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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Knots and loops » » Professor's Nightmare? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Thoughtreader
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Inner circle
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1565 Posts

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My routine for this rope trick was built from a very bizarre impromptu piece that evolved from one of our old television public shows and believe me, it is too weird to even try to explain or even worry about anyone else trying to do it as it won't work for anyone else BUT I can give you the best tip for the Professor's Nightmare ever.

I start the routine in reverse. I have the three ropes in "equal position" and tied in a half knot around the top portion (which covers the "you know what"). I bring them out and untie them, showing and counting three pieces of rope ALL THE SAME SIZE.

Then I shrink them to three uneven sizes and give them out for examination. After all, once you have changed the ropes sizes is when they want to examine them, not beforehand, SO this is exactly what I do. Then when you get them back and after they have examined them thoroughly, you make them go back to their original—all three the same sizes, tie them back up and toss them away. It is a much cleaner and stronger way to do them.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
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Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20504 Posts

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The Professor's Nightmare: Is Still a Secret.

The Professor's Nightmare is without a doubt the most bang for the buck in rope magic. There must be ten great ways to perform it to every poor one. My shows have had the same seven-minute rope routine in them since 1967. I won an award for it in 1980. But guess what part of the routine still gets the best comments? It is still the Professor's Nightmare.

Something that has always made my rope routine different is that I honestly start with an 8' rope and a pair of shears. Nothing is ever added or taken way. All of the cuts are real and complete, all ten of them. There are absolutely no gimmicks used. I just do what the volunteers from the audience tell me to do.

For years it bothered other magicians because I cut my three pieces of rope for the trick on stage from whatever was left from the preceding effects. In May of 2003, I noticed that Paul Diamond is also doing it but from a different approach. Over the years, I have heard all kinds of stories about the correct sizes of the rope pieces. If they were true, neither Paul Diamond's nor my routines would work. The actual secret of the trick must be nearly as safe from magicians as it is from the audience. No wonder it is such good magic!

Bob Sanders
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
dreidy
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Regular user
Sydney, Australia
156 Posts

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Damien,

Daryl's got an explanation as part of his rope routine on the third DVD in his rope magic series. I use the trick to good effect quite often, sometimes as a stand alone and other times as part of a routine - and although I think most magicians know the trick, none of my audience do, so it goes over a treat. It was the first rope trick I learned and even with my very rudimentary skills I could still impress fairly critical audiences.

David.
Daniel Faith
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Inner circle
Neenah, Wisconsin
1526 Posts

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I add a special twist to the Prof. Nightmare.
I use 2 setups and do a transposition.
It goes over really strong.
You can PM me if you want to know more.
Daniel Faith
Clifford the Red
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Inner circle
LA, California
1933 Posts

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I like Daryl's handling of the ropes, it is very clean.

After mastering the handling of the effect, there are a million ways to make it unique.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
RBerteig
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Monrovia, California
146 Posts

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I use Daryl's handling myself, but my own patter.

Squeeky clean, even for a fumble-fingered absent-minded professor. Smile
Ross Berteig
Wizards in my Parlor
alekei
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Dubai/Lisboa/Barcelona
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Does Professor's Nightmare work for Adults? I mean, I have always used this routine for children, but I don't feel confortable doing it for Adults, for example in a TradeShow or in a Cabaret for drinking people. I know that It does fool adults, but I think it is a little infantile effect.

What is your experience about this?

Thanks!

Alejandro.
fanwun
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172 Posts

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Alekei,

Yes it works for adults. I just recently added it to my children's shows. You would definitely have to adapt your patter to the situation. For drinking people, you could tie to being drunk, or not use any patter. The effect is visual. For trade shows, you tie the patter to "making ends meet" or something. In any event, it does work for adults.
DrBob
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50 Posts

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When cutting the ropes on stage, how do you get the lengths right.... or isn't that a problem? (never tried cutting my own)
Basil
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Green Bay, WI
119 Posts

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Is anybody here familiar with Insomnia by Timothy Wenk? The ad write-up sounded great, but then don't they always?
Dario
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332 Posts

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Mamma Mia rope routine from Colombini is very practical and complete multiphase routine.

Darío
Werner G. Seitz
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Inner circle
3131 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-08-20 08:38, Basil wrote:
Is anyboy here familiar with Insomnia by Timothy Wenk? The ad write-up sounded great, but then don't they always?
Yes..forget it..it's magic for magicians !
(It's not bad..it is just not needed to entertain normal public!)
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
Kjellstrom
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Inner circle
Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
4927 Posts

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HOW ABOUT: Jari Santala's Magician's Nightmare?
Looks very good, any hard setup?
Watch a online video here: http://www.hanklee.org/hankievision/index.html
RonCalhoun
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Independence, KY USA
597 Posts

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Quote:
On 2003-10-27 14:43, DamienKeen wrote:
Where can Professor's Nightmare be learnt?


Drop by ANY magic store and ask for "My Favorite Rope Trick"
Eric Woods
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Kansas City
115 Posts

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John Tremaine has a good one on one of his videos in the three volume set, he does a good job of explaining it.
Scott Ocheltree
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I have been playing around with the handling of the Professor's Nightmare for some time now. I've known the basics of the trick since I was a kid, and for that reason I never was really drawn to it. Most effects I like are ones that baffled me the first time I saw them. I never saw anyone perform this before I purchased it in a mass-marketed line of tricks Milton-Bradley put out in the 70's.

Still I know there is power in this effect, so I've continued to play with it.

A couple weeks ago I went to a lecture by Jim Pace (The Web) and saw his version he calls "Pro Nightmare". It's a very beautiful little routine that turns around the traditional process and adds a few more moves to it. I really like this and am working on it now. Jim has it on his DVD called: "Gags 2".
Clarioneer
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Ferndown, Dorset, UK
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Just got Sanders Fiber Optics (two ropes and a baby on steroids) which starts out with PN. Then dug around here and found Pete's method for creating the lengths in the first place... This is a magical intro into Sanders routine which only really uses 2 of the ropes anyway... so you can finish with 3 diff lengths - what a kicker! thanks for sharing Pete....
catch you later

Clarioneer
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20504 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-10-19 12:50, Clarioneer wrote:
Just got Sanders Fiber Optics (two ropes and a baby on steroids), which starts out with PN. Then dug around here and found Pete's method for creating the lengths in the first place... This is a magical intro into Sanders routine, which only really uses 2 of the ropes anyway... so you can finish with 3 diff lengths - what a kicker! Thanks for sharing Pete...


For clarity sake, there are two R Sanders that people get confused. Fortunately for me one is Richard Sanders for whom I have a great deal of respect. The other is myself Robert L. (Bob) Sanders who first learned the "ropes" as a young cowboy. Oddly, one of my heroes was Will Rogers who was probably better at making a living (or killing) with a piece of rope than anyone since. (However, I think Richard and I have muddled through in style. The kids have trust funds.) Most people are unaware that when Will Rogers was killed in the plane crash, he had a magic trick with him he was learning.

If I ever get the time and Tabman together at the same time, I plan to put out a CD with my stage rope routine. (I tell people that I was just waiting until I was old enough to do that! Now I'm beginning to believe that if I don't, rope will get too expensive to use! When I started in 1961, cotton clothesline was cheaper than plow line. Life changes. Neither is common now.)

Enjoy your rope magic. Audiences certainly do.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Whit Haydn
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V.I.P.
5449 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-08-17 10:15, alekei wrote:
Does Professor's Nightmare work for Adults? I mean, I have always used this routine for children, but I don't feel confortable doing it for Adults, for example in a TradeShow or in a Cabaret for drinking people. I know that It does fool adults, but I think it is a little infantile effect.

What is your experience about this?

Thanks!

Alejandro.


There is video of my Professor's Nightmare routine called the "Mongolian Pop Knot" being performed for adults at the Magic Castle in Hollywood:

http://www.whithaydn.com/video_clips

I have used this routine for thirty years for both children and adults, and it always gets a good response. I don't think that PN is overdone. Magicians just see too many magicians. Lay people rarely ever see a magician.

The kids that pick up on the PN are easily fooled with a count, the cut into the PN, and the restoration. It really drives them more nuts than if they didn't have a clue.
0pus
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Inner circle
New Jersey
1739 Posts

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Dear Whit,

Thanks for those videos. Your performances are absolutely wonderful.

Is the character you play in those routines a new one for you, or has that been your performing persona for a long time? How did you arrive at that character? It looks like it would do really well on those riverboat casinos.

0pus
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