The Thing by Bill Abbott

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The Thing by Bill Abbott

Postby Tom Lauten » Jan 13th, '06, 16:44



The Thing (Professional package)

Available from www.hocus-pocus.com

Price: $120 (approx £70 GBP)

Category: Close up to stage illusion

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

They say:

The reputation-making, one-man levitation that can be performed ANYWHERE! Perform it in a living room, on a large theater stage, or in broad daylight on the street.

The Thing can float in any performing situation with your audience viewing from any angle. No matter how close the spectators are, whether they're behind, on top, or underneath you, they will not see how this THING works!

Practical, one-man levitations are few and far between. After a decade of research and development in front of real audiences, in addition to numerous requests from magicians around the world, Bill is finally releasing a cherished routine.

Through exclusive arrangement with Bill Abbott, The Thing comes complete and ready for your show! Whether your specialty is bizarre magic, kid shows, mentalism, comedy magic, or stage illusions The Thing has the versatility of playing in any style that you want it to.

Routine Description:
At any point in your act, you show a box made of clear plastic and completely empty. The box lid is opened and an empty cloth handkerchief is draped over the open box. Mysteriously, a form rises slowly up from out of the box under the cloth continuing up until it is hovering suspended in mid-air. The audience can have a clear view of the levitation from any angle and can see there is no support of any kind.

You then lift a corner of the cloth up and over the levitating object only to have it suddenly disappear leaving the cloth hanging empty in your fingers! By draping the cloth over the invisible object it slowly makes its reappearance in an unbelievably magical fashion.

The object can then float up and out of your fingers, shoot on a horizontal plane away from you or out above the heads of the audience. Finally you push the cloth-covered object back down into the box, dramatically close the lid and bow to thunderous applause!

Professional Package Includes:
Clear View Box
Ungimmicked Cloth
Hand-Made Gimmicked Cloth,
Practice Folder with step-by-step photos to make practice and rehearsal fun and easy

Instructional DVD with both a Street Performance and a Formal Performance of The Thing with detailed descriptions of every move and nuance to help you master this amazing effect
A Compact Disc with 6 tracks of royalty-free music to accompany your performance!

Points to consider:
No threads
No magnets
No assistants
No special clothing required
No reset, perform it over and over again without any lighting or staging considerations to worry about

With the discreet handling described on the instructional DVD, you can pass out the cloth & the box afterwards leaving the skeptics speechless, in fact in Bill's current stage presentation he has a volunteer hold the box as the The Thing rises out of it!

I say:

Now I normally don’t look twice at this type of effect but for some reason I clicked on the video demo button at Hocus Pocus and WOW! I was enthralled!

I watched this guy doing his best to restrain and control an unearthly sphere under a blue cloth. He pushed it down from above and it resisted for a moment before giving way, but it rose again…smooth as silk.

Then the man lifted a corner of the cloth and took a peek underneath. He flung the cloth off the creepy little ball…it was gone…no trace.

Next he held the cloth up like a Matador’s cape and threw it forward. As it floated downward I saw the ball take form under the fabric again, as if he had just thrown a net over it. It hung in the air before dragging the man about a bit more.

Finally the man opened a clear plastic box and eased the floating entity down into the box with a gentle push. The lid was closed and the man gathered up his belongings and walked away.

I arranged to get one that very day.

This is a wonderful illusion you can carry in one hand. It plays well on the street, on stage, in a dining room, heck, anywhere.

The package you get it STUNNING! Your “Thing” will arrive in a smart cardboard box with Bill’s confident face printed on the label. He seems to be daring you to give it a go. The props are BEAUTIFUL! The gimmick itself is super-neat and tidy. The fabric feels rich and supple. Everything looks good in the box and better when out.

Bill Abbott is clearly a master at working “The Thing” but the purchaser will get joy from it straight away. It’s just so much fun to play with you can help but get better. The pay-off for the work you put in will be manifold.

The DVD and CD that are included are fantastic. You get a great and insightful tuition DVD and a audio CD with 6 tracks of royalty-free music on it for all sorts of performing. You also receive a poster with photographs depicting the key points of Bill’s performance as a reference chart.

The clear plastic box sound tacky but…what you get is a TOUGH clear equipment box/flight case style home for your very own “Thing”…nothing cheap here.

About the only thing you don’t get is Bill himself, tucked up neatly in a corner and covered in bubble wrap and the only thing he does set you up with is a CD player and gig bookings!

Despite this being a great product from one man, something he obviously loves and has worked hard to make his own, Mr. Abbott gives ample credit for his inspirations in developing the effect

What more can I say? If you want an effect you can perform as spooky, dramatic, vibrant or high comical farce and slapstick then you need to get hold of your very own Thing!

Overall: 9.5/10

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Postby bananafish » Jan 13th, '06, 16:46

Ahh. At last the review. Thanks Tom. I've been waiting to read your thoughts on this one for a while...

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Postby Johnny Wizz » Jan 13th, '06, 16:53

Incredible review. Thank you.

Difficulty 3/5, is this in the working of the effect or the presentation?

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Postby Tom Lauten » Jan 13th, '06, 17:13

The effect does take some skill and practice but you will have fun with it from the start.

The Thing is worth building a full routine around as it's look and movement lends itself to interaction with the performer as an entity in it's own right. It takes a bit of time to build up and establish that.

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Postby greedoniz » Jan 13th, '06, 17:23

After reading that review and seeing the demo I'm really tempted to spend the dosh getting that, it looks great.
When it first start I thought it was the old spoon under a cloth, but I was proved very wrong.
Thanks for the review!!!

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Postby magicdiscoman » Jan 13th, '06, 18:58

shame the videos a tad fuzzy and the passing cars don't help, havan't seen one of thease for years, practise certainly needed to pull off the moves but not beyond anyone.
any chance of a uk distributer picking this up. :?:

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Postby Bill Abbott » Jan 14th, '06, 02:58

Hi,

No U.K. distributors have approached me.
I am currently having a difficult time keeping the 3 dealers up on stock here in North America.

Thanks for the review Tom.

Bill Abbott

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Postby magicdiscoman » Jan 14th, '06, 08:54

bill I'm glad its a hit for you it certainly looks a good piece of kit and i hope you don't get any knockoffs.
i'll certainly put this on my list as i can see it would be great for kids parties, unless i am badly mistaken method wise, i asume there no weight problem with your version so that will be a relief to the old arthritus. :lol:
and the vanish just blows away thoughs pesky knowitalls, well played.

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Postby Martin Le Guerre » Jan 24th, '06, 22:56

Mine arrived this morning and I agree Tom with everything you say. Its rarely been out of my hands all day (luckily it coincided with a day off work!) and I can see its potential for many hours of fun.

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Postby Tom Lauten » Jan 24th, '06, 23:59

Fun innit?! :D

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Postby taneous » Jan 25th, '06, 07:26

The Thing is brilliant - something I'm busy including in my kid's show.

The routine is also available on Bill Abbot's Stand Up for Kids. On the dvd you get two other routines as well - a good rendition of the 'sponge ball from mouth' theme and a puppet routine that is really entertaining.
The dvd also includes the instructions for making The Thing - which isn't too hard to do.
I bought my copy from Hank Lees - but I'm sure it's available at a number of other places.

The secret to a succesful rain dance is all about timing
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Postby dorian » Jan 25th, '06, 11:40

The things is such a great item and as tom says it is really well made the box it comes with is a nice little prop and the DVD is clear and explains all the moves wonderfully you even get a poster to help you through moves when you practice in the mirror.

I have never said this before but I think its under priced as you are getting so much for your money.

And for those that have one it works fabulously on a pool table.

Dean

P.S

Thank you Bill for creating such a fabulous item.

D.

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Postby taneous » Jan 25th, '06, 12:55

And for those that have one it works fabulously on a pool table.


Huh :shock:
Are we talking about the same 'Thing' here? Explain??

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Postby dorian » Jan 25th, '06, 14:14

Hi

When one of the balls has gone into the pocket of the table drape the cloth over the pocket (takes a little practice to get the right angle) and then perform as it has the appearance that the ball is out of the pocket and is now levitating under the cloth.

Hope this helps

Dean

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Postby greedoniz » Nov 21st, '06, 13:59

I hate to bring up an old thread needlessly but since getting "the Thing" last week I cant stop messing around (or practicing as it should be called) with it.
It feels great to use, the materials are of fantastic quality and it is well/thoroughly taught.

My girlfriend is slightly annoyed though that I've spent the last 4 days running around the flat being pulled by an invisible "thing" floating under a cloth whilst I make ghostly wails. And if she's reading this then No I dont think it's time I grew up!

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