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Topic: Watch Steal
Message: Posted by: AlmostAmazingJames (Oct 17, 2004 04:28PM)
I'm not sure this is the right place to ask, but how do you practice watch steals? I'm not asking for secrets, just how to practice it.
Message: Posted by: Jim Wilder (Oct 17, 2004 07:08PM)
I asked my wife to be a good sport and let me practice taking the watch. Of course that is not practical for the deceptive part, but it enables you to "get the feel" without having to look at what you are doing.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Oct 17, 2004 07:15PM)
Work it into a routine which will still stand on its own should you get caught or mess up. That way with an alternative climax to cover the bungle you will get away with it.
Boldness and confidence is the root of this success,be strong and assertive with the moves, good misdirection helps.
Practice through actual performance is the key.
My 2cents worth.
Message: Posted by: BlendoSquid (Oct 18, 2004 03:03AM)
To practice the moves you can put your watch on backwards and use the other hand to remove it.
As said above the moves are important BUT misdirection is even more important.

Kevin Courtney
Message: Posted by: Gideon Sylvan (Oct 18, 2004 04:06PM)
James Coats told me to roll up a towel, put some tape around the end and jam it in a door, that's your arm.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Oct 18, 2004 05:49PM)
Smash and Grab is one way to practice it.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Oct 18, 2004 07:46PM)

Mario, you kill me.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 18, 2004 11:57PM)
I would be very leery of doing a watch steal while busking. Any kind of pickpocket act would be very likely to get one thrown in the local hoosegow.
or the Gefängnis. Or even gaol.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Oct 19, 2004 07:58AM)
I have said it here so many times in the past I was not going to bother in this thread. Bill, I am glad you said it and I think you are 100% right.


Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Oct 19, 2004 08:25AM)
On 2004-10-19 00:57, Bill Palmer wrote:
Any kind of pickpocket act would be very likely to get one thrown in the local hoosegow. or the Gefängnis. Or even gaol.
[/quote]And so rightfully!!!

Lack of judgement or a missing brain!

I support the polices judgement for once..I normally never do, but I'm willing to make an exception in this case..

Book the guy..for a performance at a *safe* place..that's the one with bars before his eyes!
Message: Posted by: cstreet_1986 (Oct 19, 2004 11:11AM)
As Kondini mentioned, work it into a routine. Greg Wilson does the superbly on his DVD On The Spot. Not only does the routine work on its own (i.e. without the watch steal), but it actually helps you with the misdirection for the steal!

Great guy, Fantastic DVD
Message: Posted by: rexgetz (Nov 23, 2004 06:46PM)
I have a good friend in got into some serious trouble with the watch steal in a performance. Be very careful with your subject. People are nuts these days.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 23, 2004 07:10PM)
Even I would balk at the idea of lifting a watch during my shtick.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 23, 2004 08:22PM)
I just picked up a copy of one of the classic treatises on stage pickpocketing by one of the masters. I can't lay hands on it, because it's in with some stuff I picked up at the Austin auction. But I read it while I was in Austin. One of the things he points out is that the mere act of picking someone's pocket anywhere other than a theatrical setting is, in most locations, grand theft. The value of the objects lifted is of no relevance whatsoever.

He noted that when he did his act onstage, he would take EVERYTHING out of his pockets before he went on, put it in a special envelope, and give it to the stage manager. That way, he made sure before the act was over to give everything back. And there was no doubt of what belonged to whom.

He had some very pointed remarks about picking pockets that anyone who plans to do it MUST read.

I was once offered a gig at a trade show. I was to stand in the aisle and pick pockets as people passed by. (Look at all that alliteration -- almost like Spiro Agnew.) I told the lady who tried to hire me that it was a horrible idea. She thought it would be funny. But imagine this -- you are standing in the middle of a trade show, loaded with swag, while someone gets a call from his wife on his cell phone. He has to go to the airport for an emergency. He gets out to his car, and has no wallet. Bingo! You're in jail!

The funny part was that it was an insurance trade show. Go figure.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 24, 2004 11:43AM)
Not to mention a real intrusion of privacy!!! There are some stupid people in this world!!



When I was stage managing the show Wicked, starring Amazing Johnathan and Kozak The Magician at Bally's in Vegas, they would do a pickpocket act where they brought a spec to the stage and did the routine about asking him all kinds of questions while they manhandled him all over the stage while seemingly taking his belt, wallet, watch, car keys. In the end the punch line was they had picked each other's pockets, not his. I guess you had to have been there but it was extremely funny from those two comic geniuses.

Message: Posted by: Dave V (Nov 24, 2004 03:00PM)
Wicked? I thought it was "Mayhem?" Or were there two different shows?
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 24, 2004 03:59PM)
You're right, it was Mayhem. Whew!!! Guess age is catching up with me. Wicked was the show we did in Pittsburgh the next year.

Thanks Dave, you're absolutely right. I still have the t-shirt even!!

Message: Posted by: NickJegor (Nov 24, 2004 04:59PM)
I practice on my brother or on my father. Sometimes I do it on some of my friends when it's the right time to perform something cool! I am very lucky because I was never caught doing that! :)
Practice with your family or on your best friend!
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Nov 24, 2004 05:45PM)
On 2004-11-24 16:59, tabman wrote:
Thanks Dave, you're absolutely right. I still have the t-shirt even!!


So do I! It's a bit threadbare, but the picture is still there... barely. Fist clutching wand, punching through what looks like an old fashioned tambourine production tube.

Johnathan and Kozak's signatures disappeared long ago.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 24, 2004 09:06PM)
On 2004-11-24 18:45, Dave VanVranken wrote:
Fist clutching wand, punching through what looks like an old fashioned tambourine production tube. [/quote]

That's the t-shirt I was talking about. I must have a half dozen of them, all like yours about worn out. You know that's a tabman wand in the picture on the t-shirt!!!;)

Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Nov 28, 2004 10:08PM)
The watch steal can be done as a close up thing. But often it can lead to some uncomfortable situations. If caught... I don't recommend it as a busking effect.

Most people that do the watch steal and other pickpocket effects do it on a stage. That way the audience is in on the gag and if the magician gets caught they can get a laugh on it.

Check out the Watch Steal that is in the Stars of Magic. That is where I learned how to do it.

I hope this helps...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 23, 2006 01:47PM)
One of the late Ricki Dunn's pet peeves was that some restaurants with magic themes had taught the waitresses and hostesses to do the watch steal. Everyone who was seated in the theatre, who had a suitable watch, would get it lifted by a waitress or hostess. It made his act look cheesy.

That was a bad policy decision on the part of the management.