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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Suggestions for stage routine using spectator and coat (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

malcolm
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There is an old comedy routine that involves the entertainer putting a coat or jacket over the shoulders of a volunteer (whose arms are behind their back). The entertainer, standing immediately behind the volunteer, then puts his arms through the sleeves of the coat (slits having been cut in the back of each shoulder to allow the performer’s arms to go down the sleeves from behind). This gives the illusion that the volunteer is performing something that in fact the entertainer is doing (juggling small objects, eating a banana and so on).

I've seen this done as a physical comedy piece only but I would like to add a magic trick to it. I've already worked out some of the preamble and a number of bits of business during the setup, including a pre-recorded voice over (done by a local radio presenter) as the volunteer’s "telepathically projected" half of the dialogue, but I have not yet come up with a magic effect that I think would work successfully here.

The difficulty is that, since I'm not a large person, when I put my arms around the volunteer shoulders from behind, my fingertips barely touch in front. This limits the amount of dexterity I have for any kind of sleight of hand or manipulation.

The routine cannot involve any other volunteers from the audience as the patter will be pre-recorded, so there can be no choosing of cards, picking of numbers, thinking of objects, holding things and so on by anybody else in the audience.

It also has to be something that will not divulge the workings of the trick to the volunteer on stage.

The best idea I've come up with so far is D’Lites, though it might be hard to prevent the volunteer from sussing out the workings.

I thought I'd post this here and see if anyone can suggest something more workable. Any ideas? I welcome any suggestions you might have!

Thanks,
Malcolm
jgravelle
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Conversely, you could do a unique take on Slydini's paper napkins, where the audience would be in on the workings... but the spectator, because of their vantage point, would have no clue.

I've got a couple sleights that only look good from my perspective. I'll have to consider this approach, if I can manage it without getting slapped...


Regards,

-jjg
Paolo Venturini
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I've seen this kind of magi-comedy (10 years ago) made from a cuban deaf magician, and he was really good. He was using the D'Lite, manipolations of coins and sponge balls.

An idea on pre-recordered routine is to teach the volunteer to open and close the mouth when he's been "hit" (fron the magi) on the hand or a leg... Once for open-close the mouth, twice for smile, etc.

Paolo Venturini
Bill Palmer
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One of the warm-up acts at the World's Greatest Magic Show uses this every night. It is an excellent warm-up bit.
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Dave V
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I don't know if he does it anymore but Lance Burton also had this bit in his show. I know this as I was picked as his volunteer one night. He turned off his mic and whispered instructions to me during the routine. He also had a large mirror at the back of the theater that he told me to watch so I could enjoy the show too. This served a dual purpose as now I would keep my head up and looking out over the audience rather than at what he was doing.
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malcolm
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Good story, Dave. Was he doing manipulations?

And Bill -- is the warmup act pure comedy or magic as well?

Thanks for the replies.
Dave V
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You know, in all the excitement I don't remember a single thing he did!
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madmaxa
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You can do a nice comedy routine in which you "search" your spectator and "find" a lot of stuff inside his jacket: a bottle of wine, huge picture of a woman, even a live rabbit. Just what ever you can imagine and load inside your own jacket...
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