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Topic: Which growing head illusion
Message: Posted by: Ezzet (May 18, 2011 04:43AM)
Im gonna buy the growing and shrinking head illusion and was wondering if top hats
plastic version is good cause the only other ones I find are bruce kalvers extreme version
which I don't need cause I don't perform on big stages.

Thanks for your help
Ezzet
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (May 18, 2011 04:55AM)
Top Hat IS Bruce Kalvers site. He made the plastic version so it is more durable than the original cardboard version he first came out with. I open most of my shows with it. You GOTTA get one :)
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 18, 2011 08:18AM)
I'd also be interested to know if there was a version suitable for living rooms. I have the cardboard version by Kalver which is great for stage. I've also seen close up versions in toy/gadget shops so there must be something between the two that works at about 2-10 feet?
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (May 18, 2011 07:12PM)
I use both, but the large one just kills audiences....the small one could work in smaller venues but not too sure about the living room area...
Bill
Message: Posted by: Mind_Magic (May 18, 2011 07:42PM)
I have the large plastic version and it works great on stage. I use a portable electric screwdriver to make it spin.
Message: Posted by: todsky (May 20, 2011 07:36PM)
I've been using the Kalver stage version for years, and it kills! Last week I found a close-up version that you spin on a table, and then you tell the spec to stare at their hand, but when I try it on myself the fingers on my hand don't get larger or smaller, but they do morph in some strange way which is hard to describe. Still experimenting with it... it's called SPIRAL METAL ILLUSION, and it's made of steel.
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (May 24, 2011 02:33AM)
[quote]Last week I found a close-up version that you spin on a table, and then you tell the spec to stare at their hand, but when I try it on myself the fingers on my hand don't get larger or smaller, but they do morph in some strange way which is hard to describe[/quote]

This was originally released as Jerry Andrus's Tri-Zonal Space Warper. Stevens now lists a version as SPRIAL METAL ILLUSION. The description says it make your head grow which clearly it does not. It creates a wobbling illusion on the back of your hand.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 24, 2011 05:16AM)
Hawkins bizzare in the UK sell the close up version. They supply you with a plastic rabbit as well which you are suposed to look at after the spiral to see it grow.

The first time I ever saw this illusion was as an animation on the computer. And yes it did trippy things to my hand. Although I think it is the same thing. I think in the stage version if you looked at your hand rather than the performers head the same thing would happen.

I think the spiral needs to be roughly about the size of the thing you want to grow. Which means to perform this in a living rooom not only will I need a smaller spiral I'll also need a smaller head.
Message: Posted by: knick23 (May 24, 2011 10:02AM)
All considered (without actually buying this thing), I gather that this could easily be made with a printout of a spiral glued onto one of those cheap hand held fans. If this is correct then lookout for my new DVD - 'FanHeadGro 2.0' retails for 40 (cheap!).
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (May 24, 2011 08:22PM)
The Tri-Zonal Space Warper has three different zones with the spiral alternating direction. It produces the wobbling illusion. Steel Sprial illusion is the same at Stevens.

The growing head illusion is a simple spiral. Grows or shrinks heads depending on direction.

The small version with the rabbit is also a simple spiral. Thus it makes the rabbit grow or shrink depending on direction.

Yes you can make your own but the Bruce Kalver has already done all the work for you and produces an amazing plastic version. You can also get a motor which spins at the optimum speed to produce the illusion:

http://www.tophatprod.com/store/product.php?productid=16136
Message: Posted by: LMLipman (May 25, 2011 11:27AM)
I use the large Kalver version often in living rooms. If the room is large enough, I find it usually works well. It depends a lot on the layout of the room. People on the sides often don't get it; but I've found that even 7 and 8 year olds enjoy it in a living room setting if they are in front of me and at least 10 -15 feet away.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 26, 2011 06:17AM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-24 21:22, prestopresto wrote:
The Tri-Zonal Space Warper has three different zones with the spiral alternating direction. It produces the wobbling illusion. Steel Sprial illusion is the same at Stevens.

The growing head illusion is a simple spiral. Grows or shrinks heads depending on direction.
[/quote]

Ah yes, you're quite right. I had assumed the difference was because I was looking at something closer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKXZhLuNH2k

I still get a bit of a head shrink with Jerry's 3 zoner if I look at something a bit further away, but there is other stuff happening too and seems to fade away into a confused wobble.

It also works a lot better if you put some Pink Floyd on.

George
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (May 26, 2011 02:17PM)
Has anyone tried the big one in a living room? I own one but haven't used it yet.

Also, so you put it on a stand, or use a hand-held motor (e.g. a cordless drill)?

John
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 26, 2011 04:45PM)
I've used it for adults in rooms the size of a pretty large living room and it's only the back half of the room it works for.

Also, I use a hand drill (mechanical no power) which I think looks way better, it makes the whole prop look a lot more fun. OK maybe it takes a little practice to get the speed right but hey nothing wrong with adding a little skill to the world's most self-working trick.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 26, 2011 06:11PM)
My experience is similar to George's. I had done it for classrooms of kids and the it worked better for those in back. I also operate mine by hand; I build a wooden stand and attached a hand crank which fits my "Medicine Show" character just fine.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (May 26, 2011 08:32PM)
George and Starr, thank you. those are exactly what I need. I love the idea of using hand power--especially a visible crank. Cool!

John
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (May 27, 2011 12:05AM)
I went to the eye doctor and they tested my vision by having me read a chart that was projected into a mirror. I asked about this and they explained that the test has to be done at 20 feet so by using mirrors they could effectively have the chart 20 feet away from your eye even in a small room.

This got me wondering so when I got home I got out my Growing Head illusion and tried holding it as usual but looking at a mirror on the opposite wall. It worked very well and I was able to see the effect on my own head in a small room.

I haven't tried it in a show yet but if I'm ever in one of those rooms where one wall is a mirror I'm going to stand with the audience and have them look into the mirror. After the correct amount of time everyone can look at their own head and see the change!

Bye the way, here is a brainteaser: Assuming the forward button on your electic drill ordinarily causes the head to grow, what will happen if you use the same setting but look in the mirror?
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 27, 2011 05:55AM)
Interesting idea Mike.

I have tested mine using a mirror in a fairly small room but never thought of using a mirror in performance.
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (May 27, 2011 08:10AM)
Where else can I order this prop? His site (Bruce Kalver) does not ship overseas.
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (May 27, 2011 02:09PM)
Here's my issue with the Growing Head...

The drill.

it's bulky.. it's ugly... and everytime I've seen it.. it's unwieldy.

The other thing is that virtually every time I've seen it done, it was done as an opener. So.. the first thing the performer did was break out a drill, put the disk on, and count backwards from 30... then... once the head was done shrinking.. THEY DID IT AGAIN.. in the other direction!! Counting backwards from 30... OUT LOUD!! What a GREAT way to KILL a show. They spend a minute, right at the beginning, counting backwards TWICE.. I wanted to get up and walk out.

To top it off.. one magician said... "You know how that was done... science!!!"

and went on with her show.

I understand that it's a fun effect... but is the magician having more fun than the audience.. and is anyone making a spinner that's a bit easier to handle than an electric drill?
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 27, 2011 02:59PM)
They are doofuses. They understand all but one aspect of the trick .... ENTERTAINMENT! I NEVER count out loud; I have other things being said and done during that portion of the presentation.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 27, 2011 06:50PM)
Really? What can be "done" that is entertaining which doesn't take their focus off the wheel? This is one thing where I actually have to try to not be too entertaining as it will distract the crowd.
I don't do it at the start for the reasons muguy stated and rely on the strength of the illusion to make up for the dead spot.
Message: Posted by: Gary Shelton (May 27, 2011 06:53PM)
I use a 30 second clip of the Twilight zone theme so I don't have to count and so I can talk to them during the spin
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (May 27, 2011 09:31PM)
I get them focusing on the wheel while I talk for about 20 seconds then count to 10.

I use an electric screwdriver rather than a drill but personally I don't find drills to be "bulky and/or "Ugly".

People really react loudly with obvious delight at the effect. They beg me to do it again and come up after the show to discuss it.

Gary, I think your Twilight Zone theme while you talk over it is great.
Message: Posted by: marknem7 (Jun 3, 2011 07:45PM)
Do you think there's a certain percentage of people this effect never works on? It seems like about a third of my audience, on average, doesn't perceive the effect. And that's of those who are looking at it straight-on.

Also, is there an optimal speed at which the disk should be spun for maximum effect? Faster better than slower?
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Jun 3, 2011 11:54PM)
[quote]Also, is there an optimal speed at which the disk should be spun for maximum effect? Faster better than slower? [/quote]

There will always be a percentage of people who won't experience something like this but it shouldn't be a third of your audience. I have been told that most drills go a little too FAST. Bruce sells a motor that he says is perfect because it goes a bit slower. I simply use an electric screw driver and I know it does worrk better when the battery is low.

The other big factor is how far the audience is. 10 feet is too close.

Some people take it as a matter of pride that optical illusions don't work on them. They glance up and say "Didn't work for me!, These things never work for me!" They think you are trying to fool them and they are too smart for you. You have to get them to understand taht this is a neat experience that they can experience if they want to.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jun 4, 2011 12:18AM)
I just use mine to save money on acid.
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Jun 5, 2011 03:44PM)
[quote]I just use mine to save money on acid. [/quote]

The Tri-Zonal Space Warper WILL make the walls breath.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Jun 5, 2011 03:55PM)
Well, what I do has already been mentioned. I [i]also[/i] focus their attention while talking, and only count down the final 10 seconds. And I [i]also[/i] use the TZ theme. Either "great minds" or "totally obvious" going on here. 30 seconds of counting is boredom, not entertainment.

As for it "working" I am not all that concerned. It will work on a high enough percentage of the audience that I get ooo's and aah's and giggles and wows. If you look at this video ( http://magicmedicineshow.com/ ), at 20 seconds in you can hear the audience response to it (this was before I built my hand-crank for it.)
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Jun 5, 2011 06:42PM)
Gary suggested a great idea using the 30 second clip of the Twilight zone theme.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Jun 5, 2011 07:58PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-05 19:42, bwarren3 wrote:
Gary suggested a great idea using the 30 second clip of the Twilight zone theme.
[/quote]

True. But if everyone starts doing it that way, originality goes out the window. I'd suggest if you are not already doing this, consider another option as we'll all start looking the same.

In fact, I think I may change my presentation, because I kinda think that everyone who reads this thread is going to start using that theme song.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jun 6, 2011 08:34AM)
The music is neat idea.

I only count down the last 10 seconds too. I suppose the point I am making is those 30 seconds are not where I show my skills as an entertainer. I have written stuff for before and after but if I were to crack a joke during the spin it might distract them from the task on hand.

I find this to be a great mc bit for adults as Mcing is about uniting the crowd rather than showing off your skills. I personally don't like to do this effect in a set or show as it is really just sharing something interesting rather than a performance piece that I can inject my own character and style into (much). I feel like I am cheating.

G
Message: Posted by: dgoodman (Oct 5, 2011 10:46AM)
Review for the Extreme model - Buyer Beware.
While the concept is great and the illusion wow's an audience, this is very over priced for what you receive and very poorly made! The disc itself is constructed out of very flimsy coreboard and cut very poorly. The hardware consists of two washer's, a screw and a bolt. The front washer is colored black to blend in with the disc but they took the cheep route and it looked like it was painted by hand with the paint chipping off. For this price they should have anodized the front washer and the top of the bolt. Furthermore, they say that it comes in an artist's protective sleeve to carry it - be forewarned! This is simply a piece of cardboard box that they have cut and folded in half. To make this work, you will need to invest in a specific cordless power drill that will run approximately another $40 and you will probably want to buy a real artist protective sleeve that will run another $35-$40. The instruction DVD disc was not even labeled. In today's electronic age, printing a label is a no-brainer and again this just poorly reflects on how badly produced this product is. Again, while the illusion is great in concept, Bruce Kalver should know better.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Oct 5, 2011 04:53PM)
Thanks for the heads-up on the Extreme model, dgoodman.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Oct 6, 2011 02:39PM)
I've been thinking about mounting this on a box that I can put over someone's head. Spin the disc, then flip it up or open like a door to watch the person's head inside the box.

Think it would kill the illusion? Or add to it?

Ed
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Oct 6, 2011 09:26PM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-06 15:39, Ed_Millis wrote:
I've been thinking about mounting this on a box that I can put over someone's head. Spin the disc, then flip it up or open like a door to watch the person's head inside the box.

Think it would kill the illusion? Or add to it?

Ed
[/quote]

Good idea, Ed. Never thought about that. How about mounting it to a construction helmet instead of the box. Anyway, they won't be able to see the head due to the large size of the disc.
I think the audience will focus more on the disc because they are expecting to see something happen to the volunteer. Great idea indeed!
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Oct 8, 2011 12:24AM)
Just envisioning the box with "power connections" and some other goofy things. Can't get the motor to start turnibg? Bring out the jumper cables! All kinds of mischief possibilities - and because the person's vision is limited to front only, they can't see so much!! I'm thinking of the principal in front of the kids...

Ed