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Topic: New Idea?
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Jan 11, 2005 12:10AM)
I don't use fire or levitations (yet) in my act.... but I was curious if this effect I had thought up was newish or old hat so to speak. You take a sheet of paper fold it into an origami bird, then release it it flies a few feet away then begins to decend to the magicians hands, right before it lands it bursts into flame. Afterwards the spectators could inspect the area and it would be clean of trickery. I don't suppose the methods would be too hard to figure out.
Message: Posted by: ClouDsss (Jan 11, 2005 12:41AM)
It sounds similar to rose magic where you float a rose set it on fire and produce a real rose.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Jan 11, 2005 11:55AM)
So the effect has been seen then..... oh well. I'll think about it. I want to have it be a close up type "miracle". I'm sure there are additions a person could do to make it part of a themed act.
Message: Posted by: ClouDsss (Jan 11, 2005 08:10PM)
Hmm your concept of it bursting into flames when it lands on your hands seems new to me. Those that I have seen require a catalyst which the magician lights the flash paper. if you can perhaps stare at it and it bursts into flames it would be nice. how to do it, I really don't know. Sorry I can't be of more help. Pm me if you know. thanks

I guess in our art, most tricks have been thought of and performed for what makes it original would be the handling and presentation. IMO I think after the paper bird bursting into flames, it would be nice if you could produce something and it can be seen in your hands. Best if you combine it with a borrowed item which you vanish and hence use this as a sort of revelation

It's just my opinion that's all. I always loved working with pyrotechnic stuffs...still looking for ways to produce a fire ball in my hands.

Message: Posted by: Nicholas (Jan 19, 2005 11:16AM)
It sounds like it could be developed into a true phoenix rising effect with an added reappearance or restoration of the bird. A good story could be developed around it. The restored bird could be even more beautiful than the original. That's what often happens when we "go through the fire." (Maybe your magical mark on the bird would show that it was really the same one that was burned - I always have trouble sticking to the rule that the restored item should be exactly the same as the destroyed one...I guess my take is really a restoration/transformation kind of thing.) I think I could sell that to the audience, but my biggest challenge would be the method of ignition. I believe there are others at the Magic Café who have previously posted methods of doing what is required. I seem to recall one possibility being the use of an electronic ignition TT. I'm fairly certain Hank Lee or ELMS and the like cary them. I like the idea and wouldn't give up on it.
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Jan 19, 2005 12:20PM)
Can't anyone here thumb palm a bit of incense or a cigarette butt? It used to work.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jan 24, 2005 06:12PM)
It would be beautiful to see the origami bird ignite on return to your hands, and then become a dove. That would follow the logical progression with which you started.

BTW, Hi Slim! I finally stopped lurking!
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Jan 24, 2005 06:49PM)
Great, Harley... Glad to see you! Raise h**l
Message: Posted by: n3cromanc3r (Jan 24, 2005 09:51PM)
Yeah I thought for sure the effect was going to end with the production of a dove. That seems to be the appropriate ending for me anyway.
Message: Posted by: snap (Jan 26, 2005 09:05AM)
I think it would produce a few laughs to have a graceful paper bird burst into flames upon arrival to your hands. I like the idea.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Jan 26, 2005 11:19PM)
I hadn't thought of using a bird. I don't use live often, but it would be a good climax. It seems the only problem would be ignition, but I don't see why we couldn't modify a wand to have a flameless lighter type tip, battery powered electric heater thing? My explanation is miserable but I have a method in my mind.
Paper phoenix would work I don't think having it be paper to live wouldn damage the effect, and using a better looking origami bird than the typical crane
would increase the effect. Wouldn't be too tough and be rather nice looking I think.
Message: Posted by: danelwood (Mar 8, 2005 09:51AM)

I have my own Phoenix gimmick using flash paper that I have been keeping to myself for several years, for lack of a presentation that I thought would do it justice. A couple months ago I came upon Cosmosis, which I have been able to use as the platform presenting my bird with great success.

I have a pretty extensive magic library, and have combed the internet to see if anyone has used a gimmick like mine. I never came across anything close until reading this thread just now. It is very uncanny the similarities the ideas here have to my effect (I call mine "Dan Stockwell's Phoenix").

My bird gimmick is intended for close-up (the ideas in the above thread sound more parlor/stage oriented), and the routine I use flows smoothly and involves the spectator with the igniting of the bird (my gimmick is very small and is not in contact with skin upon flashing-- I'm hyper careful when it comes to using fire, that's one reason I have been so challenged to make a routine that I felt comfortable with presenting my Phoenix gimmick). My gimmick also solves the problem of the transformation into the more beautiful bird with no funny switches, because the paper bird actually transforms into its more beautiful gold counterpart.

I wasn't really planning on going into this amount of detail before selling my routine somehow, because it has had overwhelmingly great responses and I wanted to put it in the hands of people who want to use it professionally for great impact.

I think, however, it is better that I at least document my routine here, and feel safe in the fact that the use of my Phoenix gimmick and routine will probably be self limiting due to the fact that making the gimmick is tricky in itself and shows a commitment by the performer to take the time to prepare to use it regularly.

For those not familiar, Cosmosis is the original floating match that was introduced by Ben Harris in the mid-eighties. It is ultra-clean and the handling on it is amazing -- nothing like the rip off version that everyone knows. I only found out about Cosmosis a couple months ago. It is so good, in fact, that under good conditions with the right spectator, I have had them do the floatation in their own hand. I have used it with more than 30 people now and the method has gone COMPLETELY undetected.

So here is a description of my effect/routine that I call "Dan Stockwell's Phoenix":

I usually start by asking if they have ever seen the "old floating match on card trick", once in a while someone says "yes". I explain that this trick is not the same as the cheap gimmick version that people may have seen or heard of--
I then present a pack of cards and let them freely select a card. This is a completely free selection, they can even take the deck in their own hands and take any card they wish. They sign the back of the card. I take the card, and BORROW a pack of matches from someone. I remove a match and place it ON THE CARD BACK ON TOP OF THEIR SIGNATURE. I flex the card into a deep U shape. The match stays on the center of the card and gravity performs as it should. I then start my weird talk about invoking the power of the Phoenix. Without any funny switches, all in view I flex the card again, and the match rises (remember this is above their signature). They are blown away at this point and that is pretty much Cosmosis, there are many handlings for it also, including passing a spectators finger ring completely over the match.
So then I say, if folks are familiar with the Phoenix myth they know the Phoenix burns up in a firy blaze, only to arise from its ashes, more glorious than before. At this point they are like, what the hell is he going to do next?
Then I pull out a small origami bird made of white paper.
I give it to the spectator, request they remove the match from the top of the card I am holding, and put the bird in its place on the card. I explain that if we concentrate
and are able to make the phoenix rise, I need them to light the match and put it to the bird. The bird rises, people gasp, the bird is lit-- firey blaze and louder gasps, and the bird is transformed into a gold metallic bird. The signed card and bird are immediately given to the spectator as a souvenir and all is completely clean with no detectable clues to the method.

That's it. I have had many people say that this is the best trick they have ever seen. The construction of phoenix gimmick is my own (using the peace crane pattern), and this Phoenix routine utilizing Cosmosis is my own as well.

Ben Harris told me I can quote him as saying "this is one of the flashiest applications (of cosmosis) I've seen to date" to use as his endorsement and permission to use Cosmosis as described above to sell my gimmick and routine as long as I give him credit for Cosmosis in the instrucions.

I highly recommend getting Cosmosis AND the pro tips booklet which includes the 60 second hook-up, which is how I was able to rig an entire deck for the effect in less than an hour. The routine can be repeated at any time using a fresh card from this deck, as long as you have several birds prepared in my own special way beforehand.

Here's a link to the Ben Harris site where you can find out more about Cosmosis:


My profile photo shows me levitating the golden phoenix (this model has already flashed) via Cosmosis.

So there it is. I am sure my Phoenix gimmick will have other applications in other routines as well in the future. I'm pretty sure that it would work well
for the routine people have been talking about in this thread, solving the transformation/production problem in the most magical and clean way possible.
That will just leave you a logical ignition method to work out for your effect.

I have done this a few dozen times, and given out the cards and birds as souvenirs, very funny to watch people trying to levitate the bird after my routine is done.

A small flash pad of twenty papers is enough to make 20 birds. I've used three packs on it so far. So as you can see, I've been getting very busy performing this effect.

I would appreciate any feedback people may have, feel free to PM with any suggestions, and definitely let me know if there is any precedent for my gimmick that I may have overlooked.

Best Regards,

Dan Stockwell
Message: Posted by: James Watkins (Mar 13, 2005 07:46PM)
Hey Nicholas, that is a great presentation. As a matter of a fact, for my effect Phoenix Rising, that is close to the presentation I use. Great minds think alike, eh?

Message: Posted by: danelwood (Mar 15, 2005 09:43AM)
I've got a video up now for my Phoenix as I described above.

Point your browser to ----->

"right click" and "Save Target" rather than run it live from the server.

Let me know what you think.