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John Zander
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I was just packing for my weekend kid shows and I realized that the one effect that I always use is my Die Box. It never fails to get a great reaction. Some things come and go, Stratospheres, Forgetful Freddy, Crystal Silk Cylinder. I think that I will always use my Die Box.



Thank you,

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John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://ArtofMagic.8k.com

http://www.ZanderMagic.com/KidShow.htm

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Thank you,



John Zander







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Mike Giusti
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I disagree, John. JK!



I would say my Razor Blade Illusion, Fire Eating routine, Torn & Restored Parakeet, and Knife Through Arm are the biggest hits at the kidlet shows!



Almost makes me want to do kid shows again.



Naaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Smile
Steve Brooks
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You are right John, the die box is a classic.

I remember my first die box I got as a kid, a real cheap black thing.

The one I own now was made by House of Babcock in Washington...a real piece of art.

It has four doors, and the die can be shown on both ends. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
John Zander
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Oh Mikey, I can see it now..... "for the next trick I will need to borrow a handkerchief and a small domesticated bird"



The Evil Magical Mayhem of Mike Giusti!



I hear many horror stories about kid shows and a lot of "I'll never do those again" I have never had an experience like that. I am heading out the door for three shows and looking forward to them... and the pay! Plus I really prefer stand up shows to strolling. Twice the money in less than half the time.



The biggest problem is that the shows are never close together, but that's not really a problem when everything is considered.



John "one web site" Zander

http://www.zandermagic.com/kidshow.htm
Thank you,



John Zander







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John Zander
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Sounds like you have a nice box Steve... hey wait a minute Smile You know what I mean.



I really love the Die Box routine. I forget the manufacturer of mine. I paid $200.00 + three years ago. Four doors, oak, nice loud "slide," false die on both sides, anti lock brakes, dual air bags...... Smile











_________________

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John Zander

***************************

The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://www.AllMagic.net

***************************
Thank you,



John Zander







***************************

The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://www.AllMagic.net
Steve Brooks
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Yea, mine has a really good "Click" to it as well. Funny how such an old trick still holds up today. I figure I got my money's worth looooong ago.
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Stevethomas
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The Die Box is a great piece of magic for family and kid shows. I have several, from a National Magic Co. box (had an argument with an ebay seller about one of these) to a Babcock box with the floating flap, and a cheap Mexican made, and all in between. Each has its own characteristics and pros and cons. Find the one that fits your personality and KEEP IT!
Scott F. Guinn
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I agree. I do the die box in almost all of my kidshows and family shows, and it is always a hit! The old stuff is often the best stuff, but all most guys want to know is "What's new?"
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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malini
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I just picked up a really old Die box (for $4) that opens at the top and front. The die box can then be broken apart into 2, so you have 2 seperate boxes, proving the die couldn't have gone from side to side anyway. It's almost perfectly made.
Peter Marucci
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$4 for a die box, Malini!

You got a real steal!



Yes, the die box is a great piece.

I only have one caveat:

Why a die?



After all, who has ever seen a die that big, except on The Price Is Right and in a magic show? And, since none of us is Bob Barker, the audience can only draw one conclusion:

The die is somehow gimmicked.



So, I use a Rubik's Cube, which just happens to be the size of my die (with the colored squares from another one on the gimmick).

In fact, I have done a number of Die Box routines, none of them using the die, per se.



For some ideas, you may want to check out my Showtime column in the Linking Ring magazine of June, 1999 for my routine

"A Little House on Pennsylvania Avenue."

The box is the White House and the block bears pictures of whatever president you happen to want to build the routine around.



cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
amagician
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Why a die? Because that's the way we've always done it Smile

Do you emphasise the sucker angle or not?
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Peter Marucci
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Lord, spare us from the way it's always been done! Smile

Basil the Great is a cartoon strip in MUM magazine.

Some months back, Basil was talking to another magician who said he was going to produced a thousand ketchup packets from a square circle.

"Why a square circle?" asked Basil.

"Because I have one," said the magician.

"And why a thousand ketchup packets," asked Basil.

"Because I have them," replied the magician.

"And," said Basil turning away, "magicians wonder why people say magic isn't an art form!"

Sad but true!

Someone once said to me that there was no reason to re-invent the wheel.

Well, maybe the wheel NEEDS re-inventing.

The use of the die in the die box certainly does!

As for the "sucker" angle, I never, ever do a sucker number on the audience; if the sting can't be removed entirely, then at least I turn it against myself.

The same applies to volunteers: Never, ever humiliate or otherwise make a volunteer uncomfortable.

If it is essential that there be a "loser" in a routine, then make yourself the loser or butt of the joke, rather than the volunteer who is, after all, doing you a favor by helping.

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
John Zander
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Quote:

Well, maybe the wheel NEEDS re-inventing.

The use of the die in the die box certainly does!





True I suppose, but not every effect has to be the new mouse trap. Classics are classics for a reason. Would it be a better effect if it were a "bottle box"? Changing the object does not change the effect. For lay people the die box is a good effect... done properly of course. I see nothing wrong with using a die in a die box. Why in the world would you replace the die? Please forgive me for saying so, but that is "magician thinking" most non-magicians have never seen a die box. It is "that same old effect" to us, not to the audience.



Having said that, we should of course strive to improve. If someone wants to improve the die box or just put a spin on it, I think that is just great. But you should not be made to feel bad if you are doing an effect "out of the box" either. I know that was not Peter's intent, I am just saying that I have seen that attitude as I am sure you all have.



If you want to improve on an effect, great! If you want to do the die box routine right out of Tarbell... great!



No offence intended, just a difference of opinion.





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John Zander

"Save the whales & collect the whole set!"

***************************

The Award Winning

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John Zander

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Thank you,



John Zander







***************************

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Comedy Magic of

John Zander

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Peter Marucci
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John, I'm not suggesting that the die be changed to something else because it's old hat to magicians.

I'm suggesting it be changed to something else because a die that size has no relevance to a lay audience.

To them, there's no logic, no meaning in it.

I agree that, too often, "magician's thinking" leads us to change something that has stood the test of time.

As Al Flosso used to say, "They improved it worse."

But some things clearly need changing.

And I think the die box falls into this category.

Of course, if you can justify using a die that big and the routine works for you, go for it!

After all, this is just my opinion.

Smile

(I have no idea what that smiley means; I just wanted to see what it looked like!)

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
John Zander
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Quote:
"They improved it worse."




I love that! I understand what you mean Peter, and for the most part agree.

I don’t know that every prop has to be "relevant"?

A die, as in the die box is introduced as a giant die and is accepted as such.

I understand your point, but I think that any object put into a box (is the box relevant?) with closed doors would be suspect. And what would be more suspect, the die or the strange box with closed doors?

A die is a familiar object to most, not a giant die, but the object needs to be perceived as solid, and I think that is the image that the audience goes away with.

It is nice to be able to use natural props, but what is natural? Is a dove natural?

A silk, a girl in a box, giant cards? You know what I mean.

Let me say Peter that I really appreciate being able to discuss different points of views here with out fighting or arguing about it. I appreciate and respect your opinions and enjoy your posts and thoughts here very much.


_________________


Thank you,

John Zander

"Save the whales & collect the whole set!"

***************************

The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://www.AllMagic.net

**************************
Thank you,



John Zander







***************************

The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://www.AllMagic.net
Merlyn of 8
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I agree that the Die Box is good, I have a "Shananigan Die Box" from Abbott's About 20 or so years ago, it has two boxes that can be removed from the base to show no connection while making the die travel, I play it two ways, more traditional for younger groups (kids) and a silent version to music (quick and up beat) that ends with the die vanishing.
Either presntation I enjoy doing but while the die box is a "classic" I have to agree with Peter in that the large die is NOT normal and re-design and re-thinking would not hurt at all! Smile
The Rubik's Cube idea sounds like a good change, I am going to investigate if that can be done as a alternative with my set-up, Smile
But I never use a sucker play in any of my shows, mostly I feel it is insulting and degrades the entertainment that I strive to present, I want my audience to go away remembering that they had fun being there and that I had fun doing the show for them at no cost to anyones feelings!
:magicrabbit:
Cheers,

Thomas Cleveland

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funmagic
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The Rubik's Cube sounds like an ideal substitute for a Die and I'll certainly give it a try. As a matter of interest I designed and made my own version of the Die Box - the usual 4 doors but instead of the hidden sliding block I have a flat one sided 'Die' that can be seen sliding from side to side through a slot between the 2 front doors... to me this seems more Magical even to an older audience.
But to stop calling the effect a 'Die Box'
never!!!.
Jeb Sherrill
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Funmagic, I really like the idea of being able to see the die travel.

I also like Peter's idea of the Rubiks Cube, though I don't really have a problem with the giant die either. I think people recognize that it is a die and simply say to themselves "look, a giant die". To them it looks bigger and of course solid because... well... it's a really big die.

The die box I own is an old clock-box. It has a nice silk vanish at the end (ala hand ashra) and I love it. Curiously I've only used it once in a show.

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Mr Phil
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Hello All,

Maybe I am off but I like the controlled frenzy that a properly done sucker trick can bring in a family audience. I do agree that the sting should be on the magician, or at least all of us (audience and magician). Tank ya boys Smile
I had thought the die box an "old Chestnut" but I am considering adding it back to my list. It is one of the classic sucker tricks. I agree with Peter that most people have never seen a big die out side of my dashboard. David Roper in his Comedy Magic Textbook has another Idea he adds more dots to the die to make it a "Wooflefeather Bird Egg" (must about kill the bird). Now that I am looking for one any suggestions of which ones to consider.

Thanks
Mr Phil
Mr. Phil & Co. Quality Family Entertainment, Guaranteed! (603) 286-3029 WWW.mrphilandco.com Snail Mail to: P.O. Box 31 Tilton, NH 03276
Peter Marucci
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Hmmm, Mr. Phil, big, fuzzy dice in a car!
I had forgotten about that.
There are a number of things that the die can be made into to get away from the "magic prop" look of a huge die.
For example, in the Linking Ring of June, 1999, my Showtime column featured a die-box routine in which the box was the White House (painted white, obviously) and the die sported pictures of presidents (or one president, depending on the routine you wanted to use).
The late Bill Larsen Sr. did a wonderful routine about 50 years ago (which I still use); the die box is Mother Hubbard's Cupboard and the die is painted to be the "poor dog's" bone. The routine involves a pompous analysis of the poem.
However, if you have a way of justifying a big die, then -- of course -- use it.
The other ideas were just suggestions.
BTW, that's one of the things that makes this board so much better than most other boards and digests:
A suggestions can be made by one person and refuted by another in a civilized manner.
In a major digest recently, I suggested that the linking rings lacked relevance.
You would have thought I'd advocated strangling puppies!
Those who disagreed looked on my suggestion as a personal attack on them, rather than what it was -- just a suggestion.
Same thing here -- but our members here are considerably more civilized!
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
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