Untouchable Props

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
cataquet
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Untouchable Props

Postby cataquet » August 14th, 2004, 12:00 pm

I used to think that I was unique in that there were some props that I would never consider using (no matter how highly recommended they came). In my case, at the top of this list is the coin purse. I know there are those that would consider this the only prop that they carry, but I just can't bring myself to use one.

I know Wesley James avoids sponge balls, and many magicians avoid the "magic wand". But I am sure there are many more "untouchable" props out there. So, let's here your phobia!

So, what prop do you avoid?

Bye for now

Harold

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 14th, 2004, 1:06 pm

I avoid using umbrellas in my close-up act.
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2004, 1:24 pm

Feather flowers, clowny-cartoony picture silk effects, color changing media (records or CDs or DVDs), Pom Pom sticks of any kind, balloons, most all "Kid Trick" props, drumhead tubes, razor blades and needles (oral), and most slate tricks. It's easy to find stuff to hate! --Asrah

cataquet
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby cataquet » August 14th, 2004, 2:20 pm

No, razor blades are great! I do a linking blades routine, and then I float one of the blades. No way anyone ever grabs for that floating object. :D

Bye for now

Harold

Lisa Cousins
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Lisa Cousins » August 15th, 2004, 8:49 am

What are the chances?!? Asrah my friend, you have just described my entire program, right down to the grand "Razor Blade Fantasia" finale, and the mystifying "Encore: With Slates." Unbelievable!

But to seriously answer this question: Ring Flight. We had a whole thread about this. Under no circumstances have I or will I ever ask to borrow somebody's sentimental jewelry for a magic trick.

Jacky Kahan
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Jacky Kahan » August 15th, 2004, 9:28 am

Thimbles! :rolleyes:
I know there is real great magic that can be done with thimbles... but i never saw a justified act for using thimbles...except one.. The Mad Taylor act by Julius Fraks... ;)
I can't understand why a Male magician would use thimbles... :confused:
Why?

jacky
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Guest » August 15th, 2004, 2:41 pm

Now that I think about it, it seems strange, but I've always objected to the bra trick--HOWEVER-- I've used "Houdini Outstripped" for years.

'Wonder Why?

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Pete Biro
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Pete Biro » August 15th, 2004, 3:55 pm

Feather Flowers, Strat-O-Sphere, Square Cirlce.
Stay tooned.

Jon Allen
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Jon Allen » August 15th, 2004, 4:14 pm

One word:

Prismatic

Curtis Kam
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Curtis Kam » August 15th, 2004, 7:06 pm

In this day and age? The Chung Ling Soo firecracker. But I really want to.

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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Guest » August 15th, 2004, 7:10 pm

Dearest Lisa - when you wear a lovely beaded evening gown, feather flowers and picture silks go hand in hand. However - if you can imagine a Eugene Burger looking guy trying to put across the Pom Pom Stick or Color changing flower plumes in a similar (although plus size) lovely beaded evening gown... well... Anyway, I'd love to see your razor blade routine! --Asrah

Ray Eden
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Ray Eden » August 16th, 2004, 5:28 am

Pom Pom Sticks!

R. Eden

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Joe M. Turner
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Joe M. Turner » August 16th, 2004, 5:51 am

Depends on the audience I'm being hired to entertain.

Kids and families? I'll take a Pom-Pom stick into a show like that, even if it has prismatic tape on it. I really like Dan Garrett's adaptation of the pom-pom stick -- great for magicians.

When I was doing more children's shows I didn't have any objection at all to Stratospheres, etc. Big colorful props that are easy to see by large groups... those were appropriate for the audience. If I were doing a lot of kids shows, I would still be happy to use some of those "cylinder props" on occasion.

Now I try to scale down the size of my props as much as possible for travel convenience as well as audience impact. Packing ease is becoming as much of a criterion for selection of a prop as whether it has prism tape on it...

JMT

Carl Mercurio
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Carl Mercurio » August 16th, 2004, 9:03 am

On the thing with thimbles. I never did them because I couldn't do them well. Still can't. And you're right. They do seem out of place. I did have one thought, however. The caps of those Blistex lip gloss sticks fit on the fingertip like a thimble. Seems you could justify using them for some kind of thimble routine.

As for all the "kid stuff" mentioned, I wonder if some of these things with the right presentation would work for adults. I used to do sucker die box for a weekly family show at FAO in New York before its demise (it was their debt I tell you, not my act). Anyway, I was always amazed at how well the sucker die box played with the adults in the crowd. People would come up and comment to me about it. I've always felt that there had to be a nice comedy routine you could do in a night club with this prop. Admittedly, I haven't found it yet.

Btw, when I was in Japan two years ago I saw the Napoleons on TV (they have this weekly kid show with a lot of magic on it). Anyway, they did this bit where they wanted to set the world record by performing 100 tricks in less than 3 minutes or something like that. Every silly magic prop you could imagine was on a long table, and Bona (or was it Parte) just went down the line. It was hilarious.

BrendanK
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby BrendanK » August 16th, 2004, 10:44 am

PomPoms? Piet Forton? shurely shome mishtake?

Just back from Falkland Palace in Fife, Scotland - a day of magic featuring all sorts of performers from Ali Bongo (pompoms?), JayScott Berry, Pat Page - numerous others....

...I believe the guy in medieval costume "a la renaissance fayre" was Pierre de Beaufort otherwise known as Piet Forton.....

HE did PomPom stick!! - each pom pom was the size of a large grapefruit.

What was that about packs small, plays big?....

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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Guest » August 17th, 2004, 12:11 am

One effect I can't use is cigarette productions/vanishes. I did when I was 15, based on the instructions in Hugard's Modern Magic Manual, but no longer, I quit.

I might be able to use an unlit cigarette, but using a lit cigarette would risk triggering my former 2 1/2 pack a day habit. ( Camels ; *hack cough wheeze*)

Andrew Martin Portala
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Andrew Martin Portala » August 17th, 2004, 2:33 am

I believe it's appropriate to quote S.H. Sharpe,
"I do not want to watch a "master magician" depending for his magic on a change bag,drawer box,Square Circle,or dove pan, although a master can sometimes overcome the drawback of familiarity by his presentation."
Art and Magic
S.H. Sharpe

Lisa Cousins
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Lisa Cousins » August 17th, 2004, 8:06 am

I think we all know - and it's evident in the way that Harold Cataquet phrased his original question - that anything in the right hands can be wonderful.

Except for Ring Flight, which of course admits of no exception.

And dearest Asrah: I want you to know that I have never forgotten the T&R newspaper premise that you posted here long ago under your real name, and that I consider it the best motivated and wittiest one ever devised, and that you have obtained admission to Magic Heaven on the basis of that premise alone, even if you arrive at the pearly gates without a single silk or slate.

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Brian Morton
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Brian Morton » August 17th, 2004, 8:25 am

Eesh.

No thimbles. No Square Circle. No Temple Screen. No feather flowers. No spring flowers. No Zombie.

::shudder::

brian :cool:

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Pete Biro
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Pete Biro » August 17th, 2004, 9:23 am

Lisa... wait 'til you see "Just In Case" a totally NEW way to do Ring FRIGHT. Stay tooned... :D
Stay tooned.

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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Guest » August 17th, 2004, 10:28 am

Mouth coils, sponge balls, cards, or anything else which is TAKEN FROM THE MOUTH AND OFFERED to a spectator to take or hold. The exchange or transfer of body fluids is just not the thing to do. I would be hostile if some clown came to my house and offered one of my grandkids a slimy end of a mouth coil, etc. Absolutely untouchable!!!

Other than the above, I believe almost any magic prop might be made into a "signature" effect by some people, although I am not very fond of the Bra Trick and the Ding Dong...

opie

Frank Starsinic
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Frank Starsinic » August 19th, 2004, 10:08 pm

Anything that looks like it came fresh from a magic store.

Trick Decks

Packet Tricks

Cohiba
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Cohiba » August 23rd, 2004, 2:26 pm

Anything that looks like a "prop". If it looks as if the magic is in the prop, then I don't do it. As an example, I've always been intrigued by tricks such as the needle through matchbox / brass block, but in a puzzle sort of way. When you do that trick, the audience doesn't think that you did magic, they look at the block and try to figure out how it worked. In other words, they don't give you the credit, but the prop - and rightly so. When doing card tricks, you need to dispell any suspicion that you might have a trick deck. When they see that you can do magic with a regular deck, then you can ring in the gaff.

cataquet
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby cataquet » August 24th, 2004, 7:29 am

I think there is a certain naivete being displayed by those that dismiss "magic props" of any type under all circumstances. Many traditional magic props create an interest in the prop (as opposed to a suspicion), which works to the performer's advantage. Those familiar with Stanley Jaks' performances will know what I mean. Things like sponge balls, coin boxes, cups and balls, linking rings, etc are all "new" props to an audience, but they don't scream "I'm a gimmicked magician's prop"... In my personal experience, I have had greater suspicion exhibited by an audience when using a pack of cards than any of the props I've just mentioned.

Admittedly, some props that I would never touch look "cheap" and "cheesy" to begin with. Here I am talking about props like sleeve bouquets and feather flowers. Surely, no one ACTUALLY uses these?! Oh, another one of my untouchable props is the change bag.

Bye for now

Harold

Brian Marks
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Re: Untouchable Props

Postby Brian Marks » August 26th, 2004, 8:03 pm

I avoid guns in my act so I cant do the bullet catching routine. I must admit, keeping an audience to stay for my whole 42 phase oil and water would be a bit easier if I had a gun.


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