Spooky Stuff Lecture Notes 1

August 27, 2017 | Author: jsilk7 | Category: Balloon, Knot, Rope, Envelope, Yarn
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Descripción: Lecture from John Ferrentino and Joe Silkie...



I really do not perform many close up effects, probably because I like to go out at night with my pockets empty and I don't like spending 18 dollar or 50 cent pieces by mistake. However, I really admire close up magicians, like I do brain surgeons, yet I have no desire to perform either task. I don't know where I saw the Three Little Bears for the first time, but I do remember that it was presented as a gag, and not a magic trick. Three little bears wander around the spectator's hand going to the bathroom and back.to bed, until the baby gear can't find the bathroom and ends up wetting in the spectator's hand. (I love this one!) All you need is: - Matchbook - Wet paper napkincrumpled in a ball The Performance

Place the wet paper ball in right hand, palmed under pinky and ring finger. Ask a spectator if he has ever heard the story of the Three Little Bears. Have him place his hand palm up as you begin. "Once upon a time there were three little bears, the papa bear ... " as you take a match from the book with your right hand and place it upright between the spectator's 2nd and 3rd fingers. "Next there was the mama bear" rip off another match and place upright between 300 and 4th finger, so as not to be as tall as papa bear. At this point the spectator will begin to wonder why he has unlit matches between his fingers and will start to freak out. Explain that he will not get burned, and act insulted that he would think you could be so sick. "Next comes the baby bear" - rip a match out of the book and tear it in half for the little guy. Place this between the 4th and Sth fingers. At this point, the finger-palmed wet napkin is warmed up and you're ready to start the trick. "One night, the mama bear couldn't sleep, so she got up, went into the living room, vacuumed up the house, made some tea, went out to the outhouse and back to bed." As you say this, hold the mama bear match by the head and jump it around the hand as if it were walking, the palm being the living room and the extended thumb the outhouse. "The vacuuming woke up the papa bear. He went to the outhouse, wandered around the living room and went back to bed. All the commotion woke up the baby bear who is not used to being alone. He wandered all over the house looking for the bathroom." Say these lines as you squeeze the wet ball between your fingers, lening the warm liquid flow into the spectator's hand. When he looks at his hand, drop the paper ball onto the floor. Try this trick. As silly as it sounds, when done as magic it gets a real laugh and the best part is, it's a trick. you can show them how to do.


A rope is shown with a knot in the middle. The knot slides down the rope and back up into the hand, and is then removed. The rope is then tied literally into a square knot, and the square is remove. Next the rope is tied into a triangle and the triangle is removed. The following props are necessary for this illusion: Eimers glue

Floral wire

5 feet of magicians rope

Wire cutter

A good reel

Packing tape (with nylon thread)

This set up will take about an hour to build, and over night for the glue to dry. Cut floral wire into four one-and-a-half-inch pieces. Put them end to end, leaving a one sixteenth inch space between each. Roll all four pieces together in a piece of packing tape, cigarette fashion. Next, bend a one-and-a-half-inch by one-and-a-half-inch square out of another piece of floral wire, and a triangle, bent out of wire one-and-a-half-inches on each side. Wind floral wire around a pencil about 5 times like a spring, and core a 5 length of magician's rope by pulling out the insides slowly. I

Cover all shapes - the square, triangle and the coil - by threading wire into the cored rope, and work the rope around all shapes until no wire is exposed. Glue the open ends of the rope together. Cover the coil of rope and wire on the outside only. Let all pieces set over night to Slide the wire/tape gimmick (wire pieces rolled into tape) into the middle of a three and a half piece of the remaining tape. After wire coil dries, thread it onto the three and a half inch piece of andmake sure it slides back and forth freely. Thread the end of the reel line through the top of the coil. The set up is know complete, and you can rest for a couple of days.

dry. inch rope rope

The Performaeee Place square and triangle in your right jacket pocket. With the reel finger-palmed in right hand, slip wire coil to middle of rope. Let rope hang straight down from right hand (see diagram), and begin your patter: "Being a magician, even as a child, made it easy to pass the boy scout knot test. The first knot we had to tie was the slip knot." Show wire coil on middle of rope. "Not only would I get it to slip down (slide coil down as you say this, and let out thread from real), I could get it to slip back up." (Let tension off the reel and let it rise to your right hand.) "I could even slip it right off the end of the rope." (Take rope with the left hand, leaving coil andreel palmed in right hand. Place the coil in your right pocket and steal the square into your right

palm.) "Next was the square knot." (Tie a regular knot, like the first step in tying a shoe. Pull the rope between your left and right hands by separating your arms slowly. The wire gimmick in the rope will actually form a square.) "It looked like this." (With the rope held by your left hand and the square palmed in your right, create the illusion of pulling off the square by letting the rope untie. As it slips through your index finger, reveal the palmed square.) Now, show the square and say, "The square knot was my favorite knot." Place it in your right pocket, and steal triangle. Perform the same moves as above. .At the point where the square forms, pull a little harder and it will become a triangle. As you pull the triangle from the rope say, "I was always glad when I passed the test, because I loved getting those arrow heads." Show triangle with point at the bottom and stick it to your jacket. (A small straight pin pushed through triangle.)

NOTE:This effect cannot be beat for Blue and Gold dinners.




Long-time standard of magic is U.F. Grant's "Topsy-Turvy Bottles. Actually, Grant called his method for the Topsy-Turvy Bottles "Tricky Bottles". Despite this, most magicians stilt cling to the older title. This routine can be done with either version; however, since the original Topsy-Turvy Bottles is the trick wherein a spectator follows the actions of the magician with a bottle and tube; yet the spectator's bottle always ends up upside-down from the performer's. A great situation comedy can be derived from this effect repeated four or five times. However, there was always one problem with the Topsy-Turvy Bottles to which few performers found a solution: the trick never had a strong finish - an applause cue. It could only become repetitious, with no seeming way to build to a climax. There was always that feeling of a lame conclusion signaled by a usually awkward dismissal of the assisting audience member. This is a solution to the problem. It has been used in over five-hundred shows to date. It is full of comedy, surprise and good psychology. You will need a standard Topsy-Turvy Bottles set, available through most dealers. This consists of two bottles, tow tubes that can cover them and a metal sleeve that looks like the bottom of the bottles on either end. The sleeve nests closely inside either of the tubes. Also required are: -


Four 24"silks, tow of which should be black. Four or five very tattered silks - the worse the condition, the better for comedy purposes. An old 18" silk or rag. Two metal hooks. A miniature bottle about three inches high - small enough to be easily hidden in the hand. And a pencil or chop stick.

The setup is simple. Take an old 18 " silk rag and tie its corner to that of one of the 24" black silks. Tie the diagonally opposite comer of this black silk to the second black silk; and the other two 24" silks are tied in a line to this second black silk, creating a chain of five. To the extreme corner of the last silk - that silk opposite the rag-silk - sew one of the metal hooks. Then tie the rag-silk into a large round knot. Figure I shows the completed assembly. Force the knotted-up rag-silk down into the neck of the bottle you will be using during the performance. This is done with the pencil or chop stick. It is most important that this knotted cloth cannot slip from the neck of the bottle. The bottle must be able to hang securely from the silk chain without the knot slipping free. Follow through by pushing the rest of the silk chain loosely into the bottle with the stick. The last portion of the chain to go into the bottle should be the comer of the silk with the hook.

Engage this hook over the edge of the mouth of the bottle as shown in Figure 2, so the comer of the silk chain can be neatly grasped when required. Make a chain from the four or five tattered silks (having different sized silks for this group can enhance the humor of their appearance) and sew the other metal hook to the extreme corner of one of the end silks. This chain is loaded into the bottle the spectator will use. Again, make sure the hooked corner goes in last and engage the hook over the mouth of the bottle. Notice that no knotted cloth is used on this chain, as you wish the silks to pull free of the bottle. The last thing necessary is to place the miniature bottle in your right coat pocket.

The Performance The routine begins with the standard Topsy-Turvy Bottle sequence. You give the spectator a bottle andtube, while you work with the set with the sleeve feke. Go through the usual you-do-as-l-eo business with the spectator. When you reach the end of this sequence arrange it so that both you and the spectator are holding the bottles rightside-up. Both of you show your tubes empty and place them over the bottles. You announce, "Now for the magic!" Make a magical gesture over your tube and get the spectator to mimic you. Then reach inside, grip the silks by the hooked corner and dramatically pull them from the tube, stopping when you feel the knotted cloth bind in the neck of the bottle. Cue the spectator to do the same. Say, "Go ahead. I set it up for you." This line will usually bring a laugh. The spectator's production of the ragged line of silks will create an incredible response of both laughter and applause. There is some wonderful psychology behind this production. All through the Topsy-Turvy sequence the spectator is made the goat. He is always wrong. It is a funny situation, but it can tend to make the performer seem like a "heavy" as he unfairly makes his poor volunteer look foolish. However, when the volunteer successfully pulls the silks from his tube he is made a winner; albeit not a perfect success, it is a triumph of sorts after the complete failure of the bottles. The audience knows that you have set up this situation and recognizes that you are letting your poor helper off the hook. Thereby you reap the benefits of both the sight-gag and the spectator's success. Depending on your character you may wish to reinforce this image with a comment like, "Come on, it's his first time. " At this point we must backtrack slightly. As you pulled the silks from your tube they were draped over the free hand. As the spectator now produces his line of silks, you have perfect misdirection to lift your bottle secretly from the tube by the silks. The two black silks perfectly camouflage the dark bottle andthe four 24" silks completely cover it. Take the spectator's silks from him when he has pulled them completely from his tube, adding them to your silks. Then put silks andbottle away. Explain that you will try teaching him one more trick. Raise your tube to expose the bottom half of the sleeve feke. Have the spectator follow your actions to show his bottle. Lower the tubes onto the hand again. Tell him that he is to reach into his pocket and get a pinch of that ancient staple of conjurors, woffie dust. Go to your pocket and Thumb Palm the miniature bottle there. (See Figure 3.)

Bring out the hand and pretend to sprinklethe woffledust into your tube. The spectatorshould be duplicatingyour actions. "It's amazinghow muchwoffledust lookslike pocketlint, isn't it? But it's incrediblehow it works!" As this line is deliveredyou finish your sprinklingactionsand secretlydrop the little bottle intoyour tube. It shouldn't makemuchnoise as it drops; but your patter and the supposedpresenceof a bottlein the tube will coverany noiseit makes. Tellthe spectator,"Showthemyour bottle!" Nothing,of course,has happenedand there will be a laugh. "Nothing,huh? Metoo." Pickup your tube and exposethe bottomof the sleevefekeonce more. Then lower the tube, wave your hand over it and pick up both tube and sleeve, leavingthe miniaturebottle on your hand. Displaythe little bottle in one hand while casuallyshowing the tube emptywiththe other. That is a certainapplausecue. This routine will play beautifullyfor either children or adult audiences and under any conditions. And it is solidfun and entertainmentfromfirst to last.

~i 9 u.re.. 3


A mindreadingexperimenttakes place betweentwo audiencemembers. Suddenly,the experimentis interruptedby an announcementthat revealsthe prediction. You'II need: -

Deck of cards

Pre-recordedtaped message

Have someonemake a tape, so that the messagewill not be in your own voice: "Excuseme, butjust a short announcement. Tonight, when leavingthe building, the coat checkroom will be open until 2 a.m. CouldI have everyone's attentionplease. Will the owner of a blue Chevette, licenseplate number889FRJ,please moveyour car. You are illegallyparked and will be towed away." Pause. "And to the gentlemanstandingin (insert club or showroomnamehere) the card was the Ace of diamonds. Yes, the Ace of diamonds. Now shut up and sit down."

The Performance To use this tape, have a volunteercome up from the audienceand ask, "Do you believe in mentalism'!"Explainthat mentalismis somethingeveryone in the audiencehas the power to perform, andthat tonightthe demonstrationthey are about to witnesswill be performedwithoutthe aid of you, the magician. Next, have the volunteerpick out any male in the audienceand instructthat person to stand up. (The originalvolunteer shouldthis time be seatedon a chair onstage.) Force the Ace of Diamonds (usingyour favoritemethod). Explainthat if he thinks very hard about the card he is holding - and concentrateson a picture of the card - the person standingin the audiencewill begin to get a vision of the selectedcard. Tell both volunteersto concentrate. Ask the person standing if he is beginningto get a vision of the card, and if so, to state which card it is. If he says he has no idea, say to him, "Just lie!" If he says the wrong card, tell him he has 51 more tries. (If by chancehe doespick the correct card, close your showhere.) After" 51 more tries," have the tape start immediately. When the chosencard is revealed throughthe announcement,the routine will end with a tremendouslaugh. This routine shouldrun aboutfive minutes. If used with other mentalismgags, this shouldbe used as an ending.


A child is asked if he or she would like to become a rabbit. After some byplay with the child, nothing seems to be working, but when he turns around much to everyone's surprise. he has a large white taiL Next, a banner unroll with a painting of a rabbit on it. but missing the face. The child's face fits into the cutout in the banner and now he becomes a rabbit. You'll need these props: -

Nest of wands Rabbit ears Boy-to-rabbit wand Large foam carrot Large cotton taiL )Glue about 10 cotton balls on a 2" round cardboard disc; cover the other side with double sided tape.)

The Performance

A child comes up from the audience. As you bend down to ask him his name, gently stick the double-sided-taped tail on his bottom. Stand up and ask him if he would like to become a rabbit - and make sure you tell him that it won't be scary. Take out a small wand and wave it over the child's head while asking, "Feel any different?" As the child says no, look puzzled and say, "Maybe I need a bigger wand." Children will begin to laugh. Bring out the next size wand and ask again, "Feel any different now?" Then say, "Maybe you would feel more like a rabbit if you wore these." as you place rabbit ears on child's head. (More laughs) Keep asking, "Feeling any different?" throughout the entire routine, getting more and more frantic andpuzzled each time. At this point, you can look into flame books, offer the large foam carrot, etc. The longer nothing happens, the better and funnier it looks. Finally, take out the large boy-to-rabbit-wand, pretending that it's very heavy. Wave it over the child's head again and ask, "How about now?" The child will usually laugh and say "No different." You say, "No? I don't understand. Are you sure you don't feel the urge to hop?" Look puzzled and ask the child to tum around. When he turns around with bunny ears on, big foam carrot in hand and with a large cotton bunny tail on his rear, the crowd will go nuts. Next, have child stand still, wave boy-to-rabbit-wand one more time, this time letting it unroll. When the child puts his face through the hole, remove the tail using the wand for cover. With. the child's face in the hole, it makes a great picture. This routine should run five minutes minimum.

!\tbtngt ef ~bt 20' "ilk UIlorm Can of Peanut Brittle is handed to a volunteer and his is told to open it and remove the silk handkerchiefs inside. The small silk is placed into a well in the large silk, and then vanished. The volunteer then places the large silk back in the Peanut Brittle can. The small silk vanishes and reappears in your pocket. It transforms into a wand or cane, and the small silk reappears on the end of a twenty foot "silk worm". You'll needthe following paraphernalia: -

Two Peanut Brittle cans.

Onetwenty-four inch silk.

Three twelve-inch matching silks.

Four snakes -large four foot ones (spring type).

A thumbtip.

An appearing wand or cane.


Place all four snakes end to end and sew them together with heavy nylon thread. Join both the fabric and the springs of each snake together. Afterward, sew one of the smaller silks to the end of the long snake. Punch a hole in the bottom of one of the cans and stick the end of the bottom of the snake's spring (This is not the end attached to the silk, but the other end.) through this hole from the inside. Bend the spring over and tape it to the bottom of the can. Finally, push the big snake into the can and cap it. You'lJ note that the trick is called the twenty-foot work and it's really only sixteen feet. Don't worry - it's an illusion. Place this can out of sight. Place some weights into the bottom of the other Peanut Brittle can until it weighs the same as the loaded can, then glue them in place. Place a cardboard disk over them, creating a false bottom, so they cannot be seen inside the can. Into this canplace one large silk and one small silk. Cap it. We'lJ call this one the Silk Can. Attach the last small silk to an appearing wand and place that, along with the thumbtip, in a right-hand pocket.

The Performance

Say, "I would/ike a wlunteer from theaudience."Don't wait, just drag someone up and say, "I'd /ike to thankyou for wlunteering." (Laugh One.) Hand him the Silk Can and ask him to remove the silks from inside. The person will expect a snake to jump out and so does the audience, so play this up by laughing or turning your back, etc. (Laugh Two.) Take back the can and open it, saying, "Mat are you, paranoid!" (Laugh Three.) Have the person remove the silks and examine them. Cap the can and place it out of sight (it goes beside the other loaded can).

Placeboth hands in your pockets and steal the thumbtipon your right hand as you say, "A lot of people ask if the hand is quicker than the

eJe... sure, that's 'Whythere are so many black eJeS."

(LaughFour.) Showthe large silk on both sides, saying, "~have a front side and ah, ab, ab, JeS- a backside.· (Laugh Five.) Bring your hand up above the volunteer's eye level (unless he plays for the Knicks). Make a •well" in the silk and load the thumbtip into it. Let him start placing the small silk into the well, but stop him and finish the job yourself, stealing it in the thumbtip. Showthat the small silk has vanishedfrom inside the large one, then give it to the volunteer. Bring out the Silk Can and give it to the person, asking him to place the silk back in it. This is good for anotherlaugh (but who's counting?)if you play it up as before, by coveringyour face, etc. Put the can awayagainafterward- it goes out of side besidethe loaded can. Reproducethe small silk from the thumbtip. Explain that some people think the large silk just hides the small one, and that's why you'll do the hardest vanish of all, by using only your hand. Vanish the small silk into the thumbtip. Explain that the trick is done with misdirection. While you show your hand empty, you really put the silk in your pocket. Suit action to words and insert your hand into your pocket, getting rid of the thumbtip and grasping the silk that's hooked to the appearing wand. Bringout this silk keepingthe closed wand hidden. Say that you're going to make the silk join the other one in the can. Now the switch - just reach over and, this time, bring out the loaded snake can. Have the volunteerhold it. Change the silk into the wand. Then tap the lid of the can with it and have them open the can. For some reason after already opened it twice, they don't expect "The Revenge Of The Twenty-FootSilk Worm." If they haven't passed out or fled in terror you can show that the silk is really on the end of the huge snake. Note - if you do kid's parties and don't like the parents, you can fill the snake can with confetti. What a mess, but make sure you have the cash before you do the trick! Specialthanks to Joe Silkiefor his inspirationon this effect.



A silk vanishes,then reappearsinsidea clear balloon. Only six simpleprops are required: -

12 inchneedleballoons.

Thin crochetingneedle(#10 needle)


Silkpull or silk gun.


Two 12 in matchingsilks.

Take the crochetingneedleand push it through the outside of the balloon (where the needle wouldexit in "needle-through-balloon").Pass the needledownthroughthe neckof balloonand with its hook, grab a comer of the 12" silk and pull it into balloonand about half an inch out of the hole at the end of the balloon. Bringthe rest of the silk intothe end of the balloon andball it up in the end by rollingthe silk through the balloon. Now, twist off the balloon 3 or 4 times underthe silk. You now have two comparunents,one for air and one for silk, with about half an inch of silk protruding through the balloon. Placethe clothespinbetweenthe two compartmentswith its cut-offend facing the part to be inflated. Inflate the balloonand tie the end in a knot. The Performance Obtaina silk. Produceone, end a tick with one, buy one, steal one - just get one into your hand on stage. Do a couple of silk flourishes,vanishes, reappearances,etc. Have your assistantwalk out on stage holdingan "empty, inflatedballoon," with the clip in her right hand. Next, vanisha silk by your favorite method, and as it vanishesall the assistanthas to do is squeezethe clip and the silk will shoot intothe balloon. (Onceagainthe assistantdoes all the work andyou receiveall the applause. I think:they needa betterunion.) With clip in hand, she now holds the balloon againstthe clip, with her right side facing the audience. Pull silk through balloon, then take the balloon and toss into an amazed crowd. Routine should run 5 to 7 minutes when combinedwith and used as an ending to "silk in egg," or similar routine.


Two business cards are taken out of a case. Both hands are shown empty, both sides of the cards are shown, but when placed on top of each other, a silver dollar appears between them. These are the props:


Two business cards (A and B) One business card holder One silver dollar

De Performance Place the silver dollar behind the two cards in the case. When someone asks for your business card, show both hands completely empty. Next, take out the business card holder and pull out the two card with the coin behind them. Note that, at this point, the coin is behind card B with card A on top. With your left hand, slide off card A and tum it over in your left hand to reveal both sides, while saying, "There are two sides to a business card. The side with the business information such as phone number and name, and the blank side. Most people don't know that it's the blank side that really makes the money." Place card A half way on top of card B - blank side up. With your middle finger, slide the coin underneath card A. Now show both sides of card B in your right hand. Place B under A, blank side up, thereby sandwiching the coin. Pivot the two cards between the thumbs clockwise and let the coin drop out from between them.

NOTE: Start practicing this trick with a quarter or half dollar and work your way up to a silver dollar. The beauty of the silver dollar is that it looks as though it couldn't be hidden behind a business card.


Performer notices a thread hanging from his jacket. After pulling 40 to 50 feet out of his jacket, he fmallystops. Lookingpuzzled, he removeshis jacket and notices his sweater is half gone! The props are simple: SO'ball of yarn to matchsweater


One sweater



Thread yarn through the needle, push the needle through the jacket. revealing about 2" of yarn. Removethe needle andplace the remainderof the ball of yarn into the insidejacket pocket. Put on a matchingsweater androll its bottomunderneathitself to a level where it can't be seen when your jacket is buttonedover it. The Perlonnanee Walk on stage andnoticethe string hangingfrom your jacket. Lookingembarrassed,proceed to pull the thread off your jacket. To your dismay, more and more thread appears. Finally you break off the thread and say, "I wonder where that came from?" At that point, you remove your jacket to revealthe shortenedsweater. This will alwaysget big laughs andmakesa great opener. Runningtime, 2 minutes.


(35mm film canister)


Magician takes a 35mm film canister, opens it and places it upside down on a table, then takes a piece of blank paper, folds it and places it inside the canister and then caps it closed. Magician then asks a spectator to select a card from a deck, when spectator opens the canister, printed on the piece of paper, is the select card.


35mm film canister, a thumb tip, a blank piece of paper, and a matching piece of paper with the selected card copied on to it.

SETUP: Fold the piece of paper, with the card prediction printed on it, lengthwise in half, fold it lengthwise in half again and then fold in half in the other direction. Hold it next to the nail part of the thumb tip and place the folded paper inside the film canister and cap.


Open film canister, and turn upside down, the paper will hold the thumb tip inside, it will look as though it is empty. Take out a piece of blank paper, fold it to match the printer paper, Holding it between the thumb and index finger, place it inside of the thumb and place thumb in the film canister, into the thumb tip and steal thumb tip with paper inside. Ditch thumb tip when going into pocket for deck of cards, cap canister, force card and you're finished'



Magicianshows two (2) small blackboardslates, blank on both sides, slates are then placedtogether, when slates are openedthere is a messagewrittenon the insideof one of the slates.


For this trick you will need a set of pocket spirit slates or a set of children's blackboardsand a pieceof chalkor whiteout (I use whiteout becauseit does not wipe oft).


Write your messageon one of the slates, keepthe secondslate blank. Place one slate on top of the other withthe messageon the bottom.


Take slates and open them like a book, showingthe center is empty. Now, separate hands with palmsup, do a paddlemovewith the slate, with the messageand reallyturn over the blank slate, you do this move twice and at the same time, this gives the impressionof the slate beingblankon both sides. Placethe slate, with the messageon it, on top of blank slate, nowthe next timeyou openthe slates, the messagewill appear OD the slate.

"fRUlYS£).\l£JJBill Ii'I £i'IV£lOP£


Magician borrows large denominationhill from audience member, has audience memher sign the hill. When audiencemember thinks the hill has heen destroyed, magicianpulls out a sealedenvelopefrom inner breastpocket,asks audiencememberto examinethe envelopeand see that it is completelysealed. Magiciantears openthe end of the envelope,audiencememberlooksinsideandsignedhill is found.


Magicianneeds one plasticpocket protector, one retractablehall point pen, one plain whiteenvelopemeasuring3 5/8" x 6 1/2", and one hottleof rubbercement.


Take pocketprotectorand with scissorscut the backtab flush with the pocketopening. Now measure a 1 1/2" sleeve, with scissors round the corners of the bottom of the sleeve. Next, take envelope,openenvelope,insertsharpknife and pull downuntil side of envelopeis completelycut at the crease. Brushrubber cementon inside ~ that werejust cut (allowto dry, do not allowcementededgesto toucheach other or to stick together). Insert sleevepart of gimmickinto slit, makingsure flap is on the outsideof the envelope. Seal flap of envelope,place ball point pen into sleevewith clip coming over the flap, place flap and pen clip inside inner breast pocket of jacket, allowing envelopeto hang freely against lining of the jacket. When signed bill is folded and steal is made, place bill into gimmickand envelope,under the guise of lookingfor a pen in the breast pocket. Whenready hold jacket by the edge while reachingwith the opposite hand and pull down and remove envelopefrom jacket, take the thumb and index finger of left hand grip upper right hand comer of envelope(that's facingyou) and slideenvelopefromright to left betweenfingers,this motionsealsthe envelopeand hand it to the spectator. To open envelopetear off end that was cemented,squeeze edges,pour out bill into audiencemember'shand.



Magician shows the front and back of an empty, miniature picture frame; when showing the front of the frame again it has a picture in it.


You will need one wallet size photo frame, (for 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" photos), some self-stick plastic laminate material, a piece of oaktag paper, and a photo, drawing or miniature playing card, anything you want to appear in the frame.


Take the frame apart and cut a piece of oaktag to fit in the frame and trace the opening. Next, place the oaktag piece on the laminating material and cut the piece of oaktag to fit the opening. Place image in frame (if image does not fill opening completely, make sure to back it with another piece of oaktag • black looks best). Now you have a frame with a picture in it and a flap.


Place flap on top of glass in frame and hold in place with thumb. Tum frame over in palm of other hand, to show back and lifting frame, turn hand in opposite direction and palm off and place frame in palm of spectator's hand, have them place other hand on top so that you cannot get to it, when ready ask spectator to open hands and reveal frame and the picture will be inside.

EFFECT: Appearingpole, caneor wand.

PROPS: One showercumin rod cover and whitetape. These plastic coverscome in 6' lengths. cut to the lengthyou want: 3' for a cane, l ' for a wand, tape the ends.


Take lengthof pole cover, open one end and roll it up alongthe length, into the seam.

PERFORMANCE: Toss into the air, coverwill appear,catchon the way down. A variationis to place the objectinto a box or pocketand grip end and pull out, this is a great productionpiece.



In a comedy club, since there may be more than one or two shows a night, everything is kept to a very tight time schedule. The general rule of thumb is that an M.e. will do 10-15 minutes to open the show, the middle act will do 20-30 minutes, leaving the headliner with 45-50 minutes. Now, at any time during the show, an act's allotted time can change. Most clubs use a light to signal when they would like you to end your set. This is called flashing. In the event that a club does not tell you how much time to perform, check with the M.e. Example: "I would like to do 30 minutes. I'll flash you at 25 so you can wrap it up." If you should see that light, start to end your show. Don't make them flash you again - it looks bad. Sometimes an act will be flashed if the club does not feel he is doing well. Make sure you know where that light is. Remember - the flash has replaced the old vaudeville hook. In any case, by going over your allotted time, you are taking time from another act that has worked hard to become a headliner.


Working in comedy clubs can be frustrating at times. A lot of people have quit because of making less money than they are used to, bad spots, and not getting the shows or auditions they feel they deserve. It's unfortunate, but on this circuit only the strong will survive. Sometimes progress seems to be so slow, especially if you're looking only at your long range goals. It is better to look at your career six months or a year at a time. If the quality of your work is better than the year before, you are indeed making progress. The road to the top is a very slow and painful one. The Eddie Murphy story of overnight success may never happen again in our lifetimes. Instant successes are few and far between, but the fact it can happen keeps it interesting. I know when Eddie Murphy was discovered, everyone in our club at first was very happy for him. But as months and now years have passed, comics whose careers were further along than his at the time that he made it became very bitter and jealous. Although everyone wants to be the first to make it, you can't let someone else's super-success destroy yours. When that happens, you have lost your edge and might as well quit. Instead, you should try anduse the energy to push you along and try even harder.

to channel your feelings positively

I really believe everyone gets his show eventually, so don't give up. Try to be prepared.



Whenyou first start work in a comedyclub, you'lJ be surprisedat how muchoff-color material is used, andhow manyfour letter wordsyou'11hear. AlthoughI cannotsay that I have never used these words in my act, they should be kept to a minimum,if used at all - especiallyif you hope to do T.V. Somenewperformersand comicswill use these wordsrepeatedlythroughouttheir acts. The problemwiththis is that whenyou're new in a comedyclub, it is all to easy to fall into this bad habit to get cheaplaughs. This is not comedy. Althoughthe shockof these words can be used in certain situationsto makesomethingfunny, unlessyou knowthat fine line, you shouldstay clear of them altogether. Most clubsprefer that you work clean, but not like you are performingfor children. I guess that what I am trying to say is that you have to work hip, and no book can teach you that. I rememberI did an auditionfor an HBOComedySpecialonce. I performedmy act very clean, with no doubleentendresor foul language. After seeingmy audition,the producer calledme over and said how muchhe enjoyedmy act, but was wondering,since it was pay T.V., if I couldwork a little more "campy." He felt that his viewerswouldnot want to see on cablewhatthey couldsee on regularT.V.



After forcing a card, say "May the force be with you." It sounds old, but it still plays big.


If you perform "The Flame of Candle", instead of using paper shells supplied, you can make a reusable candle shell out of white rubber sheeting (sold in surgical supply houses) and rubber cement. The new shell, since it can be washed, may be used hundreds of times.


Walk onstage deliberately counting a deck of cards to yourself. Do this very deliberately. Start saying out loud "47.. .48.. .49... 50... 51...52. If I were to throw three of these cards away (do it as you say it) I would still have 1... 2... 3.. .4... 5.... " This will get a laugh from an inside audience!


When performing "Color Monte" or "It's a Bet" after revealing the l4-dollar card, a nice ending is to tell the audience that you'll show them how it's done. Place the l4-dollar card on the bottom of the other two cards and now show that all the cards have become the 14-dollar card. Do this by showing the same card three times, as in the sidewalk shuffle move. Immediately after showing three 14-dollar cards, turn over all three cards to reveal a blue card, a red card and a 14-dollar card. This simple move will give the trick two more surprise endings.


Purchase a set of linking ropes. Place one of the ungimmicked ropes aside. Take the gimmicked rope and separate it into two pieces. You will now have, in your hand, a short piece of rope, a medium piece of rope and a long piece of rope. (Sound familiar?) Go into Professor Nightmare's routine. At the end of that routine -- after showing, once again, a short, medium and long rope - connect the two gimmicked ropes to show that it now has turned into two ropes of equal length. Pick up the third rope, that has been set aside, and now perform linking ropes.

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