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Topic: Need Help Finding The Right Levitation
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 2, 2009 08:34PM)
I've never used any levitation before, so I don't know what's good. I found one at the Magic Warehouse here...
Is this item any good? It's 450 bux. Is that a reasonable price? Is there anything else I should get? I don't want to spent thousands of dollars, just something for either an in-home party or a small stage show.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 2, 2009 08:46PM)
Yes it is the going price for chair suspension style illusions. The two brands at this price are the Mak magic model or the Sommer's model. This (from the pic) looks like a Sommer's model. Both work well for family style shows. You will only want to use a kid on it though and not exceed a weight limit of around 85lbs. That helps keep the illusion looking and working well.

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Jun 2, 2009 08:52PM)
That is a Mak suspension. It is the photo from the Mak website. I believe that Klamm is the only one selling the Sommers model.
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 2, 2009 10:02PM)
Thank you for the help! I also found the thread on best livingroom levitations. Great info! One more question....

How do you know when it's right to use the chair levitation? I have a 3 year old, so forgive me. But I have no idea how much 8-10 year olds weigh. And how will you know if your chair suspention will work with the birthday child? They might be quite overweight. Do you ask the parents beforehand, although that sounds aweful? Or is even the heaviest of 8-10 year olds under the weight limitations of the chair? Sorry for sounding dumb. I just want to be able to market the show properly.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 2, 2009 10:23PM)
Yes, you are right in that Klammsells the Sommers model. Both work well but I prefer the Sommers if I had to have a choice. I cover off on all of this information and much more in my ebook on the chair suspension. It may answer a lot of your questions.

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Jun 2, 2009 10:31PM)
I ask the parents so that I will know whether or not it is a good effect for their party. If I bring it and don't think I can do it, they may not want to pay the extra fee to have me float one of the guests.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 3, 2009 06:26AM)
You can usually indeed find that information out when you are talking with the client in the booking process. I can get a good idea if this will work based upon the age of the birthday child and I also ask their weight. Age and weight information seem to give me a good idea whether or not the illusion can be performed successfully. I usually have no problems at all.

Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 3, 2009 10:13AM)
I'm guessin' height may have a small factor? I just purchased a MAK last night from The Magic Warehouse. After you remove the chair from their feet, you then remove the board they were laying on. So, they must have to be long enough to cover the entire board?
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 5, 2009 11:24AM)
So, my chairs should be on their way today. Hoping to have them within a week. I have only my 3 year old to test this out on. Does it take quite a bit of practice to use in shows? Will my 3 year old suffice as a test subject?
Message: Posted by: B Hackler (Jun 5, 2009 11:52AM)
Your 3 year old child will give you a good idea on how the effect should look and work. I purchased my first chair suspension when my daughter was around 3 and she liked to help me practice. thanks
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jun 5, 2009 07:50PM)
I once had a birthday child that weighted too much. The parents actually brought it up over the phone as they suspected it might happen. When I arrived, I saw they were right. It worked out because the girl was very sweet and enjoyed picking one of her friends to be the floatee.

Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 5, 2009 08:04PM)
I just finished talking to my sister (as I was reading the last post actually) and her two older children are 9 and 11 and the 9 year old boy weighs 95 pounds. I guess this effect might be ideal for 5-8 year old parties then. Well, not parties that last for 5-8 years, but parties for children who are 5-8 years old! (lame jokes, I know)

Next question....does the MAK chair suspension work for boys with short hair?
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Jun 5, 2009 08:40PM)
Just FYI you should always mention to the parents at the time of selling your show and you mention that you will float the birthday child you should follow up with "some restrictions apply"

this will give you an out if indeed the child is too heavy. unfortionatley there are many young children that are severaly overweight. if this happens then prior to the show I mention that either they do not go witht hat package or have the bday kid pic a friend to make float and th en I have the bday child assist me in making the freind float in the air.
Ihave them wiggle their fingers as I remove the chair and then after I move the board I have a cloth that I hand them and I hold one side they the other and we pass it over the top and underneath the floating child
then the big finsh for a kodak moment I have them stand withme facing the audience with the magic pose.

guarenteed applause moment and kodak moment and now the bday child is the star of the show.

have fun

ps on a side note I hate the chair suspension but audiences like it and I like the extra $50 for bringing it so until I find something better its in the show.
Message: Posted by: chrusa (Jun 7, 2009 11:08PM)
KYle knows what he is talking about as he is an expert at the suspension you cant go wrong with anything he has to say. MAtthew offers great advice here as he is an expert at birthday parties. It is a great idea to ask the parents. I also think his idea of charging an extra fee is a good wy to make some extra cash because of the pizazz factor. ack when I used to do parties I wish I thought of what he did about the extra charge. I sold my suspension because I am desigining my own version.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jun 7, 2009 11:23PM)
Decibel33, do you know the difference between a levitation and a suspension?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 8, 2009 07:54AM)
Thanks Chris for the kind words. Much appreciated.

Sam: good advice. if you hate the chair suspension, that just means one less person in my area doing it. hehehe Works for me. =)

In all seriousness, I always perform this at birthday parties and other events. In fact I will be performing it today at a school show. It always goes over amazingly well IF you know what you are doing and have a good routine. Just like anything, a truick is just a trick unless YOU make it entertaining.

I also state in my conversatuions and contract with each parent/client, about doing this as part of the show. However, in order to perform the illusion I must have a child that is under 85lbs and also around the age of 6 or so. I explian to them why and it has never been an issue at all. I also state that in the event that I can not float their child, that I have an equally amazing ending that still makes their child the star of the show.

if you mention it upfront and honestly, you should not ever have any issues at all. just NEVRER perform the chairs because you think you have to. if the conditions are not right, you need to put it away and not perform it.

Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 8, 2009 10:43AM)
On 2009-06-08 00:23, Dynamike wrote:
Decibel33, do you know the difference between a levitation and a suspension?

Yes. If you want a detailed definition of the two, Dictionary.com is a good place to go. But basically a levitation is where an object rises up, and a suspension is where an object is left in mid air where it was placed. Hope that helps. Oh, and sorry for the confusion in the title of this thread. It really should be called a suspension.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jun 8, 2009 11:51AM)
It was just a test. Okay, you passed.
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 8, 2009 12:56PM)
YAY! You wanna hear something funny? This is the truth. I was going to post a detailed description of both a levitation and a suspension, and I began by describing the levitation as "a direct defiance of gravity". It was only after I typed that out, I decided to see what Dictionary.com had to say, and the wording was almost exactly the same! So, I reworded, so it wouldn't sound like I actually visited Dictionary.com first!

By the way, off topic slightly...does anyone know if it's possible to get Copperfield's chair suspension? (Well, it's obviosly not his, but you know what I mean.) Then one he used in The Great Wall Of China special? He removes both chairs.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 8, 2009 01:11PM)
Decibel33 -

On David Copperfield's Great Wall of China special, he doesn't perform a chair suspension.

He performs Walter "Zaney" Blaney's [url=http://www.walterblaney.com/illusions/ladderlevi.html]Ladder Levitation.[/url]

(Misnamed a "levitation", but that's ok, because it's so powerful!)

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jun 8, 2009 04:27PM)
Kyle, what is your opinion? Do you recommend it is worth switching the Chair Suspension for the ZANEY BLANEY LADDER LEVITATION?

Posted: Jun 8, 2009 6:31pm
Kyle, my bad. I will be more specific.

Which one do you think is more mystifying?:

A. Bill Smith Chair Suspension
B. Rotation Of A Floating Human Effect
C. Zaney Blaney Ladder Levitation

Which one is more portable?:

A. Bill Smith Chair Suspension
B. Rotation Of A Floating Human Effect
C. Zaney Blaney Ladder Levitation

Which one(s) is/are ok to perform in a client's basement?:

A. Bill Smith Chair Suspension
B. Rotation Of A Floating Human Effect
C. Zaney Blaney Ladder Levitation

Which one is more durable?:

A. Bill Smith Chair Suspension
B. Rotation Of A Floating Human Effect
C. Zaney Blaney Ladder Levitation

Do not get me wrong, Kyle. I am not giving you these questions because you have more post that me. It is because you are the suspension champion of the world. Thank you in advance my friend.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 8, 2009 05:56PM)
Dynamike -

Another (less expensive) alternative to the Zaney Blaney "Ladder Levitation" is his "Suspension 3001" (available from Walter directly, or from Procraft Illusions by special authorized permission).

I was really surprised to read the comment on his website, that these illusions can be done in living rooms.

But then again, I once did a regular Super-X Suspension in a school classroom for a project at Bible College.* I would normally not do it in a classroom or a living room. Too many problems. In this case, I made sure that everything was "just right." (* There's a funny story that goes with this experience.)

- Donald

P.S. In my opinion, the Ladder Levitation and the Suspension 3001 are stronger illusions than the Walk-away Super-X (another illusion again) or the regular Super-X. Although I imagine that some magicians may try to compare them to one another.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jun 8, 2009 06:39PM)
Thanks, Donald, but I no longer do Super X anyway. I do mostly parlor shows in houses. Years a go when I first purchased Super X, I felt uncomfortable performing it in a house because the visibility during entertainment and bringing it in. I gave up the Flying Carpet for the same reason.

What seems good about Ladder Levitation is the certain ladder does not have to be moved if it in at a bad angle. It will make it look similar to Chair Suspension. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 8, 2009 06:52PM)
He kindof says on the website that the audience needs to be no closer than 10 feet (plus there are angle challenges). Makes a "living room" use of that illusion very challenging -- maybe impossible.

I have not seen one in person, although I do know of someone who purchased a "Ladder Levitation". It's a serious investment, compared to a Chair Suspension.

I suppose you could remove one ladder only, but what would be the point? Just use a chair suspension if you know the limitations of your locations.

I'd recommend speaking with someone who knows (someone who actually owns one) whether this is something you can bring in and set up under the noses of your audience in close quarters. I suspect it isn't.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 8, 2009 07:36PM)
Can the chair suspension be performed close-up? I suspect it can if Kyle uses it regularly.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 8, 2009 08:06PM)
(I'm not Kyle, but...)

Like Kyle and many others here, I've performed the chair suspension hundreds of times (possibly thousands), including many birthday parties. Is that what you mean by close-up?

Each illusion has it's strengths and weaknesses.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (Jun 8, 2009 09:11PM)
I ordered the MAK and the description says it can be performed surrounded. Not sure what that means exactly. But if you've performed it for birthday parties, can I assume you're in closed quarters? Perhaps only a few feet away from your audience?

I think one description (not sure if it's the MAK) says that the chairs can be planted in the audience and no one will know there's anything strange about them.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jun 8, 2009 10:52PM)
"Surrounded" means people can be around you in a circle. No one will be able to see anything at a angle.

The audience must be back at least 5 feet. The illusion can be maneuvered to show any hidden parts. Inside an average room of a house is no problem.

There is nothing to worry about. You will be getting your money worth.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 9, 2009 06:35AM)
In short the answer is yes. It can be performed very up close and also completely surrounded if need be. That is of course if one learnes how to perform it correctly.

I personally would NEVER plant the seats or chairs in the audience. bad idea there. although you could, you want to take care with your illusion and investment. Having folks sitting on the chairs and such can only cause problems down the road.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (Jun 9, 2009 08:01AM)

whilst researching your book did you come across any UK suppliers of a chair levitation? Tried a web-search and come up blank so far.
Message: Posted by: Zaprig1 (Jun 27, 2009 09:40PM)
Kyle, or anyone,

Is there a chair suspension that will handle adults other than the European???

Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jun 28, 2009 07:13AM)
Bill Smith of Magic Ventures makes a beautiful one. It's also the most expensive.

If he still makes them, Sandy Rhoades used to make chair suspensions right from the Harbin Book. (I had one until last year.) It would hold an adult easily. I've since switched to the European Chair Suspension because it is smaller and lighter weight and will still hold an adult.

The European Chair Suspension is the least expensive chair suspension I know of that will still hold an adult.

Message: Posted by: Zaprig1 (Jun 28, 2009 10:12AM)
Thanks for the info Michael!

What version do you personally use or recommend if not the Smith model?

I'd love to hear Kyle's input on this as well!

Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jun 28, 2009 03:19PM)
I've settled on the European Chair Suspension. I tried the Jim Sommers version when it first came out and decided I wasn't interested in a chair suspension that would only hold a child. It can be done very well with children, especially if you follow Kyle Peron's suggestions from his manual.

I wanted one that would hold an adult or teen and can still be used for children. I bought the one Sandy Rhoades made and used it quite effectively for several years. The only problem was the weight. Both chairs are metal and either can be used with the board so they are both heavy. The board was long and folded in half for easy transport. I built a carpet-covered wooden case for it so it was great for larger shows but definitely not practical for a smaller show.

I sold the Rhoades version last year. Almost immediately, I felt like I had made a mistake. I wasn't using the Rhoades version much because I don't do many large shows any more but I still wanted to be able to use something to make a person "float" when appropriate.

I started researching the European Chair Suspension and ran into a great deal on eBay for a slightly used one. I'm very satisfied with it. It's in between the Sommers/Mak versions and the Rhoades version. It's solid enough for an adult yet compact and light enough to take to a smaller show.

All that said, the European Chair Suspension could have been made a little better. It's finished nicely but there are some minor things that would have improved it. For instance, one of the chairs has a pair of bolts sticking out of it that are chipping the seat when folded. (The chairs are wooden.) The bolts aren't really noticeable and won't scratch a person sitting in the chair, it's just nicking up the chair itself. That was easily avoided by using a shorter bolt or cutting it down. On the other hand, for the money, it's very nice. (Especially if you can find a good deal on one. I got mine for $650 including shipping.)

One final point. Two of my female assistants have been put on both of the chair suspensions and both said they were more comfortable on the European Chair Suspension.

Message: Posted by: Zaprig1 (Jun 28, 2009 06:17PM)

Now THAT is the kind of response and information I wish I'd get from every inquiry I've posted on the Café`. I can make a confident/educated decision from you sharing that experience....and that's priceless!

Congrats on your deal too.......that is a good one!

Thanks so much!

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 28, 2009 06:31PM)
Hey all,

Thanks so much for the kind words about my ebook on the chair suspension illusion. It is very much appreciated.Let me try and give some additional insite as well as my own personal opinions on the subject. My pleasure to doso.

Christian: There really is only one other model that can hold an adult that is a chair suspension variety. Bill Smith makes one that is perfect for adults and geared for an adult helper. However, it is a bit pricey. It is very well builtand Bill does an amazing job with it. So your choices really are the European model or the Bill Smith model if you want to use adults.

If you ask my opinion, I would get the Bill Smith model if I planned on using adults a lot. It is just built for that in mind.

Now the type I use the most is the Sommer'smodel. However, keep in mind that I do family style shows and ONLY use a child hlperon the chair suspension and the routine I do with it. It works for my needs and I have had it for years. It serves my purpose very well.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of ANY help or assistance. My pleasure to do so.

Message: Posted by: Zaprig1 (Jul 1, 2009 12:58AM)

I just got a chance to review the book. Good stuff! I'm glad I bought it no matter which way I go! God speed to you!

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 1, 2009 07:12PM)
Thanks so much Christian. It is very much appreciated. I am so glad you enjoyed the book and hope you got a lot of good information from it. Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with.