Submitted for your Consideration

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Anthony Vinson
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Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Anthony Vinson » February 8th, 2016, 9:15 am

I am a freelance trainer, emcee, and spoken word performer. I am also a lifelong amateur magician, specifically a card guy. Over the past year or so I have been incorporating several “mental” effects into my presentations and they go over well. I currently use three effects from Jim Steinmeyer’s Nothing But Mystery, along with a handful of others. Since I have several regular customers I need a few more effects in order to remain fresh. My questions:

1.I’ve considered purchasing some of Steinmeyer’s Impuzzibilities series. Are there stand-up pieces to be found in those, or are they primarily close-up? (I know that one of the pieces I currently use, The Three Ball Test was originally published in one of the Impuzzibilities booklets.)

2.Are there any other sources of similar effects, what Steinmeyer calls “Minimal Miracles & Disproportionate Marvels” that are recommended? I a seeking mostly “propless” effects, but small, easily transported props are fine as well. For instance I use a jumbo card version of B’Wave.

Thanks in advance for any help you might be willing to provide.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Joe Mckay » February 8th, 2016, 11:38 am

Interesting question. Long response below - so apologies for that.

First of all I sent you a PM - so please check your inbox.

As for the Jim Steinmeyer material. It is all worth checking out.

Not just his Impuzzibilities series but also some of his lecture notes such as 'Artificial Conclusions'. As well as his book that collects his 'Conjuring' series.

You can get a good overview of his work by checking out Denis Behr's site:

http://archive.denisbehr.de/show.php?people=1071

For the style of magic you are doing - a trick like Corinda's Powers of Darkness routine would be a lovely fit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuFeIoqiqjQ

Although you may prefer Mike Caveney's version which you can find here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X26LEYQZb88

There is also a great David Regal routine called 'The Secret' that was in GENII (back in 2008). It is half way between a puzzle and a magic trick. But it is very entertaining and ingenious. You demonstrate a weird scam to the audience results results in free money and free beer for everyone that takes part!

Also - UF Grant's classic 'Million Dollar Mystery' is worth looking at since it is the perfect mystery. Karl Fulves teaches it in one of his books and you can find the explanation taught for free via Google Books. Click on 28. TELEPORTATION in the link below:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=INAsBpNfJr4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=karl+fulves+paper+magic&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwia0ILyxejKAhWD1RoKHfX8CswQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=teleportation&f=false

David Oliver had a great idea in GENII recently...

It was a trick he did for Robin Williams. He was friends with Robin Williams and would perform at his birthday party each year.

Well - one year - he couldn't attend - so he devised a trick he could do without having to be present.

The show was in some kind of theater. And in the center of the stage - hanging from the ceiling was a deck of cards attached to some string.

A video projection system was in place - and via a DVD shown on the cinema screen - David greeted the audience and apologized that he couldn't be there. He then said he would a do a trick anyway. He then asked a volunteer to come on stage and pick up the toy teddy bear. The volunteer was asked by David to stand with his back to the audience and throw the toy over his head.

David then asked whoever had the toy to throw it over his head to somebody else.

David then asked whoever had the toy to shout out the name of any card.

"The Eight of Clubs".

David then had the volunteer remove the deck of cards that had been hanging in full view the entire time.

David asked the spectator to spread through the deck.

He then asked if there was anything unusual?

"One of the cards is reversed", replied the volunteer.

David asked the volunteer to remove that card.

David then called out to the back of the room and asked the spectator to remind everyone of the card they named earlier.

She calls out "The Eight of Clubs".

The volunteer on card shows his card to the audience - and it too is also The Eight of Clubs!

----------------------------

I think the above is a fantastic idea. It is the best handling for the Invisible Deck I have ever seen. The volunteer on stage is actually a secret helper. But the Invisible Deck is so easy to use - that it only takes 10 minutes to train somebody on how to reveal any card in the deck as being reversed. This is just a wonderfully clever and sneaky way to use a stooge. And as with all the best stooge tricks - it is constructed in such a way that the use of a stooge would apparently be of no help in explaining how the trick was done.

The above is also the best "Magic in the 'spectators' hands effect" I have come across. It is just brilliant all round.

Anyway - the above might be of use to you. Perhaps you could pretend you are running late and have somebody start the show by having you do the first trick via a TV screen.

My favourite Headline Prediction can be found on page 535 (Vol. 4 No. 9) of Apocalypse magazine. It is called "Impromptu" Headline Prediction and is by Stan Lobenstern.

The reason I mention this routine is that zero preparation is required. Yet it is an absolute fooler. Thanks to the very linguistic bluff which is buried at the heart of the routine. As such - you can turn up at a venue, hand an envelope to somebody and perform it later on in the show. It is very practical.

Awhile ago - Gregg Webb shared his handling for the 'Free Will' principle which has been varied a lot in recent years. And I think his handling might fit your type of performances.

He taught it on The Magic Cafe:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=527718&forum=109

I remember that Max Maven had a bit that is popular with a lot of stage performers. In which you would have everyone in the audience reach out their hands and follow instructions given by the performer. And at the the end of the routine - everyone in the audience is unable to complete the simple actions performed by the performer on stage.

Also - speaking of interactive routines. One of the best in recent years was 'The Love Test' which was published by Woody Aragon in his book 'A Book in English'.

It is a strong effect and you can see it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si2hkQN6V44

The idea is that everyone in the audience performs this trick for themselves at the same time. It is such a strong routine that Penn & Teller have just added it to their Las Vegas show.

Also - if you want a strong trick which plays big (with minimal props) then check out out the trick with a single silk called 'Grippo's Wish' in Paul Harris' 'Art of Astonishment' series.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Joe Mckay » February 8th, 2016, 12:01 pm

You can see the interactive routine using hands here. I think it is a Max Maven idea. But I am not sure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXyT9dxH5xo

Bill Mullins
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Bill Mullins » February 8th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Steinmeyer's Conjuring book may be all you need. It is a collection of magazine columns of platform/stand-up/parlor magic. Lots of good material in there.

Also, look for Barrie Richardson's books (Theater of the Mind, Act Two and Curtain Call). They are full of strong platform material, often mentalism, and generally they aren't too "prop heavy".

Anthony Vinson
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Anthony Vinson » February 8th, 2016, 5:11 pm

Gentlemen,

I thank you both.

Joe, I feel that I owe you dinner. Or a beer. Or both. Have read your PM and will respond with more depth in my reply.

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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Max Maven » February 8th, 2016, 6:08 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:You can see the interactive routine using hands here. I think it is a Max Maven idea. But I am not sure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXyT9dxH5xo



Not mine.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Bill Mullins » February 8th, 2016, 8:47 pm

Max Maven wrote:
Joe Mckay wrote:You can see the interactive routine using hands here. I think it is a Max Maven idea. But I am not sure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXyT9dxH5xo



Not mine.


This is one of those things the originator of which may be lost to history. It is surprisingly hard to research in AskAlexander -- the earliest reference to it I've found is a description of Copperfield's act ca. 2001. I've seen several modern magicians perform it, and none of them know who to attribute it to -- it seems to be considered "public domain" (but may well not be).

I've had people tell me, without attribution or documentation, that it goes back to vaudeville. That may be so. If I really needed to chase it down, I'd try and contact Chris Kenner.

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Tom Stone
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Tom Stone » February 8th, 2016, 9:11 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:I've seen several modern magicians perform it, and none of them know who to attribute it to -- it seems to be considered "public domain" (but may well not be).

I've had people tell me, without attribution or documentation, that it goes back to vaudeville.

It is pretty strange. Any new thing that everyone wants to do goes back to vaudeville. To the same vaudeville performer, I would guess. Some dude famous for being so totally unknown for all the creations that no one even mentions until almost a century later.
As far as I know, it was first published in Magic by Dummies (1998) and attributed to Aye Jay.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Bill Mullins » February 9th, 2016, 1:04 am

Tom Stone wrote:As far as I know, it was first published in Magic by Dummies (1998) and attributed to Aye Jay.


From Magic for Dummies, p. 351:
"You Can't Do What I Do is an old effect, brilliantly performed and contributed by Aye Jaye."

That is a somewhat ambiguously worded. "An old effect" -- is it invented by Jaye, or did he simply contribute his presentation of an effect that predated him? The author seems to be careful with credits, and in many cases, clearly states that an effect is "invented by" a particular creator. He did not do so here. I read this particular passage as not saying that Jaye is the inventor of the trick. But I could be wrong.

Like I said, difficult to research. But at least, 1998 is earlier than the 2001 Genii description I had found, so thanks for that. Someone had to be the inventor of the trick, and it would be nice to identify that person -- it's a nice trick.

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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Jeffrey Korst » February 9th, 2016, 2:17 am

David Oliver had a great idea in GENII recently...

It was a trick he did for Robin Williams. He was friends with Robin Williams and would perform at his birthday party each year.

Well - one year - he couldn't attend - so he devised a trick he could do without having to be present . . .


Rather than David Oliver, this one was actually Jay Alexander with Glen Micheletti as his onstage assistant.

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Tom Stone
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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Tom Stone » February 9th, 2016, 4:36 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:As far as I know, it was first published in Magic by Dummies (1998) and attributed to Aye Jay.


From Magic for Dummies, p. 351:
"You Can't Do What I Do is an old effect, brilliantly performed and contributed by Aye Jaye."

That is a somewhat ambiguously worded. "An old effect" -- is it invented by Jaye, or did he simply contribute his presentation of an effect that predated him? The author seems to be careful with credits, and in many cases, clearly states that an effect is "invented by" a particular creator. He did not do so here. I read this particular passage as not saying that Jaye is the inventor of the trick. But I could be wrong.

Like I said, difficult to research. But at least, 1998 is earlier than the 2001 Genii description I had found, so thanks for that. Someone had to be the inventor of the trick, and it would be nice to identify that person -- it's a nice trick.

If it isn't in Martin Gardner's impromptu column in Hugard's Magic Monthly, it is likely more recent than 1958.
I've never heard anyone say they've seen it before Copperfield's Tornado of Fire (2001), and I've never seen an earlier source than Dummies (1998).

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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Bill Mullins » February 9th, 2016, 1:44 pm

Tom Stone wrote:If it isn't in Martin Gardner's impromptu column in Hugard's Magic Monthly, it is likely more recent than 1958.


I suppose the same logic applies to the collected book version from 1975, as it had many items added to it.

But . . . if it is not in MG's 2015 further updated Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic from Todd Karr, is it likely more recent than that? Is absence of evidence = evidence of absence?

Here [youtube]https://youtu.be/R_YPQpf9Cok?t=845[/youtube] is John Conway doing a similar trick in Daniel Zuckerbrot's film on Martin Gardner, an episode of The Nature of Things. It was broadcast in 1996, but Daniel tells me that the interview was conducted in 1994 or 1995.

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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Brad Henderson » February 9th, 2016, 2:15 pm

Martin Gardner was credited with a do as I do effect using the hands, however it is not this one. This had the audience crossing their hands, folding them up and inward, and touching either side of their nose with their forefingers. The performer is able to uncross his hands while keeping his fingers on his nose. The audience (most of the audience, to be accurate) cannot. I believe I encountered this in MAJ produced my Ammar back in the day.

While I do not know the source of the arm twisting do as I do featured by Copperfield, I believe that was taught to him by Dan Harlan. Dan related the story to me. He had been brought in to consult for DC's show and tossed this trick in almost as an after thought.

That's not to say he invented the trick. Only that he is, I believe, the source from which DC obtained it.

Perhaps he has some info on it.

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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Bill Mullins » February 9th, 2016, 4:15 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Martin Gardner was credited with a do as I do effect using the hands, however it is not this one. This had the audience crossing their hands, folding them up and inward, and touching either side of their nose with their forefingers. The performer is able to uncross his hands while keeping his fingers on his nose. The audience (most of the audience, to be accurate) cannot. I believe I encountered this in MAJ produced my Ammar back in the day.


It is this stunt that Conway is doing in the youtube video I tried to link to above. Let's try again:

Link.

The MAJ reference is:
Martin Gardner, "Fingers-Nose Do-As-I-Do", Magical Arts Journal v2n2, March 1988, p. 13. MG cites as a predecessor " the old finger bit of asking someone to cross his arms, clasp hands, then bring the hands in front of his chin? You point to a finger and ask him to wiggle it. He finds this difficult, usually wiggling a finger on the other hand."

The predecessor bit is in Hugard's in Jan 1953 on p 1035 (and also in the 1975 collected Encyclopedia, on p 194)

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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby David Oliver » June 20th, 2016, 2:17 am

"David Oliver had a great idea in GENII recently..."

Thanks, I try. But this one wasn't one of them. Not mine. Must have confused me with someone else on this one.

I'll let you know when I have another great idea. ;)
- DO

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Re: Submitted for your Consideration

Postby Brian Douglas » November 22nd, 2016, 8:36 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Steinmeyer's Conjuring book may be all you need. It is a collection of magazine columns of platform/stand-up/parlor magic. Lots of good material in there.

Also, look for Barrie Richardson's books (Theater of the Mind, Act Two and Curtain Call). They are full of strong platform material, often mentalism, and generally they aren't too "prop heavy".



+1 on anything Steinmeyer's. The principles are sound and extremely flexible to suit your themes. For example. using Steinmeyer's 13 card dilemma I'm building a comedy routine around donuts. Such as a baker's dozen. If you are familiar with the routine you can see where I'm going.

Steinmeyer = gold.


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