Pick Pocketting

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Postby Scott Fridinger » 05/23/03 11:46 AM

Does anyone know of any videos which cover pick pocketting for entertainment. There are many watch stealing videos out now, but I know a few years back there was a vidoe on Pick Pocketting as a whole.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Scott
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 05/23/03 11:52 AM

Try School for Scoundrels. They might...
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Postby Guest » 05/23/03 12:50 PM

Originally posted by Scott Fridinger:
Does anyone know of any videos which cover pick pocketting for entertainment. Scott
School for Scoundrels doesn't have anything on that, I don't believe. I don't know of any such videos, either, but there is one video that has a segment on fun pickpocketing or something like that.

It's Gregory Wilson's ON THE SPOT, which may be the best video I own. Greg steals sunglasses, pens, things in the pocket, during the course of doing magic trix.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/23/03 12:57 PM

There are two that I know of. The first is by Mark Raffles who goes into all kinds of details, but by far the better tape is James Freedman's How to Pick a Pocket or Two which was put out by Vic Pinto in the early 90's.

I believe James is the public face of DynamicFX now (Antony Owen and Marc Paul IIR) and he might be able to help you. And no, I'm not selling my copy...

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 05/23/03 04:52 PM

Scott,

I know your original post was regarding videotape pickpocket references but I did want to add that Mark raffles also published a book about pickpocketing that is quite good if you can find it.

Unfortunately it's also quite expensive however I have seen it turn up on used book listst as well as e-bay which is how I obtained my copy.

Best of luck,

Pete
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 05/23/03 08:22 PM

Thanks for all the info I believe the one I am looking for is one of the two list here.

Scott
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Postby Levent » 05/28/03 12:30 PM

I agree with Ian Kendall. The Mark Raffles tape has a few interesting ideas and it is OK. But, the Freedman tape is truly excellent! However Scott, before you hunt down these tapes. I'm offering a word of advice about doing Pick Pocketing on stage. There is no doubt that it can be is tremendously entertaining to the audience. But, clearly the most fertile ground for a Pickpocket is a gentleman volunteer on stage wearing a sport jacket. Sadly, it the last 20 years I've found that audiences are dressing more and more casually. So, it is getting very difficult to get a man on stage wearing a jacket full of stuff to steal.
If your intention is to do a little bit of pick pocketing in your magic act. I can guarantee people will love it. But, if you plan to do a "pickpocket act". Then I say, more power to you. For I'm warning you that it will be an uphill battle. And, frankly be prepared to do a lot of stooge work.
I don't know if it will help you but I checked my database for books that had something to do with pick pocketing. And this is what my computer came up with:
"Pickpocket Stunts" By U.F. Grant
"Hey That?s My Wallet" by Walt Hudson
"Complete Course In Pick Pocketing" By Pierre Jacques
"How To Pick Pockets" By Eddie Joseph
"Jim Ravel's Theatrical Pickpocketing" By Paul Butler

Also, in a related field:
"Zapped!" by Ricki Dunn (God Rest His Soul)

Whatever you plan to do I wish you good luck!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/28/03 02:15 PM

To be fair, you don't have to be on stage to do the work. James does his act strolling at corporate jobs, where everyone is in a suit.

Also, he gave me the most important piece of advice; always practice on real people. You can hang a coat hanger or buy a dummy, but the best results will come from working with an actual breathing person (unfortunately I have no friends, so I let this bit slip). Why don't you find a magical buddy who is interested in dipping and work together. I think if you know what is happening you can be more constructive with criticism.

Having said that, I was dipped once. My O'Connell wallet was taken from my jacket, which was a bit of a shock. Jerry, bless him, sent me a replacement as I sent the cheque to him so I was only without for one night, but the wallet was handed into the police. I wonder what they thought of a wallet with a slot behind the pocket!

I've seen the Raffles book, and even had the chance to buy it (at 100 pounds, ten years ago!) I don't regret not buying it.

Anyway, best of luck,

Ian
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 05/28/03 05:01 PM

Thanks for all the info guys. I am actually looking because a friend of mine who is a co-operate motivational speaker full time has recently added magic to his lectures to spice things up. He is doing things like the square circle, Anderson's Monarch Monte ( I think that is the one he is using) and a card sword. He asked about the watch steal and looking into the videos so I said hold on how about a video with more than just the watch steal, thus the search is on.

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Postby Pete Biro » 05/28/03 06:09 PM

The Shirt Pull is one great finish to a pick pocket act...

However, almost all pickpocket acts I have seen (a few exceptions) are B O R I N G ... because they go on too long.

Ricki Dunn and Vic Perry are the best I have seen. Borra is said to have been the best, but he was wayyyyy past his prime when I saw him.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 05/28/03 09:10 PM

Just today I received the following email blurb from FUN INC of Chicago:

"Mastering the Art of Pickpocketing DVD with James Coats:

From renowned master of pickpocketing and star of Mastering the Art of Watch Stealing comes this exclusive step-by-step guide to pickpocketing! This DVD will reveal for the first time anywhere the real secrets of street pickpockets and how they can be used to entertain.

Remove belts, ties, wallets, watches and much more!

World-renowned Pickpocket Magician James Coats is joined by Criminologist/Illusionist Nicholas Byrd to personally guide you through the closely guarded secrets of misdirection, magic, put-pocketing, and pickpocketing techniques for use in removing belts, ties, wallets, watches, and much more!

Removing anything will be possible once you master these techniques. You too can learn how to be a master pickpocket entertainer with the Mastering the Art of Pickpocketing DVD!

Bonus footage included! Nicholad Byrd's pickpocketing straightjacket illusion! Learn how to pick someone's pocket and remove their watch while secured in a straightjacket!

Warning: The spectator reactions on this DVD are uncut, uncensored and contain adult language. This DVD is intended as an instructional tool for entertainers only. Any use of its contents for illegal acts is strictly prohibited"

FUN INC is wholesale only to dealers, but most dealers of any size have accounts with them so you should find this DVD is many stores in about a week, with a retail price of $30 or less. We expect to have this in stock next week...
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Postby George Olson » 05/28/03 10:36 PM

Back in the 50's Dominique had his pickpocketing act at the Empire Room at the Palmer House in Chicago. He came out to the house on a couple of occasions and brought his "camp trailor/row boat with him. One crazy camper.
About twenty-five years ago I took a couple of friends to Las Vegas to get married, the night of the wedding, we went to see him.

(Thats where Jim Sherman had National Magic Company on the Mezzinine Level with Herman Homar and Vic Torsberg running the shop. As an aside the Nat'L fixtures now grace Magic, Inc.. My wife and I were there a couple of years ago, and I couldn't help a de ja vu momment until they told me.) Others I witnessed at the Room were Mr. Electric, Jack Kodell and his birds, Think a Drink Hoffman and a few others. I'd always run into these folks at Nat'l. What a great time!
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/29/03 08:10 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
The Shirt Pull is one great finish to a pick pocket act...
Except . . . .

anyone who thinks about it will realize that the pullee is a stooge. Do most people not do this much thinking? (I'm an engineer and thought my way out of a bunch of effects before I really started studying magic. It amazes me that the average joe doesn't realize that a simple cut doesn't mix the order of the cards .... or maybe joe does realize this, and magicians are fooling themselves.).
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/29/03 10:22 AM

They may think about it later... but at the moment it gets a GREAT REACTION.

I used to have a pal, who, when I gave him a signal, would go to a men's room, or whatever, and set his T-Shirt for a pull.

Didn't do it often, but when I did (in semi-impromptu situations) it would KILL. :cool:
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/29/03 10:27 AM

Story I just remembered... Cardini (Richard Pitchford) when a young lad in England was real pick pocket. It is said he would go to a faire and nail a sign to a tree that said something like...

"Check your pockets, make sure your money is safe--there are pick pockets around"

He would watch them, and then would KNOW what pockets to pick.

:D :D :D :D

Borra, working in Copenhagen would "work the crowd" as they ENTERED the show... really picking their pockets before they were seated.

Al Flosso, entering with Jay Marshall and a few other friends didn't see Borra, but Borra saw him, and as Al walked by him Borra said, "Hi Al" -- to which Flosso said to Jay... "They know me everywhere!" :cool:
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Postby Guest » 05/29/03 06:32 PM

Scott,

Just for the sake of cmpleteness I also wanted to mention that The Gen had a running series of articles on pickpocketing in the 1960's.

After getting The Digital Gen in the mail lst week I saw this series which I beleive ran for 4 straight months.

The series goes over a watch steal, hankercheif steal, pen steal, and a necktie steal.

If this is of interst let me know and I can tell you what volume etc.

Best regards,

Pete
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 05/29/03 07:37 PM

Pete that would be cool, what issues?

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Postby Guest » 06/09/03 11:22 PM

Just attended a lecture by Appollo, of Shoot Ogawa and Appollo. Not only great, comedic, very, very thoughtful discusions of how he has to get into the mind of the spectator in order to know how to handle him, with demos with different spectators that enabled him to show how different bodily tensions, flexibility, etc. of spectator were all taken into the equation.
But, of at least equal interest to a potential performer, were his anecdotes of the very real problems pickers can have, including being falsely accused of "hey, he took my watch" or "my wife's ring is missiing", the dark and frightening side that most of us would never in a million years ever expect.
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Postby Kendrix » 06/10/03 05:07 AM

I took John Calvert to a cardiologist when he was being evaluated for a pacemaker. He stole the Doc's watch 3 times. Then, the Doc was concentrating on his watch so hard, John stole his wallet. He can still do a great act with pickpocketing.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/10/03 09:32 AM

I always wondered how Calvert made a living... :D :confused: :D
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Postby Guest » 06/13/03 09:09 PM

Scott,

Sorry to be so late in responding regarding The Gen articles.

The first article appeared in Vol.21 #2 June, 1965 and ran through Vol. 21 #6 October 1965.

Just a word about finding these. I wanted to buy a complete file of The Gen. This was pre-digital by the way. i never saw prices for less than $1000.00 when I did see it, which was rare.

So do yourself a favor and get the digital files of this mag. It'll cost you about a tenth of the price for the paper version.

Pete
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