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Topic: Twisting Torso
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 17, 2005 10:47PM)
I have to appologize for not posting last week in this forum. I have been so busy, so this week I decided to post twice.

Here is something I would like to share with all of you here at the Magic Café.

Now before I begin, I don't want anyone to confuse this with my new and upcoming stage illusion called Twist Off. This is something completely different then Twist off.

I will be posting a peice on carton illusions in the future in this forum however for now I would like to share with you a carton illusion that I created. Its sort of a poor mans Twister Illusion(E.Alonzo/L.Welch) but at the same time much different in both method and visual concept.

This is just a cool little illusionette that I came up with last year that you can make yourself at home out of cardboard or for more professional applications you may consider building it out of something like PVC foamboard. At any rate you will need something light in weight.

First the effect:

The performer introduces a cardboard(if using cardboard) box that has a hole on the top for his head, and two holes, one on each side for his arms. There is no bottom to the box.

The box is just big enough to fit over the magician's body(torso only)with his legs visible. His head now sticks out of the top hole, he then sticks his hands out so they can be seen comming through the holes on the sides of the box.

The perfomer rotates the box around and around as if twisting his upper torso. The audience can see his hands going around in circles, but his head and legs remain facing the audience.

You could even have a small door open up which shows the body twisted.

All is reversed and the box is taken off and the performer is fine.

The Secret: This part of the illusion is loosely based on the head twister idea, where if you get a box big enough, as it is rotated around, you simply remove your one hand as it leaves the view of the audience, and have it catch up on the other side before it comes back to view. And then the same sequence applies to the other hand. With practice you get the box spinning pretty quickly and really does look weird.

I must tell you that the shape of the illusion(square) is important as the corners of the box help hide the hands as the box rotates. This would not work with say a round cylinder shape.

Now as for dimensions and such, well this is something that has to be custom fitted for each perfomer. I made about 4 of them until I found the right size. But the great thing is it only cost me about $4 in cardboard to make the prototypes, I now have one made of PVC foamboard decorated with a modern, and colourful body shape decal.

Now as far as showing the body twisted, this would not use the same method as the Twister illusion(obviously for exposure and ethical reasons) but instead just a little window that can be opened to show a fake twisted body made of matching fabric as the performer's costume, with a black felt background, some what similar to a mis made lady, but a twisted form of.

Build one, play with and tell me it doesn't look cool! And worse comes to worse, and you don't like it or find it too difficult, well it was free and it costs practically nothing for you make, so you can't complain! Its a win win situation. And if you do like it, then you may want to consider upgrading the materials from cardboard to something else before you bring it out to show people.

One thing I would like to mention is that if you don't bother to put in the fake body window, you can have the box examined before and after, and even have people attempt the illusion, then you can sit back and enjoy yourself!

Timing is everything, so practice will be required.

Have fun.

Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Nov 12, 2005 02:20PM)
I just wanted to let you all know that our Twist Off illusion is being released later next week. Click the link below for a sneak peak.


As for the twisting torso, I am planning on putting up some hidden photos of it on my website in the future and will post the link here after they are up.

Thanks for reading!