not even looking for anything even if something should come into view. If it does come into view for but a very short time, then wouldn't the lay person think nothing more then that fact that it is a design thing. That is if they are even focusing on it to begin with.

Another interesting point to ponder is the fact that up to this point in the act, you are using the cane for what it is.. a cane and nothing more. The cane can get spun or moved around as part of your handling, but until the magic happens, the cane to a lay person is just that... a cane. It is the moment that when it vanishes or does something else, that they lay person is thrown for a bit of a loop.

Now this is just a free flow of thought here just to spark creative thinking and thought. It is not meant to say that everything I typed is the law by any means. It is merely food for thought and something of which to think about if nothing more.

Kyle
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Cory Gallupe
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Quote:
On 2006-07-29 14:56, Alan Munro wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-07-29 11:46, wmhegbli wrote:
I have used both the Fantasio Canes and the metal canes 6 to 10 feet from the audience and nothing was noticed.

It seems that the lighting would have to be tightly controlled for that to work. I've seen the spirals on a cane from 30 feet away. I've even seen IT, meant for closeup work, from 30 feet away, with lighting at the wrong angles. Be VERY careful.


Yes, if lighting is not set up the right way, it can be bad. You would be surprised to see what a little light can let the audience see. And just like Jeff McBride said, if you start hearing "ssss" its the audience whispering to each other. And it's true. The letter "s" stands out. You can hear "It's a thread" "He's using a thread" etc.
And once you hear the little whispers, you know they got you.
But the wrong lighting can be horrible. I have seen it.
magic4u02
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Lighting is crtical to the dancing cane because the magic is actually happening at that moment in time. it is when the magic happens, that the audience starts to focus more and starts to be more alert to methods and concepts of how it can be happening.

However, with a vanishing or appearing cane, I do not think this is as prevalent. For the vanishing cane, the audience has no idea what will happen until the magic has already taken place. When the magic happens, it is triking and that moment of change is often its own best misdirection.

Kyle
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Rob Pond
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Thanks for all of the help. I am going to use my canes in my act. I will check the lighting, but I don't think it will be a problem in this show. Thanks everyone.
Rob Pond
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