What does everyone think of "Kling Klang" in the March Magicana?

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/24/02 03:37 PM

Please let me hear your HONEST opinions of the March Magicana where we printed 16 methods for "Kling Klang," a superb effect that I know many of you could use because it is not a coin or card item.
HONEST opinions, please!
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 03/01/02 02:39 PM

I HONESTLY found Kling Klang fascinating, for a number of reasons (exact number of reasons: three).

First reason: As magic history - an interesting depiction of the evolution of a single line of magical thought.

Second reason: As present inspiration - all of the variations on a theme suggest brainstorming the cobwebs off of many another old chestnut.

Third reason: As practical instruction - actual moves to learn and do.

Bonus reason: As private laugh. The routines from Ovette's "Eggstraordinary Ways of Eggshibiting with Eggs" reminded me of the pre-publication promo for this brochure, which appears in the back of Ovette's "Silk Creations." "AT LAST," the ad proclaims, "EGGSTRAORDINARY WAYS OF [censored] WITH EGGS" My first reaction to seeing this ad was :eek: . Then I was more like :confused: . Thanks to Kling Klang, I'm now completely :rolleyes: .

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Postby Brad A._dup1 » 03/01/02 07:02 PM

I enjoyed it. It's nice to see some more routines which would (and do) fit in a standup/parlor setting.

The egg puns started to get on my nerves though.

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Postby Pete Biro » 03/01/02 10:10 PM

Haven't read through it all yet... but the Brainstorming way, is the way to figure out what works... I have the Flag and Egg trick which is another way of doing the sucker egg, that the performing rights went from Judson Cole, the originator, to Lindsay Hopkins, then to me. The routine was the mainstay of his vaudeville act and with only minor reference changes works today.

On another effect, I spent years buying every version of a particular trick before I figured out (with help from P. Diaconis) that none were right, but they led me to the right way, which, together, we built into a signature trick for me.

:)
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Postby Guest » 03/03/02 12:44 AM

First and foremost, I think it's a wonderful idea to include a series of variant handlings of the same trick. I've never seen anything like this in a magic magazine. Studying the development of the methods is a great way to bring home the old Al Baker (I think) dictum that most magicians stop thinking too soon.

So I applaud this bold move. More of this kind of out-of-the-box chance taking.


But...

I would certainly have enjoyed it more had it been a different trick. I don't understand Kling Klang at all -- it doesn't seem to make any sense or reflect any external reality that can be incorporated into a presentation that means anything.

I realize that some magicians just don't care about their magic having any meaning, and I'm not here to tell them they're wrong. But I think that a trick should be at least amenable to this kind of presentation, whether you choose to use it or not. I can't see any way to present Kling Klang as anything other than a meaningless puzzle.

I also wish it were a trick with more variety in its methods. The 16 variations add up to, ultimately, very little variety.

My biggest wish, though, is that you would repeat this idea but instead, present 16 different presentations of the same trick. After all, your presentation has a much bigger effect on the audience's reaction than does your method, and most magic performances are much more lacking in presentation than they are in method.


I realize that these suggestions may not be practical -- after all, you didn't really choose Kling Klang, it was in a sense chosen for you by its presence in Stephen Minch's new book. But you did ask for HONEST opinions. I can't be more honest than that.


Still I don't want these criticisms to overshadow my enjoyment of the article and my respect for your decision to be bold.


Pete

P.S. Does anybody make a Stodare egg with a hinged flap that can click in place over the hole, so you can show it on all sides, toss it in the air, etc.?
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Postby Pete Biro » 03/03/02 10:06 AM

MCcabe, sir:

Do the paddle move or my gag "rotation" of the egg (it resembles the Vernon twist move with a linking ring).

But... why bother?

Audiences shouldn't care.

A really money making development would be a fake rubber dove with wings that flutter.

Or make a thumb tip you can show empty? Duh.

Seriously, I have thought of using the olde antique egg that breaks in two to seemingly open and pout the contents out instead of using a real egg.

;)
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 03/03/02 01:04 PM

I am very grateful to Pete McCabe for bringing meaning into the discussion. I would offer the following.

There is very little in the way of magic props and classic tricks that contain intrinsic meaning. If a magic scenario seems to have "built-in" meaning, either a past master has routined and presented it in such a way that the meaning now seems obvious and inevitable, or the creator of the trick has designed it as "meaning-in-a-box," to spare the individual magician the trouble of developing an original interpretation.

Half of the fun of magic is taking a basic trick vocabulary and building sentences and paragraphs and even epic sagas out of it. Kling Klang is no more nor less a candidate for this kind of magic play than any other effect.

Richard includes other columns devoted to magic theory and creative routining. Magicana is a basic "how to do some tricks" section, and needn't concern itself with meaning. It's like a toy box where the magician picks out an appealing toy. If he's not sure how to play with it, he can consult the other columns for direction.

Maybe it would be fun if Richard ran a "Magicana" with variations of an effect, and then had some of the usual suspects offer their thoughts on what they see in the effect, or what they would do with it.

Best,

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Postby Guest » 03/03/02 10:15 PM

With all due respect to Lisa Cousins, I disagree with the statement that Kling Klang is no more nor less a candidate for a presentation with meaning than any other effect.

Miser's dream is a trick with an extremely powerful and fundamental meaning built right into the trick, in a way in which Kling Klang cannot compare. Ditto the hundred dollar bill switch. Also the Ace Assembly (although only a couple of people seem to realize this). Escape tricks. A great deal of mentalism -- certainly any mind-reading, thought control, or predicting the future type of effect is intrinsically meaningful. Torn and Restored has inherent meaning.

But Kling Klang? What is the built-in meaning that compares with the inherent meaning in any of these tricks?
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Postby Pete Biro » 03/03/02 11:14 PM

The "meaning" could be that you are demonstrating your magicl powers...

Silk to Egg: Hmmmm lessee... you are going to teach them to change a hanky into an egg and show them how only to double cross and fool 'em when you break the egg?

I always prefer "relevance" but it is not alway possible.

What I used to do (when I worked a lot) was keep developing the premise/presentations and do WHAT GOT THE MOST REACTIONS out of the audiences.

In my case it would be laughs per minute.

My research showed the winner without anyone close in the laughs per minute was Carl Ballantine. :D
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Postby Guest » 03/04/02 08:47 PM

I'd seen the original write up of this in an older issue of Genii, but can't remember which. I, for one, am glad you included this routine because I'm always looking for great "egg" tricks. An egg has become a running gag in every other trick I do in one of the shows I have, and thought I won't use any of the versions included here, I'll be working up my own version and handling that works for me.
I like this idea of doing different handlings. As someone previously mentioned Al Baker's quote, we do quit thinking too soon.
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Postby Pete Biro » 03/04/02 11:33 PM

Here's an Eggstraordinary Eggshibition I used to do many years ago... (dating myself) whilst entertaining Army Service Clubs during the Korean conflict...

I had an egg turned out of solid steel. I then took a saucer and with a window cutting tool cut a small 1-1/2 inch, pie-shaped notch along the edge of the plate.

I would hold the plate at the notch.

Announcing that I would throw the egg high into the air, I could catch it on the plate without breaking the egg.

Not only would I merely throw it up... the egg... but I would do it like this...

I would place the egg on the floor, grip it between my heels, jump up tossing the egg up behind me about 10 feet in the air...

I would reach out to catch the egg on the plate...

Needless to say, the egg would break the plate and I would be left holding a small pie shaped piece of the egg.

This was an original bit with me...

Also, original (many have copied) was the bit where I would toss a blown egg into the air and catch it on my nose...

Taking the bow, the egg would be "glued" to my nose. :D :eek:
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Postby Guest » 03/06/02 11:17 AM

Like Kling Klang a lot, especially all the variations. Cool to show the progression of thought, thanks for laying out all the research like that. As for meaning, eggs have lots of different meanings that can be associated with them - that's why they use them at Easter! Stop thinking about them as just chicken eggs and consider what else they might represent. As Vernon said, "Magicians stop thinking too soon."

Mark ;)
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Postby Guest » 03/06/02 11:26 AM

Just thought of one more thing too add to my last post. Working with Bob Fitch has helped me to realize (IMHO) that the first step in being a more "meaningful" performer is to have the audience care about you. Once they do, the meaning in you magic is not about the props you use. The meaning of a trick, prop or routine is its relation to you the performer. Why are you doing a trick with an egg, or cards, or money? If you have an established character when you perform, the props you use and the routines you do will have meaning in relation to your character. Otherwise you are, as comics would say, a hack just doing the same old stuff everyone does. All of this is based on the belief that you want your magic to be "deeper." I don't necessarily believe that everyone should perform like this. There are lots of styles of performance and entertainment that I enjoy, not just ones that are loaded with meaning and depth. As I like to say, pop entertainers generally make a lot more money while they are alive than artists do.
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