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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Time for a new prop (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Doug Higley
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For the record...It's The Deadman's Hand when it leaves here. Owners choice when it gets there.

Thanks Destiny. Your plan is pretty slick.
Higley's Doug's Museum
Eddie Garland
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Great story Destiny...I'd like to see that included in the book sequel..."Another Midnight in the Dark Museum".
Destiny
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My original idea was to have one person predict the burial spot, another nominate a missing body part, and yet another a prediction with the body part, but when I got the hand I realised it didn't need to be a trick - it provides enough sensation all on it's own - so I would leave the hand as a given fact.

Also the original idea contained too many revelations crowding each other so rather than amazing moments we'd just be ticking off boxes, and the prediction clutched in The Deadman's Hand was too contrived.

I think what I've arrived at now is more believable. There are legends in this area of bushrangers and there were Gold Rushes and mining booms. My first volunteer will choose the spot to dig by some form of dowsing yet to be decided and the second will decide the potential treasure by selecting one of The Captain's hauls from copies of old newspaper articles of his exploits.

The missing hand will only be mentioned in explanation of his alias - no telegraphing the fact we'll find it.

So I get a nice moment of curiosity when we unearth a package, then a wonderful moment when we unwrap the treasure to find the unexpected but self explanatory hand and finally a proper climax when I tear the rotten package clutched in the hand and the sparkling 'diamonds' spill out.

I'm doing a 60th birthday party in a backyard setting on August 2nd so I'm off now to get some rough hewn fabric to dirty up and bury in mud for a week.

I so love playtime.
Sid Helkule
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I just got my first ever Higley in the mail. Eye of the Ripper. I think I may be becoming a Higley addict, these are beautiful! I can't put the bloody things down! Dead Man's Hand is next on my list.

Captain Handy made me laugh Destiny, love the story. Let us know how it goes Smile

Luke
Destiny
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Luke,

I slipped into an addiction to Higley's stuff so easily and I'm afraid the Ripper set with the Eye was where I started. It's a slippery slope, though in contrast to other addictions, it does no damage to your health and can easily bring you in more $ than you output - and legally!

I realised I didn't need to do much with the hand just a few minutes after I got it. I went to the coffee shop I patronise a few days a week when I'm in Cairns and the owner asked me what was in the box. I am quiet and reserved offstage and don't run around showing people tricks or talking about the show, but I know the staff at this place quite well, having eaten there for years, so I discreetly showed her. She insisted on taking it out to the kitchen and all the staff were coming to ask about it. Little old ladies who regularly take their tea and scones at the place were then coming and apologising for interrupting my lunch, and asking to see the hand. (Not one person asked to see a trick - they were more than happy just to see the hand - there was a lesson for me)

I think that maybe while I love Higley's stuff, I've gotten used to it, and don't anymore fully appreciate it's impact. In a world that's become so bland and standardised, Higley can give us stuff that's exotic, from when kids dreamed of adventures in far off and dangerous places. It resonates with people and helps them suspend disbelief.

The choice of pieces Higley makes is clever. We've all heard of shrunken heads and probably seen images but few of us know enough about them to question what we're told in a show. Likewise we've often heard of villians losing a hand - I chose a bushranger as the owner of my hand because the best known man with a missing hand is also a rogue - Captain Hook.(And we should never forget people's abiding affection for rogues - Luke and I, I think would agree that Australia's national real life hero is Ned Kelly, a bushranger hung for horse stealing and murder and our fictional hero is the sheep rustler who drowns himself rather than surrender to the law in our national song, Waltzing Matilda) I learnt when I wrote croc shows to start with people's existing perceptions - if I wanted to convince an audience of the animals worth I had to start with their view of it as a vicious prehistoric monster and then as I explained the animal in more detail move them to an understanding of it's role in the environment.

In mystery entertainment I think if the audience are to suspend disbelief they must be presented with a believable premise. We have to avoid starting somewhere implausible or with a contrived scenario that stretches credibility. So wonderful as Higley's props look, there's more to them than that. We benefit from all the fragments of memory and mental associations the props awaken in peoples minds.

I personally would recommend for your next choice you get 3 heads and look at the hand further down the track. The 3 heads don't cost much more than the hand. I NEVER do a show without the heads - the response is just amazing and while I sometimes go more elaborate, the simple straight forward Dark Museum routine Doug supplies, absolutely kills. If anyone asks to see anything at home, it is always what I do. People are dumbfounded. I often find myself reassuring them that they are not stupid.
KOTAH
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I currently own only the Demented Eye, and a G nawed Toe; but they serve my creativity well, especially in writing stories/ routines for them. Am attempting to save up for a long desired Hand of Glory but meds costs have prevented it.
Any one interested in a museum quality magic poster of the street performer?

Valued at $300. Only for the serious collector. PM me for details.

I have other things as well which accumulated over healthier years.

Kotah
Sid Helkule
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Well I'm not a professional performer (in mentalism and bizarre effects) because after many horrific kid's magic shows years ago I decided I preferred to perform for adults, but still do parties and entertaining for free. But they will get a LOT of use, believe me. Already have today actually.

I would love to come up with a Ned Kelly effect for us Australian performers - perhaps this is something we can chat about. I love the ripper effects, have 'from hell' and will try to tie it all together. Using something like Ned would really hit home with Australian audiences!

Bushrangers are something us aussies can all relate to. Especially when performing for older audiences. I don't really see it as a freaky or scary performance using ol' Ned (because he is reveered), but I think it would be fun.

Very cool, really interested to see how it works out for you Tony.

Luke
Destiny
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A Ned Kelly effect would have to be with a skull or a brain in a jar.

After his execution his head was removed and his brain taken from it. The skull was stolen from it's display in the seventies or eighties. Apparently a cheek was also removed from the face and he was castrated. I don't see much potential in a cheek - and ball bags would limit potential audiences - so we are left with the skull or brain to work with. The fact the skull is missing inclines me towards it.
KOTAH
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D estiny there was recently a site posted here on the MC. It was for the Mummer museum. They sold a small brain which expanded to human size when placed in water. Priced for around $3.50 as I recall. If such a tiny brain were hidden up in the lid of a large jar or water, a shocking materialization of Kelly's missin brain could occure.

Kotah
Doug Higley
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Those things take DAYS to expand. Smile

I could make a shrivled up prop brain though
Higley's Doug's Museum
KOTAH
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A prop brain by Higley would be unique beyond belief. You should take him up on it. Or if there is no rush, you can simply wait until I die.

The slow expanding one could be secreted into the jar or water/ The jat boxed and given to the spectator, to be under their control, and the box opened at a future date.

Kotah
Sid Helkule
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I like both ideas, the brain and skull. I think you could write something great about the whole mystery of who actually has the skull now (us) and how it went missing, and it's travels along the way.

Who knows how many thiefs hands it went through before it came to us - but each thief or person whose hands it fell into had a very suspicious and untimely death. It all started with that Melbourne police officer who was using it as a paperweight for some time...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Kelly

Gimmicking a skull to make it move or tip over during the performance would be great.

I'm gonna have a play with this.

Luke
Clifford the Red
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Oh you're missing a great opportunity!

The Brain of Michael Jackson!
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
KOTAH
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Getting flashbacks to the JFK assassination, his brain went missing too.

Kotah
Destiny
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JFK sent the USA to the moon, Jackson moonwalked - but I don't recall any lunar connection with Ned. Otherwise we could construct a routine involving all three.

Kelly ingrained himself in our national consciousness because he was a great visual image. He fashioned body armour from plough shares and while most Aussies would recognise him from the armour, I doubt the majority would recognise a photo of the man.

Any routine would certainly have to contain at least reference to the armour and his final words before the noose tightened "Such is Life".
Doug Higley
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Just show a picture of Mick Jagger with a pot on his head.
Higley's Doug's Museum
Destiny
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You do have a good memory - I only know about that movie because I'm a fan of Marianne Faithfull and she od'd while out here with him when he made the movie.
Brane
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"The brain is the very first part of the human body to 'go bad' after death. 'Strewth! It's just the way they are constructed; within hours, it turns to mush. Mouths don't last long, either, due to the extreme germy environment, but those take days.
If you want to preserve a brain, you must get it into a particular liquid solution right away. Certainly if you wish to examine it later, it must be prepared properly.
If you leave it in the preserving solution too long, however, it's no good, either. It turns almost hard, like a hard boiled egg, maybe. Those are of no use for examination and class dissections and must be discarded. If you're the lab assistant, you catch bloody he.. for it!
That's what happened to this one. It was saved from becoming trash, just because it was weird to look at."
Or at least that's the story about why I would have an apparently hard finished brain in a jar, as opposed to just floating mush.
It would provide Doug with the justification for making a few lovely, LOVELY brains! I'm sure I'd like one, if they're not terribly expensive.
I could put a label on it: Abby Normal . . or something like that.

brane (what an interesting name!)
Sid Helkule
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Just thought I'd throw this site out there skulls wise. They even have Australian Aborigine skulls and gunshot wound skulls. Fascinating! But expensive.

http://www.boneclones.com/human-skulls.htm

Luke
Destiny
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Just do it the old fashioned way - sneak out with a shovel in the dead of nite.
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