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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Thumb Tips at the Dollar store. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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AaronTheMagician
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Quote:
On 2004-06-23 22:47, Bill Palmer wrote:


Interestingly enough, her explanation started, "I'm a clown and I know how these things operate."


There are more things wrong with that statement than I care to go into.
But I will delve into one: Clowns should not do magic. Clowns are clowns, and magicians are magicians. There. (I'm slightly racist towards clowns...my apologies...)

Anyway, Not only did Mike Ammar do some fun work with it, but Salvano (God rest his soul) was spending a visit with my mentor (Ron D. Wilson) and Dan Strange many many years ago, and was actually using a thumbtip painted in bright orange. He floored them. Absolutely floored them.
Hearing this story was valuable...key points to be learned:

1. A proper handling and care of timing can hide anything.
2. Anyone can be fooled. No one wants to be tricked. Everyone wants to be entertained.

Also, as I mentioned in another post, a great PERFECT routine for dousing hecklers who think they know about a Thumb Tip is Tom Burgoon's "Ditching the Thumb Tip" from his lecture notes (#1 I believe...). Not only is it a heckler stopper, but it's one of the funniest routines you could do. Tom opens many of his shows with it. I've tried it once or twice and gotten exactly the reactions I'd hoped for. The notes are cheap, and are a great investment for such a strong effect (as well as any others). They are available from his website tomburgoon.com .

Well, as Mr. Toast would say, there's my $0.02.
DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2004-03-08 18:52, Rob Johnston wrote:
Well...I just got back from a local rinky-dink dollar store. Yep...they had thumb tips. Can't go wrong with getting these for a dollar. But...it is too bad it is so cheap and openly available to the public.

I think this is one of the most exposed tricks ever.

So I guess, you just have to use caution with what tricks you do with this. And perform it so no one would suspect such things.


The instruction sheet that comes with it probably shows how to vanish a silk or a cigaret and that's all, I think most lay people, even if they are aware of the TT, only think of it for the one trick they know, they don't realize all the things you can do with it.
Pick up a copy of Milbourne Christopher's "50 Tricks with a TT", lots of stuff here that will even fool other magicians, and it will get you thinking of a hundred more.
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kenjones
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A cute TT story...
About 4 years ago I taught my then 5 year old daughter a silk vanish with a TT. I taught her simple, classic moves and we scripted some misdirection into our byplay to allow her time to sleal and ditch. The real problems were finding a TT and silk small enough to fit. The small silk wasn't too hard, but the TT was a challenge. We eventually used a finger tip that fit her little thumb perfectly. She performed for a room full of 60+ year old magicians at the local SAM meeting. You could see the old timers in the bunch beaming with pride to see a 5 year old doing classic manipulation. I heard one man chuckle, "I didn't know they made them that small". Her technique was good and it did not tip the secret.
The take home to me was that she performed in front of a large group of magicians who all knew exactly what she was doing. It was probably the most entertaining presentation of the evening because of the message behind the magic - A father passing something important on to his daughter.
Forget the secrets and the props and all that crap... create a really entertaining magical experience and that stuff won't matter. You will never reach those bullheaded hecklers. Personally, I don't care about them; I am not performing for them.
It was a great night by the way; I have seldom been so proud.
Have something to say in your magic. It is rare, interesting and your audiences will thank you for it.
mentalskeptic
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I think its great that they are so widely available, since theyre disguised by being out in the open.

GK Chesterton has this great line in The Man Who Was Thursday. It goes something like "sometimes the greatest disguise is pretending to be exactly what you are" -- meaning that no one would suspect your use of the TT for the devastating things you might put it to use for (Klause or other switch, mentalism routines, etc). And their prevalence should keep you from doing any typical magic with it.
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2006-12-28 13:46, AaronTheMagician wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-06-23 22:47, Bill Palmer wrote:


Interestingly enough, her explanation started, "I'm a clown and I know how these things operate."


There are more things wrong with that statement than I care to go into.
But I will delve into one: Clowns should not do magic. Clowns are clowns, and magicians are magicians. There. (I'm slightly racist towards clowns...my apologies...)

Anyway, Not only did Mike Ammar do some fun work with it, but Salvano (God rest his soul) was spending a visit with my mentor (Ron D. Wilson) and Dan Strange many many years ago, and was actually using a thumbtip painted in bright orange. He floored them. Absolutely floored them.
Hearing this story was valuable...key points to be learned:

1. A proper handling and care of timing can hide anything.
2. Anyone can be fooled. No one wants to be tricked. Everyone wants to be entertained.

Also, as I mentioned in another post, a great PERFECT routine for dousing hecklers who think they know about a Thumb Tip is Tom Burgoon's "Ditching the Thumb Tip" from his lecture notes (#1 I believe...). Not only is it a heckler stopper, but it's one of the funniest routines you could do. Tom opens many of his shows with it. I've tried it once or twice and gotten exactly the reactions I'd hoped for. The notes are cheap, and are a great investment for such a strong effect (as well as any others). They are available from his website tomburgoon.com .

Well, as Mr. Toast would say, there's my $0.02.


I agree completely about clowns. Clowns should stick to entertaining at birthday parties. But being anti-clown is not racist. Clown is not a race. Clown is a state of being that someone actually has to work at to attain. There are a few exceptions. The really great clowns are something else.

Actually, I think what you and I both dislike are what real clowns call "painted faces." These are people who resemble clowns and may actually know how to do a pratfall and make balloon animals. But they are none of the things a great clown is.

When I was demonstrating the TT at Howard's fun shop, long before the Vernet items became available, I always used one that had no paint on it. That way, when someone came back and claimed that it was the wrong color, I could show them the one I had used.
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DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2007-01-03 01:02, Bill Palmer wrote:
When I was demonstrating the TT at Howard's fun shop, long before the Vernet items became available, I always used one that had no paint on it. That way, when someone came back and claimed that it was the wrong color, I could show them the one I had used.

Phil Thomas, the Baltimore Magic dealer, used to do the same thing with a fire-engine red TT, and apparently Al Baker also used a bare metal TT for the same purpose.
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mentalskeptic
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Quote:
On 2006-12-28 13:46, AaronTheMagician wrote:
Clowns should not do magic. Clowns are clowns, and magicians are magicians. There. (I'm slightly racist towards clowns...my apologies...)


Would you all agree that no clown has ever done magic that any serious magician would ever do? I mean, even clowns don't really consider clown magic to rise to the heights, do they? Or am I just showing my bias here.
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
Bill Palmer
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No. I have known two or three clowns who did more than just competent magic.

The late Ralph Ehntholt, who performed for years in our area as No-no the clown did some really excellent magic.

Marshall Brodien, who performed as clown magician Wizzo the Clown on the Bozo show in Chicago also had/has a successful career as a corporate magician. Lanny Kibbey, who was a clown is also a reasonably successful illusionist and illusion builder.

Granted, they did not perform their best material while in clown makeup. But they did/do good magic.

So, I would say that you are showing your bias. This is understandable, though. There are so many bad clown magicians.

I'm not sure why this is. Maybe they don't think that it's important enough to do it well. Maybe they think the makeup covers more than a lack of other talent. Ringling Clowns are an exception. They do have to have talent.

Many people come into magic as a way of covering up a character flaw. Some come in because they have inferiority complexes. They feel that by fooling people, they are showing some kind of superiority. Imagine why someone would want to do that in clown makeup. That may answer a lot of questions.
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mentalskeptic
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Bill: I can imagine clowns of the world uniting against you. Funny and thought-provoking post. D.J.
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
Bill Palmer
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When I was a kid there were ads in various magazines that said "Be the life of the party!" And the illustration showed people doing magic tricks. They were similar to the ads that said "They laughed when I sat down to play the piano."

Let's face it. Some people become entertainers because they think it will make people like them. Then they call volunteers up on the stage and do the clean hand gag. Or the bra trick.

There was a guy in our local magic club -- I've posted about him before -- who used to go nightclubbing wearing a pressed felt top hat, a satin cape from a kid's Hallowe'en costume, and a long sleeved white shirt and bow tie. (He also wore trousers, but that didn't help). If he caught your eye, he would produce a half dollar or an appearing cane. Then he would look at you as if seeking approval. He used to haunt placese my band played.

He got thrown out of all of them. The other customers didn't like it at all.

Imagine if he'd taken up clowning.
"The Swatter"

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mentalskeptic
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I think there's something to tease out of your comments about mentalists as well, and the gnosticism of mentalism even moreso than of magic. A certain succulent elitism for some, maybe stemming from some of the same human dynamics. Worth thinking about more. I think I should dig out and read Lionel Tiger's Men In Groups before I do.
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
Bill Palmer
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There's a kind of bipolar elitism between mentalists and magicians. Some magicians think that mentalism is the last refuge for the lame and halt. Some mentalists think that all magicians do is a lot of useless finger flinging. The real truth lies somewhere in the middle, as it usually does.

When he was in his 80's Punx could still do a one-handed shuffle and several major card sleights without difficulty. His billet work was flawless. You couldn't see anything that looked out of place, because it was perfectly natural.

For me, that's the way magic should be -- natural.
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DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2007-01-03 23:59, Bill Palmer wrote:

Imagine if he'd taken up clowning.




Actually Bill, it sounds like he did!
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stoneunhinged
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As someone who's just getting his feet wet, I might have an interesting perspective for you pros.

I had seen those TTs both at Stuckey's and five and dime stores as a child, and never thought twice about them.

At the same time, when I started to (try) learning card magic about a year ago, I started reading this forum. A "TT" meant nothing to me, and I didn't even try to figure it out. It wasn't it Royal Road or even Mark Wilson's book.

SO...a few months ago someone told me about a "funny" magic video where a woman keeps disappearing a hanky while stripping. I looked it up. I watched the video two or three times, and applied a bit of logic.

Only then did I think about Stuckey's and the five and dime stores.

Do with this story as you wish, but it tells ME two things:

1) I never thought about TTs while watching magic, even though I had seen them in stores. Indeed, I only figured it out a few months ago--at the age of 43, and having taking up an expressed interest in magic.

2) That silly woman's routine--at least for people who think logically--is a double exposure.

Gruss,
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Bill Palmer
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It all depends on what you are "exposed" to. If the only tool you have is a hammer, all your problems look like various types of nail.
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magicmind
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2) That silly woman's routine--at least for people who think logically--is a double exposure.

funny, we where talking about this video at the local club meeting last night...found the old link today....no longer works :S
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Bill Palmer
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Just google her name and it will show up.
"The Swatter"

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TWOCAN
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Quote:
On Mar 8, 2004, Rob Johnston wrote:
Well...I just got back from a local rinky-dink dollar store. Yep...they had thumb tips. Can't go wrong with getting these for a dollar. But...it is too bad it is so cheap and openly available to the public.

I think this is one of the most exposed tricks ever.

So I guess, you just have to use caution with what tricks you do with this. And perform it so no one would suspect such things.


Even though its been exposed for a long time, as long as no one xees it and you can disppse it in a natural way ,then it stil fools people. What they cant see wont hurt you.
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Bill Palmer
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One thing that I need to emphasize here is that some of the posters here refer to the TT as a "trick." It's not a trick. It's a tool.

There's a huge difference.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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