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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Slates??(Black Boards) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

JeffHall
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Davis, California
161 Posts

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I noticed that in one of Tarbell's book there is a section on working with little black boards. I have never seen slates used in a magic show...Why? Where can I buy black boards at a good price?
thanks, Jeff
ddyment
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Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2258 Posts

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Alas, slates are pretty much viewed as an anachronism these days. Unless you're doing a period show, you're probably better off staying away from an item that few audience members will have ever seen before.

Fortunately, a number of slate techniques translate readily to whiteboards, with which your audiences *are* likely to be familiar.

... Doug
"Calculated Thoughts" now at The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Seattle, WA
4450 Posts

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But would a self-respecting spirit nowadays consent to writing on a 'whiteboard'?

Heck, the fumes from those dry erase markers give ME a headache... I can just imagine what they're doing to those poor souls on the other side. Smile
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Hal Weaver
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Friends,

In the forties, these so called "school slates" were available in dime stores, stationery stores, etc. I still have a couple from those days. I haven't seen any for sale in years. However, a local nursery --flowers not children -- uses them to post prices under some plants. I seem to remember looking for them on the internet and some place in the midwest was importing them from India or some such place.

I have used mine a few times in the last five or six years. When I was doing BPs I would have a greeting for the birthday child appear on my business card under a Glopy silk. Frequently, I would write it in mirror printing and make a bit deal out of finding a mirror so we could read it.

For a larger audience at kid shows in a mall, I would introduce the slates and tell the kids what they were and about how they were used in school in the old days, because there was so little paper available for children then. I would write something on one, erase it, and show all sides of the slates empty (Tarbell) and set them aside. I'd still do the Glorpy bit, but the message would be on the slate. Then would we would find that Philby, my ghost left over from Halloween, had written something for us. "Eat your vegies", maybe.

I don't know if this historical approach would work for other audiences. Maybe it would, depending on the effect and story. I think the idea of writing appearing on a blank surface -- slate, cardboard, or white board --is bizarre enough that I wonder if it makes any difference.

I think, just out of curtiosity, as the Elephant's Child might say, I'll check the internet to see if I can find slates again.

Hal
Rodan
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Sydney Australia
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I recently saw some school slates just like the old ones at a store here in Sydney. They were about $AU10.
"To assert the impossibility of a fact comes to the same thing as saying that it has not as yet been observed; nothing authorises us to decide that it will never be observed." Joseph Maxwell 1858-1938
jecar
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Just several years ago, the neighborhood video store had a blackboard inside the store. They would write special deals for the day on this board. They didn't use white chalk, they used some kind of dry erase marker that came in various colors. The colors showed very bright on the blackboard and I thought it was a neat effect.

Ted Lesley has a board effect out that looks similar to the board I described, but I think he just uses chalk on his.

I mention this blackboard from the video store because I don't think blackboards are history....at least not yet. Smile

Jerry
..
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Seattle, WA
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If you wish to consider a "new" approach to the spirit writing concept, why not use a large mirror and have the writing appear as if it was 'steam' (or for the hardcore bizarrists out there, in blood)?

This would harken to recent popular horror movies and urban legends.

How are spirits nowadays supposedly communicating? Actually, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) seems to be the new version of spirit slates...

So maybe we should consider adapting the old 'cassette prediction' effect, and instead have a blank audio tape (provided by a volunteer instructed ahead of time) and listened to once, suddenly have ghostly messages from the beyond appear on it when the circumstances are right?
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Banachek
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V.I.P.
Houston
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There have been variations of the mirror writing, one with lipstick, I would suggest borrowing the lipstick if you can get the right shade, heck just... well, can't tell you that cause it is a secret Smilebut you get the idea.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
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Paul
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A good lecturer at your service!
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Yes, Supreme used to sell a mirror idea called "Mirage".

There was also a routine in Magick.

Roy Johnson had a routine where a name appeared on a mirror (no flap) called The Boyfriend.

I adapted a T.A. Waters slate idea with the four elements in Mind Myth and Magick for use with a mirror some years back. Sort of bizarre, good routine.

Paul Hallas.
Hunter
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In the USofA, slates of various sizes can be found at the Hobby Lobby stores. They have light wood frames and can be used on both sides. The same stores have white boards in various sizes. Can't write on both sides of the white boards, though.
Hal Weaver
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Quote:
On 2002-03-22 14:08, Hunter wrote:
In the USofA, slates of various sizes can be found at the Hobby Lobby stores.


There you go. I knew they must be available some where.

Hal
Megatherion
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146 Posts

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Hi,

Abbot sells slates.

P. Warlock wrote an interesting booklet on spirit writing.

The psychology of slate writing as a psychic manifestation was shown in The life and times of Alexander.

Yours faithfully

:devilish: Dan Kirsch Smile
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