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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Help local school for advertising (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magicjg
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So here is the deal. I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so I figured I would try here. I was contacted by a local school, asking me to help with two magic tricks in there school play. Two effects must take place. First a pitcher of water is shown. The water is poured into a glass, back into the pitch then when it arrives in the glass again it changes colors. Second someone takes off a top hat and flames shoot out of it. I'm posting here because in return they are offering me free advertismenent in their brochures. Any ideas?
Skip Way
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I'm assuming that you're asking about ways to pull off the effects - not the advertising. I reckon you have that under control. Smile

Here are a couple of ideas off the top of my head. First, find or make a good quality two-chambered or mirror glass with the center divider sealed to prevent leakage between chambers. It's easy to make one using stiff plastic and silicone aquarium sealant.

One side of the glass is plain while the other side has a drop of food coloring on the bottom. A stick-on jewel on the outside of the colored side will help the user know without looking which side is which. A simple spin of the glass will deliver the colored side for pouring.

The flaming top hat is another issue. A safe and theatrical method - a small, powerful hand fan concealed inside the hat and activated by a button on the brim will easily shoot crepe paper and light plastic "flames" and baby powder "smoke" above the brim of the hat. Very visible and risk free.

I'd be nervous suggesting real flame or smoke - In fact, I wouldn't - but, if you must...Does it have to be flames? Wouldn't a flash of smoke work? A small palm-size battery-powered flashpot with two separated push button switches connected to a model rocket engine igniter. The igniter will set off smoke powder wrapped in a small wad of flash cotton. Safer and more visible than a "flaming book" effect. Adding sparkle additive to the smoke powder would create a quasi mini-fireworks display with the smoke. The small flashpot would be secured to the inside of the top hat. a small "cover" of flash paper would keep the flash cotton in the pot while worn on the head...which is more than risky to begin with.

The double switches serve as a safety since both buttons must be pushed at the same time to complete the circuit and light the cotton and flash paper - a safety precaution to prevent a single button being accidentally pushed as the hat is removed from the head.

I've worked as a consultant for several youth theater groups and school drama classes in my area. It's a lot of fun - especially on opening night when it all comes together! Enjoy!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Jim Snack
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I agree with Skip that you should not use real flames for a school play, particularly if a child is handling the prop. It's too dangerous and exposes you to liability if someone gets injured. It may also be against local fire regulations. The fan/fabric solution can look really good onstage. Do a google search and you will find companies that specialize in creating the illusion of fire onstage.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Magicjg
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Wow great ideas. yeah I wasn't to excited on using an open flame. The individuals in charge of this are insisting on being as real as can be. If they want my help I am not recommending anything real like that. The glass is a great idea.
Skip Way
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What about a co2 powered palm-size confetti cannon with fine talc and glitter for the "flaming hat?" Time to hit those special effects books on my shelf! Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
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