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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Mike Caveney's Linking Coat Hangers (21 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sealegs
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By the way....the solid plastic coloured coat hangers aren't solid they are hollow! Something I found out after one had broken... it also explains why it broke too! Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Harry Patter
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May be I will stick closer to Caveney's routine for their first outing?! See what garners a response?

I have noticed a tendency for others to rush through the routine a bit.
GlennLawrence
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No one has mentioned Mike's impromptu version of this which I bought many years ago, have no idea if it's still available. You can literally walk into your local drycleaner, borrow a couple of wire hangers and link them together then pass them out to be examined until the cows come home, there is nothing to be found because the hangers themselves are not gimmicked. To me that is the weakness of the stage version, it just doesn't look like a real set of hangers that anyone except a magician would have. If you're going to do that, you might as well just do the linking rings. That was what attracted me to the impromptu version, that it didn't look like you're using a "magic prop" because you're not!

Glenn
Sealegs
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The impromptu version is a different trick and doesn't do what the Linking Hangers do which is why it isn't being discussed within this thread.

Hangers come in different sizes shapes and designs and I'm sure we've all seen many types in our lives as have our audiences. These Hangers do look big and I agree that handing them out helps enormously with sustaining the robustness of the the magic as does providing some mitigation for their bigger than normal look. Handing them out lets the audience know that they are everyday Hangers without you having to stress the point. I use a simple line which provides more than enough mitigation for their 'posh' look. (I say I got them from a specific high end hotel which also allows for the audience to understand that I 'borrowed' them without the hotel knowing)

I also think that handing the Hangers out is also important for the robustness of the effect because even though there's nothing in the routine to allow for the untwisting and retwisting of the wire, people know that coat hangers aren't welded closed loops of metal. (This is true even of the ungimmicked coathangers used for the impromptu version.) Letting them test this though preempts this weakness and removes it.

As I mentioned in my OP I hand out a Hanger at the start of the routine. Doing so nonchalantly carries an unstated implication that any Hanger could be handed out. Also at the end of the routine I laid out in the OP I hand two linked Hangers out to a spectator and then I lift one free from the other while it is in their hands leaving them holding a Hanger.

These points seem to deal with all the well observed possible weaknesses that GlennLawrence mentions.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On Oct 25, 2017, GlennLawrence wrote:
No one has mentioned Mike's impromptu version of this which I bought many years ago, have no idea if it's still available. You can literally walk into your local drycleaner, borrow a couple of wire hangers and link them together then pass them out to be examined until the cows come home, there is nothing to be found because the hangers themselves are not gimmicked. To me that is the weakness of the stage version, it just doesn't look like a real set of hangers that anyone except a magician would have. If you're going to do that, you might as well just do the linking rings. That was what attracted me to the impromptu version, that it didn't look like you're using a "magic prop" because you're not!

Glenn



Don't know what closet you been living it, but when Mike Caveney brought out the Linking Coat Hangers, silver aluminum hangers were the latest hangers on the market. They were everywhere, and may event centers had nothing but these hangers in use. Then came these identical hangers anodized in various colors.

Unfortunately do to the plastics industry taking over the world, and destroying our world with trash. Everything is now plastic including hangers.
Sealegs
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I've decided that I've got the action down to its most effective and direct and so this routine is only going to be saved by the script. I think that maybe I simply haven't applied myself to it enough to make it entertaining and totally non descriptive. There's really no need for exposition so I'm going to aim to remove all reference to the why's and wherefore's of the unlinkings. At least that's the plan😳
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
jeffhobson
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I've had two sets of Caveney's hangers since he released them but never performed, or really practiced them. Being on tour with the Illusionists gives me time to practice some new? things so I brought the hangers with me. I'll be seeing what I can come up with but, as always, and like you've all said above, it's going to be the script/presentation that makes it. I agree that the hangers may not be as iconic for a magician as the rings and thus more foreign to an audience to accept but I don't believe that would stop someone from making something great out of it perhaps even better than a ring routine. I also agree that routines of the hangers, thus far, are good but not great. But I believe the original idea of using hangers (Ben Stone/Pete Biro?) is a very good one and worthy of continued work to make a great presentation. I'll give it a few months of writing ideas and report back.............
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Jef Eaton
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I was talking to a guy at Wizardz Magic Theater here in Orlando the other night about magic. He comes to the show almost every week, and is not a magician, but just enjoys it. He said the two tricks he liked best were the linking coathangers and Bev Bergeron's Cigarette Routine. It was that everybody has hangers at home, and they always get tangled up was the point he mentioned. Also, the cigarettes (although inappropriate at this stage) just kept appearing.
Something to think of for sure. And, if you ever in Orlando,(Kissimmee actually) on Monday nights, check out Wizardz. It is a fun night for sure and the entertainment is always top notch!
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Rainboguy
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Jeff:

If anyone can develop a GREAT presentation for the Linking Coathangers, I know YOU can!

In my opinion, there's one move in that "Coathanger Capers" booklet that you told me you bought that's "Worth the Price of admission"......and I'm sure you know what that one move is!

The Coathangers deserve and are A NATURAL for "The Hobson School of Comedy Magic!" I know you will KILL with them!~

See you down the road!
Eugene Chekhov
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Wish you luck! I know Mr. Jeff will create the most fun routine! Smile
I love the magic & history of magic! My favorites magicians - Dai Vernon, Max Malini, Fielding West, Michael Finney, Jeff Hobson, Bob Sheets, Nick Lewin, Harry Murphy, Dick Oslund- great showmen of magic!
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Bill Hegbli
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If anyone can create a entertaining, magical, and audience pleasing Linking Coat Hangers routine, it would be Jeff Hobson.
jeffhobson
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Don't. Stop. Don't. Stop. ______you know the line______
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Sealegs
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Let us know how you get on Jeff.

Over the years I've found this a real tough nut to crack. Like you are doing now, I still persist and often take the Hangers with me when I'm away gigging so I can set about working on hammering out a routine for them.

I'm really happy with and proud of the handling and linking and unlinking sequences I have developed with these props but that was the easy bit. I reckon I have the magic quotient, astonishment factor as high as I can get with them strictly from the point of view of the mechanics. But nailing the script has proved to be an unusually hard thing to do for me. I've literally been working at this in one form or another for years.

I've actually put the hangers in my show on various one-off tryouts at various points and I suspect that many here on the Café would describe how they went as, 'a real audience pleaser'. However I'm looking to do and require so much more from them (and myself) than that. For a piece to earn its place it's got to feel like it has the surprise and astonishment while also delivering big laughs at a high LPM rate. None of the scripts I've come up with, feel like they have anywhere near that potential yet. ('yet' because I'm still plugging away with it) I've even tried bringing in co-writers at various times and still not got to a place with it where I can see the desired potential end results.

I haven't given up on them yet though.... I'm a bit obsessed with them and see getting this to work for me as a real challenge that I don't want to be beaten by... so here's to you nailing it for yourself before I do for myself. Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Pete Biro
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Think about starting the routine trying to hang your coat up.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
drmolarmagic
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Hey everyone, just read this thread and.....
I've been using the linking hangers for years, I first saw them performed by Bob Markwood at Mostly Magic in NYC in the 90's. I love them and mainly do them for family audiences with kids. The kids love the routine and react well. The whole premise of my patter is the parent trying to get the kids to clean their rooms and hang stuff up...but...the hangers start linking and one even gets the hook part into my jacket button hole, ( I don't know who told me that was a good move to try but it gets great laughter with the line," They've got me, they've got me!)
I love these and will always do them in my shows
Bruce
Sealegs
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Latest update (not that I think anyone has been waiting for one!)

I now have a routine with both a handling and a script that I think will make this trick worth trying out again my show. It's the first time ever, with these props, that I feel I actually have something that is going to be, astonishing enough and funny enough.

I've cut out down the handling from the already severely pared down routine that I mentioned in my OP. More importantly I believe I have found an angle with the script that works for me. I'd skirted around the idea in the script in some previous iterations but I never got anywhere near nailing anything that worked for me. Hopefully this time I have. It still needs to be audience tested but for the first time ever I'm actually feeling pretty confident about the potential of the Hangers becoming a part of my repertoire.

I'll come back again after it's had an outing in front of an actual audience.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Bill Hegbli
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Can't wait to read your analysis, of your experience.
hugmagic
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This is what I have found with the coat hangers.. They play well for Adults but kids would rather see the rings. Why...Because kids never hang anything up.

I wish I was working enough to road test a new routine. But I always fall back on Mike's routine as it is solid and works well enough for my needs at this time.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Rainboguy
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Jeff:

You're "Down the Road" from me tonight, playing in Appleton.......break a leg......

I'm anxious to see what you think of the routine in the Coathangar Capers booklet that you told me you bought after Denny "talked you out" of buying the Delben Coathangars....

FWIW, personally, I think some of the moves therein are MIGHTY Spectacular!!!
John Oaks
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I have a set I bought at auction. Haven't used them yet. Obviously they have to be treated as the unique thing they are, rather than like rings.
Have a Magical Day!
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I really didn't know how to explain it.
So I told them the truth, and they fell for it!
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