Puppets performing Magic Posted by Brian Douglas on Apr 09, 2018
I've been reviewing past posts and found a few threads about magician puppets and what tricks could they perform.  I plan on having Sam Wilkes perform magic and mind reading (Mentalism) online, but wanted to offer something to the forum that a puppet could perform.

I have a lot of routines that I will be using, but I'm not allowed to reveal secrets that belong to others (I pay for performance rights).  It is a tricky pickle to have a puppet perform physical tricks.  The challenge is to find something that you will be able to do using your non-dominant hand, and still be manageable by a puppet hand...    Challenge Accepted!

These are mass produced magic tricks available online, magic, and novelty shops.  You may have even seen them before.   Ickle Pickle Nickel allows for a nickel to magically change into a tiny nickle.   Dime to Penny changes a penny to a dime.  Both of these effects utilize a... dah dah ta dah... a magnet and a shell coin that has a steel core.  Once again, I'm not tipping any trade secrets as these items are targeting kids coming into the world of magic.

If you insert a magnet inside the puppets hand and drop the hand straight down on the shell coin, it will stick to the hand and reveal the small nickel/other coin beneath when the hand it raised.  Also, the cloth of the hand will mask the noise.
So there you go.  You have magically changed a coin using your puppets hand. Now that all cool and fun, but that took less than 30 seconds. So what to do?

The answer is a basic core value of magic: almost all large tricks consist of small tricks; more or less.  The magnet and shelled coin allow you complete an action. It's only a transition tool.  To get the most out of it you need to build a act/routine around it.  So how do you do that?  You can add additional coins (non gimmicked) and turn it into an counting game. "Can you add up these coins for me?" They see a penny, nickel, and a dime and say they count 16 cents. You reply " Right, I have 25 cents laid out on the table..." they will correct you... argue argue argue... banter banter banter... puppets smacks the penny and states "Let's count together.  Of course there will be 2 dimes and a nickel.

You can shape it to your puppet but I think you get the gist. Find ways to layer the effect that makes the impact stronger.  Side Note: some coins are also magnetic (the Philippine Peso for example) which may give you additional options

Food for thought and all that...
Re: Puppets performing Magic Posted by Franklin on Apr 09, 2018
I started out in a puppet/clown team where every member was a clown and every member used puppets, but every member also had a specific concentration outside of puppets; mine was illusions. I havent done magic in years, but really need to get back into it
Re: Puppets performing Magic Posted by Shawn on Apr 10, 2018
Great post Brian! Thanks.
Re: Puppets performing Magic Posted by Gail on Apr 11, 2018
I used to do illusions before puppets, but never thought of combining them. I love the tricks where they think they know how you did it but you prove them wrong and then their mouths hang open. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
Re: Puppets performing Magic Posted by Brian Douglas on Apr 11, 2018
As far as illusions, you could have a puppet manipulate a mirror box with the same magnetic hand.  Angles would be a concern but not hard to overcome.

I have future plans for a 'bad magician' puppet (who shows up at the most inappropriate time to perform), and of course is completely unaware of how annoying he is.  I believe I could add an addition rod to the arm to manipulate a change bag (if you know what that is). 

Basic pulls could also make a silk vanish up the sleeve (if the puppet has sleeves).
Re: Puppets performing Magic Posted by Gail on Apr 20, 2018
My Dad is revising grabber tools from dollar store to make shorter and longer versions and I can see where you could incorporate a small one in lower part of an arm to grab the bottom of the bag to turn it inside out. Some grabber tools can be locked shut so that you don't have to continually hold it shut and then only concentrate on the arm movement. In some of Dad's tools he has added screws sticking out that grab onto objects securely. If that puppet was a robot magician the grabber could pass without cover. Or human arm puppet hands would have more finesse. You can use one hand in mouth and one hand in glove and have the other hand stuffed. Most people only move one hand most of the time. Let us know what works for your magic.

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