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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Oh god not the zombie!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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n3cromanc3r
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I have seen quite a few posts regarding the zombie so I thought I would go ahead and throw my two cents in. I'm sure this is going to get me bashed but keep in mind this is coming from someone who LOVES the effect and performing it. Although I do not perform it anymore, I did for quite a few years and it's still one of my favorites. The same goes for the dancing cane. I only post this to get some other comments, for or against.

The main concern I have with the Zombie is that it's gone the way of the dancing cane. Meaning just about every single person that has access to a television or seen a school talent show has seen it. I think (and keeping in mind I love the effect)that it's almost more fun to perform than it is for the audience to watch and that's why it's so popular, for us, not for them. I'm afraid when it's performed that there is someone in the audience (or multiple people, or the whole audience) saying "Oh god, not the zombie" Same for the dancing cane really. With the exception of a few who are extremely talented at them, most performances of both are mediocre at best and rarely show originality.

That's why I'm really glad there are some new Zombie and Dancing Cane DVD's on the market such as those that have been discussed here on the forums. I really believe that if someone is going to perform either of these effects, they need to put serious thought into some originality and not do the same old, out of the box routines and moves. I have not seen any of the new Zombie DVD's but from what most people are saying, they seem to provide some new and unique moves that can be added to update the routine a bit. Couple those with a bit of imagination of your own and you might have something that resembles and original routine (at least diffrent than 95% of the other routines out there)

I have seen the clip of the Dancing Cane 101 that is out there and I know the author visits these forums and I have to say it's spectacular. He's clearly skilled and he demonstrates originality. If I was doing the cane still, I would definitely buy that DVD. Not that I would imitate the routine, but I would use what is taught, and combine it with my own imagination to create something unique.

Anyway that's my two cents. It's not really a bash against either effect due to the fact I love both of them a lot. I hope that many of you who perform either of these effects do not take offense as my intention is simply to say that it pays to put forth some original thought and creativity into these particular effects due to, what I think is overexposure. If you are one of those performers who put's forth the effort, I applaud you. If on the other hand you fall into the other 95% that do stock moves for either, my suggestion would be to investigate all the new possibilities and try to come up with some original ideas.
AmazingA
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I definitely would agree with you with your point about the Zombie or the Dancing Cane...However I don't think too many non-magicians would think "Oh no, not the Zombie!". Perhaps magicians would, and I definitely would if I saw someone doing it to very slow music like just about almost every performer that does that effect. I won't name any, but a few Chicago area magicians just do it with the classic moves but with very slow music. I try to use some upbeat music when I do the zombie and feel it's somewhat original and creative.

One other magician I happen to think does the Zombie AWESOME is Brett Daniels. If you haven't ever seen Brett do the Zombie, I suggest you do!! He's very good at it.

The Dancing Cane is somewhat different because it's more of a classic that needs to be done with slower music given the method.

That's just my opinion, but I'm curious too as to what others think about this.

A
Dennis Michael
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Jeff McBride, version of the Dancing Cane is on his Magic on Stage DVD awesome and it does label one as a skilled magician when done right. As a classic magician character, both of these effects are still beautiful effects.

When I see Losander do the zombie, or Shindler do his version or a comedy version, I still love it. It still goes over well.

Choosing not to do it because other magicians say it's to old, outdated, and a variety of other reasons IS NOT a good reason. I tire of card tricks, and women as a group are not that trilled, so should I say don't do card tricks?

I still love to watch both the zombie (and variations), and the Dancing cane.
Dennis Michael
Kent Wong
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I actually don't know of too many lay people who have seen the Zombie or the Dancing Cane. I checked at our local magic store recently and the owner confessed that he may have sold 2 Zombie Balls in the last 3 years. As far as the Dancing Cane, he and I are the only 2 magicians that perform it within a 300 mile radius of his shop. He doesn't even carry a Dancing Cane in his regular inventory anymore since no one bought them when he had them in.

Although the methods to these effects may be commonly known to many magicians, I really don't think that lay audiences have been saturated with them. Even for a magician such as myself, I love watching effects with which I am familiar. This allows me to concentrate purely on the artistic side of the performance rather than be distracted by the method.

Kent
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n3cromanc3r
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That's interesting. I will ask my magic shop the same question.
Blair Marshall
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I have been thinking of putting Zombie back in the show for the very reason that I have seen so few magicians doing it. Perhaps this is because it is not best done close-up, which is the "in" thing for young performers to learn , or it is a stage effect requiring practice to make it look good. You actualy have to "perform" the effect as it is not a packaged routine, just an aluminum ball and a coat hanger (if you know what I mean!!!) The better you perform it, the better the response is!!

Blair Marshall
Bill Hegbli
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N3cromanc3r,

Please list all the places and events you have seen the Zombie performed. I totally disagree with you.

It is a shelf trick because so called magicians will not put the time, effort, and expense into the trick.

The only people I seen do the Zombie in 50 years of magic is Neil Foster, Lance Burton, and Dale Salewick (sp).

This is a classic for a reason. Likewise, the Dancing Cane, I only seen 3 good presentations of this effect in my life.

Many have it, noone performs it!

Lastly, there are a lot of new moves being created with the Zombie. Just because you have not witnessed them does not mean they are not being created. I recently, seen a young man do a nice shot routine and he had a move I never seen before done with Zombie. I did not tell him so. It will never be published and I doubt if he will ever be on television or became a big name in magic.
n3cromanc3r
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I notice you say you have only seen three good presentations of the dancing cane in your life. If we are talking about good presentations, I would think I would agree. However I believe you may have missed the point of my post. If you want to get a good idea whether it's overexposed or not, it would not be to ask me where and when I have seen it, but rather ask a layperson if they have seen the trick before. It's been my experience that most laymen are very familiar with both and in the case of the dancing cane, are familiar with how it works. Therefore it can be appreciated from a skill level, much like juggling, but not so much from a magic standpoint.

and actually your last point, is the point I was making so thanks for reinforcing it.
mysticalmike
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Can anyone tell me where I can get a good zombie ball? I had one years ago close to 15 years. So if anyone can direct me and let me know of a good DVD would be good to.
Mike
n3cromanc3r
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This thread has some good information in it. Try it.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=10
Brent McLeod
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N3cromanc3r-
--------------------

Just my 2 cents worth-

I spent over a year putting together a Zombie routine that went over well with a Lay audience through Trial & Error.

I have been performing A Zombie routine for 25 yrs now & I still get comments about the floating Ball after most shows-remember its what the audience like to see in a show not what us Magicians want to perform!!

Definetly perservere with this in your act-There are many moves as wmhegbli
mentions above that are not seen everyday

I do a move where I turn 90 degrees to the audience & have the ball move from bottom to top of edge of cloth as I originally saw Losander do a similar move but he was face on to the audience & it was a giveaway as to the gimmick-Ihave not seen anyone else do this on Video or at conventions etc
I liked the move but not his presentation so had a few tests & have now used this move & always gets a good reaction.




Similar advice as Jeff McBride gives with his vanishing cane to silks on his Classic magic videos etc-dont do the effect face on to audience but turn 90 degrees & you don't have a problem

Keep at it Try it out a few more times & see what reactions you get if you create a few new moves for you

Good Luck
eb02
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You may try diffrent types of zombie like the zombie bird cage...I have seen a magician on TV and he did a large zombie (size of a basketball!!!) looks like metal, which has the ability to spin...and vanish at the ned...looks amazing.
I belive this zombie was custom made.
Regarding your comments..is zombie again..if it's a kid I would say..close your eyes and I will tell you when its finished...

Eran
Eran Blizovsky
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silapmata
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True! Zombie is not for a layman magician. It require cheographical moves only creative magician can think of it. For me Zombie is a magic by itself, you need to be confidence to do that or else it look rigid same as dancing cane. Zombie rocks!
semo
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I understand your concern regarding overexposure of an effect. This could go with ANY effect that too many magicians do (Linking Rings, Zig Zag Lady, etc.). I had the same theory as well early on and I would frequently change my shows lineup because I was performing in the same "small town" regional market, in fear of some people seeing a routine twice. But, what I heard from people that booked me was "Hey, I'd really like my group to see that thing where you link the rings and that silver ball that floats around, that was great; I loved that!". This was typically from shows done 2 years or so prior. And my market/booking person wanted their NEW audience to see it.

Basically, my point is that in your audience, there is likely to be a few that have seen some of your effects before, done by you or someone else (thanks to TV). But some of those same effects are the ones that they remember as being the most magical. Since they don't see it every day (or don't think of it every day like we do) and their memories of effects tend to be pretty short, it may be ok for tricks to be overexposed, as long as they are magicial to THEM.

All this is predicated on the fact that the magician has taken the time to rehearse a great routine and DOES make it magical for their audience.
Scott Emo, co-creator of Fenced In Illusion - There's nothing better than breaking free!

And creator of Sacred - The Child Conjuring Illusion - Because there is nothing more magical than the creation of a child.

Find them at: http://www.masterofillusions.ca/
n3cromanc3r
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Very good points for sure.
Bill Palmer
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I have seen several really good presentations of the Zombie -- Al Schneider, James Dimmare, One fellow whose name escapes me who learned it from Neai Foster, Lu Kaiser (2 simultaneously!), General Grant, Doug Henning, and a host of really bad zombie presentations.

I have seen fewer really great dancing canes -- Mike Rogers, Peter Pit, Jonathan Neal Brown and a couple of guys nobody has ever heard of on this forum.
They take a lot of work.

They have kind of died out in recent years. Maybe they need a revival.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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NickJegor
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I saw Jeff McBrides Zombie Routine, and I like it.
In Jeff McBrides DVD Magic on Stage vol.3, there are very good explanation about the zombie.
Nikolajus Jegorovas
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Rupert Bair
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I enjoyed Tommy Wonders points on the Zombie on visions of wonder (2?) and also General Grants points on how to make a living stealing doves. They both have some great advice and I love the idea vanishing the ball at the end.

Matt
Pete Biro
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I don't care for either the zombie or the dancing cane... HOWEVER... every once in awhile someone comes up with a GREAT PRESENTATION/VARIATION and then it is magic and/or entertaining.

That is what is needed.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
NickJegor
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Classic is always Classic,
Think your own routine and make it not so long about 3 to 5 min.
Mine is about 3 min.
Cool music and movs makes it perfect!
Nikolajus Jegorovas
Kaunas, Lithuania
Web: http://www.nicholaskin.com
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