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Chi Han

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I found this recently, not sure if anyone is interested, but Dan has been one of my favorite magicians for a while.  He gives opinions on how to create magic, whether it's an art, and generally talks about a whole range of topics I found quite engaging.
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EVILDAN

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Dan is a very creative guy. If you belonged to a magic club I'm sure you've had the grab bag magic meetings where you grab a number of objects and then take some time and create a magic trick out of what you have. This could be singly or in groups.

During one of the old Mystery Schools that Jeff McBride held at the College of Mt Saint Vincent in the Bronx, Dan Harlan held a creativity workshop.
He put us into about 4 or 5 groups.
Then he took a suitcase full of stuff, opened it on the floor and had one person from each group grab 5 items out of the case.
We then went into our groups and brainstormed a magic trick. When we were all ready to perform, the genius set in.

First group - You are going to perform your magic trick, but in reverse.
Second group - You are going to perform your magic trick but one person is going to describe it like he was a sportscaster describing a game on the radio.
Third group - you will perform your magic trick but without using words.
and I forget the others.

This exercise took something that we were comfortable with (the grab bag magic exercise) and pushed us outside our comfort zone. Those that went first had to deal with the structure of performance placed upon them. Those that were waiting wondered how they would have to perform what they prepared. All in all it was a great exercise on how to think on your feet and improvise.
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #3 
My favorite Harlan creation (though I never bought it and should have when I had the opportunity) is a prop for kid shows, his ice cream scoop. So clever and so realistic, it allows you to produce and vanish ice cream. I didn't pick it up because I'm not primarily a children's entertainer. I can, and do entertain children but its not something I advertise or aim for.
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EVILDAN

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Paul, I have that ice cream scoop. IT'S GREAT.

I work a Halloween festival. Two years ago, I was taking my Moorehouse Cube Table to work out of. Somehow it reminded me of the guys in the old style ice cream trucks where they would open the doors and take out the ice cream. Not like today where they stand inside and take everything out of a cooler. The truck was the cooler.

Anyway. I had the scoop in the cube table. I performed and then "noticed" that everyone was carrying bags and buckets. I asked what they were for to which they responded it was for trick or treating. OH, REALLY!!!

I have a treat for you guys. Come close and hold out your bags. I then proceeded to take out scoop after scoop of strawberry ice cream and dump it into their bags and buckets. The scoop went in full and came out empty. The parents were having a field day with this. There is nothing like the look of a kid, stopped in their tracks, with their head in their candy bag looking for that scoop of ice cream. I told them that it's magic ice cream. Right now it's invisible so it won't melt and ruin your candy. But when you get home, make sure your parents put it in the freezer right away. - It was worth every penny paid.
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Craig Logan

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Reply with quote  #5 
I love this interview. It has lots of great thoughts to get the creative juices flowing.


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"A wizard is not to be made in a day." -Professor Hoffmann (Modern Magic)
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