Stories

New Victory Arts Break: Asia – Play

Welcome to Play Week of our Asia adventure! We are going to have some fun honing our performance and magic skills, making sure to add in just a teeny bit of silliness. As we continue to practice our magic tricks and magician personas, we are on our way to being bonafide magicians! Huzzah!

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Arts Break Asia Play

That's Ridiculous

Ridiculous Magic is an art form of its own that pairs magic with clowning, mastered by the magical New Victory Teaching Artist Sarah Petersiel. You might remember her teaching Ridiculous Magic in Arts Break before. This silly endeavor was so fun, it left us hungry for more. So what do we have here? More Ridiculous Magic!

Wacky! Wild! Wonderful! What are some effects you can spoof?

Remember Sarah’s suggestions:

  • Predicting the future
  • Moving things with your mind
  • Making things appear
  • Making things disappear
  • Magically putting things back together
  • Making things change places
  • Making things float

In your New Victory Notebook, brainstorm some ridiculous magic tricks you could perform to get some giggles from your family and friends.

Here are some that we came up with.

My Ridiculous Magic

Here’s New Victory staff member Siobhan opening her door with the ridiculous power of her mind! How did she do it?!

Bippity Boppity Magic Door

Try employing some of your ridiculous magic skills as you practice these five easy hand tricks!

Trick #1—Separating Thumb Illusion

Thumb Trick

Jump to Trick #1 in the video.

Step One: Hold out one hand with your palm facing inwards, toward your tummy and bend your thumb so the top of your thumb is tucked away. This is your stationary hand.

Step Two: Bend your other thumb and place it on top of your stationary hand so it looks like your completed stationary thumb.

Step Three: Use your pointer and middle fingers to cover the part of your thumb that is bent.

Step Four: Slide your thumbs up and down the pointer finger of your stationary hand to create the illusion!

Trick #2— Middle Finger Wiggle Trick

Middle Finger Wiggle Trick

Jump to Trick #2 in the video.

Step One: Put your two palms together and separate your fingers.

Step Two: Collapse your two middle fingers beside each other.

Step Three: Rotate one hand so that your fingers are touching the other hand’s palm and your hands are now sideways.

Step Four: Wiggle your middle fingers!

Trick #3— Behind the Ear Coin Trick

Behind the Ear Coin Trick

Jump to Trick #3 in the video.

Step One: Tuck a coin between your pointer and middle fingers so you cannot see the coin when your palm is face down.

Step Two: Strike up a conversation with someone, and let them know that you see something shiny behind their ear.

Step Three: When reaching behind their ear, grab the coin and flick it between your thumb and pointer finger to reveal it with a flourish!

Trick #4— Jumping Rubber Band Trick

Jumping Rubber Band Trick

Jump to Trick #4 in the video.

Step One: Put a rubber band around your pinky and ring finger.

Step Two: Pull the rubber band out onto your palm and bend all of your fingers (besides your thumb) and wrap the rubber band around your fingertips.

Step Three: Unbend all four of your fingers and watch the rubber band magically jump to your pointer and middle fingers!

Trick #5— Rope Escape Trick

Rope Trick

Jump to Trick #5 in the video.

Step One: Tie one piece of string in a circle. Loop it around your pinky and thumb on each hand, then stretch out the string.

Step Two: Thread your pointer finger through the string of the opposite hand. Repeat on both sides.

Step Three: Ask a family member or friend to insert their hand in the middle of the string configuration from the top.

Step Four: Release the string on all of your fingers except your thumb. Now their hands are trapped!

Step Five: Loop the string back around your pinky fingers, and once again thread your pointer fingers through the string on the opposite hand.

Step Six: Ask your family member to insert their hand up through the string configuration from the bottom.

Step Seven: Release the string on all of your fingers except the thumb. Freedom!

Comedy Gold

Clowns throughout history have relied on their faces to tell stories and entertain audiences—silly faces are comedy gold! GRUEJARM is particularly inspired by silent movie clowns and slapstick performers such as Charlie Chaplin. Their show SNAP features laugh-out-loud moments, amplified by larger-than-life facial expressions and makeup. Let’s look at some film clips that inspired the company’s comedic faces, and then we can practice some wacky expressions of our own!

Materials: A mirror… and your face!
Step One: Take a look at the video below to see the work of a few silent film comedians. Pay close attention to how expressive their faces are!

Step Two: Now it’s your turn! Stand side-by-side with a friend or family member in front of a mirror. Warm up by making some silly faces.

Can you:

  • Stick your tongue out?
  • Open your mouth really wide?
  • Open only one eye at a time?
  • Scrunch up your nose?

Step Three: Now it’s time to really express yourself! Test out the following expressions in the mirror:

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Surprised
  • Scared
  • Excited
  • Confused

Let’s make it a game! Grab your New Victory Notebook to get started.

Step One: Write out some feelings and expressions. You can use the list of faces you made in the mirror!

Step Two: Draw an emoji next to each word to envision which facial expressions go with each feeling.

Here is our notebook page!

Notebook of Emotions

Step Three: Have someone point at the faces one at a time and test your facial transformation skills. Can you make the faces they are pointing at? Have them speed it up for a bonus challenge. Switch roles! Test their facial expression skills. How fast can they switch their faces to express different emotions?

Here is our round!

Don't Laugh

You have a few fun skills up your sleeve. Now it is time to test those skills with a little game we like to call, “Don’t Laugh.” How do you play? Simple. Each player takes a turn. One player has to make the other crack up, while the other player must try to keep a straight face, not even cracking a smile. When it’s your turn to “turn on” the comedy, have another player say 3, 2, 1, action – this will be your cue to begin. Start the timer!

With a mix of ridiculous magic, silly faces and clowning, you have 60 seconds to make everyone in the room crack up – no touching or tickling allowed!

Any person that laughs or lets out a little giggle gains you a point. But if they can get through your whole routine without laughing, they get a point. Keep track of points and champions in your New Victory Notebook! Want to level up? Reduce the time to 30 seconds!

One player should be proclaimed the ultimate champion at the end of the game!

Thanks for playing along. Tune in next week to learn how to prep your very own magic show – share some joy-filled enchantment with your friends and family!

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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  1. Nice article. The five magic tricks you showed are fantastic and simple to implement. The step-by-step guide is handy. Children will love it. The jumping rubber band trick is particularly amazing as it is very basic, but people still get surprised.

    Thank you very much for writing this post. I hope there will be more such content from you.