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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Mental Ropes (Davenport's/Steven's Magic) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Moxahalla
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Hello.

I have a question about this prop, that I'd thought I'd ask here. (I wrote to Steven's Magic, and never received a reply).

The ad description states:
-----------------------------------------------------
You show a brightly-colored wooden box, in which lies five different brightly-colored ropes.

Both ends of each rope dangle outside both sides of the box.

A magic wand (or similar such device), is placed cross-sectionally inside the box across from the ropes.

The ends of the wand are thus sticking out of the box in full view at all times.

To prevent interference, a lid is placed on top of the box covering the ropes and wand.
-------------------------------------------------------

The Demo Videos all show that the LID is already on the box, before the effect begins (and before the spectator is given the chance to view the interior of the box).

My question is: Can the interior of the box (with the ropes inside) be first shown to the audience...and then the lid is placed on the box? (as the Steven's ad suggests).

Thanks in advance.
dragonash
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No
Moxahalla
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Thanks, Dragonash.

Then, the Steven's ad description is deceptive (in my opinion), and yet another reason why magicians are leery of such "written word" ads - and insist on seeing a demo video before buying.
Bill Hegbli
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The manufacturer supplies the ad copy, and photos to the retail store. Stevens only agrees to list and sell the item for the manufacturer. In most cases, the do not even see the prop or effect they are selling. As most buyers do not want opened previously merchandise. If the manufacturer does not provide a video, then none is given. In some cases where the retailer commissions a manufacturer to make a prop for the retailer, exclusively for them, it is there decision to provide a photo, description, and video.

Moxahalla, your example is not very good for you conclusion, as the ad says, the box contains ropes and a wand. So taking that this was the contents of the box. There is no reason to over prove the box is empty, and only contained those items. Secondly, maybe no one thought as you have, and want to over prove every step of the routine.

Beginner magic like Royal Magic and Empire Magic market such magic effects that can be fully examined, but as one gains experience and becoming a magician, they learn how to overcome any shortcomings an effect may have.

An example of this would be, every time you wish to present a magic effect, you must totally undress and let the audience inspect your clothing, shoes and your body cavities along with the props. Then you may present your effect standing on a box or chair in the middle of a room or field.

I hate to inform you of this, but there is no such thing (as of yet) as real magic. It is all an illusion, and the abilities of the person presenting the effect (s).

You also for some reason did not ask if ropes could be shown freely, or the wand, and why is the box brightly colored. What other powers, if any does the wand have. Can they be demonstrated before hand.

I would think you know all this, as the fake name you have chosen, "Maxahalla" by U.F. Grant is one of the most deceptive description of a stage effect ever offered the magic community. Nothing can be shown as you have suggested, and yet it is a great effect when presented correctly.

It may be just a little judgmental of you, to accuse Stevens Magic as being deceptive, just because you thought of something that was not addressed in the advertisement.

It is very difficult for magic dealers to know everything about the hundreds and thousands of magic tricks they sell. Many times they have not even seen the effect they are selling, because of the current trend using drop shipping, or shipper retaining the inventory in their warehouse, for faster packaging and mailing. Gone are the days of a magic shop owner knowing and demonstrating their products in the show cases.

Back on the 1940's to 1980's, there was maybe only 10 new tricks a year, not there are closer to hundreds new tricks every month, they barely have time to enter them in their inventory, much less actually see the item and props.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Wizard of Oz
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Good insights Bill. Thank you.

I would also add that Stevens is one of the most reputable magic dealers out there. They tend to only stock quality props from reputable makers, and stand by their products. I buy quite a bit of magic, but stick to a handful of dealers. Stevens is one of them. More than once have I picked up the phone and talked to Joe or Mark to have a frank discussion about a prop. Not every dealer does that. And, they are one of the few sites that will list when a product is out of stock to avoid the dreaded "on back order," which has haunted the magic industry for decades.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
TrickyRicky
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Great post Bill and well said.
Tricky Ricky
Al Schneider
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Bill
You bring wisdom and dignity to this forum.
Thank you.
Al
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
wunceaponatime
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Great posts guys.
Sealegs
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I disagree with Bill.

The ad copy is, in my view, accidentally duplicitous at best and deliberately misleading at worst. However there are videos of this trick being performed that accompany the advert and the fact that the initial state of the inside of the box isn't shown gives an implied indication that it can't be, otherwise it would. I feel lets the advertising copy off the hook.

But the question asked by the OP is a valid one as the answer to the question drastically changes the strength of the effect.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Bill Hegbli
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Neal, as someone that works so hard on presenting your effects, I would say your comments are very surprising to me. Note, your hard work on the Linking Coat hangers you posted a while back.

Watching the video demo, I believe I figured out the working of the effect. Nice mental effect with a simple working that has not been used previously in magic, except in this effect.

I think I would chuckle every time I pulled the ropes out. This should be presented as shown, keep the effect moving along, and quick patter to get the finale.

I like effects that are fun to perform, I think this is one that would be easy and fun to present. And, the price is reasonable.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Sealegs
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Sorry Bill, I wasn't disagreeing with all that you wrote in your post. Your post does indeed have merit and I guess I should have said so and been more specific.

The bit I was disagreeing about was simply the that the ad copy could be taken to mean that the wand can be placed into the box as part of the performance... and that if this was possible (which it isn't) the magical content of the effect would be substantially, to my mind, different and stronger.

'Over proving' and 'running when not being chased' are mistakes often made by magicians. But recognising an effect's inherent weaknesses/compromises (which in this case is; that it starts with a stated or implied set up that is hidden from view) and asking, as the OP did, if this is a requirement of the effect seems to me to be quite understandable and warranted.

And by way of a PS; I am still working on the Hangers! They are getting tried out in my show more and more often but I still don't feel I've got past presenting them as any more than 'a trick'. Albeit a trick that is both magical and surprising. But at some point I'm hoping the routine will include more of me and my character within it but that, as yet, is still, for the major part, continuing to elude me.Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Bill Hegbli
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As I read Moxahalla, I read his post as, I want to know the secret working and set up, before I consider purchasing the prop.

Those day are gone, and is an insult to ask for such a reveal. Of course, he has the right to travel to Wichita Kansas, and personally view, and he may be given that information to finalize his purchase of the effect.

I can see this effect being made smaller by one of those computer duplicator computer driven machines. This could be a nice beginner close-up effect, maybe Fun Inc. or Empire Magic should do so.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Sealegs
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Bill I agree that deciding if someone is 'fishing' for the secret, either directly or via a process of elimination, or whether they have an innocent enquiry about a product is never easy to distinguish. Magicians helping magicians is one thing, revealing methods directly, or by elimination, is another matter entirely. It's always a hard judgement call to make.

In this case I didn't get any hint at all that Moxahalla was looking for the secret working or set up. Indeed answering the question as 'dragonash' did by simply saying, 'No', doesn't leave one any the wiser to the method than if one watched the video of the demonstration.

From my perspective the OP's question was warranted and reasonable because the ad copy was, in my opinion, written in such a way that it was on the cusp of being misleading and certainly open to misinterpretation.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
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