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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Mike Close's Shoelace and Straw (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

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Hello:

I've been working on Mike Close's Shoelace and Straw penetration effect for a while now - I'm going to debut it in a couple strolling gigs this weekend.

I'm curious if anyone performs this. I just love it because it's so clean without ANY angle problems - but I'm real curious on how audience reactions are. I've done a search here at the Café and have found nothing about it.

Any input will be appreciated. Thanks.

Ron
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I tried it briefly in my restaurant work, and it never played that well for me. Not saying it's a bad trick, it just never suited me or seemed to impress folks that much. I really like a lot of Close's stuff, like the Pothole Trick and the Frog Prince, which are staples of my act, but this one just didn't do it for me. Again, probably just personal preference.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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Funny. I just watched it last night on video.
I think it's boring.
boring.
boring.
boring.

It's a surprise, I suppose.
It's a trick. A puzzle.
A bar stunt?

It's certainly not magic.
It's not a "worker", either.

Don't waste your time. Put the time into something more fun.
"A Trick For O'brien" , perhaps?

You only have so much time to learn effects. Do you really want to put time into that one?

I don't really have an opinion on it.
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Webhead93
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Florida
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I have the video but have never performed the trick. I enjoyed watching Close do it because he told a story about his mom and dad telling him not to waste his life on something else when he could be a magician working in smoke filled restaurants. Also his comment about how the straws couldn't be ripped in half but they could be ripped off. He had a couple other jokes I can't remember off the top of my head.

If you have good patter and sandwich it between some other killer effects then I'd say you'd be ok. I don't think it will get you booed off stage or anything. Just my humble opinion.
A. Mark Wilson
Leeman
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Hollywood, CA
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Can somebody give me a description of this effect? I have never seen it.
Glenn Watson
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The basic effect uses a straw ,straw wrapper and a shoelace, The straw is held on both endsby a spectator. The shoelace is wrapped around the straw and around the wrapper . When both ends of the shoelace are pulled it penetraes the straw but rips thru the wrapper which is on top.Oblique
P.S. I belive the trick is originaly from Stewart Judah.
Leeman
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Hollywood, CA
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Thanks for the description man. it sounds like it could be a pretty coool effect with good patter and between a couple of other tricks, possibly as a lead into a ring and shoelace routine.
newguy
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This can be a really amazing penetration, but you have to do a little thinking for yourself.

So:

What can you use that is more interesting than a straw?

What piece of paper is more compelling than a straw wrapper?

What cord is more menacing than a shoelace?

There are many answers, but some are better than others.
gkfreed
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I'm sorry to say this trick is nothing more than a puzzle and not a great one at that.

As one who loves Mike Close, his theories and his effects, I have never gotten this one. Mr Close's big theory (which I agree with) is the audience should not just have no explanation, but believe no explanation is possible.

If I were Mike Close, I would use this trick to demonstrate what not to do for an audience.
I have seen this effect live and on tape and was equally unimpressed. Watch Mr Close do the Pothole Trick! Now we're talking!
twistedace
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philadelphia
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I love Mike Close's work but I wish there was a way to spell out the fart noise for this trick with a thumbs down. I watched it and was like huh? Then who cares? I'm sure many people can play this up to suit their needs but Mike has many better routines that are worth learning.
Paul Sherman
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Arlington, VA
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There is, however, a lesson to be learned from this trick. As Close mentions, the trick was originally done with a pencil and old-fashioned paper drinking straws ( http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blstraws.htm the history of straws). Of course, when paper straws went the way of the dodo, the trick fell out of use. Close had one of those lightbulb moments when he realized that with a plastic straw, the straw itself could be the pencil, and the wrapper could be the paper-straw.

While I don't find this to be a particularly magical effect--it's more of a puzzle IMO--I think it's a great example of how dated material can be made fresh again with a little bit of thought.

Paul
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Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Hello:

As an update to my original post, I tried it out a few times and received lukewarm results, at best. Sort of like, "Hmmm. That's kinda neat...next trick please."
I took it out of the act after I was performing for one guy who was kind of obnoxious, who said, "My five year old does tricks like that. C'mon show me some sleight of hand with cards."

I'm real puzzled why Close thinks this is such a wonderful trick.

A happy note here - I did slay the obnoxious guy with a couple of "sleight of hand" card tricks. Big time sleight of hand: Invisible deck and Color Monte!

Ron
twistedace
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philadelphia
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Haha great story....good knucklebusting stuff!
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