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Topic: What can I use for this?
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jul 8, 2009 09:40AM)
Family show - maybe a company picnic or pizza place. Definitely G-rated. I'm dressed in a sharp grey shirt and black slacks, fedora and tie. Oh - the fedora and tie are screaming brilliant yellow, and so are my high-top tennis shoes.

First routine - maybe silk and thumb tip into kid's shoe ala Silly Billy. Then comes the moment in question: I take off the fedora and very seriously explain to the audience that I understand such intense magic may lead to fears of dark supernatural forces at work, but please rest assured etc etc.

Taking off my hat and holding it in front of my should capture their attention through large movement of color, but only for a moment. As their attention drifts back upward to my face, they suddenly realize there is something on my head.

What is it? I've had dreams of a small mouse or hamster eating a seed, or perhaps a flower bouquet blooming. It's got to fit under the fedora, self-start when I take it off, and be easily removeable (I'll change hats to fit characterizations for different routines, so doing something with my head will be a natural flow).

Any ideas on what's out there that I can use for this?
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 8, 2009 10:19AM)
Jack Thum, the legendary Windy City Clown, used to do this with a live chicken while performing the multiplying eggs from his mouth. I would think a live, trained parakeet on a hair comb perch would be great. A local friend has been doing some incredible work with trained rats, as well. Very smart and kid friendly critters, these rodents, and not nearly as messy as the birds.

Brainstorming less animate ideas, I suspect one could rig the old "Steam from Ears" gag to shoot puffs of smoke from your hair. Fleas sending smoke signals, maybe. Maybe a mini CO2 confetti launcher to shoot tiny white confetti into the air - Dandruff! Pull out a whisk broom with a "Head & Shoulders" cutout of your photo to brush the flakes from your shoulders. A plastic frosted doughnut with a bite taken out of it (Drill and paint) - "So that's where I left it!" A beany with a spinning propeller?

I once pulled my hat off to produce my rabbit only to have a sign fall out that showed a couple of carrots and read "Out to Lunch." I've also pulled the crown off, leaving the brim around the head - and vice versa.

Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 8, 2009 10:44AM)
A: The kids shoe..especially if it is yellow
B: A Yellow budgie
C: Another Hat
D: The silk ala a running gag/silk
E: A sponge (yellow) to wipe off your brow
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jul 8, 2009 12:28PM)
I like the beanie and propeller idea, and leaving the hat brim behind.

I wonder what might grow up out of the hat as I hold it, clueless of course, that can be safely dumped out and completely ignored through the rest of the show?

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 8, 2009 01:58PM)
What about a coiled rubber or hinged snake attached to a reel. The reel held in the left hand and the hat & snake in the right. Run the line under your left arm (outside of the shirt) under your collar and into the hat. The reel pulls the snake out of the hat, up your right arm and onto your shoulder - look Don't See. Reacting and ditching the reel and snake after that is child's play.

You could also use the reel in your left hand (or threaded through a wand) held over the hat to make a feather & yarn flower "sprout" from the hat for a silly throw-away effect.

A hole in the back of the hat the size of your finger could allow you to manipulate a simple, small peek-a-boo rabbit puppet. Run a stiff cardboard tube like those found in old fax rolls into the head of the puppet and secure it with a bit of clay or hot glue. Position the opening to the tube over the hole in the hat. Using your finger, you can easily cause the puppet to rise up, peek and dive back into the hat.

A pouch sewn or glued to the inside crown of the hat will easily hold a 30 ft long/6" wide silk streamer - or better - two 30 ft streamers sewn end to end. Fold the banner in an accordion manner (for easy pulling) and insert into the pouch. Remove the hat, notice and pull a thread which leads to a bigger thread which leads to twine which leads to rope which is hooked to the banner. This might even be used as a running gag through the show - pull a little - leave it - pull a little more - leave it and so on - close with the streamer. Dang! I may have to do this with my bowler!

Just a few thoughts from the old brain pan.
Message: Posted by: Dan Paulus (Jul 26, 2009 11:24AM)
A sign saying, "Place Hat Here"
Message: Posted by: Maloney (Jul 26, 2009 12:31PM)
On 2009-07-26 12:24, Dan Paulus wrote:
A sign saying, "Place Hat Here"

I like this one. I was never a fan of over complex things appearing. In my mind the spectator thinks we plan what's going to happen too often.