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Regular user
153 Posts

Profile of John
Another thread here suggests some success with floating a feather and theming it in terms of Harry Potter.

I'd also love a review on the "Ultimate Float Controller."
Jon Allen
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Profile of Jon Allen
I agree that animation can be more powerful than elavation. I perform an effect called 'Ghost" which is an animated bill routine.

It's a 3-phase effect wherein a bill is placed into a wine glass and proceeds to become animated, even with someone else holding the glass. Then you cover the mouth of the glass and the bill starts to rise up and finally it jumps out of the glass into your outstretched hand.

There are a number of reasons I like the routine, one of which is the fact that the glass helps to shield the bill from potential grabbers and also deflects light away from the modus operanti.

"Ghost" is one of the routines on my video, 'Spectators Don't Exist' which is coming out in the summer.

Paragon 3D - the most incredible Card to Clear Box you will ever own. Be fooled here: http://youtu.be/GQxRZ1OGkUo
The Silent Treatment - Digital Edition: this iconic routine just got upgraded! Watch - http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=phTDUhX0m9o
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Veteran user
Dallas, Tx
354 Posts

Profile of MAGICTOM
I have a question about the LeClair video and book, I have a S**TLOAD of I.T. that is too weak for use in the ITR. Does LeClair's video use the ITR?? as the main hook up? or will i be able to utilize the I.T. that I have for many of the tricks on the video?
Tom Defrange Smile
No Man is his craft's master the first day!
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John Clarkson
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Santa Barbara, CA
749 Posts

Profile of John Clarkson

LeClaire's hookup does not use an ITR. With his book, he supplies IT and putty and tells you how to inexpensively get your own.

On 2002-04-26 20:48, magicbrad wrote:
Can you give me some cool ideas for floating objects. I am looking for somthing cool that will make the persone watching do this Smile

I've had great luck with the old Wunderbar by Steve Dusheck. I don't like his hookup, but it is easily modified. The effect is that a metalic bar, sealed in a test tube with a cork on top, starts to hop around, then exits the tube and floats about.
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
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Profile of Monkey
The creepiest IT floatations are Steve Fearson's Floating Cigarette and the Animated self-lighting cigarette.
Check the video of Fearson's on his website
As for the animated cig... picture this... A cigarette floats out of the pack to your mouth, then a match box opens itself, a match floats out, strikes itself on the side of the box, then floats up to light your cig and the back to your hand. Very cool!

Search it up, learn it, scare the c*** outta some people. Smile
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Cypress, CA
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Profile of Shenaniganz
Get a book on oragami- learn to make a few animals. Swans and frogs work great. After you fold your paper or bill, or playing card float it around and give it out as a souvenir
Magnus Maccormack
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Calgary, Canada
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Profile of Magnus Maccormack

I've always wondered: I bought the video, but does the book have more routines in it?
Also, is it just me, or does the putty that goes behind the fingernail stand out a little much? Am I putting too much on, or am I supposed to be trying to hide it better with longer fingernails or a different angle or something?

A longer middle finger nail helps. I have also found that if you flatten out your hand (if you are levitating from your palm) your fingers will slightly bend down. This will point your nail slightly toward the floor. Combine this with a little patter for misdirection and the fact that an object is moving (and not your hand) and the spectator won't even think to look at your finger...or you could use wax for your finger instead, it's clear.
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13415 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
I use HARD magiicans wax. It's a good match,
with the Le Claire there is no "hanging" sensation or "pendulum" effect either.

even when my daughter knew there was a thread, she had no idea how or where it could possibly be because of the nature of the hook-up.

wonderful stuff!
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Rapid City, SD
470 Posts

Profile of Bobcape
I recently saw Losander perform and bought his tapes. He has a hookup that is a little different than the LeClair that is very versatile. Check it out.
Be Amazed! + Enjoy The Magic!
Larry Davidson
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Potomac, MD
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Profile of Larry Davidson
Personally, I think floating effects done close up where the object floats for an extended period of time are obvious. The only solution in laymens' minds is thread or magnets. If you do a floating effect close up, I recommend that you make the object float for a VERY short period of time. I perform a routine using Mesika's loops where I first balance the ring on different fingers, and then balance it on thin air (float) for less than 2 seconds after which I immediately return it to the spectator. It kills!
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
1526 Posts

Profile of Daniel Faith
For my children shows I levitate a butterfly. Same method as the cigarette. You can buy fake but realistic butterflies at craft stores. It starts in my hand and slowly flies to the other hand among other things without me visibly moving. I get a really good reaction from the kids.

The thing is people will guess thread. You have to use psychology against them. They will think it is hanging. Then, destroy what they thought by waving your hands above and below. Now, their minds crash so to speak as they try to come up with an alternative. There are many hook ups and manuveurs that can be done to pick away at people perceptions.
Daniel Faith
Mister Hyde
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New York City
87 Posts

Profile of Mister Hyde
Great advice by Larry and Guardian. For the cigarette, what Guardian says is the passage of the cigarette through a loop made with your fingers...for the dollar it's the waving the heads all Smile around the object..
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Profile of tom_d2
Hi I recently bought floating cig but I can't do the hookup. Can someone who knows it well please email me and explain it at;tom_d2@hotmail.com thanks.
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117 Posts

Profile of tim_mantis
I can recommend the floating ring video by Mike Smith. I'm not sure where it is available now, but in the routine the ring passes through a loop made by the fingers, then lands on the ring finger to be removed by the spectator - a nice finish! It also goes down well close-up with such a personal object too.
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Profile of DonB
I believe that LeClair book and/or tape has everything one would need to animate or levitate objects. The tape is video of LeClair performing the effects explained in the book(and on the tape). That being said...
Jon Allen has an animation effect on his No Spectators Required video that is worthy of your consideration. A dollar bill is borrowed, balled and placed into a brady snifter type class. The bill is swirled around in the glass to 'gather energy' and the bill animates. This is repeated with stronger reactions and finally the bill flies out of the glass and back to the magician's hand. All is well explained along with the reasons why Jon does what he does. An excellent tape for many effects.

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Profile of idreamz
I did some floating once with a bill, and that poor guy thought I was using some sort of magnet Smile
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Mi.
2537 Posts

Profile of Jaxon
Wow! A long Thread on thread and I haven't participated in it yet...lol
A lot of points have been made and I'll try to address some of them that really stuck out to me.

-The Floating Butterfly-

This can be a beautiful piece of magic. Especially if you blend in various methods of producing a real live butter fly at the end. You can find realistic looking fake ones at craft stores as already has been mentioned. I've also seen them sold in those fake roses you see at gas stations. The wings of those are usually made out of feathers and look pretty nice.

-The object looks like it's hanging and they always think it's thread-

Here's a response from the book I'm working on:


Of course it does. To you, the one who is doing it and knows the secret, because it is hanging. There are times when we magicians have a hard time not thinking like a magician. A magician would think thread first but most laymen don't. If you ask, which I have done, the most common explanation laymen give when they see a dollar bill float in the air is static electricity or magnetism. The second most common assumption is actually mirrors believe it or not.
Then there are those who will think thread. Fine, let them think it. If you perform it well enough they won't think about it for very long because your actions and presentation will erase some of those assumptions. When done well enough they won't think at all. They'll only respond. If you present it well enough most people will sit back (Or lean forward) and just enjoy it.

I'll also add that there is a right and wrong way to make something float. If you feel it swinging is making it look like it's hanging from something, then practice not letting it swing. There are techniques to make or prevent the floating object from moving in a peculiar way and we'll go over them later in this book.


This is a long post so I'll stop here and make another... Smile

Ron Jaxon

-The putty under the finger nail seems to obvious-

If growing a little longer finger nail doesn't work for you. Play around with sticking it in other locations near by. One possibility is to stick it in the entrance of your sleeve. Then let it run out between your fingers. Play around and maybe you'll find something that works well for you.

-Floating effects shouldn't last to long-

I completely agree with this. Even longer Floating tricks usually have a break and don't just keep doing the same thing. Kevin James' Rose is a perfect example. The entire act lasts about 5 to 7 minutes. It could be stretched a little longer or made a little shorter but that's about the time it takes to perform the entire routine. But an object isn't floating that entire time. There are breaks in the presentation and after each break it gets a little neater or more astonishing.
In close up especially, you should keep it fairly short. One shouldn't do to many levitations in one act either. In one half-hour show I do an average of 5 or 6 I. T. tricks. Some might think that would be over-kill but not all of them are levitations. Only one or two of them are actually. I might open a show with a floating cigarette or ball or what ever fits that show. Then during the show I might do a haunted deck, boomerang card, use I. T. to vanish something or any number of other I. T. tricks. Then I might end the show with the floating rose (All this is just example).

There are times in an act where making something float is one of the most logical things you can do. You're a magician after all. If I'm standing here and what I want is over there, if I where a magician why would I walk over and get it? If I whee a magician couldn't I make it float to me?

Think about that if you want to add a levitation to an act. During the floating rose I cause the candle to float to my hand. I'm standing there making a rose levitate, why would I need to stop and go grab the candle. "Why doesn't he just make the candle float to him?" they might think.

How about a situation where you have something in both hands but you need to get that cigarette on the table into your mouth. Why not make it float there. Things like this can really add a moment of shock to a show. These are the kind of things that take the spectators by surprise. They usually react in a way of "Wow, did you see that?" Or "Did I just see what I think I saw?" Some pretty powerful stuff if you ask me...Smile

Ron Jaxon

After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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Profile of idreamz
Hmm.. I was wondering if there is a way to float cards with ITRs? Smile
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Logan, Utah
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Profile of MagicallyDelicious
I find that floating a nice crisp gum wrapper gives a great effect with my ITR. I just take out a pack of Extra and offer some to my friends. I float my own wrapper or borrow one of theirs. I leave the wrapper open and loosely bend it in half. I place it on my hand so that is stands up on my hand. I then float it about 3-4 inches in between my 2 hands.

The effect is really great due to the shiney wrapper. I also have done the effect and then immedately WALKED over to my friend to examine the wrapper. I then do the levitation a second time from a different spot. This really blows any theory they might have had about how the levitation was done. They almost always think it was some thing to do with a magnet or something. They rule out thread due to the immediate reset in a different spot and my hand waving on all four planes of the wrapper.

Hope this makes sense...Enjoy!!!

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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Mi.
2537 Posts

Profile of Jaxon
Great idea Nate!

Speaking of floating a gum wrapper. It's also neat to make a piece of candy float to your mouth. Have it rigged up in the wrapper first. This adds a little impossibility to the effect because first you unwrap it, then it floats out of the wrapper to your mouth. The fact that it was wrapped up kind of makes it harder to believe thread is involved.

Now, since Nates great idea uses an ITR, you can combine these two. Shoot, you can add even more to it. I visualize the following effect when you put them together.

The magicians offers chewing gum to the spectators. Then he causes a stick to float out of the pack into his other hand. The gum is removed from the wrapper then the gum floats up into the magicians mouth. All attention is then brought to he gum wrapper, it stands up on end and starts to float. It floats back into his hand and everything can be examined.
A great follow up would be "A sticky situation."

Ron Jaxon

After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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