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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Learning sources for the 3 Shell Game (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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saturnin
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Montreal, Canada
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Hi everyone,

I have Bob Sheets' "absolutely Nuts" video, Gary Ouellet's "Supershells" (book & video), Bob Kohler's "Golden Shells" video, and also Dr. Beaumont's notes on the 3 Shell Game (used & recommended by Bob Sheets).

My question is; Are there other sources (books & videos) on the 3 shell game that are a must for a serious student of the 3 shell game???

If so please mention why it is considered a must.

And besides, Kohler, Sheets & Ouellet, is there other good routines out there by other performer(s) that are worth watching, or that you consider Entertaining???

Thanks for your advices Smile

Ronnie Lemieux
Montreal
Canada
There is no road to happiness,

happiness is the road!
thimblerig
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There are numerous books, notes and recordings and there are numerous threads here on the three shell game. Please do a search and you will find a lot of material. This has been covered many times.
Cordially,
tr
Smile
Whit Haydn
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Check out our http://www.schoolforscoundrels.com and Andrew Pinard's http://www.threeshellgame.com for lots of choices.

School for Scoundrels should have their definitive book and video on the shell game out by the end of the year.
saturnin
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Whit Hayden wrote:
"School for Scoundrels should have their definitive book and video on the shell game out by the end of the year."

Now, that is a very good news!

Please keep us posted when they will come out, as I would be very interested!!!

Thanks in advance!

Ronnie Lemieux
Montreal
Canada
There is no road to happiness,

happiness is the road!
Mark Martinez
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Wisconsin
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"The Phil Cass Video" by Phil Cass has some good ideas in it... The video has only two things on it The Pea and Shell Game and Fisherman's Wharf Special. It is worth checking out.
Smile
Magically,
Mark

Success comes before work only in the dictionary. - Anonymous
sleightly
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New Hampshire
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It looks like a great year to be learning the shell game!

I will be releasing my DVD, "The Shells from Street to Stage" before the year is up. Some of the goodies slated to appear on the DVD include my personal routine, equipment (preparing shells as well as an overview of products available), a compendium of technique (including extensive use of the multi-angle feature), a discussion of the different presentational approaches, some historical material, a photogallery of assorted props and prints (including an extensive collection), a couple of interviews, and hopefully a few more surprises!

In addition to the items available for purchase at http://www.schoolforscoundrels.com and http://www.threeshellgame.com I (with the help of Doug Atkinson) have compiled a list of references pertaining to thimblerigging and the three shell game. Check out the following links:

http://www.threeshellgame.com/resources.htm

For those of a historical bent, I have reproduced some historical references on the site, including a reference to thimble-rigging that predates the earliest reference in the books by forty years! This information can be found here:

http://www.threeshellgame.com/allure.htm

Enjoy!

Andrew
Neil
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I'm looking for a good magical routine that doesn't require me to shell out for a video - any suggestions good people?
VMC_Alex
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Yes, I believe Morissey has a booklet, you can by with your shell's. It's cheap and goes over the basic slieghts. Make your own routine type of booklet I believe. I was also thinking of checking this booklet out. Smile
Whit Haydn
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Eric DeCamps Compositions of Conjuring lecture notes has an excellent shell game routine.

The Three Shell Game by Tom Osbourne, edited by Ralph Read is the premier source for the actual street work on the shells and some ideas on routining.

Camarind Academy has the excellent booklet of Gary Ouellette's seminal routine The Super Shells.

You can find these and other resources at either http://www.schoolforscoundrels.com or http://www.threeshellgame.com
Neil
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Thanks for the suggestions. I got Gary O's Super Shells from Camarind and it is indeed a good routine. Although like all good, logical routines you always think you could have come up with it yourself very easily! Goes down very well with people.

The shot glass that goes with the Street Shells....is it deliberately such a snug fit as to be designed to make loading possible? It's just that I've noticed that it adds extra bafflement to the super shells routine since the 2nd, empty shell (not the one with the saucer and bowl over it) can be openly covered with it BEFORE being moved rather than after the secret loading as in the original routine.
Pete Biro
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Here's a thought. Buy some walnuts, cut them in half, fill the interiors with plastic wood to smooth 'em out, then sand the bottoms flat and then open up a nice smooth rear route for the pea to go in and out easy... get a piece of weather stripping and cut a few little round balls out.

Then start to play with them and develop your own original handling and routine.

That's how I, and my mentor, started.

Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
CardFan
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schoolforscoundrels video is excellent.
As most of their material by the way.

PS: I don't work there.

Smile
The simplest of schoolchildren now knows truths for which Archimedes would have given his life...
sleightly
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The extra loading technique Neil mentions above is a feature of many prominent performer's routine. It is a "sting" that can be very effective used judiciously.


Whit can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Scoundrels Shells no longer come with a shotglass... This may be because of difficulty finding ones that fit properly... I recommend you haunt junk shops and look for shotglasses... I found half a dozen the other day that worked perfectly and they cost me 25 cents each!

The glass does not necessarily need to be snug to do the load, but it can ensure a smoother load with no bounce. The Finale Glass that I sell at http://www.threeshellgame.com are specially chosen to fit over La Maggiore shells and allow almost no movement of the shell beneath. However, with a little experimentation you will find that you should be able to do the load with any cover.

As to Pete's post above about developing a routine, I would argue that musicians don't attempt to play music without studying others work, artists (and photographers) study basics such as composition, balance and lighting (as well as the technical capabilities of their tools).

Originality more often comes from a solid foundation of knowledge that comes from diligent study of what has come before combined with focused effort on the part of the artist to communicate his/her vision through their chosen medium.

As to the developmental process of creating a routine (and this goes a bit afield):

Personally, when I select a magical piece that I think I am interested in performing (as opposed to creating a piece wholecloth from non-magic inspiration), I go through a process of researching as much as possible about the history and other work done before me.

I work through most or all of the routines so I can perform them smoothly for myself (to learn through-line, there is a lot to be learned by looking at overall structure and form). I dedicate about six months to the research process and then walk away for a year (unless I feel compelled to return sooner).

When I return to work, I avoid going back to the research and I work through what has sunk in. I then attempt to introduce a sense of structure to the piece by looking at a number of factors: selection of props, determination of venue, character and approach, location of piece in an overall performance (opener, middler or closer) and consideration of theatrical techniques I have developed in my Shared Experience approach to ensure a stronger connection with the audience.

I also try to identify what it is that I am communicating by performing this piece in the first place. This can be as simple as an extension of character or complex as an illustration of geo-political implications of nuclear weapons in the hands of third-world dictators.

Magic becomes a medium through which we communicate. It is our job to sculpt what we want audiences perceive, not hope that they get "something" out of it. Magic does not have to have deep meaning to be effective, but it *must have* relevance to establish a connection to audiences. Otherwise we are just "doing tricks."

A matter of intent is what transforms a craft into an art.

ajp
CardFan
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There is also a good video (a bit classical) by Daniel Rhod . All the basics are really cleverly explained. No street work. Only magician stuff.
The simplest of schoolchildren now knows truths for which Archimedes would have given his life...
Neil
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I agree with Cardfan - there is nothing wrong with learning routines. The vast majority of magicians, if not all magicians learn other people's tricks. As he says, the best musicians on the planet spend their whole lives performing other people's work, often pieces that are 100 years old.

It seems a bit sniffy to imply that we all can and should work everything out from basics ourselves.
Risto L.
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Having seen The Phil Cass Pea and Shell Game performed by the man himself last week, I can tell you that it`s probably the most entertaining routine of its kind. Phil actually makes you think that the game is for real and the player`s money is at stake.

The routine builds up to a nice climax where everything happens under test conditions, the spectator himself covering the pea with a shell and an airline food container, and finally covering the empty shell with a wine glass. Technically speaking the routine is not that difficult, it`s much more about psychology than moves. That being said, it won`t fit every perfomer, but the Phill Cass video is well worth checking out for some excellent ideas.

Risto
Pete Biro
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Where does one get the Cass Video?
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Whit Haydn
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We have it at the School for Scoundrels. It is really very interesting, and a totally different approach to the game. Because the action takes place in the minds of the spectators, in the psychological push and shove between the performer and his victim, it plays for a bigger room than most routines can. I think it is a difficult routine to pull off for anyone who does not have Phil's wonderfully edgy showmanship, but there are many ideas in it that can be applied to less combative presentations. It is very fun to watch, and by far one of the most different and original presentations I have seen.
Frank Tougas
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Thank you Mr. Biro.

Years ago I bought a set of Pea & Shells from Kanter's Magic. (Remember them?) They were made from real walnut shells and had several black foam rubber "peas".

The instructions were almost undecipherable. I don't think they had the technology to print anything much smaller back then but you almost needed a magnifying glass to read what little there was. I was enamored.

A friend and I divided up the peas and I made my own set, again from real Diamond Brand Walnuts.

Eventually the pea dried up and I could no longer use it. The trick wasn't really in vogue way back then. I have always wanted to know how I could get some new peas. Weather Stripping! I intend to try it at once.

:)
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Robert Sixx
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I would agree with the Cass video, it has some really good stuff on it! However, I think you might want to put your own personality into the routine -- the way it is on the video probably would not play for anyone else!

You can also check out a book called "The Shell Game" by Harrison Carroll -- if you can still find it, it is very good!
Smile
Catch me on Twitter @RobertSixx or Facebook -- Robert Sixx
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