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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Ever had a problem with the growing and shrinking head illusion? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Brian Lehr
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Why anyone wouldn't want to add this much excitement to their show baffles me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK1_klpfp_A

To say it's only a stupid optical illusion, and therefore not magic, is like saying, "Wait a second, that's not magic, those are gimmicked cards!"

Brian
magicgeorge
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Steve, I think you must've been doing it wrong.
jimhlou
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That's what my wife told me.

Jim
ku7uk3
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You press a button and make a piece of cardboard spin.

And to think I was worried about my thimble manipulation act!
magicgeorge
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Mine doesn't have a button. I do agree it's a low skill trick but there are still lots of factors to ensure its success.
The speed has to be right, the audience has to be the right distance away and at the right angle, they also have to be convinced to look at the cardboard for that amopunt of time. If any of these are wrong you could end up with the effect not working for over 50% of your audience. Imagine that!!!

Anyhow I've performed it twice now for an adult audience. It worked for everyone watching and the second time I did it I was approached about performing it on the tellybox. So maybe not just filler...

george
x
DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2009-02-17 04:55, ku7uk3 wrote:
I still think that a trick that only works with 50% of your audience is a bad trick to perform.
There are so many tricks that work with everybody, I don't know why you would perform a trick which only has a 50/50 success rate.

I understand that the visual element is intriguing, but its not really magical. You just stand there are press a button. Hoping that the audience heard you and follow your instructions (and that the batteries in drill don't die).

It doesn't demonstrate your skill in any way, and I've seen lots of iPhones with the illusion on recently, which means its becoming quite known and when you perform a trick the client can do, it makes them think, why did I hire you?

You won't see me performing it.

One less guy out there performing it. Put another check in the "plus" column for that.
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
bsears
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Here's an interesting phenomenon I've recently learned about this effect: people are going home and making them. I just performed at a Birthday Party where the family had seen David Kaplan do this the weekend before, and the father and son decided to make one of these as a little weekend project together. And I'll bet they're not the only ones!

So, on the one hand, this is a little off-putting - who really wants audience members with no magical knowledge duplicating what we do, in their own living rooms, with almost no effort?

On the other hand, this is one of the most talked about effects in many professionals' shows.

For me: this stays in. Even if its not an overt demonstration of skill, its entertaining. Isn't that what we get paid for?
Futureal
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Quote:
On 2009-02-18 17:12, ku7uk3 wrote:
You press a button and make a piece of cardboard spin.

And to think I was worried about my thimble manipulation act!


It's 2009 and you're still doing a thimble manipulation act?
ku7uk3
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Yes. My Thimbles gets amazing responses. Its my opening trick to all my kids shows. Don't believe me, check out the videos on my website.

As for being old, so is the cups and balls, torn and restored newspaper, colouring book and a bunch of other tricks. Its how you routine them that brings them to the present.

Back to the original problem - the shrinking and growing head. I saw a pocket size, table version at Blackpool which was very impressive. Same effect, but it spun on its own without a drill or batteries. Just a metal disc. It could only be done close-up, but its the first time the effect has ever worked on me.

But I still didn't think much of it.

Steve
Potty the Pirate
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I believe it's a matter of how you present an effect like this. Most folks are aware of the phenomenon of optical illusions....so the challenge for the magi is to make the illusion "magical".....i.e. funny. As a closer, probably rather weak, as an opener, lots of potential. Or, combine it with another routine (Lou's Vent Mask, for instance), and use the illusion simply as an effect.
With so many people about who really don't warm to "magic", I feel it's important to consider illusions like this, as well as puppets, music, etc, as a way to creat more variety in your show. As for the 10% who don't "get" this illusion, they're possibly different to the 15% who find magicians deadly dull?
:)
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2009-05-04 14:31, ku7uk3 wrote:
I saw a pocket size, table version at Blackpool which was very impressive. Same effect, but it spun on its own without a drill or batteries. Just a metal disc. It could only be done close-up, but its the first time the effect has ever worked on me.
But I still didn't think much of it.


With regards to the very impressive version that you didn't think much of. You can get them in Hawkin's Bizarre.
Professor DoDad
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I do mine as the Growing Peppermint.(Mine is red & white) I use it during my Christmas show. I have it wrapped in clear plastic to look like a piece of peppermint candy. Also I blow a peppermint smell over the kids so they can smell it as well.
I know it goes over GREAT every time I use it.
magic4u02
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The effect goes over amazingly well. This is why I use it in my larger shows ALL the time. It just plays that good. It gets a great reaction and I get requests from folks to see it again.

Kyle
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Kevinr
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Awhile back on a thread about the shrinking head there was a mention of another more professional version that could pack flat ... Maybe made out of cloth and you didn't need to handle it in your hands... I cant find it in the search.. he claimed it was on a certain website but I couldn't find it.. Any ideas guys?
Kevinr
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Further checking I found a mention of it:

QUOTE:
"These issues have been solved by the guys at MacGyver Magic. They have created a version of this classic optical illusion that is 20" (instead of 18) in performance mode. It will fold down to 11" or even 6" and fit into almost any performance case. Since it is made of cloth, it has no glare issues. It uses a wire in the outside rim that allows it to fold down once or even twice much like a sunshade for a car. It has a scissor cross bar frame that attaches by magnets and it comes with a cordless screwdriver." END QUOTE

However I cant find any mention of if on there site
magic4u02
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Kevin is corect. I saw them do a full lecture and this was one of the items they had in it. However, the plastic version from Bruce Kalver is not bad at all, and packs as flat as you want it to be. Hook it up with a cordless screwdriver, and you are in business.

I just did this today at 2 large outdoor shows and it just killed. It is amazing hearing that many people freak out at the same time.

Kyle
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Kevinr
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Quote:
On 2009-05-21 22:12, magic4u02 wrote:
Kevin is corect. I saw them do a full lecture and this was one of the items they had in it. However, the plastic version from Bruce Kalver is not bad at all, and packs as flat as you want it to be. Hook it up with a cordless screwdriver, and you are in business.

I just did this today at 2 large outdoor shows and it just killed. It is amazing hearing that many people freak out at the same time.

Kyle


Its not on there site though
MagicJim
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I just performed this today at a county fair in WI (4shows) and it has been a big hit. Two seconds and pop! It works great for large crowds! The reaction is the same every time! AWhhhhhh! followed by laughter..
Kyle, I use it the same way. Placing the proper context is essential. It works every time!
And yes, the people who hired me, were present for the last show of 300 people. It is memorable. I have found that if done properly (using good patter), most 7 year olds on up also see the effect.

I do it near the beginning of a show, after I warm upm the audience with a few quick jokes and some audience interactive "magic" stunts (knotted hands, as one example). I have established a relationship with the audience. The mood if fun and festive. We are reading to have a good time. This serves as a great transition from warming up the audience to other forms of magic effects.

If you don't have it, get it ...unless you live in the midwest:)
Jay Ward
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It can be difficult to get people to focus on it if they don't realize what is going to happen. I usually say, I know I've been really silly today, but take this one seriously. If you really focus on this one, your mind will be blown. It is the greatest optical illusion ever created. Then on the countdown, keep reminding them. 10, 9, 8, keep staring,7, don't take your eyes off, 6, 5, go down the tunnel, 4, keep going down that rabbit hole, 3, etc. I also don't make any eye contact during this part so as not to distract. This is a trick they talk about long after your show is over.
Powermagic
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I have had this for 10 months now. It does not work for everyone.
Sorry but your audience might not be telling you that it is not working.

Kids will hear their friends react and want to be part of it so will say they they see it. After my adult brother said he could not see the effect we tried it several times at many speeds and it would not work for him.

Also I was filmed doing this and I told the camera man NOT to zoom in. He did and when the camera panned to my nose, the effect was lost instantly.
I watched the tape a few times to confirm that the effect disappears fast if ther eis too much eye movement.


When you have a large crowd you might be fooling yourselves that is working as well as you think. The ones who can see it usually react loud and audible.
I feel bad for the ones who can not and found their behavior in pretending to be interesting.


I pretty much for the last few months have taken a poll of who see it it or not.
If I can not scan the faces fast enough I say "If you saw it clap you hands" I see how many hesitate and then join in. Those are the ones who really did not want to see it but do not want to feel left out.
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