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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Powers of Darkness - Mike Caveney (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of trainerjep
i got this from him around 18 years ago at a lecture, just the notes.
no video, the hangers are great!
It's not the size of the wand,
but the magic in it !
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Houston, TX
7 Posts

Profile of hmmagic
There is a great and practical version of this trick in Karl Fulves "Self-Working Paper Magic" called "The Pendragon Rings"...
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Minneapolis/St. Paul
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Profile of TheAmazingGuy
I have the Caveney version of POD and can attest that it's a great routine! I just did it in a special spot in Bristol, UK at the Illusions Magic bar for their Halloween party. The only thing I would wish to improve is that I wish that there was a moment at the end where the spectator on stage is fooled AND the audience is fooled. Any ideas?
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Inner circle
3772 Posts

Profile of twistedace
I saw a guy perform this at Abbott's Get Together outside of the Legion at like 1 am for a bunch of people on the street and it had the crowd roaring with laughter. I loved the trick and still do. I don't perform it, but it's really great!
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Profile of Stefan
Don't forget "Powers of Darkness" by Corinda came from Hereward Carrington's "Matter through matter" publsihed in 1907 in More tricks of the Spiritualists" also in one of Carrington's magic books and also as an article in one of the Open court books.

- Stefan
Dick Christian
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Northern Virginia (Metro DC)
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Profile of Dick Christian
On 2003-05-09 14:03, Fabius wrote:
Yes, I agree with the comments!
I love POWER OF DARKNESS - but I think Mike could sell the skript only for less money.

Sounds like a good idea, but selling the script only would simply result in even more inept performances. Something already far to prevalent in magic. At least by including the hangars, detailed analysis of the routine and video of the proper performance may tend to reduce the number of bad performances, but it is wishful thinking to assume that even that will eliminate the problem.

BTW, it could be said that POD is one of the earliest examples of the use of dual reality in magic or mentalism.
Dick Christian
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Profile of RCLmagic
Mark Hurst, of, holds a marvelous conference each year called GEL (for "good experience live") in which experts from many fields gather to discuss and dissect various aspects of providing the user (or customer, or spectator) with a good user experience.

At last year's (GEL 2009) conference, one of the lecturers was Jamy Ian Swiss, whose topic was "empathy", or how you the businessman (or magician) must use the Theory of Mind to get inside your user's head if you are to be able to create a good experience for that user.

In this video from that conference
<>, he concludes his lecture with Caveney's Powers of Darkness Come Out of the Closet. If you can't make it through the whole video (whereby you will miss the point of his talk), you can at least watch the complete presentation of PODCOC and try to empathize with the magic that is experienced by his volunteer.

Years ago, I made up a pair of coat hangers* and performed this several times at parties. Like Mr Swiss, I used Caveney's scripted words almost verbatim. Although the volunteer always was amazed, I wondered if the audience could really appreciate (empathize) sufficiently to enjoy also, albeit it in their own way.

* They were painted orange for visibility. My wife sewed the nice blue bag I designed for carrying them; the bag included a separate inner bag to keep the two hangers from "talking" -- the spectator should never suspect that there's more than one.
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Profile of benrl
I believe Magic Inc still sells Powers of Darkness- rings and instructions.

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Seattle, WA
197 Posts

Profile of evanthx
I just looked, you can get Powers of Darkness from Mike Caveney directly:
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Profile of shomemagic
Mike had this in a little booklet called " Ideas " I had a hard time finding it but worth looking for.

Mike King - Sho-Me Magic

You can e-mail me at:
lou serrano
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Los Angeles, CA
670 Posts

Profile of lou serrano
I just attended a two-day business seminar called Power2Passion put on by Joel Bauer. He did a masterful version of Powers of Darkness. After seeing the routine again live, I was reminded of the power it has on a lay audience. In the right hands this routine is awesome!

Lou Serrano
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The UK, Portsmouth
2574 Posts

Profile of Sealegs
I've always wondered what % of the audience don't get what's going on when watching this routine and find themselves unable to piece together what they are seeing with what the spectator is experiencing.

Obviously this will depend on the performer and the crowd so I'm thinking in general terms.

I saw Mike Caveney doing this routine some years ago and really enjoyed it. It was the 1st time I'd seen it performed. A friend who was with me had absolutely no idea what was going on or was supposed to be going on. So, in our 2 person audience within an audience, there were more there than just the 2 of us watching, 50% didn't get.

I've seen this performed since then and on that occasion I'm convinced that the participating spectator had no idea what the effects were they were supposed to be experiencing. Spectators put in the unusual position of being on stage often lose the ability to process information as readily as they would be able to normally. To then get them to close their eyes can remove more than just their sense of vision

My friends experience of not getting it has certainly put me off using this routine even though I still really like the idea of it and enjoyed watching it being performed.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
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Profile of Bob_Hummer
As a comparison I use to do a similar thing where I blindfold a child and lift her up and put her on a bench or something, and then I guide her to slowly walk forward and do different stunts like standing on one leg etc. I assume you all know how it ends. Strangely, everyone, even the children, seem to understand the point of the trick, and enjoy it.

Sorry to dig up an old thread. But does anyone have a reference to the stunt above involving a child that is blindfolded? I consider myself very well read on magic and have never come across this.

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Profile of Woodfield
Please don't.
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