Egg Bag

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 11/04/01 09:43 PM

I've wanted to add this to my set for a long time but haven't found the right routine to inspire me. Anyone have ideas on where to start looking?
I've read Malini, and have seen the Steven's tape, but was looking for something a little different.
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Postby Guest » 11/05/01 04:32 PM

The best place to find different presentations is in your own mind. Make your own up. Gather all the info you can and have at it.

Best of Luck,

Tom Cutts
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Postby Guest » 11/05/01 05:59 PM

I wasn't expecting anyone to tip their pet routine, just some ideas on where to start researching.
Marlo had some interesting thoughts. He used the plaid type bag with the pocket on the outside and a couple extra, rubber eggs.
A good ending is what's important.
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Postby Guest » 11/05/01 06:30 PM

A reason for doing it is of utmost importance.

Oh, Johny Thompson has the Charlie Miller routine on one of his tapes.

Tom

[ November 05, 2001: Message edited by: Tom Cutts ]
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Postby Guest » 11/05/01 08:23 PM

A reason for doing it!
That's exactly right.
How to logically explain this "little black bag" might be the biggest problem.
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Postby Guest » 11/06/01 02:16 AM

Oooh, that just triggered a bad joke just ripe for the pickin'.

Don't say I never share :p

So how do I keep track of all my chicks? Why they are all listed in my little black bag. OK, they're not chicks yet but just wait a while.

It reads rougher than it sounded in my head.

Thank goodness its out of there though :D

Guilty of something for that,

Tom Cutts
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Postby Curtis Kam » 11/21/01 02:33 PM

That's what you get,Tom, for counting them before they're hatched.

Regarding the why? Beats me. Why not? Look at Mullica's routine, or Steinmeyer's, and others. Nobody bothers trying to rationalize the prop. The reason for doing the effect is apparent once the audience starts having fun.

Okay, Alan Wakeling's take on it was characteristically sophisticated and effective: "People ask me how magic is done, well I can explain it all to you now. First of all, the magician doesn't do the magic, you have to have something. For me, it's this little black bag. It's dark so that you can't see it against my suit, and it's small enough to hide in my hand..." I won't tip the rest, but there are plenty of reasons to reccomend the Wakeling book to anyone, and the egg bag routine isn't even one of them! Get it, and do thou likewise.

As for endings, I found the perfect ending for an egg bag routine a couple of years ago, and have never seen it anywhere. Don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. Just for you, Chrisdavid--consider this: go to a camping supply store, or a well-stocked gourmet thing-a-ma-jig store, and find a Minature Frying Pan. Mine is black cast iron, a perfect replica of the classic balck iron pan used in cartoons to whack people over the head. Only mine is about 8" across. It still weighs a ton, and only the most demented camper would seriously consider this a good idea (consequently, you can find these on sale pretty cheap)

Obviously, you script the routine to end with a final load of the pan. (The color allows you to be pretty darn sloppy about this. Note, load behind the bag, not in it) The egg makes its final appearance, then the pan, which is thumped onto the table with all proper melodrama.

I did this on a local television spot. People came up to me for a week saying, "you're the guy who pulled the bowling ball from the little bag!"

Here's something else that lends interest to the routine, and I did it, not quite knowing why, except that it was interesting: I use a white, plastic egg. I painted it with black markings, like the Gateway cow (or a Dalmation)the prop just looks funny, and makes you wish you had all sorts of lines for it, which, unfortunately, I don't.

Oh, and while you're doing your research, don't forget "Egg bag, Bag egg" from Routines Manipulation 1 or 2, Lewis Ganson's silent manipulative version of the trick, believe it or not. Very Zen, I recall in one phase you produce the egg from the bag, then vanish the egg, then vanish the bag by stuffing it into the egg and palming, and somehow ending with reproducing the bag, but it's got a white egg-shaped patch on it, which you peel off, and bounce on the bag until it inflates into an egg.

Or--and to me this is the "holy grail" of egg bag routines--try to end by going into Devant's "Eggs and Hat" routine. You know, the production of over a dozen fresh eggs, all of which are handed to a little boy to hold, which he can't. Many yuks as they hit the floor.

Child abuse for the whole family to enjoy!
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Postby Guest » 11/21/01 03:44 PM

Thanks a million Curtis!!
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Postby John Pezzullo » 11/22/01 03:17 AM

Arnold De Biere (1879-1934) performed an 'Egg Bag' routine that was held in high regard.

An outline of the routine was published in an issue of "Stanyon's Magic".
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Postby Curtis Kam » 11/22/01 03:54 PM

I almost forgot to mention--okay, I did forget, otherwise it'd be in the previous post--two other routines to look into:

Jack Miller's egg bag routine, with a holdout, and an ungimmicked (?) bag, and

I hear Bob Kohler's got a killer routine with a trademark twist at the end: He substitutes a clear plastic bag for the egg bag, and still vanishes the egg into it. (I saw him do the last part at the first World Summit contest, and it was cool) I'm not sure if Bob is tipping this yet, I think I might have seen it listed on a videotape he has out.
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/23/01 09:53 AM

As a guy who loves the Egg Bag, I can recommend the Joe Stevens "Egg Bag" Greater Magic Library video. Inexpensive, it features Charlie Miller, Johnny Thompson, Eric Lewis, Tom Mullica and Billy McComb.

Man, I could just watch this over and over. Some of the best magic ever on video (in my humble, yet professional, opinion).

Curtis Kam -- THANK YOU for a great post on this. Next -- "Eggs of Steel"?

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Postby Cugel » 11/23/01 02:19 PM

Yes, many thanks to Curtis Kam for a stimulating post on this effect. It's also one of my favourites... though, being a card guy I've never performed it. (Hey, I like to watch...!)

There's a great booklet by Ken Brooke on the Malini egg bag that is, I believe a Magic Inc publication. I got it from Denny's (Denny does this effect BEAUTIFULLY, by the way.)

Regarding Bob Kohler's ending for the effect: he tipped this to me a few years ago (my lips are sealed!) and it just shows the lengths that man will go to to fool the heck out of an audience. Pure genius.

Andrew
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Postby Guest » 11/24/01 02:39 PM

I have to jump in on this. I've been in magic for over 25 years and have never saw the egg bag done well.... until two weeks ago at the Legends of Magic conference. Johnny Thompson performed the Malini egg bag brilliantly. Now I understand why it's considered a great trick. I've always believed that if you are going to perform standard material, then you should set the standard. Johnny Thompson sets the standard. Do yourself a favor, and get his video with the egg bag routine to see how it should be done.
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Postby Guest » 11/24/01 07:37 PM

The egg bag is one of those things, like the okito box, which most of us own but don't use, mostly because they appear too "propy"! But like the okito box, the egg bag has much to offer. Of course, it will require a little imagination to sell!
Curtis, your post was excellent and the frying pan idea makes perfect sense!
Thanks again!!
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Postby Guest » 11/25/01 12:07 AM

Ha! I was out strolling for Santa's presents when I ran across a 4" cast iron skillet. It was only $4!!

Cheers,

Tom Cutts
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/07/01 11:15 PM

IMHO the Malini Egg Bag, or the Mardo(Tarbell) Martin Lewis -- are the two best props you can buy.

The Malini bag, to me,is one of the great routines. I did a workshop one night on the egg bag showing all the different concepts and starts...

I'll tip my favorite here, now.

Put the black bag in your pocket, like it is a pocket. Reach in and pull it out so it looks like you have just pulled your pocket out to show it empty.

It hangs out of your pocket and you ask a guy to make sure there is nothing in your pocket, "reach in, check it out" and he will grab the cloth and you move away, leaving it in his hand...

"You ripped my pocket out."

OK, now you take it from there, fit your style... and go with it.

Also, couple of times I lightly sewed a label from a Pillow, you know the kind that say, "DO NOT REMOVE THIS LABEL UNDER PENALTY OF LAW" -- Ask spec to hold it, pull bag away and label comes off and is in his hand...

OK, take it from there...

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Postby Paul Green » 12/08/01 08:41 PM

Hi all,

I, too, use the Egg Bag and find it a great routine. I often close my Magic Castle Parlor shows with it.

Here are the bare bones:

I explain that I am about to do something that is not often revealed to non-magicians. A trip to the rehearsal hall will be shared with the audience. I show the bag and egg and explain the "white against black" is a very strong contrast. "If any part of the egg is exposed in the mirror, then more practice is required."

I use the Charlie Miller/Ken Brooke routine as a starting point as for the rest of the routine. The finale comes as the bag is held by the two spectators and all three of us on stage peer into the bag looking for the vanished egg. When the spectator reaches into the "empty" bag and finds the egg--It is a magical moment!

I can also reccommend the Malini bags available from Dan Tong of Florida.

Regards,

Paul Green
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Postby Guest » 12/08/01 11:42 PM

I've been working with the Senor Mardo bag using the routine Martin Lewis teaches on that video for the base of my routine, but I've got one problem. I have a large, goose/small ostrich-size egg as a final load. I will be working without a table and with a spectator onstage with me. I'm in need of a way to hold out the giant egg (which is made of wood), and a way to get it into the bag. I'd thought of just turning to the spectator and just dropping my hand to my side and letting the egg come off the holdout into the bag, but that's just one way.
Any thoughts?
I do want this to have a very clean ending so that they will have no idea where the big egg came from.
Rick
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Postby Frank Yuen » 12/09/01 09:33 AM

Rick,

In an old issue of Magic (in one of the Steinmeyer Conjuring series) there is an egg bag routine where he produces a giant egg from the bag at the end. Most of my magazines are in storage right now but perhaps someone can give you the exact issue.

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Postby John Pezzullo » 12/10/01 02:27 AM

The issue of "MAGIC" that Frank is referring to is the October 1994 issue.
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Postby Ruben Padilla » 12/10/01 02:57 PM

Has anybody purchased the new, small eggs that Magic, Inc. is selling for the egg bag? What do you think?
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Postby Guest » 12/10/01 05:15 PM

Yes, I have the Magic Inc. eggs. They are perfect!!Small enough to remain concealed, large enough to make a point. The best part is that they are unbreakable.
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Postby Guest » 12/10/01 09:44 PM

I made my egg out of a wooden "pullet" sized egg I got at a craft store. Just sanded it down smooth and painted it. The problem is, it tends to not move smoothly in the bag for moves like the Ross Bertram vanish that Martin Lewis teaches on his video.
This brings up my question..1) Is the egg from Magic, Inc a light-weight, smooth egg?
2) What are they selling it for?
Thanks,
Rick
By the way, I found the egg routine from Steinmeyer someone mentioned in MAGIC, and also happened to come across an easier made version of the rising cards I've been interested in doing for some time.
Thanks
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/10/01 10:29 PM

Charlie Miller, who really designed what is currently known as the Malini Egg Bag, along with Harry and Margy Riser (she did the first sewn bags) suggests using a Pullet Egg (smaller than regular chicken size)... blown and the end holes covered with spackle.

I have an egg so prepared that I have used for almost 20 years without any problems.

Altho instead of Spackle I used epoxy.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/11/01 01:11 AM

Could someone clue me in on the purpose of the Egg Bag routine? Every time I hear about it (them?) I think of the essay in Tommy Wonder's book one about the blooming rose bush.
It seems to me more pointless than even a take a card trick (not that I haven't done my share of those...)

What motivates the magic or even the desire to do the trick?

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Postby Pete Biro » 12/11/01 08:33 AM

What motivates the desire to do the egg bag?

What motivates "me" to do any trick is the audience reaction.

It fools people, it packs flat and plays big (enough) and it gets TONS OF LAUGHS.

What the motivation to do any trick should be the AUDIENCE REACTION.

If you have seen any of the good performers (and it is all the performer in many cases) get great audience reactions, it is generally because they have taken a basic trick and ADDED their personality, and done it thousands of times, honing it, developing it, and making it a piece of entertainment.

This is why many will get a trick and do it a couple of times and get nothing out of it and they figure it isn't a good trick.

It PROBABLY is because they have NOT figured out what to do with it, relative to THIER own style and presentation.

Whew!
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Postby Guest » 12/11/01 08:50 AM

The Magic Inc egg is smooth, indestructable, realistic, essentially weightless, and glides effortlessly inside the bag. Cost: $10
There is no better egg available for this routine.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/11/01 11:35 PM

>Originally posted by Pete Biro:
> What motivates "me" to do any trick is the
> audience reaction.
Sure. But the Egg Bag effect in and of itself doesn't generate the reaction.

> It fools people, it packs flat and plays
> big (enough) and it gets TONS OF LAUGHS.
I can see that would be a point in it's favor although I don't think the trick itself is funny. Odd perhaps...

> What the motivation to do any trick should be
> the AUDIENCE REACTION.
But that's the reaction after the fact. The trick is already studied, written, re-written and rehearsed. You can't know what the audience reaction will be until you've created the routine.

> If you have seen any of the good
> performers (and it is all the performer in
> many cases) get great audience reactions,
> it is generally because they have taken a
> basic trick and ADDED their personality,
> and done it thousands of times, honing it,
> developing it, and making it a piece of
> entertainment.
Sure. But that means that the trick is the least important part of the EFFECT on the audience. If that's true why choose the Egg Bag? In the Miser's Dream (for example) the audience doesn't spend the first three minutes wondering what's up with the egg?

> This is why many will get a trick and do it
> a couple of times and get nothing out of
> it and they figure it isn't a good trick.
> It PROBABLY is because they have NOT
> figured out what to do with it, relative
> to THIER own style and presentation.
Sure. But again this just means that the trick isn't what's important. I agree.

Which brings me back to my original question. What is it about pulling an egg out of a magic bag and then making it disappear again that motivates a desire to perform it?

I can understand the origins of the effect and how having a magic bag that could produce an endless supply of food would seem VERY magical to the audiences it was created for but most of todays audiences already have eggs.


By the way. It's a pleasure to "meet" you. I always turned to your column first (ok after the ads in the back of Genii) "back in the day".

cheers
bill
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/12/01 09:20 AM

Ken Brooke, who taught me the handling of the Egg Bag (while I did the pencil drawings for Sid Lorrianes' finished illustrtions) siad, "The Egg Bag (this version) is as CLOSE UP TRICK," and he is right.

I add, "Stand up close up, or Parlor" in that the audience needs to be fairly intimate. A big theater stage? Forget it.

Parlor, comedy club... great.

OK, the key is the helpers. When they reach into the bag and there is no egg... the audience figures "the egg is gone" -- when SHE (this is important, SHE) looks in sees NO EGG, takes the bag in her own hands and reaches in to FIND THE EGG... the look of ASTONISHMENT is unequalled in magic.

That is why (changing subject) HARBIN had "Mrs. Woman" up to help with the Zig Zag...something EVERY PERFORMER I HAVE SEEN OMITS... and she pushes the middle section over and it stops... "Because there is someone in the box" -- he does the blades -- then Mrs. woman pushes AND THE SECTION SLIDES ACROSS... if you ever watched Harbin do this you would see the same look on the lady's face.

Enough for now, gotta go to work. (Dammit)

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Postby Ruben Padilla » 01/14/02 05:56 PM

Appreciate feedback on Magic, Inc. eggs. Anybody know their website or phone number to order? (They only sell direct and can't find them with a Google search.) Thanks a lot!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/14/02 07:41 PM

Ruben, just dial 411 and ask for Chicago, Illinois, Magic Incorporated on North Lincoln Ave. You'll get the phone number with no problem.
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Postby Guest » 01/14/02 10:36 PM

I called Magic, Inc right before the end of the year asking about those very eggs and what they said was that they have a huge back-order on them. They didn't say what the wait-time was going to be.
In the meantime, I did discover the new eggs that Craig Dickson is selling through his website, WizardCraft. I think they sell for $13, and he seems to have plenty in stock.
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Postby Ruben Padilla » 01/15/02 07:39 PM

Thanks, Richard. Sometimes it takes a friendly post to reveal the painfully obvious!
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Postby Guest » 01/25/02 01:08 AM

I just watched the Stevens Vid about the Egg Bag. . .I think that the move of slapping the bag against your hand is weak. . .It's obvious to any idiot that you are concealing the egg in your hand which is doing the slapping. . .I like the idea of the visible egg bag. . .with a net front. . .and eliminate the phony slapping. . .
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/25/02 09:55 AM

OK, throw away all your egg bags... go out and get a paper bag and a Jack Miller egg.

Jack Miller egg?

Yep. Just a solid, heavy fake egg on a string that goes up your sleeve and works like a holdout.

You can then do the great bit made famous on the Ed Sullivan show by Roger Ray.

Throwing an invisible egg in the air and catching it in the bag (flicking your finger at the rear top to make a noise).

All acting. All simple. All adds up to a great entertaining routine.

:D

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Postby Bill McFadden » 01/25/02 11:17 AM

Geez, now that Crimper has dissed the Chop Cup and the Egg Bag, I'll be waiting anxiously for him to weigh in on what's wrong with the Linking Rings, Cups & Balls, Okito Box, Devano Deck, . . . :rolleyes:

[ January 25, 2002: Message edited by: Bill McFadden ]
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Postby Matthew Field » 01/25/02 11:29 AM

Pete Biro's post on the Jack Miller Egg is worth the price of a Genii subscription, IMHO. Thanks, Peat.

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Postby Jim Riser » 01/25/02 05:12 PM

For those interested.....about 25-30 years ago I had a Jack Miller Style Egg Bag. I got it on a trade so I do not know who sold it; but I suspect Tannen. It came with the weighted egg ala Jack Miller holdout and a gimmicked black bag - not a plain bag. The gimmick was not the usual. Since I always did a Lindhorst style cage vanish with the two helpers right before the egg bag, I never used the Jack Miller version and traded it off. While working my way through college as a magician, I designed a different style of bag. This version can be slowly shown inside/outside and all around with no fear of the two helpers seeing anything. There is just nothing to see. Also I am able to place the egg into the bag (and instantly into hiding) in one quick natural motion. I've used this version since then. I sewed up a newer blue bag to replace my original black and white bag about 15 years ago - just for better bag visibility. BTW - I have never seen anything more fakey looking than placing an egg into the bag while the bag is held mouth down - as is done by many performers! Someone above mentioned "slapping the bag". IMHO such actions are certainly not necessary nor convincing. Slapping would slow the flow of comedy and not add anything to the routine. All you need to do is turn the bag inside out as required by the routine. Any extra handling would imply something "tricky" with the bag. The egg bag is probably my favorite magic trick to perform. The helpers, audience and I all have a good time. For pure entertainment, it would be difficult to beat.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/25/02 06:07 PM

Matthew, thanks for your kind words.

Did you ever see Roger Ray? He was a Xylophone player that NEVER got around to playing it, just doing bits and gags.

I booked him on a magic convention where all the magicians had to have once been on the Sullivan show.

My convention committee pals said, "Who's Roger Ray?" They never heard of him and thought I was nuts putting him in the 2nd to closing (headliner) spot.

Well, just after his SECOND STANDING OVATION they suddenly realized who he was.

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Postby Ryan Matney » 01/31/02 12:13 AM

You gotta love musicians that never get around to playing thier instrument. Henny Youngman, Victor Borge....

Johnny Thompson is still my favorite with the egg bag. In the Ken Brooke book it mentions Ricky Jay performing the egg bag when he was younger. Anyone ever see this?

Ryan

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[ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: Ryan Matney ]
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