Hat Tricks

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 07/03/07 04:12 PM

What have you got under your hat ? Harry Anderson and some others in the magic fraternity have never abandoned the hat as a prop and fashion accessory, but the general consensus during my lifetime has been that "hat tricks" are passe relics from the past .

Well...

Maybe time to start searching through Tarbell, Greater Magic, and some of the other classics because I'm starting to see some evidence of "The Return of the Hat" . A recent issue of "Classic Style" magazine has an article on the cover about The Return of The Hat " A dress hat is a civilized way to express individuality. Goodbye, baseball cap. Plus: inside the industry, celebrity hat gallery, care tips, glossary and etiquette. "

The magazine notes the increasing visibility and popularity of classic hats such as the fedora and the derby (aka bowler) amongst musicians , actors , and other Hollywood celebs. The magazine speculates that this influence is being manifested among the young, hip crowd as hats are once again becoming a fashion statement. If you got a gig for a party thrown by Johnny Depp could you pull a rabbit from his $500 Fedora or maybe produce a block of ice a la Malini ? I happen to love hat tricks. Have any favorites ?

(and don't forget that Harrison Ford returns as Indiana Jones to the big screen next year. The last big spike in fedora sales came during the first cycle of Indiana Jones films in the 80's .
Now , if only we could get some big star in a major movie to start a trend for wearing top hats... )
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/03/07 04:22 PM

My name is Linquini and I have a rat under my hat.
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Postby Guest » 07/03/07 05:02 PM

My name is Linguini and I have a rat under my hat.
Oh, yeah, chef\'s hats are great, too ! Now ,there would be a timely trick : ratatouille from a hat.
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Postby Guest » 07/04/07 05:09 PM

Hats used to be a distinguishing accompaniment. It was a prop that was available to the common man that was used in distinctive and sophisticated ways. Watch the old movies. I can remember my Dad, in the '40s, tip his hat as he passed a lady (the more attractive she was resulted in a special snap). When the flag passed by or the National Anthem was played, the hat was taken off and placed over the heart. Many magical tricks were described by first requesting the loan of a hat (Die Box, Block Vanish, Baking a Cake, etc.) The latter was a comedy classic with everything in the kitchen being dumped into the spectator's hat, much to the spectator's chagrin, and the laughter resulting from his discomfort, before revealing the cake. Maybe, just maybe, hats will become common attire again.
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 05:28 AM

Yes, Harry the Hat still uses a fedora to great advantage. And let's not forget the great Bob Read who understood that a hat is part of "character."

I remember talking to him about the old trick in Tarbell where you place a deck in a hat, flick its bottom with a finger, and the selection flies into the air.

Bob knew the apt context for this to be a superb bit. He would begin to walk stage right or left and then did a "trip-over-my-own-feet" lunge, hitting the hat in the process. As his body flailed and struggled to keep balanced, the selection flew into the air. With a priceless look on his face, Bob would then catch the card.

Yes,it was truly priceless.

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 07:34 AM

Gaetan Bloom has a great version of the "Card Lasso" using a hat.

I used to perform it on the streets at Disney's MGM Studios.

Tony Brent
Outta Control Magic Show
Orlando
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 10:13 AM

This trick is a real fooler.
I saw Gaeton do this at Duvivier's club in Paris.
Usually done with magnetics, this one is different. The rope is ungaffed. When he tossed it out to me, I
was floored.

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 11:57 AM

There was an article in the New Yorker a couple years back about hats. They said that when President Kennedy took office in 1960, there were something like 300 hat stores in the Manhattan Yellow Pages. At the time the article was written there were two.

Perhaps a check of the current yellow pages will show some sign of the return of the hat.
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 01:35 PM

Ah, yes. I would love to perform the 'Comdey Coke in the Hat' with Johnny Deep's hat. (Of course, my wife couldn't go or I'd come home alone.)
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 04:40 PM

When I was a kid the Long Beach Pike had a 10-in-1 show fronted by a guy named Claude Chaunte. He did a freak bally but inside it was nearly all magic with homemade illusions that I think Claude made in his garage. He had a blade box that he exposed for an additional payment of ten cents, a badly made Disembodied Princess, a Headless Woman and several other things that were light years away from Johnny Gaughn/Owen Magic/Bill Smith quality, but they served their purpose and did their job which was to entertain those that Claude had talked into paying the admission price.

On the small stage was an old guy name Peter Martinelli. He dressed in tails that were long past their prime and wore broken down patent leather slippers because his feet were badly swollen. At one point hed worked a large show and made a lot of money, but hed lived high on the hog, spending as much, or more than he made. Living in a decrepit downtown hotel, he admitted to me that he only left his room to work and buy wine. This was clearly the end of the line for him, but the spark of what he once was still lingered.

He did the hat trick.the only magician in my memory that I ever saw actually do the damn thing. He had an old battered felt fedora that he handed out to the audience to inspect.

Bending over slightly the stage was raised a couple of feet or so hed retrieve the hat with his extended left hand and as he straightened up he would, simultaneously, as he brought the hat towards his body, move his right hand forward to take it, dragging a load bag out of his left load pocket, scooping the load into the hat as he brought it back towards him, the hat in sort of a small scooping arc that captured the load bag as it emerged from his left side.

It was a perfectly executed maneuver and the audience never saw a thing. Martinelli would then begin producing things from the hat, eventually turning the load bag inside out as it was lined with several silks. It looked like he produced a handful of silks at the end of that stage of the routine.

It was a marvelous bit of technique that Ive never seen duplicated.

I remember the late Frank Herman telling me that he thought a perfect review act would be someone duplicating/modernizing Hartz's Devil of a Hat. Starting with a "borrowed" hat and an empty stage the act would conclude ten minutes later with the performer bowing off after having produced enough stuff to cover several tables. Properly presented with comedy bits inserted at the right places, it would work today.
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 07/06/07 11:38 AM

I have what I believe to be a complete file of The Hat Report: Official Journal of The Society to Bring Back Tricks With Borrowed Hats. This consists of issue numbers 1 through 12, plus four volumes of Tricks With Hats, plus the parody The Hat Report No. 10-1/2, all of which were issued in 2002 by Bruce Dunn of Kalamazoo.

Bruce created these in response to a letter I had written to him claiming that a colleague of mine, Lola Montoya y Chavez, had founded such a Society. Needless to say, I was pretty floored by his reply. I sent him a one-page joke, and he responded with a periodical.
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 07/06/07 12:02 PM

A week or so I stumbled across this website and bookmarked it. Now I know why:

http://www.trickswithhats.org/

It's mostly juggling, but has good hat info too!
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 07/06/07 12:42 PM

I'm wondering if anybody else out there has The Hat Report, or if Bruce put in all of that effort just to play to an audience of one.

The tricks with hats featured in Tricks With Hats are as follows:

Volume 1: Magic Spring Balls; Magic Spring Babies

Volume 2: Mystic Money Plate; Goblets and Hat Trick

Volume 3: Cages of Enchantment; Magic Bundle of Wood

Volume 4: Mysterious Flower Garden

All of those concern producing unlikely items from a borrowed hat. But to be honest, the best trick I ever saw done with a hat was on an occasion when one was tipped at me.
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Postby Guest » 07/15/07 01:45 PM

A great place to get about any hat you'd want is Hatman Jack's in Wichita, Kansas. They have a web site. I purchased two hats from there, which I use in my act quite prominently.
I love hats, and hat tricks. I just wish you could walk into a bar or club and borrow one.
I read in an old magic book about the magician taking his hat and sailing it out over the heads of the audience only to have it circle around and return to him. Seems like that would be cool as could be.
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 07/15/07 02:03 PM

I saw Lance Burton do that very stunt in the Folies back in the day. It was his curtain call.

He walked off stage wearing his top hat. He stopped just at the proscenium and leaned back on stage. He grabbed his hat and sailed it in a circle over the heads of the showroom crowd, caught it in one hand, and exited. Pure magic.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 07/15/07 03:40 PM

I have the Tricks With Hats DVD, which I can heartily recommend. It came out in 2004, and has more things to do with a hat than you can shake a, well, hat at.

There's a hat trick in Royal Road, which Wilson mentioned in David Regal's lost books column (what was that called?)

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 07/15/07 05:05 PM

People are going to be mad at me (again) but I recently found this:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... rch=Search
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Postby Guest » 07/17/07 02:21 AM

Mr Alexander said
Bending over slightly the stage was raised a couple of feet or so hed retrieve the hat with his extended left hand and as he straightened up he would, simultaneously, as he brought the hat towards his body, move his right hand forward to take it, dragging a load bag out of his left load pocket, scooping the load into the hat as he brought it back towards him, the hat in sort of a small scooping arc that captured the load bag as it emerged from his left side.
You got my attention. Please clarify this. Did the load bag come out the left outer pocket or inner one? I imagine that the load bag was somehow looped to his right hand. Do you recall how he got rid of the loop?

Thanks for the help.
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Postby Guest » 07/17/07 05:09 AM

There must be something in the air, I was just thinking about getting myself a hat and incorporating it into some of my routines this weekend. Any suggestions on where I might find good material?
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Postby Guest » 07/17/07 05:27 AM

Disregard my above post. I got excited when I first started reading the thread and have since discovered that many references are already in place.
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 07/18/07 05:51 AM

Check out Pat Page's Book of Visual Comedy for a bunch of good hat gags/tricks!
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Postby Mark Collier » 07/18/07 07:52 AM

I once did a stage show in a small theater that had open windows that were high above the audience. At one point in the show, after doing some hat manipulations, I threw my hat like a Frisbee out one of the windows. I then slowly waked across the stage and a few swconds later the hat came flying in through the other window. I caught it on my head.

It helps to have a friend standing on a ladder with a duplicate hat outside the other window!
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/18/07 10:20 AM

What a great idea.... and what a friend! Reminds me of a great gag Harpo Marx used to do with a handlkerchief jumping out of a cigar box, dancing offstage to the right -- then re-appearing dancing back from stage left and INTO the box.

Two Thornton Windlass (reels) were the "G".
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Postby Guest » 07/31/07 03:33 PM

Harpo Marx?

How old are you Pete?


Just havin' fun...
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Postby Guest » 08/01/07 08:21 AM

Originally posted by Carlos Hampton:
Mr Alexander said
Bending over slightly the stage was raised a couple of feet or so hed retrieve the hat with his extended left hand and as he straightened up he would, simultaneously, as he brought the hat towards his body, move his right hand forward to take it, dragging a load bag out of his left load pocket, scooping the load into the hat as he brought it back towards him, the hat in sort of a small scooping arc that captured the load bag as it emerged from his left side.
You got my attention. Please clarify this. Did the load bag come out the left outer pocket or inner one? I imagine that the load bag was somehow looped to his right hand. Do you recall how he got rid of the loop?

Thanks for the help.
Carlos,

The load came out of the inside pocket. He had a clever way of getting rid of the entire load bag. Email me and I'll tip it to you.

dalexander006@socal.rr.com
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Postby Guest » 08/01/07 08:49 PM

I was looking through the 1909-1910
Magic Annual earlier today, and saw
there was a Hat trick listed in the
TOC. I didn't read it, just noticed it,
and thought of this thread.
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