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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Fast & Loose ideas (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

CSStanton
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Here's the thing - I have all of the Fast & loose moves down, but no routine. What do you people do with the F&L? How do your perform so that the spectator doesn't feel so 'used'? When I recently saw Whit perform, he did a great job. The only thing is - it was for a magician-audience. The lecture notes on F&L have a lot of good ideas, but none seem to fit my style.
During Chef Anton's last part, he has both people put a finger in each loop and he starts to pull - makes someone pull out if they think they'll loose. When I do this, both stay in and I can't get them to 'drop out'. Any ideas to force this a little easier?
What does your routine look like?

Thanks for your help
-Casey
Jim Wilder
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I have a routine that is devised with a partner, as to take the heat off the spectator. Therefore, there is a two person bit with the audience member calling the loop for my partner to choose. Of course, he gets the wrong loop and the attention is focused between how I am taking my partner's money, and not that the spectator chose incorrectly.

However, when I work it alone, I sell it as a demonstration of "careful selection." Never allow the spectator to win, but do so with charm.
Leeman
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During Chef Anton's last part, he has both people put a finger in each loop and he starts to pull - makes someone pull out if they think they'll loose. When I do this, both stay in and I can't get them to 'drop out'. Any ideas to force this a little easier?

This is in Whit's routine. I use Chef's routine in which one spectator(perferably a female) always win and another always loses.

How about saying to one of the specators "you know your going to lose" and hopefully he/she will remover their finger and you can show that they would have won.
CSStanton
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Good idea. I will try that out.

Sorry for the Whit/Chef confusion.

-Casey
Ron Reid
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Hi Casey:

I like the Whit/Chef tape better, but another source you might consider is Marc deSouza's "Chain Gang" video. His routine is more of a history of con games theme, which may be what you're after.

I personally like the "challenge" aspect of the Whit Haydn routine - especially since you're using your own money. I think it creates a lot of interest. But the deSouza tape/routine is very good too. I just like Whit's better.

Ron
drwilson
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Casey,

I have done this a lot and have settled into a routine that addresses some of your concerns.

First, you get better at picking the people. I have found the very best choice (for me) is two kids. They love the attention, their parents think it's hilarious. Plus, just before you start, you say to the kid, "You're 21, right?"

Sometimes they say yes and that's funny, if they say no sometimes the parent says yes, that's funny too.

The worst choice (for me) is mature men. If they are older than I am, or look older than I am, they just don't like getting beaten by a fast-talking whippersnapper. Sometimes I can pick out one of these guys who is a sport, they are laughing at everything else beforehand, they are in a good humor, whatever.

Second, what are we playing for? I use really fake-looking play money, hundred dollar bills, counting it out very seriously. "That's one hundred, two hundred, three hundred dollars for you sir."

For my character, everyone is sir or ma'am. This is funny with a seven-year-old who can barely reach the top of my table.

I like the play money because on the street or at a fair, the temptation to run off with real cash is so great. I love Whit's performance on the tape. There he is in a tux, the money is real, but those folks aren't going to get up from their little table and bolt. Whit is such a charmer that it must not be that bad to have $300 melt away like ice in front of you when he's doing the shearing. There's the implication that he trusts the victims to play fair even though he isn't. My character is played pretty broadly and my costume is outrageous, so for me it's best to keep it on the fantasy level. I'm just not as charming as Whit!

Third, before you actually start playing for money, you explain why they don't really have a fifty-fifty chance against you. Part of my script here is:

"I can read your body language and tell which side you're going to pick before I lay down the chain. I set it up so that that's the losing side. If that fails, I'll use verbal manipulation - notice how I never stop talking - I'm going to bat your minds around like a feather in a tornado and clean you both out of three hundred dollars. But that's OK, right? It's just play money, we're all having fun here."

I wait until they both agree that it's OK for me to clean them out for play money.

When the first person loses, I say "Unfortunately, you seem to have chosen incorrectly."

If they changed their mind at my suggestion, I say, "You see, you're far too trusting. You shouldn't listen to the fast-talking man in the top hat when your money is on the table. That's an education. And of course, (picking up the bill) education requires tuition (I sometimes kiss the bill as I put it back in my pocket)". The con man is dishonest and greedy, the player is nice!

If they didn't change their mind, I say, "I suggested that you change your mind because when people choose incorrectly the first time, they think it's not a fair game. But it is, it's absolutely fair. I can hardly blame you though. I wouldn't listen to the fast-talking man in the top hat and frock coat either."

I think it's very important to really soften it for the first person's first loss. You can pick up the pace a bit for later trials, but this time, you are setting up your relationship to the players and the audience.

I have found that having two different people play the come-on when you pull the chain and have one pull out slows things down. On the street I'd get two stubborn people and everything would come to a dead stop. Now I let one person use two fingers and have them pull out one finger. The other player gets the pick it, change your mind, call it fast or loose come-on.

When you clean someone out, ask everyone to give them a hand for being a good sport. Same for the other player. This gets their applause muscles lubricated.

A hat line here (if you are working a pitch) is: "Ladies and Gentlemen, your generous financial support keeps me from doing this to people in bars for real money and going to jail. Please keep me a free and honest man!"

Of course the best advice here is to think about these things, as you are doing, then get out there and screw up. Boy, does that ever hurt! Makes you smart though, and you will come up with your own lines.

Break a leg!

Yours,

Paul
Ron Reid
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Very good ideas and tips, Paul. Thanks!

Ron
Todd Robbins
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I do a multi-phase routine. I try to always use a woman and I am as kind as I can be to her.

I take the chain out of a small gozinta box. I speil about the history of the scam. I then ask them how observant they are. I ask them whether the red box was inside the blue box or the other way around. Whatever they say, I congratulate them and then put the box together in the opposite way.

I lay out the chain in the flower pattern. This gives them a one in three chance of being right, or so they think. I lay down twenty bucks because, "I want you to feel like a winner." They lose.

I make the figure eight so it's easier to win (sure it is). I let the twenty ride and add another twenty because, "I want you to feel like a winner." They lose.

I reset the figure eight and ask them to pick a chain to pull after they choose a side. I let the forty ride and add a twenty because, "I want you to feel like a winner." They lose.

I reset the figure eight and ask them to pick the side that loses. I let the sixty ride and add another twenty because, "I want you to feel like a winner." The chain now catches, so they lose.

I reset the figure eight and do the two finger scam with the person lifting the finger on the side that loses. I let the eighty ride, add another twenty because you know why. They lose.

I make the single loop figure Johnny Thompson taught me. It's on his classics of magic video. I show that there in no way they can lose because there in only one place to put your finger. I let the hundred bucks ride and add another hundred to the pot because I want them to feel like a winner. They lose.

I pick up the money and put it away. I put the chain over my head and do the Okito Rope Thru Neck move that is in Tarbell. As I set this up I say, "I guess this goes to show that if someone comes up to you and offers you the wager of a lifetime...don't bet on it." On the last part I pull the chain through the neck. It works as an applause point and brings the routine to a close.
A.J.
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Todd...what a well structured and thought-out routine. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I also think your opening idea with the Gozinta box and your ending idea with the chain-thru-neck are pure genius.

Thanks,
A.J.
CSStanton
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Very very good ideas. Thank you all for your help!


-Casey
Whit Haydn
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Hi, guys. In my routine, the two spectators place their fingers in opposite loops only when one is down money wise. I ask the one with less money to bet first, if he is willing, I ask the second to double the bet. If the second refuses, he has to remove his finger. If he bets, the first spectator has to raise again or back out. This way, one is always forced out, because the other has more money.
CSStanton
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Whit - all I can say is 'smooth'. Thanks for the tip.

Also, your performance at the Motor City Closeup in Taylor, MI was really awesome.
jynxtattoo
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Hey Whit,
I've got the Fast and Loose DVD and the chain from y'all. I bought it because I love hustling tricks. It's a kool trick but it just doesn't seem like a real street hustle. I don't know, am I missing something? It just seems like a kids puzzle. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but have you got any tips on how to put some "street" into it? I just feel like a dork when I try to perform it, not like monte or shells. I love those and I just ordered your thimble rigs...cant wait to get those in....but d**n, help me make the fast and loose more......"cool"...
drwilson
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Jynxtattoo,

I know you're asking Whit, and I'd love to see what he says, but all street hustles are the same. They think that they can get something for nothing, they think that they are smarter than other people, the usual. You bait the hook, they take the bait, you get the money.

Look at the Monte book from SfS for some insight into the psychology. If you treat it like Monte, you'd let them see a pattern - when you throw with your right hand it's always the left side that wins and vice versa, for example. Perhaps you have shills to set this up.

You also seem to be asking about how you can look cool playing with a loop of chain. What's cool about cards, bottle caps, thimbles, or walnut shells? The props are arbitrary. The "street" is in your character. This hustle has worked for maybe 400 years, if we go back to the variant with the belt. If you think that it looks like a kid's game, use that to your advantage. If that's what it looks like to a mark, how hard could it be for them to figure it out? What if you found a couple of guys on the street playing Tiddly Winks for big cash? Doesn't it seem that you would have a decent chance against them? I mean, come on, it's just a dumb kid's game, nothing to it!

Go get 'em -- for entertainment purposes only, of course.

Yours,

Paul
Pete Biro
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I'll tell you it is a street hustle. I had an acquaintance, a Chinese man from Hong Kong who owned two Casinos in Macau. I was doing some card magic and he grabbed the cards and started doing 3-Card Monte and ACTUALLY taking the money from his friends!

The restaurant manager came over and said "put the cards away" -- so what did he do?

He took off his belt and used it for fast and loose, still taking money!
He used that on the streets when he was a kid.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Kenardo1
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Here are some thoughts to ponder:
1. You must explain the rules of the game quickly and clearly while still entertaining.
2. You must convince the assistant that the game is fair and he/she can win.
3. You must not make the assistant feel stupid while he/she is constantly losing.
4. You must entertain the entire audience while fleecing the assistant.
4. You must have an entertaining ending so the routine does not fall flat.
I have done this routine successfully for years but I had to come up with solutions to these questions to make it so.
Good luck.
magicsoup
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I've had the idea (though I've never tried it) of using a turntable. For the figure 8 it would work. Set it down and give it a spin. What do you think?
Pete Biro
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Try it. How else can you find out?

I finish by coiling up the chain in my left hand on top of a small 6-inch loop that I snuck into my hand... then I say, "Let me do it one more time" uncoil and layout... I can't show you my layout here, but read on and you should figure it out.

I do a layout where I keep MY finger in a loop (actually in the small piece I added) and tell them, "You can't miss if you put your finger next to mine."

I then pull the long chain away and they are left with their finger in a small, separate loop.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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