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Steve Brooks
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Wooden Cigars and Cigarettes by John Rogers
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The use of cigars and cigarettes in magic tricks goes back many, many years. Indeed, there once was a time when it was quite fashionable to smoke in society, thus the use of these objects for magic seemed only fitting. In that context, what could be more natural then to see a magician manipulate a cigar or vanish a lit cigarette?

After all, these objects were very familiar to most folks and thus the effect being all the more amazing when the magician would make use of a borrowed cigarette for magical purposes. It was very common to see stage performers magically produce a seemingly never ending chain of these now controversial objects, which was guaranteed to gather thunderous applause from the audience.

It follows that magic manufacturers began marketing numerous ingenious devices to aid the performer in his never ending quest to magically produce a lit cigarette seemingly from thin air, or to vanish that bad boy inside the folds of a borrowed hanky. It was not uncommon to see at least one cigarette trick included in some very early magic sets and numerous other similar type tricks among the pages of various magic catalogs of the day.

Over the years countless tricks and effects using cigars, cigarettes and even pipes have been written up in the magic literature and well received by both professional and amateur alike. As time passed by, books such as the Encyclopedia of Cigarette Tricks by Keith Clark and the Amazing Cigar Book by Giovanni Livera sold thousands of copies to would be magicians, while tricks like the now classic Cigarette thru Quarter practically became a household subject, once illusionist David Copperfield stunned a worldwide audience during one of his television specials. The next day practically every amateur magician on the planet paid a visit to their local magic dealer looking to purchase the secret to that amazing effect. By the way, the gimmick which makes that trick possible is still being manufactured by several firms at present and is available from most any magic dealer.

Having said all that, it is my opinion that magic using cigars or cigarettes can still be appreciated by modern audiences, if presented in the right venue and while using a facsimile of the real thing. But where can one find such props you say? I'm glad you asked. Smile

Enter magician and craftsman John Rogers. John has been performing magic all his life and is an expert at sleight-of-hand magic using cigars and cigarettes. Anyone who has seen John perform his cigars from purse routine can testify to just how amazing magic can really be. However, the magic that John does best is in the manufacturing of his famous wooden cigars and cigarettes. That's right friends, each piece is carefully hand carved from solid basswood. All of John's items are hand painted to look real, there are absolutely no glued on parts and no paper or decals are used in the manufacturing process. In todays world of poorly produced magic props (many made in China, Mexico or India), this is quite refreshing. Smile

What does all this mean for you, the performer? It means that whether you're a smoker or not, you can still get a prop that will not only pass for the real deal, but last you a lifetime and then some! No kidding! These are simply gorgeous, and are real pieces of art that could easily be displayed in a magic museum. By the way, many of John's items are already on display! Now, John makes numerous variations of these props and he was kind enough to send me just a few of his items for review. Please keep in mind that the following props are just a sampling of what you will find on John's
website.

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My "#1" Wooden Cigar

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Description:
This is my every day walk around cigar set. They are lightweight and easy to carry all day. A purse and a set of these and you are ready to delight a crowd!
Points to remember: These are the perfect length for manipulation (3¼ inches long) and preferred by most magicians. The mouth end actually looks wet and chewed and though the ash appears to be fragile, it is very solid
.
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This cigar is great! So good in fact that I am going to order a couple more from John. The weight is perfect and it is easy to handle. Highly recommended!

My rating:
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Suggested retail is: $39.95

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Dos Cigar - Ash on 2 ends!

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Description:
This prop can be used in the continuous production routine and have the second end hidden the whole time. To conclude the routine put it into a purse with one end sticking up out of the purse. Vanish a second cigar and tell the person holding the purse that they now hold two cigars. When they pull it out, you exclaim, "Well almost!" That line never fails to get a laugh!
IMPOSSIBLE CIGAR....
Put this double ended cigar into a small box and tell your viewers you are going to treat them to something that can NOT exist! It is an impossible object. And yet, you are going to let them gaze upon it. How can that be? What a bold claim! When it is revealed that it has two burning ends the audience is stunned!


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I could not help but laugh when I first saw this cigar, this would certainly make an excellent sight gag or even in a routine as the ad copy suggests above. If you already have some of John's regular manipulation cigars, this would make a perfect addition. All of the fun and odor free too! Highly recommend! Smile

My rating:
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Suggested retail is: $39.95

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Straight Cigarettes

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Description:
You can choose lit or unlit or I can make a custom cigarette for you if one of these will not fit your intended pupose.

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These are perfect to use for numerous tricks and for practicing maipulation or sleight of hand moves with no fear of getting burned! I like - highly recommended. Smile

My rating:
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Suggested retail is: $19.95 each.

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Shorty Cigarettes

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Description:
The Shorty is HALF SMOKED!

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Again, stellar quality in material and workmanship - the photographs do not do these props justice at all! Good as a stand alone item, great if you already have a full length one you can use to switch out. Highly recommended! Smile

My rating:
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Suggested retail is: $16.95 each.

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Droopy Ash Cigarettes

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Description:
The Bend is Jig Saw Cut - Permanent!

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What can I say? This has a lot of potential as a comedy item, or even as a gag. Walk around with one of these and make folks nervous! Comedians as well as magicians can get a lot of mileage out of this - Highly recommended! Smile

My rating:
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Suggested retail is: $39.95 each.

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Okay folks, the above items should give you at least a partial idea of some of John's product line - great stuff indeed. Did I mention that John will do custom work?

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The above photograph is a cigar that John made for me. I told him that I occasionally smoke a Punch cigar, so he made one and dropped it in the box with the other items. Very cool. All I need do is add a band from the real thing and I'm good to go. I'll conclude this little write up by saying that anyone who has considered learning some cigarette or cigar magic should seriously consider purchasing some of John's items - they are absolutely wonderful. Smile

You can contact John Rogers 24/7 at: johnrogers@woodencigars.com

You can order using a check or money order and when on the web, John even accepts PayPal payments!

Visit John's website to order direct: Click here!

John Rogers
1103 PARKSIDE DRIVE
NEW CASTLE, IN. 47362
U.S.A.

Phone: (765)529-9618
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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