With his excellent "Squeak Technique," Jeff McBride
invites you to “feel the power of the squeak” by adding sound effects to your magic routines. Indeed, with this DVD, you’ll learn how to effectively apply audio effects that add comedy and interest to your magic, as well as learn McBride’s excellent bowl and ball routine
, which he calls “BRAVO!” The kit comes with the instructional DVD and two sound gimmicks (“mc-squeakers”) to get you started.
Clever Bowl Game
McBride’s Bravo routine is a “Benson Bowl” style effect
that features strong interaction with two audience volunteers. On stage, McBride positions a male volunteer to his right and a female volunteer to his left. In the routine, balls vanish
from the hand of the female into the hand of the man and then repeatedly vanish and end up under a bowl that has been previously shown empty and laid mouth down onto the table. The routine features a comical section where balls repeatedly return to the magician’s hands, and, of course, there’s a large load at the routine’s conclusion. McBride also teaches a variation with a borrowed bill that ends up inside of a lemon, which acts as the final load.
To learn and perform the bowl and ball routine McBride offers thorough instructions and background information. After a clip of his performance, he discusses the type of bowls that work well for the effect, as well as the balls and final loads. He offers suggestions on how to modify the balls to accommodate different themes. There’s a discussion on wands and holdouts. And, of course, there’s detailed discussion on the effective use of the squeaker within his routine. In all, McBride serves lots of interesting historical perspectives and excellent and insightful information.
To learn to perform the “Bravo!” routine, McBride teaches a foundation in vanishes that may be applied to any sponge ball or cups and balls
routine. I appreciate McBride’s concept of a “practice loop”- modifying a routine for practice purposes to master the sleights. It’s a useful concept that may be applied to many sleight of hand
The squeaker (called the “Mc-Squeaker”) is a small, double-reed object that goes in your mouth and that you blow to make the sound. I agree that the addition of the squeaker and its audio effects can greatly augment a routine - both in stand up and close-up situations. Also, on the street, when trying to gather a crowd, the noise may be used to attract attention.
The second portion of the DVD is dedicated to bits and gags with the squeaker. Here, you’ll find lots of great ideas for enhancing your routines with various devices that make sound. In all, McBride offers a thorough look at the possibilities of adding audio in a variety of applications, and bits, which will stimulate your creativity and imagination.
If you want to enhance your close-up and stage routines with sound - something that I think just about any magician can benefit from - I recommend “Squeak Technique.” And McBride’s excellent “Benson Bowl” style routine is simply icing on the cake (actually, it alone is worth the price of the DVD).