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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The March 2006 entrée: Tim Ellis & Sue-Anne Webster » » Making something yours » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Hi Tim Ellis,

I'm so glad that you're the guest of honor for alittle while. I have seen some of your performance and they were very entertaning. Unfortuntately I missed your lecture in NY awhile ago, cause I had a important meeting that came up at the last minute.

I am wondering, how do you make some original and yours. For example, I have seen so many famous cups and balls routines(tommy wonder, Michael Ammar, dai vernon, charlie miller, paul gerter and others), and yours is very different. It has a story, different props, and an awesome final load. Although the other routines were awesome, I found that yours had a totally different attitude, which I really enjoyed.

How do you take a prop or an effect, and change it to fit your style and attitude. I feel like with some of the things I have done and seen that we take card and coin effects from other people and alter either presentation or vary in technique, but your magic just seems different.

thanks a lot
Tim Ellis
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The story of the Cups & Balls is interesting and I tell it in great detail on the DVD because it really gives an insight into the creative process that I find works for me.

Essentially though, I saw Michael Ammar's cups and balls at FISM in 1991 and was very impressed. I thought magically it was a wonderful effect with so many possibilities. I went to sleep that night then woke up the next day thinking 'Runaround Sue'.

No idea what that meant.

So I left the ideas alone for three years until it was time for FISM again and I needed an act! I tried to see the connection between the trick and the song and gradually the routine came together.

Similar situation with The Six Card Rap. I love & hate the Six Card Repeat. A guy here in Melbourne would do it so often that people would speak the patter along with him.

I also thought it would be fun to "sing" a trick. But I can't sing...

So one day I was going to meet a friend in a restaurant when I noticed a music store across the street. I wandered in and found a section filled with backing tracks. I bought a Run DMC track thinking maybe if I couldn't sing, I could speak...

While waiting at the restaurant I read the lyrics sheet from the cassette and decided to fill time by rewriting them. The Six Card Repeat lyrics had been drummed into my head from years of abuse Smile so I used them.

I performed the routine that weekend at a Showcase Night for magicians I was running at the time and Peter Reveen saw it and insisted I perform it in the FISM competition.

To some extent, I've tried to make my particular creative process accessible to others through MagicSports. Improvise, try unlikely combinations of effects and presentations, embrace failure!

Thanks again for your kind words clamon86, I hope my answer has been of some help to you.
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So I see that many of your routines play along with magic. But how would you go about changing a card a coin routine like card to pocket, ambitious card etc.. or coins across to a unique style. there seems be an endless amount of variations but not so in actual presentation just sequence. How would you take a classic routine like that and make it different and more entertaining as I've seen you do?

thanks for the reply
Tim Ellis
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David Williamson does an interesting exercise with CARDS ACROSS where he gives the trick a purpose. The goal, he says, is for him to get three cards across the stage while the packets are protected by the spectators. Hilarity ensues.

He sets up a dramatic challenge in this instance.

There are many ways to redress a routine, or even restructure it. Even a very structured routine like the Six Card Repeat can be played with, as we've seen.

I believe the first step is to deconstruct the routine, strip it down to it's skelton. Take CARD TO POCKET. What actually happens... a card vaniushes from the deck and reappears in your pocket.

Ask yourself "Why?" but don't restrict yourself to just logical reasons.

Try combining it with a random song from the radio... does that give you any clues?

How about a book or a newspaper article... any reasons why the card should travel there?

I think they key to it is ACCEPTING every possibility and trying it out.

Sometimes you'll discover that there is actually only one good effect in a routine. Feel free to take that effect out and put it in a routine together with other strong effects.

However, the most practical way to make ANY trick entertaining and different, is to play a MagicSports game with it. Go here and try playing some of the games, just at home by yourself at first, and really let yourself go. Make LOTS of mistakes and have fun with it!

Gaston and Thomas Fraps, from the Flicking Fingers, have some wonderful ways of creating storylines - maybe they might join us in here this week? Smile

Boris Wild also has a great pyramid system for creativity.

Or, alternatively, here's an idea I've spoken to Gaston about but never published. MAGICSPORTS CREATIVITY CARDS - give it a try!

For a long time I’ve been inspired by Dariel Fitzkee’s book ‘The Trick Brain’. It is an attempt to analyse the mechanics of magic and to give the reader tools with which to create their own new tricks and unique methods.

After almost every MagicSports show, audience members have come up to me and expressed their amazement at the ability of the players to invent new tricks on the spot. People always ask me, “How can I develop my creativity?”

Based on the principles of ‘The Trick Brain’, I’d like to offer you the ‘MagicSports Creativity Cards’. Now you already have a deck of these at home and they are designed to make you think “out of the box” and develop a problem-solving mind.

HOW TO PLAY: From a deck of regular playing cards (Jokers left in) choose three cards at random.

The first card is your ‘Specific Item’. Check it on the table below to find out what it is. For example, if you got the Six of Hearts, your item is an envelope. Grab any envelope that’s handy.

The second card is your ‘General Item’. If you chose the Three of Spades, the item is jewelry. This is open to your interpretation. Grab any item of jewelry, whether it be a ring, necklace, brooch, watch, ankle chain, tongue stud… anything, it’s your choice.

The third card is the effect you are going to perform with these items. Say you chose the Seven of Diamonds, you will perform a ‘Sympathetic reaction between the items’. Whatever you do to the envelope, will happen to the piece of jewelry. Challenging, but that’s the idea. If you chose the Eight of Spades, it would be the ‘Transformation of items size’. You can choose to transform one or both of the items by causing them to shrink or grow. Maybe the jewelery, once placed in the envelope, shrinks. Or any borrowed object placed in the envelope shrinks when the jewelry is waved over it. Maybe the jewelry causes the envelope to grow?

There truly are endless possibilities.

You have no time limit, no restrictions on bringing in other props or secret gaffs. The only rule is that you must feature both items prominently as key elements of the effect.

You can even play it hypothetically in your mind. Simply deal the cards and create the effect in your imagination. It’s a much more productive use of free time than playing solitaire.

AS Playing card - Musical instrument - Appearance of item/s
2S Balloon - Clothing - Vanish of item/s
3S One die - Jewelry - Transposition of items with each other
4S Coin - Tool - Transposition of item/s to a location
5S Silk - Container - Transformation of item into the other
6S Bottle - Document - Transformation of items shape
7S Finger ring - Liquid - Transformation of items color
8S Watch - Furniture - Transformation of items size
9S Rope - Fruit - Transformation of items character
10S Scissors - Weapon - Penetration of items through each other
JS Rubber band - Bag - Penetration of item/s through an obstacle
QS Egg - Ball - Penetration causing items to link together
KS Eyeglasses - Matches - Destruction and restoration of item/s
AC Cigarette - Signs - Animation of item/s
2C Table - Hair accessories - Levitation of item/s
3C Chair - Ice - Anti Gravity effect
4C Umbrella - Perfume - Suspension of item/s
5C Bill - Breath mints - Change in weight of item/s
6C Hat - Vitamins - Attraction of item/s
7C Book - Kitchen appliance - Sympathetic reaction between items
8C Necktie - Colors - Opposite reaction between items
9C Pen - Music - Invulnerability of item/s
10C Wallet - Words - Identify or locate lost item/s
JC Soda can - Numbers - Thought reading
QC Drinking glass - Luggage - Thought transmitting
KC Light globe - Cutlery - Prediction
AH Bell - Candy - Appearance of item/s
2H Stone - Stationery - Vanish of item/s
3H Toilet paper - Whistle - Transposition of items with each other
4H Sand - Computer accessories - Transposition of item/s to a location
5H Handcuffs - Soft toy - Transformation of item into the other
6H Envelope - Magazine - Transformation of items shape
7H Hand - Make up - Transformation of items color
8H Wand - Greeting card - Transformation of items size
9H Safety pins - Newspaper - Transformation of items character
10H Thread - Chopstick - Penetration of items through each other
JH Mirror - Soap - Penetration of item/s through an obstacle
QH Computer mouse - Cable - Penetration causing items to link together
KH Cell phone - Keys D - estruction and restoration of item/s
AD Business card - Tape - Animation of item/s
2D Diary - Metal item - Levitation of item/s
3D Camera - Plastic item - Anti Gravity effect
4D Photograph - Cloth item - Suspension of item/s
5D Eraser - Footwear - Change in weight of item/s
6D Tissues - Medicine - Attraction of item/s
7D Drinking straw - Bread - Sympathetic reaction between items
8D Whiteboard marker - Flowers - Opposite reaction between items
9D Knife - Candle - Invulnerability of item/s
10D DVD or CD - Cleaning products - Identify or locate lost item/s
JD Stapler - Sporting equipment - Thought reading
QD Torch - Calculator - Thought transmitting
KD Paperclip - Frame - Prediction
Joker Anything not already on the list - Your choice from this list
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Thanks for the reply. You may have just given me one of the most useful responses I have ben given on the magiccafe. thanks a lot
Tim Ellis
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Melbourne, Australia
1233 Posts

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My pleasure! Have fun with it!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The March 2006 entrée: Tim Ellis & Sue-Anne Webster » » Making something yours » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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