Make your own free website on

Ginn, David: Clown Magic
©1993 David Ginn, Published by Piccadilly Books
ISBN: 0-941599-21-3
Paperback, 160 Pages, 8.5x11"
Clown Magic

Comments: A fun book not just for magician/clowns, but good ideas for children's entertainers as well. My local library had this one.


7 Foreword: David's introduction to Clowning

9 Chapter 1: Magic and Clowning
10 Being Funny
12 Clown Character
14 Clown Humor
14 Clown Magic Versus Comedy Magic: what makes it different
15 Are You A Real Clown? (Mary Beth Martin): being a clown vs. just dressing up like one
16 Types of Clown Magic

17 Chapter 2: Entertaining With Clown Magic
17 Creating Magic: categories such as Vanish, Production, etc
18 The Secrets of Misdirection: The Eyes, Movement, etc.
20 Using Misdirection: in the example of a simple coin "pass"
22 Tricks and Props: Tricks vs. Routines, Magic Props, Comedy Props, Cream Pies
26 Successful Clown Magic: Entertainment Comes First!
28 Basic Rules of Magic: such as Never tell the secret

29 Chapter 3: Most Clowns Talk
29 Greeting Your Audience: suggested comedy intros
30 Covering Mistakes: what to say
31 New Magic Words: suggestions
32 Outdoor Shows: more funny sayings
32 Birthday Party Laughs: how to make the kids laugh

35 Chapter 4: Working With Children
35 Warming Up Your Audience: three steps
38 Audience Participation: selecting helpers
39 Comedy For Children
40 Seating the Audience
41 Supervising Children
41 Clowns Up Close: overcoming fear in children
42 Shake Hands for Laughs: several suggestions for comedy hand shaking to break the ice
44 What Children Like: Animals, Color, Laughter, etc.
45 Showmanship: tips on organization

47 Chapter 5 Snaky Magic for Laughs
47 The Spring Snake: what type to buy, care, loading, and hiding
50 Spring Snake Ideas: Can On the Table; Back In the Can; The Snake Attack; Fake Snake Attack; Repeat Snake Attack; Jumbo Surprise Wand;
51 My Favorite Snake Routine - Comedy Lunch Box: a full stage routine with rubber food, a lunch box, audience participation and of course spring snakes.

57 Chapter 6 Magical Fun With Kids
57 Follow Instructions: gag to begin a show
57 Chicken From the Coat: from the spectator's coat, that is
59 Instant Costumes: dressing up your young spectators
61 The Apple/Worm Cans: a former Ickle Pickle trick. The children each select Apple cans, the magician gets the one with the worms
64 Balloon Blow Up: a balloon trick resulting in a teddy bear finish
67 That Magic Flower: a routine with the Wilting Flower
70 Coloring By Magic: a routine for the Magic Coloring Book, featuring breakout wand, rollout wand, and more

75 Chapter 7 Clown Stunts
75 The Rice Bottle: a bottle filled with rice is raised with a chopstick
76 Basketball Briefcase: a real basketball comes out of a thin briefcase
79 Homemade Electric Deck: The Gag deck that lets you do amazing stunts, because the cards are all tied together
80 Sawing a Goat in Half: okay, a balloon
81 Magic Eggs: a dozen eggs drop from under a cloth draped over your arm
82 Crazy Magazine: variation on Newspaper séance
83 Book Gags: ideas for gags and stunts with hollowed out books
84 Optical Illusion Numbers: a clever mathematical gag

85 Chapter 8 Magic Up Close
85 Houdini Straws: two straws are twisted together and seemingly penetrate as they are pulled apart
86 Coke Float: at the end of your meal, your fast food cup begins to rise from your fingertips
87 Coin Under the Cup: Magician can remove a coin from under a cup without touching the cup (gag)
88 Coin Gone Twice: coin is dropped on the floor, picked up, vanished, appears under your shoe, vanishes again, is pulled from child's ear
88 Your Dollar, My Dollar: magician reads the serial number of a spectator's bill (gag)
88 Eat a Dollar: magician tears a portion of a dollar bill, eats it, but restores the dollar
89 Card Stick: a card is obviously forced upon the children, and the magician makes it disappear, to be found glued to a stick (after an apparent mistake)
90 Thumb Off: pullling the thumb off illusion
91 Penetrated Thumb: pins are stuck into the magician's thumb hidden under a napkin
92 The Mummy Finger: live finger in the box
93 Smell the Flower: a flower gag
93 Squeaker Gags: ten ideas for using a squeaker

95 Chapter 9 Super Sight Gags
95 Suitcase Gags: Magician shows a sign, then pulls something out of a suitcase. For example: My Bee Colletion - the case is opened to show a lot of letter B's inside. A dozen suggestions provided
97 Silly Sight Gags: such as Hair Spray (a water gun inside a stuffed rabbit), and 14 other ideas
98 Book...Worm?: spring "worms" from a book
98 Computer Baby: a gag with a tape recorder and rehearsed lines
99 Big Band Music: another gag
99 Rapid Balloon Sculpture: rapid fire balloon sculptures using a rubber glove
100 Comedy Dove Appear: another gag
100 Dog In the Shoe Box: a little "dog" in a shoebox

101 Chapter 10 Running Gags
101 Water of the Chattahoochee: a lotta Bowl or Vase
102 Olsen and Johnson's Growing Plant
104 Newspaper Swindle: a boy selling newspaper swindles
105 Scarves That Won't Stay Tied: with a butterfly scarf appearance
107 Silk Tossed Up: silk is supposed to turn into a bird, but at the end turns into a cane instead
107 Glass of Water: gag with an assistant
107 Tree of India: a plant fails to magically grow until the end of the show (Botania)

109 Chapter 11 Clown Magic on Stage
109 My Tie Tide: part of a tie vanishes and reappears, it grows 8 feet long, then the tie is Tide...
112 Siren Flashlight: mostly a gag routine with a flashlight that has a built in siren
113 Ooey Gooey: the children get the candy or chips, the magican gets the ooey gooey
114 Any-Color Crayon: a crayon that writes any color - first as a gag, then magically
115 Ribbon and Balls: balls and a ribbon are placed into a bag; when removed, the balls are attached to the ribbon
117 Mechanical Toy Takes Over: idea for using a mechanical (or electronic, these days) toy that doesn't do as you command
117 Hank Box: silks are pulled from a box tied end to end and end up pullling up the tablecloth as well! (gag)
118 It's Empty! It's Gone!: Water is poured into a stack of cups; the first cup is pulled out with the bottom obviously missing as the clown states the water has vanished. This is repeated until the last cup where the water is poured over the clown
119 The Apple Cans: a sort of three shell game with cans and fruit

121 Chapter 12 Clown Skits (no, or little, magic in this section, but rather clown plays to entertain your audience)
121 The Split Up: an audience warm up routine
122 Chicken or the Egg: which came first?
123 Singing With Cake: keep singing while eating cake
124 Maga-Sounds: When the clown opens a magazine, a sound plays. Example is Field and Stream magazine playing bird sounds. Lists 18 magazines and suggested sound effects.
125 Karrell Fox's Handy Dandy Earphones: relates a funny Karrel Fox story, and then explains Karrell's hard of hearing act
128 The Chair: a skit for one Clown and a chair
128 Clown Camera: a full act with a bunny production box, snake cane, a "long hare", boy-to-rabbit magic wand, and more
130 Card, Silk, Pie: a skit for three clowns
132 The Big Newspaper: a clown skit based on a newspaper growing in size as it is unfolded

135 Chapter 12 Clown Tricks for Two or More Performers
135 Spike Out of Noah's Ark: a comedy bit
136 Vanishing Rubber Chicken: with three possible endings
138 Balloon Pop: an easy way to pop a balloon with an accompanying skit
139 Mindreading Clowns: a humorous skit for two clowns
140 Holey Hat: a trick is "exposed" (comedy bit)
140 Floating Violin: objects float behind a curtain even though the clowns hands are clearly seen
141 Endless Scarves: lots of scarves come from a can, ending in a clown sock
143 Almost Gone Candle Vanish (Abb Dickson): another magic trick gone wrong
144 The Great Houdini Escape: in two versions
146 One Last Thing: Love your audiences and never stop learning

147 Appendix A Standard Magic Props: definitions
152 Appendix B Resources: Magic and Clown Prop companies; Clown and Magic Organizations, Magazines and Newsletters; Makeup and Costumes; Books, Tapes and Videos
160 Index