Advice on a pick pocketing & my new Business card

Feb 4, 2008
959
2
I wanted to get some thoughts on my new business card. It is to promote my newest book Boxman. I also wanted to get some thoughts on pick pocketing effects for a show I am developing in conjunction with the book. Here is the card. It is inspired by Kevin Mitnicks card.

Boxman Business Card.jpg

As for the pick pocketing. A friend of mine suggested that I could use a magic show to help promote the book. The show will basically follow a "fake expose' '" model of various sorts of crime. The culmination will be "Safe Cracking"(which will essentially be a ring flight out of a safe and into a ring box.) On the way to the finale' I will go through - the pick pocket - the card sharp - the con man - the escape artist - and then the safe man. I have effects for most of those but I haven't done a ton of Pick Pocketing.

The the big question is what pick pocketing effects are there that don't necessarily require actual pick picketing?
Thanks for any and all input!

Cheers,
Erik
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
13
61
Northampton, MA - USA
PLEASE CLARIFY: This book you are talking about isn't a "How To Do Magic" type book, you've done something that's appropriate to the general public, right? Otherwise having a business card that promotes such a product makes no sense; it's an expensive venture that isn't focused on the applicable market. I'm not trying to be overly critical, I'm just missing information when it comes to what you are peddling and to whom.

Recently, I've found a handful of top end effects such as a smoke production type bit, listed in GIZMODO type sites from the very companies we all know, but being offered to the general public. How is this preserving magic secrets and allowing US to retain a mystery? It doesn't, it's exposure plain & simple and it hurts us all even when it is the developer doing the outreach.

Why would anyone of us want to buy material or effects that aren't being sold exclusively to us -- the magic community?

It's just something I think we all need to weigh. . .


As to Pick-Pocket Work. . . Stevens Magic tends to carry the most material I've ever seen on this subject; literally dozens of DVDs, books and even VHS dinosaur formats. The problem with Pick-Pocket routines is that they frequently make the people involved, look dumb. . . it's important to end on a high note and not win applause at their expense. The other thing to remember when it comes to on-stage pick-pocketing is that much of it is not legit, it's a matter of "instant stooging" -- Blackstone would literally stage whisper to guests, telling them to hand him their wallets, watch, etc. He was one of many that used this approach, one that my mentor actually wrote a book on and Ricky Dunn used to build a career through.

I bring this out simply because it is an alternative that works. . . let's face it, you have to stooge the guy you pull the shirt off of.

If you want fun and funny, look at Harry Anderson's "Cuff Links" which can be used in a manner that's similar to a Kellar Tie . . . I've done similar pick-pocket bits with actual cops, closing the act by putting two of Chicago's finest cuffed together as I freed myself. Catch is, you need to know how to get out of a genuine set of Smith & Wesson or Peerless Cuffs (the two most common brands used by cops) or, if you really want to make it fun and more impossible, the new zip tie restraints.

If you can read the French language I believe Gerard Majax wrote a book on his work as a Master Pick-Pocket. He actually featured a "Bell Vest" in his shows such as the Gypsies use to train with (and have used for hundreds of years).
 
Feb 4, 2008
959
2
PLEASE CLARIFY: This book you are talking about isn't a "How To Do Magic" type book, you've done something that's appropriate to the general public, right? Otherwise having a business card that promotes such a product makes no sense; it's an expensive venture that isn't focused on the applicable market. I'm not trying to be overly critical, I'm just missing information when it comes to what you are peddling and to whom.
Yes that is correct. The book is a heist novel. Crime thriller basically. The magic show is just another way to help promote the show. So basically magic show but the "Pseudo Methods" will all be claimed to be how real crooks do it.
Recently, I've found a handful of top end effects such as a smoke production type bit, listed in GIZMODO type sites from the very companies we all know, but being offered to the general public. How is this preserving magic secrets and allowing US to retain a mystery? It doesn't, it's exposure plain & simple and it hurts us all even when it is the developer doing the outreach.

Why would anyone of us want to buy material or effects that aren't being sold exclusively to us -- the magic community?

It's just something I think we all need to weigh. . .
I'm really not sure about any of that or how it applies to me? Maybe I confused you with my previous post? Anyways....I am not actually exposing anything. I'm doing the B.S. expose' stuff. Kind of like when a mentalist uses an Imp Pad to get an image but then pretends that he is using NLP to deduce the image.
As to Pick-Pocket Work. . . Stevens Magic tends to carry the most material I've ever seen on this subject; literally dozens of DVDs, books and even VHS dinosaur formats. The problem with Pick-Pocket routines is that they frequently make the people involved, look dumb. . . it's important to end on a high note and not win applause at their expense. The other thing to remember when it comes to on-stage pick-pocketing is that much of it is not legit, it's a matter of "instant stooging" -- Blackstone would literally stage whisper to guests, telling them to hand him their wallets, watch, etc. He was one of many that used this approach, one that my mentor actually wrote a book on and Ricky Dunn used to build a career through.

I bring this out simply because it is an alternative that works. . . let's face it, you have to stooge the guy you pull the shirt off of.
This is exactly the kind of stuff I am open to. It is just the opening bit in the show which will need to cover a lot of other phony expose's so I am really not interested in devoting the amount to time to get as good at this as Apollo Robbins. I'll definitely try to figure out how to end it on a high note. Maybe I could stage whisper to the victim and tell him to pick my pocket as a climax? Just thinking out loud.....
If you want fun and funny, look at Harry Anderson's "Cuff Links" which can be used in a manner that's similar to a Kellar Tie . . . I've done similar pick-pocket bits with actual cops, closing the act by putting two of Chicago's finest cuffed together as I freed myself. Catch is, you need to know how to get out of a genuine set of Smith & Wesson or Peerless Cuffs (the two most common brands used by cops) or, if you really want to make it fun and more impossible, the new zip tie restraints.
That sound fun but it may be more appropriate later in the show when I do a few escapes. You see later in the show I do a bit about how to get yourself out of trouble after you got yourself in it! I also can't necessarily count on cops at every show. I have my own Smith and wessons and I'll combine them with a thumb cuff escape. Maybe even throw in the straight jacket? anyways that is stuff I am a little more comfy with(at least method wise) but I might consider some of those tips when routining and scripting.
If you can read the French language I believe Gerard Majax wrote a book on his work as a Master Pick-Pocket. He actually featured a "Bell Vest" in his shows such as the Gypsies use to train with (and have used for hundreds of years).
Interesting.....maybe I should study french!

Thanks
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
What are you looking to pick pocket? Barnes and Coates has their Pick Pocketing DVD, which a lot of people recommend. I've seen some of it and the style is ... odd. None of the flash and quality that we expect from T11 and E and such these days, but the information is conveyed thoroughly.

I've seen a good pick pocketing style routine done with a deck of cards. I want to say it was on Art of Astonishment. But again, it was a video that I watched only part of.
 
Feb 4, 2008
959
2
What are you looking to pick pocket? Barnes and Coates has their Pick Pocketing DVD, which a lot of people recommend. I've seen some of it and the style is ... odd. None of the flash and quality that we expect from T11 and E and such these days, but the information is conveyed thoroughly.

I've seen a good pick pocketing style routine done with a deck of cards. I want to say it was on Art of Astonishment. But again, it was a video that I watched only part of.

I actually have some of those. The point is not that I care to learn to actually pick pocket. I am more interested in effects that can be portrayed as pick pocketing. Basically other effects out there like CAPtivated, that was mentioned earlier. Another friend had mentioned an excellent effect in DM's Anthology with cards but because I have a short "Card Sharp" section I don't want to use cards for the opening Pick Pocketing routine.

Thanks for the suggestions though. Everything helps!
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
13
61
Northampton, MA - USA
Sounds interesting.

I don't know how deep you want to get with things or how big you want to go with it as part of a show, but there have been several fun Cloak & Dagger type routines over the years that might interest you, many of which have been streamlined so as to not require big props and others that use "stock" effects systems that have been modified slightly, like a Modern Cabinet.

Feel free to PM me if you would like to discuss ideas along this line.
 
Feb 4, 2008
959
2
Hrm...Not sure exactly what you mean by Cloak and Dagger routines. My theme really should stick close to "Heist & Hustle" type effects since the Boxman is basically a heist plot. I also don't want to get to "slick" and clever. The book has a grittier, more "working class" tone to it that separates it from most fiction in the same genre'. So I don't want the show to get over-stylized either.
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
13
61
Northampton, MA - USA
Hrm...Not sure exactly what you mean by Cloak and Dagger routines. My theme really should stick close to "Heist & Hustle" type effects since the Boxman is basically a heist plot. I also don't want to get to "slick" and clever. The book has a grittier, more "working class" tone to it that separates it from most fiction in the same genre'. So I don't want the show to get over-stylized either.

More like "The Italian Job" or "Ronin" then?

If you have a fair sized stage there is a sub trunk routine that might work for you. . . Larry Clark had it made years ago, when he was still in the Castle Jr's group. It's a Vault. Larry's on Facebook, look him up if you're interested, he might still have the thing and be willing to part with it.

If I can remember it, I did a promo show for a jeweler in Beverly Hills many (many) years ago in which I was a pick-pocket with a more Cary Grant type style. . . Murder Mystery dinners were first getting big in the area but in this instance the mystery had to do with jewel theft. . . about $3 million dollars worth. I had a lot of fun with the general idea but I'm certain we could "dirty it up" so as to fit the streets vs. high end social affairs.

Just tossing out ideas for you.
 
Feb 4, 2008
959
2
That sounds like a lot of fun. My show will likely start out more like your Murder Mystery gig but If it grows the idea of a sub trunk that looks like a vault is pretty cool. As for the tone of the show, Mine would be the exact opposite of the dapper Cary Grant style. Real historic safe crackers are a very working class sort. So my book was written to really throw off that old cliche', thus I want the show to follow the same theme. I think for a movie analogy Micheal Mann's "Thief" would be more appropriate.

The climax of the show will actually be a ring flight believe it or not. I have an old wall safe that I modified the wheel packs on. So the safe operates like Alan Wong's "Dream Lock". Early in the show a ring is borrowed. I say that for the purpose of the show it will be the "Hope Diamond." Then the ring goes in the safe and an IOU for the ring goes into a Porper Strong Box. As you can guess the show ends with an empty safe and a ring in the strong box.

So anyways, with all that being the climax of the show, the opening pick pocketing stuff should be fun, engaging, but also not so elaborate as to overpower the rest of the show. Therefore, I'm trying to keep it simple. I will look up Larry Clark though....love to see a pick of that Sub Trunk! Sounds super cool!
 
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