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Topic: Ghost Key - does it work for you?
Message: Posted by: paulalpha (Apr 23, 2018 07:19PM)
Ghost key has never really worked for me. I like the effect, but it never seems to get the reaction I was hoping for.

It is likely my presentation, but I suppose it possible that it is a lousy trick, or maybe just a lousy trick for me.

If you like it and use it, what kind of presentation do you use? Are there any Ghost Key DVD/books that you'd recommend?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 24, 2018 04:55PM)
Yes, there is a booklet for [b]The Haunted Key[/b] published by Fun Inc. Describing different effects with The Haunted Key.

What I have found is that you have to set the mood of your spectators for your presentation. The slower you make the key turn the spookier it seems to be. If any time the key just flips or falls, then it will kill the effect totally. If you can do a trick or two that captures and fools the spectators before the introduction, all the better.

These keys, are what in the early days, every home as had in use in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's. The actually were of little use to home owners, as they were a master key for every door in the house. even the front and back doors to the home entrances.

How do I know, because I was brought up in such a house. We used Skelton keys. Every door n the house also had a key hole below the knob.

I think the Haunted and Ghost Key effect is wonderful. If you put the time in the presentation. I found it in a magic book, the description was on a paragraph long. I searched for a long time trying to find the right key that would work. Not every Skelton Key will work for this effect. So glad it was brought to the magic community.
Message: Posted by: paulalpha (Apr 24, 2018 10:28PM)
[quote]On Apr 24, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Yes, there is a booklet for [b]The Haunted Key[/b] published by Fun Inc. Describing different effects with The Haunted Key.

What I have found is that you have to set the mood of your spectators for your presentation. The slower you make the key turn the spookier it seems to be. If any time the key just flips or falls, then it will kill the effect totally. If you can do a trick or two that captures and fools the spectators before the introduction, all the better.

These keys, are what in the early days, every home as had in use in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's. The actually were of little use to home owners, as they were a master key for every door in the house. even the front and back doors to the home entrances.

How do I know, because I was brought up in such a house. We used Skelton keys. Every door n the house also had a key hole below the knob.

I think the Haunted and Ghost Key effect is wonderful. If you put the time in the presentation. I found it in a magic book, the description was on a paragraph long. I searched for a long time trying to find the right key that would work. Not every Skelton Key will work for this effect. So glad it was brought to the magic community. [/quote]

Bill - Thanks you for your suggestions. I think that one of the mistakes I've made is trying to use it as a stand alone trick or an opener. It probably would work better as a middle trick, and using those other tricks to set the mood.

Also I think I will try it in an offhanded way, suggesting that the antique shop that sold it to me said it might be from a haunted house.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Apr 26, 2018 01:53PM)
Paula: I never got much out of this. Perhaps my presentation was flawed too. Most people would see it as a puzzle, and then try it themselves. I no longer do it.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 27, 2018 05:56AM)
Bill has given you the "story" of "skeleton" keys! --Yup! That's "how it was, back then"! I grew up in a home just like that, too.

Once again, it's the PRESENTATION that "makes" the trick! --And, you must set the mood. "OUT OF THIS WORLD", is a great card trick, BUT, it's not a 'fast and flashy card trick", to be done by a table hopper magician!

"OOTW" is IMO, best done in a parlor show, for one person or a very small group. The HAUNTED KEY, is much like OOTW. You need to set the mood! (Hallowe'en is the "perfect night" for the HAUNTED KEY!

As Bill pointed out, the "RIGHT KEY" is absolutely important. I inherited my key from my first mentor, in the early '50s. Stuart Ross had found an "ancient" hotel key. He used it as the magic key in Tarbell's "EGGSTRAORDINARY EGGSPLANATION" (Vol I, page 394). --And, that's how I used it, also, for years. When
Vol.7 was published, I read Jack Tillar's "BLISTER" (Vol VII, page 379). I tried it out, on myself, and, the EFFECT was great! I had used my key from Ross, and, it was the "right key". It helped set the mood! I introduced the key as an interesting "souvenir" that I had picked up in a "Victorian era bed & breakfast", in Massachusetts where the Salem witch trials had occurred. I was tempted to call it the key to my ancient motor home (!) but, that would have made the key, a gag item. (The "handle" end of my key has an "F" stamped in the metal. It was a small bed & breakfast!)

From there, I led the conversation into haunted houses in the Salem area. (Note, I believe in "conversational patter". It gets the spectators involved.)

The actual "turning" of the key, must be SLOW.

There is an ancient parlor trick, that I learned from my grandfather, when I was about 7 or 8. Grandpa threaded a shoe lace through the hole in the key "handle".
He said if the key was held over the open palm of a person, the key would swing in a "back & forth" pattern, if held over the palm of a boy, and, in a circular pattern, if held over the hand of a girl. (This was "parlor entertainment" in my youth! TV wasn't invented yet, and radios were "scarce", too!)

Both the "Blister" bit, and, the "Sex Detector" bit, were good "lead ins" to the Haunted Key.

I didn't give you my "patter". (Actually, I ad lib much of it, and,encourage the other person or persons, to share "stories" that they may know.

I hope that this will give you a bit of "inspiration" for PRESENTATION!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 27, 2018 12:14PM)
Paulalpha, I don't want to sound like I am lecturing, but your last posts is like many others on the Café. From that experience you shared, I take it you did not analyze the key when you got, tried it out, studied the movements and what it responded to your interaction with it.

I bought it and did not perform, it is not good, is the excuse many give. All magic, even beginner magic, need practice, rehearsal, thought, and a presentation.

If you are job hunting, you do not go to company you are dying to work for 1st. You go to as many other job interviews as you can create, as practice for the big one.

Same with magic, you don't your clients you think will hire you, you show total strangers to watch their reactions, and comments, then note them and analyze what could make it better. The saying here fits, is it ready for prime time, fits.

How I know the key is a killer effect, is because I witnessed it myself. Back in the 1970's when Fred Kaps Cork came out, I learned about IT. So I was kind of set up to fooled already, I had not found that trick in book I mentioned earlier.

I told this story on the Café before, but here goes.

I was in the local magic shop, and looking at new products, when a short old gray haired walked in. He was quiet, and pleasant looking. He started to show a youngster at the counter a magic trick. I watched on. He did his versions of some BoBo coin moves from the book, and Cig-thru-quarter, Half dollar in bottle, and the key.

HE was good very good, could not see anything, and I knew all the moves and effects he was doing, and yet, I caught nothing, even the BoBo pinch move. He performed the key, I asked him to do it again, burning his hand for the IT, there was none. After he done it for 3 or 4 times, I was amazed. He had a presentation that I don't remember a word of, as I was so taken by the movement of the key. He bought a cig-thru-quarter and a Half dollar in bottle as I recall, then left.

The owner came up, and I asked WHO WAS THAT GUY? The owner said he was from a little town I never heard of over the state line in Ohio. He comes in often and buy coin tricks and sells them.

He looked like someone you would seen in a bar, jeans, shirt and very friendly. Come to find out, for years he was doing that little sequence, of magic, and just like you read about some famous trick, people would offer him a $100 to teach them the trick. Every read about the famous $100 4 Ace trick in the Lewis Ganson book on Dai Vernon. Same kind of thing.

He used the key at times during the other coin effects, just gesturing with it. Penny to Dollar size penny with "the pinch" was excellent. The kid was a little guy, and could easily see below his hands, kind of eye level. Yet nothing was yelled out. I even stooped over a couple of times, and nothing.

Have never seen him since. Just like the stranger that strolled into town in the movies.

I would say the most enjoyable entertaining magic I have ever seen in my life.

That is what every person longing to be a magician should strive for, perfect entertaining magic that kills. Oh yes, he did the old Color Changing Knives as well. Actually, those are the 1st high profit magic items a magic dealer could sell in those days for good profits. He must have asked about coin magic to know the BoBo moves from the book's 1st few chapters.

As I been saying on the Café for some time, it is not the trick that fails, it is the person doing it.

I have seen kids not be able to turn a cup upside down, after showing the them the trick several times. The simple beginner Cups and Balls, is hard to learn the moves for many. That is why you have to practice and rehearse.

It ahs been fun, hope you succeed.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 30, 2018 06:56AM)
I hope that Bill doesn't mind. I am going to offer a very slight modification to his SECOND PARAGRAPH, above.

Bill has been "around a FEW years, and, he has given anyone who reads this thread, an excellent history of the "GHOST KEY", PLUS a very interesting anecdote (just above).

Please refer to his post, just above! In his enthusiasm, he listed four "things" that any performance of a trick, NEEDS. -AND, HE IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!!!!!

IMHO,though, in his enthusiasm, he listed the "four essentials" of performance, in "inverted order".

THOUGHT, and PRESENTATION, must come FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEN, PRACTICE, and, THEN, REHEARSAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THOUGHT COMES >>>FIRST<<< The performer must "think up" a PREMISE. As the late Charlie Miller would always say, "How do you get into it?"

Next, comes the actual PRESENTATION! (the "story") The PRESENTATION must "fit" the PREMISE!

NOW, the performer can PRACTICE the PHYSICAL SKILLS (including HOW he verbally DELIVERS the PRESENTATION.) PRACTICE TO IMPROVE THE SKILL and, the DELIVERY of the LINES (patter).

THEN, REHEARSE the PERFORMANCE!! --"DO" the WHOLE routine, just as one would when performing for spectators. No 'stops' to "adjust" the position of the key, etc.! REHEARSAL IS THE LAST OF THE "FOUR STEPS"! REHEARSAL IMPROVES THE PERFORMANCE!!!

So, PREMISE, PRESENTATION, PRACTICE, AND, REHEARSAL!!!!

I'll repeat what I've been "preaching" (since "forever"):

To add a trick to one's repertoire, there are three necessary steps:

1. Learn how the trick is DONE.

2. Learn how to DO it.

3. Learn how to do it, SO THAT IT ENTERTAINS THE SPECTATOR(S)!
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Apr 30, 2018 08:37AM)
Mr Oslund, your #3 is probably the most difficult.
Just because we are entertained with what we do, doesn’t necessarily mean it entertains the audience. It is after steps 1&2 that really comes with practice and refining.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 30, 2018 11:13AM)
[quote]On Apr 30, 2018, Wravyn wrote:
Just because we are entertained with what we do, doesn’t necessarily mean it entertains the audience.

That is not entirely true, if you really like performing a certain trick or effect, that will bring your inner feelings of enjoyment to the surface, and that shows to your audience. So if you have a "can't wait to show a certain trick, then by all means show it. There are some that I never have tired performing for others.
Message: Posted by: paulalpha (May 1, 2018 02:00AM)
Bill and Dick:

Thank you for all of your valuable ideas. You made many good points.

One of my other hobbies is telling jokes. I memorize the setup, and the punch line. I write the joke down. I repeat it to myself a few time until I know I wont forget stuff.

But I never really know if it is a good joke for me until I've told it a few times to other people. After half a dozen outings I know if the joke is worth adding to my repertoire.

Magic is the same way. I never really know if I should add a trick to my repertoire until I have performed it for several strangers. But the barrier to performing the trick first time is much higher than joke telling. You have to get the sleights down cold, think through a presentation, rehearse it well, and then try it on your first victim.

I think that is why so many here are asking if XYZ is a good trick. They don't want to spend all the time, money and effort perfecting a trick only to learn that the customers reaction to it is luke-warm.

I seem to recall Jay Sankey saying that he doesn't do open spoon bends, because when he tried that his audiences would sometimes laugh. His experience with spoon-bending was much better when it was done under cover in a napkin. So apparently his persona/character was such that his audiences wouldn't allow him to do spoon bending like Yuri Geller does.

So when a trick doesn't work, instead of blaming the trick first, I should blame it on my presentation, my patter, my audience selection, my trick order etc. In the hands of a master that trick might be a very good trick.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 1, 2018 07:39AM)
Paul...

I just spent a half hour, writing up some "answers" and comments about comedy, humor, jokes, gags, situation comedy, etc. I punched the 'submit reply" key, and, realized that the wifi, in the apartment building had "ceased existence".

I had a nice hot shower, and the wifi has "come back"!

"The flag is up"! --which in the circus, means that breakfast is being served in the cook house. I'm going to take my insulin, and, go eat!

I'll try to get back here ASAP, and, try again!
Message: Posted by: John Oaks (May 1, 2018 12:07PM)
[quote]On May 1, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:

I just spent a half hour, writing up some "answers" and comments about comedy, humor, jokes, gags, situation comedy, etc. I punched the 'submit reply" key, and, realized that the wifi, in the apartment building had "ceased existence".
[/quote]

With sketchy wifi I will often highlight and copy what I have written. Then hit send or whatever. If it gets lost I then at least have it saved and can paste what I had written. To try again or into wordpad.

Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: paulalpha (May 1, 2018 08:48PM)
Dick:

I am waiting with baited breath for your response. They're usually illuminating and enlightening.
Message: Posted by: paulalpha (May 1, 2018 08:53PM)
[quote]On Apr 30, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
[quote]On Apr 30, 2018, Wravyn wrote:
Just because we are entertained with what we do, doesn’t necessarily mean it entertains the audience.

That is not entirely true, if you really like performing a certain trick or effect, that will bring your inner feelings of enjoyment to the surface, and that shows to your audience. So if you have a "can't wait to show a certain trick, then by all means show it. There are some that I never have tired performing for others. [/quote]

Bill: I'm curious (as I'm sure others are), what might those tricks be?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 22, 2018 09:51AM)
Paulalpha, they are the ones you love and cherish, get excellent reactions from spectators, and you enjoy performing. Same thing I said before.

It makes me question, you said you can't tell if a trick is good or not, then why in the world did you buy it?
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 23, 2018 07:20AM)
Yes! Ghost Key WORKS for me! But...I do not present it as a "trick". By that, I mean, I do not go, "Here! Look-a THIS!" Plop! No. I have several stories I tell. By the time the key turns over in my hand...whites of the eyes ARE visible! :)

Doug
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 23, 2018 07:24AM)
At 2:08 into this, Riana pulls it off! Her performances seem to scare the daylights out of the cast. It's really all in HOW you present it...:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_etsAX53Ys

Doug
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 23, 2018 09:22AM)
[quote]On May 1, 2018, John Oaks wrote:
[quote]On May 1, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:

I just spent a half hour, writing up some "answers" and comments about comedy, humor, jokes, gags, situation comedy, etc. I punched the 'submit reply" key, and, realized that the wifi, in the apartment building had "ceased existence".
[/quote]

With sketchy wifi I will often highlight and copy what I have written. Then hit send or whatever. If it gets lost I then at least have it saved and can paste what I had written. To try again or into wordpad.

Hope this helps. [/quote]

Good thinking! I'll try to find someone, who can show this 86 year old octogenarian, "how to do dat!)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 23, 2018 09:24AM)
Those last two posts of yours, above, make the DIFFERENCE, DOUG! --Thanks for sharing!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 23, 2018 09:35AM)
[quote]On May 1, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
Paul...

I just spent a half hour, writing up some "answers" and comments about comedy, humor, jokes, gags, situation comedy, etc. I punched the 'submit reply" key, and, realized that the wifi, in the apartment building had "ceased existence".

I had a nice hot shower, and the wifi has "come back"!

"The flag is up"! --which in the circus, means that breakfast is being served in the cook house. I'm going to take my insulin, and, go eat!


I need to have a few undisturbed minutes to devote JUST to this. I've been extremely busy.

I'll be in touch with Gigi Jensen, soon, to discuss a couple of days visit, this summer. As soon as details are set, I'll PM you.
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (May 23, 2018 12:14PM)
[quote]On Apr 30, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
[quote]On Apr 30, 2018, Wravyn wrote:
Just because we are entertained with what we do, doesn’t necessarily mean it entertains the audience.

That is not entirely true, if you really like performing a certain trick or effect, that will bring your inner feelings of enjoyment to the surface, and that shows to your audience. So if you have a "can't wait to show a certain trick, then by all means show it. There are some that I never have tired performing for others. [/quote]

I remember sitting next to Neil Foster at a convention watching the big show. The magician on stage was doing good magic tricks but was not entertaining. Neil leaned over to me and said that 'I hate watching magicians (edit in word for self gratification) on stage.
The magician was entertained with his show, the audience, not so much... ~polite applause at the end~
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 23, 2018 01:43PM)
YUP! Neil and I were of the same general opinion, regarding the situation of which you speak.

Okito, usually sat in the front row (deaf) at convention shows, and, if the performer was really poor, he would take out a newspaper, and, read it, while the act was on.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 23, 2018 01:58PM)
[quote]On May 23, 2018, Wravyn wrote:
[quote]On Apr 30, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
[quote]On Apr 30, 2018, Wravyn wrote:
Just because we are entertained with what we do, doesn’t necessarily mean it entertains the audience.

That is not entirely true, if you really like performing a certain trick or effect, that will bring your inner feelings of enjoyment to the surface, and that shows to your audience. So if you have a "can't wait to show a certain trick, then by all means show it. There are some that I never have tired performing for others. [/quote]

I remember sitting next to Neil Foster at a convention watching the big show. The magician on stage was doing good magic tricks but was not entertaining. Neil leaned over to me and said that 'I hate watching magicians (edit in word for self gratification) on stage.
The magician was entertained with his show, the audience, not so much... ~polite applause at the end~ [/quote]


Wravyn, Clearly, you don't understand what having a favorite trick or effect means. Unless you are just wanting to argue that your posts are correct.

If a person has a favorite effect, he will do all that is necessary to make it entertaining for his audiences as well. He will work hard on patter, and practice until he wears out the prop and have to buy replacements. The effect will be tested and discussed with close friends he trusts for their opinions. He will look constantly for improvements.

I did not mean at all, he likes to entertain himself, and he thinks he is gods gift to magic.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 23, 2018 02:01PM)
[quote]On May 23, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
YUP! Neil and I were of the same general opinion, regarding the situation of which you speak.

Okito, usually sat in the front row (deaf) at convention shows, and, if the performer was really poor, he would take out a newspaper, and, read it, while the act was on. [/quote]


Dick, it seems you don't understand what having a favorite effect means either. It is to bad, as you have done only your favorite, easy, silk tricks all your life. Surely, you understand that or maybe not, that Okito would have read the newspaper while you were performing, only all your favorite tricks.
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (May 23, 2018 04:55PM)
Bill, did you miss that I also said prior to the words you quoted... #3 is the most difficult.
It takes time, practice, understanding, and also one must able to accept useful criticism while working on the trick. Hence, #3 is the most difficult.
Those that do not listen to the criticism and keep doing their favorite trick the same way is doing it to entertain themselves and not the audience.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 26, 2018 07:03AM)
Yes! #3 is most definitely, the most difficult! I remember when I was a teenager in the '40s, experimenting, practicing, performing, then, thinking it over, and repeating! (No video tapes, etc. THEN!!!) It took time, and, considerable effort, to achieve #3! Often, it was only after MONTHS of "try outs", that there was at least relative success! (Persistence, eventually paid off!)

Of the 15 tricks and routines in my show, half came from Tarbell! I LISTENED to my audiences! --AND, MY MENTORS!!! (and, my agent!!!) The other half of my repertoire, is tricks/routines that I "picked up" along the way, from reading, seeing other successful performers, and, then, more practice, and, rehearsal. Those were added one at a time!!!

Bill...After 50 years of making a full time living, performing, I think that I KNOW my business! I have never had A (singular) "favorite EFFECT". [THE EFFECT is not a TRICK. The EFFECT, IS SIMPLY WHAT THE SPECTATOR PERCEIVES! --See Fitzkee!] I have 15 favorite TRICKS (plural) that PRODUCE 15 EFFECTS! NONE of the TRICKS, that I PERFORM, are EASY. I don't do BOX, TUBE, CAN, PAN, OR RED VELVET BAGS ON A STICK, TRICKS! (Well, OCCASIONALLY. I use a Demon Wonder Box to pad out my 2oth C Silks routine, and, I've used my old friend, Don Lawton's Mutilated Parasol routine, for elementaries, as it's ALMOST INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING. (I rewrote the patter, but retained his premise, to keep his premise "alive". You've read my book. You KNOW that I don't use a change bag to vanish an 18" silk, or change the color of an 18" silk. I use skill to do the "Slydini Knots" (which I learned in the Bud E. Anderson Circus Sideshow, when I was 10, on July 4,1941. My golf ball routine is entirely performed with sleight of hand skills. My rope routine goes back to Ralph Hull's "15 Minutes With A Piece Of Rope". The knots are from Hull, It took 11 years to put the Professor's Nitemare into the show. (I didn't like the moves to set it. My Norwegian YOYO, is MINE! I've done my card flourish & fancy shuffle routine, since I read Erdnase, My 20th C Silks routine, is MINE, and my Misers Dream is MINE. I think that that's enough to make my point, but, if it should be necessary, I could write another couple hundred words. I did white glove card fan productions in the very early 50s. I did them well. My agent said, "Cut the fancy card work. Make 'em laugh, and, I'll get you lots of work." I did, and, he did. It was, and, IS, $HOW BU$INE$$!

Okito appreciated SKILL AND PRESENTATION. I learned from him, in 1950, to be "natural", and, that lesson has remained with me, for 68 years! I KNOW that he would have appreciated my program. Jay Marshall and I worked many club dates, together. After an early date, Jay said to me: "From now on, YOU folloW ME!" (THAT story is in my book!)

Before I retired, the Lyceum Managers would call ME, to find out my open time. I never had to call them! I was never at liberty! I toured coast to coast, and, border to border.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 26, 2018 07:22AM)
Paul! I've just been too darn busy to write my thoughts on comedy. Let's wait 'til this summer in Minneapolis. BTW, the mayor of St.Paul, has said, that, he went through the entire Bible, and, didn't see Minneapolis mentioned, even once! heehee
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 26, 2018 02:21PM)
Dick you like to carry things to far, the use of the word magic trick, is used to describe the purchase of magic in trick stores. There is time and a place for certain language. I don't know anyone ever walking into a trick store and ask to see a magic effect, because most magic shops do not show effects, they show demonstrations of the item might look like.

Glad to know there is not one magic trick described in your book.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 27, 2018 01:41PM)
Sorry, Bill!, BUT. words have meaning! I am not "carrying things tOO far. (note the two "oo"s (It's an adverb, not a preposition.) Your third sentence, above, wanders, and, makes little sense.

NO magic shop can show EFFECTS! I would recommend that you read, Dariel Fitzkee's "Magic By Misdirection". EFFECTS don't come in "boxes" at magic shops. An EFFECT, is "what the spectator perceives". Spectators, see a trick performed, and, each spectator perceives, according to his/her imagination, intelligence, and experience, an EFFECT. When they describe what they "saw", none tell the same "story".

I beg to differ. There are SEVERAL TRICKS that are described in detail, in my book, move by move. My cards to pocket, which Karrell Fox, immediately put into his close up "act", is a good example. Most of what I perform is relatively "classic material". I felt, (and, still do) that, "PRESENTATION is much more important, than METHOD. (All the professionals that I know, or knew, are/were very aware of THAT!) Methods are readily available. Presentations are not. I studied Tarbell, and learned more methods than I could ever live long enough to use. I read through 5 volumes of Tarbell (all that were in print, at the time) in a year. I HAD METHODS! It took more than a few years to develop PRESENTATIONS, for the trick methods that I had learned from Tarbell. Tarbell's PRESENTATIONS, written in 1927, were, for the most part, woefully out of date, by 1946, just 29 years later.

I was fortunate to meet and know, and, be mentored by, some very successful professional magicians. I kept my eyes, ears, and, mind, open, and, my mouth shut. So, they shared, not just methods, but their philosophy of "...not, WHAT ya do, but, HOW ya do it..." I consider myself, most fortunate, to have had the opportunity to share their experience, knowledge, wisdom, and, fellowship. As a result of their kindness, I was able to develop a program that kept me working steadily for almost 50 years. I was able to retire, with a comfortable estate. --And, when, a few years later, I got bored, and, wrote to a former manager to ask if he could use a "tired, broken down old magician", he responded: "How much time do you want to do, and, when can you start?" I did ten weeks, and, was happy to retire AGAIN.

I have said, that, "Bill and I often have minor differences of opinion." (This is a free country!) But, I draw the line, when it comes to differences of fact!

Now, if you wish, let's forget about differences, and start fresh.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 27, 2018 03:13PM)
P.S. (It's a known fact that people always read a "P.S."!!!)

I had to look in my book, and "count". I found that, in addition to the cards to pocket routine, which I mentioned above, there are 12 other tricks and routines, described in detail, with the MOVES AND, PRESENTATION, described in great detail. Others are well known "standards" and, "classics", which any magician who reads, at all, will either know, or be able to learn EASILY.

Here's the list of tricks and routines, which I described in detail: Coin-Go, Crystal Tube and Silks, Tip-Cee Bottle, My ball routine, Notes on the Multiplying Balls, Parts of my rope routine, that were not commonly known (Jack Chanin ideas, Dr. Daley knot, Scotty Lang's Sucker Cut Rope Routine (simplification and improvements) Hull's Elusive Silk, Knotomatic, Square Knot Vanish (commonly known as the Slydini Knots.

Because I did. basically, the SAME SHOW, every day, at least 13 times a week (sometimes as many as 17/week.) for about 35 to 40 weeks a year, for about 50 years, I was able to "polish" both the "prestidigitation" AND, the "presentation"!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 27, 2018 05:35PM)
Seeing Neil Foster perform at a SAM St. Louis Assembly 8 Magic Show when I was 7 years old made me want to become a Magician. In later years, after meeting Neil in Colon decades ago and 'picking his brain"....I was totally convinced, then, and still remain so today, that Neil could "walk on water."

When reading Greater Magic...there, in the preface, is the story about "The Procession of The Mages"...in other words.....the long line of magicians who came before us and paved the way for the rest of us.

So, since this has been a 'Mantra" for me personally, all of my life performing as a Magician: If a youngster sees you perform...will he or she be so impressed with your performances as a Magician that they will know, right then and there that "That's what I want to do for the rest of my life."

The last time I saw a Magician in "That Mode" was Denny Haney's performance during the Abbot's Get-Together nearly 3 years ago. He was so good, he got a standing ovation, and, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I said to myself...{and later that night to Denny)...that somewhere in the audience, a youngster was saying to his Mom and Dad.."THAT's what I want to do in my life!"

Frankly, and in all sincerity, I honestly believe that nothing else really matters when we perform as Magicians........so I ask this question:

Are you truly good enough to leave a legacy that inspires someone to want to be a magician for the rest of their life?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 28, 2018 08:40AM)
I feel very honored to "admit" that this has happened several times to me. Those who have made that decision, are now successful full time pro's. I am quite proud of them!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 28, 2018 09:03AM)
[quote]On May 27, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
P.S. (It's a known fact that people always read a "P.S."!!!)

I had to look in my book, and "count". I found that, in addition to the cards to pocket routine, which I mentioned above, there are 12 other tricks and routines, described in detail, with the MOVES AND, PRESENTATION, described in great detail. Others are well known "standards" and, "classics", which any magician who reads, at all, will either know, or be able to learn EASILY.

Here's the list of tricks and routines, which I described in detail: Coin-Go, Crystal Tube and Silks, Tip-Cee Bottle, My ball routine, Notes on the Multiplying Balls, Parts of my rope routine, that were not commonly known (Jack Chanin ideas, Dr. Daley knot, Scotty Lang's Sucker Cut Rope Routine (simplification and improvements) Hull's Elusive Silk, Knotomatic, Square Knot Vanish (commonly known as the Slydini Knots.

Because I did. basically, the SAME SHOW, every day, at least 13 times a week (sometimes as many as 17/week.) for about 35 to 40 weeks a year, for about 50 years, I was able to "polish" both the "prestidigitation" AND, the "presentation"! [/quote]

In checking over the list of tricks/routines, for which I described 'moves and handling", I realize that I neglected to mention the TARBELL "DISSOLVING SINGLE KNOT". Karrell Fox had shared that with me about 35 years ago. I had never seen his handling in print, so, lest it be lost, I wrote it up, also. (It pairs up nicely with the Charlie Miller, "Left handed Knot". (I told the story of the Left Handed Knot, and, Karrell's sharing of that knot, in Jay Marshall's kitchen, back in the '70s Al Flosso, Harry Blackstone Jr., Jay, John Shirley, George Johnstone, and, I were having coffee, and talking "shop". Karrell hauled out a 24" silk, and, did the Left Handed Knot". Conversation stopped! Floss, said, "Do that again, Karrell." Karrell did. All of us, screamed (!) "Ya gonna show us?" After teasing a bit, he did. The whole group dashed downstairs and emptied the drawer in the stock room of 24" silks!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 29, 2018 01:11PM)
Well, Bill, the ball is in your court!
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (May 29, 2018 07:28PM)
Let's see if we can get this thread back on track...
The key can be worn on a chain as a necklace and used as a pendulum. After doing a few things with it like that, take it off the chain and do the turnover.
It will be the script that sells the magic of the key. If you are showing the key turning over as just a key turning over... You will not have any success in the mystery of the magic.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 29, 2018 10:42PM)
Hellol Wravyn!
On April 27 I mentioned Jack Tillar's "BLISTER" which was written up when Harry Lorayne "wrote" TARBELL, Vol VII (page 379). When I first saw a friend, present BLISTER, I almost began to "believe" in voodoo! Presented well, BLISTER is startling. I strongly recommend that anyone who has Vol. VII, check it out.

Like the GHOST KEY, BLISTER is not a "quickie". But, it's a strong bit of weird magic!

As mentioned on April 27, I also use the old pendulum "sex detector".l

The 'trio" makes a nice change from sponge balls, and, paddle moves!!!
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (May 30, 2018 10:21AM)
I totally agree Mr. Oslund.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 31, 2018 09:25AM)
Thanks much, for your good thoughts! BTW...My father was "MR." I'm "Dick"!!!

I would much rather spend what time that I have left, in sharing philosophies, and experiences, that might help someone, who is just starting, than "defending" myself. But, I felt compelled to tell "my side of the story". I have NOTHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR! I have been successful as a performer, lecturer, and, author!
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (May 31, 2018 12:34PM)
Yes Bill a real magic shop can show effects and really must. The ones that don't are either the tourist traps or shops that have people that really don't understand magic at all either.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 31, 2018 12:37PM)
And, Dick, you have been more than successful as my mentor for the past 30+ years. I will always be grateful for you sharing your thoughts and performance wisdom with me....you have made me a MUCH, MUCH better ENTERTAINER!
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (May 31, 2018 01:03PM)
Thank you Dick. While I was being brought up, my parents taught me to call someone Mr. Mrs. , or Miss, especially when it is someone you respect, unless they say otherwise.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jun 3, 2018 06:55AM)
I do appreciate the courtesy! --and the respect!!! (My parents taught me that, too.)

Now that I'm in my "second childhood", it's OK to use, "Dick" (When my mother used "Richard", I knew that I was "in trouble"! hee hee
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jun 5, 2018 08:39PM)
[quote]On May 31, 2018, RS1963 wrote:
Yes Bill a real magic shop can show effects and really must. The ones that don't are either the tourist traps or shops that have people that really don't understand magic at all either.

Well, RS1963, I'm not going to waste my time, explaining basic terminology.

I write, using my own name, not some "nom de plume" I DARE YOU to identify yourself, although I doubt that you will.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jun 6, 2018 07:53AM)
Not mentioned is the Docc Hilford presentation on The Vault DVDs that uses a small ungimmicked key. Atmosphere is everything with this item and the SLOW moving is essential for the effect to hit home. Imo, don't let the turn happen for a while so that when it finally does turn it seems impossible. Regardless of whether you present it as a pk effect or more bizarre item it should seem difficult using your mind or contacting the spirits. Just my two cents.
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (Jun 15, 2018 04:54PM)
I find that today a skeleton key is such an anachronism to younger audiences that the trick is considered a gimmick. Many people today know what ideomotor response is as well. I don't think anyone finds it that spooky. I do do the rising feather from theater of the mind and that seems to get a lot more attention. It's a pk effect people can identify with. The haunted key is a little long in the tooth for today.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 16, 2018 09:23AM)
It's true. Some folks CANNOT show this trick and get a spooky response. The people that DO this successfully can tell a meaningful story and demonstrate it. Not all spectators react the same way. I find I get the best responses at night. Timing is everything! During dinner is not the time. Attitude is EVERYTHING! YOU have to appear spooked by it! A bit of acting. Ya gotta be good on the pre-sell! Set it up right. I see this performed as a throwaway too many times. "Watch!" ~plop~ Put it away. It SHOULD be part of a much larger presentation. Like the feather Hermit mentions.

It's not a trick for everyone, that much is certain. But I have a GOOD time with it! :)

Doug
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jun 16, 2018 09:52AM)
That "says 'it' VERY WELL, Doug! IT'S ALL IN THE P R E S E N T A T I O N.

A good magician, KNOWS, when a trick of this type, will play. I would not THINK of performing the key, CASUALLY.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 16, 2018 10:24AM)
I taught a girl this trick once. She got GOOD! A crazy eye...the low hisss!!! Latin words muttered! Hell, she almost had ME believing it! That's when ya know you're good!

Doug
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Jun 16, 2018 11:12AM)
The key I use is about 5 inches long and made of brass. I found it while browsing a flea market. The proprietor had a price of $10... I picked it up to see if it would work, when it rolled over... she almost gave me the key to remove it, had I told the story I use, I think she would have paid me to take it.
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Aug 16, 2018 03:08AM)
FTR, I’m doing the Dr. Jaks presentation on the tip of my middle finger on the Vault video. I also like using my palm, but it’s better to use THEIR palm. One has to know how to make the subject move the key without knowing that they’re moving at all.

I disagree about the key seeming obscure to young people. Anyone over 17 has seen skeleton keys in almost every popular horror movie as well as other movies. They instantly recognize it and want to see it!
I might add that I do NOT believe in this ideo-motor nonscense. (With respect) It’s been proven that like centrifugal force, it doesn’t exist. The unconscious and subconscious muscle and nerve reactions are a combination of several aspects of human nature. I make a big deal out of it because Ormond McGill taught me all about them (the reactions) and how much can be done with them when we approach them with a larger understanding. When magicians/mentalists restrict themselves with an antiquated ideo-motor response method, they can cheat themselves out of lots of strong magic.
Here are several methods that are not ideological-motor, although they still get labeled as such:
Open Suggestion can cause all sorts of movements
Conscious reactions (likes, dislikes)
Subconscious reactions
Nerve stimulation
Muscle stimulation
and many more.

Several good effects using the human reactions (for lack of a better term) can be found in Ormond’s Psychic Magic.
The Abbotts manuscripts have everything, the book was heavily edited, and I think he used the old term “ideo-motor” back then when he wrote them.
Last, by exploring this new attitude of physiological and mental reactions your audience will never claim you’re using ideo-motor, even if they think they know what that was.
Peace
Docc
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Aug 16, 2018 03:21AM)
In the 1990s, Gary Lee Williams taught me his marble in a sealed tube experiment.
The tube was placed in the subject’s palm and you used your psychic abilities, demonstrated through you extended fingers, to grab the marble (non-Ferris so no magnets) and visually pull it to the other end of the tube!
It blew people’s minds.
All based on the key, but masterfully disguised.
That reminds me... where did I put that tube🤔?

Docc
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 16, 2018 05:27AM)
Hey Docc! THANK YOU for adding to the discussion with your wisdom!

It is very refreshing to have someone with not only knowledge, but, also wisdom, contribute to a discussion about "magic" with "esoteric" props like the Haunted Key.

Your erudite post, with good grammar (!) is especially welcome! I get very "tired" of reading the contributions of some, who butcher our language, and, tell me that my show consists of only "easy silk tricks".

I had the privilege of inviting Ormond to dinner, after watching him perform in California, about 30+ years ago. His performance was a delight! Our dinner conversation was even more delightful!

That evening was very inspirational. We had a marvelous discussion. I shall never forget him.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Aug 16, 2018 05:33AM)
Wow Docc! I too was shown the marble tube while in NYC at Tannen's Magic Shop at 1540 Broadway. I made mine out of a clear plastic tube with black rubber stoppers at each end and a glass almost clear marble. The props did dispel the notion of magnets. I would have a hard time sometimes getting the marble to move slowly in the participants hand and so at times I would hold the fingers of the participant looking for just the right time to let go while telling them the marble would move slowly.

It's been a long time since I've done the effect but I appreciate your reminding me of it. THANK YOU!
Message: Posted by: OddFellow (Oct 5, 2019 06:27PM)
Our Odd Fellows Lodge just bought a Victorian farmhouse that we are refitting to be our Lodge. It has skeleton key locks. Well, when I give tours, I bring out my original Ghost Key that I cleaned off all of the plating, blued, and let slightly rust so it has a very nice patina...the reactions that I get are amazing. I always hear, "Is this house haunted?", then I just give them the "look" after the key has turned over. It's an oldie but a goodie and very powerful if used sparingly and in the right setting.