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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » Storylines for Professor's Nightmare (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

xanatos
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Wilbraham, MA
144 Posts

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Hello all,

I'm seeking storylines that people have used with Professor's Nightmare. I didn't find anything in a search... not even the original story that relates to the effect's name!! Any offerings?

I'm personally seeking to develop a small array of storylines that could be used metaphorically- I've found a few gospel ideas- about us all being equal in God's eyes, etc., but I don't want the storylines to be limited to religious themes- any theme that could apply to life in general and impart an uplifting or hopeful message. Right now, I'm just interested in ANY story you may have used with PN.

Thanks a bunch!

Dave Xanatos

PS., HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
mplegare
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Forest Grove, Oregon
310 Posts

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Um... off the top of my head... and best delivered in a deep, rumbling, Eugene-Berger type voice...

"There is a theory that nothing can truly be observed objectively, and that all things are ... relative ... in this universe..."

(magician takes out a single piece of rope and scissors. During this next bit cuts off a short bit or rope, perhaps as long as his outstretched hand, and a log bit as long as his 'wingspan'. The remaining part should be the right size for the 'middle' rope of PN - we recommend measuring and marking ahead of time Smile)

"The theory was conceived by a man named Heisenberg, and says that the act of observation ... changes the very thing we wish to measure. So that all size, all mass... is relative..."

(the magician displays the three ropes in an understate manner, perhaps drawing them out from one hand to the other in a preview of the 'count' he'll do in a moment. He gathers the ends together and does the necessary arranging under cover of the following)

"As the world prior to this theory held that all things, including the size of the universe, were measurable and fixed, this shook things up a bit... to believe for a moment that there was no fixed reality..."

(Having displayed the ropes one at a time, the magician now does the appropriate count with the three ropes being 'Equal', holding ends as necessary for things to sort out properly)

"... was quite a shock."

(pause. Regard the three 'equal' ropes with curiosity. Glance at audience and look somewhat perturbed, or amused, or both!)

"... but then too..."

(gather the ropes together again in one hand)

"... it is said that we all make our own realities... and for myself, I like to have just a little bit of predictability..."

(remove the ropes one at a time from your hand, displaying them as short, medium and long)

"... but that's just me."


---

What do you think, sirs?
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - http://www.adequateblog.today.com - you know you want to.
Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
5389 Posts

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Xanatos,
You may want to check out:
http://www.ring2100.org/ropes.html
for several varied themes on the Professor's Nightmare, including at least one of mine.

My only advice beyond that would be NOT to try to suggest that the audience imagine that the ropes are emotions, bears, or anything else that they most certainly don't look like.

It's fine to say they are: Ropes, snakes("If this were green, it would be a viper; if it were black, it would be a vindshield viper!"), spaghetti, giant-sized dental floss, etc. -- anything that looks even remotely like ropes.

It's roughly akin to cardicians saying "we'll pretend the four aces are four thieves that go into the deck, which we'll pretend is a bank."

It's nonsensical and confusing for the audience. And, to quote Vernon (although I don't like to): "Confusion isn't magic."

Or you might prefer to go with a nonsense, scientific story (which Gene Gordon did as the original patter), like Mplegare's post, above. Very good stuff!

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
xanatos
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Wilbraham, MA
144 Posts

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Hello Mplegare, Peter,

Thanks to you both for your input.

I have been collecting folks' stories on this for a few days now, and it's been very interesting. I have developed my own story about my three nephews, who are brothers, ages 7, 9, and 11, who meet a magical being in the forest, that assigns them a magical task, and in the performance of the task, they find themselves now to be of equal height. They then find the enchanted tree, join hands ("equal" ropes are knotted into a circle) to encircle the tree (it was a creature before, but the tree makes more sense) and the tree surrenders the magical being's enchanted item to the three nephews... there's a bunch more.

I am creating a storyline that covers every move well- for example, when the ends of the rope are brought together, this is when my three nephews find that they have to crawl on their hands & knees to pass under the very small enchanted gate in the forest. When they stand up on the other side is when they find they are all now the same height.

And of course, when the day is done, they are all their original size, but now they have a magical gift, AND they have the knowledge that though they seem to be different heights, they are each in fact, the exact right size for the important tasks in their lives- the wizard told them so!

So... to make an already too long post a little longer, all of these ideas are terrific. I want to have a variety of stories for each trick I perform, so rather than carrying just two or three tricks, I can carry as many as I have a head for.

Thanks again, and if you have more ideas, please let me know.

Best magical regards,

Dave Xanatos
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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Xanatos, given your name, I'm surprised you haven't considered a story about the Three Fates. One spins the threads of our lives, one measures the thread and one cuts it when our time on this world is done.

All the thread is the same. Made up of the stuff of souls, the material of the universe, all alike from one standpoint.

Yet some are here for only a short, bright time. Others stay their three score and ten and others live to enormous old age.....

I'm sure you can do something with that! I just did!

;)

Happy New year!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Peter Marucci
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Lee,
Hmmm, the three Fates and the thread of life.

I like it.

A lot!

Very definitely an idea I will be pursuing further.

Thanks.
xanatos
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Wilbraham, MA
144 Posts

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Awesome idea! Thank you!!

Yes, the root of my name does lend itself to such...

Dave
kaytracy
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Central California
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For the silly side (I know, but sometimes it seems bizarre!) I combine it with the linking ropes, and tell a twisted tale of Rapunzel gone punk,(Mohawk, no longer able to reach the ground) the prince-not too bright, and the elves giving the prince magic rope to reach the princess, etc. He foolishly cuts it up, the elves have to show him how to make it more even, he is still confused, a quick servante use into the linking ropes, (first as individual loops, then linked together like a ladder steps)
Kay and Tory
www.Bizarremagick.com
John Smetana
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???? - 2009
499 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-01-04 03:49, Lee Darrow wrote:
Xanatos, given your name, I'm surprised you haven't considered a story about the Three Fates. One spins the threads of our lives, one measures the thread and one cuts it when our time on this world is done.

All the thread is the same. Made up of the stuff of souls, the material of the universe, all alike from one standpoint.

Yet some are here for only a short, bright time. Others stay their three score and ten and others live to enormous old age.....

I'm sure you can do something with that! I just did!

;)

Happy New year!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com

Hey Lee, great stuff. I wish I were as creative...many thanks.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26894 Posts

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While watching the staff at a kiosk explaining the ropes to a child, I asked the owner how a child might present the trick. Got dead silence...and the wheels started turning.

Then, remembering that some folks tape the ends of their ropes...

Child produces the ropes and says with a straight face, "I've been having a problem with my shoelaces."

Well, I thought it was a funny premise.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
prettylady1990
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Loyal user
206 Posts

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Hi,
Here's one.
your in a classroom and your teacher gives you all some rope and tells you to cut it into 3 equal pieces

Your not watching and cut them wrong

You ask your friend what to do

He shows you (you perform the trick)

Then at the end you scrunch then up and when your teacher comes and asks you to show her.

you take them out 1 by 1 and they're different sizes again

prettylady
RBerteig
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Monrovia, California
146 Posts

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I have a simple approach. I get the audience to chant along with me the words "These are three different lengths of rope". The premise is that they need to be reminded. I don't really look at the rope much. The moment where I am counting off "one, two, three, all together now Different Lengths of Rope" seems to be a nice surreal moment.

Getting them chanting also involves them in the magic on a more personal level. I don't really want to wander too far down the path to ritual with most audiences, but it is something I learned from Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger.

Participation is stronger than Observation.
Ross Berteig
Wizards in my Parlor
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

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I had a child I worked with who came up with a delightful story about going to the fair, being hungry and buying some hot dogs. Due to finances one could only safford the regular hot dog, one a jumbo and one got the foot long. Being hungry and a magician he turned them all into foot longs ( note the clever use of words ). When the first guy objected saying he ordered the footlong while you other two just had a jumbo and regular dog I had to agree. It was easy agreeing since I had already eaten the footlong.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
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