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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Alan Shaxon Appearing Cane (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

David Todd
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I was watching this video of Alan Shaxon's appearance on the Paul Daniel's Show and noticed the cane at this point in the video: https://youtu.be/aOgCTTWmMgU?t=71
has the appearance of a solid knob. Does anyone know if there was a cane manufactured like this or was this a customized addition by Alan Shaxon ? Did he ever discuss it in any of his books ? I don't remember seeing it in Alan's book "The Sophisticated Sorcerer" but I may have glossed over it when I read it several years ago (I am away from home and do not have my books available.)

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David Todd
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Now that I'm back home I checked my books. I have Alan Shaxon's 'Practical Sorcery' and 'The Sophisticated Sorcerer' ... but he doesn't have anything in those books on the cane. Doing a search I find that Alan did cover his 'Cane and Cigarette Holder' routine in the book 'My Kind of Magic' ... which of course is one book I don't have !

Can anyone who has the book check it for me to see if he talks about the addition of the "3D" knob on the cane ? In the meantime I'll try to locate a reasonably priced used copy of the book, because I'm sure it's worth having for other reasons. But I'd just like to know if there's anything covered about altering the standard appearing cane in the book 'My Kind of Magic'. (because obviously the routine could be done with a standard appearing cane , but I'm specifically interested in how he added the knob as shown in the screen captures above)
Bill Hegbli
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David, yes it is fully explained in the book, MY KIND OF MAGIC.

It is a standard Appearing Cane, but you have to modify it.

It is not in his Video though. I use a lot of his routines in my act.

I actually go to see him in person at a magic convention. I like the human gas light the most. But I found out it is very dangerous to prepare.

Bill,
David Todd
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Quote:
On Nov 12, 2021, Bill Hegbli wrote:
David, yes it is fully explained in the book, MY KIND OF MAGIC.

It is a standard Appearing Cane, but you have to modify it.



Thank you , Bill. (somehow I expected you might be the one who had the answer on this).

The cane I have is one I bought from Tannen's, standard black with white ends. I do like the look of the one Shaxon is using in the video I posted above. It has a warm bronze look, almost a brown "wood" appearance , although that could be from the lighting used and/or color shift on the old video tape that was uploaded.

But I was most interested in knowing how to modify it to give the knob a dimensional appearance as in the screen captures posted above. Ok, I will have to locate a copy of "My Kind of Magic"! Thanks for confirming that the modified appearing cane is covered in that book.
hugmagic
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Alan was a great and practical performer. I loved working him at Abbott's. His prop management and routining was impeccable. The last time I saw him at Abbott's, I told him it was time for him to get another book written. He just smiled. I am glad the book was done as it is a beautiful record of a great performer.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Dave Scribner
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David, the cane looks to be a Harakan cane. Both the appearing and vanishing canes are bronze in color. They never need oiling like the standard metal canes. I bought mine in 1968 and have never had to do any maintenance on them and they work as good as new.
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David Todd
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Quote:
On Nov 12, 2021, Bill Hegbli wrote:
David, yes it is fully explained in the book, 'MY KIND OF MAGIC'.

It is a standard Appearing Cane, but you have to modify it.




I was finally able to locate a copy of Alan Shaxon's "MY KIND OF MAGIC" (which seems to be plentiful in the U.K., in the $10 - $15 range on eBay , but the shipping to the U.S.A. was around $38 ... unless I can't get it any other way I just can't bring myself to pay for shipping that is two - three times the cost of the item I'm purchasing) Located a copy at a decent price (although more than $15) from a used book seller here in the U.S.A.

It's a good book, I'm glad I have it (not only for the appearing cane modification).

A Harakan cane seems more difficult to locate and I'm sure will be expensive, so will see if I can get along with a less expensive version. I don't even know what's on the market these days in terms of appearing canes. Any recommendations of an "economy" model that still works well ?



.
David Todd
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For anyone searching these forums in the future looking for this sort of information I do want to clarify something: The book "My Kind of Magic" by Alan Shaxon explains his cane to cigarette holder , vanishing cigarette holder , and cigarette holder to cane routine , but it does not explain how the appearing cane looks like it has a 3-dimensional knob as seen here: https://youtu.be/aOgCTTWmMgU?t=71 . That particular detail is NOT explained (as had been suggested by someone earlier in this thread) , so my search to obtain this book was something of a wild goose chase in terms of finding any sort of practical instruction on how to modify the appearing cane to look like it had a 3-dimensional knob. However, in every respect it is an excellent book and is well worth having.
Bill Hegbli
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David Todd,

He does not have to explain how to make the knob on an Appearing cane, as it is attached permanently to the end of the cane to look like a knob after it extends it's full length. With a black cane, they wrap a silver strip of spring steel to represent the knob. Otherwise the cane would fly apart into a bunch of coiled steel, and you would probably get hurt very seriously.

What you think you are seeing in the video you referenced, is the strip of silver spring steel at the top. The action causes the cane to be blurred in the video. The Appearing cane does not have a knob that fits over the end of cane. Some appearing canes represent the knobs only with a stirp of white tape, if the Vanishing canes the company makes has a white knob. I have never seen an Appearing cane with a knob after production. I own and have owned many Appearing and Vanishing Canes.

At first I thought he found a way to have the cigarette holder be at the top, and act as a knob. But after enlarging the video, it just looks like a strip of silver steel wrapped around the top, but is extends to far down from the top.
On my computer screen the Appearing cane looks to be red. Could be the stage lighting.
FrankFindley
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I don't know what Alan Shaxon used, but I do know two techniques for using solid handles (proper term for top part of cane) on appearing canes. One was shown to me by Fantasio. I am not sure if it was his idea or someone else's. The other was a method I developed based on another of his ideas. My goal was to create a better match between disappearing and appearing cane. It really isn't necessary but looks good. I have also used it to add a confetti effect to the appearing cane, essentially turning it into a big confetti wand by having a cup in handle. So, it is possible and has been done.
Jean André
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Quote:
On Feb 24, 2022, FrankFindley wrote:
I don't know what Alan Shaxon used, but I do know two techniques for using solid handles (proper term for top part of cane) on appearing canes. One was shown to me by Fantasio. I am not sure if it was his idea or someone else's. The other was a method I developed based on another of his ideas. My goal was to create a better match between disappearing and appearing cane. It really isn't necessary but looks good. I have also used it to add a confetti effect to the appearing cane, essentially turning it into a big confetti wand by having a cup in handle.

So, it is possible and has been done.


Hi, Frank,

This is very interesting to read that you have made this addition to your appearing cane. I believe I have also seen this modification used by other performers. To my eyes the video of Alain Shaxon in the first post above appears to be as if the cane handle has this addition. It does not look like the flat "tape" wrapped around the end of the cane to represent the handle. It is difficult to tell for certain because it takes place very quickly and the video quality is not high definition. If the frame capture is enlarged slightly and image processing "sharpen" filter applied it is possible to imagine an extra piece has been attached.

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