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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Ade DuVal Smoking his Thumb (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Hegbli
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Oh, how I was so surprised when I visited David Charvet's web site. Excitement overcame me in the most unexpected way. There on his ad page for the Ade DuVal - Silken Sorcerer Book, which is an excellent visit with a master magician from another era in time.

There was a video clip of Ade DuVal, it said, Ade DuVal's Smoking Thumb. I nervously clicked the play symbol and had the experience of my life. I actually witnessed a patter presentation from this master. What a wonderful experience! I can see why he was so successful a performer, what personality, what confidence, what skill, what persona. Nothing can convey in words this brilliant person, it has to be witnessed.

This is what a performer is like, notice his exact patter, and how he uses himself as misdirection for his handling of the gimmick props. You cannot resist liking him on stage.

I can see in DuVal's delivery, that there was only one Ade DuVal, what an enjoyable experience. I want to thank David Charvet for being so kind to make available that clip. It is a true lesson in stage presentation and manipulation. I do hope David Charvet will make available the Golf Ball routine as well.

I am truly overwhelmed with emotion at seeing this short presentation. Hurray!!!

http://charvetmagic.com/
Michael Baker
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WOW!!! And to think some magicians think this old stuff is outdated. This routine would fool anyone!! What a treat seeing this performance.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Jim Sparx
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You cannot help but look in his eyes while he talks. With such an engaging personality, "there was nothing to get away with" - like the audience, I saw nothing.
Also interesting on the Charvet web site was the "Jimmy Stoppard And The Phantom Ray" monograph, which I am immediately sending away for along with the Duval book.
I downloaded Mr. Duval's performance.
He reminded me of Danny Thomas telling a story,
Harry Murphy
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Fantastic!That's the way magic is supposed to happen! Ade was at once engaging, personable, and magical! On top of it all that was a lesson on how to perform on TV. He really understood the early medium that's for sure. I've watched that clip a dozen times and continue to wonder at the effortless handling built within the presentation and simple (but amusing) patter.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Bill Hegbli
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His timing and delivery of his patter is engaging. I wonder if he new what he was doing, by that I mean, worked it out in minute detail. Or was it totally natural for him, sort of "off the cuff". Saying to himself, I will just do it this way, and goes out and it turns out so wondrous like this presentation, or did he work for a year figuring out every word, detail, and movement.

I know the patter is a little dated, that is how they spoke back then. I don't know of any performer today that anyone could compare this type of stage presence today.
mtpascoe
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His method is so different from Fred Kaps. I'm sure it has to be the same gimmick, probably just applied differently.
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2012-05-03 11:13, mtpascoe wrote:
His method is so different from Fred Kaps. I'm sure it has to be the same gimmick, probably just applied differently.

No, the gimmick is totally different then the traditional model. Read his book for details as to what it may have been like. Ade DuVal kept this top secret and was never found after his death.

Just think, that gimmick may be setting in someone's drawer right now. We will never know.
Dr_J_Ayala
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Ade DuVal was one of the greatest magicians to ever grace a stage. He made many, many contributions to the art of magic, many of which modern magicians/performers have no clue about, OR that they use and have no idea where it came from. His work with silks, billiard balls and linking rings was absolutely brilliant.

It was a real treat seeing this performance - thanks for mentioning and posting it Bill!
mtpascoe
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Quote:
On 2012-05-03 11:25, wmhegbli wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-05-03 11:13, mtpascoe wrote:
His method is so different from Fred Kaps. I'm sure it has to be the same gimmick, probably just applied differently.


No, the gimmick is totally different then the traditional model. Read his book for details as to what it may have been like. Ade DuVal kept this top secret and was never found after his death.

Just think, that gimmick may be setting in someone's drawer right now. We will never know.

I have something that might be similar. But, since we don't know the exactly what the gimmick really was, we won't know for sure.
Bill Hegbli
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Why does everyone again miss the point? Is it that no one can face reality or what?

My post is about the unique personality and presentation, not the darn gimmick, which yes, mtpascoe, there was an inferior India gimmick on the market for years, Vito Lupo used it in his mime act. But the camera could not be on top of this gimmick, it is nothing like Ade DuVal gimmick, if I had to guess.

Now back to discussing the magnetism of Ade DuVal, one point is his continual patter, now I understand when in a book, they state, "the performer had continuous patter." what that actually means. Did you all notice, how he continued to talk while rolling up his sleeves. It was as if it was not important. I have only seen magicians make a big deal out of rolling up their sleeves, drawing all the attention to their actions. Saying such silly things as, "Everyone believes that magicians put things up their sleeves, so I will roll my sleeves up, so you cannot jump to that conclusion."

You will never have a better opportunity to learn great presentation of magic then studying the great performers of the past.

He never said, my hand is empty, look at the genius here, that we should all strive for in our work.

Did you also notice how happy he was and actually thought he was having fun and got a kick out of smoking his thumb. That kind of presentation transcends to the audience. Notice how he continued to smoke while the audience was applauding. That was not boring, it was waiting until the applause died down.
Harry Murphy
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Bill you are exactly right a study of this short clip and routine is a class in theater, good theater. His every movement was designed to support the absolute casualness and innocence of the trick. This clip should be an inspiration and a model of what magic should look like. This was such a practiced and rehearsed routine that it actually seems spontaneous and not scripted. Greatness on film here! Many thanks for posting the link and starting the discussion.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
mtpascoe
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This is not just a lesson in presentation, but combining presentation with good misdirection which DuVal does here. I am so glad to see this as I always wanted to watch him perform, thank you wmhegbli for showing it to us. I would love to see his complete silk act with patter and all.
Dr_J_Ayala
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Quote:
Did you all notice, how he continued to talk while rolling up his sleeves. It was as if it was not important. I have only seen magicians make a big deal out of rolling up their sleeves, drawing all the attention to their actions. Saying such silly things as, "Everyone believes that magicians put things up their sleeves, so I will roll my sleeves up, so you cannot jump to that conclusion."

This is what made it so deceptive. I agree with the fact that way to many performers (not just magicians, but especially magicians) make too big a deal of things sometimes. The other thing that way too many magicians do that bugs the heck out of me is using descriptive action. As they do things, they state exactly what they are doing. "I pick up the ball with my right hand and put it in my left hand, which will close. I pick up the wand, tap the left hand and the ball disappears. I tap the middle cup and the ball appears under the cup...."

Sometimes the best way to be obvious about something, to draw attention to an action or object and thus, perhaps, create misdirection, is to be subtle about it. This is readily seen in the video when, as Bill pointed out, he kept talking whilst rolling up his sleeves as if it did not matter, making absolutely no mention of his actions or his sleeves. That is because it did not matter - presuming you (in this case, Ade) are not performing magic for blind folks, they can see what you are doing.

As Harry pointed out, it truly did feel and look like you were watching a guy get up in front of a camera and 'do his stuff' with absolutely no preparation. This is a perfect example of dedicated scripting, blocking, routining and practice - all things that, sadly, many magicians today in the technological and instantaneous age neglect, sometimes completely. There is a reason Ade DuVal was considered among the best of the best, and many have no idea why.
mtpascoe
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Another great lesson is that as he is going to one bit of business to another, he getting rid of a gimmick that the audience is not aware of. Just a flow from to another. No tricky hand washing or anything. Brilliant, just brilliant.
Harry Murphy
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Which is another great example of utilizing old Al Baker's axiom of "don't run when no one is chasing you"! Why would you prove the hand empty when there is nothing there? That only broadcasts that something indeed is there.

Ade's natural hand motions and actions were proof enough of emptiness. His getting the "necessary" into position at the start and getting rid of it at the finish are studies in brilliant conservation of motion. Every thing was done in the natural flow of the routine and looked natural. Pure magic!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Bill Hegbli
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Yes, and he could do all this because he was engaged with his audience. He seems to be more thrilled to be then the audience. You feel welcome and he is talking directly to you. One might say, sort of like a magical Santa Clause.

Having used the Abbott's Elusive Clock for years, I read in the book, that another feature of his program was the Sliding Alarm Clock Box, which is the old Sliding Die Box effect, mostly suggested for children audiences. I find it interesting that he had a patter routine that appealed to adult audiences. I wonder what the path of that patter routine was like?
Oliver Ross
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Bill,

Thank you very much for this link. The video is really a great lesson in entertainment. I was hypnotized by his storytelling. Even though a lot of people may think : "Oh that old stuff from before yesterday...who cares", I believe that Ade shows in this video a lot that could help fellow magicians to get or be better in presentation and how to connect the magic with the presentation.

Thanks again.

Oliver.
Bill Hegbli
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Ade DuVal's somewhat jovial manner of actually having fun, is a refreshing twist over the magician in trouble, and the magic happening to the magician surprise, or the out of control magic props.

Sometimes delivery is everything over just saying it as it was written. Tonal inflection and really acting like this all means something to watch is the real secret to wonderful magic.

Posted: May 6, 2012 4:09pm
I looks like no one cares to discuss the presentation of magic, magic is truely in a sorry state.
Anatole
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Since this is a forum and not a formal debate, please forgive me if my thoughts wander a little as I comment on the discussion of "Ade Duval Smoking His Thumb."

I think some of the previous posts did an admirable job of showing that readers of this forum do care very much about the presentation of magic. Consider Harry Murphy's comment of May 3, 2012: "Fantastic! That's the way magic is supposed to happen! Ade was at once engaging, personable, and magical! On top of it all that was a lesson on how to perform on TV. He really understood the early medium that's for sure. I've watched that clip a dozen times and continue to wonder at the effortless handling built within the presentation and simple (but amusing) patter." There's also Dr. J. Ayala's comment that "he kept talking whilst rolling up his sleeves as if it did not matter, making absolutely no mention of his actions or his sleeves. That is because it did not matter - presuming you (in this case, Ade) are not performing magic for blind folks, they can see what you are doing."

I'm not sure there's much more to add to what Harry and Dr. Ayala said. I guess we could dissect the routine move by move and patter line by patter line, but dissection would tend I think to draw us too far away from the enjoyment of being just plain entertained.

I think there have been previous Café discussions on both 1) how patter can be used effectively in a manipulation act, and 2) how comedy can be used in a manipulative act. There was this discussion from August 2008 for instance:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=10
in which "flying magus" asks: "Does anyone do a talking manipulation act? I love manipulation, but my gift is spoken, comedic performance and working with volunteers. I'm looking for a way to combine the two. Any suggestions?"

In it's time, the "Smoke in Glass" effect was a classic, and Duval's presentation was and is terrific. However, Denny Haney commented to me once that he got negative vibes from an audience at the end of his substitution trunk routine when he pops up out of the sack with a lit cigarette in his mouth although he is still securely bound. For magicians it's a nice touch. How could he light a cigarette while being bound, tied up in a bag, and locked in a trunk?

Can you think of many manipulators today who do cigarette manipulation? The last I remember seeing was Ray-Mond Corbin, and I think he got away with that simply because of his age.

Having made the above comments, I express once again my admiration of David Copperfield and his team for the clever way that they develop new presentations for standard effects. David re-presented the "Smoke in the Glass" from one of his specials when Loni Anderson guest-starred. The scenario was a cocktail party with a lot of people smoking and blowing smoke in David's face. David used "magic" to collect the smoke from the offending cigarettes so that he could "capture it" under a glass. This was all prelude of course to the exquisite Don Wayne Floating Ball presentation. But I feel it added to the "realness" of the vignette and actually added to the theme.

In my discussion sessions with other magicians (and I might have mentioned this previously on the Café), the question occasionally came up: "Could a comedy magician ever win the FISM Grand Prix?" My answer was "Yes" and I backed it up by pointing out that Fred Kaps's FISM performances were essentially comedy magic. I also pointed out that Cardini's entire act was based on a comedic situation. So I think we can say there are many instances of how comedy can be injected into manipulation. To cite Denny Haney again--if you've seen his card manipulation act, he starts out with some clever comedy bits including some bits that I think his assistant Minh came up with.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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Only a few comments hardly makes it a discussion, surely there are more intelligent magician then this to have a discussion on presentation.

Again, falling off the topic, of smoking, the only reason this video is attempted to be discussed is because this is the only video available, not to promote smoking. Although, only you know that a cigarette may is involved. The trick is not showing a cigarette in any way, therefore the audience only knows simulated smoke. It could also just be vapor smoke, for all they know.

Nothing like assuming audiences know the secrets of all magic tricks. Kind of a strange assumption on your part, then everyone should give up magic as everyone is a magician in the world.

Again, this discussion was on different types of presentation methods, I am shocked that in the few post above, everyone thinks that is all there is to the many different presentations of magicians over the last 150 years.

So Sonny, are you saying that showmanship and presentation can only fill one page? Kind of a thin book on the most important part of performing magic. I believe the audience is more influenced by the performer and how they perceive him then any of his tricks.

It is a sad day for magic, as everyone only thinks being a magician, only means knowing the secret and watching a video of the latest twist on an old trick. Funny, but having said that, that is exactly the problem, they keep twisting the magic tricks to make them look new, when they should be twisting the presentation of themselves to make them unique to all audiences.

Remember the clone comments, that is all we have in magic, new clones today. Only instead of presenting magic, they are a clone of buying the latest and greatest magic trick.

This video of Ade Duval answers most the questions on the Café. Yet, no one sees the answers.

Right now there are questions on, how do I ditch a prop? How do I routine? The prop makes a sound, how do I cover for it?

And yet, I chose to discuss his winning personality, and Sonny, you chose to discuss the attitude toward cigarettes, and this forum is called, Smoking his Thumb. Nothing to do with cigarettes, just trying to get people to read the post.

I guess I have failed big time again.
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