Monday, 30 April 2012

Rope Routine #1

I've been doing ropes when it was still uncool. That means before the common Richard Sanders. So I can say with certain pride: "He has nothing to do with this routine". However the guys that Richard Sanders stole his stuff from are all present here. George Sands and Francis Tabary.

I owe so much to those guys. There is the book "The Award Winning Rope Magic of Francis Tabary" which is also a video lecture, that is worth checking out. The main routine has no real cuts, so you can use the same rope over and over again. So this is great for street work and any charity work that pays little. For real paid gigs I would do real cuts. There is nothing more "real" that scissors going the fibers. Something about that picture says "real", so the following restoration is much stronger.

Here is my preparation so you can see how darn practical this routine is. At home I take a long piece of rope and tie knots in the ends, so they don't fray. Prior to the performance I cut off the knots and put them in my right pocket. That's it. The gimmick is created during the first part of the routine.

The first restoration (wrapping the longer piece of rope around the shorter piece) is something I have seen David Stone doing. I don't know if that is original with him, but I liked the aesthetics of the move.

The next bit is the travelling ends. After both ends have traveled you are in a pretty dirty position. And you might feel very guilty. That leads to horrible creations. Daryl and Richard Sanders both have a weird handling when it comes to regripping the rope, just to makes sure that the hand palming the gimmick looks natural. Just palm the damn thing and move on. Tabary does it right!

Now putting the middle back on the rope is my own creation. And I'm not humble to claim this as my own.

Placing the ends in the pocket and then have a switch between ends and middle has been in my repertoire for a while now, but it got 10x the reactions as soon as I added the real cut through the supposed middle. Try it. It will leave you in a position with a tiny little piece. So the gag of no using the scissors to cut the rope becomes a no brainer.

In the video I failed to put the imaginary scissors away right away, so going to my pocket becomes awkward. But it is a nice motivation to get the next item you need. The fake knot bit.... well Tarbell, what else. The jumping knot bit Daryl.

The second knot could be a spare in your pocket, so don't have to search for long, or it can be another effect.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Silk Routine

Let's talk about the classic vanishing hankie trick. It feels like 80% of the people know about the TT. Ergo this is a potential problem. Even if you don't use the TT (black egg ect.) people might assume that a TT has been used and will either not appreciate the effect or even worse voice their thoughts in the show. So I decided that the best way to approach that issue is to confront the issue directly. By actually naming the method that is in use as a cancel.

Also: Not using the thumb helps a lot. The standard dye tube handling is a great substitute. Duval's Dyeing Handkerchiefs from Greater Magic at page 617 comes to mind. Also Al Baker's Dyeing Silk in the same book at page 609.

Reproducing the silk from the mouth has two reasons. First: It is a personal choice. But I don't do it straight away. I'm giving the spectator a choice here. If they don't want to see it they will choose fist. 99% of all performances the mouth is chosen. That says something about the spectators and what they are able to bear. The second reason is that I need to reproduce the silk. If I just ditch it in the pocket it would remain in the gimmick and therefore lose its shape and become ugly. Reproducing the silk leave both silks open near the end giving me instant reset.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Nuts and Bolt

Getting rid of a table has drawbacks but frees your mind to recreate routines you love in a new way. Doc Eason was a really early influence on my magic. On the third DVD on Bar magic the very first routine is called: "All Screwed Up". Technically a variant of Two in the Hands One in the Pocket. But instead of using sponges or coins he used nuts. Great thinking. And using those props the finish of the nuts screwed to the bolt it automatic.

I took away the table and suddenly a whole bunch of problems arise. So that is when Dan Sylvester came to the rescue. His Sylvester Pitch is such a great move and it works nearly surrounded. Naturally the structure changed a bit.

My patter sucks, simply because my German patter is not usable here. It consists of puns. You cannot translate them. So in the video I am basically just saying what comes to my mind. Who cares!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Coins to Pocket

I've been playing around with the idea of coins going to the pockets. And there seems only one way to do it correctly, by showing that all pockets are empty to begin with. Otherwise there is no point. So this is a trick that only a few magicians will ever do. Most of the time the pockets are not empty. Too bad. It's a nice premise.

This particular version works with almost all the tricks in the book. Two ahead, a feint, a ruse and a subtlety, but no extra coins. In terms of sleights there is nothing special. Shuttles, FT's and palms. This routine is all about construction. Picture it from a layman's point of view. Four coins are jumping invisibly from the hands to called out pockets. This is strong stuff.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Coins Through Table

Okay, let's get the basic out of the way. There are tons of ways to accomplish the effect. And it is hard to say which version is the best. Judging from a working performers point of view a few criteria must be met. No setup, reset, angles, anywhere, anytime, deceptive and the possibility to do a big finish.

The routine has no setup at all. You get out the little purse and everything needed is in there and ends up back in there. So there is no reset, as the reset is instant. The angles are great on this one. In fact it can be done surrounded. There is no need to lap or ditch in between. That rules out most version I have come across.

Having performed this hundreds of times, I KNOW that it is deceptive and the audience has no clue about the modus operandi.

The only problem might be the sound. But really? This is a no brainer! The background noise usually cancels out any possible "wrong" sound. And even if, the audience has nothing to compare it to.

The basic routine was developed by studying Milton Kort's Coins Through the Table (Modern Coin Magic page 276) His version uses a glass to substitute the hand in most phases. And as much as I liked it, it is done a little too often for my personal taste. So here we go into the before mentioned possibility to do a big finish. Oh, wait, let me leave it at that. I didn't include that in the video. For a good reason. I don't want it out there. I don't want others to do it, unless they earn the gift, by encrypting my vague ramblings here and make it their own. To those: You got a reputation maker on your hands. To the rest: You don't deserve it.

And to those who say: "What about the last coin? It's so weak!"
The first two coins should condition the audience that you really put the coin on the table. If you fail at that, this is not for you. I've done the routine for years. And dude, that last coin is almost the strongest, if I wouldn't go into the "big finish".

Oh, yeah. Happy Easter