Apples and Oranges

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.
P.T.Widdle
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Apples and Oranges

Postby P.T.Widdle » September 8th, 2015, 9:48 am

Has anyone performed Steinmeyer's "Apples and Oranges" from his Conjuring series?
Thoughts?

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NCMarsh
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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby NCMarsh » September 8th, 2015, 11:51 am

Yes, it was a middle piece for me for about two or three years. Done well, it can be both entertaining and strong...using a clear container (I used fishing nets that I retrofitted with a much longer net portion) dramatically increases the impact...If you have the performing chops to make the whole thing interesting throughout (it is a lot of counting type actions) then it can be strong...the first time I did it was in my living room for my (heavily magic exposed) then girlfriend, and she had the sense that that the apple had vanished from one and reappeared in the other...and responded more strongly to it then nearly anything else she had seen

It is an odd duck and a bit of dancing on the edge of the sword -- if they bite on the apple having physically vanished and appeared in the opposite net, there is no reconstructing the method...but if they smell that it is a mathematically type stunt -- and there are analytical types who will -- then it is meh

It also creates a very cool (and different) stage picture and is something guests haven't seen before

It's biggest value is this:

It depends entirely on you being able to put an image into the spectator's mind and get the spectator to see the situation the way you want them to -- two even piles one with an extra apple on top

For that reason, I think having done it a lot at one point in my career has made me better at painting those pictures in guests' heads during other pieces...and better at thinking about the effect from the way the guest is perceiving it (this is a trick that is 100% perception -- nothing has physically changed at the end from the beginning)

At the end of the day, I felt that I could get the same play-time (the piece was really about building rapport in the flow of that show and the comedy interaction) and the same impact from stuff that took up a lot less room in my case...

Cheers,

N

P.T.Widdle
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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby P.T.Widdle » September 8th, 2015, 2:25 pm

Thanks NC. I'm very excited to perform this trick, for all the reasons you talked about. My main concern was that the audience believed that this was going to be an oil and water-type trick, instead of a "fruit-across" trick. So I think you hit the nail on the head here:

NCMarsh wrote:
It depends entirely on you being able to put an image into the spectator's mind and get the spectator to see the situation the way you want them to -- two even piles one with an extra apple on top


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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby performer » September 8th, 2015, 4:11 pm

This sounds like the Piano Card Trick! I have been doing it for years just as it is described in the Royal Road to Card Magic and other books. No fruits-just playing cards. It goes over remarkably well. I have always said that some of the greatest card tricks of all time are self workers. This is one of them.

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NCMarsh
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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby NCMarsh » September 8th, 2015, 5:15 pm

Hi Mark,

Yep, it's a staging of the piano card trick with fruit (and some nice scripting subtleties)

Cheers,

N

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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby performer » September 8th, 2015, 6:06 pm

The word "scripting" has just discouraged me from wanting to know anything about it. The word has always been "patter" and I do not approve of the pretentious alternative.

Besides I would find carrying around 8 or 9 pieces of fruit plus a box most inconvenient. Still perhaps it is meant as a stage trick rather than anything else. Mind you, on first perception I do have to say that I find the idea of doing this on stage to be exceedingly boring on the face of it. Still, I will reserve judgement until I actually see it with my own eyes.

I bet the bloody thing goes on for about ten minutes. It sounds like a great opportunity for a magician to talk too much. Perhaps I am wrong. I shall wait to see a video of someone doing it and try to hold my bias in check, difficult as it may be.

Jack Shalom
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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby Jack Shalom » September 8th, 2015, 8:00 pm

Wasn't there a colored socks version of this once as well? In that case you had the already implied "pairness" of socks working in your favor.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby erdnasephile » September 8th, 2015, 8:12 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Wasn't there a colored socks version of this once as well? In that case you had the already implied "pairness" of socks working in your favor.


Michael Weber published this routine in The Linking Ring

I used to perform Apples and Oranges, but I found it much trickier than I thought to get the language just right.

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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby performer » September 8th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Is this fruit thing supposed to be a close up trick or a stage trick!

I am trying terribly hard to curtail myself from quouting Al Baker's dictum, "Many a good trick has been killed by improvement"

I suppose to be fair I will have to see it in action.

The advantage of the original card trick apart from the convenience of it is the fact that it seems to be the only version where the spectator puts his hands in piano playing position. This does rivet the attention of the audience for some reason and makes the trick a little different from other card tricks.

Paul Pacific likes the socks thing but alas he has a strange fascination with feet for some odd reason.

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NCMarsh
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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby NCMarsh » September 9th, 2015, 2:37 am

It is a stage trick.

The Piano Card Trick, as Steinmeyer rightly points out, becomes MUCH better when done with almost anything but cards...with cards the procedure doesn't make sense -- if you want to show me that a card has vanished from one pile and appeared in another, show me the card (say the 3 of spades) in the first pile, then show that its gone, then show that the three of spades is in the new pile...you would never do the whole odd/even thing unless you needed to in order to do a trick...it feels contrived just for the trick and that is the opposite of good magic

But with almost anything else -- toothpicks, rocks, whatever...especially things that naturally come in pairs (Socks in Weber's version, crutches, earrings, lungs, Olson twins, whatever) -- it makes sense

Really, the worst props you can do the trick with are cards

The one benefit of the card version is the convincing display with the hands in the piano position -- which is nice, but if you're doing that version you're still better off doing it with business cards, sugar packets, or some other similar object that isn't uniquely identifiable in the way an individual card is

Also, patter is a terrible word...it is a random mash-up of "prattle" and "chatter" that sounds as ugly and archaic as patter typically is...call it what it is -- a script

Cheers,

Nathan

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Re: Apples and Oranges

Postby performer » September 9th, 2015, 5:54 am

Nathan. I can assure you that I can get a hell of a lot more reaction from doing the trick with cards that anyone else can with piddly bits of sugar packets or daft things like socks or pieces of fruit. Besides it is a hell of a lot more convenient.

Sticking piddly business cards or stupid sugar packets into people's fingers is not terribly visible is it? And since you are already using a deck of cards in your work (as I and probably half a million other magicians do) you may as well finish the job instead of rummaging around trying to find toothpicks, sugar packets, business cards and various partridges in a pear tree. And may God preserve us pieces of fruit.

It has not gone unnoticed by me that you have not denied that this stage fruit version probably goes on for about ten minutes in a dreadful snooze fest. Still, I shall reserve my final judgement on the matter until I see it with my own eyes. If I can keep them open that is.

And no. PATTER is the correct word and has been for at least a hundred years. All of a sudden people want to use a fancy posh boring word which no doubt reflects their posh, boring personalities. (Not you, of course Nathan!) I have never yet seen a good magician who uses the word "script". It is an AWFUL word. Patter is reminiscent of the carnival, pitchmen and showmen. Scripting is reminiscent merely of the Genii Forum.

"Prattle" and "Chatter" is the correct way to do things. That is the way to entertain people. The worst way to do things is learn a script (ugh-what a horrible word) off by heart and recite things like a robot. The second you go to acting school is the second you are likely to be an awful magician. You are liable to be over loud and artificial. And too perfect. I have mentioned my distaste for perfection already.

Besides, every single magician I have ever seen who uses the word "script" talks too much and needs to cut down the yap a trifle.

This may be a trifling semantic matter but I think it goes deeper than that. The way a magician uses terms reflects the way he performs.

Here is a sterling example of PATTER. The gentleman works with vegetables rather than fruit. He is not a magician but is far more riveting to watch. You can learn from the timing of the words, the wonderful lack of eye contact (for a specific reason) and the showmanship.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OQmkRQGLJ0


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