My First Magic Book by Lawrence Leyton
Hardcover, 48 pages, 13.31″ x 0.44″ x 10.38″, (September 1993)
Synopsis of My First Magic Book
What does this book have to do with clowning anyway? That’s probably the first question running through your mind. The answer is, not much — directly. It’s a children’s book (approximately ages 9-12) to introduce them to magic tricks. However, it’s really a book on how to create magic props. That you can use, either in your own shows, or to evaluate if this particular prop will work for your character. Without spending many dollars to buy a professional prop, only to realize that it doesn’t really work for your character.
It’s a physically large book, with each page composed primarily of color photographs how to make the props. It doesn’t do a good job of teaching how to perform magic tricks — I’d recommend David Ginn’s Clown Magic for that or the Klutz Magic Book. But with constructing magic props in mind, it’s ideal. The props are:
A top hat, made out of construction paper — feel free to skip this
A pair of big/small gloves — start the show wearing a normal pair of gloves — remove one, it’s perfectly normal — remove the other & it’s gargantuan — a very nice visual gag.
Spotted tie trick – a plain tie (made out of cardboard) magically gains spots amidst a show of confetti. Again, skip this (unless your character normally wears a cardboard tie :o)
Magic Wand – a magic wand that rises up through your fingers on its’ own accord. A very useful idea; much the same as the wilting flower, where the clown is in conflict with the prop that has a mind of its’ own
Conjurer’s Cone – a paper cone, with a hidden pouch, used to hide small objects (silk scarf, etc.). Either to make them vanish or change color (put in a red scarf, pull out a blue, etc.)
Vanishing Silk – creating a magician’s device, called (logically enough) a ‘pull’ that enables you to pull a silk handkerchief or small object up a sleeve.
Color-changing tube – a very nice prop — put a silk handkerchief of one color in, blow through the tube, and a different handkerchief flies out — unroll the paper tube to show that it’s empty.
Sensational Silks – two handkerchiefs are tied together, and a third appears magically tied between them. Could also arrange to have other items appear instead of the handkerchief. But see my article The Jokes on You for a warning on how not to use this prop.
Dancing Matchbox – make a matchbox move back & forth on your arm — only use it close up
The Square Circle – a wonderful prop for making something appear magically. And the wonderful thing is, everything seems to be above board. You show a box, with a cut-out pattern in the front. Through the hole(s) in the front, you can see a colored cylinder. Pull it out, show it, put your hand through it — put it back inside the box. Reach inside the cylinder, and pull out one or more items. Simple to use, “angle-proof”, and works well. It would work very well with a clown team — think of one clown trying to show up another — one pulls the cylinder out, the other snatches it back & pulls an item out. The 1st clown is dumb-founded, and pulls the cylinder out again & looks through it at the audience — the 2nd clown takes it, puts it back in the box, and produces another item, etc.
Amazing Magic Box – I remember first seeing this as a child watching WGN-TV’s Bozo the Clown , as “Wizzo our wacky wizard” would twirl this little box, open a small door to show that the box is empty, twirl it again, and pull out a seemingly inexhaustible amount of ribbons.