Saturday, 31 December 2011

On Premises 02

More variations for you.

4. The Camera Trick.
This works well with a single coin, but imagine the effect is has with stuff like Three Fly! It's a tongue in cheek presentation and should be presented as such.

5. The Sucker Bit.
This is pretty old school. But as you can see you can work in the old gag into the plot. Technically it's not a sucker trick, as the sucker element is missing, but it feels like a sucker trick, as the function of the gag is that people think no magic will occur, lowering their expectations. That makes the final "travel" so strong. Works great with drunk people.

6. The Invisible Coin.
Here the coin doesn't vanish, it doesn't shrink or hide. It's just invisible. Sometimes I prove this by tapping the invisible coin against a glass creating a sound. You need a relatively sober audience for that.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

On Premises 01

Coming up with a premise for a trick can change the impact of a trick drastically. So I play this little game, simply called: "Same trick over and over again". The plot is a coin vanishing in the left hand and then being reproduced. The structure is that the coin is transferred from the right to the left hand three times (two times the condition the audience) and on the third one the coin is gone. Sticking to that plot and that structure there is only room left for premises. So playing that game means I need to make the same trick different each time without violating the plot or structure. Here is what I came up with:

1. Three ways to make a coin go form one hand to the other.
Here the conditioning is part of the premise. "Arc" and "Straight Line" are very easy to understand concepts. And offering a third version to make the distance even shorter has some real world implications. That is why it works well for a not so drunk crowd.

2. The doggy stick story.
This is just great for kids. I've done it many times. It has a "pretend" element, it refers to an outdoor activity and has a funny outcome. Poo jokes are funny for kids.

3. The shrinking coin.
This is my least favorite. But instead of doing this with a coin, do it with a bill. Rolling it up and press it into the fist. When you open it up it will look considerably smaller, because of the wrinkles. So on the third time vanishing the bill - sorry I meant shrinking the bill - so it cannot be seen anymore makes sense. Then reproducing the bill/coin by stretching it is a neat finish.

Each time the same freaking trick seems different. And whenever I create some magic sequences that I like I try to get away with it again, without it being an obvious repeat. This is when a different premise comes in handy. So that makes the game that I play a valuable asset in my creative toolbox.

I chose to tell you this, because I got many questions on that very subject. I give you another example. If you have two coins and toss both of them into then hand any by opening the hand there is only one seen, most magicians would simply say that one has gone. But you could interpret the events in a different way.

1. Both coins could have fused into one
2. One coin is just invisible but still there

In first case it could lead into a nice splitting coins routine. What if you had a hole bunch of coins fused together? Basically it would be a standard coin production sequence, but to the audience it will be a different trick.
In the second case you could go all out picking up the invisible coin, demonstrating how it is still solid, by picking up a whine glass and creating a sound that shouldn't be there, but is there.

Suddenly you have much more opportunities to do certain effects.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Three Coin Serenade by Jim Abrahams

Let's get it out of they way quickly. Coin magic is hard. Really hard. Compared to card magic it is much harder to make it clear what the effect is. If the light is wrong nobody sees the effect and the most beautiful copper silver routine becomes meaningless. This routine is obviously designed for table hopping. It covers all the needs. It takes up very little space, it is modular and it is ungimmicked.

Here is what I like about the use of the purse. It is totally motivated why it is there. It perfectly hides the little extra that is in play during the later part of the routine.  If the surface is right I noticed you don't even need to pick up the purse, just slide it into the "center" and all is set.

Using the purse instead of a playing card also helps to get a way with certain issues. A card "floats" when it is not supposed to float. As you place down the card on a hard surface a very tell tale sound could arise. Here the floating does not take place at all and the sound would be natural as the metal frame of the purse strikes the surface.

A playing card makes no sense. A purse does, when doing coin magic. In the end all the coins go back in the purse, which resets the routine making it practical, magical and overall a wonderful routine. The modular aspect enables you to either continue doing coin magic or to shorten the routine if needed. As I was experimenting with this I found out that this is a great opener to a table set. For several reasons. The coins are big, loud, interesting and NOT playing cards.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Sponge Ball Routine #1

This is taken from a varity of sources the main one being the "The Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic" written by Frank Garcia. I cannot find my copy, so I cannot give you page numbers and all of that. Sorry about that. The routine I have been doing a quite a few years now has a lot to offer. In terms of effects, you get a bunch. A production, a teleportation, two splits, two fusions, another split, another teleportation, a production, a color change, a transposition, yet another production, a vanish from the spectators hand and the usual in the hands finish. That's 14 effects in about two minutes. Say what you want, but it's not boring. In real life I give myself a bit more time to do the effect, waiting for audience reactions to pass and all of that. But here are a few things that I am proud of that I have not seen anybody else do. The second split: I never seen any magician repeating the usual split to create three balls with just two of them. The audience usually demands a repeat after the first split. So I did them the favor they ask for. Then I fuse the balls back into one. Also never seen that.

Let's talk a bit about the "in the pocket phase" I love this phase. I make the claim that it will look like the ball goes to my pocket. The second I remove the ball from the pocket people think of a second ball. And that is exactly what I want them to think. So the effect when I open the other hand and the ball is not there is multiplied. Not only that. The usual audience revise their belief of a second ball in place to be just one ball all along. And suddenly I'm in a wonderful situation to split the ball into two. Also the routine is fairly practical. Two balls in the right pocket and one in the left pocket. Tugged all they way up in the corner. It used to be a little longer and when I do this for kids, I add the usual squeaker phase and a quick multiphased bit of the ball going from my elbow to my hand repeatedly.

Overall sponge balls are a great little thing to have when doing close up magic. People love them. And you can add all sorts of humor to them.

Here is my usual opening line. "I met a clown..." I take out the ball "...he doesn't laugh anymore." That line perfectly captures my style when I'm performing and almost justifies the prop itself.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

No Dupe Transposition by Jim Abrahams

Why not start with Jim. The card tricks ended with him, the other stuff shall begin with him. It was this trick that actually got me started wearing that ring. And I have been using this for real people for quite a while now. It gets killer reactions. In fact I usually have to slow down with the second phase as people look away, looking at each other making sure they saw the same thing as everybody else.

The FT of the the coin from the left hand to the right hand actually goes completely unchallenged because people are looking the elbow to see if the ring is really there. You need quite a loose fitting ring, so you wedding ring will probably not work.

As a side note. When I ask to borrow a ring often people can't take it off. To me this is a "sanitary riddle of mystery"

What makes this routine so darn practical is that it really is an impromptu routine. Most convincing transpositions seems to need a dupe. This uses the psychological principle of the "change blindness" which is a bold method to be used in this trick and therefore typical for it's creator.