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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » What is the biggest silk used ... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Bill,

Perhaps you've seen Jeff McBride's show? It's loaded with silk! (Also Shimada"s)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22800 Posts

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Bob,
No I have never seen Jeff McBride show, but it is the mirror thing that the booker want. It is what the audience seem to talk about, but I am not refering to pulling out a silk for cover of a production item. I am refering to the comments on America Got Talent put down of the young man who did a 20th Century Silk routine, old hat material. There was a time when the 20th Century Silks, or a version of it, was a feature in many professional magician shows.

Also some years ago there was an interview of a casino owner in Genii Magazine who said they would never hire a silk act.

Jeff McBride books his act mainly all over the world, independent of a long running Vegas show. Shimada got a 3 year contact once to perform his dove act in Las Vegas.

Ade DuVal did a complete show of producing miles of silk and draping the entire stage with them. I never seen it only read about it, but I doubt if Vegas would hire him today. It would be a thing of wonder with the Vegas Show Girls handling the silks.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20534 Posts

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Bill,

My point is that some of the Vegas shows are not really even magic anymore. (Like Penn and Teller geek shows. But that was Harry Anderson's style nearly three decades ago too. It's still there for younger audiences.) A better notation is that Vegas is in trouble. People just aren't going. Plane loads of people don't land there anymore like they did for ages. Music acts are actually cheaper! I owned a booking agency for years. Unknown magicians will turn down gigs that a known recording artist will take.

As far as pros doing silk stage magic, the silk business is better than ever. Much of it is custom made rather than off a magic shop shelf. Some are even in Vegas. There are probably more good professional silk acts in the world now than twenty years ago. The best paying audiences are retired! Much of the younger audience isn't retired but unemployed! There is a BIG difference. Know your venue. Profile by age and financial resources rather than location. You can't get to Vegas by yacht.

There are plenty of big stage shows that are essentially silk. The USA is not even in the top dozen economies in the world today. For the big silk acts go to Europe, South America, Asia, Canada etc. where productive people are accomplishing great things.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
JNeal
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Inner circle
I used to have 999 posts, now I have
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I don't know if what I do is called a "Silk Act"( although I feature a half a dozen major silk effect in my show), but for what it's worth, here's an interesting story:

In 1996, Caesar's Magical Empire opened and they hired a bunch of top magicians: Illusionists, manipulation . parlor and closeup. Most acts were booked for a two month engagement. I managed to stay about a year and half..with about 9 of those months as a continuous booking. The management was pleased with my work and very complimentary for having things no one else was doing (silks!) and a strong sense of showmanship.

Here's the kicker:I was asked by one of the top executives since I was so good at doing the things I did...why didn't I put some ILLUSIONS in the act!? Clearly, he was of the mindset that a good thing could be made even greater...with illusions. No matter how different you are, buyers really want the same old thing with only the slightest variation. I guess that's why they are better at writing checks, than creating entertainment.

Bob is right for the most part, Vegas isn't "Vegas" anymore....at least as far as salaries are concerned. Short of 'four-walling' a room, you can earn much better money elsewhere.
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22800 Posts

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Bob, My bags are packed and you can pick me up for our tour of Europe, South America, Asia, and Canada. I am game, I need a vacation with full absorption in seeing the best magic in the world.

All expenses paid sounds good to! Smile

JNeal, you always have such great stories of the real world. Maybe the Café will give you a section of your own and you can write wonderful experiences on the life of performing. I have read many praises of you act and showmanship but you remain silent at sharing. Could it be time?
JNeal
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Thank you WmHegbil for the compliment! I'm kinda' new on the Café' scene and have been trying to post regularly over the last several months. I like to share my what I've seen. learned and done over the last 30 years as a full time pro and hope to make greater effort to do so in the near future. I've been very lucky and have known so many of the 'Greats' in magic and I've been blessed with a rather retentive memory so I have lots of anecdotes to share.

One project I'm excited about is Levent's : MagicQandA.com which will be a podcast we will do together.It will answer questions related to all facets of stage magic. He and I compare notes all the time and this will be a way for Café' members and others to partake in that.

Also, he has been 'leaning on me' to release via DVD some of my routines that I've used professionally (lots of silk stuff too!) and I'm warming to the idea!
visit me @ JNealShow.com
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I've seen JNeal at the palace in the castle many times, he helped me once with handling half dyed silk routine, he is great. period. end of story.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
JNeal
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Thank you as well JamesinLA!
I'll finally be back at the Castle (after a two year absence) in late December until Jan 3. Sharing the bill will be the very talented Kyle Eschen. Hope to see you there!
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Wether it is Levent, L&L Publication, or Stevens Magic, you should diffently start making videos. It is time for you to speak up and come out of your shell. I mean that in a kind way.

Posted: Nov 16, 2009 9:01am
Thinking about it maybe I should have said come out of the shadows. Anyway, the magic community could benefit from your knowledge and experiences, I am sure of that.
Anatole
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My mentor, Earl Edwards, produced a Rice 50-foot streamer as the finale for his Grant's Chink Can routine. Back in the 60's he submitted his folding/loading method and the complete routine to Harold Rice for a future volume of the Rice encyclopedias, but for some reason the proposed volume was delayed for many years and apparently by the time a new volume came out, his write-up must have been lost over the years and it never saw print. It made for a dynamic display as Earl held the can on stage left and his daughter Donna walked across the stage to the other side, pulling the streamer out to its full 50-foot length.

While on this topic, I'd like to ask the Asian magicians in the Café if they take offense at the use of the term "chink" in tricks like "Chink Cans" and "Chink-a-Chink." My apologies if I've asked this question before or if even bringing it up offends any readers.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
JamesTong
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Malaysia
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It is fine with me but I do not know about the others.
David Charvet
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My recently published book, "ADE DUVAL: SILKEN SORCERER" gives all the details of Duval's routine and methods. It is much more than a reprint of the Magic Inc. book, "Rhapsody In Silk" but also includes the first full biography of Duval ever written, as well as the details of Duval's landmark "Smoking Thumb" and "Multiplying Golf Balls" routines.

There is no doubt that Duval's silk routine could be performed today. In his day, Duval headlined with the act around the world, including the Palace Theater in New York, Radio City Music Hall (4 times!), The London Palladium, The Rex in Paris, Wintergarden in Berlin, Tivoli circuit in Australia, and many more. He had an amazing career that was tragically cut short by illness and his death at age 66.

When one reads the explanation of how Duval presented the act and the exacting details involved, it is no wonder why it was a masterpiece. But the preparation involved no doubt scared away many would-be imitators. The act took on average about 1 hour to re-load each time it was performed. With as many as 5 shows a day in vaudeville, Duval was busy!

By the way, I purchased the original paste-up manuscript and photos of Duval's 1962 "Rhapsody In Silk" book at the Jay Marshall auction in 2008. With Sandy Marshall's permission I have annotated and re-typeset the text and enlarged the photos, which makes up about 40 pages of my present book. The overall book, "Ade Duval, Silken Sorcerer" is 144 pages, with 130 photos and illustrations. It also has a Foreword by Marvyn Roy (Mr. Electric) who saw Duval perform in 1950.

You'll find more information about it at my website: http://www.charvetmagic.com.

Thanks -
David
JamesTong
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Eternal Order
Malaysia
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Thanks, David, for the great info about your book.
James Adamson
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Deatsville - Holtville - Slapout, AL
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David,

Does the new book go into his complete silk act as it is my understanding and the way I read my copy of the booklet published by Magic Inc. is that it is only the Phantom Tube portion of the act and was only 2-3 minutes long?

I checked into having a builder make all the different gimmicks from the Magic Inc. booklet, upgrading the case to be more modern looking and trying to get the silks the size that he used (which are not available) as a possible Tribute act and the cost was so far out there for such a short act that the cost vs return in today's pricing was just not worth it.

I would have loved to have seen his act and wish the was some video somewhere, which from my research does not exist, as I hate losing the varies acts from past without and hope of seeing them again, such a waste.

Also, does anyone have any color pictures of Ade and his silks?
Be remembered for performing what looks like MAGIC, not skill.
David Charvet
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Hi James -

My book discusses the entire Duval routine, including the "Rhapsody In Silk" production from the Phantom Tube, which was the closing of the act. The other components of the act were the "Blow Dye" color changing silks (which are explained in both "Greater Magic" and the "Rice Encyclopedia of Silk Magic"), the "Repeat 20th Century Silks" which is not explained but was sold by Arthur P. Felsman years ago, and the Mutilated Parasol, which Duval performed with a charming patter routine, which is in my book.

You are correct that the silks for the act would have to be custom-made (although some commercially available silks and streamers from Abbotts or other sources would work. In fact, I'm sure Abbotts would size, dye and hem the silk to order in the correct sizes.) When I recreated Jack Gwynne's Stack of Bowls routine years ago, I went to Chinatown in San Francisco and bought a whole bolt of white China silk. Gwynne's silks were all hand-painted by Dorny, so I had my sister (an artist) recreate the designs with modern dyes on the silk I purchased. They look fabulous. Duval painted and dyed all of his own silks - and for a while he even sold silks to other magicians.

The "Rhapsody" production portion of the act ran 2 minutes and 45 seconds (always - Duval was a stickler for timing!) And actually, there are a couple of films of him performing the act. I showed one during my talk at the Los Angeles Magic History Conference. It is silent and in black and white, but shows most of the act as it appeared in 1932. It is now available as part of a larger compendium of acts on a DVD from Todd Karr. Duval was working on a version of the act for color TV in 1955 when he was disgnosed with Parkinson's Disease and he was forced to retire the act. There is no color film of the act, to my knowledge.

I too have toyed with the idea of recreating the "Rhapsody" production, but just have not had time. It would take a tremendous amount of rehearsal to get the routine to the point and polish that Duval achieved.

Also, his name is "Ade" which was a nickname for "Adolph" His real name was Adolph Amrein.

I also discovered that the link to my website, above, does not work. The correct link is:

http://www.charvetmagic.com

Thanks -
David
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