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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Letting Silks Fall to the Stage Floor (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob Sanders
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In a forum post I have not found, the topic of letting silks fall from the production to the stage floor was added. It seemed that the posters were divided on the practice. My practice has always been to avoid it for reasons that had nothing to do with soiling the silks. It was contrary to many of the rules of stage showmanship.

The only exception I gave where it does require that the silk actually fall to the floor was in MisMade Flag. That is one I have done many ways over many years. It is based upon magician in trouble. The blue silk falls to the floor. (It could have just been overlooked.)

Later in looking over one of my old Rice books, I ran across Holden's Blendo (#15) in Volume 3. It specifically required that the magician "accidentially" drop the silk to the floor for the trick to work.

Granted, it is an old trick. But it is also very effective. What other stage silk tricks can you name that would never work unless the silk or silks were "accidentially" allowed to fall to the stage floor?

Does the required "accident" make it any less attractive to you? Does it interrupt your stage show unfavorably, favorably or unnoticed?

How do you rate stage tricks that require "accidential" droppings?

Bob Sanders
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Margarette
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I've been away from the Café for a while, so I'm just now reading this post. I don't know that I have ever seen a routine that I enjoyed the "accidental dropping" of a silk. It looks too staged to me.

I do, however, in one routine with a silk fountain, deliberately toss the silks up and over my shoulder and they end up all over the floor. It fits the music that I use. The first time I did that routine for a bunch of magicians, I got a look that said, "Please tell me she didn't just do THAT with all those silks!" Rest assured I did, and before anyone asks, I was the one that cleaned the mess up. I'm just glad it wasn't the snowstorm!

Margarette
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Julie
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Jack Gwynne used this technique to produce a STACK OF FISHBOWLS.
Darkwing
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I use a silk in my hand, wave it in the air and let it fall into a receptacle on the floor as misdirection to produce a fan of cards. Is this OK?
Bob Sanders
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I have known of routines (not tricks) where the trip to the floor was to leave a mirror for a later trick. But it was not required of the silk trick. Silk magic and mentalism was a strange mix anyway.

Zardin was killed in an auto accident in 1996, but his shows always struck me as Harry Anderson meets Max Maven. I've never seen it before or since but one month we did twenty-seven of the world's strangest shows together. I'm not sure he ever did two alike.

Bob Sanders
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kregg
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If you drop a silk there better be a good reason, unless you're doing improve. Specificity is the key. Enlist a good (real) director's help. You can't "act" like you drop the silk; you really dropped it, so drop it for real. It maybe a great moment for misdirection, a great place to use a reel, but don't overuse it.

Kregg
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Bob Sanders
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One of my personal fears in dropping a silk to the floor is that the audience might feel that the magician is not putting on his/her best show because the magician sees this audience inferior in some way. That is the impression I never ever want to leave! There have never been anything but very special audiences.

Bob Sanders
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Dave Scribner
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Dan Birch does a great bit with dropping a silk. He does the fountain of silks and accidentally (?) one falls to the floor. He purposely looks at it, then at the audience and puts the fountain down. Walking over to the silk on the floor, he picks it up with his foot and produces a dove. He creates a bond with the audience by acknowledging the dropped silk and then shows that it was done on purpose by producing the dove.

It's a matter of presentation.
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cheesewrestler
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How do you do the fountain without letting the silks hit the floor, though?

OK, I know there's one way. You come on stage with a parasol and let the silks flow into that.

There's no way I'm coming onstage carrying a freaking parasol.
Donald Dunphy
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Cheesewrestler,

I recommend taking a few minutes to read through some of the threads in this area, instead of taking your rage out on an "innocent" parasol! Smile Hehehe.

There are many threads that discuss the solution to that dilemma, which seems to be the way many fountains are made. Here is just one thread:

Cafe thread... Sewing the 'Silk Fountain' together?

Some of the commercial books and videos also teach this. (I thought it was common knowledge, but after seeing your post, I guess I was wrong in my assumption.)

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dave Scribner
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The only fountain I have ever seen where the silks drop to the floor is General Grant's version. If you watch his act, he doesn't walk on stage with the parasol but takes it from his table when needed. You should take Donald's advice, though, and do a search for topics about silk fountains. There are many, and they have quite a few good ideas.
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Regan
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I believe dropping a silk "accidentally" is fine if it fits your character. Many play the part of the bumbling magician that is constantly doing things wrong. In the end, everything turns out ok and the audience knows it was just part of the act.
I believe it can actually be a good thing, (again, if it fits you) to not always act so perfect on stage. I think kids are much less intimidated by a magician who makes a "mistake" now and then.

Regan
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cheesewrestler
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Right, there are things you can do to the silks to keep them together (man - how's that for not giving anything away? No exposing here in the Smooth as Silk forum!) Smile
But I think it looks cooler if they blossom out "uncontrollably", and if they fall to the floor that's perfectly OK.
Of course then you have to clean 'em, but hey, Ade Duval used to spend, what, six hours a day or something cleaning & pressing & folding the material for his "Rhapsody in Silk" routine.
Regan
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Cheesewrestler,
You wouldn't have to come out on stage carrying a parasol. How about magically producing a parasol as part of the silk routine?

Regan
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Bob Sanders
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Going back to Silk Fountains and dropped silks does refresh a memory going back to the very late 60s.

Tony Slydini did not like for us to sew the silks together in Silk Fountains. (And he was actually a tailor by trade!) But the reason was for continuity. His steal of the Silk Fountain was covered by dropping a loose silk to the floor and picking it up.

Tony scattered silks all over the floor. Perhaps that is why he was the teacher and I was just the student?

I would be interested in hearing what Tony Clark and Dan Sperry observed or experienced here. They were Tony's students much later in his career. Did anything change? Other Tony Slydini students?

Bob Sanders
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magicians
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I have used a reel with a dropped silk, adds a bit of "gotcha" to the routine.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Bob Sanders
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An old clown stunt I have used is to produce a silk with a superball rubberbanded in.
Throw it down on the stage and it bounces back to you.

Bob Sanders
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hugmagic
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I've used the bouncing ball bit in my mutilated parasol routine for years after seeing Al Delage do it. I do it a different manner than Al did but it plays for me.

I have my silk fountain sewn together. Occasionally, I drop a silk from the silks I steal the fountain into. I simply place my foot beside the silk. I then bend my knee and pick up the silk right by my foot without looking (usually) This tip came from Bob Fitch.

Leaving the stage clutterd does not fit my style.

Richard
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Darkwing
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I have been toying with the idea of loading small 6" silks in the fountain and letting them fall like drops of water. I have had problems with the falling silks being consistant and of course it would violate the rule of thumb not to let your silks fall to the stage floor. I could use an inverted parasol to catch the silks but the problem still remains of getting the silks to fall out consistantly.

Maybe I should post this in another thread.

Any suggestions?

David
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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David,

I have entertained a close concept. Do let the silks fall into a container that is emptied into a Crystal Silk Cylinder. Then retrieve a Line of Silks or a huge streamer with all the colors.

My problem is the reason for the "pouring" of silks into the Crystal Silk Cylinder. I wish it looked more like a blender!

Bob Sanders
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Bob Sanders

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