Dapper Dan

By Professor Spellbinder

Note: This effect was originally part of an unfinished section called Woodcraft Magic. To keep it from being lost, Dapper Dan has been placed here in The Wizards Journal #44 to replace another unfinished effect called "The Flip-Flop Wand".

This Foamboard/ Basswood project can be used to perform a mental act for kids... or adults. Dapper Dan is a foamboard or basswood doll, the kind that needs to be dressed up with attachment clothing.

At the beginning of the effect, Dapper Dan is wearing only white boxer shorts. You get tired of dressing him with the audience's choices of clothing, so you decide to speed things up with magic. Four (or more... this is flexible based on the way you make it!) helpers choose and draw items of clothing on Dollar Store Message Boards with colored marking pens. Once it has been decided on how Dapper Dan will be dressed, the helpers wave their message boards at Dapper Dan, who has been covered with a silk handkerchief for the occasion. They just THINK of the items of clothing and before you can say "Whiz Bam!" the drawings disappear from the message boards and appear all at once on Dapper Dan. There is an optional ending where Dan's clothes disappear again and he ends up wearing polka dot underwear.

While some magicians avoid performing mental effects for children, this particular effect works on two levels. For very young children who are not impressed by the fact that you seemed to know in advance which choices of apparel and color they would make, the fact that things disappear from their hands and reappear on Dapper Dan is very magical. The older ones will wonder how you could possibly know which items they would choose.

Dapper Dan can also be made up as a Boy or Girl Scout effect, making the appropriate scout uniform appear hap-hazardly at first, and then all straightened out by magic. Since you make this yourself, the character can be changed as well; a clown, a cowboy, a pirate, a princess, a superhero, a cartoon character, etc. The techniques that work for Dapper Dan will work for almost any character you can dream up or locate. It can even be done using a photograph of a live person or celebrity.

If you want to use a licensed character, it is simply a matter of buying a licensed drawing of the character in coloring book, poster or large story-book form, cutting it out, and applying it as instructed in the e-Book.

 

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