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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Why the Silk vanish is STILL SO GOOD... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

adrianbent
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Ok, I have to post this because I have to get this off my chest.

I've heard much about lay people's "knowledge" of the secret behind the classic bare handed silk vanish (using "the" gimmick... no double consonants needed you know what I'm talking about...)
In terms of the many uses for this utility gimmick, I have come to the conclusion why vanishing a small silk with this gimmick is still the "defining" and pinnacle effect with this gimmick.
To me, to deny this... it is the height of magician's thinking, so I'll try to explain it in certain terms.

Imagine the silk vanish without the gimmick.
You stuff the silk into a closed fist. Think like a lay person.. what method is going to vanish that silk? a "pull"? but you are wearing short sleeves.
A back palm? a thumb clip? Impossible!

I have considered changing 2 dimes and a nickel into a quarter with this gimmick. I have thought of restoring broken ribbon, thread or rubber band with this gimmick. I have thought of linking small chain link or even producing hershey's kisses.

Yes, there ARE a million things you COULD do with this gimmick, but all of these other effects share one thing in common in the mind of the lay person. They are all SMALL OBJECTS.

In the mind of a lay person, you are a skilled sleight of hand trickster. C'mon, changing 2 dimes and a nickel to a quarter? Can you imagine where the mind of a lay person immediately goes?
"meh. They're small objects. he did something sneaky. I don't know what, but can't be too hard to hide or switch 'em out somehow".

Don't misunderstand me. I don't think in the mind of the lay person they are thinking those exact words, but it is a thought that is subtlety there... more something that is intuitively "felt".

No consider the silk. How big is a silk? About 6" x 6". That's 36 square inches. Compared to the other junk you could use in an effect with this gimmick, that's the largest thing you can vanish. And its BRIGHTLY COLOURED.
In the mind of a lay spectator, there is a visceral, understood quality to a silk going into a fist.... there is absolutely NO WAY that a silk can be hidden sneakily... clipped behind a hand. Or sneakily dropped on the floor and covered with a foot.

When the other hand is shown empty this convincer is one of the strongest in all of magic (IMHO). There is only ONE PLACE on this earth that silk could be.... and that remains in your closed fist. The lay spec is so hopelessly brain-locked into that possibility.

When it vanishes, in Paul Harris's philosophy, that is the crystallized, brain changing moment of astonishment. There is NO place such a large and cumbersomely awkward bright coloured silk can go. IT just... vanished.

Once we know the method using the gimmick, our brains return to that "grown-up" state referred to by Paul Harris, and as magicians, in our brains that gimmick is the ONLY thing that occupies the brainspace of magicians. because it is the only clear possibility.

So okay, sure.... some people will know the method. But they are the minority. But so what. We are performing LIVE magic in the REAL World for REAL people. Not TV Magic. For most people in your audience, you will give them an incredibly giddy and fun moment of astonishment. An that's not to say its a throwaway. Or that it is underwhelming. Old magic is still some of the BEST magic.

I'd like to propose a toast to the classic silk vanish. It STILL is one of the coolest things you can do.
Dick Oslund
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Adrian!

Nicely written!--And, your point is well taken!

BOBO and I were talking at the SAM convention in Chicago (1975). After we got 'caught up' on all the news, J.B. said, "Have you seen this?"
He took a 12" silk from a pocket, poked it into his fist, and the silk had vanished. He got my attention!

Vernets were quite new then. We discussed various possibilities. "That fall, on the road, I used a production, vanish, and reproduction if a 12" silk to open the school show. It played exceedingly well.

At that time, only the "standard" Vernet was available. Note that, at that time, both Bobo and I were using a twelve inch silk. (I had gotten some four momme silks from Frances Marshall).

A couple years later, Vernet made an extra long TT. I got some 18" four momme silks, cut them into half silks (diagonal cut) and have used them ever since. J.B. and I corresponded. He hadn't seen the long TT. I sent him one with an 18" 1/2 silk. He put it in his show, too.

I think it waS shortly after Penn & Teller tipped the gaff on TV, that a high school lad asked me if I had a plastic th***. I showed him my hands (it was after the show) and said, "See! They're not plastic!" That was the only instance!

Much depends on how the effect is presented!!! Too many "magicians" just say, "Here I have a red silk (sic!) Watch! I'll poke it into my fist, and now it's gone!" YUK

I'll PM you with a few more thoughts.............

Dick Oslund
Sneaky, underhanded, devious and surreptitious itinernt mountebanc
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
troppobob
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G'day Adrian
I will join you for that toast mate.
Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Theodore Lawton
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Agreed. One of my current faves is telling a story about the colored threads in a bill, rolling one up and producing a silk streamer from it. Then I have to "put them back" because it's a crime to deface money. People are just flat out amazed. Love the discussion.
SDMoore1
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Quote:
On Apr 5, 2014, adrianbent wrote:
Ok, I have to post this because I have to get this off my chest.

I've heard much about lay people's "knowledge" of the secret behind the classic bare handed silk vanish (using "the" gimmick... no double consonants needed you know what I'm talking about...)
In terms of the many uses for this utility gimmick, I have come to the conclusion why vanishing a small silk with this gimmick is still the "defining" and pinnacle effect with this gimmick.
To me, to deny this... it is the height of magician's thinking, so I'll try to explain it in certain terms.

Imagine the silk vanish without the gimmick.
You stuff the silk into a closed fist. Think like a lay person.. what method is going to vanish that silk? a "pull"? but you are wearing short sleeves.
A back palm? a thumb clip? Impossible!

I have considered changing 2 dimes and a nickel into a quarter with this gimmick. I have thought of restoring broken ribbon, thread or rubber band with this gimmick. I have thought of linking small chain link or even producing hershey's kisses.

Yes, there ARE a million things you COULD do with this gimmick, but all of these other effects share one thing in common in the mind of the lay person. They are all SMALL OBJECTS.

In the mind of a lay person, you are a skilled sleight of hand trickster. C'mon, changing 2 dimes and a nickel to a quarter? Can you imagine where the mind of a lay person immediately goes?
"meh. They're small objects. he did something sneaky. I don't know what, but can't be too hard to hide or switch 'em out somehow".

Don't misunderstand me. I don't think in the mind of the lay person they are thinking those exact words, but it is a thought that is subtlety there... more something that is intuitively "felt".

No consider the silk. How big is a silk? About 6" x 6". That's 36 square inches. Compared to the other junk you could use in an effect with this gimmick, that's the largest thing you can vanish. And its BRIGHTLY COLOURED.
In the mind of a lay spectator, there is a visceral, understood quality to a silk going into a fist.... there is absolutely NO WAY that a silk can be hidden sneakily... clipped behind a hand. Or sneakily dropped on the floor and covered with a foot.

When the other hand is shown empty this convincer is one of the strongest in all of magic (IMHO). There is only ONE PLACE on this earth that silk could be.... and that remains in your closed fist. The lay spec is so hopelessly brain-locked into that possibility.

When it vanishes, in Paul Harris's philosophy, that is the crystallized, brain changing moment of astonishment. There is NO place such a large and cumbersomely awkward bright coloured silk can go. IT just... vanished.

Once we know the method using the gimmick, our brains return to that "grown-up" state referred to by Paul Harris, and as magicians, in our brains that gimmick is the ONLY thing that occupies the brainspace of magicians. because it is the only clear possibility.

So okay, sure.... some people will know the method. But they are the minority. But so what. We are performing LIVE magic in the REAL World for REAL people. Not TV Magic. For most people in your audience, you will give them an incredibly giddy and fun moment of astonishment. An that's not to say its a throwaway. Or that it is underwhelming. Old magic is still some of the BEST magic.

I'd like to propose a toast to the classic silk vanish. It STILL is one of the coolest things you can do.


Great post.
bowers
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I agree fully on this.I usally open all of my
birthday show's with it.Get's their attention
real fast..
TCB
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I did it for a group of 40 something year olds at a party, and it absolutely killed. Most people have no idea what a TT is
There Is No Revolution Without Evolution
Dick Oslund
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The problem with too many "magicians" is that they telegraph the method by sloppy or totally wrong handling. I've seen many who bought the prop (and the SIX INCH SQUARE SILK (YUK!) and never put in even a minute in learning the proper handling. They do the "Jack Horner -- he stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum" move.

I've used an 18" 4 momme "half" silk for about 30 years, and, I'm certainly not any sort of genius.

O
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
LewisF
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I certainly agree with you on the use of the TT but I think there are a number of reasons magicians don't do the silk vanish.

1. Magicians are often looking for effects that are difficult to discover. A TT is widely known to most magicians and therefore a lot of people are scared of discovery.

2. Magicians have more respect for sleight methods than gimmicked methods. They will look cooler in the magic community doing a similar trick and then proving the absence of the TT.

3. A lot of old effects are easy in principle but are difficult to perfect. Any person starting out will want to try these effects and will be burned because they are caught doing it badly.

4. Silk vanishes can be linked to some pretty boring personalities on stage.

All this being said, if you can make it work, a silk vanish is great!
Kbuck54
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I can kill with the T.T.
Keith Shazam
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motown
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Quote:
On Apr 6, 2014, Theodore Lawton wrote:
Agreed. One of my current faves is telling a story about the colored threads in a bill, rolling one up and producing a silk streamer from it. Then I have to "put them back" because it's a crime to deface money. People are just flat out amazed. Love the discussion.
Vernon's Tale of the Treasury Worm
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
mrsmiles
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Yes a silk vanish is wonderful and I think a couple of subtleties such as avoiding ramming in your thumb on the final poke & instead making your middle or fore finger the final one that appears to poke in the silk makes the whole trick more deceptive including to those lay public who may have faint memories of how this trick works. Also kicking back the TT so that you move it to a 'front on' angle to yourself as done by (I think) Patrick Page and others is very good too. If you do the salt or sugar vanish the subtlety of counting the grains (by Lance Burton or Mike Ammar I think) in the process of the secret move is good too.
I love the versatility of a TT. I currently use it for my presentation of the bill switch and for Jay Sankey's 'Fan Mail'. There are at least half a dozen excellent tricks (none of them silks incidentally) on his TT dvd and also several others (including the silk vanish) by the well-known exponent of the TT Gary Darwin on his 3 dvd set.
mrsmiles
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TCB
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Alex Pandrea does a great Bill Switch with a TT
There Is No Revolution Without Evolution
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