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Eternal Order
Northern California
13421 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
I've closed my website but many people continue to contact me about my notes on the egg bag.
Here they are. If you have comments about these notes, please feel free to reply and let me know your thoughts.

Our eggbag design
This particular egg bag is fantastic. Nice heavy, durable fabric. It works great with Eggs-actly eggs. Malini style bag. Professional quality. The size of our bags are just slightly larger than the standard size of a Malini bag. I started making them larger when I worked outdoors in the heat of the summer. The larger size is easier to get in and out of.
Most bags have a "stitching" indicator. I added a second indicator that is far easier to see and is basically "hidden in plain sight". The indicator is a "notch" at the edge of the bag opening. In otherwords, the bag was not completely sewn to the edge on one side. Speaking of notches...

Not a top-notch pro on stage yet? Don't worry... Get a bag and act like one
The eggbag routine is a classic. I started using the eggbag out on the streets and even with a meager routine, it realized how great it was at helping keep a crowd. Years later, it's one of my favorite routines to do at any show. Here are some of the things I have engineered into my current eggbag routine specifically to help assure the audience... "This guy's a pro".

Engineering My Act to Play Big
* I have a theme. My eggbag routine is basically my answer to Las Vegas stage illusions; "Vegas in a bag". Just about everyone knows what Vegas stage magic looks like so you're creating interest right away.. "How could he possibly do any of that with just a bag?" This theme gives me great opportunity for comedy, and I really do perform 2 Vegas-style illusions, though somewhat tongue-and-cheek.
* I also use the eggbag to show the audience I do remember names from spectators in the audience. I use 2 different spectators in the routine and this is one routine where I make sure I remember their names and use them.
* I use the eggbag routine to work both sides of the audience. I always choose spectators on opposite sides of the audience for this routine and during the routine I will walk to one spectator but refer back to the other, by name, across the audience. I think this helps the magician play bigger and better.
* I go into the audience. Sometimes I jump off the stage and walk into the audience, sometimes there is no raised stage and I just walk in. Either way, getting up close and personal plays big. It creates tension... "don't pick me!!".. and interest... "i'm sure glad he picked her. now what is he going to do?" You can play deeper into the audience and keep their attention more easily by venturing in. You can't go into the audience with everything. I use this opportunity with the egg bag.
* I finish the routine much like the cups and balls routine; with a final load, and in this case, yet another "vegas illusion", for the final kicker. Not only is the finale a great surprise, it gets tremendous laughs and applause.
* Later in my act I will try again to refer to the first chosen spectator again, in a humorous way, creating a callback of sorts, and continue to tie my entire act together.

Items 2-6 specifically are things I notice when watching the great acts. But it makes me wonder...
Do they naturally remember all names?
Can they create callbacks on the fly?
Do they naturally play big and work both sides of the audience?
Are their ad-libs are really ad-libs?
Or......Do they engineer these moments into their acts as I am doing with the eggbag?

Notes on the bag itself and how to handle the bag

The outside of the bag is fair
Many routines involve a spectator inspecting the bag, the seams of the bag, placing their thumb across the pocket opening, etc. (I think this is why so many designs have a pocket that is too small, btw). I think this is too slow and too much. Though there are moments for some comedy, I skip all of the bag inspection. When I begin the routine, the bag is inside-out, with the pocket exposed but toward my body, my hand inside. This is all that is needed to prove that the outside of the bag is fair. I handle the bag so causally that nobody suspects I'm hiding anything. I draw attention to the bag at this point. My hand is inside, fingers spread, to keep the shape of the bag and I introduce the plot.... "Vegas in a bag".

The inside of the bag is fair
After my first "illusion", I have a spectator reach in the bag, feel around, grab the bottom, and pull it "inside-out". Of course, now it's outside-out but nobody knows that, nor do they care. It's a black bag that looks the same regardless of its orientation. Now that someone has reached in and was asked to feel around, they confirmed for the audience that the inside(outside) of the bag is also fair (which it is anyway).

It is from this position that I produce the egg for the first time, from a bag that has been inspected and viewed from all sides.

The empty bag
There are many many egg bag routines, and many ways to show that the bag is indeed empty even though it is not. I found several methods/displays that I really liked and used some of those in my routine. They are used from the very beginning and throughout the routine. Some of these displays were found in the works of:
* Faucett Ross
* Gazzo
* Tom Mullica
* John Carney
* Many others...

The black bag
A bag of uniform color inside and out helps the audience forget which side is outside and which side is inside. Obviously black helps with the black art effect to hide the pocket from view. I've used red before but these days I just stick with black. As far as visibility goes, for a large audience, they cannot read the pips on a playing card any more than they can see a black bag, and we all know that card tricks play to a large audience very well when created properly. A black bag is a non-issue unless you make it an issue. And yes, we can do custom red bags if needed.

Other Routines
When I want to study a routine I purchase all the media I can on the subject.
Routines for adults and children, books, notes, everything and anything.
There's something in nearly every routine that can help provide ideas for your own.

Since the opening lines of my eggbag routine were born on the street, where stopping a crowd and making them stay is essential, I build a lot of interest/tension at the very start, in the bag itself, and proceed from there.

Honestly, I'm not really sure how my routine/script came to be. It just happened.

My Script
So... how about my script? I've learned through the years that using someone else's script will only get you so far and never have the impact you can get from creating your own naturally from your own ideas and experiences.
There are 2 stand-up routines I've loved over the years and wanted to borrow them. On both occasions, the creator told me.. "NO". That one word was the greatest thing I could have been told because for both routines, what I eventually came up with turned out to be better.... for me. And the eggbag was one of them. Hand Crafted Magic
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Loyal user
Los Angeles
235 Posts

Profile of Guardian452
Oh this is wonderful. Cannot wait to try it out and experiment with it. I'm a busker so this is perfect. Thanks again for sharing here on the forum Frank.
Been a busker since I was 14 from San Diego; Don Driver was my mentor along with many others like Jimmy Talksalot, Sleeveless (Stephen Sloan), Bob Elliott.
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Profile of markmagic
Ever time I perform this I have a different script lol.
ed rhodes
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Inner circle
Rhode Island
2836 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
Well, I don't have a black bag. (Honestly, I don't know what kind of bag I DO have.) It's black and green plaid on the outside, and black on the inside. It's better than the old "Adams" bag I used to have. But it's still a little klutzy.

I don't know what "Vegas In A Bag" means. I assume it means you sell up the thing as being a big deal, but I don't know how to do that.

I've had this problem here before where, I can't see what it is you're trying to show me. (I had this problem on another thread and the person pretty much said; "If you can't follow what I'm telling you, maybe you shouldn't be performing.")

I've got three routines that I'm not practicing. (I'm not proud of that, it's just true) I've got Tarbell's routine from his Original course. (I don't know if the Tannen's course made any improvements. My wife got me the "Original" course, and she'd be very depressed if I started buying the Tannen one, thinking she'd let me down. I also have Senor Mardo's routine which had been printed in one of Tannen's catalogs. I always felt awkward trying it... then I saw it being performed on YouTube and saw how well a REAL manipulator could do it! And, I have David Ginn's Comedy Egg Bag routine, which I like a lot.

Here's my thing. I used to be an actor. Spent almost ten years in NYC trying, got close, but no brass ring. I see people who can write and produce their own material, put themselves completely into the work. That's not me. Give me a script and a decent director, and I'll give you a great performance. But I'm not going to create and direct something myself. I need a foundation to work with.

I'm just going to have to stick with what I have. Thanks anyway.
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
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