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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Once upon a time... » » String figures and MAgic. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Gypsyprince12
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I was wondering if anyone performs stories using String figures and Magic? I've been thinking about putting a repetoire together of string figures and tricks and create a story that would be interesting.
Ijust want to know if there are any books on the subject. THank you
Skeleton
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Not directly on the subject "Magic + Sring-Figures", but you still might want to check out the movie "Strings" if you don't know it yet, could provide some input:
http://www.amazon.com/Strings-James-McAvoy/dp/B0009Y260E
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Leslie Melville
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Walt Maddison, in Goodliffe's Abracadabra magazine No. 2422 dated June 27th 1992 published a string routine called 'Princess Bootlace'. I have been using it successfully ever since. I also use a variation of an entertaining Carl Herron (Brother Shadow) string presentation based on an old effect called 'The Bachelor's Needle'. You will find the basic trick in 'Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Magic'.

Leslie
Stories....?....That's telling!
francisngkl
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I think its more difficult to do string figures as the performance also has to rely on some form of stage and props.Cost more and not so mobile.

Francis
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puppeterry
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Storyteller David Novak does a string figure version of Jack and the Beanstalk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQkJpTVIyeA
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amerigo
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Quote:
On 2011-04-30 17:52, puppeterry wrote:
Storyteller David Novak does a string figure version of Jack and the Beanstalk

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


Great storyteller and great video

THANKS !!
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amerigo
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Just an update if anyone is interested you can buy David's book and instructions for String Jack here

http://novateller.com/listenandwatch.html

also here is David's website

A Telling Experience
"Finding ourselves together telling stories."
http://www.novateller.com
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myoungbauer
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This is an old thread, but I thought I'd mention that even simple string figures woven into performances. I've told variations on the classic "Mosquito" and "The Farmer and his Yams" to younger and family audiences to great effect. Even though the "trick" part in minimal, they seem to appeal to young audiences where more complicated effects would not. Storyteller Dianne de las Casas has several published stories with string; good place to start for those who are interested.

I would love to hear more about "Princess Bootlace," since issues of Abra seem hard to find here in the States Smile
Leslie Melville
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Quote:
On 2013-11-04 11:24, myoungbauer wrote:
This is an old thread, but I thought I'd mention that even simple string figures woven into performances. I've told variations on the classic "Mosquito" and "The Farmer and his Yams" to younger and family audiences to great effect. Even though the "trick" part in minimal, they seem to appeal to young audiences where more complicated effects would not. Storyteller Dianne de las Casas has several published stories with string; good place to start for those who are interested.

I would love to hear more about "Princess Bootlace," since issues of Abra seem hard to find here in the States Smile


I continue to use the tales earlier mentioned and must discover more about Dianne de las Casas. I will try to find the 'Princess Bootlace' routine and post it here - bear with me and watch this space!

Leslie
Stories....?....That's telling!
myoungbauer
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Diane has several books on storytelling; her version of "The Farmer and his Yams" is cleverly delivered with the classic folktale "The Stubborn Turnip," it can be found in her book "Handmade Tales". I've told my version of this to many family audiences; I sometimes add other figures (like the Witches Broom) to expand the story if there is time. I like the modular element of string and handkerchief folding stories; I find a loop of string and handkerchief going into my pockets more often than a pack of cards these days Smile

Leslie, thank you for reminding me of the Bachelor's Needle! I'll have to work that up again. And yes, any help finding Princess Bootlace would be greatly appreciated

Matt
Leslie Melville
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It's been a while but I finally tracked down Walt Madison's - 'Princess Bootlace' - here it is in Walt's own words. It may seem a little daunting but get yourself a bootlace and someone with an obliging finger and follow Walt's instructions. I promise it's not as difficult as it looks - and it's well worth the effort!


Princess Bootlace - Walt Madison
(Contribution in Goodliffe's 'Abracadabra' - 2422 dated 27th. June 1992)

"Almost 40 years ago I was shown this effect by a layman in 'The Prince of Wales', a typical old English tavern. So I guess that unknown gentleman should take the lion's share of the credit. To a lesser extent I take some credit for writing these 'first time in print' instructions; and the whimsical storyline. To the many magicians who have asked me how, this is how!"

Effect: A bootlace penetrates a spectator's finger.

1. Performer ties the two ends of a bootlace together to form an endless loop.

2. Spectator holds up a forefinger of either hand with nail of the finger facing the performer; tip of finger pointing skywards.

3. Bootlace is draped over spectator's finger and you hold the tied ends in your left hand. Keep the lace just taut - i.e. not pulled tightly. you will see as you look down on the lace, a strand on your left and one on your right, either side of the spectator's forefinger.

4. The palm down right hand approaches the lace from above - the fingers pointing to your left. When the hand is directly over the lace, the middle finger starts to point down. In a continuing action the hand itself starts to move down - the first joint of your middle finger then curls slightly before pressing gently against the outside edge of the lace on your left. Pull gently to your right on this strand only with your hooked middle finger so that it crosses above the strand on your right.

5. Turn the right hand palm uppermost. Just that and nothing more, i.e. do not disengage the middle finger and do not tighten the lace - this could happen if the left hand started pulling (however slightly). Just turn the hand palm uppermost and allow the lace to remain as it is - in other words, do not try to make the lace move in any particular direction. It might help if you try to imagine that you do not have a lace there at all.

6. If you look at the lace now you will see that it crosses at the front and rear of your middle finger and that a loop has formed between the spectator's finger and the first crossing, i.e. the crossing in front of your middle finger. Your right forefinger - repeat, forefinger now enters that loop from below, then the hand turns palm down - a good description I think would be that the lace 'rides around' the fingers.

7. Now move your right hand forward so your middle finger can touch the tip of the spectator's forefinger. Once you establish this contact lift your forefinger so it is completely free of the lace.

8. If you now pull gently with the left hand the lace will become completely free of the spectator's forefinger.

Note: When performing this for lay people I always ask a lady to assist.
Presentation and story:

"Would you put your finger up like that please?" (demonstrate with your own forefinger). "That's fine, now I want you to imagine your finger represents a beautiful princess." (drape the lace over spectator's finger) "caught by a wicked witch and tied up in a tower so she can't escape." (pull and tug at the lace as if trying to tighten it around spectator's finger). "Now the reason I tell you this load of rubbish is just to demonstrate that this is an endless loop and the only way it can come off your finger is to lift it off like this." (demonstrate by lifting lace off) "See what I mean? There is no other way!" (re-drape the lace around the lady's finger)."However, fortunately, along comes a handsome prince - I like this part because I get to play the handsome prince - He knows a bit about climbing ropes and what he does is climb up the rope (moves 4, 5 and 6) and plants a kiss on the face of the princess - may I? (move 7) and the spell was broken (move 8).. and before you ask, yes they did live happily ever after!"

Walt's footnote: "Practice until you get the feel of it."

My afterthoughts: I have been using this pretty regularly ever since I first read it in 'Abra' all those
years ago. I also perform it a lot for children. If you can't find a little girl, use a boy and instead of a princess, tell him a tale of a young 'King Arthur' - A tap on the shoulder instead of a kiss (on the other hand if you're so inclined!!!) Smile
Stories....?....That's telling!
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