Duane and Mary Laflin Double-Header Lecture for Ring 211

Duane and Mary Laflin were on a lecture tour which made a stop in Grand Rapids for Ring 211. But it was a back to back stop, hence a “double-header” on October 10 and 11. One lecture was one which Duane was on tour. The other lecture was requested from MagicBob Zoerman which he saw recently at an FCM convention. MagicBob requested our lecture chairman Dave Bogdan to check if Duane could present that one too. We were so fortunate!

The requested lecture was a lecture titled “What I Learned From The Big Show (Magic Beyond Belief in Pigeon Forge) That Applies To The Everyday Show.” Duane and Mary along with a cast of nearly forty people produced and performed two shows a day which equated to about six hundred shows during last year at Pigeon Forge. Duane discussed five points on how each of us could use what we have to put in our everyday show (birthday parties, civic groups, schools, churches, etc.). He also clarified each of these points with one or two magic routines.

His points were:

  • Magic ain’t broke. The Simple and standard tricks and illusions are still enjoyed by the public. But do it extremely well. He presented a Three Card Monte routine and shared his variations.
  • The trick or routine does not have to be big to play “big.” He illustrated this with a change bag routine and again shared his variations.
  • Boxes are better than tables. He learned that space may be scarce back stage, wanted not to have a loaded coat, and for his routines to get into and out of real quick. He showed us many of his boxes and how they were designed for easy-doing. He showed us routines such as Silk To Egg, Knots Off Silk, Professor’s Nightmare and all ropes to one, and a 20th Century. Here he would have one of his nicely dressed assistance hold the box. Side point — costuming adds production value.
  • People just want to have fun. It is okay to have a little silliness. A color-changing streamer illustrated this point. Also, what emotion do I want. To create a sense of wonder, he illustrated with the Linking Ropes. No ego here. It’s about giving the audience a good time and have them experience fun. The sub point was “developing a routine.” He illustrated five learning cases with a three sponge ball routine. The final case was full costuming, various color and larger balls, attractive box and assistant, music, and patter.
  • Simple and direct is best. It is great when an audience member can explain what happened in one sentence. A simple cut and restored rope routine without all the additional moves goes over better. He illustrated with a cut and restored three knot vanish routine.

He reserved some time to answer questions. An additional point he addressed was the purpose of make- up allows your facial expressions to be seen by the audience.

Lecture number two was one he labeled as “Practical Tips For Performing Platform Magic.” This was a collection of ideas all of us are inclined to do. Some of these ideas were shared to him by respected magicians, many of which are no longer with us (Karrell Fox, Blackstone, Jr., Trevor Lewis, Jay Marshall, etc.). These came from his book Tribute, Inspiration, And Magical Legacy.

Routines performed and illustrated were:

  • Cane Vanish In Newspaper — Jay Marshall and his aspect of timing
  • Streamer To Wand To Streamer
  • Silk To Cane
  • change bag routine involving a red silk (and its “red name” gags such as scarlet) to a multi-color silk — Warren Stevens
  • Truth Or Lies Card Routine with ideas from Racherbaumer and Steinmeyer
  • Power Of Suggestion, a Three Card Monte and selected card match with a subtlety on the Hindu Shuffle
  • Deep Thoughts, a Hot Rod routine using eleven cards
  • the production of many colored silks from one white silk to a silk fountain finale
  • Seven Card Trick Prediction — Trevor Lewis
  • Coke bottle production from a rolled lunch bag
  • Duane’s Simple Thimble Trick — a thimble manipulation to a large thimble with the idea that we all should keep learning, growing, and thinking
  • Patriotic Rope Routine — Pavel and a point to use patter in the third person to make the magic more interesting
  • One-Two-One Rope, rope with four ends — excellent in beginning of show when giving announcements

For both lectures, Mary had their full line of magic, DVD’s, and books available for sale. Among the books were Deep Thoughts, Anatomy Of A Gospel Magic Show, and the one mentioned above. Among the DVD’s were Laflin & Company On Stage At “Magic Beyond Belief,” and . . . On Stage With Illusions, and . . . In A Magical Merry Christmas At Magic Beyond Belief/2010. They are working on a new show called Grand Magic In The Black Hills of South Dakota.

Ring 211 thanks the Laflins for presenting this double-header and highly recommends any lecture from them to your club. You may make contact with them at _laflinmagic@yahoo.com_ (mailto:laflinmagic@yahoo.com) . Also a “thumbs up” to our new lecture chairman Dave Bogdan.

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