The Instant Wizard

By Professor Spellbinder

This is dedicated to Allen Hanuska, who requested that I write down my memories of the routine for The Wizards’ Journal. Allen was looking for an “Instant Magician” trick, the one where you put your arms through the arms of a magic suit a child is wearing and make it appear that your hands are his hands. I told Allen that my Instant Wizard routine did not involve coming in physical contact with the child, which is becoming a “no-no” in today’s world. So here it is at his request.

Effect: The Wizard has a talking hat, much like the “Sorting Hat” seen in the Harry Potter movies. The Wizard uses it to locate a helper who has some “wizard powers” and brings the child up to the stage (or the front). The Wizard congratulates the child on being a Wizard and tells him he is now in charge of finishing the rest of the magic show. With that, the Wizard puts the talking hat on a stool, goes into the audience and sits down to watch his new apprentice perform.

Most of the rest of the routine is done with you, the Wizard, sitting in the audience and the child following your spoken directions on the stage, so in this way, it is completely different from the “Instant Magician.”

Following your directions, the child wizard produces a magic robe to wear, a pair of glasses and a scar if you’re trying to achieve the “Harry Potter look,” and a magic wand.

At this point, I will suggest some other magical effects using props you may already have or which you can purchase, that are completely self-working so the child can do them just by following your directions.

Then I will give you information on building the following effects that I have used with success, which can all be made inexpensively and rather easily:

The Floating Feather. The Wizard child finds it inside the hat and places it on your table in a special “feather holder.” He recites the spell (Wingardium Leviosa, if you wish) and nothing happens until he is not looking at the feather. As soon as he takes his eyes off the feather, the feather begins to fly around, stopping just before he notices it. Naturally, the kids in the audience can all see it. It is all under your control, of course (don’t you love the idea of being your own stooge?).

Sit on It. The Wizard child finds an envelope on the stool, beneath the Talking Hat. Inside the envelope are six special cards. Since you make these cards yourself, they can be decorated any way you wish. My routine suggests using characters from the Harry Potter stories, but they could also be regular playing cards or Tarot cards, or cartoon characters, etc. The Wizard child finds a young lady from the audience to be his assistant. He invites her up to help and the cards are passed out into the audience for a good mixing. To make a long story short, although you want to “milk” this interaction between the two kids for all that its worth, one of the six cards is chosen and then the cards are all sealed back inside the envelope. The young lady sits on the stool and holds the sealed envelope. The young Wizard has the young lady make the chosen card vanish from the envelope. When she is asked to open the envelope and remove the cards, she finds that the chosen card is indeed gone. You, the Grand Wizard, give her permission to tell everyone what she did with the card. Of course she doesn’t know what happened to it, nor does the young Wizard. Finally, you prompt the girl to say, “I’m sitting on it.” When she gets off the stool and searches around, she discovers the missing card underneath the stool.

Allen, who had already purchased my “Dueling Wands” routine from The Wizards’ Journal #3, suggests that you might also work that effect into this routine.

WJ11-10

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