Trouble Wit

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Guest » 06/05/06 04:10 AM

Can someone please give me a hint where to buy a white Trouble Wit. I heard that these are produced in New Zealand but so far I have not found the manufacturer.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/06 08:11 AM

Hi Stefan. Go to http://www.practical-magic.com/
Click on General Magic and scroll towards the bottom of the page. They have troublewits for 15.
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Postby George Olson » 06/05/06 02:43 PM

I have one from Don Alans Estate. Folded it's about 6" (inches) long. It's great for "Close-up" If you are interested, just let me know.

Don't try to e-mail I just bought a new computer and it won't be here until the end of the week.

GO
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Postby Guest » 06/05/06 03:32 PM

Is there a video clip online anyone knows of that features an entertaining trouble wit routine. I have seen several live versions and each one I have seen has - frankly- been embarrassing.

Is there such a thing as a good trouble wit routine?
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/05/06 04:03 PM

It's not the routine is is the PERFORMER that make it entertainment.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/06 04:21 PM

whats a trouble wit?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/05/06 05:37 PM

Trouble Wit is a large piece of heavy paper that's been accordian folded. It also has some kind of fold about a quarter of the way from the top.
It can be folded, spread, and curled into various figures.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/06 05:38 PM

Troublewit is a folded piece of heavy paper that is used to illustrate a series of visual puns. It takes a certain kind of performer to pull it off. It isn't magic per se, but it can be highly entertaining, but that responsibility rests completely on the shoulders of the performer.

"Skipper" Frank Herman, one of the most accomplished magicians and entertainers I've ever seen once, told me that Troublewit made him more money than anything he'd ever done because it was so versatile and could be adapted to practically any performing situation.

Frank wrote an excellent book on Troublewit as did Ken de Courcy and Herb Morrissey. Those three books will give you a solid foundation in the working of Troublewit. In my view, the Herman book and the Morrissey books strongly compliment each other and should be studied together.

The "care and feeding" of a Troublewit is important to learn. It isn't something you'll pick up in an evening.

Jay Marshall was a master of Troublewit and had an entertaining presentation.

Along with mentalism, Troublewit is a real test of a performer's presentational skills. If you aren't comfortable talking to an audience, don't bother with Troublewit.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/06 04:42 PM

First time I saw troublewit was at a rare Chuck Smith Lecture several years ago in Albuquerque. It was very entertaining (as was the whole lecture). Pat Page has featured troublewit on two videos: one is his Magic with Paper video, and the other came with a smaller troublewit--I think it was called Close-up Troublewit. Pat Page's video shows several shapes, and combines them into a simple routine.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/06 05:29 PM

One of the "secrets" to working a successful Troublewit routine is surety in handling the paper, smoothly going from one figure to another. This only happens with many hours of working with the paper. Part of the success in working Troublewit (or being a magician, for that matter) is looking like you know what you're doing. With a prop as demanding as Troublewit, you can't fake it. You either know how to handle it, or you don't.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/06 11:58 PM

Thanks to everyone so far for joining the topic.
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Postby Guest » 06/08/06 07:06 PM

Stefan,

Two of the books mentioned above by David are currntly up for auction on Ebay.

Item number: 6635927428

http://cgi.ebay.com/Two-Troublewit-Book ... dZViewItem

Good luck to you!

Mark Damon
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Postby Guest » 06/09/06 06:48 PM

Stefan,

Are you a member of the IBM? If so, look at page 8 of the current June issue of The Linking Ring magazine. Show-biz Services is running a full page add for their plain white ($35.00) or full colored ($45.00) troublewit along with full instructions and routines.

You can also go to www.showbizmagic.net - cick on magic tricks - then go down the alphabetic list to troublwit and click.

Mark Damon
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 05:07 PM

Sorry to get in late on this.
I saw Jay Marshall do Trouble Wit many years ago.
I was stunned. I could not believe that anyone could be that clever.

As time passed I got a routine of my own. I started with Sid Lorrains. I updated the figures to more modern items. I did it for about ten years when I was doing stand up stuff.

At one point they seemed to disappear from the market. I bought several to be sure I had a supply. Now I have two of them from days gone by.

I think that storing them open makes working with them a lot easier. I never did get Jay's knack for it though. He would just flip a finger and an entire fold would flip open.

Once I did some work on an open stage at a comedy club. They did not like my best magic. But Trouble Wit got the stand up comedy guys going. Stand up guys seem to look down on magic. I did Zombie and one guy said he didn't like it because you just buy it at the magic shop and go. Strange because Zombie is the most difficult trick I ever tackled.

For a long while when I did stand up I had to do Trouble Wit. I also did the Snake Basket.

Why does everyone call me a coin guy?

Al Schneider
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Postby Guest » 06/25/06 08:44 AM

Al,

If we live long enough, they'll call us a lot of things!

It just shows that you live a rich life. Keep at it!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- A plastic sweater box is an easy way to store Trouble Wit open but clean and safe.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/25/06 09:48 AM

Al, I don't call you a coin guy... tee hee... BTW Jay used to make his own troublewits. I still have a couple of them made by Tan Hauk Chuan. And a couple of Abbott's (who still sells them).

Some of the standup guys I worked with in the clubs cared nothing for magicians, but a few did and have become friends.
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Postby Guest » 06/26/06 09:50 AM

Pete
Strange.
Hearing that about Jay warms my heart.
It really brings back fond memories of Jay, Karrel and Paul Howard Bamman. I am often accused of producing material that is simple, short and sweet. Well, they were my mentors. Most of my life I have wished I could perform with the cool those guys did. Often my strongest recomendation to a new magician was, "go watch Karrell, Jay or Paul Howard Bamman."
Al Schneider
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Postby Guest » 07/03/06 09:18 AM

Jay Marshall was one of the most innately entertaining people I have ever met. He could have done 15 minutes with a paper sack and been more entertaining than 95% of the guys I have seen at comedy clubs.

His ability to analyze material was uncanny. At the Vegas MCA weekend, we were discussing a routine I was working on. I told him the premise, and he thought it was really funny. Then I said, "I still haven't found the ending, though. It needs an ending."

In 10 seconds, he gave me the ending. So when I perform it for magicians, I mention Jay in the intro.
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Postby jeffrey246 » 10/18/11 01:43 PM

I carried Trouble Witt when I did my magic show for kids and in hotels. I would use it to stretch the show if it ran to quick. The problem is that they do wear out quickly. A friend came up with the suggestion of using medical tape on the crease. This does extend the life. Getting the correct paper is tough but it is not that difficult to make your own.
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Postby Andres Reynoso » 10/19/11 12:10 PM

Magician Abby here in Mexico manufactures a Trouble Witt with a kind of plastified shiny paper in order to do it durable
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 10/19/11 03:15 PM

You can also find them here: http://www.troublewit.com

They're pretty good (if I do say so myself)...

Andrew

(I would love some contact information for Abby.)
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Postby hugmagic » 10/19/11 09:06 PM

Sid Lorraine always said that was the main trouble with Troublewit. It was just broke in and it was worn out.

Sid taught the routine to Frances Marshall.

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Postby Andrew Pinard » 10/20/11 07:51 AM

Still trying to find Sid's ginormous troublewit he made for a Gettogether back in the 50s... You don't have it kicking around Richard do you? Tried with David Ben but no luck as yet...
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/20/11 08:11 AM

Searching through old Tops and Linking Rings, I didn't find any pictures with Sid doing a troublewit, but there is a small picture of Jimmy Lake doing troublewit in the August 1953 Linking Ring on Page 36.
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Postby mountebanc » 04/14/12 10:35 PM

I first saw C. Thomas Magrum do T-Wit in his school assemblly show in November 1946. He did it well, and sold it well. He presented it somewhat like the performer in the C.Lang Neal's MODERN CONJUROR. I started doing it in 1965. I updated the lines and made it more topical. It was in my school show until I retired in 2008. I still do it on kid shows. My presentation is designed for kids. I call it a version of ORIGAMI. School teachers liked it (kids, too)because of the reference to art.
Jay Marshall always made his own (accompanied by a series of verbal cuss words!)When I stayed in the Charlie Miller suite over a 10 year period, he told me where to buy the correct paper, etc. He presented it as a "languid" Englishman(even wore a monocle at one time). Jay sold it well for any group, but especially for adults! I would get about 350 programs out of one. I always carried a spare, well broken in. Frank Herman was a good fiend. Fran Marshall used a pic of me in Frank's book. My friend Sid Lorraine said the JUMBO size was heavy and hard to use. Dick Stoner uses it, and does a great job with it. George McAthy had a funny routine in one of the SMART BOOKS. Norm Cummins "killed" with it at early MAGI FESTS in COLUMBUS,OH.He presented it as a "door to door salesman" demonstrating what his product would do. Not magic, but a clever novelty that DEMANDS PRESENTATION AND SKILL. IT DOES NOT 'SELL ITSELF'!!! I get an average of 5 minutes with it. On outdoor shows (California) it is tricky to handle in wind.Stanyon made them for years (I still have one of Stanyon's)A gentleman in New Zealand made them when no longer available from England, but, I'm not sure if he is still doing it--(I'm off the road, but I stocked up before I retired)David Tenneboe gave me one when I toured South Dakota a couple years ago. I'll check my spare prop case ASAP. and publish the name of the maker, if it's available. YOU WILL DEFINITELY WEAR ONE OUT WHILE LEARNING TO HANDLE IT. So, if you're serious about doing it, buy a couple (or more). My personal preference is for the colored models, although I've used plain white ones. Dick Oslund
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 04/14/12 11:51 PM

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Postby Andrew Pinard » 04/15/12 07:57 AM

Thanks Dick for your memories! I look forward to touching base with you as I continue work on my book. Please feel free to contact me at 603-938-5158 or by PM so I can call you!

Thanks to Tom for the link... I've seen footage of Jay performing from The Magic Palace (Canadian television show) that covers the same ground. Hoping to find some film footage in the S.A.M. Film Library as well...

Andrew
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Postby hugmagic » 04/15/12 10:22 PM

Just getting back to the forum. Andrew, no I don't have any photos of Sid with the Jumbo one. I know where all the negatives shot by Jim Hanning are and have been trying to buy them for years. Maybe someday the owner will relent.

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