Magical Production of Props

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
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Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 16th, 2022, 11:41 am

I've posted this under Close-Up Magic, but I believe it's equally applicable to platform and stage. And it's something I've been pondering a lot over the last several years. For most of the many years I've been performing magic, when I performed a card trick(s), a coin trick, color changing knives, cups and balls/chop cup, sponge balls or rabbits, or whatever the case may be, I would remove the cards, coins, knives, balls, sponge balls or rabbits, etc. from a pocket and proceed to do the trick. But a couple of years ago, I guess it was, I felt like a light went on. I felt like, whenever possible, the props should be magically produced.

Why?

Well, for one thing, it's an immediate attention-getter, that stimulates their interest, and primes the pump for what is to come. For another thing, regardless whether in a pro or amateur setting, one need not ask, "Would you like to see some magic?" or to say, "Here let me show you something," or whatever. It's a fait accompli. You've already shown them magic, and taken advantage of the wonderful element of surprise. Further, I see it as a way of getting more "magical mileage" out of a trick or routine. I mean, if I'm going to introduce a prop anyway, and I have a choice between doing it magically, or in a mundane fashion, why wouldn't I opt for magical? I think that it is more engaging and entertaining for them as well, And finally, it's just -- well -- more magical. More in keeping with what a "magician" would do. It sets the magical tone.

Obviously, these are just my subjective opinions, but I will say that I have definitely noticed more receptivity and better reactions from people since I started doing it. Not necessarily for every trick or routine, but most. I am curious as to what the take of other magicians is on this. Meanwhile, here is on example oa production of a deck of cards I came up with - it's how I like to introduce a card trick or set of card tricks when walking around, approaching a table, or even at a platform show. I have used it at social events, as well, when I'm just a guest, as opposed to a performer, and someone asks me to do something.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/gCeZcT5mS6o

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Paco Nagata » August 12th, 2022, 6:09 pm

I missed this post as I've not visited the Forum during all July, Alfred!

I've watched the video and I got specially interested in the fact that, the specific magically produced prop, is a deck of cards; as a specially card magic lover, any magically produced deck of card brings my attention.

Actually, regarding the Invisible Deck Routine, I've been thinking for a long time about the best way to turn the Invisible Deck, visible, in a visual way.

The pricipal solution I thought was to get the deck from the poket in Tenkai Palm position while saying: "Ok, I will take out the invisible deck again..." Then, with a quick wrist movement, turn it into visible. However, it was quite risky; very dificult to hide the angles, specially when spectators are watching your hand very attentive. It seemed impossible to misdirect spectators' attention from the hand in that case... But!
Thinking about your paper flash idea, the little paper could precisely misdirect the attention of the hand by saying:
"This magical piece of paper is what I use to make the deck invisible and visible."
Spectator would pay attention to the piece of paper instead of the hand. Then proceding with the flash effect!
It seems not a bad idea!
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 12th, 2022, 7:01 pm

John Carney always magically produces his deck of cards.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Jackpot » August 12th, 2022, 10:32 pm

John Carney's "Chill Pack" can be an effective way to open a card set. I have used it, but as a transition from other types of magic to card tricks. I'm not sure if Mr. Carney uses it for the opener of a show or not, but it is possible since he has chops that I don't possess. It can be seen on the trailer for the John Carney LIVE down load at Penguin.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 13th, 2022, 9:23 am

Paco Nagata wrote:I missed this post as I've not visited the Forum during all July, Alfred!

I've watched the video and I got specially interested in the fact that, the specific magically produced prop, is a deck of cards; as a specially card magic lover, any magically produced deck of card brings my attention.

Actually, regarding the Invisible Deck Routine, I've been thinking for a long time about the best way to turn the Invisible Deck, visible, in a visual way.

The pricipal solution I thought was to get the deck from the poket in Tenkai Palm position while saying: "Ok, I will take out the invisible deck again..." Then, with a quick wrist movement, turn it into visible. However, it was quite risky; very dificult to hide the angles, specially when spectators are watching your hand very attentive. It seemed impossible to misdirect spectators' attention from the hand in that case... But!
Thinking about your paper flash idea, the little paper could precisely misdirect the attention of the hand by saying:
"This magical piece of paper is what I use to make the deck invisible and visible."
Spectator would pay attention to the piece of paper instead of the hand. Then proceding with the flash effect!
It seems not a bad idea!


Paco, I am happy that the production may be of use to you. I think you have a wonderful idea there to use it for production of the invisible deck (turning it visible). Yes, if you can Tenkai Palm the deck/box, then you should be able to work out the production. There is a forward thrusting motion with the wrist that gives the box the momentum you need to capture it between thumb and finger(s). I'm sure you will work out what feels right and works best for you. Just be mindful of the angles. It is, of course, best when the spectators are directly or almost directly in fromt of you, and, if they are seated and you are standing, then be sure to tilt your hand downward to prevent them getting a glimpse of the box from underneath. I refined my production by practicing in front of a mirror and videoing myself with my iPhone. As you noted, the flash paper takes the heat (literally) away from your guilty hand. It's the same, or at least a related principle to using a wand. When the hand palming an object is holding another object, suspicion is not aroused or is misdirected away from the suspicion that the hand is secreting something. One other tip: I keep my flash paper in the refrigerator for safety purposes.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 14th, 2022, 6:32 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:John Carney always magically produces his deck of cards.


Absolutely. Indeed, it may have been Carney who planted a seed in my mind many years ago for the magical production of the deck, when I read about his "Chill Pack" in Carneycopia -- a seed which came to fruition only relatively recently.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Edward Pungot » August 14th, 2022, 9:31 am

The only problem is at the end when you put the pack of cards or coins away in your pocket.

Larry Jennings’s ChopCup Routine.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 14th, 2022, 10:19 am

Edward Pungot wrote:The only problem is at the end when you put the pack of cards or coins away in your pocket.


Well, not a problem if you have a Toppit.

But realistically, how many magicians do? and plus, you must be wearing a suit jacket.

Here's my solution. The World's Fastest Card Trick.
https://www.tiktok.com/@alfreddowaliby?lang=en

I generally have the card signed after it is selected. That way, when the trick is over, the card can be given to the spectator as a souvenir, and also avoiding any suspicion of a force and duplicate. The deck is already out of sight and out mind, the card trick (or set of card tricks) is over and you are finished with the magic -- or, you can go into the next effect (coin, or whatever).

(I just joined TikTok today so I could post the video - for some reason, I'm having trouble posting on YouTube. Maybe if I was an exposer, it would be easy.)

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 14th, 2022, 12:38 pm

When Jennings wanted to stop doing card tricks for lay folks, he often made the deck vanish. However he NEVER magically produced the deck--and you can speculate as to why.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 14th, 2022, 2:47 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:When Jennings wanted to stop doing card tricks for lay folks, he often made the deck vanish. However he NEVER magically produced the deck--and you can speculate as to why.


While I know next to nothing about Jennings compared to Richard (except that he was phenomenal), I would speculate that he may have believed it might arouse suspicion that he was using "trick cards." Although I think that those people who are so inclined to believe effects are being accomplished by trick cards are likely to entertain that belief regardless of whether or not a deck is magically produced. Continuing the speculation, from what I've seen of Jennings, it appears that he usually performed seated. While a vanish of a deck (especially if boxed) can be readily accomplished while seated -- by lapping -- it does not seem to me to be a position conducive to magically producing a deck. Carney, of course, is standing (and, in fact, must be standing and wearing a suit jacket) for his "Chill Pack" production. (See Carneycopia, p. 32)

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Edward Pungot » August 14th, 2022, 3:26 pm

For the Jennings reference see “Deck to Pocket” from the Toughts on Cards DVD/Download.

Btw Alfred: I like your TikTok take on the out-of-sight out-of-mind [deck back to pocket] ploy. With the signature you couldn’t ask for a more perfect ending. Nice thinking.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 14th, 2022, 4:16 pm

Edward Pungot wrote:For the Jennings reference see “Deck to Pocket” from the Toughts on Cards DVD/Download.

Btw Alfred: I like your TikTok take on the out-of-sight out-of-mind [deck back to pocket] ploy. With the signature you couldn’t ask for a more perfect ending. Nice thinking.


Thanks Edward!

This thread has called to mind some good memories. Years ago, I was friends with a fine magician in South Florida named Jeff Ruttenburg. Jeff made himself a pretty good living performing tableside magic at a couple of Dave & Buster's restaurants in the area. I met him when I came into the restaurant with a another magician friend and he performed for us at our table. Thereafter, Jeff and I became friends, and I subbed for him at Dave & Buster's on quite a few occasions when he had private gigs. One of the things Jeff did, that has stuck with me to this day, was that at the conclusion of his fantastic ambitious card routine (his closer), he took out a roll of stickers, each one bearing his name and contact information, peeled one off, affixed it to the signed card, and presented it to me. So, not only would he present spectators with their signed card as a souvenir, but he also used the card advantageously to market himself, in lieu of awkwardly pulling out and giving people an unsolicited business card. I have never used Jeff's ploy, and I'm not sure whether I felt it was something that kind of belonged to him, or that I've just always been terrible at marketing and promoting myself. Maybe a bit of both.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 17th, 2022, 11:51 am

I feel I would be remiss if the humble purse frame went without mention on this thread. So many magicians have gotten tremendous mileage out that little item. I always start my Matrix and CSB routines by dumping the coins out of the purse frame either onto the table or into their hands, instead of reaching into my pocket and bringing out the coins. And it's easy to get ready, because, as both hands go into the pockets as if looking for something, the frame can be procured from one pocket with one hand while the coins are gathered into finger palm with the other hand from the other pocket (the hand holding the purse frame always emerging first). The Ramsey subtlety is built in when the frame is displayed by the hand finger-palming the coins. Laymen love it, and to them it is an amazing, surprising, and highly amusing trick in and of itself.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 17th, 2022, 12:30 pm

Jennings only performed seated when he had to. Most of his performing was done standing for small groups of one to four people.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 17th, 2022, 1:15 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Jennings only performed seated when he had to. Most of his performing was done standing for small groups of one to four people.


Ah, learn something new every day. I would be curious to know what kind of vanish he used to vanish the deck (particularly standing up), even though he never magically produced it. Toppit perhaps? Or maybe sleeving, although that would seem awfully difficult with a deck, even if boxed. But I imagine that if anyone could do it, Larry could. I do know, however, that he magically produced the cup for his cups and balls routine, and in a very elegant way:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9SG7wE79HY

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 17th, 2022, 5:05 pm

Just a thought about the effect - what if the performer wrote down the names of two cards - which were the above/below the one the volunteer reversed in the pack? deceptive/effective?

In general - aside from livestock - does the audience care about stuff you materialize from thin air?
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Tarotist » August 17th, 2022, 7:00 pm

There is rather a good way of making the deck vanish in my most wondrous Annotated Royal Road to Card Magic. I describe it as an alternative climax to the Ladies Looking Glass in the platform tricks section. However, it can also be used as a completely separate trick in its own right. Here are my introductory remarks to the trick in my book:

"This last revelation is very spectacular indeed but alas a trifle messy since you will have to pick up the cards from the floor afterwards! Here is an alternative method of discovering the pair of cards which entails no picking up from the floor and has an equally strong effect. In fact you can make it your last trick since the entire deck disappears! I will concede however, that this presentation is not suitable for a platform presentation."

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 17th, 2022, 8:45 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Just a thought about the effect - what if the performer wrote down the names of two cards - which were the above/below the one the volunteer reversed in the pack? deceptive/effective?

In general - aside from livestock - does the audience care about stuff you materialize from thin air?


I'm not sure what the first question has to do with the magical production of a prop. But,the short answer is: "No." The longer answer is that, to me, it just doesn't strike a chord as being a strong effect that's going to wow or astound anyone. It's kind of circuitous. Both the Invisible Deck and Brainwave, just to name two examples, would be much harder-hitting. Those effects are certainly more straightforward and bound to be more powerful than the sort of "cutesy" effect you're describing, Jonathon, which you would essentially have to explain to them: "Look, the cards I wrote down, one of them is one card higher than the one you reversed, but the same suit, and the other one is one card lower, but also the same suit." Just my opinion, which together with 5 bucks, will get you a cafe latte at Starbucks (not including tip).

As to your second question, I can only speak for myself and from my own experience. Do they "care about the stuff" you materialize from thin air if it isn't "livestock"? No they probably don't care about the "stuff" itself, e.g. a deck, a coin(s) or some sponge balls). But I think the pertinent question is, Are they surprised, delighted, and entertained by something magical, that is to say, by the magical production of the prop(s), as opposed to just reaching into one's pocket for it? And the answer is Yes, they are, and you've also now captivated their attention and interest, and to me, that's what matters. To you, it may not. And that's no bull!

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 17th, 2022, 9:36 pm

In general - aside from livestock - does the audience care about stuff you materialize from thin air?

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Tarotist » August 17th, 2022, 10:45 pm

It probably is a good idea to produce props out of the air at the beginning but I never bother. I don't want people to be too impressed with me right at the start. My technique has always been for them to underestimate me and then I go in for the kill. I have always subscribed to the Wilfrid Jonson philosophy of :

"You will avoid presenting your tricks with an air of challenge and you will also avoid an air of superiority. You can best do this by appearing a little amused and puzzled at the effects you produce, by appearing to conduct experiments in an art which you have not altogether mastered and which still at times, astonishes you"

In other words you underplay things. This is a very powerful technique if you have the personality for it.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 18th, 2022, 6:40 am

Productions can be used quite advantageously in transitioning from one trick or routine into another, and doubtlessly add significantly to the overall magical atmosphere of an act when done well and with a smooth flow. For example, in his wonderful article, "Over the Rainbow" (MUM May 2006), David Ben described how Vernon choreographed his Harlequin Act.

As Ben notes, the Professor's fabulous opener was his adaptation of Tom Osborne's 3-1 Rope Trick. "The trick, the magical transformation of three cords into one, was simple and direct. Vernon would display three sash cords, sometimes red and other times green, of equal length and then gather them together in his left hand. After a suitable magical gesture, he would take hold of two ends, separate his arms, and display that he had fused the cords together into one long piece."

The trick created an opportunity for Vernon to transition into his ball and cone routine. He would do this, Ben notes, "by gathering up the cord in his left hand, stroking the bundle with his right, and producing a billiard ball at his fingertips."

David describes further that, "Vernon then placed the cord aside, removed a handkerchief from a pocket, and performed a series of feats (inspired by J. Warren Keane) with the billiard ball and handkerchief. He eventually produced a leather cone, six inches in height, from beneath the handkerchief and embarked on his minimalist version of the Cups and Balls, a bewildering series of manipulations with the ball, cone, and handkerchief. He concluded the sequence by producing a saltshaker from beneath the cone."

Vernon then went into his salt routine, and so forth...

Can these kind of productions, which create smooth magical transitions, be effectively applied to close up magic? I see no reason why not. It's a fun and creative process, and worthwhile, as it can add punch and professionalism to the performance.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 18th, 2022, 3:03 pm

CORRECTION: In a prior comment, I mentioned that Jennings magically produced the cup for his cup and balls routine. However, the link I (mistakenly) provided was not for said routine, which may have confused some people. And for that, I apologize. Here's the correct link to the routine where you can see Larry elegantly produce the cup from a silk handkerchief:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ic9qpdN478

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby jplibby » September 12th, 2022, 10:52 pm

Just to put in my two cents, I found (happily!) that my bite-out quarter works without any problem when I make it appear on my panel board. I'm sure many other (but probably not all) trick coins could also work.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 13th, 2022, 3:15 pm

jplibby wrote:Just to put in my two cents, I found (happily!) that my bite-out quarter works without any problem when I make it appear on my panel board. I'm sure many other (but probably not all) trick coins could also work.


I'm not familiar with the workings of the Panel Board, although I did check it out on Meir Yedid's site after reading the above post. I wonder if you could borrow a quarter from a spectator, vanish it with the Board and then make "it" reappear ("it" being the gimmicked quarter), then go off and running with the bite-out effect. Of course, there would be the matter of vanishing the bite-out quarter and making the spectator's quarter reappear in order to return it. A greater problem might be how (if at all) one could make the board itself magically appear.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby jplibby » September 21st, 2022, 9:03 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:
jplibby wrote:Just to put in my two cents, I found (happily!) that my bite-out quarter works without any problem when I make it appear on my panel board. I'm sure many other (but probably not all) trick coins could also work.


I'm not familiar with the workings of the Panel Board, although I did check it out on Meir Yedid's site after reading the above post. I wonder if you could borrow a quarter from a spectator, vanish it with the Board and then make "it" reappear ("it" being the gimmicked quarter), then go off and running with the bite-out effect. Of course, there would be the matter of vanishing the bite-out quarter and making the spectator's quarter reappear in order to return it. A greater problem might be how (if at all) one could make the board itself magically appear.


You could definitely do that. Then vanish the bite-out coin (by your favorite method) and make the spectator's coin reappear on the panel board.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 22nd, 2022, 5:50 pm

jplibby wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:
jplibby wrote:Just to put in my two cents, I found (happily!) that my bite-out quarter works without any problem when I make it appear on my panel board. I'm sure many other (but probably not all) trick coins could also work.


I'm not familiar with the workings of the Panel Board, although I did check it out on Meir Yedid's site after reading the above post. I wonder if you could borrow a quarter from a spectator, vanish it with the Board and then make "it" reappear ("it" being the gimmicked quarter), then go off and running with the bite-out effect. Of course, there would be the matter of vanishing the bite-out quarter and making the spectator's quarter reappear in order to return it. A greater problem might be how (if at all) one could make the board itself magically appear.


You could definitely do that. Then vanish the bite-out coin (by your favorite method) and make the spectator's coin reappear on the panel board.


That's wonderful. A vanish, magical reappearance, and clean up, to come full circle, all in one fell swoop. Very neat.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Spellbinder » September 24th, 2022, 10:37 pm

I've always felt uneasy with the panel board trick because most users only use it for the one trick with a coin and it seems to have no other purpose. Most magicians should have no difficulty using a playing card (or two) to make a coin appear when needed, or if using paper billets have the coin drop out of a folded billet. It's just my personal feeling. I'd rather reach out in space and make the coin just appear rather than go to the trouble of digging out a panel board. For those who have suggested that the panel board can double for a coaster... I'd rather just use an actual ungimmicked coaster to make the coin drop out from it. The panel board is just superfluous.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 25th, 2022, 11:02 am

The panel board is a pitch item. It doesn't need a reason for its existence other than that.
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 25th, 2022, 6:27 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The panel board is a pitch item. It doesn't need a reason for its existence other than that.


Or, if a magician likes and enjoys it and entertains people using it, that would suffice as a raison d'être, as well. Oftentimes props that are not "everyday objects" summon interest or intrigue. I mean, look at how many great Tenyo tricks there are, for example. And they are just plain fun, for the magician and the audience. For example, there are many tricks with dice, but I'm crazy about the Tenyo "Flash Dice!" So much so that i have four extra ones in my magic armoire that I haven't even opened. But I never wanna be without that trick because the routine brings such amusement and amazement to people, and I love to perform it. I think many magicians overthink and overanalyze things -- I have certainly been guilty of it. And what works well for one magician might be a complete flop for another. IMHO, there's no right or wrong when it comes to performing, or what we use to perform with. As long as we love and enjoy what we do and bring joy and amazement to the people for whom we perform, that's reason enough to perform any trick, whether it's with an ordinary object(s) or a prop.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Tarotist » September 25th, 2022, 8:16 pm

I am supposed to be a pitchman but I have never seen or heard about this panel board in my entire life until I read about it here. What is the effect of the thing? Is there a video of it at work? Is it light to carry around?

Never mind. I know what it is now!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-qVJqmXR4s

It looks like it could be a good "lump up" (giveaway) item as it is only a 15 second demonstration. A lot depends on the wholesale cost.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Dave Le Fevre » September 26th, 2022, 3:16 am

Tarotist wrote:I am supposed to be a pitchman but I have never seen or heard about this panel board in my entire life until I read about it here. What is the effect of the thing?
Mark, I'm puzzled, because you posted about the Panel Board a couple of weeks ago in viewtopic.php?f=5&t=54331

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 26th, 2022, 7:34 am

Dave Le Fevre wrote:
Tarotist wrote:I am supposed to be a pitchman but I have never seen or heard about this panel board in my entire life until I read about it here. What is the effect of the thing?
Mark, I'm puzzled, because you posted about the Panel Board a couple of weeks ago in viewtopic.php?f=5&t=54331


Well, he posted on that thread, but as far as I can see, there is nothing puzzling or inconsistent between what Mark said on that thread ("Danny's Panel Board") and what he has said on this one. What he said a couple weeks ago on the Danny's Panel Board thread was:

"Since he was a pitchman he must have bought them very cheaply. Who was his supplier? I have never heard of this item before. And how much did he sell them for? Was it his only item or did he pitch other tricks such as svengali etc?"

All of his other comments were relating to grafting in general (such as the maximum percentage a pitchman should relinquish to a store owner), and not to any knowledge he had about the Panel Board in particular, of which he openly stated he had never heard of until he read about it here on the Forum. And while there were some comments relating to the prop itself and the various method(s), the effect itself was never really described with any clarity.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Dave Le Fevre » September 26th, 2022, 9:20 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:What he said a couple weeks ago on the Danny's Panel Board thread was:

"Since he was a pitchman he must have bought them very cheaply. Who was his supplier? I have never heard of this item before. And how much did he sell them for? Was it his only item or did he pitch other tricks such as svengali etc?"
I see what you mean.

I tend to take things literally. So when someone at some earlier date - in this case, a couple of weeks ago - says that they haven't (at that time) heard of something, I assume that they now have heard of it, since they read about it a couple of weeks ago.

I was being too literal, it's just my nature. No problem with Mark's comments nor with yours. My apologies - I was genuinely confused.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 26th, 2022, 9:43 am

Dave, you are a gentleman.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Dave Le Fevre » September 26th, 2022, 10:27 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:Dave, you are a gentleman.
I quoted you to my wife a minute ago.

And she's still laughing.

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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby Tarotist » September 26th, 2022, 12:17 pm

Well, at least I know what it is now. It is much smaller than I imagined. Oddly enough that makes it easier to sell.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Magical Production of Props

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 26th, 2022, 12:21 pm

Dave Le Fevre wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:Dave, you are a gentleman.
I quoted you to my wife a minute ago.

And she's still laughing.


And now I am...


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