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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Billets: Alternatives to burning? (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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plmqaz1243
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I often find that many establishments don't allow fire, and it's difficult to really burn a billet all the way through in an ashtray. Do you use any other methods of destroying billets? I like burning billets because the physical destruction gets them out of the spectator's minds early. I know Richard Osterlind addressed this issue in his 13 Steps videos, and instead invites the spectator to tear up a billet and has them place it in a wine bottle. Do you guys have any ideas?
Thanks,
Chris
Harry the magic man
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Water, eating, shredder, anything really that destroys it. I always use a separate person than who I am reading and they tear it up while I am doing the bit.
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C.J.
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There are some more ideas on the thread in Inner Thoughts, but you'll need to get to 50 posts before you can access it. When you're ready, you'll find it here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=82
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Michael Zarek
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Just tear it up yourself, That's the logical way to do it.
Who the hell eats billets?!
Reader discretion is advised.
C.J.
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Quote:
On Jan 28, 2016, Michael Zarek wrote:
Who the hell eats billets?!


I find that very offensive, Mr Zarek. Who are you to question my lifestyle choices? Smile
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IAIN
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Sven Rygh
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Just burn it, - I always do
It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

No one has ever said anything about the burning to me
C.J.
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Quote:
On Jan 28, 2016, Sven Rygh wrote:
Just burn it, - I always do
It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

No one has ever said anything about the burning to me


It's a brilliant way to void my public liability insurance. As a mentalist, I can get away with paying the lowest tier of membership; adding fire of any kind immediately puts me in the highest tier. Those who know me are aware that I'm all about theatricality, but the dramatic impact of burning a single billet isn't enough to warrant a significantly higher premium.

I don't make a big deal of "destroying" billets. They are torn or pocketed (sometimes by me, sometimes by a spectator if I'm happy to leave them with it). In the rare situation that I feel a billet *must* have attention drawn to it, I'm happy to let someone sitting in the front row hold it high in the air for all to see. After the climax, I can just take it back and pocket it (or chuck it in my case) because nobody cares about it once the reveal has happened.

I feel I'm saying too much for Penny.
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Migmir
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I use flash paper, so I can burn the billet at everyplace where I mustn't use lighter. It's fast, spectacular and dosn't leave any mark or stain.
ddyment
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Flash paper (nitrocellulose) is considered an explosive. If you get caught with it on a plane (carry-on or checked), you could go to prison. You most certainly would be fined, and probably placed on the "no-fly" list. Not a wise compromise.
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Sven Rygh
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Quote:
It's a brilliant way to void my public liability insurance. As a mentalist, I can get away with paying the lowest tier of membership; adding fire of any kind immediately puts me in the highest tier. Those who know me are aware that I'm all about theatricality, but the dramatic impact of burning a single billet isn't enough to warrant a significantly higher premium.


Maybe it is some special situations in USA
I have been performing for more than 40 years without any need for a public liability insurance
The Urban Entity
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Something I do in my shows is cut a slit in a shoe box. I get my peek and much like a piggy bank, I place the billet in a shoe box through the slit. Who doesn't have a show box?
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Ricky Atkinson
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I was thinking about this a while ago, and like putting it in a glass of water. When you put a billet out of view in some kind of tin or box, some spectators first reaction is to think "yeeeeeeea, and I bet it IS going inside there where no one can see it... nice try mate.", regardless of whether you honestly put it in or not.

That's why I wanted something open, something that visibly destroyed the billet. Water is good but has 2 downsides in my opinion. One, it can make thee paper see through, giving people another go to explanation. Two, there's not nearly enough drama or theater. nothing like setting something a blaze...

the solution I played with was to drop something that would dissolve quickly and stain the water as I put thee billet in. It had a moment of magic as the stain spread (seemingly) from the billet until the water was a mucky black. Had an eerie feeling about it. There are things that will make the water fizz too if that's more your thing.

I didn't find anything I was 100% happy with, but wasn't able to test with much from what I remember either. Maybe someone knows something that would work ideally for this effect. If you do, drop me a PM, I'd like to try it Smile. It solved both problems perfectly when the spreading was the right speed and the water ended opaque.
The Urban Entity
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I got a personal method where you don't need to destroy the billet you just openly peek a billet (business card actually), seemingly laid flat on a stack of other business cards. Hit me up. Maybe I can help
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The Urban Entity
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Zee
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Maybe put it in a bear bottle or some kind of container that allows billets to go in but not out Smile
Unless you have extremely not-so-good performance, no one will ask to break the bottle for the confirmation of some sort.

Zee
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Quote:
On Feb 1, 2016, Sven Rygh wrote:
Quote:
It's a brilliant way to void my public liability insurance. As a mentalist, I can get away with paying the lowest tier of membership; adding fire of any kind immediately puts me in the highest tier. Those who know me are aware that I'm all about theatricality, but the dramatic impact of burning a single billet isn't enough to warrant a significantly higher premium.


Maybe it is some special situations in USA
I have been performing for more than 40 years without any need for a public liability insurance


Actually, Connor is located in Australia. Norway can't be a very rigorous market to operate in then - It is not uncommon for me to work a corporate gig in which the venue requires both a copy of my PLI and an up to date certification for any audio equipment I require. I'm really surprised to hear this about Norway - especially when compared to other venues across Europe. Maybe the size of the gig is the deciding factor here?

As far as I am concerned, if you have ANY assets of value to protect, then you need PLI.

Best,

Atlas
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Uhhhh.... Comment that you will now place the piece of paper with the information on it, in a very secure and warm place for safe keeping. ..... Remove a blue rubber glove from your pocket and put it on. Holding the billet in your gloved hand above your head, turn around so that your back is now toward the people and with the other hand bring it to the front of your pants. Now motion like you are unzipping your fly. Once done, bring the billet down and pretend to place it into your fly....... Bend at the knees and then straighten your legs while raising the right shoulder upward, making it appear as if you are zipping back up .... . Turn back around and remove the glove and put it back in your pocket along with the billet (if you wanted to). Now start to said something, stop, look down at your fly then back at the audience. Now shake your left leg as if trying to adjust the billet into a better comfortable position and continue with the routine as if all is normal.


Hey, it will work and get laughs. ..... Smile


You can also go south with the billet as you turn back to the audience.



Best
Ray
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Quote:
On Jan 28, 2016, Sven Rygh wrote:
Just burn it, - I always do
It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission


To me this is a surefire way of shortening your career.

My advice based on my bit of experience so far doing this for 13 years is that you want to ensure that everything you do contributes to the client recommending you and re-hiring you.

I think the concept of asking for 'forgiveness' and having that as your Policy is very short-sighted and, frankly disrespectful to the hand that is feeding you (i.e. the client who is paying to have you there).

There is absolutely no way I'd ever take someone's money for a performance and then do something that I am fully aware has a chance of causing a disruption in their event.

People spend a lot of money, not to mention their time and reputation, in putting on events. And we are sometimes honoured to be invited (and paid) to perform.

Can you even imagine how HUGE the impact would be if you set the fire alarms off and the whole hotel/restaurant or whatever has to be evacuated?

All because of YOU!

Do you think they will be happy? Will they recommend you to others? Will anyone in that room seek you out to hire you for their events?

Those are THE strongest ways of getting more gigs, for me at least. So I'd personally NEVER risk it. Plus its down-right disrespectful.

I'd personally recommend you reconsidering this stance.

Finally, if you're performing without public liability insurance, again you are not taking care of your client. If something were to happen, then you'll be serving that issue back to the client or venue, since you don't have insurance.

I think the difference between a professional, and someone who doesn't yet know the difference, is the understanding that we serve out clients. And thus we have to protect them.

Don't we all hate it when we call, for example, the utilities company and no-one takes responsibility, so they pass you around for hours?

Therefore the buck should stop with us. We should take responsibility and deliver an amazing experience to our clients - not just while we are on stage, but from start to finish.

And taking your liabilities and responsibilities as a business person seriously is a crucial part of this.

Only my two cents, but it's something I am immensely passionate about.

This is not by any means a personal attack on any one person, I only share this as some food for thought for others who are considering entering this field who have, understandably, not considered this stuff before.

After all, that's what this place is all about. Helping each other out. Right?

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