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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Illusionettes? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

majical
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I've heard the term 'illusionette' being thrown around here at the Café. What, exactly, are illusionettes? I assume they are smaller illusions, hence the name, but I'm not sure what really qualifies. What about the linking rings? Or Mayne's 'Light Storm'?

Any and all help is appreciated,

Micah
Dennis Michael
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Illusionettes are the box illuions, such as the Wiz-Kote, Sword thru Head, Pro Viper II, Circus Wagen Rabbit Production, etc. Those effects which are definately not manipulation, and not Big Illuions.

Linking rings require manipulation and they are the Classics of Magic. So is Cups and Balls.

The box tricks are self working like illuions. Both usually have some deceptive hiding place.
Dennis Michael
majical
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Thanks for clearing that up, Dennis.

In your opinion, what are a few of the best illusionettes?
reedrc
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I use the word illusionette for mostly vaudville era illusions. I have not reffered to or called any modern illusion an illusionette.. could just be my use of it....not sure..
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Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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Dennis Michael
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Illusionette is the stuff on "Magic on Stage" by Jeff McBride. There are lots of best Illuionettes:


Any rabbit production box serves well, The Pro Viper crosses all age groups, and so does the Wize-Kote, The milk pitcher has tons of effects that work with it.

The head chopper, Sword thru the neck or Hand Chopper all have similar comedy reactions. Silk production items work well, like Genii Tube. The list is so long.

None of these are any good without some type of comedy interaction and presentation. They are self working effects that require a little practice and a lot of routining for a great presentation.
Dennis Michael
Rik Taylor
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I don't know if it's an illusionette or not, but if you don't mind putting it together yourself Head Rush by Peter Loughran is great in my humble opinion. Packs flat and plays big. I've read a lot of ill comments about the directions for it. I took my parts to a frame shop and had them put it together perfectly on their machine. Would have cost me $10 if he wasn't a friend. You just have to build things by eye to fit your personnal features for this one. I'm rather large and mine works great.
...less is not more, less is less you have to carry, more or less...
David Goldrake
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From an etymological point of view an illusionette is a smaller illusion. I would call pieces on Jeff's "Magic on Stage" stage effects rather than illusionettes.

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D
Farrell
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Any small aparatus type effect like Wiz Kote as mentioned above and hospitality mainly it's an audience participation type effect that relys heavily on the prop to perform the "magic"
Osiris
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To my knowledge the term "Illusionette" started with Percy Abbott and of course the Abbott Magic Co. in Colon, Michigan. It referred to props too big to be seen as a "hand prop" and too small to be seen as a major or "grand" illusion. Some of the items mentioned Dennis do in fact fit this mold but, items like the classic Dagger Box were actually sat (attached to) an altar like structure so that they appeared to be larger and more up-scale -- disassociating them from the smaller "hand prop" concept. Based on this formula an effect like Andre Kole's HEAD SLIDER would be seen as an "Illusionette"... probably one of the more expensive Illusionettes ever concieved, but an illusionette just the same... BUT... one thing in particular causes it to fail when we consider the Illusionette.

Most Illusionettes could be done in the round... the HEAD SLIDER cannot. Similarly, Illusionettes rarely had an angle issue or distance for that matter... they could be done in a living room just as easily as they could be done in the Cabaret (which, by the way, is the medium they were actually designed to cater to.)I'm not saying this applies to all, just the greater majority. Exceptions to this rule would be bits like the old Flying Carpet suspension and Super X... both of which Mr. Abbott classified as being "Illusionettes" (along with the Lester Lake Head Chopper (and similar such devices), Spectator Sawing, and Pillory Escapes).

I personally believe that someone skilled as a craftsman and learned in the magical arts, could carve themselves a great career by reviving these old classics and putting them back on the market. I think the time has come for simpler, more practical forms of the grand illusions once again (HINT... look in the older Abbott, Thayer and Tannens catalogs circa 1940--1970 for concepts)
Dennis Michael
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I like that defination,

Illusionette: "props too big to be seen as a 'hand prop' and too small to be seen as a major or grand illusion."[/b]

If you can easyily pick the prop up and move it then it could easily qualify as an Illuionette. I Have "Chest of Nefertari" which is a Head dagger box on an alter type structure and this is an illusion. The Arrow in the Head box is an Illusionette because it can be picked up and moved easily. A milk Picture is not an Illusionette because it is a hand prop. The Chair Suspension would be an Illusion as well as the Flying Carpet because they cannot be "easily" picked up and moved off stage. Since the Sword Thru Neck uses an assistant I would classify it as an illuionette but this borders hand prop. The Same for the Head Chopper, I can pick it up amd move it easily, or easier yet roll it off stage borders Illusion.

The picture is not written in stone but the above defination is a good one.
Dennis Michael
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