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Topic: Magic Tricks while Unicycling
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (May 11, 2013 05:22PM)
I'm looking for suggestions of tricks that would look good performed while riding a unicycle. I recently bought an appearing cane and while performing the trick earlier this morning it occurred to me that the trick would look fantastic performed from my unicycle. I then pulled out my tub of magic tricks and started brainstorming for other tricks that could be performed while riding a unicycle. Unfortunately, because I personally prefer close-up magic, most of the tricks I have are smaller close-up tricks, like coin tricks and card tricks, and many of them are interactive, so they either aren't practical or else they wouldn't look so great seen from a unicycle. I'm trying to think of other tricks as visual as the appearing cane and look good from maybe 5 to 20 feet out.

Here a few that came to mind:

1. Fire/flame tricks. I had the flame to rose trick; I'm considering buying another one, or maybe any of the variety of flame tricks using f***h p****r. I have both hands free, so it's not a problem getting the trick lit. I don't have access to my pants pockets, because they get scrunched up too tight to access with every revolution of the pedals. But I could easily access a bum bag or a shirt or jacket pocket, or even a small bag hung around my neck.

2. Rope tricks. I have a couple rope tricks that I think would look pretty good.

3. I don't have large linking metal rings, but those might be a good option, especially if the rings could be juggled for a minute before the trick without revealing anything.

4. Handkerchief tricks. The only handkerchief trick I have is with my magic bag. But a handkerchief vanish would go well after juggling handkerchiefs, which in and of itself is a fresher variation unicycle juggling. Also, I was thinking since I have a Raven, I could vanish the handkerchiefs after juggling if I could figure out some way to do that. I probably wouldn't be able to juggle with the Raven in position on my finger, but I could juggle and then take a second to hook up the Raven and then vanish the handkerchief.

So I welcome your suggestions, either as to a specific trick, or to a general category of tricks, such as the ones I've listed above. Thanks in advance to anyone who's willing to help me brainstorm.
Message: Posted by: Wes Holly (May 12, 2013 07:48AM)
...random thoughts...
the constant rocking motion while idling would distract from the trick. Most magic is done standing still so the focus is on what's happening in your hands. Juggling doesn't suffer this as the motion of the objects covers, or is in concert with, the rocking.

It might work if you can card control while riding. Being able to bend down to the spectator for them to choose a card and return it to the deck. Then to have an interesting reveal, such as under your hat, in your shoe or even a card stab.

There is a "keyless" version of the linking rings, so you could juggle them without revealing.

Rope lasso twirling followed by chasing a volunteer and trying to rope them would be nice.
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (May 12, 2013 04:25PM)
Thanks, Wes, those are great ideas. I'll ask my local magic shop if they have the keyless linking rings. The lasso chase sounds hilarious.
Message: Posted by: esther_scheffer (May 15, 2013 03:15PM)
First thing I thought was appearing pole - but you also mentioned that (well cane)

maybe an escape (from straithjacket or so) would be impressive too - if you would be able too?
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (May 16, 2013 02:10PM)
Thanks, Esther, I love the straight jacket idea. I googled it and was delighted to find that it is possible. Not sure if they're using a gimmicked straight jacket or not, but having never done a straight jacket escape myself, I'll probably try a gimmicked on so I can get it off quicker. I love how in the first clip the guy gets it off in about a minute or less.


Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 19, 2013 03:13PM)
My question would be to ask why?

Does adding a magic trick to a unicycle make either the unicycling or the magic look better? Maybe a version of cards across where you need to be moving back and forth on stage, but even then is one just distracting from the other?

Maybe if you were doing some kind of freestyle unicycle dance routine you could add in some visual magic like the cane appearance. Or possibly a quick change or two if the routine is telling a story.

But these would be things that help to illustrate the unicycle routine. Added bits of visual business that could be used between unicycle tricks.
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (May 20, 2013 12:04PM)
[quote]My question would be to ask why?[/quote]Just for fun. :) It was just a random thought I had while practicing the appearing cane the other day: "Hey, this might look cool on the unicycle." You know, one of those moments when you combine two ideas that you've never combined before and your mind starts spinning with the possibilities? It's been fun to think about what other tricks would work with the unicycle, especially for the unexpectedness of it -- I'm guessing when people see me ride my unicycle around the neighborhood, the last thing they expect to see is some magic trick. I performed the appearing cane the other day for my neighbor and I loved the surprised look on his face.

Also, this has now blossomed from just some random thought to some specific thoughts about performing some tricks while riding in a parade. I'll be unicycling with my kids in a 4th of July parade and it's been a fun topic of ongoing conversation with them as we've brainstormed what tricks might work during the parade. One of the obvious difficulties has been to figure out how to reset tricks when you're on a continuous parade route with no cover -- we even thought about "circling the wagons" every once in a while to make a human shield while I reset some of the tricks. We spent about two hours yesterday afternoon experimenting with variations of balloon magic tricks that might look good while riding in the parade, especially ones that don't require a reset. It led to an overall discussion of how the unexpectedness of a magic trick might play at the parade -- when you see a unicyclist in a parade, you kind of expect things like juggling, but it's been fun to think about throwing in an occasional surprise -- something they don't expect. And this is a home-town parade, so we recognize a lot of people along the parade route. We might save the tricks for when we see someone we know. And when it comes right down to it, we may end up scratching the whole magic idea and only throw candy like we have done in past years, but it's sure been fun to dream of the possibilities. Or maybe we'll let these ideas percolate for another year and try them in the 2014 parade. :)

I agree with your point about a magic show, that it probably doesn't add anything to get on a unicycle and perform a trick that would look just as good or better performed without the unicycle. And the quick change idea might be a good idea for a one-off trick for the parade. I like it! Thank you very much for you post.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 20, 2013 01:55PM)
When I read your first post I had the image of someone coming out on stage and performing magic sat on a unicycle, I hadn't thought you'd be using this in a parade situation. My ideas were based on a stage performance. For a parade I'm not so sure the quick change would work. But then, maybe it will.

In fact, under the circumstances you'll be performing under the unicycle would essentially be your mode of transport and not so much the "trick". Being able to ride up to someone and perform a random act of magic would be very cool.

Something I was thinking was a cards across could work well. But going from one side of the crowd to the other. Weaving your unicycle around others could be quite funny if done right. And the magic would be made even more impossible by the fact it's physically impossible for either spectator to reach each other.

Just a thought. Have fun!!!!
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (May 22, 2013 12:00PM)
Thanks for the cards across suggestion. I don't have that trick (yet), but I found a great thread on it -- http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=245385&forum=206 -- with lots of recommendations. Sounds like it would be perfect for a parade, especially with your suggestion of using both sides of the crowd -- brilliant!

Also, the phrase "cards across" made me think of a gag I remember seeing in my local magic shop. It's a gaffed deck with all of the cards sown together so you can do incredible flourishes and then purposely let it hang at the end so everyone realizes it's just gag. Might be perfect for getting some laughs along the parade route.
Message: Posted by: ZachDavenport (May 8, 2014 07:21PM)
D-lights might work well. Or maybe a zombie ball?
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (Jul 15, 2014 02:06AM)
Thanks, Zach! D-lites are perfect for night parades. And zombie ball is a great suggestion for day or night.
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Jul 27, 2014 01:59PM)
Darth_elevator my thoughts (I am the guy in your second YouTube clip) the unicycle would be distraction to the magic trick. StraitJacket escape is a stunt made more dangerous and difficult by unicycle. a magic trick or unicycle are the vehicle for you the performer to shine mixing them adds confusion.
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (Jul 29, 2014 01:19PM)
Thanks for your input, fireperformer911. It's an honor to speak to the person in that youtube clip. VERY impressive performance!

I appreciate the caution about confusing the audience. I will try to avoid that. I'm looking for magic tricks that will work synergistically with unicycling, such as how the straightjacket combines with the unicycle to create something that looks more than twice as difficult than each feat separately -- such as juggling while unicycling or playing an instrument while unicycling.

I'm mostly looking for visual flourishes to spice up the unicycling for the parade spectators, like flame tricks or the appearing cane, etc. I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but unexpected of visual flourishes are what I'm mostly going for. Many spectators might expect to see a unicyclist juggle, but the purpose of the thread is just to collectively brainstorm with experts like you about possible magic tricks that could be done on a unicycle in a parade. Thank you very much for your input -- and also thanks very much to everyone else who had posted their input in this thread. Even the input questioning the efficacy of performing magic while riding a unicycle helps me to re-evaluate my thinking.

And an update: This summer we added a chase vehicle to our ensemble. So now I have access to some limited cover for resetting tricks, if needed. Still not perfectly ideal, but better than my "circle the wagons" idea to have the unicyclists surround me to provide cover.
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Jul 29, 2014 07:21PM)
I think most parades won't allow fire. I think an appearing giant hammer that you could chase people around with. I would be thinking of bits like putting bull horns on and give spectator red cloth and do bull fighting bit. I like your thinking outside the box
Message: Posted by: darth_elevator (Jul 30, 2014 12:22PM)
Hahaha, the bullfighting is pure brilliance! I love it! And I've always wanted one of those giant hammers -- now I've got an excuse to get on. LOL. Thanks!