There are a lot of innovative magicians out there. They invent magic tricks we could never conceive. But as we were told at a bus stop in West Hollywood, “Invent what you know.”
We have no idea what its real purpose was but it inspired us. We should create tricks that are based on the things we handle every day. Then we should find an audience of similarly minded (and aged) people to whom we can perform and sell the tricks.
The CPAP of Mystery:
This is a trick involving a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. It is a staple of those afflicted with sleep apnea – one of the few disorders that affect the entire family except for the person with the disorder. It stops obnoxious and annoying snoring.
(Ironically, Obnoxious and Annoying was the name of our first duo act. We played the mischievous character Annoying (despite being underweight for the part) and a current star of stage and screen played Mr. Obnoxious. We were true to the script as written by Shakespeare and even wore period costumes. Few playgoers have read the original text and, to be honest, it is a play often over-looked by Shakespearean scholars. Additionally it is four hours long. And we performed it without scenery or props. And we could not afford stage lights so we used flashlights to shine on each other. And our make-up was overdone due to a product placement deal we had with L’Oréal. Nonetheless, it was up for a Tony® award but it was a tough year and we lost to A Chorus Line. Our agent’s protests that we should be in the category for dramatic performance fell on deaf ears and we were pitted against one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time. As most English majors can recall, Obnoxious and Annoying does have some singing and dancing in the seventh act when Annoying pretends to be dancing with the love of his life, Spiteful. The New York Times gave it a middling review, “There is a good reason this play is overlooked when one considers the full range of Shakespearean plays, it is terrible. But here we have two men willing to perform a play that should have been burned or used as scrap-paper acting without any accoutrements on a stage too small in a room too large for its pitiful audience size.” The New Yorker was not as kind, “Obnoxious and Annoying and Too Long” should have been the title for this forgettable foray into a play the Great Bard himself said was “not worthy of his cheapest ink.”)
But back to the illusion of the CPAP machine. An audience member selects a card from a freely shuffled deck, signs it, returns it to the deck. And then she throws the deck directly at the performer wearing a CPAP mask. The card instantly appears in the mask and when turned around (with either the performer’s fingers or tongue), it is shown to be the signed card. With a CPAP machine, we could sell it for $1,700. Without the CPAP machine – in case the performer already has one – it would cost $3.00. We think it would be a big hit. Continue reading “A New Magic Niche: Oldsters”