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Regular user
Atlanta, GA
169 Posts

Profile of DanGarrett
A little bit of Nightmare History for Jesse (and others).

The Professor's Nightmare was invented by Bob Carver of Macon, Georgia. He was inspired by Hen Fetsch. Carver's innovation was to use a third rope (the middle-sized rope) and develope the 'moves' (the 'stretch' and the 'false count') that are the crux of most PN routines to this day.

Daryl uses part of my routine in his (with permission) and he gives me credit in the instructions.

My routine is called Professor's Daydream. I've been doing it that way for 30 years. It won me a couple of awards. It is even reference in the book "The Magic Catalogue" by William Doerflinger.

The first lecture tour I did on the west coast (around 1976 or so), Daryl was the one who personally sponsored my lecture in San Jose, CA. That's where he first saw my routine.

Jesse, I hope your audition to the Castle went well. You chose good material! (:}D)

Dan Garrett
Dan Garrett
SAM National President 1994-1995
MIMC with Gold Star - London
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Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
Two endings I have used....

Starting with a long piece of rope cut it into three EQUAL pieces. The pieces all change to DIFFERENT sizes and are then handed out. I find this is works better then the traditional equal to unequal and back again ending.

Useing rope m****** you can cleanly turn all three to one.
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Inner circle
4290 Posts

Profile of Daegs
I like Whit's "Mongolian Pop-Knot" Routine.

during the course of the routine, 3 ropes of prof. nightmare length are tied together, then the knots pop-off and you are left with a long restored piece of rope.

best is that it is ungimicked and you get to really cut the rope(ie you use up a bunch of rope each time you do this)
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Loyal user
Southern Arizona
242 Posts

Profile of Barrett_James
I really like the entire routine of Full Circle (check all my other raves about it). The routine comes 'full circle' as it starts as 3-uneven ropes, goes into a professors nightmare routine, transitions beautifully into a ring and rope routine and completes the circle with 3-uneven ropes with EVERYTHING examinable.

I just cannot say enough nice things about it. And if your wondering, I have yet to receive any kickbacks for my postings (don't think I would take 'em anyways and ruin my amateur commentator status <grin>) Thanks Rick C and John G for a great routine anyways!!!
"...let us now rejoin our foolish friends and commence the book properly." G.H.
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Inner circle
New York, New York
1298 Posts

Profile of nucinud
I like to toss out the ropes to audience. I let them inspect the ropes to see that they do not stretch or shrink. Sometimes I let them keep the ropes. Three different people wind up with the ropes. They get a souviner and the mystery deepens.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.

Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel
Robert Kohler
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Special user
Fayetteville, Arkansas
520 Posts

Profile of Robert Kohler
Ditto on Full Circle - the most entertaining variation on PN I have seen.......
We judge ourselves by our intentions - others judge us by our actions.....
<BR>B. Wilson
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Elite user
482 Posts

Profile of tntjr
I know this is an old thread, but I'm looking for some Full Circle help. I like the idea of the routine. It's short, direct, resets easily, etc. I'm learning it from John Gustafero's video. My problem is that the patter, for lack of a better word, is non-sensical. That is, he introduces the ring and ropes as "my briefcase," which makes no sense, and there is no further embellishment on that assertion.

That briefcase aside, there is no motivation for any of the moves. At least not a coherent one. The physical part of the routine is a thing of beauty, and the idea of coming "full circle" back to where we started is very nice. But the patter is totally random.

Has anyone developed any alternate? For example, say you pull out the bundle of rope and ring and discuss the concept of "what goes around, comes around." Incorporate some bad "round" puns w/ the ring, and the end of the routine, the "what goes around, comes around" tag line as you wind it up.

The physical part of the routine flows so nicely, I'd really like to have the verbal part do the same.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Eternal Order
Please ignore my
17289 Posts

Profile of joseph
Now we have Fiber Optics from Richard Sanders..... also very good...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
Whit Haydn
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5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
Thanks for the plug, Daegs. I developed my routine--The Mongolian Pop-Knot--on the streets of New York in the late 1960's, and it was first published in 1976. Some of the lines from my routine have become almost stock lines in rope routines. It is also a full circle routine.

The performer starts off with a very long piece of rope--about fifteen feet--and cuts it and restores it in an explanation of the trick.

After tying the magician's secret "Mongolian Pop-Knot," the knot pops off and the rope is restored. He then offers to teach the method again, and cuts the rope in three even pieces. At this point he stresses the importance of making the ropes equal in length, because otherwise you can't put them back together. Unfortunately, the ropes are suddenly all different sizes.

The performer then teaches the audience how to stretch the ropes back to equal using magic words, and the ropes are again tied together with Mongolian Pop Knots. The knots both pop off and thrown to the audience, and the rope is shown restored--back in its original condition as though nothing had ever happened. Except that there are three knots now out in the audience...

Everything is motivated and justified. It is not "here's a cute trick" and then "Now here is another cute trick." I think that maintaining a thematic arch and having a consistant justification for each step of the routine is what makes a long routine play well. Even the use of "Pixie Dust" is motivated and justified. There is no setup and there are no gimmicks. Just a piece of rope and a knot hidden in your pocket. There are several unique moves in the routine that I think would be useful in any rope routine--the display, the Alberti Count, the tossed out knot, etc.

I opened for Conway Twitty using this routine, and it played on a big outdoor stage to 8000 people. The long rope is essential to making it play big on a large stage.

A clip of my routine is at

There you can see how much bigger the effect is on stage when using a long rope for the cut and restored and the Prof's Nightmare.
Jessie Altamirano
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New user
Corona, CA
11 Posts

Profile of Jessie Altamirano
Excellent Whit, I've seen it over ten times since you posted these clips on the Magic Castle forum. Great work.

Now you see it... now you don't!
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Elite user
482 Posts

Profile of tntjr
Outstanding routine, Whit. I've perused your site in the past and you represent everything that is good about magic. I will watch the routine again and will probably end up buying the manuscript. I like the ring and rope part of Full Circle though, and want to keep that. But no reason I can't combing bits and pieces from other routines. Thanks.

I guess most ring and rope routines I'm familiar with have patter issues. Most seem to just be narrations of what is happening. I also like Aldo Colombini's Ringing Around Too, but it comes with no patter at all. Daryl does a couple of nice rountine in his Fooler Dooler series, but, as much as I really like Daryl, these routines are largely narrations.

I'm a pretty creative guy, and know I can come up w/ something that fits me, but I need a direction to get started.

Anyone else?
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