Friday, 30 March 2012

Rubber Band Routine

This is my personal warm up routine to get started while busking. A fat man with rubber bands doing stuff. That stops people. It starts with the commonly known Jumping Rubber Band bit. It is over exposed, but I think that I added a little point that is worth mentioning. Instead of dipping all the fingers in, I just dip in the pinkie finger and the ring finger. The result is a much more relaxed hand, as the fingers can still go into the needed position. Also by referring to the position as "bunny position" people have no trouble remembering the initial situation.

In terms of crowd building the over exposure works as an advantage. Because they know this people will stop and "explain" it. While it is not good for magic it still makes them stop. Then the phase continues by adding the "trap". So far this is a commonplace. But then I have a spectator hold on to one rubber band. And still it works. Even those who know everything will at least note the simple fact that they have not thought of this. In their mind they see themselves doing this. Wondering what else they can "steal". This is the point where they are hooked. The fact that a small percentage of people know this effect makes it great as a crowd builder.

The next phase is the rubber band through the thumb. Less people are familiar with this one. And there are several ways to go about this. You could wrap it around the thumb for real explaining that the only way to get it off would be to tear the rubber band or to slip it over the thumb which you demonstrate. Then you fake wrapping it around asking someone to hold on to the thumb. I chose to offer the version I do in the video. One is wrapped for real the other one is not. The rest is magicians choice.

The next phase is the linking rubber bands. And while there is nothing noteworthy about the method I wanna at least point out that by holding one arm up and one arm down the visibility of the phase becomes much better. ALL of the magicians I see doing this hold their arms horizontal. And that is no problem when your audiences isn't standing all around you. But on the street they do. Ergo tilting the arms does wonders. Try it.

The last phase is Star Gazer. Which is a commercial item. The problem is this: People know about those shape rubber bands. Which is a shame. But here is my work around: "Hey you guys know those shape rubber bands right? Like a dinosaur? Yes? Good! You know how they are made?"

The whole point of the routine is to show two normal rubber bands the whole time. Which is not the case, but it sure seems like I showed each rubber band to begin with.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Impro Ring Stuff

Toying around with sleights and stuff always is worth doing. Aside from the practice you might end up creating something. This started out as a cheap gag. Any ring to any cup. If I simply drop any ring into any cup the premise would be fulfilled. From there the sequence of effects started happening all by itself. True improvisation. It starts with the ring jumping back on the index finger. If you recognize Garrett Thomas "Ring Thing" work here you are correct. This is of course a nice application of a pretty damn old thimble color change. The whole sequence has only one purpose, to establish the fact that a ring is being used. This makes the appearance of the coin so utterly "fanatastic" or at least a little bit bigger than it really is. The cheap gag is actually kinda important, as it completely misdirects from the actual effect, making it much more surprising. More later... tired

Monday, 19 March 2012

Impro Chop Cup

There is nothing special about the loading sequences or about the sleights in use. But more interesting stuff happens to the ball in this version. It was rather improvised, as I was sitting there and thinking about possible stuff happening to the ball. Usually the ball is placed into the pocket and reappears under the cup. Lame! So how about the ball going through the cup, from the top, the side and the bottom. That adds variety.

The little bit, where the ball is actually dropped inside the cup and comes out fall through the cup actually is by Tommy Cooper who used that in his Chop Cup routine. It become much easier using the standard Chop Cup with the gimmick and all, but you can see that without a gaffed cup/ball it also works.

Also the little bit of the ball going up the nose and later into the mouth really changes things a bit. Making the ball go up the nose, is a sure fire hit if children are there. They love it. (no matter what age).

Then we got the usual final load. Making an "assistant" appear under the cup is not only funny, the plush mouse actually makes women go all "Awwwwwww!" Creating a nice additional emotional reaction to the impossibility.

I got a new camera. HD. Expect better videos!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Three Coin Routine

So there is a whole bunch of stuff in there. Spliced together from various sources, which have already been freakish "frankensteinian" creatures on there own. We got the production of three coins. The first one from the elbow, the second one from behind the ear. Whenever I do that routine with children in the room I produce the coin from their ear. Depending on the angle I either use the production from back palm or the production from Downs palm. Both can be found in Modern Coin Magic. (page 3 and 5) The first vanish of the third coin is nothing but a clever bluff that works as the spectators make wrong assumptions about the amount of coins. (Bluff Vanish page 59) The whole reason for the vanish is the next phase, which is Three Fly.

Troy Hooser has reworked the classic Three Fly into a routine he calls Redirection Coins Across. You find that routine in Destroyers (page 37 et seq.) written by Joshua Jay. Basically it changes the "travel" of the coins from the side to side aspect to a front and back aspect. So the whole bit becomes much more three dimensional. Clever thinking by Troy Hooser. In the video it doesn't show up that well, therefore the hands seem awfully close to each other in the sequence. The last coin uses a subtlety by German magician/mentalist Marc Gettmann who is an awesome coin worker. The standard vanish of the last coin starts from French Drop position and ends up in Ramsay Subtlety position. Marc changed it, so don't have to turn your wrist. Leading into the third part is a simple repeated coins phase. That serves the purpose of getting rid of "extras" by adding more effects and length to the routine.

The starting point for this part was ExTROYdinary also by Troy Hooser. (page 29) But his version uses a shell. I got rid of that, not because it wasn't freaking brilliant, but because I'm so lazy to take care of my props, so I rather modify the routine, so I can be rough with my props or even lose them. It also makes use of the "Flying Shuttle Pass" which is a really, really good addition by Jay Sankey on the classic Shuttle Pass.

There are a few reasons I didn't do Three Fly as the last phase. First: It's not that strong, compared to three vanish and reproductions in a row. What, what, what I hear you say. Try it, and you know what I mean. Second: The thought of perhaps more than three coins in play will come up. So I wanted to end this by just using three coins allowing for maximum exposure of the empty hands. This would not be the case if I would do Three Fly to close the routine. Third: I end clean. Fourth: Reset.

Also the routine is modular, which almost always is a good thing. I can close it very quickly and if I want to I can even make it longer by adding a one coin routine, an exposé routine (you'll see what that is, when it comes up in my schedule) or a spell bound routine. (See last week.)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Poker Spellbound

A standard spellbound routine. Three poker chips in this case one by one change into a coin. David Roth's Wild Coin routine #1 and #2 come to mind when you see this. (Coin Magic by Richard Kaufman) That routine has the coin be dropped in a cup. This wouldn't be possible in this case as the sound it would make would totally take away the presumed illusion. So I decided to be all open about it. And then I got me thinking about premises. What if magic actually happened and I fail to see that. So this is what I ended up with.

Finger Tips Coins Across aka Three Fly was the main inspiration to use that particular handling. Not being restricted to tables and to do a coin trick at chest height is always a good thing. I drew influence from Troy Hoosers coin work. The book Destroyers should be anybody read if you wanna know about direction and coin magic.

The first change is simple, the second one automatic if you a standard ungimmicked Three Fly. Same with the next two changes. The third change is a classic Spellbound change, while the last one is merely the good ol' Bobo Switch.

Placing the coins up to my eyes is not only a personal thing, it's also darn practical and funny. That way you don't need a table nor any receptical at all. Here is a suggested continuation of the effect, if you own a coin holder. Change the three poker chips into three coins. A shuttle pass will do it and it would significantly broaden the effect. As the last change will be off beat it's execution should be not really a problem.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Three Balls in the Hat

So we gotta thank Slydini for the basic effect idea. He used to do it with paper balls that went into a box. And what a long sequence this was. Lot's of hand washing and all of that. So I changed it. I have this hat anyway, so I substituted the box for the hat. Slydinis version is one behind, mine one ahead.

A while ago I saw the great Dani DaOrtiz doing a similar routine using sponge balls. And it was a great routine if you work close up. A nice little convincer was the use of a different colored ball. It really makes it harder to follow the one ahead nature of the routine. So my mind started spinning of using three different colored balls. It doesn't make the routine any harder or less practical, yet it makes it harder to imagine the basic concept, ergo it make the routine more deceptive.

So what have we got? A simple vanish and a natural hold out. So the lapping or the need to sit was eliminated. Of course is makes the routine much less angle proof. So this is a routine for the stage. Hell yeah I just realized that the Slydini version actually is a close up routine. This version can be done, and should be done on stage. On the street I would substitute the hold out that is being used here for the pouch and I would use smaller balls... no wait I would use nuts and bolts. They're funnier.

Here is what I think makes the routine work. It is a nice combination of surprise and suspense. The audiences see the balls vanishing, but not arriving in the hat. This is merely implied. So there is this growing suspense if the balls really are in the hat. I like that.

Oh the music.... It's free to use, if I mention the creator. So credits go to "Panacea4" and you can find his Newgrounds profile right here.