One of the tricks that I’ve always wanted in my show is a rope trick but I’ve have trouble making them work in my show. I think part of why rope tricks don’t fit is partially my performing style and part trying to find the framework for the trick. I have trouble finding the “why” I’m sharing a rope trick with the audience.
Recently I was playing with Daryl’s Rope Routine and while it’s a great routine for Daryl, it really doesn’t fit me AND one it has a Professor’s Nightmare phase. While I think that Professor’s Nightmare is a good trick, it’s way too overdone and I don’t want visuals that are common in my show. Unfortunately not doing the Professor’s Nightmare phase in Daryl’s Rope Routine cuts the routine in half and the routine lacks something…which is a second half!
A couple of years ago I remember Ken Scott doing a rope routine called Four Nightmares DX at a virtual magic convention. There’s a video of Ken doing it on his website, and here’s the video of it that I could find on YouTube:
What I like about this routine is that it can be done solo onstage, so you don’t need to bring someone onstage to help you like in most cut and restored rope routines. It’s also has a lot of effects that are pretty visual and fairly different. Lots of effects using the knot, but they are different effects with the knots!
My fear with this trick is that its’ something that I will end up liking, but then it will become unavailable. Also keeping the rope clean and white. If I end up liking this routine, I’ll have to learn to make my own gimmicked rope.
Looking into other performer’s cases to see how they set up their gear is always interesting to me. I’m always interested in other magician’s solutions to holding props. In that spirit, here’s a peek into my table top from a recent show:
All the smaller hand held props are in the table top, then the larger props and emergency/alternate tricks are in my prop case:
I also keep a set list taped to the inside of my case.
One of the tricks that I’m planning on doing for the school assembly tour next month is the lasso card trick. Traditionally this trick is done with a force card and a duplicate card, however I’m doing it with a picture that someone from the audience will draw on a jumbo blank card.
I’m also adding a gag to it. The first time I put the rope into the bag, it’s going to bring out a fish! I have one of the small production fish, and I’m not using it’s collapsible properties for this trick, it’s just being used as a fish.
I made a rope that wraps around the fish and will connect to the magnet in the longer rope by the end of the rope. The length of rope that’s around the card has the magnet in the knot. I want to be able to untie the rope from the fish, to hopefully sell that it’s a legit knot for the card.
My seam where the two ropes meet isn’t the best, but when done from the stage it shouldn’t be seen.
The next challenge was to be able to magnet the fish and not the card. My solution was to have the fish upright in the corner of the bag. I simply made a little holder by using the handles of the paper bag and taping them in place.
So far this seems to work. We’ll see if it lasts for 75 shows. The good thing is that these loops will be easy to replace!
After a street show at a fair a guy asked if he could show me a trick. I always try to say “yes” when people ask me. This guy took a piece of rope that was leftover from my show, and his wife’s ring and made the ring end up in a knot in the middle of the rope!
I’m familiar with the trick, but it’s the first time that I’ve been shown it from someone in the audience! I know I’ve posted this before, but people’s magic trick that they show me have gotten much better the last couple of years!
Last week I bought some rope on a whim and started playing with cut and restored rope in my show. I used to do this a long time ago when I was starting out in comedy clubs. Technically my routine was a mix of Steve Bedwell‘s and Michael Finney‘s routines. It worked well at the time and served its purpose, but I really haven’t done cut and restored rope in the show in a 15+ years.
I’m having fun with the trick, and pretty much doing it how I used to do it. However, for me to do it in the show, I need to contribute something to the trick. One thing I did today was start to come up with conditions for the routine. The first condition is that I want all of the cuts to happen with the middle of the rope sticking out of the hand and the ends dangling:
I think this is a much more natural and fairer looking way to hold the rope than the standard method where you switch the end for the middle.
Then with further writing I hit on another idea (from the past!)
Using a circle of rope instead of an extra length of rope will allow me to get two cuts without having to add any rope and both cuts can be done from the desired hand position!
The next challenge is figuring out how to get rid of the circle of rope once it’s been cut twice and is two pieces of rope. Once I solve that, I need to start doing some writing on what to say!
PS. You’ll notice I have drawing in my notebook. I’m using drawing more and more. I highly recommend getting the book Sketch Notes, it really helped me learn to add drawings.