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Topic: Copying a grand illusion
Message: Posted by: Andy J (Mar 31, 2014 10:15PM)
Hi All

Simple question (I hope) my son is 9 and has been watching a popular illusionist on TV here in Australia, he has an end of year school performance and would like to copy the illusion he has seen on the show, is this OK ????? or do I need to get permission of somebody before he does this ???, I am hoping to build it within the next month so he has plenty of time to pratice it, but I want to make sure I don't undermine or step on anybodies toes in the process.I want my son to have a healthy respect for other creations in magic and follow the right process.

Any advice would be great.

Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Mar 31, 2014 11:04PM)
It would certainly depend on what the illusion was, is it public domain, or not. This has been discussedd many times here on the Café.

And the follow-up is, at his age, even if he has the prop, he should not be copying the actual performance/routine he saw. However, some standard illusions, have standard routines (ie. Sawing etc.) so this may not be an issue.

Message: Posted by: w_s_anderson (Mar 31, 2014 11:56PM)
Hello Andy and welcome to the Café! Can you tell us what was performed and who the magician was. Blair is right, it all depends on if it a public domain illusion or a proprietary illusion.

The next appropriate question would be to ask about your skill level a a builder? Some illusions are quite easy to build and others require the skills of an accomplished and experienced builder to make sure they are done correctly and are safe. I am a horrible builder so I have my props built for me.
Message: Posted by: Andy J (Apr 1, 2014 12:51AM)
The illusionist was Consentino, the trick he was doing is called "Crazy Cell" (you can find it on You tube as well), he did this illusion in 2013 on his tour of Australian then it went to his DVD which my son has watched countless times.

The skill level of the builder is good as the illusion is a clear box with a set of spike above it which come crashing down (I am also a fitter by trade and a Fire Officer), the if has does not escape the straight jacket and locks in time, we already have the locks and straight Jacket figured out and he is practicing them already.

Hope that helps explain

Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Apr 1, 2014 08:04AM)

Absoliutely under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should this be built or performed by anyone without express written permission from the originator. This is not a stock illusion available to performers.

Also you show your lack of understanding of what goes into the building of such a prop. There are safety features and many, MANY subltleties that go into the construction, and in cases like this where the danger factor is very real, it is best left to the professionals who have been doing it for many years. Believe me, there is a lot more to this than a clear box with spikes that fall! Props like this cost tens of thousands of dollars, and for a reason.

Also, and this is just my personal opinion, I don't think that any nine-year-old should ever attempt a life-or-death escape. The performance dynamic is simply too risky. Watching a consenting adult ostensibly putting his life on the line is one thing, but the emotional gamut is going to be quite different with a child. I just happen to think it's a terrible idea.

He could still do another straight jacket escape and no one will find anything missing. "Crazy Cell" is not an expectation of audiences. If a "danger" element is added it must be simulated, because things DO go wrong, no matter how much rehearsal (and even performance) is put in.

There are many reasons that danger-style illusions are generally only done by performers who already have many years of experience that they can apply to the effect. You simply cannot shortcut the learning process that takes years, not weeks or even months.
Message: Posted by: Chris Stolz (Apr 1, 2014 09:50AM)
I'm going to have to agree with Frank on this one. Putting a child in a dangerous flaming spike illusion is just poor judgement in my opinion. Remember that you are also showcasing yourself as a parent willing to stick their kid in a flaming spike escape. (Trick or not)

If I were to do an escape with a child, I would soften it up and replace the spikes with a tipping bucket of grape juice, put him in a white suit and throw some patter in about not ruining his new $5000 suit.
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Apr 1, 2014 11:34AM)
A 9 year old performing a spike escape?
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Apr 1, 2014 12:55PM)
I have to agree with Frank and Chris...too many things can go wrong. Better to learn the Sub Trunk or some other public domain illusion that won't put your son's life at risk.
Message: Posted by: Matt Adams (Apr 1, 2014 04:16PM)
In general I don't think a 9 year old performing an escape or something dangerous is very entertaining...BUT I don't think that means it CANNOT be done. If you had a boy who was a big daredevil with a lot of personality then it could be his thing...if anyone asked he could always say something like "I do escapes...and my parents haven't been able to stop me. What are they going to do? Lock me in my room?!" This would show the arrogance of the kid, the gutsy nature of his escapes, AND kinda let the parents off the hook slightly - while still adding a little humor. Like I said...this probably isn't going to be carried off to well by 99% of the 9 year olds I know. This kid would have to be incredibly gifted to be well liked enough to carry off my idea. :)
Message: Posted by: Craig Dickens (Apr 1, 2014 06:43PM)
Guys, you are being pranked. Look at the date. Nobody could actually be this clueless.
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Apr 1, 2014 06:49PM)

Trust me....YES!

Message: Posted by: Andy J (Apr 1, 2014 07:07PM)
LOL, do you really think I would let him do that.........Yes it was an April fools day joke (pity the time difference did not account for that), I simply found the most dangerous trick I could then let it go.....

Happy April Fools day

Andy :-)
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Apr 1, 2014 07:21PM)
Hmmm.....a little early, and a little late!

Message: Posted by: John Martin (Apr 1, 2014 08:36PM)
On Apr 1, 2014, Blair Marshall wrote:

Trust me....YES!


Apparently....YES! LMAO
Message: Posted by: w_s_anderson (Apr 2, 2014 12:19AM)
LOL.....I was had. Nice first post Andy!!
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Apr 2, 2014 08:24AM)
I was had as well. LOL
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Apr 2, 2014 03:49PM)