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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Does anyone make decent quality change bags anymore?! (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sirbrad
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Yeah which also contradicts the advice of keeping your silks ironed and neat for presentation, so which is it? I take care of my stuff really well and I have neat silks and old silks bunched up from when I was a kid. But I never heard anyone say anything either way. Most look at the big picture regardless and do not nitpick fine details, only other disgruntled magicians looking to be critics because they are the best magician on the world and everyone else sucks. They are the only ones over-analyzing every prop, word, and move. But even most magicians do not do that. I try not to watch magic with a critical eye but more so as a layman so I can enjoy the show. The only time I am critical while watching magic is when I am buying it.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
George Ledo
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Quote:
On Jun 26, 2019, sirbrad wrote:
Yeah which also contradicts the advice of keeping your silks ironed and neat for presentation, so which is it?

It's in the context. A performer doing an "elegant" act would have the silks ironed and neat, while a comedian or clown act, or a character act, could very well have them crumpled up.

When I was doing my cards-and-doves act a million years ago, all my silks were white 27-inchers, washed and pressed before each show. I felt they were more in context with my persona and my act than a bunch of colored ones. And, for me, it made more sense, visually, to produce a white dove from a white silk than from a green or red one just because that's what everyone else was doing. But then again, I was spending a lot of time studying top professional performers (not just magicians) to see what they were doing and how they were doing it.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

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sirbrad
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Yeah but again the context is only recognized by other magicians who think about it all the time. Structured themes and colors work well, but are still not necessary to have a great magic act. A white dove coming from a green silk can still be magical and amazing, and I highly doubt any layman would wonder why a silk was green and the dove was white. They are just amazed that a dove appeared from a silk period, they never question the color. In fact one could argue that the green silk provides better contrast to see the white dove better, even better yet with a black silk.

Some could think that the dove was more easily concealed in the white silk that is why they did not see it. But are they thinking any of that stuff? Highly doubtful, only we are. It is "magic" and there are no rules in magic except the ones that we set on ourselves. Everything does not need to "make sense" or be logical, because magic in itself it neither.

I was always a "routine" guy and OCD when it came to having perfectly structured routines and patter, everything must match, make sense, flow together, use all props logically etc. But after many years in the trenches I found out that is just not necessary. I can do a card trick, then a coin trick, then a rope trick and the reactions are still the same, nothing has to flow or blend or have anything to do with each other. It may be slightly more entertaining but not necessary to amaze and entertain.

So in the end it is simply personal preference and style, nothing is a universal law in magic. So that is why I have done it all and still do it all, based on my own personal preferences and tastes from has worked for me and my audiences for so long.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Jun 26, 2019, sirbrad wrote:
Yeah but again the context is only recognized by other magicians who think about it all the time. Structured themes and colors work well, but are still not necessary to have a great magic act. A white dove coming from a green silk can still be magical and amazing, and I highly doubt any layman would wonder why a silk was green and the dove was white. They are just amazed that a dove appeared from a silk period, they never question the color. In fact one could argue that the green silk provides better contrast to see the white dove better, even better yet with a black silk.

Some could think that the dove was more easily concealed in the white silk that is why they did not see it. But are they thinking any of that stuff? Highly doubtful, only we are. It is "magic" and there are no rules in magic except the ones that we set on ourselves. Everything does not need to "make sense" or be logical, because magic in itself it neither.

I was always a "routine" guy and OCD when it came to having perfectly structured routines and patter, everything must match, make sense, flow together, use all props logically etc. But after many years in the trenches I found out that is just not necessary. I can do a card trick, then a coin trick, then a rope trick and the reactions are still the same, nothing has to flow or blend or have anything to do with each other. It may be slightly more entertaining but not necessary to amaze and entertain.

So in the end it is simply personal preference and style, nothing is a universal law in magic. So that is why I have done it all and still do it all, based on my own personal preferences and tastes from has worked for me and my audiences for so long.


This may work for you, but I think it is not good advice for most, and certainly not for an artist. It is a route to mediocrity in my opinion.
Dick Oslund
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Yeah Pop! I agree 100% with you and George! --plus, I've already expressed my opinion about props like "red velvet bags on a stick, AND, BUYING MAGIC.......
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George Ledo
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This thread got me thinking about how I would use a change bag IF I were to use one. I would start with the idea that it's an old collection bag from a small church.

First I would replace the short handle with a longer one, say three feet or so, and I would "distress" it to look like it had been used for many years. Then I would get rid of the tassel (maybe cut it like it had raveled and someone just cut it). Finally I would take some sandpaper and diluted tea lightly to the velvet, to give it an aged look. If the rim is bright and shiny, I would rough it up a bit. With it so disguised, I wouldn't have a problem saying it came from someone's grandfather's attic, and that he used to be a preacher or sexton somewhere.

This is what we do with props in theatre, TV, the movies, and other forms of entertainment. It's worked for many years and presents a unified, professional appearance.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
sirbrad
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On Jul 2, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
This may work for you, but I think it is not good advice for most, and certainly not for an artist. It is a route to mediocrity in my opinion.


I don't think so, art is like magic in itself it is the freedom of expression. There are no set and defined rules except those that you make for yourself. It is just another way. I do what works for me and my audiences based on my own long-term experience not what other magicians do or say to do. Like art everyone is different and unique. Also I never said what I do, I said that I have done a wide variety of experimentation and the results are almost always the same in the end.

As long as the effect and routine are strong and entertaining the rest is just style and presentation. It is all a matter of personal style and preference, so you can't really say your way is more artistic or better than another way, it is just a different way. You can use old time tested methods or you can add your own touch to them also. Art is freedom of expression period, so you do what works for you and your personal style. But it does not necessarily make it the "best" way for everyone else either.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Wizard of Oz
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I have a very simple green corduroy change bag with a black satin lining. No handle, just a drawstring, which by pulling the bag closed and spreading it back open one can get to the secreted area very easily.

Using a simple bag like this, I think it could be fun to have an entire change bag routine. And I mean that quite literally. A change bag is put into another change bag, and changes. Then that change bag is put back into the other bag, and both are placed into a larger bag...and pulled out to reveal both have changed...or the outer bag is unchanged, but the inner bag is different. Of course, realize flat bags like these can be gimmicked for more than one change, so endless chaos can ensue.

Anyway, just a quick riff off the top of my head. Has anyone ever done this kind of routine? It's probably totally impractical as I would imagine the bags may not look empty.
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FrankFindley
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Interesting discussion.

Even back in the late 1800s they didn't know what the change bag was supposed to be. Hardin described it in a 1899 issue of Mahatma by comparing it to a butterfly net:

THE PLUSH BAG.
This is a piece of apparatus but little known, and to my thinking, a most valuable adjunct to the magician's outfit. It has a very mysterious effect when properly employed, and the secret is hard to detect. In appearance it resembles exactly a butterfly net, save that the net part is made of red plush. The interior is lined with black silk, and the wooden handle is about a foot in length...[clipped to protect secret]...The bag may be turned inside out, at pleasure, and examination will not disclose the...[clipped to protect secret]...A very pretty way to use the bag is to bring forward several long strips of different colored ribbons, and request the audience to tie them up into a bunch of knots, and then place them in the bag, which you hold at arms length by its handle. At your request the ribbons are taken out again, when they will be found to be united...[clipped to protect secret]... The bag may be used in many effective combinations.


If used as a production device it can be effective. A change routine at start gives impression of an empty bag setting up for a surprise effect. It isn't as powerful as other 'bare' approaches, but can be entertaining. Here is an example from Woody Pittman (RIP):

Dick Oslund
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On Nov 27, 2018, Montbeliard wrote:
Usually an adult close up kinda guy but looking to do some children’s magic now my own daughter is old enough. I bought lovely change bag from an Indian magic store a long time ago but stupidly sold it as I wasn’t doing kids’ stuff. Now I want one again, but essentially there’s one change bag for sale, with a plastic handle! Who wants a plastic handle?!

I know some folk don’t like change bags but for children they’re perfect - I don’t care if it looks like a prop, I just want it to look like a lovely, mystical, quality prop rather than a cheap bit of plastic. The sort of thing you could credibly claim was owned by your great grandfather and you found it in a dusty attic or something.

I’m UK based but will send abroad for it if I have to! Thanks.


I find your OP "interesting". Why are you looking for a PROP that will "change" (that's what it is called!) "something" when you apparently don't even have a trick which requires that "something" be changed???

Magic suffers from this sort of thinking!!! (Some call it, "falling in love with a prop".)

To present a magic show (unless you are a mind reader) props are needed. But, a wise magician does not make or buy props, unless he knows a trick that needs them.

Children today have cell phones! They are not stupid. They KNOW that, if they had that tricky looking bag, they could "change" something, too.

I have entertained children for over 50 years, with GENERIC props, like silks, rope, golf balls. a tin can with a few silver dollars. etc.
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Dick Oslund
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On Jun 26, 2019, thomasR wrote:
I firmly believe that details matter. But it seems like you are trying to judge details, more than looking for things that truly matter.
But I’d have to know specifics to make that call. We may totally agree.

But “finding something in an attic” doesn’t mean that item needs to look old and worn.


The devil is in the details.
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George Ledo
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So many of the threads here in the Café seem to assume that all who perform magic do it for the same type of audience, or that what works for one performer works for all of them. Not so. What works for a kid show may not work for a grown-up show, and vice versa. Or what works for a Fourth of July picnic may not work for a "high society" party. Or what works in Branson may not work in Vegas.

But the one constant is the audience response: the applause. There's polite applause and there's genuine applause. And then there's genuine applause with vocalizations. When I first started performing, I didn't know the difference; I thought the applause meant I was knockin' em over. It was polite applause but I didn't know it: I was hearing what I wanted to hear. It took years and a lot of studying other performers (not just magic acts) to begin to see the difference. Eventually, with my cards-and-doves act (and all the details), I began to get genuine applause with vocalizations, and lots of positive comments afterwards. That's when I learned the difference.

And when I learned what worked for me and for the audiences I was playing to.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
garymey
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I have two change bags (no tassels) that were given to me by my grandfather 60 years ago. They are still in perfect condition. The routine I developed way back and just did at our magic club as a lead-in to a teach-in for ways to use a Svengali decks uses the bags as a way to transport a chosen card wrapped in a silk from one side of the stage to another except only the silk makes it--the routine goes on using other standard props. http://www.oaklandmagiccircle.com/wordpr......n-video/ Depending on the kind of show one does, colorful magic props can be just fine. It is the ugly or worn old ones that bother me when they are being passed off as part of a fresh act. As collectibles they are a different matter. As others have said there are many kinds of ways of doing magic. If I am doing impromptu I don't want "magic props" but everyday objects. But if I am asked to do a magic show I think some mysterious, flashy items can be fine. And aren't packet tricks where you keep pulling different plastic wallets with different sets of cards pretty obviously gimmicked magic props?
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