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Joshua Lozoff
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Anyone seen the bullet catch done with a dart fired from an air gun through a balloon?

I read about it and it looks great.
Joshua Lozoff

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Kondini
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Yes its put out by Derek Lever (Taurus Supply UK).
If you want to know the low down,,,pm me.

Ken.
magicusb
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If you would like a current bio and picture on Carl Skenes along with his feature in Riply's Believe It or Not" go to
http://www.skenesentertainment.com/carlskenesjr.htm


Dorothy Dietrich, I believe the first and only woman to catch a bullet in the mouth, has done the stunt only a few times to great effect. Once for a national convention of the International Brotherhood of Magicians that was shown on Evening Magazine, once at Resorts International Casino and Hotel in Atlantic that was televised throughout the world on a show or special called "Just for the Record, the Best of Everything!", once for "You Asked for It" with Rich Little, and one other time in Canada for a French and English show called "Autobus du Canada" She considers it quite dangerous no matter what and will only do it on very special occasions.


She did not use "presentation, choreography, and staging" as stated here incorrectly by member Mick Ayres , but her presentation goes back to two early mentors of hers Milbourne Christopher and Jack London who both used the presentation of shooting through a sheet of unprepared glass, a presentation that I do not think Carl Skenes used.. She says when she was doing it in Pittsburgh for the IBM, it was believed that there was a sniper on one of the roofs in a neighboring building that nearly caused a stoppage of the event. She also says it is more difficult to consider doing it since the awful event on 9/11 due to more stringent gun regulations. At any rate she have never done it as part of her regular stage magic shows, that features doves, rabbits, ducks and poodles, along with here unique presentaion of the Straight Jacket escape for which she is well known.


Her current home base is The Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA. She was a founder of "The Magic Towne House" in New York City that ran for 15 years that was in many ways the inspiration for the current great "Monday Night Magic." Current founders Michael Chaut, Peter Samelson, of Monday Night Magic got their start at the Townhouse. Others who got their start there included Rocco, Meir Yedid, Eric DeCamps, Peter Kougasian, David Regal (who was also a staff member along with Lou Lancaster), Jeff McBride, Joe Raven. Slidini, Frank Garcia and even Blacksone Jr., performed there as well. She was just on the BBC in a show about Houdini on the series "Dead Famous". The show was picked up and shown several times this year on the Biography Channel. It was not a great show but she is very dramatic in the scene where they have her attempting to contact Houdini in a seance at the Houdini Museum. Houdini does not dissapoint. He does not come back. Oh well.

If anyone has a copy of the "Autobus du Canada" appearance by her please email me as I would like to try to get a copy for my collection. She did three spots, a Vampire Illusion, the Bullet Catch, and Sawing a Man in Half with the Frence host. He insisted on getting her for the show after having seen her perform. He called her on the show "The first woman to ever saw a man in half!" which may or may not be true. She was believed to have gotten the most salary of any magician for any show in Canada.


She was also featured in the print edition of Riply's Believe it or Not as Carl Skenes was. More can be found at

http://Houdini.org or

http://DorothyDietrich.org

She also has the distinction of being one of the very few men or women to ever escape from a straight jacket from a burning rope, and for many years held the world's record for the highest stationary escape from a straight jacket
Check out http://HoudiniOpoly.com

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"The truth shall make you free, but first it will make you angry." -Robert Ingersoll-Atheist (on the mind of Houdini when he died.)

We are thrilled we were able to bring The Grim Game to the world! Thanks TCM.
Harry Murphy
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Joshua, I have performed the air gun dart catch for a couple of decades. In fact I performed it just this past weekend at a Holiday Gig (for law enforcement types).

I bought it in 1980 or so from Manfred Thumm of the old Magic Hands shop in Germany. It was only one of the presentations recommended with the prop (another was shooting a chosen card from a number of cards placed on a dart board).

It is remarkably easy and safe to perform. Although I have gone through a couple of hundred darts over the years I am still using the original air gun

Interestingly, I acquired the paint ball gun – paint ball catch and tried it out for a few shows. It is a killer trick and works on the exact same basic principle as does the air gun dart does. There is a big exception. The paint ball version needs an additional something to be deceptive.

While I loved the Paint Ball catch I went back to the Dart Catch. It is a tad easier to perform and I believe that the balloon bursting is stronger than the tissue target tearing. Otherwise they are the same effect.

Ken, does Derek market his version?
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Kondini
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Not any more Harry, but it is simple to make up your own!
Ken.
Harry Murphy
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Yep, I built several.I was just wondering if anyone was selling them anymore. Hummmm. Maybe...
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Mick Ayres
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Quote:
On 2005-12-05 19:16, magicusb wrote:
Dorothy Dietrich did not use "presentation, choreography, and staging" as stated here incorrectly by member Mick Ayres, but her presentation goes back to two early mentors of hers Milbourne Christopher and Jack London who both used the presentation of shooting through a sheet of unprepared glass, a presentation that I do not think Carl Skenes used...


I wish to take nothing away from Dorothy's myriad contributions to the art of magic.
However, when it comes to the history of the Bullet Catch and her involvement with this particular stunt, I still believe I am correct.

Dietrich's presentation, choreography and staging of the Bullet Catch is identical in several details to Skenes' approach with only one exception...the method. To my knowledge, Carl Skenes is the only magician on record who has ACTUALLY CAUGHT AN UNGIMMICKED, LIVE-FIRED BULLET IN HIS MOUTH. Everyone else, including Dorothy, has faked it in one way or another.

In an effort to keep the historical facts in order, I reconfirmed my statements with Carl Skenes in Orlando. His response follows:

"Magicusb is in error. Dorothy did her first bullet catch almost a year to the day after my performance on the "That's Incredible" television program. Milbourne Christopher and Jack London, mentioned in the post in question, didn't do a real Bullet Catch. Their presentation was a TRICK. Dorothy certainly copied my act, including my use of the box. As for glass between myself and the shooter, Tina wouldn't let me use it. I experimented with glass and found the margin of error was too great for someone raising a family (perhaps if I had been single, well...I MIGHT have accepted the risk.) On "That's Incredible", I did use a sheet of acetate which was placed between the shooter and myself. This was before we realized that the cameras used in my segment would actually capture the bullet in flight as it entered my mouth. That footage proved that my performance was real...more so than anything else ever could."

So, based on the above information, I stand by my statements.

Best,

Mick Ayres
Hilton Head Island, SC
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markthorold
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Have performed"Bullet Catch" as a closer for the last four years, still chills me when the spectator aims at me ......
E.O.I
magicusb
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Dear Mick Ayres. If you are correct, and you may be though one cannot be sure, if Carl did do it for real that makes him neither a magician or an illusionist, which is what our craft is about. Again, the idea of catching a bullet in a cup was done by Carl, but in speaking to Dorothy, she came up with the idea on her own.
She was in fact working on this for several years before with advice from Milbourne Christopher and much help from Jack London, before her first try. She felt being a woman it made no sense to to catch a bullet in her teeth. She has a great smile. It was also not something that was possible. Using the metal cup made it more "real" to the audience. This makes her not only the first woman in history to do the bullet catch in the mouth, but also the first illusionist to use a metal cup in the mouth. A few other points on this. At the IBM National Convention, the first bullet fired was found imbedded in the wall behind where she stood. Also there may have been a sniper on one of the roofs nearby, and the event was nearly cancelled.

Since this forum is called Believe it or Not, Dorothy filmed the bullet catch for the show of the same name, and also for Canadian TV. If anyone has copies of either, contact me as she would like a copy.

Regards
Dick Brooks
Check out http://HoudiniOpoly.com

Houdini Museum Tour & Magic Show.
Only building in the world dedicated to Houdini.
http://Houdini.org
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"The truth shall make you free, but first it will make you angry." -Robert Ingersoll-Atheist (on the mind of Houdini when he died.)

We are thrilled we were able to bring The Grim Game to the world! Thanks TCM.
Mick Ayres
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Dick,

Carl's information is not only sourced from a personally-witnessed standpoint, but has been well-documented historically both in print and in televised media. Also, who told you Carl Skenes is not an illusionist or magician? Of course he is. For the past decade ALONE he has been performing full-time for clients such as the Walt Disney Company, the Ritz-Carlton, Universal Studios and to many others to mention. When I first met Carl in 1976, he had already been performing professionally for a decade even then.



Quote:
She felt being a woman it made no sense to to catch a bullet in her teeth...It was also not something that was possible.



Carl Skenes has proven many times that not only is it possible, but he is a veteran at doing it.


Obviously, there is a huge misunderstanding here, Dick. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but this is what I believe is at the core of it:

To the best of my knowledge, Dorothy Dietrich has never caught a true live-fired bullet from an ungimmicked rifle in her mouth (box or no box). She certainly HAS presented the ILLUSION that she caught a bullet...but so have countless magicians through the ages (including Milbourne Christopher and Jack London). In other words, no sane individual would actually stand in front of an ungimmicked rifle and have an ungimmicked bullet truely fired from it at their head...except for Carl Skenes. He remains the crazy exception to the rule.

THAT is where Skenes' and Dietrich's versions of the Bullet Catch vary...his is real, hers is an illusion.

I remain open and have seriously enjoyed this exchange. But unless you can unequivocably make a statement to the contrary, Dorothy should stop comparing her act to Carl's...it just ain't apples to apples.

Therefore, despite all the kicking we've done here, fellas...I believe this horse is staying dead.

Best,
Mick Ayres
THE FIVE OBLIGATIONS OF CONJURING: Study. Practice. Script. Rehearse. Perform. Drop one and you're done.
isaacfawlkes
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Just for the record. Dorothy may have been the first woman to perform the trick on TV, but she certainly was not the first woman to perform the trick. In 1857 a woman by the name of Annie Vernone performed the effect in Hull, England. and of course it was presented many time by Adelaide Herrmann in the late 1890's.
magicusb
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Quote from isaacfawlkes

"Just for the record. Dorothy may have been the first woman to perform the trick on TV, but she certainly was not the first woman to perform the trick. In 1857 a woman by the name of Annie Vernone performed the effect in Hull, England. and of course it was presented many time by Adelaide Herrmann in the late 1890's."

It is true a couple of women may have done a version of the bullet catch, but the name of this topic is "Bullet Catch Between The Teeth," and if memory serves me right they did not catch it in that manner, but in a plate, etc., which was the fashion at the time. I stand, unless proven otherwise, that Dorothy Dietrich is the first woman to do the bullet catch in the mouth.

If as Mick Ayres, says, Carl Skenes did the bullet catch without any gimmicks, he is truly amazing.

For the record in her method, a real ungimmicked rifle is used and an actual projectile is fired directly at her. That is all I can say without giving away any secrets, which is not allowed here.

Dorothy also did the bullet catch in the mouth for the Internationl show "Just For The Record, The Best of Everything" along with serveral news shows, one when she was one of the featured acts at the IBM, International Brothers of Magicians yearly convention, when it was held in Pittsburgh, and the other when she was performing at Resort International in Atlantic City for a special event for Donald Trump. She also performed for Donald Trumps family at several private parties. Two other performance that we have not seen were for Canadian Brodcasting for "Autobus du Canada," and "Believe It or Not," when it was hosted by Rich Little. The last two we have never seen and do not have copies of. It may be for legal reasons they were not shown for fear of law suits.

If anyone has a copy of either please contact us. She also held the record for many years for the highest escape from a straight jacket from a burning rope, that she did for Home Box Office, with movie star Tony Curtis. She is part of the Board of Directors of The Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA.

Regards,

Dick Brooks
Check out http://HoudiniOpoly.com

Houdini Museum Tour & Magic Show.
Only building in the world dedicated to Houdini.
http://Houdini.org
http://HoudiniDisplays.com
http://PsychicTheater.com
Scranton, Pa (570) 342-5555
"The truth shall make you free, but first it will make you angry." -Robert Ingersoll-Atheist (on the mind of Houdini when he died.)

We are thrilled we were able to bring The Grim Game to the world! Thanks TCM.
tls5678
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Mr. Brooks:

Carl Skenes’ presentation of the Bullet Catch is for REAL. The method used is no secret— in fact, it is explained to the audience and authenticated onstage by audience volunteers. There are no secrets here—the gun and bullet are ungimmicked. A 22-caliber bullet is fired from a distance of 15 feet into a small steel box held between Carl’s teeth. That bullet is fired by ME.


The timeline for both the development of the act and early performances of Carl’s presentation are well documented through our personal records, in magazines (TV Guide, People) and on television. (“That’s Incredible!”, “The World of People", “We’re Number One”, “Fantastico!”, and “Super Sabado”.)

For the record, Carl IS a magician, having performed professionally for 35 years; however, again, the Bullet Catch is NOT presented as a trick. It is altogether a different act.

A internet search will reveal our web address and contact information. (You included it in a previous post.) Feel free to call. We would welcome a chance to speak with you personally.

With best wishes,
Tina Skenes
Thirty years of being Mrs. Skenes, and still counting... now THAT'S magic!
magicusb
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In reply to Tina Skenes;

I have no doubt he is amazing and fully agree with you on that point. However, this forum is read by many beginners, and youngsters who have little experience with guns and weapons, though it it clear from your description that you are an accomplished marksman, or should I say markswoman, if you are the one that fires the weapon so accuratly. This makes you BOTH quite unique. However as clearly shown on a recent Mythbusters show, who came to their own conclusions as to the rationality of attempting this, because of the physical dangers involved with live rounds fired at close range. There are serious dangers doing this and would not want to encourage less informed and less talented people than yourselves to attempt the bullet catch, even through gimmicked methods. As you no doubt know, many have been hurt, maimed or killed doing this.

A serious search of this forum will even find people asking for help because they would like to this for an upcoming show they just booked. I would not want any harm that would come to them on my head, for suggesting that this is not a stupid idea.

Best wishes to both you and Carl,

Dick Brooks
Check out http://HoudiniOpoly.com

Houdini Museum Tour & Magic Show.
Only building in the world dedicated to Houdini.
http://Houdini.org
http://HoudiniDisplays.com
http://PsychicTheater.com
Scranton, Pa (570) 342-5555
"The truth shall make you free, but first it will make you angry." -Robert Ingersoll-Atheist (on the mind of Houdini when he died.)

We are thrilled we were able to bring The Grim Game to the world! Thanks TCM.
magicusb
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Reply to Mick Ayres

There is no doubt in my mind that magician Carl Skenes presentation of the bullet catch in the mouth is one of the best ever done in the history of the stunt or trick, depending on how you look at it. His presentation is fantastic, amazing, incredible, and absolutely unbelievable as this dangerous classic of magic has always been. So is Dorothy Dietrich's one of the best, as is Penn & Tellers.

Almost every magician who has done the bullet catch in the mouth has claimed it is real and that includes, I believe, magicians and illusionists such as Milbourne Christopher, Jack London, Denny (of Denny & Lee), Dorothy Dietrich, Ben Robinson, Criss Angel, and even, of course, magician and illusionist Carl Skenes. Their claims are similar and many of those who witness their events such as yourself say without doubt that they know what they saw was real. A look into all their various media reports and publicity will attest to this. Also more information can be found on the website, http://BulletCatch.com

Please be reminded that Uri Geller "really" bends forks and spoons with his mind. So do I. Url Geller has been far more examined and tested by experts and scientists than any of the above magicians and illusionists including Carl Skenes and Dorothy Dietrich. Uri Geller, unlike all the above named magicians and illusionists, does not in any way admit to being one. Who are we to believe? What is the job of a magician and illusionist?


NOTE: The reason I have written so much on this is that this wonderful fourm should not encourage beginners or newcomers to attempt Carl's presentation as viewed by you, and go no further in researching the various options and history of this stunt or trick, taking to heart your "observations", correct or not. You could well be correct. However, this could have disasterous results. You, yourself, in one of your posts about Carl's presentation of the bullet catch says "This is a seriously stupid way to get publicity".

I do consider myself a bit of an expert on this and other magic matters. Other experts, right or wrong, have come to other conclusions about this stunt. You may take them to task. As just one example, have you seen Mythbusters take on this? I suggest anyone attempting the bullet catch in the mouth, or interested in the risks, including yourself, should get a copy of that show, and reconsider the possibililty of success and the danger.

Dick Brooks
Check out http://HoudiniOpoly.com

Houdini Museum Tour & Magic Show.
Only building in the world dedicated to Houdini.
http://Houdini.org
http://HoudiniDisplays.com
http://PsychicTheater.com
Scranton, Pa (570) 342-5555
"The truth shall make you free, but first it will make you angry." -Robert Ingersoll-Atheist (on the mind of Houdini when he died.)

We are thrilled we were able to bring The Grim Game to the world! Thanks TCM.
Roslyn
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Hi,

I've just started playing around with Velocity (a paintball bullet catch put out by Bob Kohler magic) and am very interested in the dart catch that both Harry and Ken have mentioned.

If either of you gents have any further info on this trick I'd love to hear about it.

Also, is the paintball version you are talking about Harry Velocity? Or is it a different version?

I've always loved the bullet catch, and when I heard about a paintball version that could be performed in the UK legally (we're not allowed hand guns by law) I jumped at the chance to get it.

But the dart catch by hand sounds pretty cool.

Something else I've been pondering on is an arrow catch.

I've always thought this would be kind of fun to do. I've never seen it. In fact I don't even know if its ever been performed.

Cheers,

Ros
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gsidhe
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I'm with Ros...Dart Catch?? Sweet...Arrow catch? Whoah...Now that would be cool...
Any info?
Gwyd
Steve Knight
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There's a brief clip of Carl Skenes doing the bullet catch on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DkiVH7p5t4
Harley Newman
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I think catching arrows has occasionally been featured in circuses, and in martial arts demonstrations.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Roslyn
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Thanks for the tip off Harley. I didn't even know it'd been done.

I'm guessing it was done using a cross bow of some kind?

I'll keep you all posted if I manage to find someone to teach it to me.

Like wise, if you'd like to teach it to me please get in touch.

Cheers,

Ros
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