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Starrpower
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I have an Abbott's Mutilated Parasol and I never loved the trick (translation: it sits on my shelf). Is it a transposition? Is it a blendo effect? What's the point of the trick, i.e. why are we doing it? Is it just eye candy?

It's called a "Mutilated" parasol, yet that is not really what happens at all. I think one problem I see is that the 1960's hippie tie-dye parasol is not only an odd-looking thing, but the silks look nothing like the cover! Are they supposed to, or are they simply unrelated items that change places for no apparent reason?

To add insult to injury, many performers do not even bother to pay attention and make sure that the silks in the bag actually match those that end up on the parasol.

Anyway, here is a thought I had: what if, instead of random handkerchiefs, the silks were looked like panels from the parasol? What I mean is, if they were triangular-shaped and actually look as if they could have been part of the item? I don't know if this would make any more sense or not, but having silks jump to the ribs on an umbrella don't make much sense, either.

Alternately, what if the silks really looked like they were torn, mutilated pieces? What if, in the course of the presentation, there was a reason that the thing was destroyed, and we magically solved the problem?

I don't know ... magic doesn't have to make perfect sense, but making no sense at all seems weird, too.
Dick Oslund
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The "Victorian" presentation of the MP MAY have been the "hit of the century" in 1875, I agree however that that concept Is just a trifle ARCHAIC.

"I will now cause with a wave of my magic wand, the silk handkerchiefs in this (ugly) purse to transpose themselves to the ribs of milady's sun parasol, and the cover of the parasol will transpose itself to this (ugly) purse. "OOKY DUKE! --Voici! (or) Voila!.....(etc.) YUK!

And, the kid in the front row, says, "Big Deal! My father transplants HEARTS!

My dear pal, the late Don Lawton, had a funny parasol routine. It was a slightly perverse bit of magic, that ALWAYS got a nice laugh. His patter was about marriage. (He had some very cute lines.)I liked it. But, it was HIS! When Don went off to play the big route. I decided that his routine shouldn't be lost.

I kept his premise, but changed the lines to fit an elementary school audience. Oh! I used a flat type change bag, with a drawstring. I had it made to look like a boy's marble bag like boys used in the early part of the 20th Century, in place of the (ugly) "purse". I put it in the program in 1992. I was playing a route that I had just played two years previously. I had to change some of the more "visible" props. The parasol was a show stop laugh, the FIRST DAY, and has never missed. It also gets big applause EVERY time. It's planned for elementary age kids, but, surprisingly, the high school students, when I have a K-12 school, laugh, too. (I think that they are enjoying the tiny kids' fun!;) Other than the "marble bag", I still use the basic Abbott parasol with the tie dye design. (It's my "great grandmother's sun parasol" and, I mention as I display it, "the gawdy thing--I mean the parasol, not my grandmother!"

It runs two minutes. It meets most of my criteria: VISIBLE PROP, ANGLE PROOF, RECOGNIZABLE PROP, LITTLE OR NO SET UP, NO TABLE NEEDED, SPOT ADAPTABLE, PACKS SMALL, AND LIGHT, AND PLAYS BIG, AND WHILE THE EFFECT "HAPPENS" IN THE BAG AND ROLLED UP MAT, THE "RESULTS" ARE QUITE VISUAL. I wrote up the whole routine in my book.

And, I thank Don Lawton, every time that I do it!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
cwbny
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Trevor Lewis had an idea that made it make sense to me. I've never performed it, but his routine had good logic.

He showed the umbrella. Then presented the silks. He claimed an audience member would pull out just one silk. Whatever color that silk is, the umbrella will change to that color. Then surprisingly, the child pulls out the cover and the silks appear on the umbrella. His version seemed like a pretty logical take on the effect.
Starrpower
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I certainly can't disagree with the criteria. I'll bet the routine is worth the price of the book.
Red Shadow
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I hear you loud and clear with this effect. I own it and even put it in my show for a while, but could never feel happy with it. It never survived more than a months worth of shows.

The superstitious would always hate that I'm opening it up inside, the change bag was becoming well-known and ruined the effect, and the bright colours made it feel too much like an effect for toddlers - meaning it loses the attention of the older kids and adults, so they wonder off and start having their own conversations at the back.

The routine I devised was weak (in my opinion) but I refuse to sell it on, as it is an audience participation trick (which are hard to find nowadays) and is a different effect to many others on the market. I don't know how to fix it yet, but it is a routine I have been working on for a long time.
Quentin
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Years back, my mentor Eric Sharp urged me to include the MP in my shows. He said that audiences like it. And he was right.

I haven't done if for years and the arrival of Dick Oslund's book just might get me performing it again.

The opening went with me asking the audience of children if they knew what it was (showing it in its folded state. "An umbrella," they say. "No," say I, "guess again." "An umbrella." This goes on and I open it facing them. "An umbrella." "No, it's a parasol." Open and close the parasol a few times, again with the tip facing them, "oh look, it's breathing."

I must look up the rest of the script.
jakeg
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The MP was given to me some 50 years ago. I never liked the trick, but I held on to it anyway. After reading about all of successes folks have been having with it, I recently decided that I would put it in the set for the younger kids. I' using a Trevor Lewis routine. The 1st thing I did was to get rid of the ugly mat that came with it. This week, I intend to get a colorful 16X20 placemat to take its place. The color of the cover doesn't bother me. I don't think the kids give a thought about such things.
Dick Oslund
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Hi Quentin!

Give it a try! Do it as written! As Carl Lohrey would say: "Put it in once, and, you'll never take it out. I never had a new routine play that strong on its first appearance!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
jay leslie
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I do this all the time in conjunction with color chg plumes. With the right music everyone claps to the rhythm. The only thing is that the Abbott's, I've bought the last two times, broke within a week and I had to completely rebuild them.

People who make umbrellas don't work outside.
Tell them that, the next time a kid yells out, it's bad luck.
Dick Oslund
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Interesting! I started using the parasol in 1992, and, I've never yet had anyone say anything about bad luck when I open it.

I've used it across the U.S.!

I did break a rib on the mutilated "section" once. Greg fixed it for me.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Gerry Walkowski
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Starrpower,

I think you have some valid points, but I also think you might be "over-thinking" this one.

Or, to use a line in Dick Oslund's new book, "you might be running when no one is chasing you." Smile

To me, I've always viewed the PARASOL as a TRANSPOSITION effect, regardless of its orginal title. And the bottom line here is that generally speaking, most audiences enjoy the effect. It's a very easy effect to follow, it crosses many cultures, and it plays well even if you're performing to a non-English speaking audience. I also think there's something in the effect that is intrinsically endearing to females.

Like everything else, it all comes down to presentation. I think too much talking and changing it back and forth several times kills the intended beauty of the effect.

Years ago I caught one of Mark Wilson's theme park productions and he had a nice routine that played very well. Though I no longer perform the parasol, I did for over 25 years. My routine NEVER failed to get a nice round of applause at the end of the effect. I dropped the routine mainly because I wanted to take my show in a completely different direction.

Best,

Gerry
Gerry Walkowski
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And another thing. . . Smile

I'm convinced that most magic tricks have flaws. One way to stand out from the crowd is to fix those flaws by creating an even better magic trick by using the existing magic prop just as a template.

Andre Kole, David Copperfield and others have done this sort of thing, and it's a beautiful thing to see them take a classic to an entirely different level. Oftentimes magicians are thinking to themselves, "Now why didn't I think of that?"

Gerry
Dick Oslund
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Hi Gerry! --and Na Zdrowie!!!

Thanks for the mention. I wish I could take credit for the "running when no one is chasing you", but, the line 'belongs' to AL BAKER! I never met Al, but, I read everything he wrote (books, and especially, his "letters to Harold" in the old SPHINX). I also heard many unprinted anecdotes from Jay Marshall who was Al's son in law.

I agree whole heartedly with your comments above.

Over the years, I have seen many magicians present the MP. It was quite obvious that they had just opened the box, looked at the prop, read the "instruction", and did it! YUK!!!

When I saw my old friend, Don Lawton do it, I KNEW that he had the right concept for modern audiences! I wouldn't do it while he was alive. It was HIS! When he left us, I bought the prop. I rewrote the lines to fit my audiences, keeping Don's premise, and it was a WINNER from the first day. IT GETS A SHOW STOP LAUGH, when I jerk out the mutilated prop!!! --and STRONG applause at the blow off.

That's enough, or I'll be repeating myself (see above post) which I have a tendency to do!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Starrpower
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Quote:
On Aug 16, 2015, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
I also think you might be "over-thinking" this one.


You're probably right.

But I also think that, if all one does is accept the status quo, because "they've always been done that way" -- I run the risk of having a very average show. I love the classics, but I also think if we just do them the way we've always seen them done, we will never stand out. It's one of the reasons that I object to finding things on your back. I KNOW that gets a reaction from kids, but it also makes me a lazy performer.

Here is a portion of an email I received this week: "I've had more compliments about you than any of the other performers this summer. The kids and adults were both laughing and enjoying all your tricks and the interactivity of your programs. Parents who come into the library are still telling me what a great time they had and that makes me feel excellent! Thank you much!" She was not comparing me just to other magicians, but all other acts she had this summer. I know I am not the greatest magician, but I also know that most of the magicians I see do every trick almost the exact same way. The parents that librarian referenced are responding to something fun and different. All I am doing in this thread is taking a trick that currently is bland to me, and examining alternatives that can make it "pop".
Gerry Walkowski
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Hey Starrpower,

I couldn't agree with you more about most of your comments. We think too much alike.

I go out of my way to avoid most magic tricks that everyone else is doing. Still, it's possible to take certain standard effects and give them a new wrinkle. It's a wonderful thing to see and experience whenever that happens. As a matter of fact, I think that's one of the fun things about magic. Trying to take effects to the next level.

Gerry
vincentmusician
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I bought a Mutilated Parasol by Abbot's. It was the biggest mistake I made. I paid over $500.00. I asked them to check it carefully before sending it. When I opened it I was shocked. It was used, the paint was chipped, looked horrible and did not work. They refused to give me back my money. They do not care what they send you.
jakeg
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I have a parasol , Abbott’s, that has to be at least 75 years old,. The handle is slightly scuffed, and I changed the silks on it with the idea of finally using it in a new kids show that I was putting together. In the meantime I lost my sight, the state took my driver’s license, so no more shows. It’s one on the last pieces of equipment that I still have.
Andy Young
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Quote:
On Jul 18, 2021, vincentmusician wrote:
I bought a Mutilated Parasol by Abbot's. It was the biggest mistake I made. I paid over $500.00. I asked them to check it carefully before sending it. When I opened it I was shocked. It was used, the paint was chipped, looked horrible and did not work. They refused to give me back my money. They do not care what they send you.

Did you buy it directly from Abbot's?
jakeg
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About 60 years ago, a budding magician who I never met, died. His widow heard about me somewhere and gave me a trunk with his equipment. The umbrella was in it. I know that it was from Abbot. All the equipment was from Abbot. The only part of mine that looks used is the wood on the hokey change bag that came with it. I never used it in a show, mainly because one.of my local friends, Harry Albacker used one in his show, and we worked a lot of the same places.
Russo
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Bill Chaudet (sp) nephew (?) of BLACKSTONE SR- in the '60's,Calif- Hollywood, area, gave us a Mutilated Parasol - he said belonged to BLACKSTONE SR. (?) Can't verify it, but will always Treasure it. In the 60'-80's Wife and I used it many times in our Show (have a photo of us with it). Ralph ROUSSEAU -(Russo)
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