Need to produce an executive...

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Dan Trommater » 11/21/03 08:24 PM

I've been approached to do my stand up show and then produce the president of the company at the end. They have a pretty decent budget, but I am inexperienced in doing any illusions.

Any advice for a simple and fairly inexpensive option?

Thanks a lot,

Dan
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Postby Guest » 11/21/03 08:57 PM

Sure! Pick up a copy of Magic Digest by George B. Anderson at any of the online used book outlets. The chapter on simple illusions gives a couple of ways to produce your VIP.

I have performed one of them myself, and I made what I modestly think are improvements in the handling. Email me if you like, and I will send you the write-up as a .rtf file.

Jon
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Postby Guest » 11/21/03 09:26 PM

Also, The Magic Book, edited by Lydia Darbyshire, has an even more inexpensive way to produce your VIP than the Anderson book mentioned above.

However, the Darbyshire book's method will require much more rehearsal with your VIP than the Anderson book's method, which means risk of the effect being botched by the VIP.

More money spent and less hassle and less risk, or less money spent and more hassle and more risk? The choice is yours.

The Darbyshire method can be made from a single refrigerator box turned on the diagonal and cut into halves, forming two v-shaped screens. Paint the back side of each half flat black, and allow to dry thoroughly. The material will warp, but then the warp will drop back out when you paint primer on the front side of the halves. Then put two coats of finish paint, using either flat or eggshell, as gloss will show every corregation in the cardboard. If you want it to look like wood, leave the cardboard tan, and paint darker brown over it, then comb over the wet paint to make wood grain appear.

Tha Anderson method can be made from existing frames for scenery flats in any well equipped theater. You can build it in less than an hour if theater has screwguns, a few extra hinges, and some deck screws on hand.

Good luck,

Jon
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Postby Anthony Brahams » 11/22/03 01:59 AM

I have used, effectively, the Grant Victory production. The actor/MC Gerald Harper, was kept in an uncomfortable position for much longer than planned because the organisers decided to include something unscheduled.However he was a "trouper" and the effect was successful.
Anthony
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Postby Brad Henderson » 11/22/03 04:13 AM

The sheet switch as described in Greater Magic can be used. Also see if you can get a tip over trunk. Super easy to work and a breeze for the exec. Call local illusionists and ask to rent it. Of course, a simple one can be made fairly inexplensively. Check out Great Illusions of MAgic by Wels for the basic idea.

Brad
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Postby Guest » 11/22/03 09:16 AM

Ron Bauer and Dick Zimmerman wrote a production called "The Presidential Production" that is exactly what you are looking for. It is inexpensive, easy to do, portable (basically it is a window shade!), and completely scripted. It is very funny, and amazing to boot. The idea is that a member of the audience (Usually a saleman for the company) is asked on stage. He is given a chart that unrolls (the window shade type device), and is asked some questions, the answers to which are all scripted and very funny. Each time he answers a question, the shade is unrolled revealing the next question. Next to each question is a box to enter the score for his answer. After the final question the shade is completely unrolled in front of the saleesman, so he is out of sight. The magician adds up his scores and says: "You got five points for each question, five questions, a total of twenty five points, a perfect score! With a score like that you should be the president of the company!" A voice comes from behind the shade and says: "I am the president of the company!" The shade is dropped and the salesman is gone, the president is there!

This looks great - let me say that the saleman is covered for less that 20 seconds, the change appears impossible. The five questions are very funny, as are the answers, and they are all business related so they make sense in the context of a sales or business meeting.

This appeared in a Genii magazine in the eighties, with everything you need to make it up, and a complete script. I believe Dick is on the cover...

Best, PSC
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Postby Dan Trommater » 11/28/03 02:19 PM

Thanks everyone!

PSC, that sounds like a great bit. do you know if it can be performed with people at the sides of the stage? I, unfortunately, will have tables set to the sides of the stage.

Thanks again,

Dan
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Postby Guest » 11/28/03 03:35 PM

Dan, if your sightlines preclude using this production, which I have seen and think is very good, you might want to look into renting a Blammo Box. This can be done surrounded, and is not too uncomfortable for the ceo, at least as compared to, say, a Crystal Casket.
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Postby Dan Trommater » 11/28/03 03:43 PM

Thanks Whit. I'll look into that. Unfortuately I have pretty limited resources as to renting illusions here in the Pacific Northwest. Any ideas on that?

Dan
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Postby Frank Yuen » 11/28/03 04:43 PM

Hi Dan,

I'd recommend a double tipover trunk. Unless the audience will be raised a bit, you can do it surrounded. Also, it is an illusion that you might be able to buy plans for and have built which should save you a bit of money as well.

What follows might be too late for you since it sounds like you already negotiated the gig but an illusionist friend of mine used the following ploy when he was first starting out. He would sell his show and then add "Oh, if you'd like, I can saw in half/make appear/vanish/whatever your CEO if you'd like for an additional $____. Depending on how expensive the illusion was, he sometimes tacked on enough to pay for the whole thing. If not, using this he at least partially paid for an illusion that he wanted to get anyway.

Frank Yuen
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Postby magicbar » 11/28/03 06:11 PM

So let me get this into perspective. You have a big show and indicated you can deliver on something you have never done before. You don't even have a method yet, let alone having practiced it. You also state that you aren't very experienced in this area of performing as well.

Not only will you be doing something you have never yet attempted you also run the risk of bringing down the President of their company in your first time attempt for all of his company to see.

What about the logistics of rehearsing with the President or your assistants?

Forget what you will do, think about if you can do it at all. I worked a magic shop before and too many times people would come in with a booked show and get new props a day before or even the day of the show. They think they can read the instructions (maybe all the way through) and perform it with professionalism. We sold it to them because we are in the biz to sell - but we shook our heads at the poor audience that had to watch them. Unfortunately one doesn't need a license to perform magic.

I am very interested in hearing from stage performers about this situation where a guy will present himself as a stage illusionist in a very intimate setting (this president still has to face these people on monday along with the people that booked the show for the company).

Hey everyone, are stage illusions E-Z magic? No skill required? Anyone can do them? Easy to do as moving furniture on the stage? Aside from shelling out some money to buy the prop, what else does this guy need to perform stage magic.

If I am wrong please excuse my underestimation of your professionalism.
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Postby Guest » 11/28/03 10:12 PM

If you have found a place to rent props yet, maybe a "book Of Life" would be for you. Self working and the production is huge!

Good luck, Dan.

www.JeffEzellMAGIC.com
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Postby Dan Trommater » 11/29/03 02:11 AM

Steve,

I appreciate and commend your thoughts on the "professionalism" of attempting something not tried before. However, if you read my original post, I state that "I've been approached to do my stand up show and then produce the president of the company at the end." I have not committed to the production. I am only in the information gathering phase. I am trying (with the kind help of the Genii forum and other sources) to figure out if it is feasible to do the production in an impressive and professional manner.

Again, I appreciate your thoughts, but assure you that I'm way ahead of you on this issue.

Thanks.

Dan
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Postby Guest » 12/12/03 06:36 PM

Thanks for the RB/Zimmerman Genii reference, Paul. Does anyone happen to know what the Vol. and No. is for that Genii issue with Dick on the cover? Thanks in advance.
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Postby Guest » 12/12/03 09:43 PM

Mr. E - contact me via E-mail, and if I cannot locate the issue I will provide you with the information, as I have the original writeup, separate from the published version, if that will be of any assistance.

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 12/13/03 12:56 PM

Here is the Zimmerman issue - Volume 47, Number 11, November, 1983... More detail privately if you need it...

Best, PSC
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Postby Dan Trommater » 12/15/03 11:54 PM

I used the Presidential Production from Dick Zimmerman and it worked like a charm! I and a colleague came up with a different presentation that allowed me to raise the banner myself (eliminating the uncertainty of using another person from the audience) and do a run-around to the back of the room. The crowd loved it when the banner was lowered and their president was standing there smiling at them. Thanks everyone for your help!

Dan
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Postby Guest » 12/22/03 08:16 AM

Is it still possible to obtain the details of the Bauer/Zimmermann method, ie a back issue or some other source? This sounds like an ideal solution for a production effect I wish to put in to a show for Christmas (2004 that is!!)

Simon
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Postby Dan Trommater » 12/27/03 10:53 PM

Feel free to email me. I have a scanned copy of the original article. I'd be happy to email it to you.

(BTW - is that ethical? Can we scan and distribute magazines? Personally, I think it's fine but I don't want to step on toes...)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/28/03 09:48 AM

Is it legal? No, it is a violation of copyright to reproduce, in ANY form (scanned, photocopied, etc.), copyrighted material and distribute it, whether it's given away for free or sold.
That said, you have my permission to send him the item. :)
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby Dan Trommater » 12/28/03 02:56 PM

I was hoping that you would see that post, Richard. If it wasn't for the kindness of other members of this forum, I would not have even known that this effect existed, let alone had access to the write-up. I think this is one of the best uses of a forum such as this - the ability for a true community to form and suport each other.

Thanks a lot,

Dan
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 01/21/04 02:01 AM

I've produced a CEO on a couple of occasions but it was a little different than "out of a box".

It was more misdirection.

If you're interested let me know.

It may work for you. It may not.
There's quite a kicker ending with the CEO and it leaves the audience in stitches.

I don't attend this forum often so you should probably email me if you care.
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Postby Nicholas Carifo » 01/21/04 04:58 AM

I've produced many people, speakers, executives, etc over the years using The Mummy Roll switch illusion. You just need to make a "sheet" approximatly 8 feet tall by 12 feet wide. But you need a stage with a wing, side curtain, or a performing area with a door or place to switch from the side. You and an assistant hold the cloth at the top corners displayed as you roll yourself up like a mummy. The assistant walks you to center stage unrolls you and discovers the other person in your place. You can reappear almost anywhere.

It takes some practice, but is doable and works well for me.

It is in print in several places, off the top of my head I believe it is also in The Mark Wilson Course in Magic and probably Tarbell. Its a fooler when done right and can be made for under $25.

(HINT: Sew a top and bottom hem in the cloth and string a rope thru it to hold the top and bottom of the cloth rigid much easier during performance.)

Nicholas Carifo
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 01/22/04 12:06 PM

Here's one other idea I just thought of but I like the Presidential Production very much.

Mike Caveny has a book called MagiComedy with an effect called the "Vaccum Cleaner" where someone is put into a box and is sucked thru a flexible tube and is produced from a box accross the stage.

The CEO could be produced. What gets "sucked accross" could be a salesman, or a plesant effigy of the CEO or who knows. I'll have to think about that.
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Postby Dan Trommater » 01/22/04 02:34 PM

More great ideas! Thanks guys. Let's keep this going and compile a ton of idea resources.


Dan
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Postby Guest » 01/22/04 02:35 PM

Originally posted by Dan Trommater:
I've been approached to do my stand up show and then produce the president of the company at the end. They have a pretty decent budget, but I am inexperienced in doing any illusions.

Any advice for a simple and fairly inexpensive option?

Thanks a lot,

Dan
See Karrell Fox - Another Book for a great - and cheap! Way to produce someone.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 01/22/04 07:45 PM

The other day I checked out a Beginners Magic video from my Local Library that taught exactly, this effect--Plus many others. I have been performing Magic for over 31 years now and I just thought it would be a kick in the pants to view these videos. Never did I think to see this kind of exposure. There was some other Classic stuff exposed as well. I'm still in shock. :help:
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Postby Guest » 03/22/04 11:36 PM

Nest of Boxes would work. & some local magic shops rent them.


Z
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Postby Kendrix » 03/26/04 09:10 AM

From the suggestions, I don't don't think many of you have actually produced an executive before (especially a female). The last thing they want to do before coming on is to be crammmed in some box or rolled up in a sheet. The ones I have worked with don't want hair or clothing mussed.
I have a Bruce Chadwick Flash Appearance that works perfectly. They stand there and then just take one step forward. A hot foot on the floor triggers a flash from units on the prop to cover the appearance.
If you want to make a lasting impression on a CEO that all magicians are idiots then do a complicated or uncomfortable appearance.
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Postby Guest » 03/26/04 01:15 PM

My partner and I had to produce Miss America on a platform in the middle of a shopping mall! We had to:

1. Produce her upon her arrival...
2. Explain what she had to do as we sneaked her through the mall...
3. Load her into the device without disturbing hair, crown, or clothing - while the show went on in front...
4. Do it all with no rehearsal.

The answer? We built a Paul Osborne New Wave Modern Cabinet. Talent stands comfortably upright until the production, no rumpled clothing or attitude. To accomodate the effect we had to build a 4' X 12' totally enclosed backdrop-performing area with a back entrance to sneak her in through.

It was a big investment, but a good one as we used these same props to produce Santa, several other Beauty Queens, executives, etc. There are more magical appearances, but this is the most practical, IMHO. --Asrah
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