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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Learning Rocky Raccoon moves? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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R2D2
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On Nov 20, 2015, magicgeorge wrote
To make him fly up your arm do one big flick with your left fingers this is covered by stroking him in the opposite direction with your right hand at the same time. If you perform the handkerchief mouse you'll be familiar with this move.

Good advice! I tried this out and moving both hands simultaneously like you suggested is very effective.
magical expressions
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Greg McMahan has some good ideas on how to use Rocky in his book 'kids think its funny' and I also believe he has further information and tips available from his website.
phill
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Rocky can also be given a 'voice' by way of a "turkey call"

https://www.biggamelogic.com/ArticlesNew......all.aspx

It takes a bit of practice but the results lend themselves to Rocky's realism…
Scripture, Sculptures & Surprises!
R2D2
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On Nov 30, 2015, magical expressions wrote:
Greg McMahan has some good ideas on how to use Rocky in his book 'kids think its funny' and I also believe he has further information and tips available from his website.


Thanks. I might check out that book.
GregMcMahan
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Hello!

Thanks for mentioning my book "Kids Think It's Funny". I include a whole chapter of Rocky routines and ideas. I also have an ebook about how to add a costume and repair your Rocky Raccoon. The link is in my signature.

I learned Rocky when I worked at the Magic Masters shop in Atlanta. I wasn't the best salesman, but I sure did learn how to manipulate Rocky. Magicgeorge had some good advice earlier about making Rocky run up your arm. Continue his movement over your should and lower him down your back (by holding his tail). Then grab him from your side and it looks like he just ran up your front, down your back and around your waist. Of course accompany this with movements as though you're being tickled the whole time.

The bit with the cup being stuck on Rocky's snout is always a big laugh. I love the additional routine bigfoot wrote with the pry bar. Brilliant! A tip I learned from Dennis Sowers (best Rocky manipulator anywhere) is to attach a couple of small washers inside the cup (with string and tape) so it makes a noise when Rocky is moving his head around.

On my website I have a video of my Rocky routine from many years ago. It's evolved over time, but still basically the same. The biggest change is that he now jumps thru a hoop of "real fake fire" instead of the yellow plastic one. Lots of fun interaction with Rocky as I help him be brave, and the children encourage him as well.
jakeg
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Greg .... Looked all over you site, but couldn't find the Rocky video.
Mychine
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Jake, I couldn't find it on his site either. I did find it on YouTube though: https://youtu.be/aV-dj3qrvMk
jakeg
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Got it, thanks.
SugarRayRick
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On Oct 15, 2015, R2D2 wrote:
I managed to get my hands on an original Rocky Raccoon. I read the instructions, I watched Sleight of Dave (where he explains how to use the raccoon), and I watched Jim Pace's video as well.

Nothing seemed to explain how to do anything but the most basic moves (look up, look down, wag your tail). For example, I can't figure out how to make him run up my arm. The instruction booklet said to put your left hand on his lower half and then wiggle your fingers, but I can't figure out how that's supposed to do anything.

Any advice? If anyone knows how to do that one move, I'd love an explanation, or if someone wants to suggest a web site, book, or video that explains these intermediate moves, I'd love that too. Thanks!


Two months down the track. How is your progress with Rocky? Are you much improved and and have you taken him to the park?
jakeg
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When I first started out with a spring puppet, a skunk, I was told that animals move in a jerky motion, as opposed to a smooth gate. It made it look a lot more alive. The skunk was terrific until all of the hair started to fall out.
charliemartin
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Like Greg, I was a demonstrator for Magic Masters for many years and with Rocky...it's all about repetition and playing. Dennis Sowers and the late Michael Abston were the best. If you can get hold of the original booklet that came with the Magic Masters' Rocky..it would be invaluable. I reccomend Greg's book too for ideas.
R2D2
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On Dec 15, 2015, SugarRayRick wrote:

Two months down the track. How is your progress with Rocky? Are you much improved and and have you taken him to the park?


I took him to the park, but I was a little shy with him. I should try it again.

I've definitely improved. Little kids often think he's real; teenagers sometimes do. My main problem is that I seem to be allergic to him!
Mychine
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On Dec 22, 2015, R2D2 wrote:
My main problem is that I seem to be allergic to him!

At least it adds to the realism! ...eeek
Geoff Akins
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When I was doing magic I wore out several Rocky Raccoons I used them so much the fur wore away underneath! As for fooling people into believing he's real what I would do, especially walk-around, is purposefully not let people get a good glimpse of him. When I saw people approaching (I was doing walk-around at a Six Flags amusement park) I would make him run up my shoulder but then I'd turn away from the group just as that motion caught their eye. Now they'd be curious and or cautious and slow down to try to get a better glimpse, or walk in a large circle to avoid getting too close.

Most of the time he was nestled in my arm with his head buried in my arm pit or between my arm and body and would only come out to take a quick look or two before retreating. I didn't use the run up the body move very often. I left that for special moments when I wanted to really surprise someone. Another winner move with little kids is to show them how Rock would pretend to eat out of their hands. I would hold a cupped hand out to Rocky and have him sniff it a time or two and then he would "eat." I'd get an adventurous kid to hold out and hand then then Rocky would do the same thing only a bit slower as to not scare the kid. Once you have one kid doing it others would want to join in the fun.

If younger kids are too afraid I would simply turn Rocky's head away from them and offer to let them feel his tail, or have the parent do it. Sometimes that's all it took to break the ice.

Other's have mentioned it but I'm going to say it too...I treat Rocky as if he is indeed a real live animal and respond to him as if he is alive and this helps sell the illusion to others. One more way to do this to to make sure YOUR OWN personal movements don't always match Rocky's. For instance, sometimes I will be looking off in one direction and he will be doing something else and I pretend I don't know what he's up to. Let the kids point out he's trying to get into your pocket, or whatever and then act surprised when you finally "notice" what he's doing.

If I had to choose just one prop to entertain kids with it would be Rocky! Well, I don't call him, Rocky. Most kids pointed out over the years that he doesn't really look like a raccoon so years I go I changed his name to Squeazel...he's part Sq-uirrel and part Weasle...SqWeazel!"
jakeg
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Thanks Geoff. Great info.
Geoff Akins
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Something else to point out...I was using the original RR. Some of the ones I bought most recently were not th same quality. I found it more difficult to move the head realistically. The best scenario would be a shop you could visit in person and try various Rockys until you found o e that felt just right. Sort of like trying on a thumb tip.
R2D2
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On Jan 2, 2016, Geoff Akins wrote:

Other's have mentioned it but I'm going to say it too...I treat Rocky as if he is indeed a real live animal and respond to him as if he is alive and this helps sell the illusion to others. One more way to do this to to make sure YOUR OWN personal movements don't always match Rocky's.

This is a great piece of advice.
wulfiesmith
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After seeing this video on YouTube, I just had to get one ...
and I was fortunate to find an original in beautiful condition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EELn3yMP26I
asgar
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If you want to make jim run just do the boogie boogie boogie..
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
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