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Dancing Clowns
by Jim Gerrish

 

This is a great way to involve a parent and child together, or a brother and sister, or any two friends. You reach into a bag and pull out two clown marionettes, one for each of them. You demonstrate how to work the simple cross-shaped handle, and then send them off to practice while you go on with the show. In a few minutes, you bring them back and announce the Dancing Clown Contest. Music is played and the two contestants operate their clown marionettes to make them perform and dance. At the end, the audience decides the winner of the contest by applause.

Then the contestants make the clown marionettes climb up the "Ladder of Success" and climb back into their bag to find the prize that awaits them. But no! The bag is ripped open and it is completely empty except for the wooden cross-bar handlers and some loose strings! No prizes! No clowns!

There is a loud knocking from a box on the other side of the stage. You open it, and nothing is inside. You close it and the knocking starts up again. Finally you open it, and the box is empty. You go back to your show.

Behind your back, the top of the box begins to open and it seems to be pushed up by one of your stringless clowns! When the kids point it out to you, the lid slams shut and you see nothing. Then the other clown opens the lid and peeks out. Finally both clowns open the lid together and you catch them in the act, so you sneak up on the box, and once again show the box to be empty. No Clowns and still no prizes.

You put the empty box back on the floor and sneak up on it from behind. Aha! This time when you open it, there are clowns inside! To the Disney Pinocchio tune of "I've Got No Strings on Me" the two stringless marionettes appear in a pile of prizes that can be shared with the whole audience.

Sources given for buying the clowns, the ladder and knocking box OR use our construction plans for MAKING the clown marionettes and puppets, the ladder, the magic bag, and the knocking box from scratch (after all, you ARE a "Do-It-Yourself" Magician, aren't you?).

Music suggestions and sources are also given.

WJ39-02

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Buy all 10 articles of this issue (#39) of the Wizards' Journal
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