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Rory Raven
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Providence, RI
514 Posts

Profile of Rory Raven
Hi, everyone --

I'm a mentalist who recently acquired an nice spirit rapping hand; it's askeleton hand that is placed on a board and moves ("raps") to answer or respond.

I don't have a routine for it yet, but it seems the first step is working out a "character" or "presence" for the hand -- to get acorss to the audience the sense that ther is some other entity onstage with me, much like you guys need to do in vent routines. I don't want to just do another routine where someone picks a card and the hand raps out which one it is. And of course, with this kind of thing the real secret to success is having the hand rap as little as possible -- if the spirits are too talkative, the effect is lost.

So my basic question is -- how do you go about creating that sense that the prop is an intelligent entity unto itself. Of course, I don't have the advantage that you guys do, in that my partner will be silent so I can't really use voice. But I have to somehow bring this thing to life, so if anyone has any ideas or resources they can recommend, I'd appreciate it.

With all good thoughts,

Happy Hallowe'en!

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Ony Carcamo
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610 Posts

Profile of Ony Carcamo
Before you bring the hand out, tell its story first to your audience--how and when you got it, where you got it from, and any other info re the hand. You can give him a name and create an interesting personality for it. Is he your friend? Is he a magician's hand? In short, "sell" the hand's character first before you bring it out.

So when the audience finally sees it, it already has a personality.

Good luck!
Ony Carcamo
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Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
This is sort of like a Bob Newhart routine, where Bob is on the phone and you figure out what the other person is saying from the information Bob gives you. Just as an example that might apply to the spirit hand:

You: The hand will knock one for yes and two times for no. Is that all right?
Hand: knock, knock
You: What do you mean, no? I haven't asked you a question yet.
Hand: knock,knock.
You: You're very negative tonight. Did you have a bad day?
Hand: knock.
You: Yes? How can you possibly have a bad day? You're dead. Let's get on with the questions.
Hand: knock,knock.
You: No? What, you're going on strike?
Hand: Knock.

This is probably more humorous than you want a spirit hand seance to be, but I'm just giving you the idea as to how to give the hand a personality. If it only answers yes or no predictably, it's just a lifeless thing responding to questions. If if suddenly becomes less predictable, then it begins to have a life of its own.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
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