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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Misers dream - muffling (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Comedy Writer
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My Miser's dream is loud - very loud and I need to tone it down for living room shows. Any hints how to muffle the "clang?"
harris
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First thing that came to mind was find a different can.
I'v brought a few coins with me to thrift shops or to try things around the house.

One thing I haven't thought of until now, us to use a 33 ounce Folgers Coffee can.

Perhaps as a kicker( though the dream Does Not Need One, is to "buy/produce a cup of coffee for one of your guest.

Harris
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Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Dick Oslund
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Yesterday, I wrote: "Do it with dollar bills". but someone deleted that comment.

My mentor, in the '40a, used tin pail that one could get at any grocery. It came with five pounds of lard. (We didn't have all the modern "non fat stuff" to fry our eggs in, in those ancient days. Stuart Ross's pail is now in the late Bob Lund's American Museum of Magic. (I had bought Stuart's props, and Bob liked the "home made apparatus" of the itinerant mountebanks of that era.

I used a #10 tin can (like the Folger's coffee can that Harris mentions). Like the lard pail, it was recycled, and "#10s" were used by more than one magician. I remember "Red Friend" using a #10, when I saw him in Ringling Brothers Circus Side Show in '46.

Later, I found a small tin pail (they were used to gather maple sap that was boiled down to maple sirup). Then, in '53, Jack Chanin sold me an aluminum ice bucket ($3.00). I used that for many years (until the bottom was so "rounded out" from coins dropping into it, that the pail wouldn't "sit" on my table. The pail wobbled!

Jay Marshall "produced" the Charlie Miller Bell Bucket. I used that for another ten years, until I downsized my prop case, and "Charlie" wouldn't fit the new case! I found a stainless steel bucket in a thrift shop ($.89). I'm still using it. BTW: my old friend, Al Flosso, (you may have heard of him) used a pail similar to the one that I bought for eighty-nine cents.

The pail is only needed to produce the auditory illusion. --But, that's a very important illusion!

Are you SURE that yours is too loud? You could find a "pail" like mine in most restaurant supply stores (About $5.00). Last year, WalMart had nice stainless steel buckets of several sizes. They're used by house wives to keep small utensils neatly stored on counter tops. The smallest that WalMart had (about 5" diameter x 6" tall) are perfect)

Keep in mind that the MD is a money trick, NOT A PAIL TRICK!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Curtis Kam
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You could try this--I used it so that I could practice in my dorm room at night--Get a thick piece of leather and cut a disc the size of the (inside) bottom of your bucket. Press that down into the bottom of the bucket before you perform. You'll still get plenty of noise if the coins hit the sides, but the loudest part will be muffled.

If you think you really must have the bucket examined before you begin, you can do this: have the empty bucket examined. Pick up a small hand towel, within which you have concealed the necessaries for the trick. Wipe off your hands (probably a good idea anyway) leaving things the way you want them to be, then take the bucket into working position, and wipe the "spectator residue" off your bucket. That done, drop the towel into the bucket and begin.
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Dick Oslund
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Mr. KAM:

Please tell me that in your post above, you were just joking!

Otherwise, I shall need to publish a rebuttal, because I have NEVER heard such NONSENSE.

I have 70 years of experience performing the Misers Dream, from carnival side shows, to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at the SAM Convention. I started presenting it at age 13. I am now retired from full time performing, at 83, and I still do it occasionally.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Apparently, Mr. Kam is not "on line", so, I feel it is imperative that I respond to his post above, as his post, IMO, will cause a lot of confusion, especially to Comedy Writer, the OP, and any other new Café "customer". I repeat what I said, above: I have NEVER HEARD SUCH NONSENSE!

>>>Basic point: THE MISERS DREAM IS A M O N E Y TRICK. THE "MD" IS NOT A BUCKET, PAIL, HAT, OR ANY OTHER SORT OF RECEPTACLE, TRICK.<<<

The "receptacle", hereinafter to be called the "pail" (I understand that Mr. Kam is an attorney.)is NECESSARY to create the AUDITORY ILLUSION!

The size of the coin being dropped into the pail, whether apparently, or actually, has a direct relationship to the sound produced. (I use Eisenhower "silver" dollars, for visibility, in an auditorium, --and, for audibility! (I started out, using GREEN RIVER WHISKEY COINS!) The other factor (for audibility) is the pail, itself. {The type of metal, thickness, and diameter of the bottom of the pail, are all involved.

"...You will still get plenty of noise if the coins hit the sides..." --Oh, really? (Note the "if" in Mr. Kam's post.) I've performed the MD with an assortment of pails,since 1946. The correct way to hold the pail,is so that when the coin is released, it will fall and hit the bottom of the pail on the side opposite to one's hand. If the pail is held so that it is perfectly "level" the coin will, of course, hit the bottom of the pail, but, when, it falls at an angle, the sound is more apt to be a bit louder. To test Mr. Kam's theory, I have tried to release the coin so that it "hits" the side of the pail. I couldn't do it! The coin hits the pail at the bottom. I doubt that Mr. Kam can do it either.

Padding the bottom of the pail (with thick leather, especially) will absolutely inhibit the sound of a coin dropping, which is NECESSARY for the auditory
illusion. Not only will the leather pad 'inhibit", it may very well "kill" the sound. No sound=no illusion, and, therefore, no trick.

Why, pray tell, would a performer have the pail examined????? Examining 'apparatus" (those Victorian magicians didn't know that they were using PROPS, not "apparatus"!). (Paraphernalia,and apparatus are terms used in the 1700s, when buskers adopted titles, such as Doctor,and Professor when they left the streets and moved into parlors. It was the dawn of the scientific era, and, the title of "doctor" or "professor" suggested "respectability" and educstion. The center table would be loaded with all sorts of esoteric "scientific apparatus" with which the "Doctor" would perform "experiments in "high class prestidigitation and illusionary science"!

Any successful professional magician, today, must realize the importance of the three "Ts" (Tempo, Timing, and Time). Passing coin pails for examination definitely upsets the Tempo! --and doesn't "help" the Time or the Timing, either! (The show STOPS, while the PROP is being examined.)

The pail should NEVER be emphasized!!!!! It's needed for the auditory illusion, but, that should not be MENTIONED, or EMPHASIZED. (Let the spectator realize that for himself. I've performed the MD hundreds of times for mentally challenged audiences, and, they all figured that out for themselves.

Picking up a hand towel to wipe off "spectator residue" is about the dumbest idea I've ever heard of! (Hey! I did another "Charlie Miller" --I used a preposition to end that sentence WITH! I would NEVER imply that my spectator's hands were anything but clean.

Again, dropping that towel into the bucket would help to destroy the auditory illusion!

Some, including Mr. Kam, may wonder what my "authority" is.

Well, I've been performing part time professionally from 1946 to 1966, and full time professionally since then, until I retired a few years ago. (that's about 70 years in front of paying audiences.) Except for about 3 years when I worked out of a cigar box sized shaving kit. I did the Misers Dream in every show. My old pal, J. B. Bobo,and I had lunch in Texarkana a year or so before he died. In discussing our "histories", we both estimated that we had done about 20,000 shows. (Well, SHOWMEN are allowed to exaggerate--a little.

Over the years, talking with magicians like Al Flosso, Ormond McGill, Faucett Ross, Danny Orleans, Roy Mayer, et al, I have shared my experience and, they have shared theirs. T. Nelson Downs died before I started, but, Faucett Ross knew Tommy,and shared Tommy's philosophy with me.

I have done the MD in carnival side shows when I was a teen, in thousands of high schools, colleges, too, and even at the Waldorf Astoria at an SAM convention.

I have shared my routine with only a couple of others. I was paid well for sharing it, and one of them, even sends me a residual check.

Feel free to ask Joh Racherbaumer, Bob Baxt, Duane Laflin, or David Seeback, their opinions.

I rest my case!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Atom3339
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Excellent post, Dick!

Thank you!
TH

Occupy Your Dream
Dick Oslund
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You are most welcome, Atom!

I don't tip "inside" information, but, Mr. Kam's post "needed" some "clarification" (that's a "polite" term!)

There is "enough" bad information on the venerable old MD floating around various posts. in the Café. I felt it necessary to point out a few facts.

Yielding to the kvetsching of friends, I wrote up my routine in my book. It's absolute simplicity, and requires no sl**ghts. It's ACTING!
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Curtis Kam
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Mr. Oslund's impassioned post also requires "clarification". Since he took it upon himself to "clarify" MY statements, it's only fair that I return the favor, and "clarify" for all readers, what he meant to say, but somehow didn't quite.

Mr. Oslund makes much of his experience. We'll take him at his word that he has it. I have noticed that the best advice on performing comes from those who actually do it. However, the problem is that often, those who are speaking from experience often forget that their advice is limited by that very same experience. It is rare that one finds an experienced performer who also has the insight to understand what the limitations to his own lessons are. Sadly, we have not found one here, today.

Here's a simple proof: Mr. Oslund says that you cannot hit the side of the bucket with a coin. He doubts I can do it. This is simple physics. The coin falls straight down. The obvious question for the (high school) student is, then, is there an angle at which one can hold the bucket so that you can draw a line going straight down from where the coin starts, to the side of the bucket? It's at this point that the student asks, "But how wide is the bucket?" And there's the rub. Hitting the side is quite possible with a longer, narrower bucket, like the one Jeff McBride uses, and in fact, the Charlie Miller bucket. It's also possible with the wider bucket, held at the correct angle. Like I said, a high school student could map out all the parameters. Or you could just try a bunch of different buckets. But I seriously doubt Mr. Oslund did that. Like I said, the limitations of experience.

As to whether the "bucket" should be examined or not, first of all, I must "clarify" for Mr. Oslund again. He did not mean to misread my statement. With regard to examination of the bucket, I did say, "If you think you really must" suggesting that I also don't recommend examination of the bucket, generally, but unlike Mr. Oslund, I am reticent to tell other people what they have to think. Also, I am able to learn from the experience of others, and I know that the nature of the bucket was a serious concern for some performers like Roy Benson, who had a routine with a clear glass bucket that one could view even from behind, and Nelson Downs, who made it a point to borrow the hat for the collection, even when he could not reach the audience, and could simply have provided his own. I'm not certain that these guys had as much experience as Mr. Oslund, but they did seem to care about the Miser's Dream.

Finally, I should clarify that Mr. Oslund did not post with the intention of missing the point completely. The original poster asked about how he could muffle the sound. Mr. Oslund replied, saying "Don't". I replied saying, if you really want to do it, here's how. I never said whether it was a good idea or a bad idea, because the OP's particular approach to the trick is not given, so there's no way to tell. Unless you are omniscient. And to "clarify", I know Mr. Oslund did not intend to suggest that he's that.

The above is as "polite" as I think I should be. The solutions I have given, work. I gave no "advice", made no comment, on whether one should muffle the sound, and I did suggest that it would be unusual to offer the bucket for examination. None of that needed and "clarification", especially from someone who didn't read it correctly in the first place.
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cperkins
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So as it turns out, there is no real disagreement here as to the proper "sell" of an effectively performed Miser's Dream. I didn't think there would be. Dick and Curtis are as usual, knowledgeable, insightful and spot on, and I always enjoy reading their contributions at the Café.

I must also say that I respect your age and experience Dick, but as I re-read your posts here, I find them discourteous and extremely condescending to a fellow professional - even before attaining a complete grasp of the question.

No need ever to chastise here.

Chuck
To see a difficult thing lightly handled gives the impression of the impossible.
(Goethe)
cheesewrestler
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Quote:
<>
As to whether the "bucket" should be examined or not, first of all, I must "clarify" for Mr. Oslund again. He did not mean to misread my statement. With regard to examination of the bucket, I did say, "If you think you really must" suggesting that I also don't recommend examination of the bucket, generally, but unlike Mr. Oslund, I am reticent to tell other people what they have to think. Also, I am able to learn from the experience of others, and I know that the nature of the bucket was a serious concern for some performers like Roy Benson, who had a routine with a clear glass bucket that one could view even from behind, and Nelson Downs, who made it a point to borrow the hat for the collection, even when he could not reach the audience, and could simply have provided his own. I'm not certain that these guys had as much experience as Mr. Oslund, but they did seem to care about the Miser's Dream.

Finally, I should clarify that Mr. Oslund did not post with the intention of missing the point completely. The original poster asked about how he could muffle the sound. Mr. Oslund replied, saying "Don't". I replied saying, if you really want to do it, here's how. I never said whether it was a good idea or a bad idea, because the OP's particular approach to the trick is not given, so there's no way to tell. Unless you are omniscient. And to "clarify", I know Mr. Oslund did not intend to suggest that he's that.

The above is as "polite" as I think I should be. The solutions I have given, work. I gave no "advice", made no comment, on whether one should muffle the sound, and I did suggest that it would be unusual to offer the bucket for examination. None of that needed and "clarification", especially from someone who didn't read it correctly in the first place.



I'm confused ... where does the OP say anything about having the bucket examined?
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