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Profile of RWhit
The silk on the neck goes nowhere and is a waste of time.
It slows down the pace of the trick.
Ask me if I want to see Ken Brooke do the bottles or Lance or Mr Appleton.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Ken Brooke's routine rocks.

It flows and builds and the timing/pacing kill, netting a solid, strong audience reaction. The silk bits kill the flow of the trick and IMHO opinion, Marconick created this kind of stuff to fill his lecture notes.
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Profile of Payne
On 2013-06-24 14:15, Bill Hegbli wrote:
This discussion is much like discussing the Chop Cup trick. In that trick, the finale of 2 large balls is revealed. What that does is make everything before the finale unimportant and causes the audience to totally forget about everything that has proceeded. In other words, there is no reason to do the Multiplying Bottles as it will be totally forgotten with a grand climax. Something to think about!

Additionally, the trick does not really create a moment for a shocking climax. Most magic effects that use a grand or shocking finale, are or were designed to be forgotten. Why, because they are the lead in or method to make it possible to produce the finale.

Having said that, I believe that only magicians would remember what has lead up to the moment of revealing the finale item. Laymen will forget and say, "He did something and then there was this giant 3 foot bottle!"

Just as in Dove Magic, producing a large silk and stretching and knotting it to prove it is totally unprepared, is not much of a trick. but when the dove appears, that is real magic, and all that has been done before is totally forgotten. It was important to proving how unprepared the scarf is, but not for the magical production of the bird.

As magician's we are looking for that huge shock finale, but one has to chose the right trick for that production. Just because it is logical to produce a large bottle because in the current effect bottles are being used is not a good enough reason to produce a giant bottle.

Just some food for thought!

I too completely disagree with this statement as well. Nearly everyone whose seen my routine leaves knowing more about quantum Mechanics than they did at the start of my presentation. The flash appearence of six bottles at the end dosen't negate or weaken the first three quarters of the presntation
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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Ken Brooke's routine is certainly designed and structured to be entertaining and in the right ands it can be just that but as well as the debate about it not having a kicker ending and indeed whether it ought to have one, for me the multiplying bottles more importantly lacks any strong magical element that astonishes the audience.

Indeed I have always thought that Ken Brookes routine can almost be thought of in terms of containing an exposure of the 'method'. (when just one tube is used to do the passé-bottle glass transpo) Even if you don't see that as being the case as magicians we are only fooling ourselves if we truly believe that the audience doesn't know where the bottles are coming from or more specifically where they are hiding out. The routining as good as drives the audience head long towards the the very modus operandi that is trying to be used to fool them.

Like I said, despite it not being a fooler it can still make for an entertaining routine. In previous discussions on this topic I've likened it to Dinardi's act where he produces seemingly hundreds of flowers from a single chest. The audience might not know exactly how the flowers are packed in the trunk but neither are they fooled by the magic of it. The audience is well aware of what's going on but none-the-less the sheer spectacle, number and relentlessness of the production can still make it entertaining. Not particularly magical or astonishing but entertaining and quite a spectacle.

The multiplying bottles fall (generally) into this category. As I said that's fine if that's what you're after... but don't lets fool ourselves more than we are doing the audience.

That's why I really loved the routine linked to in this thread

Putting aside the ethical concerns regarding the producers of this set of bottles for a moment, this routining I think is a marked improvement in magical terms on the Ken Booke routine. Bill Appleton still doesn't feel like it has a strong enough finish (it does have finish and one that nicely calls back to the start of the routine but I can understand that this might not feel satisfying enough for some performers who want even more of a final kicker) but given that this routine completely fooled Jay Leslie, who does the bottles and knows these props extremely well, is a testament to this routine as having put the magic back into an effect that otherwise , while potentially entertaining, has..... next to none.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
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Profile of JNeal
Hello All!

As to whether the trick is a 'fooler' is subject to interpretation. Is it a fooler on the level of a Himber Finger Ring routine where all the props are borrowed and examined?
Is it as deceptive in method as a Malini Egg bag which is held by spectators and subject to limited examination?
However, I can tell you that the successful Multiplying bottle routine is filled with surprises and genuinely offers a level of deception that produces such comments as :
"I don't know here you got all those bottles!" and 'Where do they all come from?" That is sufficient for me.

In the construction of an act, some tricks will be more puzzling than others and some of the less puzzling ones may still produce more reaction and post-show response. Such is the case of the Multiplying bottles...because the plot is so easily comprehended and remembered. What did the magician do? 'He produced a lot of bottles' is how they remember it.

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Herr Brian Tabor
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Well said, JNeal. I have a measured IQ of 146. I'm a smart cookie, as they say. I have also been a magician since I was 12. I am 27 now. The bottles trick fooled me until I was 23. I had been a magician for quite some time and the method just never occurred to me. I'm sure quite simply, it will fool some people, and not others. How many people it fools greatly depends on the performance and handling of the magician. I have seen lance Burton perform this effect many times. Then I saw a different magician performing this trick when I was 23, and the method clicked.

As far as the ending, I think this is up to the individual performer. It's kinda like arguing whether an apple or an orange tastes better. It's an individual preference. This depends on the routine, and how it is performed, and the tastes of the magician. I've seen great routines and I've always felt a sense of closure at the end of this effect, but that's just me. My handling involves a kicker load in the tubes, but it goes with my premise. Different strokes.
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Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for your post. It's always interesting to read stuff from those who have first hand experience of working the effect in question, as part of their living, repeatedly in a professional setting.

I'm know that the multiplying bottles can be performed in a manner that keeps the mystery intact... and indeed I posted a link to one such routine... and I of course believe you and am pleased to hear that it creates the post-show comments you mention.

And while I'm happy to acknowledge this I'm also aware of the many times I've heard numerous post-show comments from members of numerous audiences that have seen a magician perform the bottles where they have succinctly describe the mechanics of the effect in a few accurate, pointed and dismissive words.

My point is, to those that perform or are thinking of performing the Multiplying Bottles be aware of the potential shortcomings of this effect so you can ensure that you don't end up being one of those magicians that is fooling themselves with this effect more than they are fooling the audience.

The difficulty of course comes in recognising, when we look at our own performance, whether or not we are one of those magicians that is fooling ourselves more than the audience... as more often than not we are disposed to believe that the performance that is lacking is one performed by someone other than ourselves..
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Pop Haydn
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This is my presentation of the Ken Brooke routine, using a set of Ken Brooke's bottles which I had stripped, anodized and relabeled:

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