Independence Day clown magic with the Mismade Flag and a change bag
Last Saturday, my wife and I were clowning at a community picnic, and one of the things that we did was the Mismade flag. I strongly believe that clown magic is done very differently from a magician’s performance – I strongly recommend David Ginn’s book Clown Magic to talk about it in detail. In a nutshell, a magician gives the impression that he is in charge of magical powers; in contrast, the clown isn’t in control of anything, except possibly his temper. The mismade flag is a perfect example of a magic trick that’s well-suited to a clown performance.
With the mismade flag, the clown is pretending to be a magician, and takes three silks—one red, one white, and one blue—and puts them into a container (I use the zippered change bag), and pulls out an American flag. At least, that’s what the clown magician wants to happen. Instead, I put the blue silk into the zippered change bag first, with the zipper open, so that the blue silk falls to the ground. My wife’s clown character (and the audience) shouts out to me that “blue’s on the ground”, but I ignore them, pretending to be embarrassed that “my zipper’s open” as I zip the change bag closed and put the other two silks into the bag.
I then ask the audience what magic word I should use; the audience still tries to tell me that “blue’s on the ground”, so I ran with it, and made that our magic phrase, pulling out an American flag, without any blue color in it. Of course, we try to fix that by putting the blue silk back in, but this time, the colors are all there but mixed up. At this point, we need the audience’s help to eventually pull the proper American flag out.