Dr. Om’s magicschool program of study #2

MAGICSCHOOL PROGRAM OF STUDY
BY DR. OM

PAGE #2


DR. OM’S MAGIC LESSON V

I. TO TRANSPORT (CHANGE THE PLACES OF) TWO OR MORE PHYSICAL OBJECTS (Actually: two vanishments and two reproductions)

II. REQUISITE PROP MATERIALS: A deck of playing cards. (See Lesson IV)

III. REQUIRED SLEIGHT MASTERY: THE DOUBLE LIFT. (Review Lesson IV)

EFFECT: FOUR CARD TRANSPOSITION
This marvelous effect was revealed to Dr. OM by Master Magician BILL WISCH.

A spectator examines a deck of cards and picks any card from the deck. The magician culls three like cards from the remaining deck, for a total of four like cards, e.g: four aces, and arranges them in the order of: Ace of Spades, at bottom (with faces facing the magician), then: Ace of hearts; Ace of Clubs; and Ace of Diamonds, at the top of the packet. The important matter is that the four cards should be alternatingly black and red. The magician then turns the packet over with backs facing up, in the mechanic’s grip (See Lesson IV of the left hand. The order from the top of the turned over packet is now: A-S, A-H, A-C,and A-D.

The magician requests that the spectator hold out his hand, palm upward, to form a little table, upon which the magician may place cards.

The magician executes a double lift with his right hand turning the two cards over, revealing the face of the second card: the Ace of Hearts.

The magician replaces the two cards held as one back on top of the packet, still held in the mechanic’s grip. Lifting only the top card (Actually the Ace of Spades), he says: “I am going to place this Ace of Hearts on your hand.” He does so, actually placing the Ace of Spades face down on the spectator’s hand, saying: “Now you are holding the Ace of hearts.”

Simultaneously, he overhandedly grasps the remaining three cards in his left hand mechanic’s grip, by placing his right hand three fingers at the front edges and his thumb at the back edges of the packet.


PHOTO #1
Holding the cards so, in the overgripping right hand, he peels off the top card (Ace of Hearts) to the left, with the ball of his left thumb sliding it onto his left hand fingers and he places the Ace of Hearts at the bottom of the packet.


PHOTO #2
Doing so, he retains a thumb break, at the back of the two top cards (Now, the Ace of clubs on top of the Ace of Diamonds), by squeezing a bit of the the flesh of the ball of his thumb between the Ace of Hearts at the bottom and the two top cards and by angling the front edges of the two top cards downward at the front, to conceal the break being held at the back.


PHOTO #3
The magician’s hand is thusly positioned to execute the second double lift, which he does so, by turning his right hand over to the right, as before, to reveal the face of the bottom of the two cards (the Ace of Diamonds) to the spectator; the Ace of Hearts remaining on the palm of his left hand.

The magician replaces the two cards held as one back on top of the Ace of Hearts still held on his left palm, saying “Now, I’m going to put the Ace of Diamonds crosswise on top of the Ace of Hearts on your little platform.” He does so (Actually placing the top card: the Ace of Clubs on the spectator’s palm.

The magician says: “Now which card is on top? The Ace of Diamonds. Right? And which card is at the bottom. The Ace of hearts. Right? Now don’t forget which is which. Do you think I can make them change places by merely waving the two black cards over them-without touching them?”Doing so he says: “Ace of Diamonds on top and Ace of Hearts on the bottom.” He stops waving, saying: ‘There. I think that is done. Now turn over the top card to see if they have changed places.” The spectator does so and to his surprise reveals the Ace of Spades and then the Ace of Clubs. The magician turns over the Aces of Diamonds and Hearts he is holding, saying: “I don’t know how that happened. I guess I waved too hard.”

THE SURPRISING DENOUEMENT OF THIS REMARKABLE EFFECT IS
ENHANCED BY THE COINCIDENT COLOR CHANGE. THANK YOU, BILL WISCH.


DR. OM’S MAGIC LESSON VI

DR. OM’S MAGIC LESSON VI: TO CHANGE THE FORM OF A PHYSICAL OBJECT [METAMORPHOSIS] (Actually a vanishment and production)

PROP MATERIALS:

The principle and method for changing one small object into another small object remain the same, no matter what those small objects may be. For the sake of easily obtaining the prop materials for lesson VI, Dr. OM suggests using a penny and a nickel; the penny is to be transformed into the nickel. In addition, a small magic wand should be placed into either the right side jacket pocket or, if performing without a jacket, into the right side pants pocket. The penny and the nickel should be stored in the same pocket with the wand.

TECHNIQUE DESCRIPTION: THE FINGER PALM AND THE BOBO DROP OR THE ALTERNATIVE LEFT HAND PRECONCEALMENT

THE FINGER PALM

Concealment of a small object, in this case a nickle, in the crotch of the second and third and fourth fingers:

NICKLE IN FINGERPALM
THE BOBO DROP

With the nickel concealed in right hand finger palm position, the penny is held and displayed between the index finger and thumb of the same right hand. The right hand seems to place the penny into the open left hand but actually drops the right hand finger palmed nickel into the left hand as the left hand fingers close to mask the dropping nickel as the penny falls from the right index and thumb into the same finger palm position previously occupied by the nickel. The left hand is now holding the nickel and the right hand is holding the penny. Do not allow the two coins to clink together (talk) ,as the noise will give away the dirty work and the spectator will catch on.

SEQUENTIAL PHOTOS OF THE BOBO DROP MOVES

BOBO DROP #2

BOBO DROP #3
Exaggerated Magician’s Rear View

1. Penny display and finger palm concealment of nickel

2. Bobo drop of Exaggerated and retention of penny

ALTERNATIVE LEFT HAND PRECONCEALMENT

If at first, the BOBO DROP proves too difficult, use the left hand concealment, until able to execute the Bobo Drop in a smooth, continuous and quiet motion. The left hand concealment method simply requires holding the nickel in the in the left hand finger palm position and pretending to place the penny into the left hand while retaining it in the right hand, just as with the pom pom in lesson number one. Of course, when the LEFT HAND PRECONCEALMENT METHOD is used, the nickel should be stored in a left hand side pocket and the penny and wand in a right side pocket.

PRESENTATION (Using the Bobo Drop method)

Reach into the left hand pocket and scoop the nickel into finger palm position as grasping the penny between index finger (first finger) and thumb. Display the penny right in the spectator’s face, asking: “Do you see this penny?” Execute Bobo Drop with left hand now holding the nickel in your left fist with closed palm upward still in the spectator’s face and reach into the right hand pocket dropping (DITCHING) the penny and picking up the wand. (Reaching for the “wand” provides covering motivation for the ditch. While saying:“In ancient times, the alchemists were able to change a less valuable metal into a more valuable metal; lead into gold. All they had to was whisper the magic spell and wave a magic staff around the base metal.” Wave the wand back and forth under the back of your left hand. At the right instant, say. “DONE,” simultaneously opening the left hand to reveal the metamorphosed nickel.

When the alternative left hand preconcealment method is used, conceal the nickel in the left hand finger palm position before beginning the effect and wait a while before beginning. CONCEALING AND WAITING ARE MISDIRECTION TECHNIQUES.

After mastering the effect using a penny and a nickel, try the same method with other small objects. USE YOUR IMAGINATION.

NOTE: The BOBO DROP is named for its inventor, magician and author: BOBO.

NEXT INSTALLMENT VII, VIII, IX, X and XI.


Dr. OM’s Magic Lessons VII, VIII, IX, & X

Having exercised your imagination about the use of the BOBO DROP (switch) taught in lesson VI, you may have already devised the transpositions (substitutions; switches) for lessons VII, VIII, IX and X. If you have not, here’s how:

VII. TO CHANGE THE SIZE OF A PHYSICAL OBJECT-DIMINISHMENT (make smaller) or AUGMENTATION (make larger) (Actually a vanishment followed by a production).

1) Display a small red pom pom at the finger tips of the right hand.

2) BOBO DROP a right finger palmed larger or smaller red pom pom into the left hand.

3)With the right hand, reach into the right pocket ditching the smaller pom pom into the pocket and picking up a pencil or a mini-wand (which you can make by painting a four inch length of quarter inch dowel black and then painting about 1/2 inch of each tip white-use masking tape for neatness sake).

4) Wave the mini-wand OVER the left hand. Whisper a spell, if you wish.

5) Open the left hand revealing the “GROWN” pom pom.

VIII. TO CHANGE THE COLOR OF A PHYSICAL OBJECT-(Actually A vanishment followed by a production).

Perform with a red pom pom and a pom pom of another color and employ the same procedure as for VII, above.

XI. TO CHANGE THE WEIGHT OF A PHYSICAL OBJECT-(Actually a vanishment followed by a production).

Dr. OM’s ORIGINAL OVERWEIGHT SPONGE BALL

MATERIALS:

1) Two (2) identical One and one half (1 1/2) inch sponge balls

2) One (1) single edged razor blade

3) One (1) tube of TESTORS CEMENT FOR PLASTIC MODELS

4) One (1) one half (1/2”) steel ball bearing or lead ball, or a goodly quantity of steel nuts without bolts

PREPARATION

1) Place one sponge ball aside to be used as is.

2) With the single edged razor blade, cut the other sponge ball exactly in half as neatly as possible. Pressing the sponge ball flat makes the operation easier.

3) Hollow out each half as neatly as possible being careful not to tear the outer shells. If you do tear an outer shell, repair it by gluing a bit of left over rubber fragment to the INSIDE of the shell.

4) Glue the ball bearing to the inside of one shell, OR, if you are using steel nuts, fill both shells as full as possible with nuts letting them literally swim in glue. Make sure that all are securely glued or else they will “talk” (make a bean bag noise) during performance. Of course, a ball bearing will cause no such problem. Let dry thoroughly, and then glue the two shells together again at the cut edges, matching the edges which will inevitably be somewhat irregulary cut. Let dry thoroughly.

5) When dry pick off any residue glue and trim irregularities with a pair of manicure scissors. Apply dish soap and rub with a piece of fine sandpaper, then rinse, squeeze to get rid of excess water, fluff up, and let dry thoroughly. When dry, the loaded sponge ball should look reasonably like the unloaded. If not, go the other way and dirty up the unloaded ball by smearing it with a bit of glue, imitating the smears on the loaded ball.

6) Clean your fingers and hands with paint solvent or nail polish remover and lots of soap and water. It was a messy job.

Kids, do not attempt this project without help from an adult to help with cutting the ball and using the model cement.

PERFORMANCE

1) Place both sponge balls in right side coat or pants pocket with the pencil or mini-wand.

2) In concealment in the pocket, right finger palm the loaded sponge ball and emerge displaying the unloaded sponge ball at the right finger tips. Being careful not to expose the finger palmed loaded ball, exchange the unloaded ball from right to left fingertips while saying:

“As you well know, everyone is weight concious these days. Some people diet, some people exercise, and some people do both. Exercise alone tightens up but doesn’t necessarily take weight off. Take this rubber ball (handing it off to spectator), for instance. Weigh it in your hand. Light as a feather, isn’t it (taking the ball back with the right fingers and apparently tossing it into the left hand, but actually executing the BOBO DROP. Let the loaded ball show through the left grasping fingers an instant, for further misdirection, as turning the left hand over, palm downward and rubbing the displayed back of the left hand with the right index finger, for a moment. Then reach into right pocket for the pencil or mini-wand, saying:) This ball exercises, so it looks slim enough, but feel how heavy it really is.” (Drop the loaded ball into the spectator’s hand). FINIS

X. TO CHANGE THE TEMPERATURE OF A PHYSICAL OBJECT-(Actually a vanishment followed by a production).

Cut a piece of plexiglass into the same size as an ice cube from your own freezer tray. Finger palm an ice cube. Have the spectator hold and feel the plexiglass cube. Employ the BOBO DROP and the pencil or mini-wand ditching ploy and drop the ice cube into the spectator’s open hand. Watch the surprise at how cold it is. Magic is principally a visual art, but whenever possible, appeal to the other senses, as well.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: XI. TO PENETRATE A SOLID PHYSICAL OBJECT WITH ANOTHER SOLID PHYSICAL OBJECT


DR. OM’S MAGIC LESSON: XI

To Penetrate a Solid Physical Object With Another Solid Physical Object

COMEDY CUT AND RESTORED NECKTIE & SHIRT THROUGH COAT ROUTINE AS PERFORMED BY DR.OM

EFFECT: A spectator is called up from the audience and asked to remove his tie and unbutton the top buttons of his shirt and to unbutton his shirt cuff buttons, as well. The spectator, having done so, is then asked to relax as the magician grasps the back of the spectator’s shirt collar and yanks the shirt upward and off, apparently passing through the spectator’s arms and coat.

INTRODUCED BY:
· pick pocketing;
· cut and restored necktie; and
· mock vanishment.

MATERIALS:
· Spectator/Assistant, Stooge (a stooge is a secret assistant), pre-dressed in rigged shirt;
· A somewhat oversized white dress shirt to fit spectator loosely;
· Two identical neckties;
· A two piece business suit worn by spectator/assistant;
· A pair of scissors;
· A large white bed sheet;
· A chair;
· A small applause sign concealed in stooge’s left inside suit coat breast pocket;
· Dinner table flatware wrapped in a large white napkin.

RIGGINGS:

CUT AND RESTORED NECKTIE: Identical necktie #1 is tied into a Windsor knot, but the broad end is not allowed to hang down as normal. Instead, it is tucked into the shirt leaving only the knot visible.

The broad end of the identical #2 necktie is cut to the same length as the concealed portion of tie H 1 and is neatly tucked into the knot to resemble a whole tie. The broad end of tie #2 is the portion to be cut during performance.

The concealed portion of tie #1 provides restoration.

SHIRT THROUGH COAT: The oversized shirt is donned cape-like, in that the arms do not go through the shirt sleeves. Instead, only the cuffs are buttoned around the wrists. The top three front buttons from the collar are buttoned; the remaining lower buttons are left unbuttoned. The tie to be cut and restored is donned, as described in cut and restored tie rigging above.

The shirt tails are loosely rolled upward and tucked into the pants belting so that they will not be sat on and prevent shirt removal. A loosely secured belt may be worn. NO suspenders or braces.

The suit coat is donned and buttoned to cover the unbuttoned bottom of the shirt.

The dinner table flatware is rolled into the white dinner napkin and placed into the
spectator/assistant’s right side coat pocket. The stooge is then seated in the audience.

NOTE: Some experimentation by magician and stooge, in order to get the costume rig right is recommended. Practice and rehearsal are required. Dr. OM has hilariously performed this classic routine with school principals, male teachers, social club presidents, and corporate executives, before school and adult audiences who just love the fun!

PERFORMANCE AND (PATTER)

Sir, yes, you sir. Would you be kind enough to come up on stage and assist me. Why thank you, and what is your name?

STOOGE: (tells his name)

MAGICIAN: Oh my, the Principal of the school, and where were you earlier?

STOOGE: (The Principal replies that he was at lunch at a popular local restaurant).

MAGICIAN: And what is that bulge in your pocket? (The magician grasps the napkin corners and pulls the napkin out of the stooge’s pocket allowing the flatware to clatter to the floor).

(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)

MAGICIAN: Oh, I’m sorry for blowing your cover Mr. __________. I should have known you are the principal by the way you are dressed. What a beautiful suit (feeling the downstage lapel between the right thumb outside and the fingers under lapel with thumb rubbing outside of lapel). But your tie. It’s a bit too long, isn’t it? Don’t worry, I’ll fix it (producing scissors from upstage special pocket sewn into the magician’s coattail; magician grasps end of stooge’s tie and begins to clackingly open and close scissors menacingly).

STOOGE: (pleadingly) No! Nol (but magician cuts off bottom of tie and repeats cutting two more times, for a total of the magic three of a running gag, finally leaving only a stub of the tie remaining).

MAGICIAN: Don’t worry Mr. _________, I’ve done this a thousand times before. Now if you will sit down in this chair, firstly, I shall vanish you (holds up one finger). Secondly, I shall bring you back (holds up two fingers); and thirdly, your tie will be in one piece again (holds up two fingers again, implying that the magician can’t even count, much less bring the principal back with his tie restored).

STOOGE: I don’t know if I want to go through with this.

MAGICIAN: Don’t worry, (urging him into the chair) I’ve done this a thousand times and I’ve never been hurt.

STOOGE: OHHHHHHHH! (groaningly, as magician covers him almost entirely with the bed sheet leaving only the principal’ s feet conspicuously sticking out of the sheet. The magician pulls stooge’s shoulders back [through the sheeti into the chair from behind. As he does so, stooge raises legs horizontally from floor necessitating that the magician run around him downstage to push feet down to the floor again. Of course, then he must push shouldes [through the sheet] into the chair and then again has to push legs down to the floor finally getting it right by pushing on stooge’s shoulders and knees at the same time).

MAGICIAN: Now we are ready to vanish you. (Magician makes grandiose magical gesture with waving hands).

STOOGE: OHHHHHHHHH! (groaningly).

MAGICIAN: Are you still in there Mr. ____________

STOOGE: Yes (in a small fearful voice).

MAGICIAN: Let’s try again (repeats gesturing). Are you still in there?

STOOGE: Yes.

MAGICIAN: ONE MORE TIME! (repeats gesturing). Are you still in there?

STOOGE: No (pulling feet under sheet to vanish them. As all of this sight gag nonsense has been going on, the stooge has put the remaining stub of cut tie #2 into his coat pocket and pulled the tucked in broad end of the whole tie #1 from under his shirt. He has unbuttoned the top three buttons of his shirt and cuffs [make sure he does so or you’ll hang him].

MAGICIAN: There, it’s done. He is gone.

(AUDIENCE OBJECTIONS AND BOOING)

MAGICIAN: I’ll prove it. Are you in there?

STOOGE: No.

MAGICIAN: You see, he’s gone. Now to bring him back. (arm gesturing) ABRACADABRA! Have you come back yet?

STOOGE: No.

MAGICIAN: I’ll have to try harder. ABRACADABRAt HOCUS POCUS! SIM SALA BIM!
Are you returned?

STOOGE: Yes.

MAGICIAN: AHA! (pulling sheet away) You see I have made him come back (bowing), and

EUREKA: Mr. ____________‘s necktie is again in one piece (holding up the broad end of the tie on the palm of his left hand for audience to view).

STOOGE: (saying nothing takes out and displays applause sign from the inside left breast pocket of his suit coat)

MAGICIAN: And now Sir, prepare yourself for I shall remove your shirt right through your coat. (He does so by reaching under stooge’s suit coat collar by standing behind the stooge’s chair and grasping the back of the shirt collar and yanking the shirt off vertically.)

STOOGE: OHHHHHHHH! (in a high pitched voice). He is left in his undershirt and embarrassedly rushes to right stage and off into the right wings.

MAGICIAN: A big round of applause for Mr. __________. What a good sport.

FINIS


Dr. OM’S MAGIC LESSON XII

To Levitate a Physical Object

This lesson XII will be devoted to the flotation of a “SNOWBALL” ZOMBIE by employment of a MECHANICAL GIMMICK.

The next lesson XIII will be devoted to the classic FLOATING HANK utilizing a WIRE contrivance.

Lesson XIV will teach the THREAD method of performing the rising pencil from test tube.

The mechanical gimmick, or concealed MACHINE, for large stage illusions; wire; and thread provide the means for LEVITATION, FLOATATION, and ANIMATION of large or small physical objects. In close-up magic, so-called INVISIBLE THREAD or INVISIBLE ELASTIC are used. In stage magic, heavier wire or thread, larger gimmicks, and concealed heavy mechanical equipment are used.

Until the student can afford to purchase a ZOMBIE BALL set from a magic dealer, instructions for making an experimental set are included in this lesson. Sets may be purchased from BOBBY J. GALLO through I.C.O.M.

THE FLOATING SNOWBALL

Materials:

A. From a craft shop, obtain a STYROFOAM BALL, about three (3) inches in diameter.
B. Prepare a DOUBLE SILK thirty-six (36) inch square FOULARD (scarf), by having the two silk squares neatly stitched together as close to the edges as possible along the entire periphery.

Black silks are preferred, but the silks may be of any color, as long as they are opaque (cannot be seen through).

C. A sturdy WIRE HANGAR, from which the GIMMICK is fashioned, as follows:

1) From the hangar, cut a straight length of wire about fifteen (15) inches long, providing excess which can be trimmed later.
2) Straighten the length of wire, as cleanly as possible where the bends in the hangar occur, then rebend the wire in the following manner:

3) Pierce the center of the 3” Styrofoam ball with the 2 1/2’ portion of the gimmick thus formed:

4) Form a slight bow in the 12” length of wire to finish the gimmick.

Use white adhesive tape to reinforce attachment of the gimmick to the styrofoam ball. CAUTION: Do not use household or model cement to further reinforce, as the solvents will melt the styrofoam. If further reinforcement is desired, use white glue.

If the looped wire hurts the inserted third finger of the right hand, cover the loops with adhesive tape. Paint the entire gimmick with flat black metal paint.

Basic Performance

1) Place the gimmicked ball on a table facing the audience and. cover it with the foulard, in. such manner as the right hand third finger may be easily inserted in the loops:

2) Grasp upstage edge of the foulard consistently with first and second fingers anct pinkies of each band showing OVER edge of foulard and thumbs and third fingers UNDER foulard with right hand third finger inserted in the gimmick loops. Picking up the foulard and conceald gimmick and ball must be ptacticed until both hands move perfectly consistently and syncbronizedly without hesitancy in inserting the right third finger.

3) Holding the two corners, raise the foulard such that the gimmick and ball are hidden behind by slightly angling the gimmick downward. The third right finger and thumb are used to guide and lift the gimmick and ball.

4) Waving the foulard downstage toward the audiece, or practice mirror, or ‘ICR Camera, walk or dance gracefully downstage of the mounting table while with the thumb and third finger causing the gimmick to rise such tat the ball becomes visible from behind the foulard at the top edge; then, cause the gimmick and ball to fall behind the foulard in a vanishment.

These are the most basic moves of ZOMBIE. Once you have experimented and are convinced that you wish to add the full effect to your repertoire and have purchased a professional set, DR. OM recomends: Tim Wright’s video, titled ZOMBIE, as the difinitive study of the Zombie routine. Copies are available trough BOBBY GALLO and I.C.O.M.

Next Lesson : The Floating Hank


DR. OM’S MAGIC LESSON XII

THE BACKGROUND

Roughly thirty years ago, in the realm of his musical performing, Dr. OM, while shopping for a new guitar, had thrust into his hands a quite beautiful instrument, by a salesman. The guitar was beautiful but encumbered with all kinds of heavy metal levers and gadgets. Dr. OM drew a laugh from the salesman by commenting: “This is a great guitar but what is all the plumbing for?”

The salesman replied through a chuckle, “Well, for instance, this chromed lever, if depressed, will stretch the strings and bend the tones into a smear.” “But I produce a smear with my fingers. I don’t need a lever,” answered Dr. OM. “Yeah, but these young rockers can’t do it with their fingers. They need a lever.” “So skill and technique is driven out by technology,” lamented Dr. Om. “I guess so,” shrugged the salesman. Needless to say, Dr. OM chose an even better guitar: a Gibson L-5, which he has been playing, ever since. Dr. OM fancies himself to be a minstrel-mountebank of an innocent bygone time.Earlier in the day, on this Sunday, before sitting down to write up the current lesson, Dr. OM and Mother Goose, Mrs. OM, visited their daughter. The grandchildren were watching television. Dr. OM was attracted to a toy company’s advertisement with the same feeling he had experienced when holding the plumber’s special. The toy is a levitation device which will cause a ball, about the size of a ping pong ball, to levitate, float through a limited air space, and land in a cup shaped receptacle; additional small objects are provided by the manufacturer, for the sake of variety. The clever device appears to be a miniature version of a piece of apparatus given to Dr. OM by a retired magician, which, by means of an air pump, serves to levitate a balloon.

Dr. OM, thinking of all the study and practice that magicians undergo, in order to perform animation and levitation, suffered consternation at the reduction to toy land he had witnessed; another instance of skill and technique driven out by technology. However, knowing how way gives way to way, and being aware of the obsolescence of the popular toy, Dr. OM has decided to purchase the levitation device and save it in a drawer. Dr. OM will wait until the toy is forgotten. Perhaps, he will mount it where it cannot be seen in his magic table top, in the manner of a black art well, and employ it to levitate small objects, as a modulation to the levitating balloon, in a sequence, yet to be organized into an animation routine.

What is a minstrel to do in this modern age of chromed levers? What is a magician to do in this modern age of cinematic special effects? Is not a magician dependent upon the innocence of the audience? How could Houdin get away with his magnetic box these days?

How could Merlin get away with vanishing and producing potatoes from his sleeves? How does the modem magician without the funds to produce a ten-million-dollar illusion on the grand scale get along?

MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC AND BEAUTIFUL MAGIC, IF YOU CAN. BE AN ENTERTAINER. PLAY UPON YOUR UNIQUE PERSONALITY. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INTIMACY OF LIVE PERFORMANCE, BOTH ON STAGE AND CLOSE UP. INTERACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE. EN JOY YOUR WORK. THAT’S THE ONLY ANSWER.

Furthermore, incorporate any technology, gaff, or gimmick, which will enable the transformation of a conjuring effect into a minor miracle. Do not hesitate to utilize a device, thinking that to do so is cheating, if it will enhance your performance. The great magicians, throughout the history of magic and to the present day, have done so. Devices do not necessarily preclude skill and technique in the masterly employment of a slight, move, subtlety, or misdirection. In any case, if effective, the audience has no idea but guesswork about how you did it.

THE FOREGROUND

Levitation, treated in a previous lesson, is in fact, a species of ANIMATION, as defined in the title of this present chapter. A variety of methods exist for the animation of an object, such as masked thread, invisible thread, wire, and mechanical and electronic gimmickry. As an introduction to animation, the masked thread method is treated herein, because it is the easiest to manage. The effect presented is:

THE ANIMATED HANK IN BOTTLE.

Without the aid of offstage assistants, the performance of The Animated Hank in Bottle is possible in a limited fashion.

The Effect

The audience sees a dormant hank (red silk) lying in a crumpled heap at the bottom of a gallon jug sitting on a table. The magician mysteriously approaches the jug, lifts it from the table, peers at the hank within, and resets the jug on the table. He then, by means of magical gestures, causes the hank to move within the bottle, rise upward and partially emerge from the mouth of the bottle, and then descend to the bottom. The sequence isrepeated, but the second time, the hank sinks to it’s original sleeping posture at the bottom of the jug.

PROPS

1) A GALLON WINE JUG WITH A HOLE DRILLED THROUGH AND POLISHED SMOOTH, BY YOUR LOCAL GLAZIER. THE HOLE SHOULD BE AS CLOSE TO THE FLOOR OF THE JUG AS POSSIBLE, WHILE STILL ALLOWING CLEARANCE FOR A THREAD OR FILAMENT TO PASS THROUGH.

2) A FILAMENT: PREFERABLY, STRONG BLACK NON-GLOSS THREAD SUCH AS BUTTON THREAD OR UPHOLSTERING THREAD, OR BLACK FISHING LINE OF AN APPROPRIATE GAUGE TO BE STRONG ENOUGH, YET INVISIBLE ENOUGH TO DO THE JOB. IN THE OLD DAYS, A MAGICIAN WOULD PLUCK A LONG HAIR FROM HIS WIFE1 S HEAD TO OBTAIN A PROPER FILAMENT FOR LIGHT OBJECTS SUCH AS A PLAYING CARD. CURRENTLY, INVISIBLE THREAD IS EASILY AVAILABLE OR CAN BE DRAWN FILAMENT BY FILAMENT FROM A PAIR OF BLACK PANTY HOSE. THREAD FOR HEAVIER OBJECTS IS MORE DIFFICULT TO COME BY, BECAUSE OF POTENTIAL BREAKAGE OR VISIBILITY.

2) A THREE WAY SCREEN COVERED IN BLACK CLOTH OR BLACK CLOTH THREADED THROUGH WITH MULTI COLORED THREADS. SOMETIMES GLOSSY IS BETTER; SOMETIMES NON GLOSSY IS BETTER. THE CHOICE MUST BE DETERMINED BY EYE AND BY THE NATURE OF THE THREAD EMPLOYED. STUDY A SPIDER WEAVING ITS WEB. KLAMM MAGIC SELLS AN EXCELLENT BLACK DROP CLOTH SUSPENDED ON A WOODEN FOLDABLE FRAME, WHICH IS MUCH BETTER THAN OTHER ALUMINUM FRAMES. DR. OM WEIGHTS DOWN HIS FRAMES WITH COMMON BRICKS COVERED IN BLACK SOCKS STITCHED CLOSED. BACKDROPS OF ANY SORT OTHER THAN STAGE FLATS PAINTED FLAT BLACK ARE NOT EFFICIENT OUT DOORS IN A BREEZE OR WIND, BUT THEN, NEITHER IS THREAD WORK EFFICIENT UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS. THE PURPOSE OF A BACK DROP IS, OF COURSE, TO RENDER THE THREAD WORK NON VISIBLE.

3) A TWELVE INCH RED SILK FOLDED IN HALF CADDY CORNER WITH A KNOT TIED AT THE TOP TO APPEAR AS THE “HEAD” OF THE HANK WITH A SHORT LENGTH OF THE SILK EMERGING ABOVE THE KNOT AND THE LARGER BALANCE OF THE LENGTH OF SILK HANGING BELOW THE KNOT.

RIGGING

ONE END OF THE FILAMENT IS TIED OR SEWN JUST BELOW THE HANK KNOT, THE OTHER END OF THE FILAMENT IS PASSED THROUGH THE OUT SIDE HOLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE JUG AND PASSED UP THROUGH THE MOUTH OF THE JUG. TURN THE JUG UPSIDE DOWN TO MAKE THE PROCESS EASIER. THE SECOND FREE END OF THE FILAMENT, NOW EMERGED FROM THE JUG MOUTH MUST BE SEWN, NOT TIED TO THE TIP OF THE TAIL OF THE HANK. (CAUTION DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THIS INSIDE THE JUG AS IT WOULD BE TOO DIFFICULT.) BOTH ENDS OF THE HANK ARE NOW ATTACHED TO A LARGE LOOP OF FILAMENT. DROP THE HANK THROUGH THE MOUTH INTO THE JUG WHERE IT WILL UNDOUBTEDLY JUST LIE THERE AT THE INSIDE BOTTOM OF THE JUG. THE APPARATUS IS NOW RIGGED AND SET. THE HEIGHT OF THE TABLE AND LENGTH OF THE FILAMENT MUST BE DECIDED BY THE INDIVIDUAL PRACTITIONER’S COMFORT LEVEL, AND SOME EXPERIMENTATION WILL BE REQUIRED.

METHOD

WHEN INITIALLY PICKING UP THE JUG, AS DESCRIBED UNDER “EFFECT” ABOVE, BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT THUMBS ARE SLIPPED THROUGH THE FILAMENT LOOP. WHEN THE JUG IS SET DOWN AGAIN, THE LOOP REMAINS HOOKED INTO EACH THUMB CROTCH. SEPARATING THE HANDS ABOVE THE JUG IN A MAGICAL GESTURE WILL DRAW THE FILAMENT TAUGHT. RAISING THE RIGHT HAND, WITHOUT RESISTANCE FROM THE LEFT, WILL CAUSE THE HANK TO ASCEND; LOWERING THE LEFT AND RIGHT HANDS WILL CAUSE THE HANK TO DESCEND. RAPID MOTION OF THE HANDS WILL CAUSE THE HANK TO WIGGLE IF THE FILAMENT BREAKS, A HEAVIER DUTY IS NECESSARY. FROM HERE ON IN THE REST IS UP TO THE MAGICIAN’S EXPERIMENTATION, ACTING, AND INTERACTING WITH THE MOTIONS OF THE HANK. AS WITH THE DANCING CANE, TOO LONG EXPOSURE MAY RESULT IN DETECTION BY AUDIENCE DEDUCTION THAT THE HANK IS ON A STRING. DO NOT OVER KILL.

GOOD LUCK.


DR. OM’S MAGIC LESSON XIV

Rising Pencil From Test Tube (The Thread Method)


The three effects in floatation or levitation treated in this series are chosen for the express purpose of illustrating the three possible methods: 1) Mechanical Gimmick 2) Wire; and 3) Thread. If you can floatate or levitate without employing one of these methods, you are either using forced air or you are a supernatural magician. To further clarify Dr. OM defines LEVITATION, as causing the self or another physical object to rise from the floor or ground; he defines FLOATATION, as not only causing the self or another physical object to rise from the floor or ground, but also to cause the self or another physical object to move through the air: up and down and side to side, that is to FLY.

THE PENCIL RISING IN THE TEST TUBE illustrates the thread method. Be it clearly known that once you have learned the methods, the rest is left to your own imaginative invention: the what and how to float, and the presentation, as an actor performing the character of a magician in a play.

See DR. OM’S TREATISE ON SHOWMAANSHIP AND STAGECRAFT FOR THE PERFORMING MAGICIAN, to learn about assuming a persona and all the other critical ingredients of theatrical performance. It don’t mean a thing, if it a’int got that swing.

MATERIALS:

1) One standard laboratory test tube;

2) One three quarter length of sharpened pencil. The top of the pencil must not protrude above the mouth of the test tube, once inserted;

3) Superfine black thread, or, better INVISIBLE THREAD purchased from I.C.O.M (or magic dealer) or drawn carefully from easily obtained panty hose; and

4) One button to color match the suit coat or vest.

INVISIBLE THREAD RIGGING:

PRESENTATION:

The test tube and pre-inserted pencil are removed from the outside breast pocket of the suit coat and are extended by the left hand. As the magician makes several magical gestures at the props with his right hand, his body moves gradually, slowly, unnoticeably back from them. He does not farther extend his left hand. The movement backward of the body causes the invisible thread to grow taut and magically raise the pencil such that it protrudes from the mouth of the test tube.

ADVICE:

1) Move backward slowly;

2) Do not allow the pencil to rise too high or it will fall out of the test tube and hang there, thereby blowing the effect; and

3) Do not extend the left arm to cause the levitation; let the body’s backward movement do it all, in order produce the illusion.


DR. OM’S MAGIC LESSON XV THE FLOATING HANK (Thread Method)

As previously stated, the three effects in flotation or levitation, treated in this series, are chosen for the express purpose of illustrating the three possible methods: 1) Mechanical Gimmick Method; 2) Wire Method; and 3) Thread Method. There is a fourth method which employs air forced out of a machine, not unlike the blower side on a vacuum cleaner, which is used to float light objects, such as balloons, feathers, and confetti.

THE FLOATATION OR DANCING HANK represents the WIRE METHOD:

MATERIALS

1) A red magician’s silk, about nine inches square; and
2) A piece of piano wire.

(A commercial version called “DANCING MATILDA” may be purchased from I.C.O.M or your favorite magic dealer)

The color of the silk is left to the student to choose. DR.OM uses either red or white. The term HANK should be used with audiences. Do not say SILK.

METHOD

With the right hand thumb thrust into the wire loop and hidden behind the silk, the fingers of the right and left hands move magically to right and left of the silk. Never expose the right thumb, but wiggle it behind the silk to secretly cause the silk to bounce and dance. Practice before a mirror moving the dancing silk downstage toward the audience and upstage toward your face and vertically up and down keeping your eyes always on the silk. ACT. . .ACT.. .ACT Use your imagination. Have an idea of what the silk represents and accordingly kiss it or bite it, have it elude you, cause it to tickle you under the nose, sneeze. The presentation is up to you and must fit your show. The expressions on your face are of utmost importance. The silk becomes a puppet OR A PERSON with whom you interact.

For a more sophisticated version of The Dancing-Floating Handkerchief, which requires an offstage assistant, see BOBBY J. GALLO’S description in the I.C.O.M KID SHOW KONSERVATORY. Some of his ideas may be applied to this one man version.

See as well: DR. OM’S TREATISE ON SHOWMANSHIP AND STAGECRAFT FOR THE PERFORMING MAGICIAN, For for tips on stage presence and acting. ENJOY.

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