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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Managing angles (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gmartins
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Hello! This is my post at the Magic Cafe, but I've been reading it for awhile and have read very good advice. Nice site.
My question is about angles in walk-around magic.

Today I was doing magic at a cafe/bar and did my sponge ball routine. The problem is, on one occasion, some people on some near tables (not the one I was performing) saw the sponge ball from the wrong angle. So they saw much of the "dirty" work. They commented it to me at the end. I began to think about it, and it's almost impossible to do my routine with people behind me, or far away to the left. This covers almost all situations I perform on this kind of work. The tables are near each other, so people will stare from one table to another.
Any ideas/suggestions on this? Maybe I can change my sponge ball routine, I don't know, but I think the angles can be a real mess.
Thanks for your time.
Best Regards
Gonçalo Martins
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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This topic has been addressed somewhat extensively in the Card section:

Click here
"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
My Lybrary Page
Darrin Cook
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I've discussed this with Scott, and I think we agree that one key is to learn from audience feedback. Scott shared how he had seen one magician flash the pass at a magic restaurant and get called on it by a spectator. This magician denied he had flashed, denied the spectator had seen anything, and as far as anyone knows continues to flash to this day (assuming he still has that job).

I was doing card to watch when I noticed that feedback from audience members on my right and center was great, but people to my left saw it. I now know to move to my left if I do this routine.

The hardest part of restaurant work is that you not only have to worry about angles at your table, but at all of the other tables around you. Scott has mentioned this in a previous thread, but when palming you need to keep the hand in tight to your side, parallel to your leg. It's easy as a magician to try to conceal the palm from the front, but make it glaringly obvious from behind.

Two solutions are:
1) to try to choose routines that are very angle friendly;
2)another is to move so that there is no one behind you.
I am also wary of large windows, which can serve as a mirror/s.

When in doubt about angles, it is best to err on the side of caution. One magician told me in horror of competing in a local talent show against another magician who did a tip-over production box while performing surrounded, thus tipping (pardon the pun) the method to a good portion of the audience. This is irresponsible, and any conscientious magician would have passed on the effect.
Peter Marucci
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If the angles tend to expose a routine to another table, then the answer is fairly obvious: Change or drop the routine.
There is, simply, no other way.
The late Tony Slydini would not perform if he couldn't arrange for the angles to be perfect. He was somewhat deaf and used this as an "out": if someone asked him to show them something and he didn't like the angles, he pretended he didn't hear them!
Clearly, this wouldn't work in this case but switching routines would.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Kaliix
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There are many different types of techniques you can use in a sponge ball routine. Some are angle proof, some aren't. Couldn't you just use a different technique, one that is not angle sensitive? What were you doing when you flashed?

Angles can definitely be a problem in the restaurant. I rarely do my favorite pen thru bill routine because my preferred handling is angle sensitive.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
gmartins
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The move I flashed was when I "placed" the ball on my left hand. I use the thumb palm vanish to acomplish this. I tried this at the mirror several times, and the people to my left/back can see the move. When I did that, I arranged so that no one was to my left on that table... The problem was the other tables!!! Smile I'm new to this kind of performance so it's something I'll have to improve. Do you have any suggestion on how to accomplish the vanish of the ball with best angle range?
Thanks

Goncalo
Gonçalo Martins
Kaliix
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I tend to stay away from the thumb palm vanish in the restaurant because of the possibility of flashing. Instead, try using a retention of vision vanish, where the ball is concealed in a closed finger palm position. The version I learned was off Brad Burts sponge ball video (about the only good thing I got off it).
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
gmartins
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I don't do it, because I don't do it very well. I don't feel confortable with it. I'll have to practice more. I like the thumb palm vanish because you can leave the left hand with the fingers of your right hand open. It's more natural.
Is there any good video on sponge balls out there? I've heard good and bad things about the "25 different tricks with sponge balls".
Thanks

Goncalo
Gonçalo Martins
Kaliix
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Well I liked the 25 tricks with a sponge ball video. Sponge ball vanishes and productions aren't that complex and they are explained fairly well on the video. And besides, it's only $10.

A couple things about the rention vanish. I put the ball in my hand with it held between the middle finger and thumb. For some reason, that makes it easier for me to steal the ball back. Also, don't worry about the naturalness of the hand because that hand should be going to do something right after you do a retention vanish. Usually mine is going to pick up another ball and spectators don't have time to really focus on the hand.

I thought Brad Burt's Sponge Ball tape was overpriced at $40. That being said, the one thing I did learn off that tape was a fantastic retention vanish. I just don't know that it was worth $40 but I do use it all the time.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Geoff Williams
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Regarding angles, here's an interesting story.

Dai Vernon was performing in the Close-Up Room at The Magic Castle. He was seated and doing some pretty wild stuff.

Suddenly, a woman got out of her seat and walked right over beside him and boldly stood there watching.

What would YOU have done?

According to the story, Vernon switched in a series of amazing card moves (that really had no bearing on the routine itself) and smiled up at the woman. Her face went slack as she watched "behind the scenes."

The look on her face of such utter amazement at his masterful skill, prompted the audience to break into spontaneous applause!

Shaking her head, she returned to her seat.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
blurr
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I once heard the statement made that a kid came up to a magician after performing at a table and said, "You sure can fold the card up quick behind your leg".

Blurr
"Someday men will look back and say I was the start of the 20th century."
---Jack the Ripper
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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My article in the June issue of Visions (www.online-visions.com) deals with this topic. If you're interested, take a look.
"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
My Lybrary Page
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