Thursday, March 6, 2014

Throw out your Purse Frames!

I am always trying to replace out-dated props with something modern. Unfortunately one of my favorite props is the tired old purse frame. I do several effects that utilize the frame in different ways, so I didn’t want to stop using it. But I am finding that fewer and fewer people recognize what this weird little item is. During my table-hopping gig this last week, I had several people who had no idea what the purse frame was. I had to take extra time to explain it, which slowed down the routine. This weekend, thanks to my daughter’s love of vending machines, I found the perfect replacement for this magic fossil.

Enter the Hip Zip Bracelet!

A Hip Zip Bracelet is a brightly-colored, plastic bracelet that is also a zipper. The look is hip, modern, colorful, and fun. The bracelet has some stiffness to it so you can hold it in the correct position for most of your favorite purse frame moves. There is nothing to carry around because the Hip Zip Bracelet rides along on your wrist. When you’re done, just hook it back onto your wrist and sally forth to the next group. And it’s a great conversation-starter, which helps lead you into the magic. The Hip Zip has a fun look that works for men or women, young or old.

I spent the evening working with the Hip Zip. I tried out a couple of my favorite routines that use a purse frame, including Curtis Kam’s Coercive Purse. I found that only a bit of re-blocking is needed to use the Hip Zip. Some routines required a bit more adapting, like Shoot Ogawa’s seminal Neo Purse Frame, but the results are definitely worth it.

I strapped on a black Hip Zip and headed out to my regular restaurant gig. The reactions were great. I even had a couple people comment on the bracelet before I did, which made for the perfect lead-in.

I got my Hip Zips by dumping $5 worth of quarters into a Wal-Mart vending machine. But, I have since found some good deals online.

Here is a link, and another, and a Google search so you can check them out for yourself. And if you make to one of my lectures, I’ll be sure to have some on hand.

If you're having trouble finding these in your area, or if you want a little more creative control over the look of your zipper bracelet, here is an excellent (and very easy) tutorial on how to make your own Zipper Bracelet.