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Profile of magicguy88
Any advice on using a plant in the audience to do an illusion? I would like to do a Zig-Zag type illusion with one of the female bigheads for a corporate function and want to make it seem unplanned.

Ryan Smile
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224 Posts

Profile of Kendrix
It does take time to learn the Zig-Zag or better yet, "Modern Art" and perform it convincingly. I think this sells magic assistants short to do otherwise. It also takes the chance of exposing the method (like we need more of that.) Most of the time I limit executives to simple appearances where all they have to do is step on a button and then walk forward. I use the Bruce Chadwick "Flash Appearance". Most executives don't want their clothing wrinkled or their hair to be disheveled when they come out to speak publicly. Lastly, it would be a disaster if someone were injured doing the illusion.
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Boston, MA
323 Posts

Profile of RandomEffects
The Guillotine with the press or highest ranking person in the room always get a great reaction. It also lends itself to a ton of humorous material.
"Gee Bob, everyone in this room is wondering why they never got their raise.
I was just starting working for a new headhunting firm
when I had a show for an insurance firm
"So Bob, lets talk about those claims you denied."
They're silly but everyone else in the crowd loves watching the boss up there. Of course keep it nice or you aren’t getting hired back.
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Frisco, TX
142 Posts

Profile of knightmagic98
I think a great illusion that uses a spectator is Audience Acupuncture. It is available from Bill Smith Magic Ventures
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Profile of Bob Sanders
I vote with Kendrix. If you use the boss, keep it simple, dignified, and don't mess up the clothes or hair. The real thing here is that he/she likely has more places to go afterwards and we don't want stockholders seeing photos of the CEO having too much fun.

The Flash Appearance is good. There are also large tip over boxes that work very well. I prefer something that I have used for so long that I don't have a name for it anymore. But the bottom line is that in this transposition the assistant while standing is wrapped in a cloth. When she is unwrapped, the boss is there instead. (She does a run around and appears elsewhere.)

I do have some tips. Let someone else hold his or her cell phone during the trick. Kill the microphone, if you can, until the production is complete (it saves some embarrassing exchanges) and move it very quickly. Don't go for suspense. Go for surprise. Don’t expect good timing from an amateur. This is the boss, don’t step on his or her applause and photo session. (Give them extra time.) Remember that in this part of the show the magician is just the doorman. (However, you do get the check! Smile!)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
Scott Imler
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Calgary, Canada
545 Posts

Profile of Scott Imler
I must say I agree with Kendrix on the Zig Zag. If it is any good at all and is built properly it is going to take more than "an hour with the CEO" to learn, to avoid any problems. Simple appearances and head choppers are always a fun way to get someone involved.

Play it safe! GO for something that is sure fire with out putting a heavy demand on the "plant".

My two cents

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Profile of M-Illusion
I'm agreeing with everyone on not doing the Zig Zag with a spectator, CEO or any other "lightly trained assistant." I've had assistants and dancers who have done it for a year or more screw it up. So you can imagine how someone trained just before the show is likely to do.
Paul Hughes
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Profile of Paul Hughes
Try Steinmeyer/Bill Smith's Audience Dis*Member… really brilliant thinking. Do a sawing in half effect on a volunteer. Looks superb to the audience, and the volunteer leaves the stage none the wiser on how it’s done!


- Paulie.
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Fayetteville, Arkansas
396 Posts

Profile of magictim
Paul Osborne's Blue Printed from Easy Build Illusions can be done with an audience member… no training. And it's very cheap to build.
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