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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Favourite 'REAL' Magic effects? (natural phenomena) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mr Secret-ary
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Bath, England
106 Posts

Profile of Mr Secret-ary
...by which I MEAN, 'natural' phenomena having that genuinely magical feel to them, and useable in effects. I guess my personal favourite is the coin-through-rubber trick, but you could equally quote mathematical principles, topological ones, or whatever. Please do!
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Profile of troublewit
Nate Leipzig's Magnetic Cane (In Dai Vernon tribute to Nate Leipzig).. The title of the trick isn't correct.. I can't remember it, but it's in the chapter with Cane moves. (the cane is the kind you use for actual walking support... not a "fantasio-like" cane)

Basically, by holding the cane against your palm with the curled handle oriented correctly, the cane seems to cling to your hand, even though you can move your hand in a circle. The scientific principle behind this is in the "balance point" which appears eccentric.

In performance... (I used a cane for a short while when recovering from a surgery) I started by doing the old "clinging stick" bit, where you hold it against your palm with the finger of the other hand as you grab your wrist... I "accidentally" expose the method, and then I perform the clinging cane a'la Leipzig.

It is very baffling, and has given me an inner glow as they try to stick it to their own hand. They inevitably look for a sticky substance. I actually do a "ruse" of rubbing the cane prior to placing it against my palm.. as if that had something to do with the method. (A little garden path).
Have fun. Smile
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Inner circle
2263 Posts

Profile of DavidKenney
The new/old Penomenom - very organic effect.

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Seattle Magic
221 Posts

Profile of TOBIAS
My little brother does not do magic at all. Although he came with me to hang out and all of the guys were talking as he just sat there. After we all did our favorite tricks and talked about them. He said to one of them, "Hey spread your cards across the table. Now push any card forward.
OK this is for real!!!

My brother said "the ten of diamonds". JR turns over the card? What the %*^&, the ten of diamonds...

"OK do it again" we said. "Ok shuffle and mix them up, then spred them again." So JR does. CJ my little brother says push any card forward. Again he named the card???

So when we get home I said, what the heck was that. He said "beats me, I just guessed twice and got it right. I was just as shocked as you, I just didn't show it, strange huh?"

That's my best one...
Be true to your art, and it will be true to you
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Profile of gimmick1586
You need to take that kid to Vegas. But what I'm getting at is that, your talking about natural things we can do that people don't know about. Then I would say the coin falling upward trick using a muscle pass.
Sid Mayer
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Santa Fe, NM
656 Posts

Profile of Sid Mayer
The hydrostatic glass is a demonstration of a natural phenomonon (atmospheric pressure) until you peel away the piece of paper.

Actually, the principle doesn't change but the look suddenly becomes magical. I present it as an "explanation" of the difference between science and magic.

All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
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Profile of gimmick1586
I like that fork trick where you balance it on a glass and it looks like its levitating.
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Grand Rapids, MI
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Profile of samthemagical
I would have to say the 'Divination Pendulum' would be my favorite. You have a string with a weight on the end, and explain that if the weight swings in a circle, it means 'NO' and if it swings back and forth, it means 'YES.' Then hand it to them, have them hold very still, and then let them ask it a question. It almost ALWAYS answers correctly!
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Profile of gimmick1586
Speaking of this topic. I saw a trick yesterday. This guy balanced a pen on its side, on the side of a cup. He said it was a telekensis. He told me to push it. And the pen turned. Then he told me to do something and then the pen spun around and fell into the cup. I think it was just a COOL natural trick.
Steve Knight
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Oxford U.K.
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Profile of Steve Knight
An excellent variation on the 'Divination Pendulum is to have several pendulums each suspended inside a clear (or clearish) bottle with the bottles placed together on a small table. Seat 3 or 4 spectators around the table with their hands resting on it gently. Then suggest to them that a specific pendulum chosen either by you or them will start to move. Within a minute or so the chosen pendulum will start to swing of its own accord. Next have them concentrate on that one stopping and another one starting to swing, which it duly does. It helps if each of the pendulums is suspended from a string of a different length.
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Inner circle
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1565 Posts

Profile of Thoughtreader
Sorry for this shameless plug BUT using a real pendulum as opposed to a ring on a string lends a real air of authenticity to the effect (which is a very powerful one at that) and AB Stagecraft sell at a very low cost, beautiful hand made, real mineral pendulums complete with leather carry bag.

Pendulums are an actual tool used by psychics, actually are used in readings, can be used in magic effects (I lecture on that for magicians) and are a good tool for personal use such as finding where you misplaced your keys, etc.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
AB StageCraft
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Profile of TiendaMagia
Pendulum is the best! Smile

Mariano Sosa

Magic Store in Europe


Foro de magia en Castellano!

Mack Magic
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The Burgh' Pittsburgh, PA
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Profile of Mack Magic
One of my favorites has to be the Haunted Key.
Also Penomenon, and the same one I think gimmick1586 mentioned, where you balance the edge of a quarter on the edge of a glass with 2 forks.
The one that baffles the mind where you try to get all 3 cups facing up using 2 cups at a time in 3 moves, but only the magician could is also a very good one.
Just my 2 cents..
Mack Magic
* "May your life be like toliet paper..long and useful."
* "If the shoe fits, get another one just like it."
* "Use the talents you have, for the woods would be a very silent place if only the best birds sang!"
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Profile of HypnoticDonald
The pendulum effects are caused by auto-suggestion. It's a tool utilized by hypnotists everywhere to gain rapport with the subject. If you are looking for impromtu that looks REAL, I'd suggest studying hypnosis, and either employing a rapid induction, or even simpler and less dangerous, a waking suggestion (like causing a person's hands to lock on your command, causing them to fall over backwards, making them forget their name, making their arms move on your command, etc.)

It is an excellent way to intrigue people, and educate them at the same time. Hypnosis also works to improve showmanship and confidence on the stage or in front of any audience.

If you are interested in learing hypnosis, I can probably teach you some basics. A good book to see about getting or checking out from your library would be "The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism" by Ormond McGill. It teaches everything from Waking suggestions, to brief theories, to full show routines. It is a bit dated, but is still good material.
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Profile of Decoy
If you perform magic for friends/family and you consider a natural magical phenomena to be the vanishing/producing of objects, you might like this one. It's called 'Drunken Caps' and it's a handling of the coin effect 'Chink-a-chink', except with a prop that makes it appear more impromtu, if there is such a thing to lay viewers.

This prop is Beer caps. The jagged edges makes it incrediably easy to clasic palm a cap directly off of the carpet where the effect is performed on. You can literally classic palm it, as your hand is still in motion, waving your hand over it if you will. If your interested in obtaining this effects handling from me, send me an e-mail at wwilde@cocc.edu and provide your e-mail address as well.

I should note that this effect has never failed me and has largly built my reputation where I live. Combined with other effects such as Dean Dill's, 'Four Co Pro', you will have the most magical and visual thing that those drunk friends have ever seen, they'll say, Smile Smile
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Woodland Hills, CA
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Profile of petemccabe
I think that David Britland's Parallax principle produces effects that look quite magical but are really just topographically counterintuitive. Nick Brown's "Wonderland Dollar" is my favorite application and a great way to open any show if you're at all nervous, since there are no secret moves and you can't get caught.
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saint-martin (French West Indies)
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Profile of eric2104
You may want to check a nice little stunt by Garry Ouellet, called the "Amazing Dream Glass", where a regular glass sticks to your closed fists (absolutely impromptu, no gimmick of any kind). You can find it in his book/video "Close-Up Illusions".
Hope that helps.
"All magic is mental"
Tony Shiels.
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Indianapolis, IN
88 Posts

Profile of BarryRice
Okay, I've never seen this presented as a magic effect since it is easier to get more impressive effects with less word, but there is a scientific phenomonon with a superconductor that allows a small magnet to actually levitate. I think if you go to http://www.wondermagnet.com
they have a link where you can buy a demonstration kit. Be forewarned, to put the superconductor into the correct state, you have to freeze it with liquid nitrogen. That is why nobody does it. It does look cool though.
"The magic of the tongue is the most dangerous of all spells."
-Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton

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Profile of HiveMind
This is a principle we can gleam from the
male alligator, who intones his mating call
at subsonic frequencies.

Low tones have interesting effects.
IF APPLIED PROPERLY these could be made to seem magical. The principle is that no one can hear the frequency, so things like water
rippling or plants swaying can be made to
happen in places where there is no air flow.

Also, it would be possible to rig a surface
to appear stable but use a material that will
react more violently than most when sound is
fed through it (I think a plastic or rubber
might work) and place objects such as
silverware on the table and they might be
made to hop around a bit or shake violently.

It might look more like real telekinesis than
some effects I've seen. Sometimes when you
feign failure, you actually succeed with the

I'm not sure about recording them though. I
am not an expert in recording frequencies,
but if you could do this, a small remote
could be constructed that could control the
volume of the frequency and appear to move
things under the magicians control.

Is this the kind of thing you mean?
"Free will is an illusion." - B.F. Skinner
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Inner circle
Queens, New York
1171 Posts

Profile of cardguy
When I'm at a restaurant with family or friends, I always do the stunt that uses a salt shaker, 2 toothpicks, and two identical forks. You stick one toothpick into a hole on top of the salt shaker. you then take both forks and intertwine them so they form a V. Stick the other toothpick in between the twines of both forks. Then balance the very tip of both toothpicks together. What happens looks totally impossible, and everybody always stares at the structure in amazement.

The 2 toothpicks are balanced at a 90 degree angle at their very tips (like an upside down "L")! And the forks, they just suspended in mid-air! It looks extremely magical, and it can stay in this position for a very long time as long as no one shakes the table.

The principle behind it is actually pretty elementary. The two inter-twined forks act like a balance point because of the way they are oriented. However, by just looking at it, it seems impossible they can do that. Try this, it's really fun. You can also leave it as a surprise for the waiters. They'll probably be afraid to touch it. Smile Smile
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
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