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Topic: Levitation HELP!!
Message: Posted by: Matt Adams (Jan 29, 2013 09:12AM)
A local high school here is doing Godspell. But they are adding in the resurrection of Jesus at the end and His ascension. They want to use magic to make him rise. I have lots of ideas, BUT one of them I can't seem to work out all the details (and it's my fav. choice so far...).

While I'm not asking for the secret to be revealed (as I am already in the know), I DO need the "intricacies" worked out...because I'm not quite sure how to do a couple parts of the illusion...

Here's what I want from this thread.

1) MORE ideas...because someone may have something better than mine (and I'm purposely not listing my other ideas just because I don't want to bias your creativity...)
2) HELP on how to do one of my ideas (have to detail this here...but try not to be biased if you want to leave other ideas!)

Ok - so here's the idea I'm trying to implement.

"Jesus" will be rising from the dead and coming out of his tomb wearing a white robe with hood. The disciples all gather around him and they move to one side of the stage. From the other side (misdirection), another disciple comes and joins them and they move back towards center stage. The cloak is then levitated and when it goes part way up, it's ripped down and Jesus has vanished.

Problems (vague as possible - you may PM me if you feel your answers are too revealing.):
1) How to keep the form and where to purchase this in the first place
2) How to actually make a vertical form like this levitate. I'd WANT to use a pulley system or something rather than a vertical asrah, but it COULD be done with a hand-held asrah, I suppose. But I haven't seen a handheld asrah with a cloak exactly. It's more of a sheet and I think that might be stupid...why in the world would Jesus be under a sheet? lol.

Anyway...trying to figure these things out. Help would be appreciated! I'm sure I'll have MANY more questions later on as this is my first "full" levitation attempt. But gotta start somewhere.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jan 29, 2013 09:22AM)
Multi-Purpose Levitation
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Jan 29, 2013 12:21PM)
Sent you a PM. (Kinda' bare bones!)
Message: Posted by: Matt Adams (Jan 29, 2013 12:24PM)
On 2013-01-29 10:22, Dennis Michael wrote:
Multi-Purpose Levitation

Great idea! Out of their budget for this, unfortunately. But I tried. :)
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Jan 29, 2013 05:17PM)
Sent another PM!
Message: Posted by: seforeman (Jan 29, 2013 05:30PM)

Maybe use one of the "zombie" style asrah forms from Klamm?

Message: Posted by: Matt Adams (Jan 29, 2013 05:33PM)
On 2013-01-29 18:30, seforeman wrote:

Maybe use one of the "zombie" style asrah forms from Klamm?


That's EXACTLY what I've started contemplating to use for the form. That and possibly just making my own (much cheaper...but more headache. Haha).

Because the theater doesn't have a fly system, it may be just much simpler to do the European style form instead of a full asrah.
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Jan 29, 2013 09:29PM)
It's my "Vampire Cape Vanish" from my book "PVC Pipe Illusions Book 2". You'd better not call it that around the other actors. Call it "Resurrection Miracle" or something like that. No forms, pulleys or wires required. You just need a place to hide the actor, but if Jesus always wears white and the other actors wear drab, having some drab and a wig under the white might be enough to hide him in the crowd of disciples. It's basically slight of body at work here. Just because this is the Grand Illusion section doesn't mean it has to cost a lot of money to produce a miracle.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jan 30, 2013 08:40AM)
Nice thoughts, Jim!
Message: Posted by: MagicalMotivator (Feb 4, 2013 02:42PM)

What is your lighting system like? Can you use a small water based smoke machine in the venue?

My advice would be to look at this as a "theatre special effect" rather than an illusion. After all this is in a "non magic show" so you really have the advantage of surprise with your audience.

My focus would be on the face and beard, making it as realistic as possible (Paul Osborne has an inexpensive booklet on this I believe, but I have not personally read it). The form would be next - with the right, bulky white robe you only need to concern yourself with the shoulders and arm (you would be amazed at what you can do with a little chicken wire and time - think Halloween here. This type of support on a slightly curved upright pole can be operated by a stage hand (hidden in the environment). When you think about it with proper staging you only need to levitate 3 or 4 feet for the effect.

Lighting and shadows would drastically add to the illusion. The risen Christ starts from the ground shadows in a small appearance of light - as he rises light intensifies (radiating from him into the audience so it is quite intense, almost blinding). A tight second blackout, or better yet lighting via lighting random flash) and the form/robe falls to the ground. The form that can be picked up is and empty piece of the robe (already positioned on the set - after all it is not a trick where you show it empty like a cloth).

Again I think the key to selling this is to use set, actors and environment.

If you would like any particular details on this do not hesitate to PM me.

Kindest regards,


PS: For me it would really be neat if the face had the yes shut and they opened and stared at the audience just before the vanish! But that would be quite a bit more involved:)
Message: Posted by: gothike (Feb 4, 2013 09:14PM)
Black Art in front of the cave.

Use a seesaw, clouds at foot to hide the stand.

Rise Jesus 1 foot in the air, puff of smoke from smoke machine and a black art vanish.

Only problem is the lighting has to be perfect.

Check out Omar Pasha

Then have Jesus reappear in back of audience, I prefer the whistle blow.