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Topic: Cheap awesome illusions
Message: Posted by: what the...? (May 24, 2004 01:13PM)
A friend of mine has asked me to do his birthday party. Most of my stuff is close up, but I do have some decent stage stuff. My friend and I are planning to build some nice illusions. I was planning on making a backdrop and frame, light storm, and maybe Mayne's Specter Cabinet. Where can I get free, or cheap to build, awesome illusions that don't have to be "on a stage." My ideal situation would be outside, at night. Any input would be appreciated. I am only 16, and I don't have an endless supply of money, but I am getting another paycheck Thursday.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (May 24, 2004 04:52PM)
For a birthday party, you don't need illusions. Rarely will you have the necessary room. Outdoor is good, but what if it rains. Stick with "club" material and focus on putting together an entertaining 30 minute show.

If you absolutely, positively insist on something bigger, consider a chair suspension or a Flying Carpet. Search the Café for more information on these illusions for a house party.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (May 24, 2004 05:34PM)
I know of an illusion where you can use a regular large box like from a dish washer or dryer or something like that.
It can be done surrounded right in a living room.
You run a large sharpened dowel rod through it from every angle while your asssistant is within.
When you let the assistant out, not only is she not harmed but she also has different clothes on.
Message: Posted by: what the...? (May 24, 2004 05:39PM)
This is not a little kid's party, plus, I was planning on doing things like Light Storm, or walking thru a tree. I love illusions compared to card tricks, and most birthday magic. That's why I was looking for things that didn't have to be done on stage.
I just called my local dealer, and he recomended Mark Willson's book.
Message: Posted by: indridcold (May 24, 2004 08:33PM)
I would suggest, if you are doing illusions for a part, not a stage, to use standup rather than big illusions. Things like Healed and Sealed, or Card Thru Picture Frame (using the method by Dave Forrest). These are really entertaining and seem 'big' to your audience, even though they are very cheap to buy and make.
Message: Posted by: dsilverfield (May 25, 2004 03:46AM)
Specter cabinet can't be done without special lighting.
Message: Posted by: what the...? (May 25, 2004 07:28AM)
I was asking for things I don't have to spend a lot of money on. I was just basically looking for cheap easy to build illusions. Not necessarily ones I would do at that party. Where can I get free or cheap illusion plans. A website, a particular book?
Message: Posted by: knightmagic98 (May 25, 2004 10:36AM)
Do you know the old saying "you get what you pay for?" Good illusions (for the most part) are not free or cheap. If you want quality, save your money...do things right...not "cheap."
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 25, 2004 11:45AM)
Knight is right.

When I first started I built a bunch of illusions. A few were good, most were bad. I had a "Temple of Benares" type trick I thought was killer, but in retrospect I wonder how many it fooled.

It's very tempting to make or buy something cheap. It's smarter to bide your time and get one GOOD illusions and build up from that.

Good beginning illusion? Things that don't require special staging or pre-loading of your assistant (you won't always have a backstage area). Find something you can get into, do, then get out of.

- Zig-Zag, or course, is among the best.
- Temple of Benares -- or other sword box (get a good one)
- Hindu Basket
- Mini Cube Zag (watch it .. some girls can't fit!)
- Broom suspension (even this is questionable, as the girl needs to get into the harness)
- Headchopper/guillotine
- Sub trunk
- Bow Sawing
Message: Posted by: TricksDaniel (May 28, 2004 01:27AM)
You said you were considering Andrew Mayne's LIGHT STORM, right? If so it does cost about $40 if you want to build it cheaply. I paid $80 to build mine which will last a lot longer. You also need at least a week to get the routine with you and your assistant down perfect. Otherwise don't do it. Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Gracy_hm (May 28, 2004 03:52PM)
Yes but Andrew's Spirit effect could be done if he reworks it some...

But yes Andrew's stuff would be good for this; it's cost effective and easy to build. Bi-section and his new Illusion series are my suggestions.

BTW his site is http://www.weirdthings.com

Take care,
Message: Posted by: Red_Magic_Jones (May 28, 2004 04:14PM)
I agree with Knight on this one... If you spend your money on somthing "cheap" odds are it's going to end up looking cheap and you will look unprofessional.

Let me tell you a little story: (No names or locations are going to be used to protect others pride and identity.)

Once upon a time, at a convention there was a evening show of various magicians. Everyone was excited about a particular magican because someone high up in the local club said he was good, etc... Well turns out that this particular magican had a bunch of stuff....he carried more illusions to the convention than any other magican. But his stuff was cheap versions of the good stuff and it showed from the stage. Things going off when they shouldn't, boxes bending where they should be straight, flaking paint, cheap materials and not a good show on top of it. This particular magician ended up looking cheap and bad; when he was probably trying to impress everyone with how much stuff he had, he really just gave a bad image of himself and his show.

It's not a matter of how much stuff you have, it's the quality of the show that you can create. But dude, instead of looking neccessarily for cheap stuff, look for good deals. Ebay is a good place to find stuff. Also if you're in an area where there are other magicians, maybe talk to one about the possibilty of borrowing an illusion. (Sticky subject, but can't hurt to ask.)
Message: Posted by: Aroy (Jun 3, 2004 11:53AM)
Am in a similar predicament but am requested to make the host appear. Heard about an illusion called Bryce's screens. Unfortunately do not know much more about it or it's workings. Any help from out there?
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 3, 2004 01:25PM)
Aroy, on Paul Osborne's website, he sells plans for Bryce's Screens. The illusion has been manufactured by Abbott's Magic for the longest time. Also, if you would like to see it performed, children's magician David Ginn performs it on one of his videos (he doesn't explain the method, just performs it).

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: tommy k (Jun 5, 2004 08:33PM)
If you are worried about money and still would like to get into illusions I would suggest checking out Mark Wilsons Videos as well as his book. What might seem "cheap" can actually work to your advantage to sell the illusion.

I am specifically talking about Grant's Victory Cartons. When done properly it becomes a real fooler. Osborne even includes this in one of his illusion books (I believe that it is book 3) and he themes it with a toy soldier and "ABC" blocks. It really is a nice touch.

But I must strongly agree with everyone above steering you away from illusions for a birthday party. Chances are all you will do is expose the illusion as you really don't have control of your surroundings like you would on stage. That is why most large effects are for stage only.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Jun 5, 2004 08:42PM)
Yep, locate a copy of U.F. Grant's Victory Carton Illusions.
It'll be relatively inexpensive and it's full of great stuff.

Mark Wilson says that a surprisingly large percentage of the illusions he used on the Magic Land of Alakazam
t.v. series was made out of cardboard and duct tape!