In my library show this summer (which is actually my school assembly show) I do a bit with handcuffs. The handcuffs are jump cuffs with and additional gimmick that I added.
If you don’t know, jump cuffs you can show that they work, but you can instantly get out of them. They’re 99.9% effective, but there’s still a .01% that something funky could happen. Because of this very small percentage of risk, I keep a set of handcuff keys in my case.
In my routine, the cuffs aren’t part of the escape, they’re a surprise, but I need to get in and out of them quickly. No one knows they’re there until you see them, so the keys never need to be part of the routine like they would if I was escaping from the handcuff and they were the focal point of the routine.
The chances of me not being able to unlock them is insanely low, but keeping the set of keys is insurance. also the keys take up virtually no space in my case, so it’s not a big deal to haul them around.
This is a good example of what can go wrong in a trick and what would you do.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about a set of gimmicked handcuffs I had made a long time about. You can read about them here. The allow you to escape from the cuffs, but they also have another feature that allows you do a thumb tie style effect.
These cuffs have two very different gimmicks in them and I finally got around to making them again!
Essentially these cuffs will be used as a gag in the show. The premise of the trick is a rope escape, however at the end I’ll say I didn’t get out…of the handcuffs. The appearance of the handcuffs will hopefully get a laugh, then I’ll go into the thumb tie bits. I’ve never really done anything like this in the show, so we’ll see how it plays out.
I’ve been playing with adding remote controls to things recently. The company that I get the remote controls for my Remote Control Chattering Teeth had send me the wrong ones a while ago, and instead of sending them back, I decided to keep them in case I needed them for another project.
Here’s the most recent thing that I’ve made:
The idea is that the bell is rung by the corded button. However I can also secretly ring the bell via the remote control.
Some ideas for routines to use this to add comedy to are:
Having someone ring it when a trick happens. This would probably be better for a juggling style trick.
When doing a timed trick, like an escape.
When someone does something. For example, you need a kid to stay standing on a spot, and you if they move someone is supposed to ring the bell.
Those are all routines that you could very easily add the bell into. It’s the sort of thing that can turn a 2 minute trick into a 5 minute trick. For an example of this style of trick, look into my Order Up routine from Vanish Magazine #43. It’s the Cube Libre magic trick, but I added a bell and I used a sound effect on my PA to make the ring, but it played really well.