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Topic: Mel Meller's Do As I Do Plumes
Message: Posted by: jmdibrita (Feb 22, 2010 02:09PM)
I had seen Mel Meller's perform this routine on his Modern Marvels Vol 1 DVD. This is the first time I had seen Mel perform, I had heard about him here at Magic Cafť. He is one of my favorite magicians, I just love his character.

His routine is wonderful, his interaction with the child is great. He basically does as the trick says a do as I do routine where the child does not get it right. He handles this in such a way where the child is never put down. If you watch the DVD demo, you can clearly see that the child is having a great time and is laughing the whole time. Some of his bits of business do go over the childs head, but they are purely intended for the adults in the audience.

After seeing this routine I immediately wanted to perform this. Mel explains how to make this effect. He is from London, where I believe plumes are easier to find. I had a difficult time here in the states finding plumes.

I came into contact with Ray Witko here at The Magic Cafť. After hearing about the routine from me, Ray contacted Mel Meller's about making the props for this effect, and Mel agreed. The plumes can be found and purchased here: http://www.tabmantables.com/floralfantasy.html

I received my Do As I Do Plumes from Ray and they are beautiful and very professional looking. They will last a long time which is important because the child handles a set throughout the routine. The Gimmick works great an is easy to do. I made a few attempts to put these together myself with other items, but nothing I came up with was really usable, Ray's are by far better than anything I came up with.

I Definately suggest Mel's DVD, he has some wonderful ideas and suggestions. This is one of those tricks where the magician's interaction with the helper makes this trick.

As with almost all Do As I Do routines the ending is somewhat anticlimatic. Mel's routine does not have an actual ending, but the way he handles it seems to work for him. If you prefer to have an ending, Ray has come up with a solution. He also offers a color changing plume as well.

This is my first review of any kind of effect. I truly love this effect and plan to use it in all of my kid shows. I do not benefit from this review in any way. I just wanted to share this wonderful routine and props with my fellow magicians here.
Message: Posted by: Cliff G (Feb 23, 2010 01:49AM)
Thanks for the heads up on this one John.

I loved Mel's performance of this on his DVD as well.

Message: Posted by: jmdibrita (Feb 23, 2010 07:20AM)
Thanks Cliff,

Mel is now one of my favorites. I just love is whole character, the way he interacts with his helpers and the audience. I only have the one DVD by him and am looking forward to picking up his others.

I learned so much from just watching him. The Plume trick for instance, in the wrong hands could be dull and boreing. But the way he handles everything makes this routine amazing.

Message: Posted by: raywitko (Feb 23, 2010 11:50AM)
Since I first made these up I've been having a lot of fun with them. The color change plume I added seems to have enhanced the effect quite a bit. Thanks John for bringing this to my attention.
Message: Posted by: MikeBent (Feb 25, 2010 10:37AM)
Does your plume change color or the kid's?
Message: Posted by: raywitko (Feb 25, 2010 11:10AM)
Your plume changes color unless you want to place the plume in the spectator's tube for him.
Message: Posted by: ades888 (Mar 4, 2010 05:54AM)
This is a great routine. Ray, are the plumes pretty hard wearing? i.e. built to last?
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Oct 22, 2010 02:35AM)
$65 for some feathers and a two pieces of plastic tubing seems exorbitant.
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 22, 2010 08:23AM)
On 2010-10-22 03:35, Futureal wrote:
$65 for some feathers and a two pieces of plastic tubing seems exorbitant.

When you consider the time it takes to make the plumes and the materials involved I think $65 is not only very fair, but cheap. Just my opinion :)
Message: Posted by: mike storz (Oct 23, 2010 11:01PM)
I have them and they are well worth $65. These are professional props and very very nice.

Mike :)
Message: Posted by: promagic (Feb 28, 2011 10:56AM)
I got these for £32.00 (Pounds Sterling) from Paul Howard in the UK.
Much better than anything I made myself. Hard wearing and packs small
Message: Posted by: promagic (Feb 28, 2011 11:12AM)
32 Pounds is Approx. 52 Dollars (At time of writing)
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 23, 2012 09:33PM)
On 2010-10-22 03:35, Futureal wrote:
$65 for some feathers and a two pieces of plastic tubing seems exorbitant.

I have not seen your plume effect being offered for $30 as of yet, I have been waiting all this time. When will it be available so everyone can perform this trick? I know you made this comment because you know how easy it is to buy the perfect feathers, dye them and assemble each one buy hand.

India can't even sell their chicken feathers for that price.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (May 24, 2012 02:00AM)
I never said anything about $30, although that figure does seem reasonable for some feathers and two pieces of plastic tubing. The prop we're discussing doesn't come with a routine remember. In fact it's not even an original effect, it's a remake of an old effect which isn't being produced anymore.

How did your Chavez course pay off, oh-learned one? I'm thinking probably not that great, since you actually think "Past Member of the SAM" is a credit worth mentioning. Have you actually achieved anything? And no, Order of Merlin doesn't count. You automatically get that by paying your annual dues every year for a certain amount of time. I could sign up my puppy as a member and pay his dues every year and he'd get the Order of Merlin too.
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (May 24, 2012 08:08AM)
Message: Posted by: mike storz (May 24, 2012 04:03PM)
Futureal- have you seen these props? Used them? Own them?
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 25, 2012 10:21AM)
Mike, just incase you didn't know, Futureal loves to jump in a thread and criticize things he/she never seen before. It is a habit to him/her. It even took me some time to get used to him/her. I remember times he/she criticized my act without seeing it.
On 2012-05-24 03:00, Futureal wrote:
I never said anything about $30, although that figure does seem reasonable for some feathers and two pieces of plastic tubing.
Since that is your budget Futureal, I will surely contact you when I notice some beat up 100 year old worn out feathers for sell at that price. Don't worry, I am glad to help. "Magicians helping Magicians", even if you are not a magician. Feel better now?
Message: Posted by: mike storz (May 25, 2012 11:28AM)
I thought so. That's why I asked the questions. Probably best just to ignore the poor soul.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (May 25, 2012 12:26PM)
Ignore the Futureal persona Mike (both of you)...he's a tool hiding behind a fake name on the internet. He enjoys trying to stir up trouble b/c he has nothing more constructive to do with his time.
Message: Posted by: mike storz (May 25, 2012 05:24PM)
Done. Thanks Christopher! I do own these and the quality is worth every penny.
Message: Posted by: MickNZ (May 25, 2012 11:44PM)

- Mel's routine is very funny.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (May 26, 2012 07:28AM)
The props under review are top-drawer (well made and colorful) and frankly inexpensive for what you get.

This is basically a Topsy-Turvy Bottles routine done with plumes. So your choices would be the Topsy-Turvy Dollar Bill (best trick of its kind for very small venues and close-up), the ďstandardĒ Topsy-turvy Bottles, the Topsy-Turvy Crayons, and the old Topsy-Turvy Bowling Pins (does anyone remember that one?), amongst others.

In terms of packing small (and light) and playing large the plumes are only beat by the Topsy-Turvy Dollar Bills (two bills/notes carried in your wallet Ė add a couple of paperclips a rubber band and a pencil and you have an entire 15-minute close-up act, but thatís another discussion). However for a prop-based trick the plumes version cannot be beat.

A problem with the Topsy-Turvy routine (any version) is that it just lies there and has no real ending. The laughs are generally at the expense of the helper (clearly the case in Melís routine). Topsy-Turvy routines are not all that strong in and of themselves. Frankly there are any number of better/stronger routines that spotlight a helper in a positive way and come to a stronger climax.

There are perhaps two or three magicians that have made it work and had the laughs be on them. Iíve only seen two that had any kind of ending at all.

Mel tries to overcome the lack of ending with a color change. It is better than no ending at all.

Another issue I have with Melís routine specifically is that once you take away the presentation/patter of the routine it is pretty flat. Melís timing for his lines are impeccable. His lines are caustic but work well for him and his performance persona. I doubt if one performer in a thousand can pull off Melís lines with the skill and aplomb he does. All the memorable parts of this routine are in the funny lines and bits of comedy that Mel offers.

So bottom line; IF you want to include a Topsy-Turvy Routine that packs light and small and plays large and colorful then this version and these props will more than do the job for you.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 26, 2012 09:56AM)
Great review Harry.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 29, 2012 11:06AM)
Are they still business? I notice on the website it reads it is for sell. I sent an email but got no response yet.
Message: Posted by: wally (Jun 15, 2019 10:44AM)
Not sure if to buy topsy turvy plumes or bottles, although Mel mellers routine takes some beating, is there anymore comedy routines out there,
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Jun 15, 2019 05:35PM)
Just a quick note, Jef at Kandu Magic came up with a nice ending for a topsy turvy bottle routine in his "Snake Oil Surprise." You got it... spring snakes.
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Nov 2, 2019 10:03PM)
Mel Meller's routine works well with an audience that have adults and children but mostly adults. Most of the jokes are for the parents and not for children.
If you do that same routine at a party for children of any age --it will go flat. The presentation has to be different.
Just like the egg bag, there are routines for adults and a different ones for kids.
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Nov 3, 2019 11:16AM)
Most links are DEAD.