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themagicofmc
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I have been hired on at our local renaissance festival, does anyone have any good ideas of what magic I should do. I am going to be walking the streets all day doing street/close-up. I already have a lot to do, but more ideas would be nice. Thanks
Mike

I will also be juggling in the streets.
ClodAppleleft
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Manchester, NH
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A lot of it depends on how strict the faire organizers are when it comes to how "period" you should be.

Ideas that I have found to be safe, even when the faire is very strict:

1. TT vanishes and appearances
2. Pretty much all rope tricks, ie Cut and Restored Rope, Prof. Nightmare, impossible knot, etc. etc.
3. Linking rings
4. Cups and Balls, as long as the cups are not the multi-color plastic ones that you get at the local joke shop
5. Coin Sleights

Basically think about the time period that the faire is trying to emulate, would a trick that you are looking at doing, possibly have been done in this time. If the answer is yes, then go for it.

Where is the Faire that you will be working?
There are many different ways to cut an apple.
Payne
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Seattle
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Some of the effects I perform in my Ren Faire set are

Cut and restored rope
Colour Changing Handkerchief
Die Box (converted to a reliquary)
Linking Rings
Egg Bag (either a Malini or a Grants Comedy)
Card Stab (using period style square corner no index cards)
Cups and Balls
Key-E-Rect (using a period looking brass Squire padlock)
Endless Chain
Chinese Sticks
Sword Through Neck

A wide variety of effects can easily be dressed up and performed in a period style for historic based events.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
themagicofmc
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It is the Colorado Renaissance Festival. It goes from June 14- Aug 3, every weekend.
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations,

Search through the archives from The Sidewalk Shuffle, there have been many and various discussions on this very topic, but I think Payne's advice is solid - you can't go wrong with those classics.

Colorado, eh? Way to go. I've only been there once, taking a rennie holiday. We had a great time, except I ended up in the Emergency Room after stabbing myself in the hand while cutting the peace tie off of my girlfriend's blade; proving that the only thing more dangerous than a dull blade is a dull blade in my hands. Smile

Have a great season playing in the streets.

Joe in KC

Make magic happen, live a great adventure!
Great Scot
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Check out "The Discoverie of Witchcraft" by Reginald Scot. It was written in 1584 and there are a few chapters devoted to conjuring. It is amazing how many of the same tricks that were done in Scot's day are still being performed.

Here is a copy of the list that I compiled of tricks appearing in Scot:

I went through "The Discoverie of Witchcraft" to find period tricks that one can find in modern books, so here they are:

OF THE BALL, AND THE MANNER OF LEGERDEMAIN THEREWITH, ALSO NOTABLE FEATS WITH ONE OR DIVERSE BALLES.
Palming balls, cups and balls (though Scot uses candlesticks)

TO MAKE A LITTLE BALL SWELL IN YOUR HAND TILL IT BE VERIE GREAT
Palm and switch

TO CONSUME (OR RATHER TO CONVEIE) ONE OR MANIE BALLES INTO NOTHING.
(palm and lap the ball)

TO CONVEIE MONIE OUT OF ONE OF YOUR HANDS AND INTO THE OTHER BY LEDGIERDEMAINE.
Palming

TO CONVERT OR TRANSUBSTANTIATE MONIE INTO COUNTERS, OR COUNTERS INTO MONIE.
palm and switch

TO PUT ONE TESTOR INTO ONE HAND, AND AN OTHER INTO THE OTHER HAND, AND WITH WORDS TO BRING THEM TOGITHER.
Testor is the same as a coin as is a groat

TO THROWE A PEECE OF MONIE AWAIE, AND TO FIND IT AGAINE WHERE YOU LIST.
Vanish and have a confederate plant a duplicate


WITH WORDS TO MAKE A GROAT OR A TESTOR TO LEAPE OUT OF A POT, OR TO RUN ALONGST UPON A TABLE.
Uses a hair but you could substitute invisible thread

TO MAKE A GROAT OR A TESTOR TO SINKE THROUGH A TABLE, AND TO VANISH OUT OF A HANDKERCHER VERIE STRANGELIE.
In all the magic books, coin sewn in corner of handkerchief with a bowl under the table

A NOTABLE TRICKE TO TRANSFORME A COUNTER TO A GROAT.
2 sided coin, groat on one, counter on the other.

I like this piece of advice:

"A magician must have a full assortment of trick coins and the like, but he must be careful lest he forget which are which and spend the wrong coins."

AN EXCELLENT FEAT, TO MAKE A TWO PENIE PEECE LIE PLAINE IN THE PALME OF YOUR HAND, AND TO BE PASSED FROM THENCE WHEN YOU LIST.
wax on the palm

TO CONVEIE A TESTOR OUT OF ONES HAND THAT HOLDETH IT FAST.
wax keeps the coin in your hand when you press it into someone else's

TO THROWE A PEECE OF MONIE INTO A DEEPE POND, AND TO FETCH IT AGAINE FROM WHENCE YOU LIST.
Duplicate coin and a confederate, also Scot advises using the techniques for other tricks.

TO CONVEIE ONE SHILLING BEING IN ONE HAND INTO ANOTHER, HOLDING YOUR ARMS ABROAD LIKE A ROOD.
This is a gag, you actually put your money on a table

TO TRANSFORM ANIE ONE SMALL THING INTO ANIE OTHER FORME BY FOLDING OF PAPER.
Appears in a lot of books

HOW TO DELIVER OUT FOURE ACES, AND TO CONVERT THEM INTO FOURE KNAVES.

HOW TO TELL ONE WHAT CARD HE SEETH IN THE BOTTOME, WHEN THE SAME CARD IS SHUFFLED INTO THE STOCKE.
Peek at bottom card

AN OTHER WAIE TO DOO THE SAME, HAVING YOUR SELFE INDEED NEVER SEENE THE CARD.
Shuffle and look, or put the cards in piles

TO TELL ONE WITHOUT CONFEDERACIE WHAT CARD HE THINKETH.
Use the spectator's eyes to give it away

HOW TO TELL WHAT CARD ANIE MAN THINKETH, HOW TO CONVEIE THE SAME INTO A KERNELL OF A NUT OR CHERISTONE, &C: AND THE SAME AGAINE INTO ONES POCKET: HOW TO MAKE ONE DRAWE THE SAME OR ANIE CARD YOU LIST, AND ALL UNDER ONE DEVISE.
Similar to bill in lemon only using a nut and a playing card.

OF FAST OR LOOSE, HOW TO KNIT A HARD KNOT UPON A HANDKERCHER, AND TO UNDO THE SAME WITH WORDS.
Tie a knot but unslip it while appearing to tighten it, then pull it loose

A NOTABLE FEATE OF FAST OR LOOSE; NAMELIE, TO PULL THREE BEADSTONES FROM OFF A CORD, WHILE YOU HOLD FAST THE ENDS THEREOF, WITHOUT REMOVING OF YOUR HAND.
Hindu Beads

JUGGLING KNACKS BY CONFEDERACIE, AND HOW TO KNOW WHETHER ONE CAST CROSSE OR PILE BY THE RINGING.
This is a form of mentalism to tell whether a coin lands heads or tails. Your confederate, who is watching the coin, uses words to convey whether it is heads or tails.

TO MAKE A POT OR ANIE SUCH THING STANDING FAST ON THE CUPBOARD, TO FALL DOWNE THENSE BY VERTUE OF WORDS.
Use a black thread and pull it.

BOXES TO ALTER ONE GRAINE INTO ANOTHER, OR TO CONSUME THE GRAINE OR CORNE TO NOTHING.
Trick boxes

HOW TO CONVEIE (WITH WORDS OR CHARMS) THE CORNE CONTEINED IN ONE BOX INTO AN OTHER. Seems similar to the Chinese Rice Bowls

OF AN OTHER BOXE TO CONVERT WHEAT INTO FLOWER WITH WORDS, &C.
Another production box and what seems to be a lota bowl

OF DIVERSE PETIE JUGGLING KNACKS.
Producing things like meal from your mouth, and a paddle trick.

TO BURNE A THRED, AND TO MAKE IT WHOLE AGAINE WITH THE ASHES THEREOF.

TO CUT A LACE ASUNDER IN THE MIDDEST, AND TO MAKE IT WHOLE AGAINE.
A version of cut and restored rope

HOW TO PULL LACES INNUMERABLE OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, OF WHAT COLOUR OR LENGTH YOU LIST, AND NEVER ANIE THING SEENE TO BE THEREIN. Standard

HOW TO MAKE A BOOKE, WHEREIN YOU SHALL SHEW EVERIE LEAFE THEREIN TO BE WHITE, BLACKE, BLEW, RED. YELLOW, GREENE, &C.
The Coloring Book

TO THRUST A BODKIN INTO YOUR HEAD WITHOUT HURT. Trick knife with the blade going into the handle

TO THRUST A BODKIN THROUGH YOUR TOONG, AND A KNIFE THROUGH YOUR ARME: A PITTIFULL SIGHT, WITHOUT HURT OR DANGER.
Like the arrow gags

TO CUT OFF ONES HEAD, AND TO LAIE IT IN A PLATTER, &C: WHICH THE JUGGLERS CALL THE DECOLLATION OF JOHN BAPTIST.
2 people on a thick table, one sticks his head up through the table so it looks as though he has no body and the other's body lies on the table with his head stuck through a hole so it appears as though he has no head.

TO DRAWE A CORD THROUGH YOUR NOSE, MOUTH OR HAND SO SENSIBLE AS IS WOONDERFUL TO SEE.
A version of the Chinese sticks

I thought there was also the knot that appears in a rope (knot at one end concealed in the hand), but I didn't have time to go through the book thoroughly.

There are a number of tricks that should not be done under any circumstances, they are too dangerous to people or animals. One of the tricks is to stab yourself in the belly with a knife, using a lead plate under your shirt as armour, but the trick killed a performer that forgot to wear the gaff (he was drunk at the time).

The book should not be used as a way to learn tricks, as the instructions are awful (which is why I use more modern books to
learn), but as to what was done at the time, it is a good reference.

The most important thing is to make your props look period, which is what I do in my shows.

I also try to stick to period tricks, though it doesn't always happen, but I can find a way to do soemthign similar. I also don't always use a period method, such as substituting IT for a human hair.
The Great Scot, Bardic Magician
Bringing Magic To People's Lives
http://www.greatscotmagic.com.
Stuart Joseph, 802-463-1954
Bellows Falls VT
wassabi_87
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moscow, idaho
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I don't use that many tricks for my street magic, because I'm moving around a lot. Smile
bike during the day,
do magic at night,
and very early the next morning,
homework.
redstreak
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Hey phil!

Themagicofmc, I would recommend a short and quick effect first off like two card monte, it really gets them. It sorta tells them that you are really a magician, not a kid who knows tricks. A small five inch set of linking rings would be good for a closer.
StreetMagicMagician
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If your interested in card tricks... 2 card monte, card-toon, and maybe a card spin change would be nice???
ScottSullivan
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In my (admittedly limited) Ren perfoming experience I've found that the most important thing is to be entertaining. If you wear an appropriate costume and are very entertaining you'll do fine. Period is wonderful and you should strive for authenticity in everything you do but don't sacrifice the entertainment value of your act. If you're wearing a decent costume and people are laughing and having a good time faire organizers will (at least in my experience) be happy.
wassabi_87
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Try some more cards, I have a routine for the street that is all cards, no more than ten miniutes. Smile Smile
bike during the day,
do magic at night,
and very early the next morning,
homework.
WVMAGIC
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I would use David Williamson's striking vanish. I think cups and balls would be appropriate. Any kind of rope trick would be appropriate.
imagealter
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The Streets want modern, in your face magic that plays quick and strong. Sorry, but Cups and balls?? C'mon man. Stuff has to kill and kill quickly from close range. I should know, I have been performing street magic for over two years now.
My list.

ID - can't go wrong
Anything with fire
ambit. cards
Torch and Restored - Excellent
Ring Flight with a twist
Stealth pen
Pyro
TT work
$5 and 1
Lee Darrow
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In working Ren Faires, one factor can get in your way faster than any other - weather.

A quick rainshower can destroy any paper or card work you are planning to do. Use effects that are essentially weatherproof - Linking Rings, Ring on Wand, Fl!pstick, Chinese Sticks (NOT the plastic ones, PUH-leeze!), Professor's Nightmare, Ring & Rope work, Cups & Balls or Chop Cup, and, if you know it, Chapeaugraphy. A LOT can be done with that simple bit of felt.

Other things to take into consideration is manner of speech - speak forsoothly, which is to say, in a modern imitation of what we think Elizabethans spoke like. Watch a bunch of Errol Flynn movies and any of the Robin Hoods, except Kostner's of course, for pointers. TALK to the other Ren Faire performers about character as well.

You could even work out some schtick with the Watch (if thee have one) as conjuring during the period was rather frowned upon.

One basic thing to remember, magicians of the period were what we would call today mountebanks. They would literally mount a bank (table) to do their thing so everyone could see them. THEN pass the hat - often a jug or bottle, into which coins would be placed.

Use the period to your advantage. PLAY with the crowd and remember - keep it light, the folks there know it's a sham, but many like to play into the scene anyway.

Enjoy those that do and encourage the others to do likewise.

Just a few thoughts from someone who worked his first Ren Faire in about 1975.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
CardFan
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Looks to me that Great Scot should go there too !
The simplest of schoolchildren now knows truths for which Archimedes would have given his life...
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