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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » Bally's, draws, crowd-building (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Phil Ainsworth
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Currently experimenting with Don Driver's bally from his 'Building a Tip' DVD, but I'm having mixed success. I don't know if it's a cultural difference, but British audiences don't seem to be drawn to bank notes and calling out in the way Don seemed to suggest they would flock. I've tried calling out and also using a dancing cane, making a Magic Worm run over my fingers.

Considering trying a floating card next, to see how that goes. Any better ideas, anyone?
sethb
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Quote:
On Mar 19, 2019, Phil Ainsworth wrote:
I've tried calling out and also using a dancing cane, making a Magic Worm run over my fingers. <snip> Any better ideas, anyone?

Phil -- I have found the Magic Worm to be very effective for building a tip. But in addition to having the worm run over your fingers, try having it jump from one clear plastic cup to another. That gets the worm up in the air, where folks can see it better. An orange or purple worm gives better visibility. And use plastic cups with a rounded or rolled edge on the lip of the cup, which makes it easier for the worm to move, and it's also easier on the gimmick.

You almost don't need to say anything, because the worm draws people in like moths to a flame! When I pitched them, I would just say "Hi, have you met my friend Willie the Magic Worm yet" or something to that effect. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Phil Ainsworth
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On Mar 22, 2019, sethb wrote:

Phil -- I have found the Magic Worm to be very effective for building a tip. But in addition to having the worm run over your fingers, try having it jump from one clear plastic cup to another. That gets the worm up in the air, where folks can see it better. An orange or purple worm gives better visibility. And use plastic cups with a rounded or rolled edge on the lip of the cup, which makes it easier for the worm to move, and it's also easier on the gimmick.

You almost don't need to say anything, because the worm draws people in like moths to a flame! When I pitched them, I would just say "Hi, have you met my friend Willie the Magic Worm yet" or something to that effect. SETH


Hi Seth, Thanks for the suggestion. I've tried to sell the Worm too but I think it's been done to death over here (in the UK). Very little interest even when I make him jump between the cups as you suggest. I've started to try Don Driver's BAT bally and that seems to have an effect, only it lengthens the pitch quite a bit. I think I'm going to try floating a card next....
sethb
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Phil --- What item(s) are you pitching? If it's Svengalis, I have seen people do nothing more than slowly make a tall stack of about 12 decks (in their cases, of course). Then they split it into two stacks of 6 decks each, or three stacks of 4 decks each, and slowly build up the single 12-deck stack again.

The whole thing makes no sense and does nothing, but people are looking, wondering what the heck the guy is doing, and they do stop to watch! Once he has even a modest tip, he goes right into the Svengali Pitch and that usually results in a decent tip. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Phil Ainsworth
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That’s a great idea, I’ll try that tomorrow!

Thanks Seth!

FYI, I have pitched the Worm and Svens up until now but have also just taken delivery of some Dynamic Coins which I’ll be trying for the first time tomorrow...
sethb
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Phil --- When I first started pitching, I wanted to try selling all sorts of stuff --- Ball Vases, Money Maker Machines, Buddha Papers, Scotch & Soda, Cups & Balls, Jumping Gems, Copper/Silver Coins, etc. The late, great Don Driver told me that there were really only two or three tricks that were reliable pitch items, with Svengali Decks and Magic Worms being the top two producers. He also explained that a pitch joint which sells magic tricks is much different than a magic store, and that I didn't need to carry all that inventory. Having more than 2-3 items would just mean more stuff to carry around, more time spent demoing everything instead of turning the tips, and then the kids can't make up their minds anyway because there's too many choices.

I thought I knew better. Ha! As a result, I ended up with a few cases of stuff that sat in my garage for several years, until I sold the whole lot to a REAL magic store at slightly below my cost.

The only other pitch item that really moved besides the decks and the worms was the Jumping Gems, which is basically a paddle-type trick. It worked as a pitch item because the little jewel sticks were flashy, the trick was totally visual, required very little patter and reset instantly, and it appealed to girls as well as boys. After several tries, I finally found a good reliable source in D. Robbins (E-Z Magic), which offered a decent pair of jewel sticks in good-looking packaging at a good price. The only problem was that the instructions were terrible; I had kids (and their parents!) coming back complaining that the trick didn't work --- not a good situation. So I finally made up my own instructions on a separate sheet of paper and stapled it to each trick, which added 10 cents to my cost, but it stopped the complaints. The paddle move isn't difficult to do, but if you don't hold the sticks correctly, you're sunk. Now all I had to do was say "Did you read the instructions carefully?" and that solved the problem. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
thomasR
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Hey Seth... Same here.. I've still got a bunch of ball vases I need to get rid of one day! ha.

For me, Coloring books sold just as good as the decks.
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