Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Thing

Bill Abbott released "The Thing" a few year ago. Technically a variation on the zombie ball. The levitation of "nothing" was something I liked, as it motivated the cloth. Without it there would be no effect. So I bought it. Then after experimenting with it became apparent to me that there needed to be "something" that that is levitated. The "nothing" was just not enough.

So I wondered what object could be "something" and "nothing" at the same time. So the soap bubble was the logical outcome of this. Soap bubbles float, which is a nice thematic link to the levitation.

So things fell together. And the presentation I used to do was way too kitschy for my character, so I changed it more and more and it became this script of our brain refusing magic. This version you hear in the video is much abbreviated and the original German version is a lot more fine tuned.

Also adding the glass ball enabled me to draw attention away from the cloth near the end. In fact I have a spectator take out the ball from the hat. The popping of the "Soap bubble" is a rather recent addition... I don't know why I didn't think of this before as it logically ends everything nicely.

let's talk about the handling of the thing. Most moves are taken straight from the DVD that Bill Abbott supplies with the routine. But two finesses are my own. First the twirl of the cloth. It may seem like a minor point, but it adds to the deception a little. Holding a cloth from the diagonal corners and twirling it like a rope sells the idea that the cloth is normal. The gimmick is unseen and even to those magicians knowing the secret this struck them as nice. The other thing is the starting position of the levitation. I don't hold on to two corners that are next to each other. I hold on to diagonal corners. And then I make the ball jump. Once. Somehow this really resonates with regular audiences. When the ball jumps, they jump. I like that. It's just a small touch, but I proud of it.

The music used in this video is by Darkmaster603 and is used by the Licensing Terms of That means Attribution: "You must give credit to the artist." Check! And Noncommercial: "You may not use this work for commercial purposes unless you make specific arrangements with the artist." Check!

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