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Topic: Should I get a wand?
Message: Posted by: ninjaduffy (Dec 17, 2003 01:08PM)
If so, which would you recommend....

......I have not got a clue.
Message: Posted by: JesterJ (Dec 17, 2003 02:59PM)
I don't think you should get one unless you already think you need it. A wand can be useful as a tool for misdirection, but it should fit into your stage persona and should seem natural. As an example, could you image David Blaine using a wand?

If you decide that you do want one, you should think about how you want it to be perceived - I've seen rough wood sticks, machined metal and fine wood examples. The one that would work for you should fit your persona.

If you're a beginner, then it's probably hard for you to say what your stage persona is. If that's the case, don't get anything for now.

Jester J
Message: Posted by: ninjaduffy (Dec 17, 2003 03:11PM)
Thanks jester....

Yes I am a newbie but I was thinking when I do little shows for kids, (nephews, nieces etc), maybe a wand would help for added effect.

I don't know what personna to use or adopt, but I have a few ideas.......

1. one personna for kids, friends of families etc...maybe using a wand.

2.a serious personna I want to work on for stage performances and close up (ie paid work, (if and when I get some)).

3.and a stupid one... I work with kids 10 to 18.... I would like a daft personna for a stage mind reading, predictions and "stupid magic"..

ok... that's my plan, give me 24 months......

thanks jes. :bikes:
Message: Posted by: elgranmago (Dec 17, 2003 04:02PM)
Where you will probably find the wand most useful is in the performance of the Cups and Balls. It´s almost indispensable and adorns your act rather well.

If you are going to have a wand, learn how to make the best use of it. Don´t have it just for window dressing. Wands are outstanding instruments for misdirection and, my favorite, VANISHES. David Williamson has some nice material with wands in his book "Williamson´s Wonders". Michael Ammar teaches some of these and more (including the Mora/Vernon Wand Spin)in Volume 2 of his DVDs on the Cups and Balls.

Here is a link to another section of this website which has plenty of information on wands:


Good luck.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 17, 2003 04:37PM)
If you have no religous or other physical types of issues, Yes you should get one. A cheaper model so you can drop it and beat it up a bit while you are learning its uses and then get a better one after you handle it well.

The wand will set you aside from everyone else and lets them recognize, instantly that you are a magician.

Mere ownership will give credibility to your studies. Just make sure the performance will back that up.
Message: Posted by: ninjaduffy (Dec 17, 2003 06:50PM)
Cool.... thanks guys...

you are right. I have just brought my first chop cup....

I will get a wand.....

love it.

thanks king and algran, I love this site..... it has been sooooo helpfull.....

I can't wait to get one. yipee
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 17, 2003 09:55PM)
Without knowing what you do, answering your question is a bit of a problem.

But, basically, I would say "yes, get a wand".

But -- and this is a BIG but -- know and understand the philosophy behind it and the reasons for it.

You don't want to be a performer who is pointlessly waving a stick!

Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Aus (Dec 18, 2003 11:16PM)
G'day ninjaduffy

I guess you have to know why you need a wand to have one. If it's to comply with the image of a magician and a wand, then I would say no, especially if your target group is an adult audience. It feels to me and this is just my opinion here that a wand being waved every second before a wonder is to take place is a bit childish. A wand has its place; don’t get me wrong, and I would not hesitate in using it in one or two of the effects in a routine if it added value but constant use in every effect could slow things down a bit and interrupt flow. If an effect that gains its effectiveness from it being performed In a fast fashion was slowed down because you had to fumble to find a wand to which you gave a great exaggerated wave, you would be giving yourself and the audience a disservice, not a gain. So think of terms of your act.

The childish factor wouldn’t be such a problem for a children’s performer as this is what you're trying to achieve with such performances. The magician with a top hat, tie and magic wand is still very real in a child’s eyes, so there would be no harm in that sense.

Do you need a wand to help a particular effect? There are a number of wands that are gimmicked is such a way that they are necessary to pull off the effect itself. The Vernon wand spin is a flourish that adds to Micheal Ammar's Cups and Balls routine as well as provides a misdirection element. The needs of the wand itself gives you a recommendion as to what one should get. If you did wont to perform the Vernon wand spin you would be seeking a wand that was well balanced, so to make your spins smooth and clean and so on.

SO why do you need one?


Message: Posted by: ninjaduffy (Dec 19, 2003 02:40AM)

well I don't know if I do.... Yet, I think it would help and add an extra element in performing magic to my nieces and nephews, and also I like the idea of a wand as a symbol of magic.

I wouldn't use it for a more adult audience; I think I would leave it in the drawer.

Also I am a bit flash at spinning things like trays, plates and drumsticks using my hand and fingers...... I think I would be able to master a wand flourish in a matter of hours. I would like the option, if you know what I mean....

So Aus, I think I will get one, well start looking anyhow.............

thanks Aus and happy Christmas.
Message: Posted by: Eric Grossman (Dec 19, 2003 08:32AM)

Hi, and welcome to our world. Let me recommend a wand for you. The Mercury wand, sold on Michael Ammar's web site is the one I use. There are definitely prettier wands, but this one looks fine and is a workhorse. I drop this sucker all the time when practicing. It's basically indestructable. It is also easy to handle due to its construction. Also, the price is great. Good luck.

Eric Grossman
Message: Posted by: ninjaduffy (Dec 19, 2003 10:38AM)
Thanks Eric.............

I am going to check that out right now
Message: Posted by: harris (Dec 19, 2003 01:23PM)
Something that "makes" the magic can be fun and
useful do to:

1. Use of take not put idea.
That is getting the wand while ditching

2. Fun wands such as
a. pickle
b. banana
c. classic wand
d. Harry Potterish Wand
e. Sound generating wand

Enjoy the journey

Of course defining your stage persona(s) as mentioned above will be helpful on your journey.

Message: Posted by: Tspall (Dec 20, 2003 10:42AM)
Just a piece of advice...

I've got several friends who use wands and they have all referred to the fact that drumstick spinning has many similarities to wand spinning, so with your background, you should be able to come up with some great flourishes.
Message: Posted by: cheaptrick (Dec 20, 2003 07:28PM)
You should use a wand or SOMETHING (magic coin, magic pencil, etc.) to have a reason to put your hand in your pocket once in a while.

Hint: NEVER waste a trip to your pocket.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 26, 2003 09:41PM)
For the question, Should I have a wand? My response is Do you do magic with both hands? If the answer is No, you may not need a wand.

Unless you do grand illusion or a totally mental act, my position is that a wand is part of the show some where at sometime. You can use other items but a magician is allowed to use a wand just as a singer is allowed to use the microphone. It makes the show better, it directs attention, it misdirects attention, it buys time, it increases the size of the show, and it singles you out as the magician.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Chout (Dec 28, 2003 02:05AM)
Wands can be very useful when you need to distract or mislead your victim. In fact, any extra prop can improve your performace, especially in front of little kids who get a kick out of such gimicks.
Message: Posted by: dreidy (Dec 28, 2003 05:37AM)
I got asked to do some magic for my 'new' relatives, my sister just remarried so I now have some new nephews. They are eight and ten, the very first thing they asked, before I'd even begun was "Where's your wand." They expect a magician to have one. Luckily I have one I've been practicing cups and balls with. So now I'm Uncle David the Magician, rather than just Uncle David who does tricks.

If you're going to perform for kids, I'd say it's a must.


P.S. The only thing I used it for was to tap their hands when making sponge balls multiply, but that was what they were expecting.
Message: Posted by: Aperazor (Dec 28, 2003 07:07AM)
I agree with many above....one of the first things I am always asked at any kids shows is Where is your magic wand?
If you don't have one then you aren't a magician in a childs mind.
And for how cheap wands are...well just have one as a prop.
They are also a very powerful misdirection tool at a kids show.
Happy New Year to all.
Nick Zender
Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Dec 28, 2003 10:48AM)
When was the last time you saw anyone use a magic wand ? Its for old school magicians, unless you want to beat a heckler over the head with it halfway through your show.
Message: Posted by: dreidy (Dec 28, 2003 03:19PM)
Saying a wand is just for 'old school' magicians is the same justification for not doing ring tricks, anything involving silks, coins, cards or assistants - all of which were heavily used by magicians fifty years ago.

There is nothing wrong with the classics of magic, the use of a prop or effect shouldn't be decided by 'how old is it' but by:
1. Does this effect fit my performance?
2. Am I competent enough to perform it well?
3. Will my audience enjoy the performance?

There may be some effects that have been so over-exposed, sawing a lady in half, as to be almost meaningless if done the traditional way, but effects involving the skill of the perfomer, e.g. linking rings or cups and balls, don't appear to have grown old yet. It's the perfomance the people come to see, not the props and despite the age and lineage of the props, the performance can be fresh and new every time.

Message: Posted by: Renegade (Dec 29, 2003 02:24PM)
My advice for a wand is similar to the role of pepper in a recipe, used sparingly and at the right times it adds spice and interest. I like to keep my eyes open during hikes in the woods for strange looking pieces of wood that polish-up well.
Message: Posted by: what (Dec 29, 2003 05:05PM)
I just started using a wand. I use it for the cups & balls. You mentioned that you are using a chop cup. This might be an excellent application for a wand. I am enjoying learning the Vernon/Mora wand spin and some of the David Williamson moves that Michael Ammar teaches.

I have been doing the cups & balls without a wand for the last couple of years, and am just realizing just how powerfull a device a wand might be in this effect. I recommend looking into it.

Good luck on the journey

Message: Posted by: ninjaduffy (Dec 29, 2003 07:24PM)
Thanks everyone
Message: Posted by: Tspall (Dec 30, 2003 10:23AM)
I received a wonderful wooden wand a couple of weeks ago and have been adding it to my cups and balls routine. I'll agree with what's said here too. You can overdo it, but in the right amount it does add something to a performance.

I think the use of wands in stories such as Harry Potter have also helped to make audiences more aware of the wand use in magic, but that's just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Jan 2, 2004 06:01PM)
Is a wand your style? That is the first question. I personally don't use one. If I did it would be a medievil type style.
Message: Posted by: Magic from A to Z (Jan 6, 2004 07:21PM)
I have seen alot of wands and prefer Michael Ammar's Mercury Wand. It's rather inexpensive and is durable.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 6, 2004 11:51PM)
On 2003-12-19 09:32, Eric Grossman wrote:

Hi, and welcome to our world. Let me recommend a wand for you. The Mercury wand, sold on Michael Ammar's web site is the one I use. There are definitely prettier wands, but this one looks fine and is a workhorse. I drop this sucker all the time when practicing. It's basically indestructable. It is also easy to handle due to its construction. Also, the price is great. Good luck.

Eric Grossman

This is a good wand for everything except actual performance with the cups and balls. Why? Well, it's durable, almost indestructible and easy to work with; however, if you have a really nice set of cups, you don't want a wand with metal tips. Metal tips will scratch and dent metal cups. For cups and balls, unless you are 100% sure where your wand is going at all times, get a wand with wooden tips. Or even plastic.

I got this recommendation from James Riser, who knows his cups!
Message: Posted by: drgnjames123 (Jan 10, 2004 09:14PM)
I made mine from a wooden dowel and painted it black with white tips like the ones you usually see in magic.

Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Xia (Jan 10, 2004 09:37PM)
Looks like I need to get a wand for those pesky kids!!!
Message: Posted by: ninjaduffy (Jan 11, 2004 09:54AM)
What can I say . A feast of great advice for me...

thank you all for your help in this and other topics....

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 23, 2004 03:21PM)
On 2003-12-28 11:48, mattisdx wrote:
When was the last time you saw anyone use a magic wand? It's for old school magicians, unless you want to beat a heckler over the head with it halfway through your show.

Stick with magic and this too shall pass.

Forty something years ago when I started doing magic, every trick I saw was "A New Trick" and after studying magic, I learned that I didn't know any "New" tricks. They were all "old school" and many predated US history. (That's even older than MTV.)

When I started working on a Ph.D. in 1979, I believed that assembly line manufacturing was new with the USA and was started by Henry Ford. However, I already knew he was a late comer to the automobile manufacturing industry. Immediately in my first Ph.D. Management course, I learned from studying the documented accounts of the Arsenal of Venice (Its product was outfitting battle ships at the rate of one every 45 minutes.) that the assembly line most definitely existed in 1432 AD. America was not discovered until sixty years later. And that was over 400 years before Henry Ford got started. It is also known that Eli Whitney tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to build muskets on an assembly line during the American Revolution in the 1770s. He lacked the understanding and access to standardized parts and materials that existed in the Arsenal of Venice in 1432. What he did accomplish was building a cotton gin.

When I became a business agent for the American Federation of Musicians AFL-CIO in 1963, I learned “all” about labor unions and certainly believed that the organized labor movement in the USA resulted in the existence of the position of “Shop Steward” in dealing with labor. But now I know that the Arsenal of Venice had shop stewards back in 1432 AD.

In the 1950s and early 60s, I was a performing stage and studio musician playing one of those “new” electric guitars. We learned our “hot licks” from those “old school” country / western and jazz guitar players who didn’t need the “gimmicked” guitars. They could actually play real guitars.

The computer from which this comment is composed works due to an understanding of binary coded hexadecimal data processing. This technology was made possible through the Aborigines of Australia. All of their history is recorded through music. Their musical instruments only have two notes. Thus, this is really a very “old school” technology but it’s new to Americans.

Using or not using a wand will neither make you an accomplished magician nor prevent anyone from becoming one. In time you will not be occupied wondering when was the last time you saw an “old school” magician, but wondering when was the last time you saw a “new” trick. It is a natural growth process.

By the way, I still use a guitar pick too!

Enjoy magic and entertain your audience!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Lucy (Jan 23, 2004 05:49PM)
On 2003-12-28 11:48, mattisdx wrote:
When was the last time you saw anyone use a magic wand ? Its for old school magicians, unless you want to beat a heckler over the head with it halfway through your show.


The clothes make the pirate. I heard that somewhere. A magician without a wand is like pancakes without syrup. You probably wouldn't need a wand for card and coin tricks done in the laundramat while you wait for your jeans and T shirt to dry....but if you represent yourself as a magician to an audience who has come specifically to see you, a wand is part of what they expect to see. As Jeff McBride says, the wand extends your space.
Historically the wand is a symbol of authority. Examples are things like the scepter, used by royalty, the caduceus, used by the medical profession, and even the simple staff, used by the shepherd.

Use it, make the most of it, put on a show!

Message: Posted by: Lagrange (Jan 23, 2004 10:26PM)
Bob, that was a great post.

To the original poster, I don't think a wand is necessary unless you really need it for misdirection, but Bob, your post really brought a chuckle. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: troppobob (Jan 25, 2004 08:26AM)
Giday Kev and everyone else

Another wide ranging and relevant discussion.

A lot of my performances are for children and the use of wands has come along naturally with the development of my performances.

Like a lot modern magicians I have a "quiver" of wands at my disposal. Like a lot of you I have segment that involves a series of gimicked wands that add an extra routine to the begining of a segment that involves a participant holding a wand (break away wand etc). This section of the show always works well.

Some recent developments have included a rubber chicked used as a wand for an "Egg Bag" routine.

The contributiion about "old school" by Mattisdx was thought provoking and I thank you for opinion while being unconvinced by you reasoning.

If they work for you then go for it.

Troppo Bob

Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jan 27, 2004 09:20PM)
I just bought two wands for a Renaissance Faire theme I'm working on. I have no real need for them except that the image I'm trying to create makes it necessary. They also create their own misdirection. Just reaching for a wand is the perfect time for steals, ditches, etc... and most people wouldn't consider that you can hold something in the "dirty" hand if you're holding the wand at the same time.

Rather than the "modern" black wand with white (or other shiny stuff) tips, I opted for the "single ended" wooden wands more in line with the period.

I found a great place for these and the prices are very reasonable. I know I could just make one, but the quality for the price is better than I could do with limited woodworking tools.

Just go to http://www.hpwizardstore.com and click on the link to their Phoenix Wands.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 28, 2004 07:17AM)
My wands usually match some part of my act. So they are seldom just black with white tips. However, both ends were typically the same (at least from the audiences' view).

This Christmas, as a gift from my eighty-five year young Aunt Helen, I received a beautiful wand made of pewter, lead crystal and quartz. After over forty years of magic, it is my first in many categories. Most obviously it is single ended. My end of the wand has a pewter wizard holding a crystal ball. The shaft is a long piece of lead crystal. And the tip is a faceted pointer of clear quartz that really plays with the light. It is unusually heavy and certainly much more than a stick for misdirection. It is indeed a very magically looking and feeling prop. I am considering how to use it with D'Lites to make the wizard within come to life.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: master121 (Jan 30, 2004 07:27AM)
If you want one, get one. I don't regularly use mine. Think about it, how many times have you seen David Blaine use a wand?

My 2 cents. :spinningcoin: :spinningcoin:
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jan 31, 2004 11:21AM)
On 2004-01-30 08:27, master121 wrote:
If you want one, get one. I don't regulerly use mine. Think about it, how many times have you seen David Blaine use a wand?

(rant mode)
On the other hand, when have you seen David Blaine perform magic? (sorry, I had to do it)

I consider him a "concept artist" who happened to use a few magic shop tricks in his act. He wants to portray himself as something other than a magician (by our definition) and that's fine too. I just find it odd that so many magicians (including myself I suppose) have so many varying opinions on someone who isn't "one of us" in the first place.

(/rant mode)
To pull this back on topic, I just received my two "Harry Potter" wands. They're absolutely perfect! A little more "period" and much better than the typical "modern" wand. Like someone else already said, it's a "symbol" of the character I'm portraying. I even went out and ordered a "Wizard's Robe" to add to the costume you see in my photo to set myself even farther apart from the rest of the people who start to "all look alike" in the eyes of the Faire Audience. Flowing sleeves, peaked hood, the works.
Think of it as a bit of a cross between Gandalf and Dumbledore.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 31, 2004 06:49PM)

Very diplomatically put. Thank you. We do spend considerable time defending our selves from being identified with non-magicians. Lay people often confuse categories out of ignorance. The confusion is so great that most Americans cannot accurately use the yellow pages to find the appropriate physican specialty to treat their problems. It is certainly understandable that they may be unable to discriminate between magic and other forms of entertainment. There are different levels of car racing, dance, and acting also. In the evolution of things, first one learns to generalize and some later even learn to discriminate. Not all do develop to the same level or extent.

All forms of entertainment don't use magic. Some do. But even if a magic prop is used in an entertainment, it does not make it a magic act. Nor does it make the performer a magician. Some trick ropers use rope gimmicks. They are not magicians.

Using a lever does not make one a physicist. Using a ladel does not make one a chef. Applying bandaids does not make one a doctor.

If you had one of my business cards, "special effects" is one category of products offered. Over the years I have either performed them myself or consulted actors or talent who did. It is about as common in theater and television commercials as music. It simply saves production time or allows an actor/spokesperson to illustrate something in a more interesting way. It does not make them magicians or make the commercial a magic show. I have even coached coaches on using magic props to help with coaching college athletes. We still called them coaches.

It has been especially enjoyed using magic in theater to give visualization to fairy tales, myths, and stories. Magic has never even been mentioned in the programs. Because that is not what they are. A chase scene in a movie does not make it NASCAR. Chase scenes in movies rarely require helments either, since they never leave the studio. This is entertainment. Frankly, I like to hold the art of professional magic to a higher plain than novelty shop showmanship. Both are fun but only one is really magic.

Not all magicians use wands. It is a matter of choice and fit for magicians. It is certainly not required of non-magicians. I never saw Madonna use one either.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Cad (Feb 1, 2004 09:40AM)
If it's small kids you're performing for a collapsable 'comedy' wand would go down well. A guy I work with used to swear by his. The other advice he gave me was to avoid, for the most part, doing card effects as kids don't relate to them in the same way as adults (apart from effects like the card thrown in the bin (back-palmed) and plucked from mid-air).
Message: Posted by: Martin Reinertz (Feb 7, 2004 02:03PM)
Contrary to many people's believes I would definitely recommend getting a wand - get a rather cheap but good looking one first and figure out if you feel the wand-use "adds" to your magic.

I got my first wand for less then $10 - and I'm still using one just like it. It's black, glossy plastik with silvery ends (not MADE of silver ;-)). BUT: I am not using it in any of my routines but I'm just holding it when I make my entrance. It helps me create a "magical" atmosphere.

In other words: I would say, just give it a try.
Message: Posted by: Brian Morgan (Feb 8, 2004 06:51PM)
Definitely, it's a great source of misdirection.
Message: Posted by: AJP807 (Feb 9, 2004 12:29AM)
I have loads of wands that I have collected over the years doing my children's shows. I have collapsing wands, fishing pole wands, color changing wands, giant apprearing wands, sponge wands, Silly Billy wands, the list goes on and on. The kids seem to love them all. They love to hold them and wave them. In my opinion, it is THE classic magic prop. I wouldn't be without mine.
Best regards, Tony Parisi