This effect has been a great feature number with Thurston in this country and with Devant in England. I remember
seeing Thurston a number of years ago take many eggs out of a hat and pile them up on a boy's arms while the audience went into gales of laughter. Thurston had his pet presentation, as did Devant, and many others who have since performed this interesting comedy effect. It would be an education for you to study the way Thurston and Devant handle children.
I am going to teach this effect to you by a method which I have found very easy to perform. Brunel White of England introduced a special hat some time ago which has made egg productions easy under almost impossible circumstances. I have performed the eggs in the hat by this method while standing on a table with an audience of children all around me.
Performer has a small girl and a boy come up on stage to help him. He shows a derby hat to be empty and then suddenly discovers a real egg in the hat, which he gives to the boy to hold. One at a time, magician takes many eggs from the hat and gives them to the boy. Every time little girl blows on bottom of hat or performer's hand, an egg appears. Finally, the eggs become so numerous that the boy cannot hold all of them, and they slide down onto the floor and break, much to the amusement of the audience. Every time an egg hits the floor, the audience almost goes into hysterics. Finally, the supply of eggs stops and those eggs in boy's arms are replaced in the hat. Little girl and boy go back to their seats.
1 -- A Master Hat -- construction of this is explained to you.
2 -- Twelve to eighteen eggs — as many as you can conveniently get into prepared portion of Master Hat.
3 -- A piece of paper or rubber sheeting on floor upon which eggs can be dropped. SECRET AND PATTER:
The Master Hat — This is not difficult to make and yet it is very effective. It is based on an idea in hat Magic conceived by Brunel White of England. He has brought out quite a number of clever ideas, but this hat alone should make his name go down in magical history.
To make up this hat, it is necessary to invest in two black derby hats. Get one in a large size and the other in a size to fit into the first. While you are at the store, turn sweat-band of large hat out and fit a hat into first one to make sure that one crown fits inside of the other. Do this before purchasing hats so that you get the proper sizes.
Take the smaller hat and cut the brim off. Raise the inner band of larger hat and sink the brimless crown into it about half-way. Explanation of the flap comes a little farther on.
The best way to determine how far the crown should go down inside of the other hat is to place about a dozen or more eggs on bottom of hat and then place crown down on top of them.
Now cut down crown so that it comes just below edge of hat. Fold inner band of hat down inside of false crown, covering the edge. One can look into hat from a distance of a few feet and it looks like an ordinary hat.
Raise inner band of hat again and remove false crown. In center of false crown cut out a rectangular piece, straight at one end and rounded at the other. Hole should be large enough to permit you to reach down with your hand and pull an egg through it. Cut hole with sharp knife so that edges are even as piece cut out is to be used as flap.
On two long edges of opening glue strips of black felt or dull ribbon. Fit flap into opening and glue a piece of black felt, black cloth, or dull black ribbon over straight edge to act as hinge.
Remove trade-mark label, mount it on piece of stiff black cloth or cardboard, and glue it on flap with one end extending over free edge of flap about a quarter of an inch. This little edge gives you something to grasp easily when you wish to raise flap.
Figure 6 is a diagram of arrangement of flap in false crown.
With false crown placed in hat, inner band down over edge, and flap down flat, inside of hat may be shown empty even though the concealed compartment between the two crowns is full of articles. Then when flap is raised, articles can easily be removed from bottom compartment.
Place eggs in bottom compartment of prepared hat and close flap. Place an egg in right coat pocket. Put the paper or rubber sheeting on floor at right of stage.
Come down to audience, palming egg out of right coat pocket as you do so. Produce egg from a gentleman's whiskers, chin, or ear.
"I was just going to ask someone to lend me a fresh egg, but the gentleman here has anticipated my request and has already accommodated me."
Pick out a little girl in audience and give her the egg.
"Just look this egg over carefully and see whether it is a good egg. Oh, pardon me, someone in the back is making motions as though he cannot see the egg. Just stand up and hold the egg high in the air."
Get little girl to stand up and hold egg up high.
"Or, better yet, just come with me up on the stage."
Take girl up on stage. Ask her name, shake hands with her, and then introduce her to audience. Suppose her name is Ruth.
"Ruth, I want you to meet the audience. Audience, I want you to meet Ruth. By the way, Ruth, do you happen to see any boy down in the audience that you would like to have help you hold the egg? Just point to any boy that your heart chooses."
When she has pointed to boy, say:
"We shall just go down and give him the egg."
Go down into audience with Ruth and give boy the egg. Get him to stand up and come out into the aisle, then finally get boy and girl up on stage. Have girl stand at your left and boy at right on the paper or rubber sheeting.
"Now, Ruth, you can stand on this side of me and you stand about here with the egg."
As you talk to boy, take him by wrist of hand in which he holds egg and move him towards yourself a little. As you do so, push egg out of his hand with your thumb or finger so that it will fall to floor. Your movement must not be perceptible to audience. You must give impression that boy dropped the egg. Audience laughs and boy usually feels discomfited. Look at boy, then at egg on floor, then at boy, at audience, at Ruth, and at boy again.
"Oh, well, do not worry about the egg. I'm sure the gentleman will lay us another."
Ask boy his name -- suppose it is Burt. Shake hands with him.
"Well, Burt, I'm mighty glad to know you. By the way, Ruth, did you ever meet Burt?"
Move her over in front of you and have boy and girl shake hands.
"Ruth, this is my old friend, Burt. Burt, this is my good friend Ruth. Now that we all know each other, we can have just the finest kind of a time."
Reach over to table and pick up Master Hat, containing the eggs. Hold hat in left hand and take your position between girl and boy.
"Burt, did you ever wear a derby hat? There used to be a season for wearing brown derbies, but we couldn't find any more brown sheep to make hats out of so we had to use the black ones. A funny thing happened just before the performance tonight. I had this hat on a table behind the scenes, and when I went to get it, what do you think I found? — A hen sitting in it, using it as a nest."
Show hat empty by turning it so that audience can see directly into crown.
"Burt, I suppose the inside of a hat would make a nice nest. I thought there might be an egg or a couple of little chickens in the hat, but when the hen scurried away, there was nothing left but a small feather or two."
Show Ruth the inside of hat for a moment.
"I guess, Ruth, we got all the feathers out."
This is an interesting piece of psychology here. It convinces audience that hat is empty without saying so. The fact that Ruth looks into hat at close quarters after they had looked into it from a distance adds to their convictions.
At this point I might mention a psychological trick employed by a prominent magician in an emergency. I was in my teens when I saw this done and it puzzled me as well as the audience. It shows how a magician can be master of a situation by his ability to make an audience think as he wants them to. This magician took a hat actually filled with eggs. He did not show inside of hat to audience, but in order to convince them that hat was empty, he had the little girl look into it. His talk was such that the little girl did not suspect magician was giving impression that she was looking into empty hat. The spectators' minds were directed so that they imagined she was looking into empty hat, and when eggs were produced, they seemed to materialize from nowhere.
"Well, Burt, I got to thinking and was just wondering whether it wouldn't be good fun for us to use our magical
powers and make this hat play the part of a hen and lay us an egg. Of course, Ruth, it will be necessary for you to blow on the palm of my hand or on the bottom of the hat to get enough warmth to materialize things."
Have her blow on palm of your hand. Now reach into hat and, lifting up flap, remove an egg. Bring it up out of hat and show to audience. While doing this, hold hat up high enough so that children cannot see into it.
"There's an egg. Looks like a good egg to me. Look it over, Burt, and give us your opinion."
Give egg to Burt and whisper to him to smell of it. This brings a laugh from audience.
"All right, Burt, you keep the egg. Now, Ruth, blow again."
Have her blow inside of your hand again, then reach into hat and take out another egg.
"Burt, it looks as though our egg factory is working and that we can dispense with real hens."
Give second egg to Burt. Then continue production of eggs, giving them all to Burt to hold.
After he has several eggs and can no longer hold them in his hands, fold his arms for him so that he can hold the eggs in his arms. To vary productions, have Ruth blow on bottom of hat at different times for comedy. After fifth or sixth egg is produced, turn down flap and show hat empty again.
After boy has a number of eggs in his arms, hand him an egg at his left side just high enough so that he will have to reach for it, causing an egg to slide out from the right side and go crashing to the floor. As you repeat this, pretend to be interested in the hat and do not look at boy so that movement of holding eggs too high for him will seem natural.
The audience is kept in suspense, waiting for an egg to fall from boy's arms. And when an egg does fall, it means a burst of laughter. It is well to allow four or five eggs to drop and break.
After all eggs have been removed from hat, take eggs from boy's arms and replace them in hat. While removing eggs from boy's arms, cause one or two more to drop, which provokes more laughter. Then shake Burt's hand.
"Burt, you did nobly. An incubator could have held them no better. Goodbye, Burt, come back and help me again sometime."
Boy starts for seat.
"Oh, just a minute, Burt. Ruth is going your way, and I'll let you see that she gets to her seat all right."
Shake Ruth's hand.
"Goodbye, Ruth. I want to thank you for making the eggs appear. You blew fine."
Boy escorts girl to seat.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.