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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rectangles and pentagons and squares, oh my! » » Using Origami in Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

leftytheclown
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Illinois
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What magic tricks do you perform with origami figures? My favorite is Mike Close's Frog Prince. I also do the Ooh Ah Bird, but use my Dollar Dragon.
Lefty (aka) Sterling Dare
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myoungbauer
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I often make origami figures while I'm out and about, and I often perfimr magic while I'm out and about, but I haven't been very succesful combining the two. Theres something magical about transforming a piece of paper into figures that's incredibly magical, so I tend to leave well enough alone and leave it at that.

I 've also performed much of Mike Close's material; I'm also a fan of a Ted Lesley effect. A borrowed bill is slipped into a small payenvelope, and sealed. Underneath a hankerchief, mysterious movements are seen, and when the envelope is opened, the bill has folded itself into an origami figure.

I'd love to incorporate more into my magic. Anyone else out there?
volto
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My favorite model is the flapping bird; it's so easy to do, and the movement is surprising and 'magical'. Maybe a lot of these would work as a production load, since the model folds flat. You could pull them out of a box, 'flap' them a few times, and toss them to the spectators.

This would be an awesome lead-in to the production of a live dove.
volto
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I wonder how practical it would be to use IT in conjunction with a bird model?
volto
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With the right model a newspaper tear could be shown as a newspaper fold. You just need a model with a flap the allows the larger sheet to be folded up inside it.
I'll give this a try.

Also, there's bound to be a good gag there. A lot of folks seem to use the 'this is today's XXX newspaper, as you can see, there's nothing in it...' in the newspaper tear. Maybe a republican/democrat gag about the newspaper's bias, where the paper ends up folded into an appropriate-colored donkey or elephant.
Steve Griffin
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And how prophetic you were Volto! That or Andrew Mayne reads this forum! Smile

I have to say, prior to buying Mayne's Origami Effect, I'd never considered combining origami with magic - purely because the origami models I make tend to favour toward being fairly complex, and therefore time consuming. My approach to folding is often to fold something out of a scrap of paper while I'm out and about and just leave it where I finish it for someone else to find.

That said, I'm often amazed by how enthralled people seem to be by the actual folding process itself - albeit in a kind of zoning in and out of it kind of way - but I'm not really sure I could ever justify using it as a performance piece within a magic act, it just doesn't strike me that it would gel with whatever went around it.

That said, I do kind of like the Ted Lesley idea that myoungbauer mentioned.. with the right origami model it could make for a genuinely spooky presentation - almost a surprise ending for a spirit writing routine?
'Just nodding your head won't row the boat' - Anon

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roberto37
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Sonny Fontana has a lecture that makes origami and magic.
Sometimes createsa an origami turtle and then transforms into a live turtle very nice trick.
Anatole
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In 1977 I won third place in close-up at the IBM national convention largely on the strength of my original routine "Wolfgang, the Mind-Reading Puppet." Wolfgang was an origami puppet who reveals a chosen card. If you're interested, PM me with your email address and I will email you a copy of my lecture notes with all the details.

A precursor of "Wolfgang" was a four-eyed puppet made from the salt cellar figure who spit out a folded duplicate of a selected card.

Then there was also my trick with a strip of paper that said:
THE RED DEVIL OF THE SPACE DESERT
in large letters. If you fold the strip properly to hide certain letters, you can end up with a folded strip that reads:
THREE OF SPADES
I used the folded strip as a prediction. The patter was that the prediction trick was taught to me by a magician who billed himself as "The Red Devil of the Space Desert." He said I had permission to do the prediction trick only if I told people who I learned it from. So after the prediction correctly reveals the card, I say, "Do you remember who I said taught this to me?" and I pull the folded strip open to show the name.

For a special show, I folded a flapping bird and used a change bag to change it into a Rice silk streamer. As I did the trick I recited this poem that I wrote:
There's a tale of old tradition
How a Japanese magician
Took a simple square of paper and from it made a bird.
The story as he told it
Said to take the sheet and fold it--
So I followed his instructions as he wrote them word for word.

I remember how I made it--
How impatiently I waited
Till I held the finished product in my hand and held it high.
Then I put the bird away--
"Hocus Pocus" I did say--
In its place--a many-colored rainbow stolen from the sky.

The flapping bird that I used for that routine was Robert Neale's "New Flapping Bird" that I first found in Samuel Randlett's _The Art of Origami_. If you prefold the bird and then re-open it into a square, you can with minimal movements quickly refold it without needing a table. (I'm not sure, but I think the Neale flapping bird was also written up in one of Robert Harbin's origami books.)

This next one is not strictly origami--but there was a great trick in the 70's by Frank Garcia called "Farky Hollis Predicts" using an intricately designed paper gadget that revealed a selected card. Here's what the folded gadget looked like:
http://plaza.harmonix.ne.jp/~k-miwa/magi......rky5.jpg
It's based on a paper toy that has been written up into a few books on things to make with paper. The gadget unfolds multiple times to slowly reveal info about the card and eventually opens to show a jumbo picture of the card. This was based on a paper toy that I have seen written up in some books.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
magus
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A couple of ideas I've considered using origami and magic.

The first was to make an origami elephant of of a dollar bill. Cut it up and using small bits of wire hidden in the folds, make a fiure who's legs pivot back and forth a bit to simulate walking.
Palm it and fold a dollar bill into an elephant in front of the audience.
Switch.
Make the elephant walk a few steps using IT to animate the figure.
It fell over more than it walked, but maybe you can figure out how to make it work. Weights in feet?

The other idea was to make a figure in advance, palm it.
Take out a piece of paper and make some preliminary fold.
Pull on either end of the paper with just a few folds in it, and it transforms instantly into a fully folded figure.
The first few folds are just to put it into a paper airplane configuration to go up your sleeve without catching (yup, the unfolded piece of paper is attached to some fishing line and then onto a pull)
People seldom have the patience to watch you fold a complete figure.
This way you can make the figure quickly and magically.
And end clean.

One more.
You take out a piece of paper.
As you start to fold, you realize that you have two pieces of paper that separated as you started to fold.
You now have one piece of paper in each hand (3x3) You smile and say "With one hand tied behind my back"
You put one hand behind your back and proceed to fold a flapping bird with one hand.
While your hand is behind your back, you put the piece of paper into you back pocket. Steal another flapping bird from your belt.
When you finish folding the bird, and accept your applause, you bring your other hand out from behind your back to show a second bird apparently folded simultaneously along with the other.
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