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Dick Oslund
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THAT was a test!

I learned many years ago, when working Junior High Schools, to open with a "barometer" joke. I needed to know, "where they were", THAT day. Some days a Jr. Hi group will be in a silly mood, other days, a bit more intellectual. I had to know ASAP, "where they were". so that I would know how to talk WITH them!

Jr. Highs were the most challenging audiences! K-3s and K-6s were a "piece of cake"! Senior Highs were a delight!

Only Michael Baker "came back" with a quick, funny response! For most, the bit apparently went "right over their heads"! --OR, they just didn't think it was funny.

If I had a Greek type face on this "infernal electrisch peckenclacker", I would have written that in the Hellenic language! I imagine that you would have reported me to the gestapo! (Not to worry! --They don't know where I live!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S.: It wasn't deleted! I guess the grammar and usage department has a better sense of humor!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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OOOPS~!
Sorry George! I inadvertently (egad, that's a tough word to spell) forgot about you "X, IX, VIII,VII..." gag. Sorry!

It reminded me of another old one: Roman soldier walks into a bar, and holds up two fingers in the "V for Victory" sign. Simultaneously, (another tough one to spell) he says: "FIVE beers!" Now you know why I never made the 'big time'~~!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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TATERINI! Now! See what you have started!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
davidpaul$
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Coloring a TT to match your skin color is as easy as lightly sanding with fine sandpaper and taking a trip to your local drug or Walmart or similar store. Go to the cosmetic /lipstick section. There are hundreds of colors and shades. Dab the color/colors on the TT , rub it in and wipe off excess with paper towel.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
cheesewrestler
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And here I was thinking the OP was looking for red white & blue thumbtips for the Fourth, green thumbtips for St Patrick's Day ...
MaxfieldsMagic
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If you're willing to drop some coin, these guys make thumtips in all sorts of sizes and colors: http://www.frediup.com

I remember that someone said they wished that thumtips were priced at $250 to keep them out of the hands of the curious. Guess the guys at Fredi Up took that to heart.
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
Oliver Ross
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The OP reminds me of my own first experience in a Mortal Magic Shop. The magician simply made a handkerchief vanish.

Then I told him that I wish to learn the trick, so he sold it to me. Once I saw the color of the gimmick I stated that it's not the same color as my skin. So he presented me the effect a second time asking me afterwards if I saw anything. I answered no. Then he showed that he used a flashy orange cone instead of the usual gimmick, pulling the handkerchief from it.

I went WOW !!!

Next thing he told me : See, it's not about the color, but about the technique you use and the misdirection you give to the audience !

Since then, I still present the effect and never get caught. Smile

Oliver.
HM Whipps
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Interesting read. All I can contribute is, Jack Chanin's TT was highly polished nickel plated. He had big hands so hi TT was too.
Ther are 10 type of people in the world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't,
Kanawati
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The question I'm about to ask may just mean I have a lot to learn about the TT and proper technique! I admit I do have a lot to learn. But aren't there subtleties that can enhance the magic like being able to briefly show the hand with the TT empty by having the TT point straight at the audience, holding another object with the TT on, etc? Subtle moves that suggest the hand is empty can't really be taken advantage of if the TT is far off from your skin tone? I appreciate that gimmicks like a hank ball should not be seen and if the skilled performer is completely hiding the TT then aren't they handling it as a gimmick? If the performer is allowing the TT to be briefly seen then aren't they treating it as a feke and if so, isn't it then reasonable to want a TT that kind of looks real? BTW..I really enjoy the stories above and the valuable lessons they teach so I'm not questioning them at all...just maybe trying to justify why I myself am more comfortable with a TT that doesn't stand out! Could it be that the importance of matching tone depends on whether the TT is used purely as a gimmick or as a feke or perhaps more realistically as a combination of a gimmick and feke? John
jay leslie
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Kanawati
Your first impression was correct. The performance of this gimmick is more important then proving it doesn't exist.

Imagine
You are S&R. You make an elephant vanish. Do you invite people onstage to confirm the elephant is real or is the effect self-evident?

Natural motions - feigning- and more natural movements which you use throughout your appearance dispel issues.

What if you used a BA box to make a rabbit appear? Is it necessary to disassemble the box to prove the rabbit couldn't have come from a hidden place?
Poof, rabbit,... That's all you need.

Needing to prove your hand is empty is akin to hand washing IMO. Usually
Not always but usually.

I too have demo'd using a silver TT and "If they don't know-they don't know"
Kanawati
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Jay, Many thanks for sharing your insight:)
Dick Oslund
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Yes, John, I bought my first one in '47. I have NEVER had anyone "catch" it. All movements are natural. NO HURRY! Check out the "basic" silk production and vanish in my book. I used it for several seasons, for Kindergarten thru High Schools, to open the show. It ALWAYS got a good reaction.

Also check out the "ELUSIVE" VANISH. in the book. (Burling Hull's method goes back a hundred years! Most magicians avoided it due to the loose silk being hard to handle. My simplified technique WORKS! The vanish is so strong, that, I added the reproduction from the other pocket, so the show can continue!

Just be natural! NO FINGER FLINGING!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Kanawati
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Hi Dick, I not only checked out the Elusive Vanish, I've been practicing it regularly and plan on performing it. The vanish is great! Really love how simple but striking it is. In fact I asked the question about TT color in part because of a little thing you do at the end of that trick...a little applause queue that fits exactly with what Jay says about natural motions. The move you do is subtle and natural and that's all I will say... I don't want to give anything away on the forum. But I don't think its possible to do that bit if the TT is very different to the rest of your skin tone. The move you do is an extra convincer that both hands must be empty and you aren't even making a deal about it. If The TT I was wearing really stood out in terms of color I don't think I could get away with subtleties like that.
Dick Oslund
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Hi John!
Thanks for not tipping that! It's late, and I'm not "completely" awake. I'll PM you tomorrow.
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Bill Hegbli
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The Elusive Silk Vanish does not use a TT. I guess Dick Oslund had his own thoughts, but if you really checked it out, you would find that it is not the original method as published by Silk King Studio's and many years ago sold by them. No longer available, but Vernet Magic makes all kinds of gimmicks, just obtain the proper one and use it. If you are that concerned about your complexion.

As humans, our skin are constantly changing in may ways including color. There is not way, you can have a morning, afternoon, and evening gimmick. Then you consider the 4 seasons, that also effect us, and you will have to have a 100 gimmicks.

Experiment: Hold you hand above your head for 5 minutes, now quickly look at your pale hand. Now hold our hand down at your side, for 5 minutes, now look at your hand is it still the same paleness that it was previously.

Dick, I think you should have added another sentence in your book about the original prop, as you see, people are reading your book that have not logical thinking, and understanding about the elements of lighting, shadows, and distance.

I would not waste you time, as he thinks because he see a difference so will everyone else, and you cannot change what he is seeing, and he will not believe what you will try to explain to him. It is just human nature, they have to discover it for themselves.

I recall the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can make him drink".

Dick Oslund's version of the Elusive Silk Routine is on page 319 of his fantastic book. Included are handling tips and ways to "sell" the effect to an audience.

The Elusive Handkerchief is in the Rice Encyclopedia Vol.1, Page 331, it is nothing like Dick Oslund's routine, but only a very good silk vanish, convincing the audience the silk vanishes in the fairest manner.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Kanawati
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Hi Bill, many thanks. The wealth of knowledge and experience by many including you on the Café is amazing! I can't begin to tell you how much I've improved in terms of my ability to mystify and entertain because of the generosity of others willing to share their experience. I'm still learning and I enjoy getting new insights that can help me become a better performer. Btw...Dick very kindly PMd me and explained the correct hand positions for the subtlety I mentioned above. I had been doing it wrong! I'm getting it now and better understand what many of you are trying to say about the correct handling of a TT. I really appreciate the extra advice and instruction Dick! John
Dick Oslund
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It was necessary to drive out to my storage facility so that I could do an "archaeological dig" in my instructions file!

Note: I'm just looking for sympathy, Actually, I was invited out to my sister's for dinner anyway, and, she is a very good cook. My storage facility is located in the barn on her "farm".

So...I found what I wanted, 'cuz I have a good filing system. (Thanks to Bill Hegbli for his suggestion!)

I first saw the "Elusive" silk vanish performed by the late ROY MAYER, in his school assembly program, in April 1947. Roy used it in his P&L Candle tube routine. When Roy died, I inherited his (very) used TT (note: NOT FT) including a VERY used scrap of silk! Roy had showed me the "gimmick/feke", that day in '47. I used the Elusive Silk Vanish in my Navy days, when I bought a Demon Wonder Box from the Karland S. Frischkorn estate. (Actually if was a SHERMS Wonder Box, not Davenport). Years later, I bought a Davenport, but sold it as I liked the SHERMS better! There, that's the HISTORY.

I found what I was looking for in the barn: An original INSTRUCTION SHEET, printed in "legal size" type on a 4" x 4" sheet of paper. In rather quaint language, the "gimmick/feke" was described as "A small contrivance--a sort of FT (my abbreviation)--that fits..."The routine as written would have been a bit difficult to do. The bottom of the "page" had an "S" (Sherms' "trademark")

Along with Sherms' inst. sheet, was an old Abbott sheet. Abbott's had copied Sherms' instructions VERBATIM!

I don't remember Roy Mayer's EXACT handling, I had long since developed my own, which was easier, and just as effective. I've used my handling for YEARS. Both in my 20th Century Silks routine, AND, in my "Vanishing Silk" for casual and strolling situations. It KILLS!

Max Howard ("Great Southern Sleight of Hand Show") and I discussed the Elusive Silk Vanish a few years ago in New Orleans. Max noted that you could walk down a street in NYC, and see four different techniques of the Elusive in four blocks!

Next in the file was Harold Rice's instruction for Elusive *I'm sure it was before the "ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SILK MAGIC" Harold's sheet,as well as the ENCYCLOPEDIA, describes using an FT. I have never seen anyone use an FT for the Elusive, and, I've seen a "few". Harold describes the rolling of the silk into a small "ball" (more detailed than the Sherms or Abbott routine)

Rolling an 18" silk into a "ball", p*lm*ng it, and disposing of it, AINT easy! EONS ago, I developed my own handling. It WORKS, and, it's EASY. (IT'S SO EASY, EVEN I CAN DO IT!) I describe the "Oslund improved" (!!!) handling in my book. I have 'built in" a subtle applause cue which I use to finish my color change silk bit (*my opener").

After seeing Roy do it with a TT, that's what I've always used. IMO, the handling of a TT is more natural than an FT, and, The Professor stressed NATURALNESS!

BTW! my dear friend, The late Karrell Fox, described in one of his books ("ANOTHER BOOK") a very clever variation of the basic handling of an 18" silk vanish using a TT, by the late, great, JACK CHANIN. Karrell, Jack and I were all members of the SECRET SIX. Jack was not only a maven, but, also a mensch! I recommend that you check it out.

My friend, John Kanawati, from Australia, is rather new to performing, and, he slightly misinterpreted my "subtle" applause cue which I added to the end of my color change silk routine. The silk routine is my opener, and, I definitely cue the applause, which not only gets the applause,, but, casually shows my empty hand (which is "wearing the TT")
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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The above required an hour of typing, proofreading, and retyping! I sure hope that it helps!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Bill Hegbli
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Dick, you have to learn to type faster. LOL :rotf"

I found by tying a small know in the corner of silk and putting the base of the hand into the palm of the other, then start rotating the hands, the silk balls up nicely. Another method I used was to gather the end of the silk while displaying the silk, for an inch or two. Then place that bunched up corner in the palm of the other hand place the base of the other over the silk and start rotating the hands. You may have to press hard to begin with, then ease up as the silk ball grows.

As stated previously, the Rice FT was very short and thus the new Vernet FT's work much better.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
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