Routine by Duane Laflin… Originally published in Grand Magic Magazine – January 2013
There are two ways to view this routine.
1. It is perfect for magic shows performed for women’s events such as a Mother-Daughter Banquet or Ladies Luncheon. (Make a note to remember the routine for such a purpose. You may need it in days to come!)
2. It is easily adaptable. To use it for children; change the story from being about a woman and her dress, to being about a child and his or her shirt. For use in a mall show, or at a grand opening or promotion for a store, change it to being about a person who goes shopping and ends up finding exactly what he or she is looking for. For an adult audience, men and women,
I think the presentation will work as is.
The patter allows for taking an old and familiar prop, the silk cabby, and using it in a practical and entertaining manner.
A handkerchief changes color every time it is placed into a box and then removed again. After changing from one color to another, it finally changes size and color to end as a rainbow streamer.
The apparatus does the work in this routine. As long as one understands the proper working of a silk cabby, there will be no problem. If readers are unfamiliar with the working of the silk cabby, please check out the video version of this routine. There the handling will be explained in detail.
- A silk cabby
- Four 12” size silks
- A rainbow streamer. A 4” by 16’ streamer will work fine. Depending on the model, some silk cabbys can easily hold at 4” by 32” streamer.
- Load three of the four 12” silks and the streamer in the load chamber
- Put the white 12” silk in the main area of the Silk Cabby, so it will be in view when the box is opened up.
“It is time for the legend of the magic closet. According to the story, a lady once possessed a magic closet that looked like this.” Show the silk cabby. In light of its design and appearance, calling it a closet makes sense (in a magical way).
“In the closet was a dress of many colors.” Open the cabby and remove a white silk handkerchief from the main area of the box.
“You may not think it was a dress of many colors, for when first seen it was white. That did not last long. The lady would put the dress into one end of her magic closet. When she removed it from the other end, it was red.” Put the white silk into the hole at one end of the cabby. Push the load chamber up while doing this. The white silk goes into one end of the load chamber. Remove a red silk from the hole at the other end of the cabby.
“On occasion she would tire of the dress being red. When she did, she put it back into one end of her closet. When she removed it from the other end of her magic closet, the dress was yellow.” Put the red silk into one end of the cabby and, by way of proper handling of the load chamber, remove the yellow silk from the other end.
“People wondered how this could be? Were there extra dresses inside the
closet? The answer was no!” Open the doors of the cabby so the main area can be seen and show it as empty.
“Yet when she tired of the yellow dress and therefore put it into one end of her magic closet, it become blue when coming out of the other end.”
“People were amazed and thrilled by this. Others just stared in silent wonder.” You might raise an eyebrow at the audience at this point to tease them about how they are, or are not, responding to the trick so far.
“The day came when the woman tired of the dress being a single color and size. On that day, according to the legend, when she put the yellow dress into one end of the magic closet, a long and amazing rainbow of color came out the other end.” Put the yellow silk into one end and produce the rainbow streamer from the other.
“We must remember this was only a legend. There is no such thing as a magic closet. However, if there was, it would look like this…”
- Open the silk cabby and show it empty.
- “And we would see the rainbow like this…” Indicate the streamer.
- “And we probably would all end up clapping our hands and giving a cheer!” Wait for applause to die down.
- “That my friends, is the legend of the magic closet!”
About Silk Cabbys
In my opinion, the silk cabby does not get enough respect from magicians, in that it can be used for a variety of effects, it is a work-horse kind of prop. It works for a vanish, production, or transformation, as well as a repeat (repetition) vanish, production, or transformation. It can also be used for a 20th Century kind of effect where something disappears and reappears tied between two other things.
Surprisingly, it is able to hold a large load. Most smaller versions will hide at least three 18” size silks in the load chamber. Larger versions obviously will hold more.
There are numerous versions on the market. I have found that the small one made by Mak Magic, usually works correctly and is nice for the price. I have also had good experience with the version made by Daytona Magic. It is more expensive, but a good product. Laflin Magic Store has a version of it that may be the best one available for the cost. It is not as fancy as some, but the mechanism is good and the price is fantastic. (It is the model I use.) There are other versions out there that do not work well. Do not make the mistake of purchasing a silk cabby just because you like the price. Research the maker. Purchase it from a company you trust, or find a way to personally work with the prop before making an investment.