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Topic: Who wears the Whiskers? Illusion
Message: Posted by: TaylorReed (Jan 11, 2011 11:01AM)
This illusion was originally performed by Blacksotne Sr and then performed again by Blackstone JR>

I've heard about this illusion many times over the years. Charles Reynolds had talked about working with Blackstone Jr on this illusion in his show.

Has anyone ever seen this Illusion? Either live or on video.


I heard that it's a great switch illusion.. I've even heard that Lance's effect was a spin off of it.. NOT SURE on that..
I'm working on a new switch illusion. Would be cool to see what this illusion was all about..

Thank you,
TR
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 11, 2011 02:23PM)
I have seen it many times. I think it may even be on the Jr. Video stuff.

There are a lot of things that make it work..Setup, blocking, timing.etc. It is not as easy as it looks.

Sr. did it but he got it from a guy who was from CA.,,Del Aledphia (I think was his name). He also got the vanishing cage from him.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Chuck Lyons (Jan 11, 2011 06:06PM)
When I was in college and doing a stage show for a grade I did the switsh with executioners that locked me in a quillotine. The blade drops prematurely the screen falls and I am gone. The two executioners that have "never" left the stage run in and one turns around lifts mask and it is me. Same Idea different effect.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 11, 2011 11:58PM)
If I remember correctly, Blackstone used really oversize robes, very colorful, but you could not really tell who was who when they started moving around.

I believe he did this at Abbott's Get-Together over the years. I even watched the shoes, but it did not do any good.
Message: Posted by: Kyle^Ravin (Jan 12, 2011 12:04AM)
What is the effect of the original presentation? Anyone cares to share?
Message: Posted by: illusionman2 (Jan 12, 2011 12:24PM)
[quote]
On 2011-01-12 01:04, Kyle^Ravin wrote:
What is the effect of the original presentation? Anyone cares to share?
[/quote]

I just rewatched my DVD of this and it is the swith Blackstone does at the end of his Circus Act (some times he uses a clown and sometime he uses a wizard with beard) but it is the same switch.

Effect-- at the end of his Circus act a wizard with a gun come out and points it at Blackstone. Blackstone ducks behind a large banner ( his hand can be seen at the top of banner). Wizard shoots him and the banner is dropped and it is now a Gorila. Wizard and Gorila walk forward gorila removes head and it is now a girl, Wizard now remove costume and it is now Blackstone.

One quick question how would the gun part play for today aud? Or am I over thinking this.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 12, 2011 12:44PM)
I saw this a couple of times. The wizard played a sort of "antagonist" role at various times during the show (flowerpot vanish, etc.). This cemented his role as a separate character. Thus, his appearance on stage during the switch illusion was generally accepted, and no suspicion was raised. Maybe a small detail, but I think very important to the overall success of the illusion.

I don't remember the exact sequence of events, but even knowing what was going to happen in the end, it was difficult not to be fooled.
Message: Posted by: illusionman2 (Jan 12, 2011 12:47PM)
[quote]
On 2011-01-12 13:44, Michael Baker wrote:
I saw this a couple of times. The wizard played a sort of "antagonist" role at various times during the show (flowerpot vanish, etc.). This cemented his role as a separate character. Thus, his appearance on stage during the switch illusion was generally accepted, and no suspicion was raised. Maybe a small detail, but I think very important to the overall success of the illusion.

I don't remember the exact sequence of events, but even knowing what was going to happen in the end, it was difficult not to be fooled.
[/quote]

You are right the Wizard was a running gag throughout the show I saw. Altho the show I saw that used the Clown not the Wizard it was not a running gag.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 12, 2011 12:58PM)
Gun is still ok. I just worked the illusion over Thanksgiving with a guy and it was fine.

Richard
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 12, 2011 09:57PM)
I just did the circus number with Gay directing the whole number. The choreography is amazing. It is one of the most complicated numbers Harry did. Everytime I work it, I appreciate all the little bits of business more and more. Charles Reynolds added a lot to this number also.

Bottom line if you think if you have the props you can just do this routine, you are sadly mistaken. Every moment and motion on stage is there for a very specific reason.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Scotty Walsh (Jan 28, 2013 01:52PM)
I am looking for some resources on this sort of effect. I know that there are several versions in Tarbell, such as King Tut and the Who and Which variations. And also I know about the Farmer and the Witch in the Wilson Course. I know there are two in the Wels' book (Murder in the Phone Booth and Rip Van Winkle) though, unfortunately, I don't have my copy of the Wels book with me.

Can anyone point me in any other directions? Footage of the Blackstone version would be especially great!

As always, much appreciated!

Scotty
Message: Posted by: Scotty Walsh (Jan 28, 2013 04:21PM)
In addition to my post above, I'm specifically interested in versions of these illusions that feature three characters, such as the magician, a wizard, and a gorilla; or a will, a witch, and a watchman.

All of the versions in Tarbell that use three people, really only use two characters.

I read in Hiding the Elephant and also the Thurston and Chung Ling Soo books by Steinmeyer that there were many sorts of these Trench Coat and Whiskers effects, but I'm having trouble tracking down the three character versions.

Any ideas?

Thanks again!

Scotty
Message: Posted by: David Charvet (Jan 30, 2013 06:40PM)
Abbott's "Magician, Ghost and Girl" illusion is a similar theme. Plans available for download from Abbott's website.

The Modern Cabinet and Arabian Tent can also be "switcheroo" types of illusions with a similar presentation.

"Murder In The Telephone Booth" and "Rip Van Winkle" were originally sold by Thayer in the 1920's.

As Richard Hughes says above: As simple as they look, none of these illusions are easy to do well.

I did the Modern Cabinet ("Things That Go Bump In The Night") with Kramien on his show for years. There are many details to be considered that sometimes change daily, depending upon the venue.

PRACTICE - PRACTICE - PRACTICE.
Message: Posted by: Scotty Walsh (Feb 26, 2013 07:56AM)
Thanks, David. I had not heard of the Abbott's version before. I'll give that a look.

Much appreciated, everybody!

Scotty
Message: Posted by: Servante (Feb 26, 2013 11:28AM)
I did this one many years ago with a Santa Claus and a cabinet painted like a large Christmas present. Requires some serious choreography and timing, but absolutely stumps an audience.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: john wills (Mar 8, 2013 03:30PM)
Taylor,
I can't help you with the Blackstone version.
Try to obtain a video or dvd of his show.
But I have a hint for you:
Go to the website of:
Carlton & Company illusions and go
to their video (especially the last illusion!).
In my opinion a classic of the illusion-sequence
you're looking for.
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Mar 8, 2013 03:39PM)
Richard, You say you worked the "circus number". Did Gay recreate the equipment, as most of it was up for sale in the large auction ie. Net Vanish, Cannon and boxes, costumes etc.?

Blair
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Mar 8, 2013 07:55PM)
The cannon, boxes and elephant drums were sold by Gay. It was the original equipment I was working with on this show. Sr. Rai made beautiful new costumes for this show.

Richard
Message: Posted by: MagicalMotivator (Mar 8, 2013 07:55PM)
When Blackstone Jr did it with the Merlin character, he used to comment after his first appearance, " he must be a local magician" - always got a good reaction from the magicians in the audience.

Rick
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Mar 9, 2013 06:27AM)
I saw the Blackstone Jr. show numerous times and always enjoyed this bit. There really isn't too much more I can add to what has already been said.

Scotty, I do believe there is also a routine out there called Escape to Manchuria, It was put out by a magician named Herman Weber. I believe this routine was somewhat like the Farmer and the Witch.

Gerry
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Mar 9, 2013 11:38AM)
I saw Harry Jr perform this many times. Mostly at the Abbott Get-Togethers in Colon, but I did seem him do it in Ann Arbor the year he performed at the Power Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of the U of M Campus. I was living in Ann Arbor at the time and knew Harry quite well through all of our mutual friends that attended the Abbott Get-Togethers. When I heard he was bringing his show to Ann Arbor I got in touch his him and he invited me to come to the theatre when they arrived. I did and pitched in and helped unload the truck. I then hung around with Harry and Gay throughout the day and went out to dinner with them between the matinee and the evening show.

There had never been a magic show at the Power Center before, but that year there were three: Harry, Doug Henning, and my Full Evening show: Magic-Capades.

I love the Mr. Whiskers routine and would love to see it again. I don't have a video of it and the only clip I can find on You Tube is an assortment of clips, but not a complete uncut performance. Anyone know where I can get a copy of it?

Dennis "Denny" Loomis