Friday, 1 February 2013

Stuff becomes Stuff

In close up magic most often coins are changed for other coins. It's so common that we have a word for that particular effect: Spellbound. But the minds of the magicians don't seem to stray very far from it. Sometimes the coins change into rings and keys. Sometimes little balls change color....

So just to make you brain consider more possibilities I'm offering a few things here.

Nuts: Are great for magic. They have the right size to do all sorts of manipulations. You can change certain kind of nuts into any other kind of nuts. Like changing a peanut into a hazelnut. "I'm allergic!"

Stones: Come in all sizes and colors. Think about changing a coin several times. It becomes older and older. Finally you turn it into a stone. "Too far we're in the stone age!"

Hardware: Bolts, nuts and Gears... all could be added to a Steampunk themed act. You could have a wire and roll it around the finger. Then change it into a gear. One of those smoke producing gimmicks could visualize the technical change.

Office Stuff: Paperclips could change color. Priority labels could be "downgraded". I imagine a routine where the magician writes something with a pencil, looks at his writing, shakes his head and then visually changes the pencil into an eraser and rubs away his writing. A stamp could become a more valuable stamp.

Food: In fact I remember posting my little idea about gummy bears. Which was motivated and nobody paid attention to. But what if you use the switch for something more layered. Effect: A steel ball bearing is eaten. Many actually. No tricky moves, they really go into the mouth and are swallowed.
Method: You will need ONE real steel ball and the other ones are cocktail tomatoes treated with silver edible spray paint. That way all you need to do is to show how real the real steel ball is, switch it for a tomato and eat it.

Mentalism: Think about mentalism when it comes to spellbound. A regular key can be visually changed into a bent key. A fresh leaf could become an old, dry leave, which in presentation could be a "changing season" thing or in mentalism could be a "sucking out the aura" thing. Two magnets; if you switch one from something that looks similar both will no longer attract each other. Ergo "sucking out magnetism" could be the effect. (Where does the magnetism go? Maybe a demonstration of PK-effects is in order. The falling block of wood makes sense now!)

Changing the Effect: A broken monocle could repair itself.... you see stuff has not to become other stuff. The effect could be perceived differently. In this case a restoration. Now think even further. Some that gets repaired could also just go back in time to a point where it wasn't broken. Now if you think about changing an old toy into a working, shiny version of the toy... you are on the road to create a memorable, emotional effect. As it refers to so many aspects of any body's childhood. When wonders where still acceptable!

Go bold with the plot: What if it is not just the objects that changes, but the whole universe? What if a pack of salt in this universe is a pack of sugar in the other universe? What other changes might occur? I hope you can see where I'm going with this. I swear if I hear the King Midas story again I will leave the room. Changing stuff to gold is a great trick, but don't go back to plots that have seen better days.

Changing parts of nothing: Have you ever done the Spellbound Move with "nothing"? You could see something in the air and catch it. Show the "nothing" between your fingers and then mention the fact that the audience probably won't see it. The simple reason. They are seeing the wrong side. "It's a hole, but you are looking from the inside out. That's why you don't see the edge. Let's me twist it around a bit!" Then add the palmed steel ring to the picture in a twisting motion, as if you have turned a hole inside out.
This is a stupid premise and will not believed by the audience, but they will play along as long as they are entertained. And I think that this premise is a bit of a mind twister. One that is entertaining. (Of course you could continue with the steel ring. It's a portable hole after all. But what's one the other side of the hole? I hope you can see that this flies off in many directions!)

So you close up guys. I hope you put your coins and balls to rest for a while and experiment with other little objects that have the right size for manipulation. Such as: finger rings,
screws, billets,
bunched up silks,
blocks of wood,
dry beans,
sugar cubes,
pocket knives,
poker chips,
nail clippers
safety pins,
small candles,
small light bulbs,
keyboard keys,
blocks of glass,
ice cubes,
chess pieces,
monopoly houses,
sea shells,
pencil sharpeners
and matches.

One more effect that is easy and cool.

Effect: "Have you ever seen MacGyver? I love this guy. He can build the most complicated stuff from simple stuff." You get out a box of matches "All he needed was a box of matches. He would take just a few of them." A few matches are taken and the box is put away. "And a rubberband. He would wrap the rubberband around the matches and then add a paperclip."

Method: A rubberband is taken and wrapped tightly around the matches, so they become -sleight of hand-able. Then a paperclip is taken as well as a palmed minibomb (basically just a small black ball with a piece of flash string attached) the paperclip is slipped under the ruberband as well, and then a Boboswitch is made. One hand assumingly holds the match-rubberband-paperclip bundle, but in fact that hand holds the bomb. The other hand goes in the pocket getting a lighter and ditching the bundle.

"That is how you make a small bomb which can take out two, may three blocks."

Then the fuse is lit. "Damn, a dud!"


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