Cigars from purse

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 10/20/01 07:42 AM

Probably one of the greatest intimate miracles is Leipzig's routine with the cigars. I've found that woman in particular, love this effect, and I'm always asked about it after a performance. Does anyone else use this routine, or have any opinions on it? I'm curious about the "woman" factor and haven't quite put my finger on why they flip over it. Are there sexual undertones that I'm missing?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/20/01 02:04 PM

Sexual undertones? Never really thought about that since I find cigars so revolting. Pulling and inserting cigars out of a purse? Hmmmm.
However, John Carney does the routine, so does Eric DeCamps (I think), and I'm sure there are at least half a dozen others. It's popular among the elite sleight of hand men. Frankly I have never found the routine itself enchanting, perhaps some other folks on the forum will add their two cents!
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Postby Guest » 10/20/01 03:10 PM

This was an observation only, I would never degrade the routine using sexual remarks; too easy, and inappropriate. The routine is best played as an impossible curiosity; an odd thing that you're letting people in on.
I've never seen Eric perform his routine but I have discussed it with him.
As a whole, it certainly falls under the "here's somthing different" catagory.

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/20/01 03:24 PM

I've seen John Carney perform the cigars from purse several times and it is my favorite of his performance pieces.

I too find cigars revolting, however, Carney lets you know that they are wooden right up front, so I think it takes the edge off. It also adds to the mystery, since it's clear that they are quite solid and couldn't be "crumbled."

Is the effect enchanting or sexual? Obviously, I cannot speak for laymen, but for me the thrill is in watching Carney's incredible skill. It is very magical looking, so perhaps laymen are enchanted. However, I also believe that many laymen still recognize and appreciate pure sleight of hand skill when they see it (though in Carney's case, there's nothing to see - the conundrum of good sleight of hand).

Another aspect to consider is Carney's charming persona while performing. He is the picture of gentlemanly. His skills are never overt or "in your face." Perhaps this style makes this type of routine (obviously sleight of hand intense) even more enchanting and charming. Many women still find true gentlemen sexy. So the question to Chris is, since Carney is the only person I have seen perform this effect, what is your performance style?

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[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: Dustin Stinett ]
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Postby Curtis Kam » 10/20/01 03:57 PM

Interesting topic, Chris. I was intrigued by your other post in which you said you used the cigars as a closer. I've done the routine on and off over the years, but never considered it for that spot. Are you doing the routine as written? As I recall, the original Ganson(?)write-up ends with the audience examining the purse and scatching its collective head. Not a bad thing, but probably a bit indefinite as a closing spot.

Regarding other routines, Chris Kenner published his abbreviated handling "Log Lady Smokes" in Magic Man Examiner, Number I-don't-recall. (Warning: Chris must have the world's largest collection of bad "wooden cigars" lines.)

Jay Sankey has suggested that one could do an equivallent effect with felt-tip markers instead of cigars. You've already talked to Eric DeCamps, who likes the routine quite a bit, but I don't think he closes with it, either.

I suppose a related routine that you might not have considered is Peter Samuelson's Cigarette from Thimble. He uses it as an opener. See "Theatrical Close Up", by Samuelson. Maybe the two routines can be done together?

I did have one idea you might find interesting: The routine moves much more smoothly if you can obtain the second cigar without going to your pockets, or sleeves. I eventually made up a shell cigar that fits over a solid phony cigar. (I use cigar tubes covered with brown paper tape and clear nail polish)They're admitted to be phony from the get-go anyway, so who's going to notice a shell? Think about it, and you'll see that the shell cleans things up quite a bit.

Regarding your original question (at last) the women factor could be:

One, they have a primal understanding of how hard it is to stuff everything you want into a little purse, or

Two, the whole thing has nostolgic (sp?) overtones that speak of antiquity and harken back to a more civilized and romantic time, or

Three, as pointed out in routines by Gary Kurtz and Jim Steinmeyer, the dramatic hook in producing a cigar is the ever-present threat that you might actually light the offensive thing.

That's my (admittedly more than) two cents, and not a Monica Lewinski (sp?) joke for miles....
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Postby Guest » 10/20/01 09:32 PM

For Dustin and Curtis,
Yes, as far as Carney goes, his gentlemanly approach certainly wins everyone over in the end. The fact that he doesn't resort to obvious sexual humor or corny jokes elevates the entire thing to a piece of theater.
I'm a staunch believer in producing the cigar cleanly from the gimmicked purse at the end. This sells it. Without this ending, the drama, or tension, drops fast. I can't stress this enough. Too many times I've been in the end position, seconds before cleanly removing the cigar for the last time, and hearing remarks like, "that cigar is NOT coming out of there!". It's that moment, as in all good magic, where you secretly smile and carry out the deed. I leave the gimmicked purse on the table early on, and never once, has anyone reached for it. I keep the routine moving and their attention away from the secret that sits right under their nose.
Curtis, I believe you may have hit the nail on the head with the "woman" factor regarding this piece. Naturally, they are overtly aware of purses and there purpose.
Again, I was speaking strictly table side, using the cigars as a closer. And only if it's produced cleanly at the end. That dramatic pause you get when you're in position makes it a good candidate as a closer.
Using felt tip markers I believe, misses the point. The romantic aspect you spoke of would not exist, and unless you're using the markers in a follow up routine, why produce them this way. And if you are going to use them in a routine, you'll end up with a murky mess of a thing. Certainly not a clear, well defined event that people can describe to other people. And besides, texture and materials used during a presention can make a subliminal statement. Wood and leather, as well as brass, silk and silver have a natural, organic quality. The sophisticated audience picks up on this.
As I mentioned Dustin, I play the routine as an "impossible curiosity", and my attitude reflects this. I'm not a wild man by nature, so I treat the whole thing very casually, as if I'm "letting them in" on something.
When twelve year old kids scream, "do the cigars!!", and men and woman burst into laughter, something must be right.
This routine has that broad appeal.
Chris

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]
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Postby Guest » 06/09/03 10:58 AM

I guess that I'm only about two years behind on this topic...The cigars from purse has become one of my favorite pieces. I haven't seen many folks actually perform this routine, even though there is so much magic happening in such a short amount of time. I wonder if the Carney book will kindle some more interest in this routine.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/09/03 11:25 AM

I've always been interested in this routine, but never actually worked on it. The Carney book re-ignited my interest in it, but I'm still not sure about it. My problem somewhat stems from the use of cigars as the prop that's pulled out of the purse. One the one hand, I'm not a smoker and I never will be. I don't know about the logic of someone like myself pulling a cigar out of the purse. On the other hand, there is a certain interest in cigars that can't be ignored. Think about when cigars are generally smoked -- most often at some kind of celebration. There's also a sense of status attached to a cigar, I think. Plus I think there's something inherently funny about cigars...I don't think you'd get the same reaction from Sharpies or test tubes or other similar objects. And even though both Leipzig and Carney (the only two routines I've looked at) acknowledge the wooden-ness of the cigars almost directly after they are produced, I think all those emotional connections are still there.

Originally posted by ChrisDavid:
Are there sexual undertones that I'm missing?
Are you kidding? Freud would have had a field day with this! Should I point out the inherent male-ness of a cigar and the inherent female-ness of a purse. Not just in terms of shape, but also the type of person that generally uses each. Think about it.

I think if I do work up a routine with this, I'd take a somewhat sexual route with the presentation, while at the same time keeping it very clean. There's a delicate balance to maintain when doing that...trying to stay on this side of appropriateness while at the same time making all kinds of innuendos. Of course, someone could easily come up with a long list of dirty jokes to use for the routine. The hard part is taking those jokes and cleaning them up enough to get the meaning across without being lewd. And strangely enough, the clean versions are generally MUCH funnier than the dirtier alternatives.

-Jim
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Postby mark » 06/09/03 06:18 PM

I am not a smoker either, and as a matter of fact am the worst: a reformed smoker. I am long enough past it to be through the crusader stage, and short enough to still hate the smell of smoke. After reading the Book of Secrets I have been tossing this one around as well. It really is such a great piece of theatre, and has so many textures as well as all of the ingredients that have been mentioned. With all of that said, I would just HAVE to shop with John Rogers instead of making up the wooden dowel cigars. His work is just too cool not to use if one is doing the cigar from purse. I have no affiliation, I don't know him on a personal basis, but just check out his work:

www.woodencigars.com

Wonderful work,and he makes a realistic enough cigarette I may have to pull a prank on my mother :p
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Postby Bill Duncan » 06/09/03 06:39 PM

Originally posted by ChrisDavid:
I would never degrade the routine using sexual remarks; too easy, and inappropriate.
...and besides, Chris Kenner already did all of them in Totally Out Of Control.

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
And strangely enough, the clean versions are generally MUCH funnier than the dirtier alternatives.
Seems that when it comes to magic that's almost always the case.

John Carney once noted in his lecture that magic, if well done, evokes laughter even when the presentation isn't overtly funny or filled with jokes. Watching Tommy Wonder doing his Cups and Balls and The Ring, Watch and Wallet today I couldn't help be think how right John is...
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/09/03 07:07 PM

Originally posted by Mark Jens:
With all of that said, I would just HAVE to shop with John Rogers instead of making up the wooden dowel cigars.
No contest here...I don't have any, but his cigars come with some of the best recommendations. I've looked at the site numerous times when debating about the routine.

-Jim
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/09/03 10:15 PM

Ken Brooke had a really funny gag. He would bring out one of those expensive looking aluminum tubes that you buy good cigars in.

He would be talking or something and while chatting, would be nervously fiddling trying to unscrew the lid... it would take forever, and he would get very frustrated...

FINALLY... he would get the lid open and dump out a cigarette butt!!!

:D :D :D
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Postby Marty » 06/10/03 09:23 AM

My input...
I have been doing the cigars for more than 20+ years as inspired by Jack Chanin.... great trick always plays well great when I pull them many times out of spec's pockets...armpits...etc...

I always admit they are wooden cigars that I got from a wooden indian.(then I strike the pose of a wooden indian)...

I have never looked to sexual innuendo ever with this especially as it plays so well itself..i use very old unreplaceable small purses

I sculpture wooden dowels paint em and put a cigar ring on... simple ones cause I bang them up a lot..

I have loved to do this for kids for quite some time but have a new ripple... a local craft store sells a cheap pair of small palmable bananas that I use now to great sucess..

great trick different media..always always plays well.. gets close audience involved... try it you will love it..


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Postby Guest » 06/10/03 01:38 PM

Is anyone making the purses for the cigar routine any longer...mine are so old and falling apart, they are beyond repair! I would be grateful for any help!!!

Mike
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/10/03 01:57 PM

Originally posted by Mike Gallo:
Is anyone making the purses for the cigar routine any longer...mine are so old and falling apart, they are beyond repair! I would be grateful for any help!!!
Check out the John Rogers site mentioned above -- he's selling purses to use for the routine.

-Jim
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/10/03 04:58 PM

Wow... what a great web site (John Rogers'). Thanks for the link.
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Postby Guest » 06/10/03 05:14 PM

I've been debating the purchase of the Karrel Fox cigar routine from Hank Lee. Does anyone know of the similarities (or differences) to the routine discussed above? --Asrah
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/10/03 05:40 PM

Originally posted by ChrisDavid:
... I'm curious about the "woman" factor and haven't quite put my finger on why they flip over it. Are there sexual undertones that I'm missing?
Reading a post by someone about to decode the cultural charm of a routine is a pleasure.

Yes Chris... It was about sex. Like the rabbit from the hat, it was about saying and doing in public what was just below the surface and could not be put into words in public. Like Tommy Downs ripping off the sleeves of his shirt and jacket to show naked arm... and then produce money.

Today this level of unspeakable inuendo is very difficult to construct. What is unspeakable today? What attracts all yet must remain unspoken in polite society? I wondered these things while attending a NIN/Bowie show in '95.

"help me...tear out my reason"
"help me...some sex I can smell"
"help me...you make me perfect"
"help me become somebody else"
- from "Closer" by Trent Reznor (NIN)

Since neither the purse nor the cigars are socially relavant or acceptable today, perhaps a tiny cell phone case from which, qtips, lipstick, and a small AA cell sized flashlight are produced might convey something of use.
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Postby Guest » 06/10/03 08:34 PM

Jim, thanks for the tip...I have some purses like that...but I would prefer some nice leather purses.

Mike
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Postby Guest » 06/17/03 08:13 AM

Yeah, Mr. Rogers' cigars are a work of art. They look like real cigars, so if you'd rather that the spectators were unaware that the cigars are wood, then they should pass as real. He even makes "lit" cigars. The ones I have contain a small cylinder of metal inside to add some weight for sleeving and the use of a topit. An added benfefit is that the cigars are also attracted to a magnet. Mr. Rogers has some lecture notes on incorporating a magnet in a routine.
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Postby Mike Rubinstein » 06/18/03 08:13 PM

Mike, I'll be getting a supply of small leather purses this summer, that are perfect for the routine. Let me know if you are interested - Mike
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Postby Bill McFadden » 06/19/03 09:32 AM

Michael R., will you be selling the purses to any and all comers on this Forum, or was that post merely meant to help out Mike Gallo? If it's the former, then I'll buy two when they arrive. Thanks! Bilmcfdn@aol.com

BTW, the Carney routine in "Secrets" is definitive. Nevertheless, Eric DeCamps' handling is pure artistry IMHO.
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Postby Guest » 06/19/03 11:33 AM

I've been debating the purchase of the Karrel Fox cigar routine from Hank Lee. Does anyone know of the similarities (or differences) to the routine discussed above? --Asrah

The Karrel Fox routine is 'mulitplication' routine that does not use a purse... the cigars simply mulitply/appear at your fingertips (the routine climaxes with the appearance of a corncob pipe.)

The cigars are good quality (though not as good as the Rogers cigars) and are gimmicked (w/ hollow ends that you can insert a fingertip into.) The 'gimmick' allows for some clean handling during the multiplication phase (and may also be useful for the Lepzig routine.)

I reccomend the set... more so for the stage/parlor worker. If you're working close-up Jims realistic cigars are hard (impossible?) to beat.
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Postby Guest » 06/19/03 02:36 PM

Michael,
I believe you may have opened a Pandora's Box with your offer. I'm hoping you have enough to go around. I already emailed you privately
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Postby Guest » 06/19/03 03:20 PM

Hey Doc,

If you do end up with enough to go around, then I'd be interested purchasing a few. I probably should follow Carney's advice and buy a gross. Thanks! :)
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Postby Guest » 06/19/03 03:57 PM

Mike, I'll be getting a supply of small leather purses this summer, that are perfect for the routine. Let me know if you are interested - Mike

Michael, if this note is in reference to me...YES, I would be very interested in a set or 12!!!

Mike
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Postby Mike Rubinstein » 06/19/03 05:25 PM

Hey Mike, hope all is going well. I should be getting those purses around the middle of July. If anyone in addition to Mike and the others who responded are interested, send me an E mail (rubinsteindvm@aol.com), and I'll get back to you when I get them. Best, Mike
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Postby Guest » 06/19/03 05:34 PM

Hey
I started the thread...does this bump me up on the list? Just kidding :D

Mike, can you describe these purses a little? Size, type of clasp etc.
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Postby Mike Rubinstein » 06/19/03 06:17 PM

Hmmm, hard to describe but I'll try. They will come in black or brown leather (maybe a few other colors as well), with a 5 cm base, 4.5 cm long, with a small oval gold rim clasp that measures 3 cm across at the base of the rim. I'll send a photo to those interested when I get them. I'm also getting leather purses the size of the old goshman purses, in the same color, and some with a nice subtle pattern. All of these are hand made. Best, Mike
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Postby Bill Duncan » 06/19/03 10:38 PM

If you're collecting names for those purses please add me to the list.
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Postby Guest » 06/20/03 07:26 AM

Michael,

If they're what I think they are, I'd like to order a whole raft of them from you. Any idea when we can see them?

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Mike Rubinstein » 06/20/03 04:14 PM

Hi Geoff, if you can get into the City this week, I'll be glad to show them to you in person. Drop me an E mail and we'll go from there. - Mike
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Postby Guest » 06/20/03 05:10 PM

Hi Michael,

I would be glad to buy some as well.I am mailing you.

Best

Camilo
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Postby Guest » 06/20/03 05:44 PM

John Carney's unbeliavable "Book of Secrets" features equally unbeliavable work with the plot. He said that he considered the idea of doing the routine with binacca containers, but opted not to.

It is a fantastic resource for that specific effect, even though I am not of age to smoke, I still love to read that section of the book

Dan
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Postby Guest » 06/20/03 06:51 PM

Hi Geoff, if you can get into the City this week, I'll be glad to show them to you in person. Drop me an E mail and we'll go from there. - Mike

Mike, If Geoff can't get into the city this weekend...why don't you swing by Buffalo and show me instead. It's only 420 miles ;) !

Mike
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Postby Guest » 06/20/03 07:48 PM

Gee, I hope you big guys don't hog all those purses and leave nothing for us little guys...that wouldn't be fair now would it?
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Postby Mike Rubinstein » 06/20/03 08:10 PM

I don't know, Mike, how much snow do you have there this time of year?
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Postby Guest » 06/20/03 09:20 PM

Mike, no big deal if we get snow...i have a snow plow on my v.w. bug

Mike
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Postby Guest » 06/20/03 09:23 PM

Originally posted by Michael Rubinstein:
Hi Geoff, if you can get into the City this week, I'll be glad to show them to you in person. Drop me an E mail and we'll go from there. - Mike
You only have to go to Italy, but I have to get on the Q train? Oy...

Ok, ok, I'll email.

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/21/03 11:13 AM

Historical note re: Purse Frame.

Many think Slydini and/or Goshman were the first. However, some years ago, Al Flosso told me he was first...he said, "I had a hole in a purse to produce a wand from it... I used it so long that the leather all wore out as the hole got bigger, so I just took it all out and used the frame."
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