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JamesinLA
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On Pete Biro's advice, I'm thinking about adding an egg bag routine to my show. I think the sucker aspect of it will play well with the kids at one of the venues I play. The kids are very vocal about guessing about things and they really enjoy that and get into it.

I wanted to get opinions of what bag to get and also where to get a good fake egg. (I bought a wooden egg from a mail order shop and it looks awful and is un-usable.)
I'm leaning toward the Tarbell bag. What do you guys and gals think? Also, any advice on routines to use as a departure point for writing my own would be welcomed.
Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Danny Hustle
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I LOVE the Mardo bag made by Martin Lewis's mom. For the street I think the pocket is in a much better place than a malini bag. It is similar to the Tarbell bag.

For an egg I think the best choice is "the perfect egg" It is a real egg shell filled with epoxy.

Mike Weber gave me a GREAT tip on this egg. If you get a perfect egg drill a couple of holes in the ends like you would do to blow the yoke out.

If you are having the egg examined which is the standard in most egg bag routines this will make the shell seem too fragile to stand up to the abuse you might give the bag when the egg vanishes.

If you are looking for a routine Ken Brooks book is the standard much like the vernon cups and balls. If I am not mistaken your pal Mr. Biro had quite a bit to do with that and would be a great help. (Buy him beer and dinner) Smile

Some guys I've seen who have made it The kind of trick that I think would play big on the street are Jeff Hobson, Tom Mullica, Denny Haney, and Mr. Billy McComb.

The Stevens tape on the egg bag has both Mr. McComb and Mr. Mullica's routines. Jeff Hobson LIVE! has his routine, and Denny sells a performance tape of his routine.

The Stevens tape also has Martin Lewis giving a very nice nuts and bolts on the Mardo bag.

There is a lot of great stuff out there to give you ideas. This is one of those tricks though that must be done well to go over. It is very easy to have it go boring or antagonistic if you are not careful when writing your routine.

Best,

Dan-
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Ron Reid
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Dan:

That's very helpful information - thanks!

James:

Concerning the egg bag, I'm learning the Ken Brooke routine that Dan mentioned and it is very short and direct; I like it a lot. I bought the Malini Egg Bag that Fabric Manipulation makes and it is beautiful - to be honest, it's not that much nicer than others I bought from Paul Stone and Danny Tong. It is nicer though; it's about $80.00.

Ron
Bill Hegbli
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Eggs, Norm Nielsen sells wooden eggs, being he sells to dealers this may be the one you own. I had to repaint mine, as the coat already on it was very light/thin.

I picked up a dozen plastic white eggs at a hobby shop. They will work as well.

The Malini uses a blown egg. Just patch the hole with Spackling. If you are going to have the kids actually handle it go with the wood or plastic.

If you use the wooden egg, you can use the gag: "This came from a decoy duck".
Bill Palmer
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Be sure to use the line "This came from a decoy duck," if you are using a wooden egg.

Then your audience will know that you are a hack magician, completely incapable of writing original material. They will take pity on you and tip heavily.

Also, when you bring up a lady, be sure to ask for her to give you the clean hand. Hack magicians always use the "clean hand" gag.
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The Wonder Company
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I love the off white wooden quail sized egg because it palms sooooo easily. this has helped me find my own routine without having to rely solely on the bag for the magic to happen. Martin Lewis has one of the best egg bag moves I've ever seen, where the egg vanishes visibly on the OUTSIDE of the bag. It's killer and always gets a reaction. It's on one of those videos that Danny mentioned. The one with Billy McComb. I think it's the Stevens.

In terms of bags I'd go with the one Martin's mom makes too. It's really top notch. A quick second though is the one that turns into a chicken @ the end. Not top notch, but you mentioned working for kids James, and that's the one I always use in my kids show. Chickens are always be funny.

Decoy duck however is not funny. Why tell people you are using a wooden egg, when it's so much more magical to let them think it's real? especially if you start your routine by producing the egg from the seemingly empty bag. that's a strong moment!
JamesinLA
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Thanks for all the great tips and advice everyone.

Wonder, where can I get the bag that becomes a chicken. I do think that would play very well for the kids and parents at this one venue of mine.

Re: the egg, yesterday I found some perfectly shaped wooden eggs at Jo Ann's fabrics, and have already painted them with opague stain that is off white. It looks good and cost 75 cents. I got two of them in case I want to try to Tarbell routine.

PS: Concerning the duck line, whatever we may think of it, regardless of its own merits, the audiences I play to have never heard it before so will have no prejudice or preconceptions one way or the other. Whether they like it or not is another story of course.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Pete Biro
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Senor Mardo, in Routined Magic, has a great routine with the Tarbell-style bag. (His wife, Lin Castel, used to make the bags, now Martin Lewis' "mum" makes the best of the type).

I may still have the old bag that turned to a dumb looking chicken, but it is not that good magic-wise.

The Malini bag and Ken Brooke routine is hard to beat.

(Danny Hustle -- I did have something to do with the Ken Brooke "instructions" but not the routine. As Ken did the moves, I made pencil drawings of his hands, the bag, etc. and those were put together and sent to Sid Lorraine, who did the final inked drawings).

By working with Ken on this it enabled me to really learn the routine well.
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The Wonder Company
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James, I got mine from the Morris Costume catalogue. An entertainment company I sometimes work for let me use their corporate account to place a big order of magic props and supplies. If you sign up as a member @ the Morris Costumes website they might have it in their online catalogue. I'm not sure.

Pete is right about it not being that high qulity of a prop, but I've caused serious laughter with the right group of kids. and if the kids head is the right size it works double duty as a chicken hat. Oh, and it's probably going to be 5 or 6 bucks. All the stuff at Morris is cheap. Not very good quality in general, but cheap and fun to look through.
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Chris Berry
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I don't know how much you will value my advice...

I don't use an egg bag at all. I'll be up front and honest about that. But I do have to agree with that the others have said about the egg bag made by Martin Lewis' mom. She is a great lady and when I was able to check out the bags made by her they looked awesome and seemed to be a high quality.

My friend uses a bag made by them and has blown my socks off with it! He does the same routine Martin Lewis does and I think it's killer.

Have you checked into using a latex egg?

Chris
JamesinLA
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Thanks for the help, Chris. Haven't checked into the latex egg. Does Martin Lewis also carry the these eggs I wonder?
Max,
Couldn't find the costume web site, but did find a chicken egg bag at Daytona Magic. Don't know how good it's going to be, but I'll see. Let you know when it gets here...

I also ordered the video Danny recommeded. I'll comment after I get all this stuff.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Carlos Hampton
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As far as the egg goes. Either use a blown egg as described above. (they are stronger that you might think) or use a plastic egg. There is no big deal if they see the egg is not a real one.

If you want to get realistic, follow the instructions that were posted by Wolf magic in the workshop.

The bag.....well this is another story James. I've been using a tarbell type that my grandmother made with my instructions. I've bought the Danny Tong (malini type) and is great, althought I still use my Grandma's no one beats this one!!!!
Jeff Dial
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If you want to do a traditional (read pre-20th century) egg bag check out Tarbell #5 "Tobias Bamberg's Egg Bag". Production of 2 dozen eggs and a live chicken.

Our local medieval magician, Payne, has made the comedy egg bag with the chicken sewn inside. He has gone the extra step and used a chicken from the 8th century illuminated manuscript: The Book of Kells. Only one like it in the world.
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
ed rhodes
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I'm not certain what kind of egg bag I have. It didn't come with credits.

It's a multi-colored thing with a pattern that looks liked woven threads. The pocket is high up near the top. I like it a lot better than the old red Adam's Magic egg bag I used for years.

The routine I'm working with (Senor Mardo's) had a whole bunch of bad puns to introduce the egg. I decided to bounce the egg on my hand like a paddle ball and announce;

"To do something like this you need nerves of steel, a will of iron," stop and display the egg, "and an egg made out of plastic! I mean I'm not crazy here!"
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
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The Wonder Company
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James, did you get your stuff yet?
carbone1853
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Bill Palmer I think you were being a bit harsh when you said:
----------------------
Be sure to use the line "This came from a decoy duck," if you are using a wooden egg.

Then your audience will know that you are a hack magician, completely incapable of writing original material. They will take pity on you and tip heavily.
------------------------

I’m not clear what you objection to it is. If you objection is that the line is not original, I must point out neither is the egg bag trick. Both were originated by someone else and as far as I know both are public domain.

If your objection is that it is not funny, that may be true but would depend on who is using it.
Pete Biro
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I think he means it is a cliche, overdone, corny, etc.

However... if you deliver it with a "groan" after it changes the whole meaning. Smile
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Bill Palmer
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Exactly right, Pete. It has been done to death. If you ever wonder why stand-up comics think that magicians have no originality, it is lines like that.

Now there is a way to do that line, if you can't come up with a better one. You can say, "This is a wooden egg. It was laid by a decoy duck...By the way, that line is one of the four oldest lines in magic. I'm required to use one of them in my act each time I appear."

If you want to get the best "action" out of the egg, use a blown egg. Get a small one.

If you want a really good sight gag to go along with the egg, PM me, and I'll tell you about a gadget I gave Johnny Thompson.
"The Swatter"

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JamesinLA
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Thanks, Bill, and thanks everyone for great advice, observations, thoughts.

I've gotten most of my orders. The egg bag tape is a good buy. Tom Mullica's routine can't be performed in a street enviornment but it raises the egg back to the level of a cups and balls finale. The other performances are good to learn from. I think the tape is rather light on showing and teaching moves.

I ordered the book that Pete Biro co-wrote. Haven't gotten it yet.

I bought a Tarbell bag and it's terrific. The you know what is invisible even when you're looking at it.

I got the "chicken" egg back from Daytona. I won't be able to use it. The chicken's head can't even stand up under its own weight. But, one good thing about the chicken egg bag was that it came with a great egg.

Now, on to the eggs. The wooden eggs I bought at a craft store and painted are not going to work, because they are too big! The stick out like a sore thumb. Their size also hinders their easy sliding at the right time and in the right places, if you get my drift (and I know that you do). The chicken bag egg is smaller than a real chicken egg and is wooden and is very slippery. Yet it reads as an egg very well in the hand.


So, as Bill Palmer noted in his above post, I have learned that getting the right sized egg is important. Even with the Tarbell bag. (This is, I've been told, is even more important with the Mallini bag because it's made of silk-like fabric, which shows every little bulge.)
One interesting note from the egg bag tape, Charlie Miller said that Mallini used to use very small eggs himself.

Per routines, so far, I am still leaning toward the Tarbell routine. It involves two kids and I feel it has potential to have fun with.

More later.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Harry Murphy
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James it sounds like you have a good handle on the egg bag! I think that the Tarbell routine is a good basis to start building from. I tend to use the Benson routine found in Elliott’s “Classic Secrets of Magic.” It ends with the production of several eggs out of the small bag. On rare occasions I will use a version of the Tommy Winsor routine. It uses a different kind of bag. When turned it has a side that is open (like a tube) and an egg dropped in will fall all the way through and break on the floor (I have a canvas square that I use to catch the mess, and it is messy! Funny but messy!).

In using the chicken egg bag you can hold it by it’s comb (head) and let it dangle. It just looks funny. You can also double the head and sew in a bit of “stiffener” (check your local sewing shop) and it will stand a bit better and you can stick your hand inside the bag and do a puppet thing with it.

If you use a Gibeciere’ in your street act you can perform Mullica’s ending (as you noted it is very much a cups and balls type of load). I’ve loaded a mechanical, wind-up toy chicken this way. In fact if you wear a jack and know a little about Danny Korem’s cup loading technique, you can probably do the Mullica ending on the street.

I think that I read somewhere that Charlie Miller used Banty eggs (oh the fading of the memory with age!). They are smaller than the small size eggs found in the supermarket.
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