The Thing Rises!!

Discuss the art of Children's Entertainment with your fellow performers.

Postby Guest » 07/29/07 08:42 PM

Does anyone else here do Bill Abbott's "The Thing?" I love this prop! However, I do not see the advantage of using the Walmart make-up box that comes with the trick. For myself I like "The thing" to appear out of the bag where I keep the cloth for my COI. It appears slowly rising from this, and mysteriously dances over the heads of the children. It frequently heads straight for the kids, missing their noses by inches. For the finale I hurl the thing and the cloth back into the bag to thunderous applause!! I immediately produce the cloth for COI, and go straight into COI making myself invisible. It works like a dream, and frequently causes cheers and a standing ovation!! Thanks for a great concept, Bill!! In 40 years entertaining children, this is the best ever finish to my show...........and I have done it all!! JR
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Postby Ryan Matney » 07/30/07 08:03 AM

Forgive my ignorance but what is COI?
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Postby Guest » 07/30/07 08:13 AM

COI stands for Cloth of Invisibility. Last year I flew over to Blackpool to lecture at the convention as the featured lecturer on children's entertainment. I did this effect in the morning show, and revealed it in my afternoon lecture. Most people seem to love it, and many are now doing this in their shows. It requires minimal props, and is very cheap to make up. Basically you stand on a stool, and levitate and become invisible behind a cloth. It requires a certain amount of theatre to pull it off well, but in the right hands it is a wonderful climax to any show..kids or adults. It is in my lecture notes. JR
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Postby Ryan Matney » 07/30/07 09:22 AM

Thanks, That sounds interesting. I may have to give your notes a look!
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Postby Guest » 07/30/07 10:56 PM

I saw a video of The Thing today and it looked cool, like a Super Glorpy.
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Postby Guest » 07/30/07 11:07 PM

I actually got "The Thing" as a Christmas present from my wife. I love it, but as I said, I do not really see the point of it rising from the make-up box. There are so many other places it can rise from, such as a hat, or your magic box, or even from the top of a child's head etc!! I think that the video that Bill provides with the DVD is ok, but there is so much more that can be done with this. For me, the most dramatic part is when it flies over the heads of the kids, and they scream as it just misses them. The drama of you trying to control the thing and hurling it in to a bag, box or whatever, is much more effective than allowing it to slowly descend into the clear plastic box from whence it came in my humble opinion. Just my thoughts! JR
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Postby Guest » 08/04/07 06:28 AM

Thanks Jolly Roger for the nice comments and plug!

For your (and everyone else's) interest, I am conducting a Thing workshop at Denny and Lee's studio in Maryland on October 6, 2007.

Below is all the info...

Denny & Lee presents
Bill Abbott's Workshop On "The Thing"
Saturday October 6, 2007.

Learn the reputation-making one-man levitation that can be performed ANYWHERE
taught by the creator Bill Abbott!
Attend this workshop conducted by full-time pro Bill Abbott and walk away with all the knowledge and hands-on experience you need to perform The Thing.
The full routine will be dissected move-by-move so each student in attendance will grasp every subtle nuance and procedure. Along with this workshop and some consistent practice you will be adding The Thing to your working repertoire sooner than you think. Whether The Thing is already part of your act and you want to improve or you want to start from scratch this workshop will have enough information and personal instruction to help you on your way.
Various performance techniques and unpublished information will be demonstrated and discussed. Each attendee will receive Workshop Notes full of unpublished tips, ideas and routine suggestions. Whether you specialize in kids entertaining, corporate audiences or even mentalism, The Thing will be the one you can perform anywhere for anyone! The Thing can float in any performing situation with your audience viewing from any angle. With the strategies divulged during the workshop you will have a WORKABLE mystery that will entertain AND deceive any audience young or old.

Workshop fee $40

Don't own The Thing?
For only $120 attend the workshop AND receive the complete "Thing" package (which means the workshop is FREE... a savings of $40)
Package includes: Clear View Box, Practice Poster, Instructional DVD, Hand-Made Gimmicked Cloth, Ungimmicked Cloth, Compact Disc with 6 tracks of royalty-free music to accompany your performance! Manufactured, Packaged & Created By Bill Abbott
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Postby Guest » 08/07/07 10:09 PM

Your workshop sounds great, Bill! Unfortunately, it is a little far for me to travel from Arizona to Boston for the occasion. I notice that you did not actually comment on the presentation I described in my post. What do you think is the advantage of using the plastic make up box? I will also reiterate that I find it works really well to catch the "Thing" as it tries to escape, and to hurl it into your magic box/case. I would value your input, or the input of others. Thanks! JR
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Postby Guest » 08/08/07 01:02 AM

While I can't speak for Bill, I have had the luxury of seeing him perform this for both laypeople and magicians, in performing situations and in lectures, and as such I will throw out my two cents (or, 1.8 with the current exchange rate).

The box, besides giving you a nice full circle effect (invisible ball of death- or whatever- comes out, flies around, and eventually returns back to the box), it takes the heat of the cloth.

Through the structuring Bill provides, at the end of the effect people want to see the box! It sounds silly to us, but it makes sense on some level- something came out of the box and went back in. What is it?

So, the box, besides adding to the theatrical element of the effect, is responsible from redirecting the heat away from the gimick.

Just my thoughts.
Ben
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Postby Guest » 08/08/07 08:15 AM

"something came out of the box and went back in. What is it?"

I have also seen Bill doing this on the DVD that comes with the prop. I agree that it adds to the "Roundness" of the effect if it starts in the same place as it finished. But why the plastic box? Your own magic case, a hat, a child's head etc. are all possibilities that are open to the creativity of the conjuror. I am not over keen on the idea of the performer having to open the lid of the plastic box. If using the clear plastic box, I suggest you cut a slit down one side of the box, and have the lid closed with the gimmick in the slit, and the cloth wedged uder the lid.. The lid will then be opened by the Thing. Trial and error could make this even more of a miracle! JR
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