Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #1 
Ok, I'm going to try and make this post without rambling too much, but I have some questions about tricks that cause something to disappear.

I was looking through Tarbell's magic course, and I saw a trick called The Vanishing Bowl of Water.I thought it was a pretty good trick. Per Tarbell's instruction, an assistant brings in a bowl a tray, the magician picks up the bowl turns it over, sets it back on the tray and pours water in the bowl and then covers the bowl with a cloth and picks it up again and then the assistant leaves with the tray as the magician holds up the covered bowl and then the magician reveals the bowl has disappeared.

I have pretty much figured out how to build a modification of this trick. A plastic cup with sponges and other absorbent materials and magnets on the bottom instead of a extra chamber and a catch built into the tray. Pour liquid into the cup, set the cup on a tray, ditch the tray and cup in a rack or, more probably a plastic tub, proceed to make the cup disappear with a gimmick cloth.

I would add only one modification to the presentation and that is the introduction of "magic pixie dust", i.e. glitter, after covering the cup and placing it on the tray. The use of glitter is used to justify the use of a tray in the first place because without it there is no reason to put the cup on a tray. I've also come up with a couple of jokes about what happens to magic pixie dust if your not careful in order to distract people from thinking, "Why is he using glitter in the first place? Can't he just pretend to use pixie dust?"

 Although I think the trick is pretty good as it stands, I can't help but think that a duplicate cup appearing in some place previously shown to be empty or vacate would be a better ending since it answers the question of "Where did it go?" and people will wonder how you put the cup there instead of thinking about the tray. I could also use the second, non-gimmick cup to "prove" that it was just a regular cup of water that disappeared and then reappeared. I haven't figured the mechanics of this part out yet, I am just working on theory right now.

My question is this: Am I overthinking this? Do you get a stronger reaction by adding the reappearance of an object once it is vanished and would the appearance of the second cup really cover the actual trick used to remove the first cup of water or is it making things too complicated? 

Thanks,
Sam


0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 199
Reply with quote  #2 
The idea of having something vanish into the "unknown" is a paramount classic, in presentation. As magicians we don't have to explain anything and leaving our spectators to wonder "where it went" helps to create the mystery around our so called "powers".

Having said that, your own comfortably with how and why you do what you do, is your own business. Bring it back if you want? For me when I did magic, would often leave things as gone just to leave them scratching their heads [wink]

Thanks for posting Sam 😉

__________________
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." ( A lesson from childhood often missed or ignored.) Your opinion, may be met with one of equal disdain?
0
Robin Dawes

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,367
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Sam

You are definitely not overthinking.

As I get older, I find myself thinking about the "why" of magic more than the "how".  So if I were going to perform this trick I would be asking myself "Why am I making this glass of water vanish?"  There are many possible answers - here are a couple:

... because it offends me.   I might fill the glass, taste it, make a face of disgust, then magically dispose of it.  I might build this up by filling the glass from a bottle labelled "Medicine".  In this case there is no reason for the glass to reappear - I wanted it gone.

... because magic is perverse (see the many excellent posts on this forum in which Gerald Deutsch discusses perverse magic).  In this situation I would be trying to do something else to the glass of water.  In this case it might make sense for the glass to reappear - it is taunting me.

... because this is how I water my plants.  I probably want the glass back, but not the water.

... because it's magic water from the long-lost oasis in the desert near Wadi Rum.  The water carries the glass back to its home.

I'm not saying you need to tell a long and complicated story.  But if magic is theatre and theatre is story-telling, then I believe we need to at least think about the story we are telling.  Even if that just means thinking about how you will react when the glass of water vanishes.  Does it make you happy, sad, confused, angry, or what?  Hopefully you will register some reaction!  Deciding what your reaction is going to be will help you decide if the glass should reappear.

To be fair, many famous and successful magicians will tell you there is no need to justify anything: just do the magical thing and move on.  But I think everyone would agree that it's a very good thing that you are thinking.
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,288
Reply with quote  #4 
I agree with Robin, you are not overthinking it at all.  I get the impression you are going to do this alone.  Is that right?  If that is so, then the size of the tray might or might not be an issue as is where you will place the tray.  I think you said something about a "rack"?  What will that consist of?

Keep in mind that the vanishing bowl was usually wider than tall.  A cup or glass is the exact opposite and therefore more angle-sensitive.  So just be aware of it.  You might need to account for that by using a wider tray than you might ordinarily.

Perhaps instead of a glass you use a Lota Vase?  You can do the usual inexhaustible vase routine and then vanish it at some point.  You wouldn't need to worry about it leaking so long as you empty it on the last pour.  Just a thought.

As far as motivation, I would say it depends.  There is a lot of magic that requires no explanation or reason and it is still entertaining.  Another consideration is whether you will be speaking or maybe performing to music.  That immediately causes you to have to decide whether you can let the actions speak for themselves or if you need to concoct a story line for what you are doing.

Sometimes by thinking about things like this doors are opened that you would never have considered.

Keep thinking!
0
Gerald Deutsch

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 323
Reply with quote  #5 
If the object that is vanished belongs to a spectator you must reproduce it-----

But a vanish is a great magical event for Perverse Magic.

Say you and some friends are walking outdoors and you see a ---well-- a rock. You pick it up and say you want to try something and - and the rock vanishes!

Instead of being pleased, as Perverse Magic, you're confused as you look around and try to find the rock (which the hand that retained the rock has tossed it away).
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,868
Reply with quote  #6 
When something completely vanishes and doesn't come back there's certainly a strong feeling in spectators that magic has happened. However, our sense of the permanence of objects forces spectators to have the thought "where is it?" They cannot allow the thought that it's really gone from the universe. When they're driving home and discussing the show, they won't be saying "How could that water disappear." They're saying, "Where is that water." I think this is the inevitable spectator reaction. They know it's somewhere. They just can't figure out where.

The vanishing cigarette is a classic version of this problem. They're thinking "Where is that blasted cigarette?? It was lit! Where is it????" 

It's worth considering the notion that it's best to bring back the vanished object even if it's later in the show. A lotta bowl was mentioned. This is perfect. "Oh - that's where the water went..." There's a sense of resolution when this happens. Of course they don't believe that the water was transported across the stage invisibly but suspension of disbelief is possible when the sense of permanence hasn't been violated. Whereas with the vanished cigarette they just wonder where it is. They're looking for smoke coming from somewhere that might help them identify the location. 

I'm not saying that a complete vanish is bad magic. Just pointing out that the baffling thing to spectators is the location of the missing object or substance.

Mike
0
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
When something completely vanishes and doesn't come back there's certainly a strong feeling in spectators that magic has happened. However, our sense of the permanence of objects forces spectators to have the thought "where is it?" They cannot allow the thought that it's really gone from the universe. When they're driving home and discussing the show, they won't be saying "How could that water disappear." They're saying, "Where is that water." I think this is the inevitable spectator reaction. They know it's somewhere. They just can't figure out where.

The vanishing cigarette is a classic version of this problem. They're thinking "Where is that blasted cigarette?? It was lit! Where is it????" 

It's worth considering the notion that it's best to bring back the vanished object even if it's later in the show. A lotta bowl was mentioned. This is perfect. "Oh - that's where the water went..." There's a sense of resolution when this happens. Of course they don't believe that the water was transported across the stage invisibly but suspension of disbelief is possible when the sense of permanence hasn't been violated. Whereas with the vanished cigarette they just wonder where it is. They're looking for smoke coming from somewhere that might help them identify the location. 

I'm not saying that a complete vanish is bad magic. Just pointing out that the baffling thing to spectators is the location of the missing object or substance.

Mike


This is sort of where I am going in my thinking, that by having it reappear closes the mental loop, or perhaps more accurately, adds more overall misdirection that makes the puzzle of the trick harder to fathom. But, as magic is mostly still mostly theoretical for me, I wanted to ask the experienced people.

Thank you for taking the time out to answer my question.
Sam
0
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Dawes
Hi Sam

You are definitely not overthinking.

As I get older, I find myself thinking about the "why" of magic more than the "how".  So if I were going to perform this trick I would be asking myself "Why am I making this glass of water vanish?"  There are many possible answers - here are a couple:

... because it offends me.   I might fill the glass, taste it, make a face of disgust, then magically dispose of it.  I might build this up by filling the glass from a bottle labelled "Medicine".  In this case there is no reason for the glass to reappear - I wanted it gone.

... because magic is perverse (see the many excellent posts on this forum in which Gerald Deutsch discusses perverse magic).  In this situation I would be trying to do something else to the glass of water.  In this case it might make sense for the glass to reappear - it is taunting me.

... because this is how I water my plants.  I probably want the glass back, but not the water.

... because it's magic water from the long-lost oasis in the desert near Wadi Rum.  The water carries the glass back to its home.

I'm not saying you need to tell a long and complicated story.  But if magic is theatre and theatre is story-telling, then I believe we need to at least think about the story we are telling.  Even if that just means thinking about how you will react when the glass of water vanishes.  Does it make you happy, sad, confused, angry, or what?  Hopefully you will register some reaction!  Deciding what your reaction is going to be will help you decide if the glass should reappear.

To be fair, many famous and successful magicians will tell you there is no need to justify anything: just do the magical thing and move on.  But I think everyone would agree that it's a very good thing that you are thinking.


Ah, this advice makes a lot of sense and, if I am understanding correctly, there are really two different "why" questions to be answered. The first why has to do with the narrative of the performance and the second why has to do with the technical portion and is strongly connected to the "how".  

Thank you for taking time out to answer my question.
Sam
0
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch
If the object that is vanished belongs to a spectator you must reproduce it-----

But a vanish is a great magical event for Perverse Magic.

Say you and some friends are walking outdoors and you see a ---well-- a rock. You pick it up and say you want to try something and - and the rock vanishes!

Instead of being pleased, as Perverse Magic, you're confused as you look around and try to find the rock (which the hand that retained the rock has tossed it away).


I haven't decided on a theme yet for the act that I am trying to work up at this time. In my ambitious card routine, also still in beginning stages, I use the perverse magic idea in that I keep trying to get rid of the Ace of Spades, but it just keeps coming back because the Ace of Spades always wants to be the center of attention.

But I will definitely keep your advice in mind. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, it is much appreciated.
Sam
0
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Fabuloso
The idea of having something vanish into the "unknown" is a paramount classic, in presentation. As magicians we don't have to explain anything and leaving our spectators to wonder "where it went" helps to create the mystery around our so called "powers".

Having said that, your own comfortably with how and why you do what you do, is your own business. Bring it back if you want? For me when I did magic, would often leave things as gone just to leave them scratching their heads [wink]

Thanks for posting Sam 😉


Thank you for answering my question. I am still in development stages as far as my skill and material, so I haven't put together an overarching storyline that would help me answer the questions you have proposed, however I think it will help me to keep these questions in mind as I work up the act.

Pax,
Sam
0
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
I agree with Robin, you are not overthinking it at all.  I get the impression you are going to do this alone.  Is that right?  If that is so, then the size of the tray might or might not be an issue as is where you will place the tray.  I think you said something about a "rack"?  What will that consist of?

Keep in mind that the vanishing bowl was usually wider than tall.  A cup or glass is the exact opposite and therefore more angle-sensitive.  So just be aware of it.  You might need to account for that by using a wider tray than you might ordinarily.

Perhaps instead of a glass you use a Lota Vase?  You can do the usual inexhaustible vase routine and then vanish it at some point.  You wouldn't need to worry about it leaking so long as you empty it on the last pour.  Just a thought.

As far as motivation, I would say it depends.  There is a lot of magic that requires no explanation or reason and it is still entertaining.  Another consideration is whether you will be speaking or maybe performing to music.  That immediately causes you to have to decide whether you can let the actions speak for themselves or if you need to concoct a story line for what you are doing.

Sometimes by thinking about things like this doors are opened that you would never have considered.

Keep thinking!


Thank you for taking the time out to answer my question. I truly appreciate all of the great people here who take time to answer such basic questions. 

My act is still in the development stages, but I have set my objective to be my grandson's sixth or perhaps seventh birthday party. He is 2 1/2 right now, so I have time to practice and work up the act I want to do. Of course, I also do magic that I like i.e. cards and coins for close up magic.

I will be building my own tricks for the most part and the reason I liked this trick is because I figured out how to build it at low cost. A plastic cup, a sponge, some magnets, yellow spray paint, and an old pizza pan I have in the garage. My case of tricks will most likely be a Rubbermaid plastic tote, decorated of course, but of which I have several I could use.  Of course, reality might get in the way once I begin to build the trick, but I think it's sound on principals.

And yes, I will be doing this alone, which is why I introduced the use of glitter so I had a reason to put the cup on a tray. A child would probably not think to ask why I needed a tray but I wanted the grownups to think I am only just using the tray to keep from making a mess.

Thanks again,
Sam
0
Bill Guinee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 129
Reply with quote  #12 
Vanishes are about endings, impermanence, loss, even death. Psychologically, they carry quite different meanings than transpositions which seem to be about movement or the overcoming of boundaries and barriers. Different still than reappearances which imply recurrence, restarting, continuation, even reincarnation. It is almost like a vanish without a reappearance is like having a rope magically cut and not restoring it. What do you want your audience to experience?
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,288
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheNotsoMagnificent


Thank you for taking the time out to answer my question. I truly appreciate all of the great people here who take time to answer such basic questions. 

My act is still in the development stages, but I have set my objective to be my grandson's sixth or perhaps seventh birthday party. He is 2 1/2 right now, so I have time to practice and work up the act I want to do. Of course, I also do magic that I like i.e. cards and coins for close up magic.

I will be building my own tricks for the most part and the reason I liked this trick is because I figured out how to build it at low cost. A plastic cup, a sponge, some magnets, yellow spray paint, and an old pizza pan I have in the garage. My case of tricks will most likely be a Rubbermaid plastic tote, decorated of course, but of which I have several I could use.  Of course, reality might get in the way once I begin to build the trick, but I think it's sound on principals.

And yes, I will be doing this alone, which is why I introduced the use of glitter so I had a reason to put the cup on a tray. A child would probably not think to ask why I needed a tray but I wanted the grownups to think I am only just using the tray to keep from making a mess.

Thanks again,
Sam


I like your inventiveness.  Magnets that are available today are way better than what was readily available when I began in magic.  The magnet can be hidden in the bottom of a plastic cup quite easily.  Depending upon the style of cup you can do a "double wall" affair and sandwich it between the two walls.  Another idea I had was to take, say a red Solo cup and glue a strong magnet to the bottom and then squirt some white glue into the bottom, effectively covering the magnet.  If the glue dries reasonably opaque, it should hide the magnet and make the cup look "normal".  A bit of white paint could be used in case the glue doesn't dry the proper shade or if the magnet shows through.

Just some thoughts.
0
Michaelblue

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #14 
Do it. Have fun with it. If something goes wrong, fix it! Take it out for walks. Fool Penn and Teller with it. Audiences will say, "wow. I dont believe in magic, but i just some. I want to bring the kids to see it."
0
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
Do it. Have fun with it. If something goes wrong, fix it! Take it out for walks. Fool Penn and Teller with it. Audiences will say, "wow. I dont believe in magic, but i just some. I want to bring the kids to see it."


Thank you for the positivity!  I don't know that I'm going to make a fortune or gather any fame by doing magic, but that's not the point, but having fun is, and maybe inspiring my grandson to take up magic, if I can.
0
Michaelblue

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #16 
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.