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AidanHeritage
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Yes, Jay Marshall commented when Blackstone vanished something - even though he KNEW what he should be looking for (and I seem to recall it was an elephant) he STILL missed it
Dick Oslund
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HOUDINI vanished an elephant at the old Hippodrome theater! (in Baltimore, I think). Two men pushed a huge "cabinet" on stage. The ephelant entered it. The doors of the cabinet were closed. Houdini (like Thurston!) fired a pistol. The doors opened. The ephelant was gone. Then TEN men pushed the cabinet off stage! --Well, that's how magicians described it! nee hee

I never saw Sr. or Jr. VANISH a "pachyderm", but, I saw Harry Sr. produce a honking goose AND a live burro from a few silks! I know it was a LIVE burro, cuz I helped "walk the beast" in downtown Milwaukee with Nick.

Harry Jr. produced a camel AND an elephant in that New York theater.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
AidanHeritage
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Ah, the tricks our memories play - I can remember the quote, but I cannot remember where I read it or the full details. It probably wasn't an elephant, as I'm sure it would have been something more like "act as known" - however, with the usual caveats, http://www.lohud.com/story/life/2014/01/......4823507/ does have reference to Harry Jr and an Elephant vanish.
Dick Oslund
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If you are referring to the Kellar statement, it's from one of the older books. All I remember was the broad statement about the brass band, and the parade.

I never SAW either Blackstone vanish an ephelant, but, then, Harry Jr. did a lot of shows that I never saw. I do remember following Jr. in Davenport Iowa in the Masonic Auditorium, about 25 years ago. It was a big corporate Family Christmas Party. I had an audience of about 500. The client told me that Harry had been there about two weeks before. He was sponsored by a fraternal group, which had advertised the BIG Blackstone show. They had not done a good advance sale, apparently due to poor planning and promotion. They called Harry, or his manager, and requested that Harry bring his "concert" show instead of the "big one". Harry came with Gay and a girl, plus a couple of young fellows to push the props and load in and load out..

He did a fine show. I've seen the concert program many times. He brought several self contained illusions like Zig Zag, and the Harbin Sawing, plus his "personality" stuff. (cage, bulb, handkerchief, committee, silks & ropes, etc.

The audience liked him (here comes the BUT: The show was reviewed by a reporter who didn't like magic. He came, expecting to see an elephant, tiger, the Karnac Levi, the buzz saw and a "company of thirty -- mostly girls", etc. and he saw the much smaller concert program. He panned the show. It, of course, was not Harry's fault.

I do have s fairly good memory of the history of this business, and, although, I try to tell an anecdote with as much "color" as I can, it is possible that I may not recall the color of the tux that Jr. was wearing at a particular show!

It's like the young kid said, "I know Harry Blackstone"! The kid's friend replied, "Yes, but does Harry Blackstone know YOU"? (Harry knew me!)

If you want some trivia, do you know what color were the trunks and crates on both Blackstone (pere et fils)shows? And, do you know whose work trunk's color did not conform to the show's color? And, do you know what color IT was? And, whose trunk it was? Do you know who made Harry Sr.'s Girl to Rose Bush prop? It was for years, the finish to the Flower Garden Opening,

Do you know which of the old man's illusions brought Jay Marshall back 4 or 5 times? --and Jay still could not figure it out! --and why the assistants hated it?
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Dear AidanHeritage!

I owe you an apology! When I read your last post (January 17, 7:24 AM, I misunderstood. I thought you were questioning my memory, and, I came back at you rather strongly.

After a cup of coffee, I re-read your post. I think I understand it better, now! I hope you'll accept my sincere apology.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Though most of my gigs are music and puppets I still keep both hands in coin magic.
I find that even though some would say I have the chops that
Schtick gets the gigs and audiences.

Jazz can apply to musical bits and coin magic.
I can improvise and change ongoing coin routines.
I can move to help create better performances. I got into coin magic
Because I liked the eye candy. I've learned to fool myself that us so nothing is noticed even from my point. ..behind the arms rather than only the front.
Getting lower can help
These days getting back up us part if a line that gets a laugh with truth of comedy.
...and allows something to be brought into okay covered by movement and laughter
I learned these thing the old fashion way
By learning what didn't work.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
daniel116
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Back in the army I used to do tricks (can't really call the way they were presented "performing"), I was always surrounded 360 degrees, I found that sucker moves were the best and easiest solution for me.
The ol' spider vanish served me well... while in service!
MaxfieldsMagic
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Quote:
On Jun 14, 2015, Mb217 wrote:
Hi Bin, Welcome to the Café… Smile

Good questions!

Angles are important in magic. I've messed up many a good trick by not being careful of them and or thinking they did not matter much. I was wrong in both instances. Smile

First off, kids can be difficult. Most just enjoy the magic, but some can be quite challenging…I guess this could be said of them in general. Smile I do a lot of magic for children on a daily basis and have found out much as to what works and what don't. It's really quite a psychological treatise in itself, coming to better understand this stuff. Smile

I don't want to bore here, so simply as to angles and children, recognize that they are little people and you must play down to them (as to your hands - palm up and palm down). Keep the magic ahead of them and of a surprise nature, like pulling a coin from their ear or vanishing a coin and then pulling it from your mouth, etc). Keep it along those lines, and don't keep repeating on the spot just because they keep asking for more, because the little darlings will ask forever! Smile

If you're called out by them, just jump quickly ahead of them with something they can't figure out. They will most times immediately forget whatever they thought they caught you on. Smile The same youthful mental quickness they have to figure out things, also works to confound them just as easily. Smile Remember, that you are still in control and there's just so much kids do not understand as to nuance, discussion and or debate…They are no match for you or your great powers! Smile

Stay ahead of them, and don't do anything that can't fool them, or allows them to quickly figure it out. Keep the angles down low on them, and move your body to place yourself in an advantageous position, even if it means saying, "Stand over here," of "I'll show you something a little later." Not good to let anyone stand behind you, as you can give away a lot of built-in advantages that way. Though, I do do a couple of effects where I ask a person to stand in front of me and one behind me. When I finish, I ask the person behind if they would explain what they saw. They never see anything, as I have all those angles already long time figured out as to what I'm showing them…They see nothing but magic, and the guy behind me is even more perplexed than the guy in front of me, because they just believe that they are in a position to see what's really happening. Yeah, RIGHT! Smile If I didn't have absolute control of the situation, I would never do something like that. Smile So, stay in control with big kids and the little ones and you'll be angled properly. Smile

Keep working and learning. And again, "Welcome here!" Smile


That's brilliant, MB. You really seem to understand children. And angles, of course. But understanding kids is much tougher than understanding angles. Very insightful advice.


Smile
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
Quentin
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A couple of points.
David Devant (remember him, whose motto was, "All Done By Kindness"), pointed out that children see magic from underneath. This was brought home to me when a stand-up magician was doing a set at a party I was at in a private house. The room was busy so some of us, including me, sat on the floor. I saw a lot more than I should have, including discovering the method of a trick that had fooled me badly.

Blackstone Jr produced both an elephant and a donkey without boxes on a fully lit stage as part of his Bicentennial full evening show. If you can find the HBO TV special, "Blackstone Live in Seattle", you can see an hour of that show including the production.
Banedon
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Quote:
On Jun 14, 2015, Mb217 wrote:
<snip>
place yourself in an advantageous position, even if it means saying, "Stand over here," of "I'll show you something a little later."
<snip>


This to me is one of the key answers. It has been a LONG time since I worked any parties, but I recall being faced with situations of people insisting on standing behind me. My default reaction was to make it into a joke by providing some ludicrous reason of having a phobia of people standing behind me. Usually people got the hint in a way that was entertaining to that person and the audience. More than once someone refused to move so I simply stated that everyone had to be in front of me or I would not continue because he was too distracting to the audients. Phrasing and emoting it just right got the rest of the audience on my side who heckled the person into moving. In other circumstances (which is not always possible) I intentionally positioned myself so that it was extremely unlikely that someone would be able to come up behind me (walls and whatnot).
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