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Topic: Best floating dollar bill?
Message: Posted by: Frostie (Nov 15, 2012 10:29AM)
At a restaurant I want to be able to float a bill in the air. I want to make it look as realistic as possible so I'm assuming I have to use a transcluent type of string. Is Tarantula good for this? Or something more expensive like the Spider Pen Pro? What would you recommend for this? Thanks :D
Message: Posted by: M Sini (Nov 15, 2012 11:36AM)
Frostie,

I'm not sure your definition of "realistic" but there are many methods and ways to float a bill. If you're going to use IT I would not recommend starting with the Tarantula or SPP. Start with the basics. Check out Steve Fearson or Michael Ammar's work with IT.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Nov 15, 2012 11:44AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 11:29, Frostie wrote:
At a restaurant I want to be able to float a bill in the air. I want to make it look as realistic as possible so I'm assuming I have to use a transcluent type of string. Is Tarantula good for this? Or something more expensive like the Spider Pen Pro? What would you recommend for this? Thanks :D
[/quote]

Sounds like you are new to IT. One of the best ways to get up to speed is with Steve Fearson's Master Levitation System:

There's a demo on the site:

http://www.emagicsupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=43
Message: Posted by: bobn3 (Nov 15, 2012 12:46PM)
Of course, if you want simple and trouble free, I would recommend Finn Jon loops.

Bob Phillips
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Nov 15, 2012 01:05PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 13:46, bobn3 wrote:
Of course, if you want simple and trouble free, I would recommend Finn Jon loops.

Bob Phillips
[/quote]

He's never used IT or IET. At 5 for $10, he'll spend a fortune going through Loops trying learn how to use them.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Nov 15, 2012 01:29PM)
Start off with a medium size ITR (it's more forgiving then a small model) carry two or three of them -Just in case.
And remember, it doesn't matter if you are the best magician in the world if light is coming from the wrong direction or there's too much light you have to pass on that table.

Magicsmith has a nice little light bulb that floats. And because the light is created within the effect, you can use that to your advantage. http://www.magicsmith.com/robert-vitelli39s-twili39.html

BUT I do understand why you might borrow a 5 and use it for the last trick :)
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Nov 15, 2012 01:44PM)
In most cases I haven't floated dollar bills in restaurants because of lighting conditions. You have to dress appropriately and have good lighting conditions if you are going to be using IT to float objects.

[quote]

Zombie Magic wrote:

Sounds like you are new to IT. One of the best ways to get up to speed is with Steve Fearson's Master Levitation System[/quote]

This seems to be a very good and interesting recommendation. Thank you for sharing. The extent of my learning is using Loops and studying Michael Ammar's DVDs on IT. This guy seems to have come up with ways to use IT that looks really cool.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 15, 2012 01:54PM)
[/quote]

Sounds like you are new to IT. One of the best ways to get up to speed is with Steve Fearson's Master Levitation System:

There's a demo on the site:

http://www.emagicsupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=43
[/quote]

By looking at the demo, it looks like it covers all of the basics. I had to learn a lot of them the hard way by experimenting. Looks like you can't go wrong with Steve's DVD.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Nov 15, 2012 02:15PM)
Michael Ammar's Floating Bill video ( now on DVD ) Classic Renditions Ammar- #1, is also an excellent source. He shows the clip of him performing the effect for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show and then teaches the routine and the reasons of using borrowed bills.

After the show, Johnny came back to the dressing room and Michael asked him "did any of that fool you". Johnny said "you fooled the $#@! out of me".
Message: Posted by: Frostie (Nov 15, 2012 02:18PM)
It's not a huge deal to me if it's hard (I will practice as much as I can), but I do favour something that is easy to set up and can do it randomly in the middle of a conversation. My realistic definition is so when people come up and say WOW while I'm performing this sitting down at a table and they won't suspect a thing. I know light is a huge factor though.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Nov 15, 2012 02:31PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 15:18, Frostie wrote:
It's not a huge deal to me if it's hard (I will practice as much as I can), but I do favour something that is easy to set up and can do it randomly in the middle of a conversation. My realistic definition is so when people come up and say WOW while I'm performing this sitting down at a table and they won't suspect a thing. I know light is a huge factor though.
[/quote]

Yeah, you got to be very careful with lighting conditions and make sure you do not wear clothing that contrasts with the color of the IT. You'll get busted if you don't carefully consider the lighting conditions and dress in clothing that matches the color of the IT. Another thing to consider is that the further away you from those watching your performance, the more difficult it will be for them to see how you are floating objects if the lighting conditions are not ideal. I have stayed away from using IT working at my restaurants due to the lighting conditions.
Message: Posted by: nonvpro (Nov 15, 2012 02:38PM)
For what it's worth, I use a now unavailable gimmick Kevin James put out years ago he called a "spooler". Have been using them for many years. Over the years I've been able to collect 5 of them.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Nov 15, 2012 02:55PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 15:31, General_Magician wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 15:18, Frostie wrote:
It's not a huge deal to me if it's hard (I will practice as much as I can), but I do favour something that is easy to set up and can do it randomly in the middle of a conversation. My realistic definition is so when people come up and say WOW while I'm performing this sitting down at a table and they won't suspect a thing. I know light is a huge factor though.
[/quote]

Yeah, you got to be very careful with lighting conditions and make sure you do not wear clothing that contrasts with the color of the IT. You'll get busted if you don't carefully consider the lighting conditions and dress in clothing that matches the color of the IT. Another thing to consider is that the further away you from those watching your performance, the more difficult it will be for them to see how you are floating objects if the lighting conditions are not ideal. I have stayed away from using IT working at my restaurants due to the lighting conditions.
[/quote]

Wise words General_Magician!

Lighting varies throughout a restaurant and it would take dedication to know your ideal spaces. You can find a sweet spot, but when people see it in areas that are not ideal, they still want to see it performed for them and you won't be able to. Not good!

When Ammar used to work strolling, he said it was the last effect he'd perform because he said that's all they would want to see. Michael said "make sure it's the very last trick you do and have the car running". lol.
Message: Posted by: Ekuth (Nov 15, 2012 07:18PM)
Most of the basics have been covered, so I'll address the specific question; which is the best?

Well, that depends on your definition of 'best'.

For years, the single tent fold or scrunch ball approach given by Ammar or LeClair was the standard bill float; actually this idea pre-dates them by quite a bit. The earliest source I have that describes the scrunch ball approach is in Dunninger's 'Complete Book of Magic'. Admittedly, he uses tissue paper instead of a bill, but the method is exactly the same.

I've seen (and performed) many different bill floats, but I have to say that the Zero Gravity bill from Mesika's Spider Pen Pro DVD is currently the best and the one I'm performing most often.

Now while I would not recommend trying this float with either a static hookup or an ITR, it *could* be done.

For a beginner though, follow the recommendations above. I started IT work by picking up the UFO card at Disneyland ages ago.

A few reference books not mentioned:

John LeClair's "Who's Afraid of Invisible Thread"
Wiseman's "The Invisible Thread Manual"
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Nov 16, 2012 12:25AM)
Get Ammar's ETMTM 3 DVD set it is great and covers it all.
Message: Posted by: bobn3 (Nov 16, 2012 06:10AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 14:05, Zombie Magic wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 13:46, bobn3 wrote:
Of course, if you want simple and trouble free, I would recommend Finn Jon loops.

Bob Phillips
[/quote]

He's never used IT or IET. At 5 for $10, he'll spend a fortune going through Loops trying learn how to use them.

[/quote]

Loops are not hard to use...just requires some slight acting ability. Acting is generic. They also have a free replacement policy, just return the broken loops and they will replace them for free. All it will cost is a 44 cent stamp. Here is the web site so the person can decide on their own.

http://www.stevensmagic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=112&products_id=2343
Message: Posted by: Merc Man (Nov 16, 2012 06:30AM)
You've had some great advice already.

Personally, I've always used a mini-ITR (anchored to the bottom of a beer bottle that I place on the bar or table).

Just for fun, have you ever seen a corpse doing a magic trick? This is how NOT to convincingly levitate a bill! ;)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vrRQB540m9s
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 16, 2012 02:06PM)
I agree. Even though you can't see the IT, your eye automatically goes to the source. It's just human nature. That's why laypeople figure out that you must be using a IT because they follow the path. Now if you do it right, of course this is not true. The stuff mentioned in this topic is a great example on how to do it correctly. This Dracula looking guy is a great lesson on how not do it as Merc Man said.
Message: Posted by: bunkyhenry (Nov 16, 2012 08:23PM)
The Art of Invisible Thread by John LeClair is good
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Nov 16, 2012 09:47PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-16 07:30, Merc Man wrote:
You've had some great advice already.

Personally, I've always used a mini-ITR (anchored to the bottom of a beer bottle that I place on the bar or table).

Just for fun, have you ever seen a corpse doing a magic trick? This is how NOT to convincingly levitate a bill! ;)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vrRQB540m9s
[/quote]

Barry, you skunk. I laughed so hard my screen is wet.

Priceless clip!
Message: Posted by: motown (Nov 16, 2012 10:15PM)
Stephan Schutzer's Self-folding Floating Bill.
Message: Posted by: ralphs007 (Nov 17, 2012 07:48AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-16 21:23, bunkyhenry wrote:
The Art of Invisible Thread by John LeClair is good
[/quote]
I second that !
Message: Posted by: Merc Man (Nov 17, 2012 07:04PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-16 22:47, Zombie Magic wrote:

Barry, you skunk. I laughed so hard my screen is wet.

Priceless clip!
[/quote]

Glad that you liked it mate.

I dunno - these 'youngsters' are killing magic on YouTube! ;)
Message: Posted by: dduane (Nov 18, 2012 09:40PM)
I second John LeClair. I also like Kevin James Floating Rose video. He includes animation techniques for floating a dollar as well.
Message: Posted by: Gary T. (Nov 19, 2012 10:07PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-16 07:10, bobn3 wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 14:05, Zombie Magic wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-11-15 13:46, bobn3 wrote:
Of course, if you want simple and trouble free, I would recommend Finn Jon loops.

Bob Phillips
[/quote]

He's never used IT or IET. At 5 for $10, he'll spend a fortune going through Loops trying learn how to use them.

[/quote]

Loops are not hard to use...just requires some slight acting ability. Acting is generic. They also have a free replacement policy, just return the broken loops and they will replace them for free. All it will cost is a 44 cent stamp. Here is the web site so the person can decide on their own.

http://www.stevensmagic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=112&products_id=2343
[/quote]
I'm gonna assume that last bit is a joke and laugh.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, seriously though loop work is expencive until you learn to tie your own, I went through two cards of them and decided loop work wasn't for me, then I decided to give tying my own a shot, wasted a spool of Mesika Thread because of his dispenser and my general lack of know how, then got Legacy thread a little later and I've been using loops constantly since, they go from like 2 bux a loop to like 7 cents a loop when you tie your own.
Message: Posted by: illusionistaxe (Nov 20, 2012 06:15AM)
We are ready to spend a lot from our pocket for an expensive gimmick but we are not ready to practice till perfection with what we already have!

If you ask me, even the most inexpensive method will do great. The Le Claire's animator (Jon Le Clair's, "Who is afraid of invisible thread?" DVD), you can do so many effects with that setup. But the question is, will you practice with what you bought? or will it lie in the drawer? :)

Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Avocat (Nov 21, 2012 07:54PM)
Be advised, typing "floating dollar bill" into Google IMMEDIATELY leads people to actual solutions and exposure.

For that reason, I believer it's important to frame the effect as something OTHER than a floating dollar bill

Ammar's work on this is critical - in his classic handling, he only floats the bill for an instant, so people aren't even sure WHAT they saw, just that they saw something incredible. I add to this a LOT of patter regarding static electricity and magnetism, because those search terms don't lead to the same exposure sites

And speaking from some 30 years' personal experience, the SHORT floatation leaves a MUCH greater impression than any lengthy levitation, including and perhaps especially Fearson's floating cigarette handling.

BTW, I used to carry around, in my wallet, a length of regular IT wrapped around a cardboard spool in my wallet, with two wax ends. It takes a bit of doing to set up, but it allowed me to do the floating bill without expensive gimmickry whenever and wherever I happened to be. I now alternate between James George's ITRs and SPP, but I sometimes wonder whether my old inexpensive and disposable method was better.
Message: Posted by: Don Dasher (Jan 8, 2013 06:32PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-21 20:54, Avocat wrote:
Be advised, typing "floating dollar bill" into Google IMMEDIATELY leads people to actual solutions and exposure.

[/quote]

LOL that's how I found this topic. After seeing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhesBNOrbZE

I hate not knowing :)


DD
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jan 8, 2013 09:36PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-21 20:54, Avocat wrote:
Be advised, typing "floating dollar bill" into Google IMMEDIATELY leads people to actual solutions and exposure.
[/quote]

I was the first person to point-out the Leslie Observation "for lack of better code nomenclature". That was almost two years ago.

People will be leaning back, typing the name of the effect into Google - while you are performing !!!... Never call tricks by their actual names. Make something up along the lines like "This next experiment is closely related to the Tesla Coil Principle". At some point ask if the person closest to you can feel the electricity in the air :) Obviously a different approach would be used for a different style effect.

It's now become necessary for us to misdirect the audience, as to the Modus Operandi AND their fingertip research. Otherwise we all spent a lot of time for nothing.
Message: Posted by: Avocat (Jan 19, 2013 03:03AM)
Just so I'm clear about this, I'm not remotely suggesting that the solution is simply not to announce your trick by name.

I'm saying that people will naturally use "floating dollar bill" as their search terms. They don't need to be told the name of the effect to come up with those search terms.

I do, in fact, know a guy who finishes Anniversary Waltz by saying, after the final revelation, "The Anniversary Waltz by Doc Eason." Not that the effect actually inspires Googling - it's a great trick but doesn't inspire the sort of hysteria that the floating bill does. Point being, if anyone wanted to Google it, he's just given them everything they need to find it.

That's why it's helpful to use patter filled with references to static electricity and magnetism to "muddy the water" somewhat. Just the same, the longer the levitation lasts, the more likely the spectators are to recall the effect as a "floating dollar bill."

I recall, too, when the first ITRs came out, Hollywood Magic demo guys would show off by dropping the bill onto the floor, then levitating it up into the air. BAD IDEA - like mtpascoe said above, people naturally look for the anchor points. And the longer the levitation, the more likely they are to guess where the thread probably is. A bill will bob at right angles to the thread, after all, and a bobbing bill (with two anchor points) looks very different from a hanging object with one anchor point. Hence my recommendation once again to keep the actual flotation SHORT SHORT SHORT.
Message: Posted by: nbl (Jan 20, 2013 08:20AM)
Steve Fearson MLS...