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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Parlour/Cabaret (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

WV
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The style of shows that I want to do is a Parlour/Cabaret type show. Unfortunately the early days of the infectious "Magic Fever" caused me to buy a lot of junk. Not all my purchases was a total waste. I do have a couple of amazing and usuable effects, but as amazing and usable as they are, they are more suited for a close-up/walk-around show. What I need is some ideas of inexpensive Parlour/Cabaret type effects. When I have few, I'll compile a list and also ask for some input on whether or not my current effects that I own is usuable for a Parlour/Cabaret type show. I would prefer effects where I can make the inexpensive props myself, because I live in South Africa and shipping is sometimes more that the effect itself.

Posted: Nov 5, 2010 4:08am
Oh! I have access to The Learned Pig, but there is so much material and I have NO idea what is good and what is not.
Vernesto

"I'm not perfect, just forgiven!"

"I'm finding everything I'll ever need, by giving up gaining everything."
volto
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Square circle can be made yourself.
A couple of good rope tricks; say a penetration and a cut-and-restored?
Newspaper tear.
Silk productions, color changes, penetrations and vanishes can be cheap.
Silk to egg is a killer for almost any age crowd.
Some ball stuff you can do with any ball; that can be really cheap. Color changes, vanishes and productions you can do with a real mini-snooker ball set, and you get to use the Downs dropper too, which you can make yourself for peanuts and is the best method available. Also, if you stick to real balls, they sound awesome.

Depends on what your 'character' is I guess. The Tarbell Course is solid gold in the area of home-made parlor magic. It's available on the Learned Pig site, so you've already got it... doesn't get cheaper than that!

There's some ball-in-cone stuff in Tarbell, and some really cool 'general production/vanish' paper cone stuff that's very cheap and effective.

For some parlor/stage classics done with real class, check out Whit Haydn:
http://www.whithaydn.com/video_clips.htm

And of course, there's the cups and balls...
WV
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There is so many Tarbell "Lessons"! It really is awesome. And it is on public domain so it is legally free! I would appreciate it if someone can highlight which lessons will suit what I want to do.

Posted: Nov 5, 2010 5:14am
This is the cups I have. The Penguin cups. I got them as a gift from Penguin.

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=742

Will they work for Parlour?

Also got Complete Course in Magic with Cups & Balls as a gift.

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1613
Vernesto

"I'm not perfect, just forgiven!"

"I'm finding everything I'll ever need, by giving up gaining everything."
volto
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It just struck me - all my stuff works for three year olds. That might be a little dull for your crowd.

You could make the Tarbell material more 'extreme' very easily. There are already sections on magic with razor blades, knife penetrations and so on. You can do a card stab, again, that's in Tarbell. In terms of rope stuff, you can do cut-and-restored and penetrations with an escape / sadistic theme. Gambling / monte stuff can be made extreme with forfeits or by using dangerous objects - but please be careful...! There's a variant on the monte where a block of wood with a nail through it is put under one of three paper cups; the cups are mixed by the spectator, the magician then slams his hand down on two of the three. I don't recommend this, by the way, I'm just mentioning it as something I've seen done that seemed to work.

If this all sounds too extreme, well, the first written account of a magic trick was apparently the decapitation (and ...er... re-capitation, if that's a word) of a duck by the Egyptian mystic Dedi, described in the Westcar papyrus. In 1584, Reginald Scot, in "The Discoverie of Witchcraft", described a trick called "The Decollation of St John The Baptist", in which a boy's head is apparently severed and left on a platter, with the body some distance away. The boy is then restored. Two of the oldest written sources of magic, and both containing 'extreme' material. There's a lot of this kind of thing in Discoverie, actually. It's a good read. Here's Scot's tips on 'convincers' for the decapitation trick:

"There are other things which might be performed in this action, the more to astonish the beholders, which because they offer long descriptions, I omit: as to put about his neck a little dough kneaded with bullock's blood, which being cold will appear like dead flesh, and being pricked with a sharp round hollow quill, will bleed, and seem very strange, etc. Many rules are to be observed herein, as to have the table cloth so long and wide as it may almost touch the ground; not to suffer the company to stay too long in the place, etc."

Scot's parties must have been a hoot... Smile

Posted: Nov 5, 2010 5:38am
Excellent cups. Will they work? Depends on how big the crowd is and where they are in relation to you. I think cups and balls is better with a smallish crowd and a couple of volunteers sitting next to you, but some folks do it on a full stage. The worst positioning would be with you far from the audience, and the audience all below you and unable to see the table surface.

Check out Charlie Caper, winner of Sweden's Got Talent, doing his amazing stage cups and balls and proving me totally wrong on the 'small crowd' theory:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d61v29uInEs

It's all in Swedish, but it doesn't matter. It'll make you laugh out loud anyhow. The man is a genius.
harris
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Ropes can work close up or parlor.

Some coin stuff, depending on the room.

3Fly with silver dollars, miser's dream...

What works for me and my show may not fit your venue or character.

Finding what works for you...priceless
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Cyberqat
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I have a Temple Production screen that I used for years that is light and ships flat if you want to buy commercial, otherwise would be easy to make if you can find plans.

There are some exposure issues right now but for many years my cheap miracle ball Zombie was a high point of my parlor act. You can get a lot of mileage out of sucker sliding die box, I certainly did in my street routine which was a lot like parlor act (I didn't walk around. I set up in one spot.) You *could* make a zombie yourself, except for the Foulard (unless you are very handy with a needle and thread and can find an appropriate heavy and shiny material.) The die box you'd probably have to buy.

You say you bought a bunch of stuff already. What do you own? Much of it might be repurposable to an appropriate Parlor routine. What is it that you really think is missing from your routine?

Posted: Nov 5, 2010 4:26pm
Btw Spellbinder has a lot of ebooks of pretty easy construction projects at his site and is usually more than happy to recommend specific ones for specific purposes.

Posted: Nov 5, 2010 4:30pm
Or to put it another way...

There are no small illusions. Only small performances.

My first stage performance I turned a basic card force and a magic milk pitcher into a 10 minute stage miracle with the help of a blackboard and a self-built newspaper with appearing letters on it.

Posted: Nov 5, 2010 4:26pm
Btw Spellbinder has a lot of ebooks of pretty easy construction projects at his site and is usually more than happy to recommend specific ones for specific purposes.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Wizard of Oz
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I'm not sure if the Astro Ball Cabinet workings are in the public domain yet (or published in a book), but it is certainly easy to make, and can play big. Plus, it can easily be produced without the gaudy graphics and take on a darker, bizarre look.

Compare the "oriental" Milson Worth model to David Powell's Victorian version:

http://www.martinsmagic.com/?nd=full&key=3988&myaf=af_mm
http://www.martinsmagic.com/?nd=full&key=4438&myaf=af_mm
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Father Photius
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If it isn't grand illusion, you can generally do it parlor. I did a parlor act that I also did on stage for years. Only difference between parlor and stage stand up is that you can do a lot of close up tricks in parlor as well. So a lot of that "junk" you bought might not be junk. You might have to re-routine, and maybe combine a couple of effects into one, but you would be surprised at how well some things can play. For a couple of years my whole show could be carried in one medium size suitcase, with room to spare.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
satellite23
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I would say:
torn and restored anything
sponge balls/cups and balls
ropes
paper cornucopia vanish/reproduction
TT
silks
cards are always useable, of course
maybe pk touches?
any sort of mind reading
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