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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Should I get a wand? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Renegade
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Buffalo, New York
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My advice for a wand is similar to the role of pepper in a recipe, used sparingly and at the right times it adds spice and interest. I like to keep my eyes open during hikes in the woods for strange looking pieces of wood that polish-up well.
what
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Lehi, UT, USA
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I just started using a wand. I use it for the cups & balls. You mentioned that you are using a chop cup. This might be an excellent application for a wand. I am enjoying learning the Vernon/Mora wand spin and some of the David Williamson moves that Michael Ammar teaches.

I have been doing the cups & balls without a wand for the last couple of years, and am just realizing just how powerfull a device a wand might be in this effect. I recommend looking into it.

Good luck on the journey

Mike
Magic is fun!!!
ninjaduffy
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UK
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Thanks everyone
Tspall
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Lumberton, NC
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I received a wonderful wooden wand a couple of weeks ago and have been adding it to my cups and balls routine. I'll agree with what's said here too. You can overdo it, but in the right amount it does add something to a performance.

I think the use of wands in stories such as Harry Potter have also helped to make audiences more aware of the wand use in magic, but that's just my opinion.
Smile
Tony
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Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Is a wand your style? That is the first question. I personally don't use one. If I did it would be a medievil type style.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Magic from A to Z
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Sweet Home Alabama
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I have seen alot of wands and prefer Michael Ammar's Mercury Wand. It's rather inexpensive and is durable.
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2003-12-19 09:32, Eric Grossman wrote:
Ninjaduffy,

Hi, and welcome to our world. Let me recommend a wand for you. The Mercury wand, sold on Michael Ammar's web site is the one I use. There are definitely prettier wands, but this one looks fine and is a workhorse. I drop this sucker all the time when practicing. It's basically indestructable. It is also easy to handle due to its construction. Also, the price is great. Good luck.

Eric Grossman


This is a good wand for everything except actual performance with the cups and balls. Why? Well, it's durable, almost indestructible and easy to work with; however, if you have a really nice set of cups, you don't want a wand with metal tips. Metal tips will scratch and dent metal cups. For cups and balls, unless you are 100% sure where your wand is going at all times, get a wand with wooden tips. Or even plastic.

I got this recommendation from James Riser, who knows his cups!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
drgnjames123
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delaware
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I made mine from a wooden dowel and painted it black with white tips like the ones you usually see in magic.

Hope this helps.
James
Xia
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London, England
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Looks like I need to get a wand for those pesky kids!!!
"They say time is money...i say time is precious"
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ninjaduffy
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What can I say . A feast of great advice for me...


thank you all for your help in this and other topics....

kev
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Quote:
On 2003-12-28 11:48, mattisdx wrote:
When was the last time you saw anyone use a magic wand? It's for old school magicians, unless you want to beat a heckler over the head with it halfway through your show.



Stick with magic and this too shall pass.

Forty something years ago when I started doing magic, every trick I saw was "A New Trick" and after studying magic, I learned that I didn't know any "New" tricks. They were all "old school" and many predated US history. (That's even older than MTV.)

When I started working on a Ph.D. in 1979, I believed that assembly line manufacturing was new with the USA and was started by Henry Ford. However, I already knew he was a late comer to the automobile manufacturing industry. Immediately in my first Ph.D. Management course, I learned from studying the documented accounts of the Arsenal of Venice (Its product was outfitting battle ships at the rate of one every 45 minutes.) that the assembly line most definitely existed in 1432 AD. America was not discovered until sixty years later. And that was over 400 years before Henry Ford got started. It is also known that Eli Whitney tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to build muskets on an assembly line during the American Revolution in the 1770s. He lacked the understanding and access to standardized parts and materials that existed in the Arsenal of Venice in 1432. What he did accomplish was building a cotton gin.

When I became a business agent for the American Federation of Musicians AFL-CIO in 1963, I learned “all” about labor unions and certainly believed that the organized labor movement in the USA resulted in the existence of the position of “Shop Steward” in dealing with labor. But now I know that the Arsenal of Venice had shop stewards back in 1432 AD.

In the 1950s and early 60s, I was a performing stage and studio musician playing one of those “new” electric guitars. We learned our “hot licks” from those “old school” country / western and jazz guitar players who didn’t need the “gimmicked” guitars. They could actually play real guitars.

The computer from which this comment is composed works due to an understanding of binary coded hexadecimal data processing. This technology was made possible through the Aborigines of Australia. All of their history is recorded through music. Their musical instruments only have two notes. Thus, this is really a very “old school” technology but it’s new to Americans.

Using or not using a wand will neither make you an accomplished magician nor prevent anyone from becoming one. In time you will not be occupied wondering when was the last time you saw an “old school” magician, but wondering when was the last time you saw a “new” trick. It is a natural growth process.

By the way, I still use a guitar pick too!

Enjoy magic and entertain your audience!

Bob Sanders
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Lucy
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Alabama
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Quote:
On 2003-12-28 11:48, mattisdx wrote:
When was the last time you saw anyone use a magic wand ? Its for old school magicians, unless you want to beat a heckler over the head with it halfway through your show.



The clothes make the pirate. I heard that somewhere. A magician without a wand is like pancakes without syrup. You probably wouldn't need a wand for card and coin tricks done in the laundramat while you wait for your jeans and T shirt to dry....but if you represent yourself as a magician to an audience who has come specifically to see you, a wand is part of what they expect to see. As Jeff McBride says, the wand extends your space.
Historically the wand is a symbol of authority. Examples are things like the scepter, used by royalty, the caduceus, used by the medical profession, and even the simple staff, used by the shepherd.

Use it, make the most of it, put on a show!

Lucy
Lagrange
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Bob, that was a great post.

To the original poster, I don't think a wand is necessary unless you really need it for misdirection, but Bob, your post really brought a chuckle. Thanks!
troppobob
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Crescent Head Australia
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Giday Kev and everyone else

Another wide ranging and relevant discussion.

A lot of my performances are for children and the use of wands has come along naturally with the development of my performances.

Like a lot modern magicians I have a "quiver" of wands at my disposal. Like a lot of you I have segment that involves a series of gimicked wands that add an extra routine to the begining of a segment that involves a participant holding a wand (break away wand etc). This section of the show always works well.

Some recent developments have included a rubber chicked used as a wand for an "Egg Bag" routine.

The contributiion about "old school" by Mattisdx was thought provoking and I thank you for opinion while being unconvinced by you reasoning.

If they work for you then go for it.

Troppo Bob

Smile
Dave V
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I just bought two wands for a Renaissance Faire theme I'm working on. I have no real need for them except that the image I'm trying to create makes it necessary. They also create their own misdirection. Just reaching for a wand is the perfect time for steals, ditches, etc... and most people wouldn't consider that you can hold something in the "dirty" hand if you're holding the wand at the same time.

Rather than the "modern" black wand with white (or other shiny stuff) tips, I opted for the "single ended" wooden wands more in line with the period.

I found a great place for these and the prices are very reasonable. I know I could just make one, but the quality for the price is better than I could do with limited woodworking tools.

Just go to http://www.hpwizardstore.com and click on the link to their Phoenix Wands.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Bob Sanders
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My wands usually match some part of my act. So they are seldom just black with white tips. However, both ends were typically the same (at least from the audiences' view).

This Christmas, as a gift from my eighty-five year young Aunt Helen, I received a beautiful wand made of pewter, lead crystal and quartz. After over forty years of magic, it is my first in many categories. Most obviously it is single ended. My end of the wand has a pewter wizard holding a crystal ball. The shaft is a long piece of lead crystal. And the tip is a faceted pointer of clear quartz that really plays with the light. It is unusually heavy and certainly much more than a stick for misdirection. It is indeed a very magically looking and feeling prop. I am considering how to use it with D'Lites to make the wizard within come to life.

Bob Sanders
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master121
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If you want one, get one. I don't regularly use mine. Think about it, how many times have you seen David Blaine use a wand?





My 2 cents. Smile Smile
Dave V
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Quote:
On 2004-01-30 08:27, master121 wrote:
If you want one, get one. I don't regulerly use mine. Think about it, how many times have you seen David Blaine use a wand?


(rant mode)
On the other hand, when have you seen David Blaine perform magic? (sorry, I had to do it)

I consider him a "concept artist" who happened to use a few magic shop tricks in his act. He wants to portray himself as something other than a magician (by our definition) and that's fine too. I just find it odd that so many magicians (including myself I suppose) have so many varying opinions on someone who isn't "one of us" in the first place.

(/rant mode)
To pull this back on topic, I just received my two "Harry Potter" wands. They're absolutely perfect! A little more "period" and much better than the typical "modern" wand. Like someone else already said, it's a "symbol" of the character I'm portraying. I even went out and ordered a "Wizard's Robe" to add to the costume you see in my photo to set myself even farther apart from the rest of the people who start to "all look alike" in the eyes of the Faire Audience. Flowing sleeves, peaked hood, the works.
Think of it as a bit of a cross between Gandalf and Dumbledore.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Bob Sanders
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MageofMeadows,

Very diplomatically put. Thank you. We do spend considerable time defending our selves from being identified with non-magicians. Lay people often confuse categories out of ignorance. The confusion is so great that most Americans cannot accurately use the yellow pages to find the appropriate physican specialty to treat their problems. It is certainly understandable that they may be unable to discriminate between magic and other forms of entertainment. There are different levels of car racing, dance, and acting also. In the evolution of things, first one learns to generalize and some later even learn to discriminate. Not all do develop to the same level or extent.

All forms of entertainment don't use magic. Some do. But even if a magic prop is used in an entertainment, it does not make it a magic act. Nor does it make the performer a magician. Some trick ropers use rope gimmicks. They are not magicians.

Using a lever does not make one a physicist. Using a ladel does not make one a chef. Applying bandaids does not make one a doctor.

If you had one of my business cards, "special effects" is one category of products offered. Over the years I have either performed them myself or consulted actors or talent who did. It is about as common in theater and television commercials as music. It simply saves production time or allows an actor/spokesperson to illustrate something in a more interesting way. It does not make them magicians or make the commercial a magic show. I have even coached coaches on using magic props to help with coaching college athletes. We still called them coaches.

It has been especially enjoyed using magic in theater to give visualization to fairy tales, myths, and stories. Magic has never even been mentioned in the programs. Because that is not what they are. A chase scene in a movie does not make it NASCAR. Chase scenes in movies rarely require helments either, since they never leave the studio. This is entertainment. Frankly, I like to hold the art of professional magic to a higher plain than novelty shop showmanship. Both are fun but only one is really magic.

Not all magicians use wands. It is a matter of choice and fit for magicians. It is certainly not required of non-magicians. I never saw Madonna use one either.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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Cad
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If it's small kids you're performing for a collapsable 'comedy' wand would go down well. A guy I work with used to swear by his. The other advice he gave me was to avoid, for the most part, doing card effects as kids don't relate to them in the same way as adults (apart from effects like the card thrown in the bin (back-palmed) and plucked from mid-air).
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