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axel_zander
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Hello all,

I am performing with my magic school on stage later this year. I am 15 and I love manipulation and close up magic, especially magic with cards and the type of magic attributed to feats of skill as well as performing gambling sleights. The problem is, it will be hard to perform that type of magic in front of an audience of approximately 300 people.

So, the question is: what type of magic could I perform on stage that mostly uses sleight of hand, that the audience can clearly see, and which is engaging and amazes the audience as well?

I will probably have around 5-10 minutes.

Please reply.

Me
axel_zander
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Also, I can not use a camera.
Bill Hegbli
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Best advice, if you school has a drama or acting class, get with the teacher and ask him for advice, on presentation, and your personality brought out on a stage. There is a way to present close-up on stage, but it takes the ability to point out the important moments in each trick. A coach will be able to point you in the proper technique to do this.

It is just to last for you to learn and polish a stage manipulation act with cards, billiard balls, thimbles, CDs, parasols and coins as used on stage magic. It would take at least 3 months just to learn the moves.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

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Anatole
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Card fan productions, card flourishes, multiplying billiard balls, linking rings, Miser's Dream, 20th century silks, vanishing cane etc should be fine for an audience of 300. I think rope tricks would also go over well for an audience that size as well. In his lecture, Dai Vernon stressed the importance in a Miser's Dream routine of holding each coin as it is produced by the minimal bottom edge and "wiggling" it slightly broad side to the audience so that it would catch and reflect the stage lights. If you do the Miser's Dream, use a metal pail so that the coins make a good audible noise when dropped into the bucket--or do what some of the old timers did and place something in the bottom of a top hat or other receptacle to make a clear noise when the coins are dropped in.

In this youtube clip of Norm Nielsen's act:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd-Dtc9DlbE
at around 2:40 into the clip you can see what I mean by "wiggling the coin" as it is produced in a Miser's Dream routine.

If you are doing a talk act, Six Card Repeat could be an option since the cards are used as counters and the audience doesn't have to distinguish the values or suits of the cards.
There are also jumbo card versions of packet tricks like "Sidewalk Shuffle" that could be done on a platform or stage if you don't mind a patter trick.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
axel_zander
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Super, thanks for the tips. Great ideas.
Dick Oslund
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When I was your age, back in the late '40a, I bought white tie and tails, a top hat, and a cane to table. I was trying to be suave and debonair. I did Misers Dream (Downs' palm, both hands) with flourishes like the Five Coin Star (both hands)and coin roll (four coins).

I did the John Booth multiplying balls routine, along with Percy Abbott's "Perpetual Balls" and Bill Williston's visible penetration of a ball thru a silk.

I did white glove card fan productions, and most of the fancy shuffles.

I also did some silk productions using a Stilwell ball, and color change with a hand dye tube.

The magicians in Ring 103 (Norfolk) thought I was a god! Unfortunately, I wasn't SUAVE & DEBONAIR!!!

An agent saw me, and asked, "Can't you make 'em laugh?" I aaid, "I guess so." He aaid, "Make 'em laugh, and I'll get you work!" I did, and he did.

I'll differ with my olf friend, Sonny Narvaez on a fine point. The receptacle for the coins (MD) is needed for the accoustical illusion. The bucket or "whatevr" should, though needed, NEVER be emphasized. Putting a saucer in the hat is not good magic! It's a COIN trick, not a bucket of hat trick!

So! learn from my mistake! Don't try to be suave and debonair!!!!! Just be a nice young man. If they like you, they will like what you do. --as long as you KEEP IT SIMPLE, AND MAKE IT FUN!

I sold the "tails" and the cane to table about 60 years ago. I still do Misers Dream, but, now, it's solid laughs. I dropped the multiplying balls, and do only a few flourishes, the Perpetual Balls, and the ball thru silk. The Perpetual Balls is solid laughs. The ball thru silk, gets laughs and applause. Often, I do a four ball simultaneous production for an extra kicker. I filed the white gloves in a drawer some place, and now do only the flourishes and fancy shuffles.

The color change silk thru hand is still in and it's the opener. But, now, it's a GENTLE sucker bit. It gets laughs, plus a big mitt at the end.

I put some rope bits in (a knot or two, and some juggling bits) and the Nightmare.

I do a 45 minute show, so, I've added a funny egg bag routine, a funny 3 ring routine, a funny optical illusion routine, the serpentine silk, the square knot routine from "Discovery of Witchcraft".(Young magicians call it the "Slydini Knots") a very funny 20th Century Silk. and a Trouble Wit.

Bill Hegbli has suggested, perhaps, the most important "thing". You need a director! A good dramatics teacher can help you know how to stand, how to "time" the effects, and, in general, how to "SELL" yourself to the audience.

Sonny is quite right when he talks about making the coin visible. --And, when he says 300 people should be no problem. Over the last 60 years, I've done the show with the tricks listed above, for 1500 to 2,000 people. You will need good lighting! And, wear a shirt that contrasts with the props! (e.g.: NO Red balls with a Red shirt! (I wear BLACK. white balls, white rope, yellow and red silks, etc.)

A few additional thoughts...Face the audience! (e.g.: don't do multiplying balls in profile. You communicate with your body and your face, as well as your speech.)

Break a leg!

Dick Oslund
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Mike Gilbert
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Listen to Mr. Oslund...this man is the wisest of the wise. "Super Sage" if you will. Anything he offers to you is pure gold! Oh, and I believe I saw somewhere that your birthday was coming up, Dick. Happy Birthday, Sir! Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

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ROBERT BLAKE
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Listen to mr. oslund. if you can do his ball routine you have a great start. also look at this video of fred kaps, 3 times fism winner. look at his card manipulations. just one deck, armspreads and productions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tveHNlIUpBk
Mike Gilbert
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So classic...so timeless. Thanks for sharing Robert!
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
ROBERT BLAKE
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Thanks Mike, after seeing fred kaps card routine I made my own routine. what I like is that all you need is a deck of cards and some hours to practice. I often use it to open my show. people/audiences like this kind of magic and you show them that you can do something. good start of the show. I can also jazz with it. if it needs to be shorter or longer is no problem. no cards lying around the stage to pick up.
George Ledo
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As a couple of folks said already, fan productions are good and visible, but it's all in how you present it. I did the split fans at a 650-seat theatre years ago and it received a huge reaction. I did a cut-and-restored rope in the same act, and it was also well received. Just play to the back of the house, not to yourself. Smile

Finding a drama teacher to coach you sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately a lot of high-school drama teachers have a very limited view of theater and may not have a clue how to do a stage act. So be careful. You may find a really good one, but then again, you may not. There used to be a few people who offered magic coaching via Skype, but I haven't seen any recently.

Another idea, which I've also used, is to talk to a dance teacher and get some help with how you stand and move. Dance teachers are good at making sure the audience sees the dance and the dancers, and you may be surprised at what they come up with.

Good luck. Or, as we say in theater, break a leg.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Bill Hegbli
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There are good and bad in every profession, I made my recommendation on my experience. In my high school, there was a teacher with years of experience. The school put on several plays a year and a variety show. I entered the 1965 variety show and was in the middle of my 1st 2 days of shows, when a voice came from behind the curtain, telling me to step forward on stage more. Nothing like getting director instructions while in the middle of an my act. Back then there were not microphones, just good lighting.

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Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

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Dick Oslund
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Bill! 1965??? --Who are you trying to "kid"? That's a 1939 Ford coupe on that silk!!! (hee hee)

You were lucky (having a good director in your school!!!

Our school was so small tha the senior class play was a monolog. Remember the old Mickey Rooney (Andy Hardy) movies? --"We'll use my father's barn, get some boards and nail kegs for seats, and we'll put on a show!"

UPstage means: "Can you stand UP on this piano bench and do your show?"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Bon Jour mon ami! Ma gran mere etait Francais Canadien, mais je parle seulemnt un peu Francais!

BTW, Your Anglais est tres bon! so, I had better quit 'showing off' my pauvre Francais!!!

Since you are in a magic school, you probably have teachers who are well qualified in stagecraft.

Yes, I think you will find much of value in Ken Weber's book.

What tricks/routines you decide to develop for your act, will depend on what skills you already have. For example, IMO, golf or billiard ball skills are easier to learn than split card fan productions. A good Misers Dream is definitely easier than cards. A good rope routine is even easier!

My rope routine, for example, is an eclecit collection of "bits and pieces"! I (usually) start it with two short pieces of rope that visibly "blend" into one longer piece. (It's a gimmicked rope sold years ago by the late "Gen" Gtan, It's catalog name was/is "One-Two-One Rope". It looks like great skill, but is ultra simple and easy. I follow that with another simple but good visual effect, that I learned in 1946, called "Repeat Knots". It was invented by the late Joseph Ovette, a French Canadian, in the late '30s. The magician ties a single overhand knot in a 4 foot length of rope and then visibly slides the knot off the rope. It's called Repeat Knots, because Ovette repeated it with another knot. I just do it once. An old friend of mine, the late Roy Mayer, opened his school assembly show with it. He was playing a Military School on our east coast. The school was "Navy" oriented, instead of "Army" the high school boy students KNEW ABOUT KNOTS! When Roy slid the knot off,they gave him a standing ovation!

I follow those 'bits' with the G.W. Hunter "Shoelace Knot", and then do the "Professor's Nightmare". I usually follow the 'PN' with "my" Norwegian YOYO. --It's a rope JUGGLING bit that I learned in 1951. The whole thing runs approximately 5 minutes. It plays exceptionally well in High Schools.(ages 14to18) If this sounds interesting to you,and you would be interested in pursuing it, PM me.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Anatole
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Dick, I sold a lot of Grant's "One-to-One" rope trick when I demoed it behind the counter at Earl's Magic Shop in Norfolk. I rarely did it in a show, though, because I felt Ted Collins's Panama Rope Mystery was a stronger effect. I was also doing Horace Bennett's version of Bing Germershausen's "Nightmare in the Spaghetti Factory."

Another good rope trick that I sold a lot of was the Patriotic Ropes--a red rope, a white rope, and a blue rope magically became one long tri-colored rope. I adapted the method to a single color and segued from turning three equal-sized white lengths of rope into one long rope, and segued from that into the Collins trick, and from that into Germershausen's Spaghetti Factory.

Horace Bennett used the shoelace knot as part of his ring off shoestring routine with a surprise finish

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
George Ledo
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2014, Bill Hegbli wrote:
There are good and bad in every profession, I made my recommendation on my experience. In my high school, there was a teacher with years of experience. The school put on several plays a year and a variety show. I entered the 1965 variety show and was in the middle of my 1st 2 days of shows, when a voice came from behind the curtain, telling me to step forward on stage more. Nothing like getting director instructions while in the middle of an my act. Back then there were not microphones, just good lighting.


No kidding? I was in my school's talent show that same year. Won first prize, which was... taa daa... five bucks, and it all went to Lou Tannen's the next day. I got a milk pitcher and a couple of small items. For five bucks. Those were the days...
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2014, ROBERT BLAKE wrote:
Thanks Mike, after seeing fred kaps card routine I made my own routine. what I like is that all you need is a deck of cards and some hours to practice. I often use it to open my show. people/audiences like this kind of magic and you show them that you can do something. good start of the show. I can also jazz with it. if it needs to be shorter or longer is no problem. no cards lying around the stage to pick up.


Yes! One of the great things of "manipulative magic", is that the performer CAN, so easily, ad lib to fit the situation! I like the current use of the term, "jazz"

Those of us who have read (and studied) Tarbell, if we have any talent at all, can present an entertaining show with the simplest of props! A few coins and a tin can, a deck of cards, a few silks or handkerchiefs, a piece or two of rope, a few sponge balls, a few paper napkins, and WE COULD MAKE A LIVING!

I vividly remember the late Roy Kissell's lecture, 30+ years ago. I can't recall his title, but he talked about going into a thrift shop, and/or a K Mart, and buying enough "stuff" to do a show. The late Howard Bone, sideshow performer, told of joining a circus, with no props! He scrounged up enough stuff from a dumpster !!! to do an act!

I only saw Fred Kaps, once (Boston SAM in '74) but, I was impressed by the simplicity of what he did.

One of the finest magicians I have ever seen (Principe Notaes Majahara) presented an hour of entertaining magic before 2,000 young sailors at the Navy Base Theater in Norfolk Virginia in 1951. He absolutely killed, with a shoe box full of "hand made" confetti, a few empty ice cream cones (he produced the ice cream from an empty malt can, a few paper napkins, a piece of manila rope a few scarves and a parrot. TALENT, SHOWMANSHIP, and, KNOWLEDGE!

I learned a good lesson that evening!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Sonny!
Yes! I only used the "blendo" of the two ropes into one long rope, plus the one knot to three knots, when I used it to open the "Puzzling Environment" program, 40+ years ago. It played so well, that I put it in the rope routine in my basic assembly program. Gene Gordon published a very nice routine back then, but I already had a good rope routine.

Ted Collins' "Panama" won an award at an international convention back in the '40s. I've used it, and it is GOOD! Senor MARDO lectured for Ring 103 in the early '50a and used a version of Collins' Panama. He killed 'em!

I vaguely remember Horace Bennett, and I assume the Spaghetti Factory is the presentation for Professor's Nightmare. --GOOD!

I, too, preferred one color rope instead of R W B (Patriotic Ropoes. I'm assuming you used the Slydini "cut" to segue into the Spaghetti Factory.

Did Bennett use the Jim Ryan "Ring, Rod, and String"?

BTW::: Have you tried the "no sew" method for string on the Serpentine Silks
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Dick Oslund
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>>>GEORGE LEDO!

Gosh! my school never had a talent show! I never won a prize! I did have a milk pitcher, though. (Saw Harry B. Sr. do it at the old Davidson Theater in Milwaukee (1945). "...That's not what you asked for last night..." was a line that old "Mr. B" used. He also said as he rolled a cover of LIFE magazine into a cone, "There'll be a lot of life in this trick!" He had a follow up line: "Last week was the first time I took the LIBERTY to do thia trick!" ("LIBERTY" was the title of another popular magazine of the era.) Yes, those lines got chuckles!

I wish that "I" could have won a prize! --Five bucks in the '40s!
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JNeal
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Dick! Your mention of Seńor Mardo piques my interest. From everything I have read, he was a great performer with much rapport... Muy simpatico so to speak... Any details you recall?
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