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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The August 2012 entrée: Shawn Farquhar » » Anecdotes » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Shawn Farquhar
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Hi Danny,

For years I produced the PCAM convention with my dear friend Kevin Cardona and Billy McComb was our favourite MC.
In 1995 we did the event in Reno, Nevada at the Flamingo Hotel.
The big public show was held for only one night at the Pioneer Theatre in downtown Reno.
Opening the show was Goldfinger and Dove and they were awesome.
As they were ending Billy took to the stage to introduce the next act, Rocco.
As Rocco was coming up the stairs from the dressing room with his props, he tripped and fell.
True professional that Rocco is he said he was OK and could do the show, but needed time to reset the act.
I had no idea what to do as the producer.
I grabbed the headset off the Stage Manager and walked out on the stage carrying a stool looking like a stage hand.
Billy looked at me a little puzzled and as I set down the stool I told him I needed him to do five minutes.
Without a hesitation he thanked me for the stool, sat down and proceeded to do the Gypsy Thread routine.
I stood in the wings for the first minute to make sure he was fine and heard the first few jokes and saw him break a piece off the thread.
Rushing to help Rocco I found he was doing just fine and was calmly putting everything back into place.
The five minutes passed quickly and I headed out to take off the stool.
Billy introduced Rocco and as he exited stage right I was waiting in the wings on my knees bowing to him for being the legend that he was!
He patted me on the head and asked why the big fuss...
I told him I was so impressed he had the thread in his pocket for that "just in case" moment and that he was able to do five minutes exactly.
He laughed and walked me over to his suitcase that was in the wing and opened it to reveal a stack of zip lock bags each containing an effect.
There he pulled out a bag with a spool of thread .. he smiled at me and told me he didn't have the thread and had just used mime to make people believe there was a thread!
I told him I saw the thread and heard him break it too.
He held up his hands and clicked his thumb nails and told me that is what I heard and that the front row was quite a distance away and wouldn't have seen the thread anyways.
I later shared the story with Kevin Cardona who laughed and said he saw the thread and that Billy was pulling a joke on me.
When I asked Kevin what color the thread was and his answer was different than the next two people we asked...
Billy really did do the Gypsy Thread without a thread ...

-shawn
Danny The Idiot
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Thanks Shawn, that is an awesome story!

Thank you for posting!
Danny Schlesinger

www.CircoRidiculoso.com
Ray Bertrand
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Great story Shawn. Thanks.

Ray
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
G. LaBarre
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I seem to remember you doing something similar by showing your palms to a volunteer and asking them is they saw anything unusual. Then you put your palms together and proceeded to produce coins from between them. We were amazed and the volunteer was confused. You pulled one over on us!
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Shawn Farquhar
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Yes Glen,

That was a discussion about perception and I used an example shown to me by Dick Zimmerman.
He had a great story about a magician, Devant I believe, pulling a rabbit from the hat that also illustrated the same point.

Good memory Glen,

-shawn farquhar
G. LaBarre
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I understand your luggage and Magic props went on a separate holiday without you, yet again. Would you care to share some of those experiences and solutions with some of your ardent followers?

Have you seen the suggestion about registering a starter pistol (which isn't illegal, but must be reported) in your luggage so it goes directly into a secured location by TSA staff and is under the watchful eyes of extra security until you claim it at your destination?
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Shawn Farquhar
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Glen,

I heard of the idea of using a starter pistol but had a bad experience just shortly after 9/11 with a case that had a starter pistol, knife through arm. card sword and three swords for an origami illusion. I though it was clever to put them all in one to aide the inspection process ... not such a good idea!

As for lost luggage, I'm an old hand at that now and can build a show in a few hours from stuff lying around a ship. Champagne bucket, stack of dollar coins from the casino, a deck or two of cards, a knife from the chef, a long piece of rope, a lemon, envelopes, couple of pieces of plumber tubing, two empty bottles that fit inside the tubes, a roll of toilet paper and some volunteers and I have a show... If I can find a balloon or two, an old ladies nylon, two pocket books and an egg beater I'm even better off!

Show business, ya got to love it ...

-shawn
G. LaBarre
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You've got me intrigued with the Old Ladies Nylon (but why does it have to be an old ladies) and is the Egg Beater used for transferring thoughts in mind reading?

That you can put together an entire act on such short notice and entertain for a whole performance is amazing. It reflects your vast knowledge of Magic and your creative skills to face any challenge. It must be that tenacity you spoke of elsewhere.
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Shawn Farquhar
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Glen,

Old ladies nylons are more often than not made of silk rather than actual nylon. Either will work as invisible thread but I have had a lot more success stripping the old stockings than I have with the newer nylons. Maybe it's just me ... Yes, the egg beater is just funny and adds a level of comedy to an otherwise boring mind reading effect. It's old school, but it works when you have lost everything and want to fill time with laughs ...

- tenacious shawn
G. LaBarre
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In my defence, I was tired at the time. Nylons used for thread work, of course.
Reminds me of the time a guy made rope from a T-shirt. When he cut the cotton shirt into long (approx.) 1 inch wide strips, it coiled on itself and looked just like rope. Remember?
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Donald Dunphy
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Here's one I have about Shawn. This was when he was young and still lived in Victoria... many, many years ago. He might have been in his early twenties.

I was a teen and had met Shawn on a few occassions. I grew up in the Cowichan Valley, and Shawn was hired to perform at our Scout Leaders Banquet in Mill Bay. (I was also a Scout Leader, as well as a Scout then Venturer, as a teen.)

He got me on stage along with another Scout Leader, at the Banquet, as volunteers.

He then performed the Linking Rings. Then he handed two of the rings to me, and had me link and unlink them, as an "innocent" volunteer (instant stooge). I think he even said something like, "Look how easy it is!"

You should have seen the reaction of the audience, and especially the other guy on stage, because he hadn't a clue how to link and unlink them. It was priceless!

Later on, I mentioned to Shawn that the other volunteer on stage was an RCMP officer. Shawn told me that if I had told him that, he would have had him help with his staitjacket routine or wrist shackles routine. Smile But even as it was, Shawn fried him good!

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
G. LaBarre
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Donald
I loved that story about Shawn letting a spectator link the rings.
There are always people that are more interested in Magic than others and easy to spot at a Magic show. You could teach them on stage and pretty much be assured they aren't going to spill the beans later. Taking them into your confidence, so to speak. Thanks
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Donald Dunphy
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I don't know if he'd do it with anyone... he was pretty safe doing it with me, because he knew I was also a magician. But I can also remember being pretty nervous at the time. Smile

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Shawn Farquhar
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Guys,

What a great memory. I do recall that night so long ago. I must give credit where credit is due. The idea of handing the rings to another magician came from one of my mentors, Tony Eng. I used to frequent the bar where he did magic and every once in awhile he would hand me the key ring to examine. I would "check it out" thoroughly and he would take it back and instantly link it to anther that had been examined by another. The logical next step for me was to give them to Donald and have him do the trick and receive the applause...

-shawn

p.s. Glen, I do recall the t-shirt/rope in the Bag 'O' Tricks in Reno, Nevada for the PCAM.
Donald Dunphy
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Tony Eng was a wonderful man and exceptional performer!

I still use a falling ring move with the Linking Rings, that he taught me as a teen.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
G. LaBarre
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I realize you travel extensively for your job, but is there anywhere special you would return to, or anywhere you dream of going to, just for the sheer pleasure of it? That is, if money and time were no object and you could magically be transported there.
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Donald Dunphy
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Shawn, can you share the story about how your dove survived your apartment fire?

Also, I once read a newsstory that said you were allergic to bunnies. How did you find that out?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Shawn Farquhar
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Donald,

Wow, you sure do know how to walk down memory lane.

First, I have no idea what you are taking about in regards to being allergic to bunnies!
You say you read that in a newspaper?
Sounds like something I might have said as a joke and it was taken for fact... if you can locate the story I would love to read it!

This story is genuine... my home, a 13 unit apartment building was burnt to the ground in May of 1988.
It was a Friday, the 13th of course.
I really don't want to re-live the whole thing so let's just jump to the part after I rescued the other tenants from the building and returned to save the doves.
The doves were in their cage on the balcony on the second floor and the balcony was fully involved in the fire.
I grabbed a small duffle bag, a souvenir of the 1986 world cruise, and went to open the sliding glass door to get to the cage.
You may not know this but glass does not look any different when it is extremely hot.
As I attempted to slide the glass across the tips of my fingers stuck to the glass.
I had to pull them off and use the bag to open the door to get on the balcony.
I grabbed the wire mesh of the cage and it too was hot. In fact parts of the cage were on fire.
I dragged the cage into the living room and unstuck my hands from the hot metal and began to pull the doves out and place them in the bag.
Most of the birds were stunned by the smoke and were easy to get but two of them were really quite active and with burnt hands it was hard to keep a hold of them.
Consequently I lost two of them in the living room and in the thick smoke and flames surrounding me I gave up and made my way out of the building.
Escaping the building is another story you should ask me when I am in a good mood or drunk.
When the fire was finally out one of the Fire Fighters came out of the wreckage with one of my doves...still alive!
The Fire Fighter found him in a bi-fold closet that had closed somehow with a bunch of water trapped inside.
The bird had lost it's toes in the fire and a partial wing but was alive.
That night we re-named him lucky.. he lived to be over 20 and later came to be known as "no toes".
He worked in the show until he was 17 and then we took him to an aviary where we visited often.
I should like to add I will always be indebted to the Fire Fighters of New Westminster, BC.
A special thanks to Night Owl Bird Hospital in Vancouver too.
I took my doves to them and as the cost to heal them became too much I had to retrieve them and attempt to care for them myself as I was destitute.
The Doctor, Anne McDonald, refused to allow me take the birds and continued to care for them at no cost. A debt I could never repay...

-shawn
G. LaBarre
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Didn't you once say Hannah never thought of you as "famous" until she found out you were going to be on the ELLEN SHOW. haha
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Shawn Farquhar
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Glen,

The exact words were that she never thought I was "cool" until I was on Ellen... She knows I'm not famous... I always thought I was at least cool... go figure?

-shawn
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