Need Help with a routine idea

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Scott Fridinger » 10/24/03 04:24 PM

I am a close up kind of guy, but am considering looking into doing a stage routine and would like some ideas for effects that might work.

I plan on using The theme and Character of a President time frame 40's 50's. I have an openning, which I don't want to post to the public, because I believe it may be a unique idea, but would like to know if any of you know of any regularly used effects that could be incorperated into this type of theme. Thanks for any help and I can give more info on what I would like to do if anyone is interested.


This stage routine would be for a smaller, dinner theatre type stage, not an auditorium atmosphere.

Private emails welcome

Scott Fridinger
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Postby Steve V » 10/24/03 06:11 PM

The theme is being president of the US during the 40's and 50's? What an odd theme, what is it you are after?
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 10/24/03 08:18 PM

Steve,

Not really sure what I want to do, I am planning to perform to "radio" announcements, no talking no music, they don't have to be real radio programs. Things like "This just in....." and then do an effect relating to the broadcast. My big problem is I really am not too familiar with much stage magic, I do mostly cards and coins so I don't even know what kind of effects are available. It would be for a competition, and I am nervous about saying too much, it is odd and I think different, so I am trying to keep it that way, for now. You know what I mean right?

Scott
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Postby Bill Duncan » 10/25/03 11:23 AM

Scott,
I can think of two ways to find material for such an endevor. The easiest is to order a couple of catalogs from places like Abbotts and Tannens so you can page through the ads and see what effects are available for that type of venue.

Next easiest is to simply think about what types of effect exist (levitations, penetrations, etc.) and see which type of effect you could relate to the subject matter. Then post a direct question like: "I need a levitation of a small object. It's about the size of a baseball and it can be covered while it floats."

Someone will certainly suggest that you could float, whatever that object is, using Zombie technology... They won't need to know that you're planning on floating a paperweight or a coffee cup.

If you're planning an act for a competition and you want to win I'd recommend finding out what other acts did for the same judges. Magic judges are often very narrow in their idea of what constitutes good magic. I've seen contests won by a magician who did the same old tired Zombie/Split Fans crap while other contestants did other, different, magic just as well. The judges seem to equate magic with a certain Channing/Shimada/Lance Burton sort of routine and if you don't do that you don't have a chance no matter how good you are.
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 10/25/03 11:45 AM

Thanks Bill that is very good advice, I will take it to heart and start as you recommend.

Thanks
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/25/03 10:23 PM

You could do the Miser's Dream (tax money)
Cut and Restored "red tape" (ribbon)
Torn/Restored Newspaper (reading news items)
Rice Bowls (producing food for the poor)
Chicken in Every Pot was a great slogan in the '30s (you could produce a rubber chicken)
A Prediction (Shaxon's Confabulation would be perfect)
Egg Bag (Egg is CIA operative and elusive)
Linking Rings (snowing how different government agencies work together)

Any more ideas and I need payment :D :D :D
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Postby Wolfgang » 10/26/03 12:59 PM

I could imagine that it woukd be quite easy to incorporate any flag trick in that story. Also maybe you could do the "poor man's funeral" (I hope that is the name of the trick) The rich mans burial mansion could be dressed up like the white house and then fold it down untill it is the trash can.
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Postby Steve V » 10/26/03 02:29 PM

Okay....this is what I would do. The staging would be a overstuft chair, a side table, and on the table one of those wooden radios as seen in photo's from the pre-TV times. You open sitting in the chair and during the announcements you can produce items from the radio (load out from the back of the chair) things that seemingly are impossible to get into the radio. you can also produce items from your jacket or where ever. For example, the radio does a commercial for a booze company, you produce a bottle and then a shot glass. A war report saying that the home guard needs to be on their toes, you produce a rifle. the President makes a statement, you produce a flag...you get the picture. The chicken in every pot (actually, I believe, from around 1928) statement you can produce a rubber chicken. I think you may have a good idea.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/26/03 06:50 PM

Originally posted by Scott Fridinger:
...a President time frame 40's 50's....
Gonna wheel on as FDR? Turn your plain looking assistant into a knockout? Vanish a few crutches? Produce a new deal? Alphabet cards?

End by producing a cute red haired girl and her doggy?

Maybe a sub trunk at the end where you do a president change into Ike?

Just joking (i hope)
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Postby Guest » 10/27/03 11:18 AM

Bob Cassidy has a brilliant prediction involving a photo of a Presdient in an envelope in his booklet "Psuedo-mentaly Yours".

PSIncerely Yours,
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Postby Guest » 10/28/03 07:04 AM

Woody Pittman has a great vintage radio production, although I believe it's a bit expensive. Woody's stuff is all worker material, so you can bet that it's good. For more information, you might try contacting him at Hollywood Magic Shop (323.464.5610).
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Postby GAMOLO » 10/28/03 04:05 PM

There are many different manufacturer's products relating to appearing & vanishing radios. If you can't find one with a suitable vintage look (e.g., an actual old Thayer/Abbott/Harbin, etc. model)then you could obtain a recent similiar item and simply repaint same to resemble the vintage look.
Roosevelt momentarily closed the banks, so that could get you into all the banknote bits of business; he iniatiated various new alphabet agencies, hence you could perform a large stage version of the Alphabet Blocks, etc., etc. Catch a magic auction and you can pick up club apparatus really cheaply.
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Postby Guest » 11/13/03 06:22 PM

That is a unique theme. You certainly wont have a problem with doing something that has been done a thousond times. My advice is to do a quick change "to the past, and back to the future." Even in the smaller performing area like you mentioned if you take advantage of lighting , line of sight, music and some slick misdirection(timming is everything) you could pull it off. It could change a very good performance to an evening they'll never forget!
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Postby Guest » 11/13/03 06:27 PM

That is a unique theme. You certainly wont have a problem with doing something that has been done a thousond times. My advice is to do a quick change "to the past, and back to the future." Even in the smaller performing area like you mentioned if you take advantage of lighting , line of sight, music and some slick misdirection(timming is everything) you could pull it off. It could change a very good performance to an evening they'll never forget! [/LIST] web page
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Postby Guest » 11/13/03 10:41 PM

A couple of quick ideas : The Vintage radio got me to thinking. Peter Biro's comment of the "two chickens in every pot and two cars in every garage" I think is a Rosevelt quote." We have nothong to fear but fear itself" both could be announced over the radio and you would do approiate actions, anything dangerous for the fear quote : knife thru arm, chopper on yourself, ect. The - this is the blowoff . They announced on radio or in media Dewey won the third time Rosevelt ran for office, at that point vanish the radio.....Yahoo has a Rosevelt quote site........I hope this has given you some ideas.....Mike
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Postby Guest » 11/14/03 12:07 PM

A chicken in every pot was from, as I said, 1928 and was said by President Herbert Hoover...no biggie unless some history guy like me is seeing the show and notices mixing of who said what and when.
Steve V
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Postby Guest » 11/14/03 03:01 PM

"...a chicken in every pot..." Somehow I'm thinking Huey Long whenever I hear that quote...

There is an unpublished handling of a handkerchief frame that might fit in somewhere. Here it is without all the details of the original presentation, just the part that may work for you:

Get a good hank frame, like the old Thayer ones. This is the trick where you pin a handkerchief to the frame, slide it into an envelope or paper bag, and then punch holes through the bag, and apparently the handkerchief. Pull the frame from the bag and the handkerchief is undamaged! Well, it becomes very funny, and if you have a political statement to make, very, very funny, if you do this: Pin an 8x10 of the president, for instance, to the back side of the frame (the side without the gimmick), and the handkerchief where it belongs (you can be "blindfolding Roosevelt"), drop it in the bag, puncture everything, pull it out, and the handkerchief is undamaged - 1st effect! But, when you remove the hank, the photo is cut to ribbons! This really sells the effect, and makes a statement about how you feel about the prez, or whatever you want. Lots of room for creative presentation here, as you can see...

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 11/17/03 04:36 AM

Aren't you limiting yourself a bit?
After all, a president from the '40s or '50s restricts it to only three people: FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower!
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 11/17/03 09:37 AM

As a Brit, I have to say I cant see the appeal of this theme. You might find that you will be very limited to where you can perform it, because of regional differences.
Choosing the sound track will have to be done with great care, by referring to films that re- create the eras you are looking at.( Say Back to the future for example)
That way, possibly it might have a wider atraction.Or, another way, may be to record spoof adverts and press stings, which are a pastiche of the original, that way, it will seem familiar, without being specific.
Having your props looking Kitch,in typical pinks, blues, and loads of chrome,( with a hunk of Plaid thrown in for good measure costume wise) will add to that general 50's feeling.
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