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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2009 entrée: Jeff McBride » » A memorable piece » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rick Maue
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Pittsburgh, PA
586 Posts

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Greetings Jeff,

I just wanted to take a moment to say hello my friend, and also to mention that the thimble routine that I saw you do last November is one of the most memorable pieces that I have ever seen in my four and a half decades of magic.

Care to share any stories about it?

Keep the change,
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Jeff McBride
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Jeff McBride
246 Posts

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Greetings Rick, and all...

Thank you for your kind words about this new routine.

Thimble Rhythm is a piece that has been evolving for decades. I've been working with thimble magic since I was a kid. I have three DVDs that explore the subject, and have collected many books on thimble manipulation, yet, until recently, I never had a thimble manip piece that was satisfying. Thimbles just did not make sense for me, no matter how I tried to rationalize using them.

For other readers, let me tell you briefly about the piece. Thimble Rhythm is a combination of skill sets that come together to create a musical, magical experience, combining rhythm, voice, music and magic. Imagine a one man band, reciting poetry and performing magic all at the same time... and playing multiple roles while doing all of this! Yeah, I guess you have to see it to get an idea of what's going on. Perhaps that's why you found it so memorable, Rick...

One of my favorite quotes is by Louis Pasteur. He said:
"Chance favors a prepared mind."

Well, I've been preparing the individual parts of this piece for many years. I feel like a chef who has many different ingredients in preparation, on many different burners, and finally, assembling all of the different elements to create a wonderful concoction. Following is the list of ingredients, in the form of skill sets, that I had to learn thoroughly, before this piece could be brought into the world:

Drumming, rhythm and hand percussion skills
Harmonica playing
Storytelling ability and elocution
Quick change costume knowledge
Multiple character role-playing
Script memorization and poetry
... oh yes, and thimble magic and manipulation skills

One day, I was at an improvisational music class, and just happened to have a handful of thimbles in my pocket. I started to improvise with them, by tapping them on the floor, and drumming out rhythms. This led me to thinking about using a washboard to tap out rhythms, like the old time folk music guys do.

I just happened to have a washboard tie at home that I had picked up for some strange reason, and had yet to make the connection....

While experimenting with the thimbles and washboard, I realized that I could accompany myself on the harmonica, which I had learned to play while in my teens. As soon as I added the first few notes, the next idea heated up, to add the quick change characters and the multiple role playing.

I added all of these elements to the mix, and added a dash of an old chestnut, "Silas and the Slickers." Now, all I had to do was heat it up and serve....

Glad you enjoyed the tasty treat!

Yours in the mystery of creativity,

Let's keep in touch! I would love to send you my free, inspirational MUSE-LETTER. SIgn up here:
<BR>Creator of [url=]The McBride Magic and Mystery
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2009 entrée: Jeff McBride » » A memorable piece » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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