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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The February 2009 entrée: Bob Sheets » » The REAL Secret to Bob Sheets » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Abbott
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WARNING: The Real Secret to Bob Sheets' Success Revealed

When I first saw Bob Sheets perform it was at 4F convention and he did the shells. There are only a few performers (magician's or otherwise) that cause you to watch EVERY SINGLE THING they do while they are on stage. Bob Sheets is one of them. It's a combination of a great persona, mixed with real human interest, true showmanship (developed through 1000's of performances), great material but the real secret is...(wait for it)... lovability. That's right lovability NOT like-ability. Because to see Bob perform is to love him.

Before you get the wrong idea I'm happily married. To a woman.

But that's his secret. And it's one that most of us will never "get" or acheive.
To have the audience LOVE you.

Thanks Bobby!
I owe a lot to you.

Billy
EddieGoldstein
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That's the truth.

When Bob walks on stage, the audience likes him before he even says the first word.
Doc Eason
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Bob is the only person who can pull off the 'handkerchief trick' .. aka the 20th century brassiere trick.

Why he doesn't get slapped by the woman or punched out by the guy is purely due to his persona. I have seen other guys try to do it ...it is actually Heba's unless I am totally off base there (correct me if you need to) ...

and the other renditions came off as lecherous, or off color.. but Bob can pull this off. (so could Heba but for slightly different reasons... though Heba was 'loveable' as well.

Lovability is as good a reason for why he can do this where other guys would get stomped. To see Bob do the handkerchief trick is an experience ... and a lesson.

Stand up to repeated viewing? You bet... It was always a 'drop what you are doing right now, Bob's doing the handkerchief trick' moment. Over the 30+ years I have known Bob I have seen this a hundred times but I will still drop what I am doing and watch it again. High hilarity.
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rockwall
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Bob did this for everyone at LVMI last year. I couldn't believe how many times he got away with stuffing that handkerchief back into her blouse cause it got messed up a bit. It had to be over 20 times. She and her boyfriend loved every minute of it as did everyone else. I was on the floor.
Steve33
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So the Secret to his Success is is lovability ...now whats the secret to his lovability. At the IBM/SAM combined convention in Louisville I'm walking through the atrium late at night when lovable Bob wanders up to me and says "Steve ,help me out I'm trying to impress David Williamson and a few other names, do you know the Submarine routine?
I confess I don't so he quickly and conspiratorially explains what I have to do. "Leave it to me Buddy" I say and do exactly as I'm told after he "Assembled " a crowd of big names. 5 mins later they are laughing like crazy and whats more I'm the star of the show. Thanks a lot "Lovable " Bob!!
Steve Walker
BobSheets
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You are a star Steve and you are one of the funniest people on the planet. He's from Australia him and his posse really know how to party. Steve and Michael Close might be the best joke tellers I know as well. And I'm laughing right now because he doesn't love me very much. I am also forever thankful since he's the one that turned me on to Whit Hadyn's version of "Red Hot Mama". bob.
Steve33
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It's Melbourne, Australia the 25th National Convention in 1996. The organisers decide to make the "Bob Sheets Lecture" not only one of the first events but also only available to those who registered early [a big big mistake].
Later in the convention I'm on the Close-up show where 4 years before in Melbourne I had to follow Mac King , this time I follow Bob Sheets in 6 rooms. As Bob Read would have said "You wouldn't give those spots to a dry cleaner". Was Bob any good ? ...No......he was simply Great and whats more I got to watch him 6 times. What a lesson in audience invovement. Like Mac King, four years before, they both have that ability to contrive situations that the audience believes couldn't possibly have happened before yet for some "Fortuitive" reason they happen every show.
On the last night of the convention I'm chatting with Bob at the bar at the end of the Banquet.He gets the next round of drinks Beer for me and orange juice for himself and starts to do "something" for the barmaid who gets her freind to also watch....within a few Minutes bar service has ceased,the rest of the bar staff have joined them and Bob is surrounded by the crowd waiting to be served as he does his thing. Normally not being able to get a beer at an Australian convention would be sacrilege but watching Bob is more Intoxicating than anything you could purchase from the bar.
Hopefully I'll get him to Sydney sometime but his last excuse was that his wife had broken her leg! ...now who'd believe that?
Hope to see you again soon Bob
Regards
Steve Walker
Doc Eason
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"wouldn't give these spots to a dry cleaner!...?

spit take there ...yer killin me.

But on the subject of 'following Bob on a closeup show'.
When we did the magic cabaret nights at the Tower, we would often have 8 or more magicians on the bill. Invariably, when Eric and I would discuss the running order, we would start the list with Bob closing the show and then work backward up the list to the #1 start position.

Even now, when we do the Friday night bar show at MITR, no one wants to go on after Bob. People are crying -they are laughing so hard... with tears(!) at the handkerchief trick or sugar cube trick.
Crying! Pure hilarity involving the whole room!

So how about you Sparky, want to go out there and do a little trick. I think not.
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Doc Eason
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It's Wichita Kansas, 1980 maybe.... a Joe Stevens convention.

I was in heaven, I had just met and fallen under the spell of another Bob ...Bob Read. At some point in the convention, I was hanging with Mike Caveney and Mr Read, and Sheets... I think Steve was there, and there might have been others but I don't remember.

A bartender pal of mine, Larry Benton had wandered up to the banquet hall on the top floor and discovered a class reunion in full swing. He talked to some one in the party about entertainment, they said yes so Larry found us and told Sheets he had an audience up stairs. So Bob saw this as a chance to have some fun and to do some stuff for Bob Read. I was lucky enough to be a member of a small group that followed Bob wearing his jester hat and a restaurant tray jack stand over his shoulder...into a lion pit. Larry had not adequately assessed the sobriety of a bunch of Wichita High School Alums about ten years out. It was ugly. The guy who Larry had talked to was probably the only sober one in the room. The rest of the group was borderline ugly drunk.

We all hugged the back wall in horror as Bob started in. I can't say for sure what tricks he was doing but he was being challenged at every turn by drunk women and scary farm fed Bubbas . He was very slowly, winning the crowd but it was a battle every step of the way...until he turned the corner and started into the deck stab.

There is suddenly a blind folded maniac with a toothy grin -has any one mentioned Bob's diasthema?- , brandishing a serpentine knife over a deck of cards that are being scattered hither and yon and off the table.
The enormity of the feat they are witnessing breaks through the drunken mood of the crowd. within a very short period of time, he has the crowd spellbound. Waving the knife in the air, he suddenly stabs a random spot on the table.

"did I get one? what was your card?" four of hearts! " Did I get it???Yesssss"

Bob now "owned" the class of '71. Every one in the room was watching this unfold.

With each stab their jaws dropped another little bit. For the last card, he triumphantly stabbed the last card, tipped up the board, all the other cards fell off the board. When he revealed the last card, this crowd went nuts.
Our little group stared at each other in dis belief. Not at the trick..which is astounding but what we were all appreciating was the change from a drunken debacle (that clearly didn't need to see a magician in a jester hat) to a cheering audience who was falling all over itself to shake his hand and slap him on the back. For a newbie like myself at that time, this was a powerful lesson. Caveney was just shaking his head and Bob Read had a grin from ear to ear with genuine admiration for what we had just witnessed.
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Lawrence O
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Interesting post Doc

Bob the last time you came to my home in Bethesda and took me to a Vegetarian restaurant with your friends and then at the FFFF we discussed acting course that you were to take. From what Doc Eason describes most of us would think that the last thing you needed would be a course in audience management.

Could you share with us why it is so important, no matter the level of acting skill one reaches to keep on learning of that in the magical field?

I want to bring another testimony (and gratitude) on your thorough and serious way of working an effect. I saw in 2002 you with the completed technique for your totally different bill change which came out as Skullkracker: all the rest of the time (and we discussed it at a later stage at the 2003 FFFF) was how to bring it up in a casual way which was still under construction.
This is a great lesson for us about the difference between how to do routines and be magicians with a really deeply deceptive effect: as the great advertiser David Ogilvie used to say: "casual is more difficult"

Doc's testimony with the timing attached and the appreciation by another top expert in that field (Bob Read) is enlighting for less experienced people.

Could you comment on going back to acting courses for magicians? and why it is important? and what are the various opportunities we have in that direction?

Deepest respects! and good memories... thank you
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Mark Phillips
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Hey Lawrence,

Thanks for asking that question; I think I know what Bob's response is going to be. I've been working with Bob since 2003 at a local show we co-produce here in Gaithersburg. Reading many of the above posts, I want to point out that while Bob is indeed very naturally talented and likeable; he consistently works much harder than anyone I know on his craft. That includes writing, looking for and rehearsing humor to incorporate into his act, development and rehearsal of the tricks themselves, and an extraordinary amount of study, practice and rehearsal of performance and theatrical techniques. If you visit the Bob Fitch Workshop website, http://www.fitchmagic.com, and go the the gallery of past workshops, you will see that Sheets has participated in every annual workshop Fitch gave since 1999! That's an investment of a full week and over $2,000 every year for almost 10 years. That is how serious Bob is about continual improvement. Bob, I'll let you give the pitch for the Fitch Workshop! I'm a biased source.
Mark Phillips
Doc Eason
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Diasthema... the space between the front upper teeth. Some times referred to as "lucky teeth"

It is lucky that the elder Sheets didn't sign on to the orthodontist when Bob was a teenager...

The hearty laugh passing between that gap just makes ya like the guy...
Doc Eason’s Rocky Mountain Magic


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doc@doceason.com


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charliemartin
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This is an awesome week with a special guest. When Magic Masters had a store in Atlantic City and a theater as well, we had Bob for a week. It was truly special because I got to spend a week asking questions, listening to all the wisdom Bob had. There was one show I remember Bob doing..one guy. Most would have said no, but Bob treated this guy to a show. I also remember we had Rich Marotta for a week and Bob came to visit. Two crazy and passionate guys about comedy magic. I remember Rich saying he was exhausted after Bob left, and it's true, Bob is like the energizer bunny. Thanks for the memories Bob.

Charlie
BobSheets
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Lawrence,

Below were a couple of posts you may have missed.

Wish I could do comedy like bob is the title.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......um=264&5

Mark is right I wrote about Bob Fitch somewhere here but I can't find it. The workshops have been the most inspiring event that I can track where my last ten years have taken me. Bob video shoots you during your sessions so you can just experience what's going on. At first I could never watch them and slowly a started to view those shots as another person. It's a wonderful tool since there is no way you just can't take it all in at once.

Can't recommend it enough. bob.
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