This week I had a question come in from a reader in Puerto Rico, I'll do my best to answer it. If any readers would like to ask questions please email me at email@example.com
"My name is Hansel, I'm a magician from Puerto Rico. Big fan of your books ! I read your blog weekly, but I would like to read a little bit more about your recommendations for Show Finales, And Closings.
Actually I Close my Stage show with the "No Tear Restored Newspaper" . Its getting nice reactions from the audience, BUT I need something MORE strong I believe. Can you please touch this theme on the blog about good stage closers ?
Thanks, Hansel - Puerto Rico"
A closing effect is very important because you leave the audience with a lasting impression. The newspaper tear is a strong effect, but you say you would like a stronger reaction to close your show. Personally I feel it CAN be a strong enough closer, it's just how you theme it. I like to leave the audience with an effect that really connects with them on different emotional levels. The magic for torn and restored paper is strong enough, but you may need to change the presentation. If perhaps you treat it as an encore piece. One of the strongest closers I've seen was a friend who did an illusion show, he finished with a torn and restored newspaper. At the end he told the audience he would like to leave them with one more effect - something from his past he remembered as a kid, etc. The lights went off and then a single spot light of him center stage dressed in a Humphry Bogart jacket and hat. He then performed this amazing routine with voice over to an old movie detective style theme. It was incredibly strong and the perfect closer. So there is just one example of using a newspaper tear as a closer, but having a really different presentation. It tugged on various emotional levels, had elements of humor, and a strong magic finish.
Try and think outside the box. If you perform a comedy style act why not close on something that isn't comedy but comes from the heart, perhaps something your audience can relate to. With a little imagination you'll think of something. Try to think outside the box - something your audience perhaps wouldn't expect.
One of the reasons many magicians close with Kevin James Snowstorm is because of how it tugs at people's emotions. There is a great story line followed by a visually strong piece of theater. I also saw a friend finish with Multiplying Bottles, this was also a great closer because it built to a strong climax with surprises a long the way - in other words the routine had kept building with comedy and great magic.
Banachek finishes his full evening show with his Knife Stab routine - something that keeps the audience, and himself, on the edge of their seats. Because of the elements of danger, and his presentation you want to give him a standing ovation when he's finished!! After all he just saved his own life!
I finish my own show with my floating broom routine. I tell a story with the routine, and it plays on the audience's emotions, leaving them with a lasting impression. I then finish the show off by walking in to a movie screen - so the show starts as me walking out of a screen and finally finishes with me walking in to it. The entire show tells somewhat of a story.
In my mentalism show I finish with my Dream Prediction - however I've added extras to the routine because at the very end I predict everything that occurred during the show. People's names, events that took place during the show, predictions, etc. In other words at the end everything makes sense and the effect ties it all together.
One of my favorite movies was Unusual Suspects - one of the best endings of any movie - if you haven't seen it check it out. It stars Kevin Spacy. The ending really makes you go, "WOW - now THAT'S AN ENDING. I did NOT see that coming at ALL." You go away feeling really good about what you've just seen, and that the ending was worth watching the entire movie for. Imagine if you knew the ending to the movie prior to seeing it - you may not even stay. Your impression is certainly different than had you not known the ending. The same could be said for magic and for a show. If you can do something that is out of left field for the audience, you will get a stronger reaction.
I do feel you can achieve this with the newspaper tear. Recently a friend saw a show where the magician produced a helicopter, then came back and performed a small cups and balls type routine. The Cups and Balls got a stonger reaction. Something to ponder about.
I hope I have answered your question - you raised a great point.
If you'd like me to answer YOUR questions please do drop me a line.
ROMHANY'S PICKS OF THE WEEK FROM www.HOCUS-POCUS.com
Thumb Tip Flash
This is close to perfection as you'll get with any type of FLASH at the fingertips. With about 50 uses before you need to recharge this is a great item for the close-up or walk about magician. What I like about this is that there is no danger involved, and it's very practical. If you have ever wanted to add a touch of 'flash' to an effect this could be the final answer. One of the best selling items this week at Hocus-Pocus.
Flash is perfect for dramatizing the magic moment when an object vanishes or appears. Use it for balls in the cups and balls routine. Flash when coins are vanished. Use it to reveal a final load in a cups and balls or chop cup routine. If you do routines involving the appearance of a silk, Flash beautifully lights up the colors of the silks. Hold it beneath a glass and it makes the glass sparkle with light.
We are sure that after you experiment with the Flash device you will come up with hundreds of appropriate applications of Flash for yourself.
More than 50 flashes before recharging
Very easy to use
"We love your invention. It is great!"
The Thumbtip Flash is a unique gimmick I love!"
"This gimmick is very simple and it has a very stunning effect."
Roadrunner Cull Vol.2 by Kostya Kimlat
When it comes to a deck of cards you can't go past Kostya as far as skill and entertainment value is concerned. He is one of the best in the business, and this DVD and book contain the final work when it comes to the Cull. I had performed a cull for years, but when I saw Kostya's work on it, I realised there was so much more to it, and everybody should know how to do this. As far as I'm concerned there are two things (OK three) every card magician should know how to do, and do well.
One is a double lift, the second a force and the third is the Cull. With these three items mastered you can perform some of the most amazing magic ever!!
In this volume, Kostya goes beyond the "cull" of duty to provide an
in-depth look at the technique, handling, and attitude that will make
your card technique look flawless.
This is the ultimate compendium DVD for all lovers and performers of
card magic. Over 90 minutes of new magic, techniques, and a complete
live-workshop session with commentary from Kostya. In this volume,
Kostya goes beyond the "cull" of duty to provide an in-depth look at the
technique, handling, and attitude that will make your card technique
look flawless. Once you've devoured the contents of Volume 1, you're
going to love how the learning experience continues on this second
BonusInsert this DVD-ROM into your computer and you will see complete
interviews with Michael Ammar, Vito Lupo and Adam Rubin. You'll also
find the complete Roadrunner Cull 20-page manuscript in English, Spanish
and French, along with other bonus tricks and videos that have been
unavailable since the initial release of Volume One.
Sixth Sense 2.0 by Hugo Shelley
I LOVE this type of effect. This is by far one of the best on the market. What makes it so great? First of all, you don't have to be right over top of the spectator's hand to do this. The range is quite amazing, which makes the effect that much more powerful. The gimmick is small and is made to last hours and hours of performances before you need to recharge.
Small. Light. Easy to use. Incredibly powerful.
With an extended range, 360 degree sensing pattern and self-calibrating
digital circuitry, Sixth Sense 2 allows you to perform a variety of
beautiful and stunning mind-reading effects including the classic 'which
hand'. Place the tiny sensor under your watch strap and a silent
vibration will let you know in which hand your volunteer has hidden a
Sixth Sense will allow you to perform this effect in short sleeves.
The basic effect
The performer chooses a spectator and asks her to hide a coin in one
hand behind her back. If he guesses incorrectly, she wins the game. The
effect is repeated as the stakes are raised ...
This plays just as well in close-up as it does to an audience of 2000.
If you are currently performing any kind of mentalism routine, this
device is invaluable.
Although Sixth Sense was originally designed for 'which hand' effects
there are an endless variety of different effects that can be performed
using magnetic coins or other objects.
Kurotsuke, Find the Lady, and Smash and Stab effects are all possible. You are limited only by your imagination.
We have seen many other devices that try to create a similar effect. But
where a weaker sensor will leave you 'scanning' your volunteer's hands
in an unnatural way, or failing to detect the coin entirely, the range
of Sixth Sense 2 allows a variety of coins to be used with complete
Not only is Sixth Sense 2 the most powerful detection device in the
world, it is also one of the smallest. 12 months of prototyping have
enabled us to create a device small enough to fit under a watch strap,
allowing the 'which hand' effect to be performed in short sleeves and at
a moment's notice.
No calibration routines, no wires, settings, or complicated hookups.
Just turn the unit on via the switch at the base and Sixth Sense 2
automatically configures itself in a fraction of a second. Keep it in a
pocket and perform your favourite effects wherever and whenever you
Long battery life & enhanced durability
Using the very latest in low-power digital circuitry and power saving
techniques, Sixth Sense 2 will function for over 50 hours of continuous
use (18,000 detections) on a single set of readily available button
cells. The rubber coating and inset switch ensure that Sixth Sense 2 is
robust enough to withstand years of constant use.
33 x 20mm x 8mm (approximately 1.3 x .8 x .3 inches)
Battery life: 50hrs
User-replaceable CR1632 batteries
Includes sensor, demo DVD, velcro wrist strap and written instructions
Range (to Magnetic US Half Dollar - Kreis Magic) ~ 4.5 inches
Range (to Wizard PK ring)~ 5 inches
Range to PK Ring (Wizard FX): 5in
Range to larger magnetic objects (Scorpion, Spike): 12in+
Please note - magnetic coins must be purchased separately and are not included with the Sixth Sense 2.
We recommend these magnetic coins to use with Sixth Sense 2:
Magnetic US Half Dollar, Super Strong Version, you can get it HERE!.
Magnetic US Half Dollar, Normal Version, you can get it HERE!.
Magnetic US Half Dollar, Economy Version, you can get it HERE!.
Magnetic Coin One Euro by Tango, you can get it HERE!.
Magnetic Coin English Penny by Tango, you can get it HERE!.