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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Knots and loops » » Rope tricks not for cabaret? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

James Fortune
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Having performed a rope trick of some sort in my cabaret (parlour/stage) for some years, I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that rope tricks per se are not ideal for this environment.

Why? Because they are usually multi-phased and long, And repetitive, and non-absorbing.

I've done most of the commercial stuff over the years, my favourites being Jumping Knot of Pakistan and Whit Hadyn's Mongolian Pop Knot.

Very good - but, again, repetitive. (I LOVE Whit's stuff but any effect where you say, "Let's do that again" strikes dread into the heart of the average onlooker IMHO). Smile

I'm currently using Fay Presto's routine which has five different effects in it without repeats - I restore, spectator 'cuts' rope with fingers, rope stretches, spectator restores, cut off pieces vanish using a TT, rope thrown out for inspection.

It's the best so far but still ... mmm, I'm not sure.

So, what are your thoughts on this?

I'm all ears! Smile
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
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Sorry, I totally disagree with you. In some tricks it is called building to a climax.

If your audience is falling asleep. Stop blaming the magic. I think it is you. Try getting some honest advice.

I make 13 tricks last a 45-minute show. I think that is a lot of magic.

Under your rule you would have to do 50 or more tricks to fill the show time.

Remember, it is not the number of tricks but the performer. When, you do a show, you are not the one being entertained, the audience is.

Seriously, rethink why you are doing magic.

Bill
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
R2
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From your post it seems that you are performing solo sans a volunteer.
Try infusing the routine with someone from the audience and perhaps this will make the sequences more engaging for both yourself and your groups.

Consider also that most folks have never seen rope work miracles and perhaps their silence is because they are trying to decipher the method.

Try either strengthening your applause cue commands or using someone from the audience in the sequence?
Keep on trying!
rr
James Fortune
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Bill and RR,

I believe you've misunderstood me. My audiences aren't silent or falling asleep. Smile

It sounds awful because I'm blowing my own trumpet but people in the UK will tell you that my cabaret is (to quote the Magic Circle's own magazine) "hilarious!". Smile

I've been doing it for a long time and I know it goes down very well. Years of corporate bookings must say something.

What I'm discussing is a very subtle thing. In my current routine I use four different spectators if the audience is formed in a way that I can move among them easily (U-shaped) or one if on a large stage.

It goes very well. I like it. It gets a very good reaction BUT ...

Life is not long enough to perform average or OK tricks. Or even good ones. Each one you do should KILL - either very funny or very surprising or very mystifying.

I'm not sure anymore that a long multi-phased rope routine does actually KILL.

I have discussed this issue with a number of 'big' performance artists and they agree with my growing belief that rope routines 'as a breed' don't KILL.

If I need a filler - well, OK but I try not to have fillers.

I'm looking at replacing my rope routine with something like a Bill in Lemon (or some other impossible location).

Personally, I believe you should CONSTANTLY analyze your shows and beware of knee-jerk reactions.

See my point guys? Smile
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Bill Hegbli
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Well, I have to say I performed Sterling’s, Comedy C&R Rope trick for years. It kills, and is very funny. I perform it with 1 spectator, not the children trick as in the original trick.

Secondly, the same goes for Professor’s Nightmare or My Favorite Rope Trick. This causes the audience to yaa and Haa, and that is a reaction I like.

Plus, both of these I enjoy performing. That is also an important consideration. You must like the magic you are doing. If not it will be apparent to your audience.

If you are just going through the motions, with not passion this will all affect how the audience perceives the magic.

Yes, you should analyze you show, but to say the problem is to long is not a reasonable point. If you were an MC you might want a long 1 trick routine.

You also have the choice to be creative and shorten or re-arrange the trick to your liking. Then you could market your own original rope routine.

Remember, Professor nightmare is only the middle of longer trick Hen Fentch (can't remember the correct spelling) marketed years ago.

Personally, I dislike the fingers as scissors so I do not do this type of motion. I'm a magician not a human cutting machine.
Bill
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
cheesewrestler
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Quote:
On 2004-01-14 12:27, JamesFortune wrote:

Life is not long enough to perform average or OK tricks. Or even good ones. Each one you do should KILL - either very funny or very surprising or very mystifying.

If I need a filler - well, OK but I try not to have fillers.

Personally, I believe you should CONSTANTLY analyse your shows and beware of kneejerk reactions.


No.
Read Noel Coward, or just watch any comedian work.
Not every single line provokes gales of hysterical laughter.
Peaks and valleys, that's how to build an act. Comedy, magic, drama, whatever.
Pacing.
RayBanks
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As far as rope tricks in a cabaret setting:

Mac King opens his Las Vegas with a cut and restored routine that lasts about 4-5 minutes, is fast paced and really gets the reaction from the audience.
-------------
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

Ray Banks
R2
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If you've ever been entertained by watching a movie or reading a book it is the contrasts which help to build the tension required to hold your attention.

Many folks would say that performing a production is the way to start a show because it is an instant attention grabber but, ask yourself can you imagine a show which offered nothing but, continual productions?

If you've never used a bill to lemon in your sets, it certainly kills if performed properly! I would HIGHLY recommend it as I am sure many would as well?

You are correct though it is a little "filler" in my sets to carry me into the next effect. I have the need to produce the first rope and the final rope piece leads into a ring on rope routine.... The rope sequence doesn't kill or match up to the rest in applause levels but it works in my sets to also show the variety of objects used in my show.....don't underestimate that....folks appreciate a little variety....I wouldn't and don't perform many routines with cards.....however I use an array of different objects which I believe the audience after having seen come to respect the many objects I used as tools of the trade!

Jump right in with the Bill to Lemon and then decide is my advice.....rr
Bob Sanders
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If you are not happy with your rope routine, the obvious thing to do it replace it. It is not rare that the very same routine that works great for one performer is the wrong material for another.

I have to agree with the others.
It is not the rope’s fault.
This is not about fault.
It is not the rope’s show.

My rope routine has been unchanged in the show for about thirty years. It has won contests, been used in TV commercials, and bails me out show after show. People who don’t know my name (so much for fame) recognize my rope routine and request it over and over. By trade, I am a stage magician and spend thousands of dollars on grand illusion props. People remember my dove in balloon shot from the audience and my rope routine. When I go into WalMart to buy rope, I usually buy all they have. That is only because it plays well for me. When people who have seen the show catch Lucy and me out eating, it is the rope, not the birds, they ask about. For the right person in the right act, rope is a killer. Lord knows, there are thousands of things in magic that do not work that well for me! Rope is pure gold for me. I have forty years of every variety of Miser’s Dreams stored in the attic. I’m sure they are there to prove that in the wrong hands, something can be made into nothing.

Bob Sanders
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Bob Sanders

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AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
James Fortune
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One more word out of you lot and I'll do three more card tricks!! Smile

Only joking. Thanks very much for your views chaps but I think I need to lie down now and give my ego a chance to regrow! Smile

Ah well ... some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue! Smile
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Bob Sanders
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James,

You're a good sport. Nobody here is interested in harming you or your ego. We need you. But you are the one dissatisfied. Put something on the list that will satisfy you, even if it is three card monte with a different back. It's your act.

Lucy and I don't plan to cross the pond until 2005. But when we do, I'll make you a deal. I'll help you kill an audience with rope, if you will teach me to do the same with a Miser's Dream. In my hands it brings an audience to a new level of apathy. It will be a challenge.

Keep on, keeping on!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
James Fortune
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Bob,

I'd be delighted to host you and Lucy when you come to Britland. Smile

Just email me on james@magicfun.co.uk to let me know when you're coming. Smile

(BTW, I still do my current rope routine which goes down well. I'm just reviewing and pondering, that's all) Smile
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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James,

Thank you very much for the kind offer. Be careful, we just might show up. There are no instructions on how to make us vanish. Good Luck!

You and Lucy think alike. If it is working, let’s fix it!

It is honorable to review and improve. But I would not want to repeat surgery just to see if the next scar could be smaller. The audience wasn’t there for rehearsal, and rehearsal, and rehearsal. Magic is a real time business. What the audience remembers we usually couldn’t do anyway. We want them to try to believe what they saw. They want to see what they believe but can’t admit to others. Cultivate their imaginations. I bet your rope routine works much better than you think.

I sent you a private email and photo.

Bob and Lucy

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
daffydoug
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This may seem off the wall, but I am not sure which rope routines you are using, but you might enjoy the variety of rope magic Pavel offeres on his "Cabaret Ropes" tape, available from L&L publishing. I believe some of these would really add some spice to your cabaret act. Just a thought.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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