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Topic: Solo Levitations
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Oct 16, 2018 10:58AM)
I've been studying various solo levitations in hoping to find a fitting closer for my one man stage show.
The Blaney Ladder is currently the clear winner in my mind, but I wonder about other options as well.

Harbin Chair Suspension
Pro-Lines Super X
Magellan Levitation (I already own this one. It would work in some situations but ideally I would like something that plays a bit bigger).
Audiece member levitation from a board on 2 chairs (Rick Thomas performs it...I think it's a steinmeyer invention).
Pole Levitation ( not sure how to make this one fit my character, but is probably the biggest playing, yet still practical levitation).
Biting yourself on the Forehead (doesn't seem strong enough to be a closer)


By "one man" I mean it's performed with no trained assistants. There can be some limited backstage help.

Any thoughts / ideas appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Oct 16, 2018 01:28PM)
Here are some more:

"Rhino Flight" is discussed on [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?forum=7&topic=630996]this thread[/url], with a link. https://magicbackdrop.com/products/rhino-flight

Rhino Flight is similar to "Spontus 360", but from a North American source. As far as I can tell by reading many threads, they were created independently of each other. https://www.spontus360.com/spontus360_english.html

Lou Hilario's variation is discussed on [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=634481&forum=7]this thread.[/url]

Another variation, John Pizzi's "Up, Up, and Away", is discussed on [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=670927&forum=17]this thread[/url], with a link. (This thread is from The Little Darlings area, which is why you won't find it if you search in the Grand Illusion area only.) https://bestmagiciannj.com/up-up-and-away/

Also, you're going to consider the "Blaney Ladder Levitation", you might as well consider his "Suspension 3001". http://www.walterblaney.com/illusions/index.html

- Donald
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Oct 16, 2018 02:50PM)
Thanks! I wasn't aware of the Rhino Flight variation.
Message: Posted by: 61magic (Oct 17, 2018 09:55PM)
First off consider if you want a Levitation (floating up and down) or a suspension (stationary).
Personally the straight suspensions where someone lays down on a board the supports are pulled out leaving the assistant suspended (stationary) are not very impressive with the exception of Blaney's Ladder suspension.
The ladder if purchased though the correct sources is pretty expensive for most of us. Steinmeyer has a suspension which uses balloons as the "support" along with a sign which helps disguise the "magic", this is in one of his books.
I also don't care for the flying carpet style suspension and the "magic" behind the leg super X clones are really only good for promotional picture shots. I feel somewhat the same for the chair type suspensions where something is still attached to the board. The chair has some advantages I will mention in a second.
Depending on venues you work in you can setup a Gamolo to use a board so anyone can assist you with the advantage of your assistant levitating (floating up and down). Angles and surrounded have to be considered.
However if you need something pretty much angle proof, which can be done surrounded, in almost any venue, and with someone from the audience a chair suspension is best. Look around there are a number of different manufacturers putting these out.
Be careful there are some very cheap (both price and construction)coming from overseas which can only hold up around 75lbs before they start to sag and sway. The strongest one I've some across is by Jay Leslie, this one can hold several hundred pounds with no trouble and doesn't weigh a ton to lug around.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Oct 18, 2018 12:03AM)
Great points.

I really love the chair suspension when properly performed. I have an idea that I really like presentation wise, but I really want the image of a full levitation / suspension with the hoop pass. That's why the blaney ladder is the winner for me so far.

I like Steinmeyers "hot air" illusion, I've thought about going with that idea, probably not with the balloons though.

I didn't think about the Gamolo with an audience member...
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Oct 22, 2018 06:44PM)
I recently saw the Blanney Ladder performed in a show. It was outdoors and it was performed so far upstage that it was actually pretty hard to tell how far away from the board the ladders were. The crowd was seated pretty wide, so I'm sure the angles wouldn't have worked if it had been any closer to the crowd but it honestly didn't look that great. Not the fault of the performer, but the conditions are really tricky for that type of trick... another point for the Harbin Chair Suspension.
Message: Posted by: danieltirado (Dec 25, 2018 10:28PM)
I am looking for this as well...
Message: Posted by: garywest (Dec 26, 2018 10:49AM)
I have seen John Pizzi perform his up and away and based on its mobility, effect, performance... I would say it's about the best for the most diverse performing situations.
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Dec 26, 2018 10:43PM)
Iíve never liked chair suspensions, until I saw the Penn & Teller performance.

https://youtu.be/_CyKeSCP0jo
Message: Posted by: Link774 (Jan 10, 2019 03:19PM)
Yeah, I'm not a big fan of chair suspensions either. Seems pretty easy to see what's going on. Blanney Ladder is impressive!
Message: Posted by: David_N (Jan 13, 2019 03:13PM)
It's also worth remembering that full stage levitations can weigh several hundred pounds. I have helped an illusionist friend load one into his van and it took a man on each corner to lift it.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jan 13, 2019 03:31PM)
Yes. A good point for all stage illusions! Anyone know what a blaney ladder weighs? The road cases donít look too bad to manage size wise. (Photos of the road cases are on the blaney ladder site).
Message: Posted by: JohnPizzi (Jan 20, 2019 12:56AM)
Hi all.
Iím not on here much but wanted you to see the promo for Up Up And Away.

This levy is only 35lbs and will hold a few hundred. It also assembles in seconds.

https://UpUpAndAway.tv
Message: Posted by: omagico (Feb 28, 2019 06:49PM)
[quote]On Jan 19, 2019, JohnPizzi wrote:
Hi all.
Iím not on here much but wanted you to see the promo for Up Up And Away.

This levy is only 35lbs and will hold a few hundred. It also assembles in seconds.

https://UpUpAndAway.tv [/quote]


I have this levitation and was on the edge between this and rhino or spontus. It truly plays big and I have done it 75% surrounded. No one knows how it's done. I have gotten multiple bookings for this 1 illusion alone.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Mar 1, 2019 09:46PM)
[quote]On Jan 20, 2019, JohnPizzi wrote:
Hi all.
Iím not on here much but wanted you to see the promo for Up Up And Away.

This levy is only 35lbs and will hold a few hundred. It also assembles in seconds.

https://UpUpAndAway.tv [/quote]

Looks crazy awkward to me. For kids a princess flying carpet or chair suspension would be better than that in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: JohnPizzi (Mar 12, 2019 09:27PM)
Hi Guys, Iím not here often. However I felt compelled to bring up a couple of points about this levy. This levitation was built upon on the shoulders of all others of the past few decades with modern use of technology. Which Iím appreciative and thankful for. And it was made out of pure necessity...
I have always wanted to be able to perform a true levy easily, with least effort of moving in and out. I perform about 30-40 shows a month and they are all in separate locations. So ease of moving in and out, light weight,quick setup was most important as well as the quality of the illusion from the audience perspective.

I had the princess magic carpet,the chair suspension, zany blaney ladder suspension, Spontus 360, the Gamalo (which I used and liked the most) then followed by the rhino.
They all have many limitations. And the weight, time to setup killed my back and speed of getting in and out.. All of this to perform a 2-3 min effect. The end did not always justify the means.

So whatís important is a fast setup (this has 3 clips sets up in under a min and no tools) I actually carry it in setup. Why bother to assemble it fits in the back of car.
Only 35lbs
Iíve gotten requests to make sure I do this at events where people have seen it before. Wonderful upsell capability.
Fits in a regular suitcase so can be checked at an airport for flying. (Comes with an ATA but not important to me.I never use it,cruise performers do.)
Safety-all the other Levys use motors and a pulley system. Which if the cord breaks or snaps off the assistant will slam on table and have possible injury. UpUpAd Away is more of a ratchet system. Any issue it would never fall down quickly. Only freeze.
The best illusion to bring into a TV studio. Setups up quickly and takes no space. This is why top pros have bought this. Card tricks just donít cut it.
The table is so light I slide it in front of me. Have a kid sit on it and perform sponges, I use it for Seanís dancing Hank, Cups and balls etc.. and then slide it off to the side when not in use.. It looks goodf, acts as a table and then you use it as intended as a levitation. Win win
Currently I am creating a folding small board that lays on table for adult shows to make the assistant more comfortable lying on their back.
Can be performed anywhere. I included a quick vid with pics of all the others I had used in the past and a quick vid of a show last summer at a pool with guests only a few feet way from me.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

https://vimeo.com/323349555

https://UpUpAndAway.tv
Message: Posted by: omagico (Jun 2, 2019 08:29PM)
[quote]On Mar 1, 2019, thomasR wrote:
[quote]On Jan 20, 2019, JohnPizzi wrote:
Hi all.
Iím not on here much but wanted you to see the promo for Up Up And Away.

This levy is only 35lbs and will hold a few hundred. It also assembles in seconds.

https://UpUpAndAway.tv [/quote]

Looks crazy awkward to me. For kids a princess flying carpet or chair suspension would be better than that in my opinion. [/quote]

If you want a suspension affect, then go for one of those. If you want a levitation then this is it. It's really slick and easy to setup and take down.
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Jun 2, 2019 11:43PM)
U.F.Grant came up with two simple solo levitations in 1965, that Spellbinder merged into 1 "Vampire Levitation" for use in a play about Dracula. It turns out also to be good for living room, school or party shows doing away with the spooky vampire theme but either way it's a good one to know about. http://magicnook.com/WizJ17/wizj17-11.htm
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jun 3, 2019 09:55AM)
Magic Auction has a really beautiful Bill Smith Harbin Chair suspension up right now if anyone is looking for one.
Message: Posted by: drmolarmagic (Aug 8, 2019 08:24AM)
Hi would anyone who has it give the actual weight of the up up and away levitation? Everything always says "easy to set up" "fits in your back seat" "sturdy" but what's the actual carry weight from the car to the show?
Thx
Bruce
Message: Posted by: professortango (Sep 4, 2019 04:14PM)
[quote]On Aug 8, 2019, drmolarmagic wrote:
Hi would anyone who has it give the actual weight of the up up and away levitation? Everything always says "easy to set up" "fits in your back seat" "sturdy" but what's the actual carry weight from the car to the show?
Thx
Bruce [/quote]

35 lbs I believe. I was looking at it for a production of Dracula I was designing for. Its nice and compact, however, the costume requirements for the creature performing the levitation doesn't appear like it would work with the methodology behind the effect.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Sep 4, 2019 07:44PM)
Since I started this thread it's gone a little bit towards a discussion specifically on the Rhino..

What are people actually using right now, and what have they used in the past? Why did you keep it in the show? why did you get rid of it?
Message: Posted by: drmolarmagic (Sep 5, 2019 02:13PM)
Yes I found the 35Lbs reference in a previous post by JP. Its looks good I am considering it for my park shows......
Bruce
Message: Posted by: omagico (Oct 7, 2019 09:11PM)
[quote]On Sep 5, 2019, drmolarmagic wrote:
Yes I found the 35Lbs reference in a previous post by JP. Its looks good I am considering it for my park shows......
Bruce [/quote]

the levitation pieces are about 35 pounds. total shipping weight with the ATA case is about 70 pounds (If I remember the shipping label when I got it)