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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Gimmicking up the house (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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I talked about this before on another discussion board some years ago. Right now I'm working on my house. I'll be spending the next year or so fixing it up (The house was built by my grandfather. They're both passed away and my mother owns it so I moved in while I restore it).

Anyway, this puts me in a fun situation. I've always thought it would be fun to build things around the house into magic props. Not so much for performing shows but just to entertain guests. So I thought I'd start a discussion and maybe chare some ideas. Who knows, maybe someone will mention an idea what would work in your house too.

One of my ideas is to build the prop to perform what's now known as "The Super Jon" into a part of my house. If you don't know the method you can find it here:

Click here

I was thinking about maybe building it into a wall with picture frames. If you know the method I'm sure you'll know what I mean. I don't want to give to much away.

Another idea is to gimmick a bed. Basically turn it into a base (as used in large illusions). The effect will be that you let them see you crawl under the bed. Maybe while playing hide and seek with the kids or something. But when they look under the bed you are gone. You've climbed into the secret base.

I think it was in one of Paul Harris' Art of Astonishment books that he mentions the idea of making a kitchen drawer into a sort of drawer box vanisher (The secret inner box principle). I made one into a cabinet with the old turning the knob locking method but I'm thinking about making one of the actual kitchen drawers to work like that. Maybe the junk drawer. It would be fun to have a friend over and ask them to get something out of the drawer for me. A flash light or something. When they open it the drawer is empty. I'll say, "What do you mean? I just saw it there earlier". Then open the drawer to find it full.

I'm sure other ideas will come up and I'd love to read any of yours.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
silking
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Sounds like a lot of fun Keep us posted .

Silking
George Ledo
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An idea I've had for a long time, like for a "magic den" or display room, is to have a very squeaky floor, and an old house is perfect for this. However, when a guest is standing there looking at something, I can suddenly appear right behind him without making a sound.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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MCM
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Jax, did you see this post in the Café?

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......26&4

They have Do it yourself stuff that could fit into what you are planning.
kregg
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Jaxon,
I posted on the other forum about building a couple hidden passageways. Would also like to rig in an illusion or two. When I build the bar I'll include a servante and etch a chosen card into the glass countertop. It would be fun to set up a ghost that appears in the bar mirror, standing behind them or sitting beside them. But, I'm trying to keep away from practical jokes.

Kregg
POOF!
Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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George Ledo:
Great idea. Only one problem you'd have is if I came over. The effect wouldn't work with a deaf guy like me.. LOL

Kregg:
Yea, I've always loved hidden passageways. Here's an idea for that. Have a few steps slide out that work like a deceptive steps. They slide out like a drawer and you can crawl inside or it's an entrance to a hidden room. Might be kind of dangerous though if the steps opened as you walk up them.

I thought of a trick I can do in my house but I don't have to gimmick anything to do it. Maybe a part of your house will work for this too so I'll describe it.

It's the old stretching arm trick. Picture this. If you where in my living room sitting on the couch there would be a door on the wall in front of you on the left that leads to the kitchen. A door on the right of the same wall is a door that leads to the dining room. The dining room and kitchen also have a door between them. I hope I haven't lost you. Basically you can go from the living room to the kitchen then to the dining room then back to the living room.

Anyway the TV is between these two doors. So if you are sitting on my couch watching TV you would see the door to the kitchen on the left and the door to the dining room on the right. Imagine you're watching TV and I stand in the door way to the kitchen on the left. I say that I need something that is located next to the door on the right. Before you'd get up to get it for me I'd stop you and say, "I'll get it". Then I reach my hand and arm behind the wall next to me. They see my hand pop out the other door (about 15 feet away) and grab the thing. Then pull it back to me.

So it would seem that my arm stretched over 15 feet. All I'd need is a friend hiding over there and two matching objects. As soon as they grab the object and bring their arm back. They can hide back in the room I'm in because the person I'm performing this for will definitely go to look where my arm popped out. Because the doors to the rooms forma circle they can do the old hiding game (like hiding behind a tree).

I can't wait to be able to give this a try.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
George Ledo
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Quote:
On 2006-04-26 16:06, Jaxon wrote:
George Ledo:
Great idea. Only one problem you'd have is if I came over. The effect wouldn't work with a deaf guy like me.. LOL

Oh, yeah... Smile Gotta work on that one...

Actually, off the subject, I had a blast back in college (Cal State Northridge, circa 1977) with our deaf theatre program. We put on some really good shows, including musicals. It was amazing. I ended up taking a couple of semesters of American Sign Language so I could communicate with the crews.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
truthteller
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Find a copy of the book "Spirits in the House" by Chislett
George Ledo
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"Spirits in the House" is a cool book. It's world-class dated (I'm thinking of the photo of someone listening to the Talking Vase), but it has that old, 30's mystery-story flavor that's wonderful for doing magic at home.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
EsnRedshirt
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Newark, CA
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Jaxon, your "arm-stretch" idea reminded me of a funny occurance which happened when my church was adding on a new building. It had just been finished, nothing was filled, and there were two closets in the wall where they were going to store folding chairs. I waved to this girl behind me, walked into one closet, and came out the other one- she was flabberghasted. What she didn't realize was that there wasn't actually an intervening wall between the two closets...

So I guess a good secret passage can always be a lot of fun.
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
RandyStewart
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Jaxon,

Sounds like you really have the house to yourself! Knock yourself out and load it up with the gadgets. I watched Vegas homes on TV showcase entertainer's homes. They included The Amazing Jonathan and Penn Gillette among others.

I got a kick out of the scared reaction of the interviewer viewing Jonathan's beautiful Vegas home. One of the many gadgets is a photo on the wall. I think it was a photo of his pet spider. As the interviewer leans forward for a closer look, a large rubber tarantula on a string lowers from the ceiling and lands right between the framed photo and the unsuspecting viewer. Scared the bajeezus out of him. As he took the tortured fellow from room to room, Jonathan maintained a very satisfied grin with scare after scare.

Penn Gillette has designed his home to look just like a prison. An architectural design complete with horrid looking barb wire electric fence and a pay phone out front. He said so far it's disuaded anyone from trying to break. He has various secret passages throughout the house.

Let us know what you come up with.
Jaz
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Here's some accessories.

Mikame Stuff

Lamps

Doug Higley's stuff could be interesting.

Good luck with the house.
GarySumpter
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Jaxon,

You need to get out more mate! Smile

No seriously, for a long time I've had the idea of a permanent / semi permanent peppers ghost style illusion being built into the house. As I live with parents, this will have to wait.

However, imaging a pappers ghost where you can control the look of the 'ghost' easily. What I mean is, when you want a real ghost (Halloween etc), you have one. For the rest of the year, you simply replace the 'Ghost' with something else, such as a tall lamp. This way it wont look out of place in the room and if you WANTED to, you could vanish the lamp in an impromptu fashion.

Just an idea!

The idea of optical treats / illusions also fascinates me. Animated photos in frames and gaffed objects such as card frames could just be sitting around (or hanging around) waiting to be used!

Thread hookups of course! Having your own house is like having your own theatre, access and control over everything!

I cant wait until I move out! Smile

Gary
Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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I was just looking at a room that I decided to make my magic room/office. The far wall when you walk in has a sort of angled overhang. As I looked at it the shape and location of it reminded me of a stage curtain being pulled back kind of like this image:
Click here

So I have an idea to cover that section of the wall with a curtain like you see in that image (picture half of that image). Then have my desk cover the rest of the wall. When I'm done it'll look like half a stage. The stage itself being my desk. Maybe I'll paint the back wall black and paint pictures of audience members on the side wall.

Nothing magical here. Just think it would be fun to have.

Ron Jaxon
Image


After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
GarySumpter
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Wny not permanently hook up Seans PTS to fly 'ghosts' above your head?

Id love a permanent thread hookup!

Gary
CJRichard
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My home was built in the 1920s by a local magician and in the eight years we've owned it we haven't found a single magical thing about it. There is a small stage in the basement, though, where he put performed some shows for children.

I might have missed out on some good stuff, though. After we'd agreed to buy the house, from the magician's son, I drove buy one day and there was a pile of things out on the sidewalk for the trash pickup. Ratty old feather flowers were sticking out of one box. I should have stopped to poke through the stuff, but I didn't. Could have been some interesting old props there. . .

I have to research this guy more. The son was going to give us an old publicity photo of his dad, but never did. Right now I don't even know what his stage name was.
"You know some of you are laughin', but there's people here tryin' to learn. . ." -Pop Haydn

"I know of no other art that proclaims itself 'easy to do.'" -Master Payne

Ezekiel the Green
GarySumpter
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Well if he performed for children in his basement, I definately think he should be investigated!
malaki
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Old thread, but check out this book:
"How To Hide Almost Anything" [David Krotz, Nina Sklansky]
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