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Topic: Blade Box Part Deux
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Oct 4, 2010 06:58PM)
On a completely separate topic....I'd love to do a blade box routine with the ding...but have no desire to tote around a full size blade box.....anyone have any suggestions for alternatives to the blade box?

--T
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Oct 4, 2010 07:43PM)
I remember a Dagger head Chest on the old Famous Cole Circus, used instead of the coffin blade box. For the ding, you would pay an extra quarter and then be allowed to walk around back and look at the head chest from behind. But non of the doors were opened for an expose. You were just allowed to walk completly around the head box . and try an figure how it was done .

It travels light and is big on effect. These dagger head boxes are either ready made or you can build them from plans.

ROD
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Oct 4, 2010 08:02PM)
Sword basket

[quote]
On 2010-10-04 19:58, jondark445 wrote:
On a completely separate topic....I'd love to do a blade box routine with the ding...but have no desire to tote around a full size blade box.....anyone have any suggestions for alternatives to the blade box?

--T
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Oct 7, 2010 09:38AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-04 21:02, Todd Robbins wrote:
Sword basket
[/quote]
Yeah, that's how we've been doing it, and it's worked out well for us; only problem is occasional complaints from magicians that we're revealing the trick.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Oct 7, 2010 10:05AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-07 10:38, Stephon wrote:
only problem is occasional complaints from magicians that we're revealing the trick.
[/quote]
A number of years ago an irate magician wrote a letter to one of the magic magazines that an old magician was revealing tricks to the public. What the guy was ****ed about was someone doing the blade box at a fund raiser...and that old magician was Jay Marshall. You are in good company.

Posted: Oct 7, 2010 11:10am
Swami,
If that happens often, make up a letter from the President of the National Magic Society of India giving you permission to use the trick as a ding. This way you can show you have approval from the originators of the trick. Make sure the letter talks about how pleased they are that you are perserving the true cultural heritage of the trick (it was created by the Jaddo Wallah to be a ding, but in a slightly different presentation).
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Oct 7, 2010 11:42AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-07 11:10, Todd Robbins wrote:
Swami,
If that happens often, make up a letter from the President of the National Magic Society of India giving you permission to use the trick as a ding. This way you can show you have approval from the originators of the trick. Make sure the letter talks about how pleased they are that you are perserving the true cultural heritage of the trick (it was created by the Jaddo Wallah to be a ding, but in a slightly different presentation).
[/quote]
What an amazingly wonderful idea. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Oct 7, 2010 11:52AM)
There's always an angle to work.
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Oct 8, 2010 08:21AM)
Thanks everyone...and thanks Todd (how are you finding the time to pop up on here????!!!???) I will take all of this information and run with it like Forrest Gump.....thanks...and many thanks to the President of the National Magic Society of India...without whose help this scam...errr...presentation would not be possible....
Message: Posted by: joe faro (Oct 8, 2010 10:07AM)
I didn't know that Mr.Robbins was the President of the National Magic Society of India!
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Oct 8, 2010 05:36PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-08 11:07, joe faro wrote:
I didn't know that Mr.Robbins was the President of the National Magic Society of India!
[/quote]

I get around.
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Oct 8, 2010 09:36PM)
To say the least.... :)
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Oct 13, 2010 05:13PM)
Check out Chapter 10 of A,W.Stencell's "Circus and Carnival Ballyhoo, Sideshow Freaks, Jaggers and Bladebox Queens"
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Oct 13, 2010 05:22PM)
I've never before heard of Todd referred to, as a Blade Box Queen.
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Nov 6, 2010 07:41PM)
T-
My first Blade Box was a Hull Box. I too had a space problem. I rerigged it so that the sides were pin-hinged all around and fell inward to pack, the lid went down on it and it was all flat, about 5" thick or so. The stage blade holder was the blades' packing box, as I recall. We were using it for Halloween at Knotts, with Bobby Reynolds, 24 years ago this year.

There are few alternatives to the Blade Box, I'd think, that are anywhere near as strong. Not much that you could use (to save packing space) would be as satisfactory. Build one that packs flat. I used folding sawhorses to hold the box. Lock the box onto the sawhorses for stability and you're home free. I used big bolts and wingnuts.

These things can pack flat if you design them that way.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Nov 7, 2010 04:29AM)
Tom, welcome to this section of the Café! For those of you who don't know Tom, you need to learn about the Lulu Hearst Society (which may at this point be defunct), and check out his book on medicine shows. It's full of great stuff, applicable to many other situations.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Nov 7, 2010 10:36AM)
Other than Jimmy Dixion's break apart box, and Ward's stand up box, I haven't seen any worthwhile improvements in the prop.
John Bradshaw had a great seg into the ding. He would have Albert ( Rubber ) short call the crowd down to the blade box stage, then do his entertaining India Rubber Man act, then let John take over while he climbed into the box" to continue his contortions". Nice.
Jimmy Dixon does the box ( which breaks in half ) as the last part of his excellent and "free" magic act on an outdoor bally stage. This is at the end of a 15 min. act, that also has a mouse pitch halfway through.
I really like the idea of folding saw horses for the bier.
Not sure if pinning the box is worth the trouble. Your milage may very.
Still the best box: http://www.goodmagic.com/websales/brill_bladebox/index.htm
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Nov 8, 2010 08:31AM)
I have two blade boxes. One was built for the Riverview Park sideshow. It is on wheels and is pinned. It works very well for a show that has to pack down. The other box was from the Kelly/Sutton sideshow. It is build like a truck and was made to also hold the tent stakes.

The Brill plans were "based" upon the Hull box design.

One of these days I'm going to spend several hundred hours up at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts reading the micro film complete file of Billboard. I will be looking for the first reference to the Blade Box. It's probably in the 1920s and the idea came from the Selbit sawing. My guess is that some enterprising showman got the idea of discarding the mess and reset hassle of the sawing part, kept the blades through the box and put in view holes so he could ding the crowd.

In the 1933 movie The Circus Queen Murder there is a scene on a circus midway that shows a band depicting the Blade Box. Therefore, the act was clearly established before that date.

So there.
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Nov 8, 2010 10:18AM)
Much more curious to me is where Todd is finding the time in his busy schedule for such lengthy posts chock full of great info! Thanks, Todd...looking forward to PLAY DEAD on the 20th!

--Tony
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Nov 8, 2010 11:23AM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-08 09:31, Todd Robbins wrote:
I



In the 1933 movie The Circus Queen Murder there is a scene on a circus midway that shows a band depicting the Blade Box. Therefore, the act was clearly established before that date.

The 1942 movie " Maisie Gets Her Man " shows and exposes the headless girl act in the opening scene.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Nov 15, 2010 07:42AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-07 12:42, Stephon wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-10-07 11:10, Todd Robbins wrote:
Swami,
If that happens often, make up a letter from the President of the National Magic Society of India giving you permission to use the trick as a ding. This way you can show you have approval from the originators of the trick. Make sure the letter talks about how pleased they are that you are perserving the true cultural heritage of the trick (it was created by the Jaddo Wallah to be a ding, but in a slightly different presentation).
[/quote]
What an amazingly wonderful idea. Thanks!
[/quote]


I don’t believe this is "an angle" .... it is clearly supporting the cultural heritage – we all know that all magic tricks come from India …… at least the instructions you get with them are clearly in Indian English!!! :)
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Nov 22, 2010 05:36PM)
Todd:

You mentioned that the sword basket was originally conceived to be a ding in a "slightly different presentation." What was the presentation? Do you know?

--Tony
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Nov 22, 2010 09:55PM)
The Jadoo starts his street show with traditional trick such as the cups and balls. During the trick, a smart mouth kid heckles him. The kid is actually very funny and the back and forth between him and the magician is as entertaining as the tricks themselves. This continues through the next couple of tricks until the magician's frustration becomes so great that he snaps, grabs the kid, throws him into a large basket and stabs him repeatedly. The magician then jumps into the basket and tramples the unseen lifeless body of the boy. The magician comes to his senses, realizes what he has done and beings to wail, asking the goddess Kali to forgive him for his crime. The magician turns to the crowd, sobs that he is a very poor man and if he were able to buy a goat and sacrifice it, perhaps he would be forgiven. The magician collects money from the startled crowd, he promises to the goddess that he will make the sacrifice and amazingly the boy is resurrected from the dead.

Often instead of a basket, a small low tent made by driving four sticks into the ground and wrapping a cloth around it is used.
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Nov 23, 2010 07:19AM)
Fantastic! Thanks, Todd....a ding is a ding is a ding! :)
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Nov 24, 2010 10:24PM)
By the way, there is a great deal about the Blade Box in Al Stencell's new book. He may have found the origin of the routine. And the fun thing is it looks like it came from Coney Island!
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Nov 27, 2010 05:13PM)
Coney what? Oh, Coney Island!!!! Isn't that like Brigadoon....it only appears magically once per century?

--T

P.S. Thanks for the tip on the Al Stencell book.
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Mar 20, 2011 11:57PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-07 11:36, ringmaster wrote:
Other than Jimmy Dixion's break apart box, and Ward's stand up box, I haven't seen any worthwhile improvements in the prop.
[/quote]
I thought the Hull box could fit the fat lady...so I re-thunk it a little, and as soon as I can find a pic that's less than 75KB, I'll post it.
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Mar 21, 2011 01:07AM)
This will get you there........it's a progression from the normal Hull thing.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=10150115517483314&set=a.10150115517478314.277324.586383313&theater
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Mar 21, 2011 02:03PM)
I'll post some of the Folding Hull Box pix when I find them.
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Mar 27, 2011 03:32PM)
More pix of the casket now up on FB, for anyone interested.
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Mar 27, 2011 08:21PM)
Tom... Nice!!!..(casket)
Message: Posted by: jondark445 (Mar 29, 2011 08:06AM)
I just can't get over how incredibly THIN Tom's casket is....who's inside? Gumby?
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Mar 29, 2011 06:33PM)
Almost...it's a tight fit.

I used to fit in it until I discovered Trader Joe's and Little Debbies.

There are more optical cheats built in other than the obvious one.

I'm getting encouragement to have this made professionally, and well may do that if I can find a builder and put it out at a decent price..might have to go back to Tijuana for the welding.

I put out plans once, to the LHS members, and they each have rights to build one unit for themselves. Friend David Avadon had one made and ran that in a Canada tour...it has an owner tho, and a waiting list of buyers. I'll post more shots when I find them.

I also put up some more shots of the X-Ray glasses fitup. It's sort of a sideshowy thing you may like to build.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Solar (Mar 29, 2011 08:58PM)
Hi Tom,
There is always the chance that we could work together on this. You have seen my work skills. I would love to.

Dr. Solar
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Mar 29, 2011 09:36PM)
I have indeed. Hmmm. That is an idea....Let's mull that over a bit. It didn't occur to me at all. Will you be at Alameda, or will we see each other at Kern? Hmmm....good idea...I'm trying to put up a video of it now.
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Mar 30, 2011 12:07AM)
That was tedious. Anyway, if anyone is interested, here's the link to a video of just a walk around the Casket with the blades in. The video better shows the color, bronze finish wood, etc., than the FB pictures do. Enjoy. Btw, it runs about 6-7 minutes for a fairly tight show...8-9 with more talk front and back. Ideally, you would have the Marvel do a few stunts first, so that could add 5-7 minutes pretty easily.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150123137703314&saved#!/video/?id=586383313
Message: Posted by: Dr. Solar (Mar 30, 2011 12:42PM)
Tom,
Yes I will be at Kern County Fair again this year. I will come to Alameda to partake in the festivities but have not been asked to perform there. Will you have the box again there? I'm working on a venue in LA to happen in May. Possible I can get over your way? My daughter does great faux finishes. I can do some welding as well.

Doc
Message: Posted by: mysterrio (Apr 18, 2011 03:28AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-08 11:07, joe faro wrote:
I didn't know that Mr.Robbins was the President of the National Magic Society of India!
[/quote]

HE is tonight....with the permission of Ward Hall I am sure...lol (waves at Todd)
Message: Posted by: kevinjanet (Oct 23, 2011 07:19PM)
Thought I would put in my two cents since I just finished building a blade box. It turns out I could write a book about all I don't know about illusion building.
You would think after building 6 of them I would have gained much wisdom. Here is my wisdom: If you are considering building a blade box please contact me and I can tell you most of the things you shouldn't do. After numerous mishaps, mine turned out fine and it got a incredible response this weekend!

Check out the pics on my facebook page!
http://www.facebook.com/hallsofmagic

Kevin R Hall - Halls of Magic
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Dec 17, 2011 11:38AM)
Kevin, love the video and the box looks great. That Belly Blade is a killer, the audience must go nuts.

You should list the major don'ts here in the forum.

Give Janet my compliments, she does great.

Congrats!!!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Dec 18, 2011 09:26AM)
I have a blade box I was just about to sell until I saw your video Kevin. Thank you for inspiring me to keep another item to store in my garage when not in use...