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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Broom Suspension, tall assistant, now what. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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Some of you may remember a thread I started the other day about illusions that would be ok for a tall assistant. Well, as fate would have it, a local magician called me with a broom suspension for sale at a "moving sale" price. So, I bought it. Now, how to put this so I'm not sounding crass. I'm short (5'6"). I'm not very athletic. My assistant, and soon to be wife, is tall (5'8"), and also not very athletic. So, my question is, is there anyway to get her into the suspended position without me huffin and puffin? I mean, is there a secret to lifting her that I'm missing (it didn't come with any instructions) or is it just brut strength? Are there particular muscle groups we should work out to make this illusion easier on us? (Please keep your sarcastic and rude comments for another post) Thanks for any help.
Edd
PS- We've only tried it once so far and didn't use a stool. She is tall enough we don't need one. Does the stool make a difference?
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Crispy
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Louisville, KY
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The stool at the platform helps because it puts her feet slightly higher and you simply don't have to bend down as far. That is really the key to lifting the girl, is to lift her from the lower legs as this is going to be the point furthest away from the "axis" where the harness is attached to the broom.

Here's a tip that may help in presentation. Most broom suspensions require that the girl be lifted above a 90 degree position and then lowered. this is either done at the beginning of the suspension to "lock" her into place, or after the suspension to "unlock" her so she can be lowered. This looks very suspicion from the audience's point of view and if you've seen the illusion done in this manner, you know what I'm talking about.

Here's a way to cover up that awkward moment. When raising the girl, start with your back to the audience and raise her into the air. Raise her above 90 degrees and walk under her legs as you turn around to face the audience leaving her suspended. Raising her legs above your head to walk under gives you a reason to raise her above 90 degrees and then lower her back down and covers up the "move." If you suspension requires you to to the same thing to lower her, do this action in reverse. Start facing the audienceand raise her legs above your head as you walk under her legs and turn around with your back toward the audience as you lower her to the standing position. I have the old suspension that was distributed by Chalet years ago and has a "relese switch" operated by the assistant to lower her. But we still have to come the awkward move that "locks" her into place.

As far as muscle groups, all I can say is the cliche, "use your legs." Watch a weight lift do a jerk and press from the floor and that will give you an idea. It shouldn't be all that hard since the harness provides a "pivot point." This illusion is much more difficult for the assistant than for the magician, obviously, and can take some practice.

Just out of curiousity, who is the builder of your broom suspension? Does it have a "release switch" to unlock her when you lower her, or do you have to lift her up to "unlock" her before you lower her. If you have the "release switch" we've found that it is less conspicuous and more convenient if the assistant operates it.

Cris
wizardofsorts
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First, Thanks very much. I will immmediatly put these ideas into practice.

I don't know who orgianally built the harness. It was "rehabed" by Jim Sommers and the base and pole were built by Jim. It does have a release switch. Which to be operated easily, I need to lift her a little to take the pressure off the locking mechinism. But I don't have to "raise her position."

Thanks again.

Anyone else?
Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Saydean
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Practice,practice and more practice. Try putting your elbow against your ribs as a fulcrum point when you lift her. It took me about 2 months to do a lift that looked effortless and clean. This illusion is deceptive ,because it looks really easy when performed right, however it does require some upper body strengh to pull it off.
The Mirror Images
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Hit the gym.

Michael
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Marshall Thornside
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Get a taller broom.
use a short stool.
I recomment finding something
that fits inbetween
the heigth of the her,
the broom and the floor.
just tall enough that when
her feet dangle its about
5 inches above the floor.

the stool is best even when
you don't lift. you just hold
the persons hand as they step
on it.

that is how my dad used to do
it with me. altho when I was 8
I was tiny to just lift off at
the end.

I suggest you get a studio with
mirrors and watch yourself while
trying the suspension.

if you go to a resale shop and
find stool with three legs figure
the height out then get them legs
cut at a metal shop. that way its
custom made for you and your wife.
you will remember my name

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John Tudor
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Ah, the broom suspension how I love that illusion. As to the technique of the lift, I use the same technique that Chris mentions, liftin her up and stepping underneath her...except I actually place her legs across my shoulders and then step away sideways.
As always in magic, a lot of questions will be answered if you study the past masters...you can get a videotape of Richiardi from the SAM library, watch and study how he lift from the lower part of the leg.
Peter Gossamer also has a videotape that he sells with his harness, he might sell you a copy, and don't forget Stan Allen booklet and Jonathon Pendragons' writings on the Broom in his book of illusion essays.
John Tudor.
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates
Crispy
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The release switch does help make things convenient, and on our model it is located on the right side. When I raise the girl to the suspended position, she lets her arm "fall" (bend at the elbow) into place. This places her hand right in position to release the harness when the time comes. However, whether you choose to operate the release or your assistant is dependent on your model, your personal preference, and whatever works best for you and your wife.

Wow, great tips everyone! Isn't this forum so cool! lol

Cris
wizardofsorts
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John,
Thanks for the resources.

Saydean,
Ah the cold winter months of Chicago are ahead. It makes one practice more because its all there is to do!

Marshall,
I think the taller broom might be in order. Because once I put her on a stool she'll have to stoop to "hook up." I would consider using a four legged stool just for more stablity. Now, onto the hunt for a taller "broom."

Edd
PS- boy this illusion stuff isn't easy! But then again if it was, everyone would be doing it. . .
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Autumn Morning Star
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I have a broom suspension in my big show, but use a little girl assistant at 5'4 and 100 lbs. (My broom suspension is built like a Blackfeet War Lance instead of a broom.) You surely need to build upper and lower body strength, so hit the gym. I do light bench presses and curls. My most important work out is doing squats on a fixed barbell set up. About 90 lbs for me. Get someone to show you how to do this so you start correctly and build the right way. You can hurt your knees on the squats if you go too deeply.

My assistant is placed high in the harness so the balance of her weight is even. I am not sure how to explain, but if you have a dancing cane the balance point works in a similar fashion.

The first lift is really easy and I do this with a sort of hug/waltz move while I am standing behind her. From 45 degrees to 90 degrees (the toughest part) I move in front of the girl. I bend my knees and use the edge of my shoulder to help lift, and use my hands to stabilize the girl.

The weight-bearing shoulder's arm is curled behind her and around her thighs. The other arm stabilizes her middle and clicks the release. I lift with my knees. I bend them, position my shoulder, hands, then straighten my knees slowly. It has to look effortless. (And the particular technique needs to work for you!)

I noticed in my initial rehearsals that I was ending up hidden behind the girls backside. While probably fun for a guy, it is not very pretty to the audience. You both need to be seen and that is why I lift her to the 45 degree from behind, then move in front for the 90 degree move. Just be aware of keeping her centered on that platform with your weight on the platform at all times. Don't accidentally let her roll to the back or you could dump the whole unit.

And video tape from all frontal angles! Remember: Effortless! She weighs nothing! Watch your facial expressions.

One last thought...A story passed on to me by an unfortunate magician: Never do this trick on cruise ships. When the ship tilts so does your assistant and she will swing like a crazed yard arm and tip the whole shebang!
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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wizardofsorts
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Morning Star,
Thanks for the info. I do go to the gym guys! I'm just small. Sad. Anyway thanks for the warning on the cruise ship. I was thinking that I could use this illusion (along with others) to build a show around to use on cruise ships. Oh well. As per facial expressions, I guess I'll have to tap my acting resources. Now where did I leave that degree? Oh, right, under the dog dish.
Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Fitz
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I think the Pendragons did this on ship a lot. They would decide the day of the show if the waters were calm enough. I think they still had some interesting storys though.

Fitz
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MagicalFreak3
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I was thinking of purchasing this illusion by the end of this month and really fits my show, any suggestions for a good broom suspension with good props and explanation as well as a decent price (at least not very high compared to other broom suspensions). I have seen some very good illusion plans at cheap prices if anyone is interested pm me anytime.
magickleark
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I have broom suspension, climax revolving lady type and I used so many type its good and work well still
john wills
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The BEST for your assistant: Gossamer Featherlight.
john wills
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.....and the best performer is: RICHIARDI jr.

The description you can find in the book of Robert Houdin.
john wills
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After Richiardi the best performers for DECADES: The PENDRAGONS.
jay leslie
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OP A. Stooping to do the hook-up is very good because she can disengage herself just that easily
B. What are you talking about "get a taller broom" Any idea how much aggravation that is? _ Get a shorter step stool.

However, I think you should sell it.

If you can't lift her and make it look graceful, the the Price of the illusion is greater then the Cost.
Just because you got a good deal (I feel like I'm talking to my mother after a trip to BB&B) Just because you got a good deal.....
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