Info

Get the Ultimate Magick Power

Get the Ultimate Magick Power

Get Instant Access

"My type of magic is stage magic, and I have always loved illusions. When I was eleven and twelve years old I used to watch Mark Wilson and Bev Bergeron ( as Rebo the Clown) do all those fantastic things on "The Magic Land Of AllakazanT and dream of doing them myself. Yet it was years before I really had the chance.

When I was 16 years old, I was fortunate enough to acquire some illusions from a lady whose magician husband had died. Among them were the Thayer Phantom White Cargo and what I call the Dragon Box, a tea chest affair that produces a girl after being shown empty. By the time I was 20, I was doing live shows and TV appearances in Atlanta, and many times had the opportunity to present these illusions both live and on television. In fact, in my first published book, COLORFUL MAGIC, I showed a half dozen ways that I used the Dragon Box on TV beyond its basic girl production job.

During my second year in fulltime magic, in 1972, I began using an illusion and a girl assistant in all of my high school and junior high shows, as well as shopping malls and the bigger, higher-paying dates. We used the sub-trunk, chair suspension, Caliph's Cutter (an old Abbott illusion), the Hindoo Sword Basket, Abbott's Visible Sawing, the Sword Box, the guillotine, rod thru body and others, usually one per show. Elementary school shows I worked alone, using a smaller illusion such as Stocks of Zanzibar, Disecto, Arrowhead, Dagger Head Chest or Sword Thru Neck. Each of these illusions went through over 400 shows yearly during the school year I used them, and some I re-used four or five years later for another 400 performances.

Three years ago an opportunity came along that allowed me to take all these illusions I love so much and put them together into a paying venture. The promoter of the Grand American Magic Show out of Augusta, Georgia, asked me to take over the two-hour evening show, which I have now done for three years. We perform the show with charity backing once or twice a month in South Carolina and Georgia at 12-15 different cities each year. In three years' time I have gone through 13 different girl assistants (I use 3-4 per show); from three to seven or eight illusions, through the building of sets; and more than I can tell you about here.

Finally our Magical Wonder Show (which is the name I use when not working jobs^for the promoter) has jelled down to a good crew of 5-6 people who nearly know what s going on. We travel in one station wagon now, pulling a trailer full of the equipment (sets, illusions, sound, smaller magic and other props), spend 3-4 hours setting up, 2 hours performing tne show, an hour breaking down, and 2-4 hours driving home the same night; unless we're more than 200 miles away, in which case we stay over night. It's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun for the entire crew, all of whom happen to be my friends.

With all this background out of the way, let me say straight out that if you could see my illusion show, vou would see things done differently. I strongly shy away from copying, and if you see Doug Henning do something on TV, you can rest assured that David Ginn will not be doing it that way.

You will never see me do the Zig-Zag or Mis-Made Girl illusions, for example, because everybody is doing them and half of those everybody's are doing them the same way! I read in one magazine that an eleven-year-old kid magician got a Zig-Zag under the Christmas tree, custom-made for his 13-vear-old sister! Don't talk to me about the

Zig-Zag---everybody and his brother and kid are doing it! (Be assured that I do like the Zig-Zag as an illusion. It's great. But I shy away from something everybody is doing)

Now, unless you're Andre Kole or Doug Henning or David Copperfield, you probably don't have the financial resources or proving ground or place to perform totally new and original illusions. But you still can be different, just as I am in the Magical Wonder Show. Because being different means doing things differently as well as having things that are different. Let me give you some examples out of my own show:

Magician Apparatus

1. THE HINDOO SWORD BASKET. My basket came from Chu's in Hong Kong. It is 14 inches tall at the lid and will hold only one girl (not the type you can sit in and rock, or produce a second girl with), and it's made of real wicker, not painted fiberglass. This illusion, by the way, is the greatest thing ever for a school gym floor when the students are in the bleachers looking down on it. Anyway, the typical presentation involves the girl standing in the basket, covering her with a cloth, her going down, putting on the lid and removing the cloth, sticking four swords inside, removing them, covering the basket again with the cloth and stepping into it to show it empty, then .finally shaking and lifting the cloth to reproduce the girl. About two minutes at the most.

But by adding showmanship, presentation and even a bit of humor, I get 3-4 minutes out of the illusion, especially in the Magical Wonder Show.

I introduce the next bit of magic in front of the curtains, as "something that start, out nice and eas^r, but ends up ROUGH. .. nusic, lights, curtain!" The cur reveal the basket center stage, a pair of swords criss-crossed on each aide nf^" C° the floor. The lid is on the basket and the stick or club is stuck through the lid" hole. The music for the first minute is "Airshire Lament" by Dan Fogelbere n , instrumental from his album, "The Innocent Age." Atop the basket is a set of Walí scarves; orange, green and pink. I pick up the scarves and perform a 50-second juggling routine with the scarves, graceful and pretty, working in front center stage and finishing as the music ends, which brings applause.

Then I drop the scarves to one side as the music changes, and the opening guitar riffs of Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger" begin. This was the theme song (and hit record) from the movie, Rocky III and most everybody knows it, which is a good selling point. I

am now standing to the left of center stage. I turn and point toward the stage right wings.

Jeannie and Susan, dressed in black pants, suspenders and red/black striped shirts, come onstage dragging, forcing a third assistant, Debra, with them. Debra is dressed in a turquoise leotard and striped knicker pants, and each of the other assistants is pulling her by one arm. Clearly, she does not want to come. The other girls act as guards and they are bringing the prisoner, whom they force to stand behind the basket.

With Debra in place, I walk to her and dramatically point into the basket (which I have opened), indicating that she is to get inside. She reluctantly steps inside and stands there. I walk around her and pick up the cloth, which is about 6x8 feet. I wrap the cloth around her, leaving only her head showing; I stare at her face, then step hehind her and lift the cloth over her head, covering her completely. Then I place the lid on her head, which she sways back and forth (humorously) as I pick up the stick. This stick is like a policeman's billy club in size and shape, and I use it to an advantage. I steady the lid (on her head) with one hand and she gets still. Then I pretend I am going to hit her a blow with the club or stick; I stop. I tap the lid twice (her signal to drop into the basket), then immediately drop the club, grab the lid and the cloth until I can lay it across the basket and jerk the cloth out. Debra is fast; she is already in the basket and in position.

I violently throw the cloth on the floor to my left. Next I pick up the stick and plunge it into the lid hole, stirring it around like you would a pot of soup. (Inside, Debra holds the bottom of the stick so it won't hit and hurt her.) Finally I pull out the stick, moving rapidly.

Jeannie and Susan in the meanwhile have picked up the swords and are holding them one in each hand, points into the air. I take a sword from one, bang the stick against it to make it ring (and prove it real), then plunge the -^"'VÍL haskeí 0 f er knows the exact order of the swords and how to help them through past her.

The second sword comes from the other assistant, then I go back and forth for swords three and four, plunging each one in from a different direction.

The two assistants stand at ease, hands behind them, facing the expression at this point. I walk over to the cloth Pjck it up ,*en,throw down violently. I am a mean man, the punisher, think ng like Mister T in ^¿^„Ut, finding that "Eye Of The Tiger." I kneel down lift ^e lid and^ook int contorting my face in disgust, as though the girl is dead ag x a makes a funny face at me or sticks out her tongue P^J^ ** T JZC keep my laugh out of her antics, it's my character's job to be the bad man fun we straight and mean look, instead of laughing. This is some have working together.)

No« I put ch. lid back do« and hang „ head. I stand up, hesitate, then pic, up the cloth and toss It up and over the basket, letting it spread completely out. As it settles, I reach under it and quickly remove the lid, which I toss aside. Now I walk around the basket and kick the cloth closer to it, assuring the audience that Debra is not on the outside anywhere.

I walk away from the basket next, straight behind it maybe ten feet, then stop and face it dramatically. After a moment's hesitation, I boldly walk toward the basket and step right into it with both feet, pushing down the cloth with my weight. (When students look down on this from gym bleachers, when we work on a gym floor, it looks absolutely impossible for the girl to be in there.) For a couple of seconds I stand there, looking down into the basket but seeing nothing, since the cloth covers it all. Applause often comes at this point, perhaps because the audience thinks I have really made Debra disappear.

Then I step out of the basket and walk back around behind it. I quickly grasp the back cloth corners and lift to my waist level; then I give the cloth a snap to straighten it out. That snap is Debra's cue to come out, and she does it pretty fast, working her head and shoulders out first, then rising straight up. Meanwhile, I have spread the top corners of the cloth wide apart, giving Debra about six feet wide for cover, holding it slightly higher than her head. When she is fully standing, she has one moment to smooth her hair---then I whip away the cloth to one side and onto the floor behind me.

At the same moment I whip away the cloth, the guard girls swing their swords from point on the floor to a criss-cross above their heads, clanging them together once. Debra styles (poses for applause) with both arms spread, and I take a step back, gesturing toward Debra. Applause is usually instant, and we hold there for a moment. Then Debra steps out of the basket and we walk together toward the footlights hand in hand for a second bow, more or less. i i ¡9 , f{ j i.r-S

Finally I move in front as the curtain closes and the music fades. And that routine, to me, is different'. It runs exactly four minutes and is filled with action, drama, and seemingly impossible magic. It has a beginning (quiet scarf juggling), a middle (girl in basket, swords shoved in, and ray standing in the basket), and a strong ending (the reproduction of the girl and bows).

2. DRAGON BOX GIRL PRODUCTION. Briefly, this is a four sided, topless box on a base. The four sides, about three feet square, all lay down, hinged to the base in order to show the box empty. The girl hides sitting on a shelf behind the back side, her legs inside the base, and leans back when the back and one side are opened to show empty. Once the box is closed again, she swings in double doors in the back side and lifts the base floor trap, gets her Legs over it and works her way Inside, quietly letting the shelf up and closing the double doors so that the box may be turned and shown on all sides. Then she pops out of the top for her appearance.

For the Magical Wonder Show, I took this simple girl production and built around it a sketch that lasted 8 1/2 minutes. The sketch has a narrator on tape, along with various music to accompany different parts as background.

On stage, I introduce the sketch, then exit into the wings. A petty thief, played by my friend, Phil Thomas (not the magic dealer), enters the stage and talks on a pay telephone to stage left, in one. A girl (Susan) comes on stage right and stands under a Bus Stop sign. Phil sneaks over, steals her purse and runs off the stage into the audience. Susan chases him, screaming, "Stop! Thief!" and the two of them run through the audience for about a minute, covering the whole auditorium. finally back on stage, Susan catches Phil as he falls in front center; she beats him with her umbrella and gets her purse back, then leaves.

Phil gets up, brushes himself off. The narrator tells how this petty thief heard of "The Mysterious Flower Of Tibet", a rare treasure in the Himalayas. The curtains open to show a Chinese type lady opening a large tea chest (the Dragon Box). She takes out a bouquet of flowers (the Mysterious Flower), shows them and replaces them, closing the box, then leaves the stage.

All this time I am changing from my tux into another suit for my appearance in the sketch later. I've been onstage already about 40 minutes, so it's a Coke break, too.'

When the Chinese lady is gone, the thief, Phil, sneaks onto the scene and steals the flower. He leaves. The Chinese lady returns, finds her flower gone and falls to her knees crying (Jeannie). I enter the scene now, a "partly famous American magician passing through the village," change my cane to a large scarf (one-handed Vanishing Cane), and give it to the lady to dry her eyes. She gets up, tells me of the theft, then I magically make the flower reappear in the tea chest. Following that, to the "Chariots Of Fire" theme song, she and I show the box empty, replace the flowers, close the box and cover it with the lady's shawl. We turn the box around 360° and move it closer to the front. The shawl rises up from the center of the box as though the flower is growing (Debra's arm), then suddenly vanishes (she whisks it inside and hides it in the base along with the flower bouquet).

Now I clap my hands and Debra pops out the top. Applause. I open the box, she hops out and bows for the end of the sketch. Actually, there are many details I left out of this description, but I think you get the general idea of how we built a sketch or story around the one trick. And it gives me a chance to change clothes, breathe easy for five minutes, and drink a Coke!

David Ginn s magical wonder show

3. THE PALANQUIN. We now open the show with this production basically. Mine holds one girl—but I

I cheat.

curtained cabinet illusion, a girl produce three fcirls from it.' How?

Susan goes into the trap. Debra, our smallest girl in the show, sits on the back ledge, partly in and partly out of the cabinet, the back curtain between her and the audience. Jeannie actually sits inside the cabinet with the front curtain closed.

In performance, I walk onstage and clap my hands, pushing back the front curtain about halfway. Jeannie immediately pops out and goes forward, arms outstretched in her bright red dress. At the same time I step in front of the cabinet and style, too; then I close the curtain and walk around the Palanquin as Debra slides into the cabinet. Back at the front I clap my hands again, slide back the curtain (rings on a top rod) and there's Debra, filling the cabinet. She gets out and goes forward for applause. Jeannie has taken up a position at front left, and Debra front right.

Now I walk behind the Palanquin and slide the back curtain aside, thrusting my head and shoulders through the cabinet to show it empty. Then I close the back curtain, walk around and close the front. Debra comes over and helps me turn the Palanquin 360°, taking up her stage right position again when we've stopped. I clap ray hands again, push aside the front curtain to reveal Susan filling the cabinet. Susan hops out and then she and I go forward hand in hand for applause. • From there we go into our barrage of silent effects opening, canes, candles, flowers and much more in ten minutes or so.

Now here's the thing: Sure, I really only produced one or two girls by magic, depending on your thinking. But the audience people will walk out of that theatre thinking or remembering that three girls came out of that box. It may be cheating----

but it's sound psychology. And as they tell people who didn't see the show, the fact will fade and it will become, "He showed this curtained box empty and brought three beautiful girls out of it!"

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

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.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment