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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » Spice up your Hopping Halves (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jimisolo
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League City, TX
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Ok, I got into a discussion on another thread and offered up this alternative, which was surprisingly met with some very positive feedback. So I thought I'd put it out there for all to consider and offer feedback on.

First of all, let me start with why I wanted to change the "packaged presentation" to begin with. Here goes. Smile

After the first few times of performing this effect for specs out in the 'real' world, I soon discovered that it inherently renders a feeling of stupidity on the spec's behalf (moon goes away, what's left - no, both the sun and moon...sun goes away, what's left - no, both the sun and moon...etc.). I absolutely hate the fact that you are basically proving your specs wrong over and over again.

My other big dislike of the 'packaged presentation', would have to do with it being over so quickly. There is virtually NO build up whatsoever. Why SHOULD the specs even care to begin with? They shouldn't, and if you follow the presentation provided with the effect do not be disappointed if they don't.

With these dislikes in mind I set out to reshape the presentation to enhance the effect, while at the same time keeping the spec's perceptions and feelings at the forefront of any of my ideas.

Characters: Half dollar = American apprentice magician
English penny = British master magician

Theme: Apprentice realizes that to be able to take his magical knowledge to the next level he must, not only find a suitable Master to further his training, but also to be able to keep up with the teachings that his Master lays before him. So the Apprentice sets upon a quest to find a suitable Master. He travels the world over before finally being approached by a very kind and elderly Englishman who understands the Apprentice's plight and agrees to take him on as his own apprentice if the Apprentice can pass but a simple test of magical skill.

Phase 1: English penny outer shell to pocket.

So the Master magician visibly places himself into a locked cabinet with no hope for escape, leaving the Apprentice all alone. Yet, when the young Apprentice turns around, he finds his Master standing right behind him.

Phase 2: Half dollar shell to pocket.

The Apprentice nervously steps into the same locked cabinet; unsure of his own ability to duplicate the feat just performed with such ease by the old Master. After many struggles, our young Apprentice does end up managing to appear behind his Master though.

Phase 3: Wrapped (by rubber band) half-dollar to pocket.

The old Master, still somewhat unimpressed by his young protégé’s performance, insists that the Apprentice must repeat this feat of skill much more smoothly if he is to eventually become a Master, himself. This time the Master insists on binding the Apprentice’s hands and feet (I use a small rubber band, and wrap it cross-wise –where you end up with an X across the Half Dollar) before putting him into the cabinet. Yet again, the Apprentice is able to escape his predicament to end up along side the old Master magician.

Phase 4: English penny/Half dollar shell halves to pocket displayed nestled together as just an English penny.

Now, slightly more impressed with the young Apprentice’s tenacity and skill, the old Master magician comes up with one final test to prove that the Apprentice truly has skill and had not simply gotten lucky. So he tells the Apprentice, “Being able to magically escape locked cabinets is but the first step on the long road ahead of you. Doing the impossible while bound is just the second step on the long road to becoming a master. If one truly has natural ability to perform magic, there is no need to even return from the mysterious ether traveled from the cabinet to stand behind each other. For magicians there is no greater place to hone their skills than this magical unknown dimension, so why come back at all.” Upon saying these words the old Master magician promptly stepped into the cabinet for a final time, never to return. However, not only had the young Apprentice heeded the Master’s words well, but this time was actually one step ahead. Finally, the young Apprentice had found a Master, and the Master was more than pleased with his new Apprentice’s abilities. Together they remained out of sight to all but each other and continued their training for many, many, years.


Voila! Hope you like it. If not, please let me know how it could be improved.

BTW - I am currently considering building a mini-vanish box to look like a locking cabinet. This would be used for a final kicker for the specs, and could be used for other effects as well.Smile
rannie
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Inner circle
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That's great rob! Finally an original storyline that doesn't make the spec look stupid. May I use this presentation? I love it.

Congratulations!
rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
Peter Marucci
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Rannie,
One of the great problems with Hopping Halves, and other similar tricks, is that the underlying message is, "Look how clever I am and you aren't!"
That's just plain bad! However, that can be solved with a decent story line.

In my Showtime column of March 2003, in the Linking Ring magazine, I offered my No-gimmick version of Hopping Halves (Same idea, just no shell!). At the end, I gave a couple of ideas for plot lines:

"The story line should follow the coins: An English penny and a U.S. half could tell the story of a girl, Elizabeth, and a boy, Jack, who were separated but he rejoined her; when they were separated again, she joins him – who knows where?
"You could tell the story of a financier who didn’t no whether to put his finances in foreign or domestic money and ends up losing it all.
"Or a half dollar and an Oriental coin could tell the story related to the long-term effects of the Vietnam War. "Or – well, you get the idea.

"I have used a borrowed coin and a Houdini palming coin; he escapes twice and, being a showman, he naturally charges for the act; the third time he and the money vanish."

The nice thing about doing a no-gimmick version is that the coins can be changed. And, more than that, they don't have to be coins in the first place!

If anyone is interested in the routine, just e-mail me and I will gladly send it along to you free and gratis.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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Nice idea for a story. It puts some narrative behind the 'hopping'. Using the gaffs permits some options you can't get easily without using some advanced concealments and transfers. Given the story premise you might want to expand the magic a bit. Again, good idea for the story premise.

Have you seen the original routine for the 'Chinese Bit' ( c/s/b ) ?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
ashah
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Cool. This is why I never bought Hopping Half; the effect was impressive, but I don't find it engaging. I like tricks that engage the audience *and* astonish them. I never thought of using a story. In fact, this idea can be applied elsewhere.

There is the old two card monte with gaffed cards, where you put a card behind your back, but when you bring it back out it appears to be the other one. Similar type of thing there.
amerigo
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Eugene Burger does a similar storyline with a half dollar and a Chinese coin on part three of his Magical Voyages DVD set. It is called Sinology. Jimisolo, I like your idea using the hopping half as I have those coins and was reluctant to buy the coins necessary to do the Burger effect. Thanks Amerigo
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