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Huw Collingbourne
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Devon, UK
201 Posts

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I'm not sure if I'm supposed to mention this item by name in a public forum but I'm sure most of you will know what I mean.

I have never used a TT. However, as part of my ongoing training, I am now working through Tarbell #1. The TT crops up a number of times here and in some other 'classic' texts.

A few questions:
- is the TT still as widely used today as it was in the 1920s/30s and 40s?
- if I buy one, should I get the hard or soft version (what is the difference?)
- how can I make sure it fits? Are there different sizes?
- how far away from an observer do you need to be in order to ensure that it isn't easily seen?

(oh, and for the benefit of those people who don't know what a TT is, I'd bettter explain that it's short for TuTu - a ballet dancer's frock. My questions above should now, I hope, make perfect sense.) Smile

best wishes
Huw
Brian Proctor
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Inner circle
Somewhere
2322 Posts

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Hey there, these are all good questions.

A few questions:
- is the TT still as widely used today as it was in the 1920s/30s and 40s?

Answer: YES! Smile

- if I buy one, should I get the hard or soft version (what is the difference?)

Answer: It's up to you. I prefer soft because they are easier to make look natural. Not much movement with a hard one.

- how can I make sure it fits? Are there different sizes?

Answer: They come in as many different shapes and sizes as there are people. Just try some on and see what you like best.

- how far away from an observer do you need to be in order to ensure that it isn't easily seen?

Answer: It depends on your performance. I would recommend the video from Hampton Ridge called 25 tricks with a TT. It gives good advice. Stars Dave Hudspath. Great Teacher.

I hope these answers are helpful. Smile
Take care,
Brian
BroDavid
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America’s North Coast, Ohio
3178 Posts

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Well Huw, by your definition of the TT being a TuTu, I am not sure that I want to admit to using one regularly, but considering that most folks won't buy the TuTu line, I will go ahead.

I think it is probably less used than once, but only because today's younger magicians tend to want Big Bang and high tech, and the TT is neither.

But I have seen some of the best still using them, and I will admit that I have actually increased my usage of it as I increased my understanding of the difference between my being impressed with it, and the audience response to it. The Audience ALWAYS gets wowed! So I use it more and more. I do silk streamers, and salt, and sugar vanishes and appearances, etc. etc. If it will fit, I wish use the TT on it.

Soft is good becuase it tends to form to your shape better, feels more comfortable, and doesn't try to slip. But in my experience the harder ones are usally a lot less expensive. I actually bought a dozen for $2.00 recently to use with a group of young magicians I am teaching, and I kept a couple and use them on ocassion myself.

There are a couple of different sizes and they generally depend on the manufacturer. Tarbell's probably gives you advice on fit (I haven't read it so I can't be sure) but my rule is, that if I can use it without discomfort or slipping off, it is the right size. You almost need to get one and use it to determine what you like or don't like about it.

And as for someone seeing it, I saw Jim Cellini (Street Magic Performer extrordinare) do a routine and litterly was waving it around in people's faces and no one was the wiser.

I am not so bold however, so I never show mine from the side view. It is either pointed directly at the spec, as I show hands empty, or it is held a bit lower than the rest of my hand and all the spec sees is the back of my hand, and the TT hides nicely behind that cover.

The above, along with some misdirection, (they will look where you look, so look where they expect something to be, or not to be, and they will never look at where the gimmick is.

You will hear stories (and if not yet, let me be the first) to tell you that some performers have claimed to paint a TT red and perform with it - and not be discovered. And after you use it a bit, you will be amazed at how invisible it will seem to be.

Good Luck.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Pokie-Poke
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Bensalem, PA
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I haven't used mine in years, all this talk of it...
I need to get some silks!!
www.pokie-poke.com
The Adventure cont...
BroDavid
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America’s North Coast, Ohio
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Yes, Silks. More Silks. After seeing Duane Laflin lecture twice in a week, I have bought more silks in the last month than I ever thought I would have.

I just got a neat little "snake" silk that is a bright green with some nice yellow and a flash of red, 4-5 inches across and has a neat face and nice scales screening and is about 18" long (but looks longer as you
"stream it" around.)

I vanish that and also do some diamond cut silks and the always present tt streamers.

But besides doing the always amazing vanishing salt/sugar, and reappearrance, I really like that Snake. It gives good cover for the initial loading of the TT into the palm and just plays very big - because of the "personality" of it.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
John Clarkson
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Santa Barbara, CA
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Well, I have both a soft and a hard TT. Each has it's use. For a bill switch, I prefer the hard TT, since the bills seems to slide in and out better.

By the way, I was at the Magic Castle last night, and saw the TT used both in the close-up room and on stage. "Saw" well, not really, but I knew it was there! The close-up performer was very good, but a bit self-conscious, I think. The lay audience, of course was never aware of the TT. I'd probably not have noticed it either, if he hadn't tried to "prove" his hand was empty. I advise AGAINST the standard technique of sort of making a "spraying/waving motion" (like you are quickly showing the number ten by showing five fingers twice...) with your fingers (thumb pointed toward the audience) to show your hand empty. Just put the darned thing on and ignore it. The audience will "see" that your hand is empty without your having to prove it.

The stage number, by the way, was an ancient routine by Robert Houdin in which a silk, signed by a spectator, is later produced from inside a bun (bread, you goofs!) that has been on the table all along. The audience was stunned. Amazing how the oldies but goodies still work!

I like the TTs made offered by hottrix. But they are costly, and the cheap Verniers have served us well for a long time....
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Magique Hands
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Lincoln, NE.
247 Posts

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Below is my personal preference for the use of TT's:

For any and all silk work, I use an aluminum TT.

For the dollar switch, a Vernet (as said earlier, the bills slide in & out much easier.)

For salt vanishes and the like, I use a rubber TT.

Have Fun!
- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
Ryan
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Calgary
89 Posts

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When I purchased the eclipse TT from Jay Scott Berry, he pulled out a box full of the TT's, and tried several on my thumb before finding the perfect one. Now if I ever need to buy more, I'll take that one with me to know which size to look for..

If your local shop owner carries a box of TT's you may want to ask him to find one that is a good size for you. If anything, I hear they can be shaped and trimmed after purchase.
Peter Marucci
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I would suspect that the TT is more used today than back in the '20s, simply because there are more magicians today and there are more ideas for its use.
Although BroDavid may be right: Most magi today want the "big bang" and not the intimate miracles that you can do with a TT.
Hard or soft? A personal preference; I like a slightly flexible vinyl short TT because it has a dull coat (much like your own skin) and it has a natural "grip" on the thumb, so you don't have to worry about it slipping off (although it still can be easily removed).
How far away should you be? It shouldn't matter, since the TT is not supposed to actually "hide something in plain sight" but, rather, to be an aid in your misdirection.
There is an old yarn about Daryl's lecture on TTs in which, at the end, he shows it and it is painted a bright green!
The point being that it should not be seen and give the audience the accidental chance of seeing it or -- which is just as bad -- seeing "something" that appears unnatural.
Remember: The TT is simply an aid in misdirection.
Puh-leeze, don't think that, just because you are using one, you can figuratively get away with magical murder with no effort!
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Rover
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Arizona
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I've been using a TT since I was a kid. It came with a magic kit. It still amazes me how well it works.
I really don't care for the softer version & have a tough time working with it for some reason.
As far as being noticeable, I have never been caught. I will actually stop my hands dead and use some misdirection with my eyes and patter. Gets 'em every time!
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