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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Sword Through Body (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

JAEIII
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Hey everyone,

I have a question. I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a "sword through body." Naturally I would rather have something along the lines of impailed, but they can be pretty pricy. I had noticed that Hank Lee's magic shop is selling a sword through body for around $800.00. Has anyone seen one of these in action, and do you think that the effect is worth the price? Any comments or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!

:swordbasket:
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Themagicquest
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I dont think it is the best but it is a ok trick and if you want it then i think you should get it now Smile
Harry Murphy
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The Sword Through Body is a nice little illusion that can be made to play fairly large. However, it does have its limitations. You need to have an assistant for it to work. If you are a one-person show then you will be wasting your money.

Also, how does a sword fit into your act? I had a sword through neck illusion for years before I figured where it belonged and where it worked. When I finally figured how it could work, I built a Sword Through Body gimmick to expand the routine. I use the sword from the sword through neck. My gimmick was easy to make and cost less than $10.00. It works.

The routine is part of a Renaissance Fair act. For that venue it is logical (also for the period I am supposed to be living in) in terms of me having and using a sword. I perform a Sword Thru Neck with an audience member and then at the end, when taking a bow with the audience member, I accidentally stab my ever-bumbling assistant through the abdomen. I am holding the sword by the hilt, sword aiming backwards (reverse hold) and as I bow my assistant steps up to move something and apparently gets skewered (actually puts the point of the sword into the gimmick under the cover of my bow). There is much by play with the spectator helping me pull the sword out. It is played for comedy and fun.

My props and routine blend right with my character, costume, and act. I think that if I tried the exact same thing in a tuxedo or suit, in a different venue, it would fall flat.

How would you play your routine in your act? What is your character and how does a sword fit the character?
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JAEIII
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Thanks for your replies themagicquest and Harry. Well, I am not really playing a character when I do my show, I am only playing myself. It would be in the show for the same reason any illusion is in my show, to amaze the audience. Is a sword through body very visual? Does it look real? Would someone from the audience who saw this illusion be shocked or amazed? This is the information I am looking for. Thanks to anyone else who can help!

:nose:
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mike_york
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I think you should re read the post. And you need to stop and think about your show. As I feel you need to establish yourself (character) on stage. I see many magicians prance around stage waving their hands and fitting into the stereotypical "magician". Your stage persona and presentation sets you apart from everyone else.

After all if you were to copy Copperfield word for word movement for movement. Whose show do you think people will see? Don't think too hard on that one. Smile

Magic is mostly all about presentation! You can have tow magicians doing the same trick but each their own way. And you can ask anyone after the show 9 out of 10 will swore they were two different tricks.

Break the mold a little. Expand your horizon. Live a little. AND BE DIFFRENT! It shows really creativity when you can do your own things. Copying someone is the lazy cheap way out. But, hay if it works for you , do it!

Personally I am trying to create a new era of magic and illusion. And create a new type of magician / illusionist in the process. You have to sell tickets somehow. Take any successful magic show and you will see they have established their own style and marketing personalities.




Just my two cents,
Mike
JAEIII
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Thanks for your comments, Mike, but what gave you the impression I was trying to copy someone else? My show does have a character, but that character is me. By being myself during a show I don't see how I'm copying anyone else, especially that of Copperfield?

I enjoy getting up on stage and having fun with the audience, and just being myself. Thus far, I have never had a complaint, and everyone has always seemed to go away happy and extrememely entertained.

I beleive if you have created a character that works for you on stage, and you enjoy it, then you should stick with it. But I love getting on stage and knowing that the people are being entertained by me. Not the character that I have created, but me myself.

I agree that your presentation and persona set you apart from the others, but I don't know what gave you the impression that my persona or presentation is like anyone elses. I am very much my own entertainer, and have never attempted to copy Copperfield, or anyone else for that matter. I assure you that my show is DIFFERENT. So I don't know why you think I am copying anyone, but I assure you I am not.

My question about the sword through body is just asking does anyone think that this is good visual magic, does it get a good reaction from the audience, etc... I have some ideas on how to use it in my show, but asking questions about it is the first step to even consider using the item.

I'm not defending myself in this reply or trying to be negative, I'm just trying to explain myself, and trying to find out what you meant by your comments. That's all. I appreciate your comments, just dont fully understand where you came to some of your conclusions. Thanks! Smile
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mike_york
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Yeah I know BAD EXAMPLE. I am sorry I should have not compared to copying someone else. I was just trying to get the point across don't do tricks that look cool. Do them because the fit your style and so on.


Sorry about the confusion.

Mike
JAEIII
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Thank you for clarifying. I understand exactly what you mean. The reason I am asking questions about it, is basically so that I can see if it does fit my style. That's all. Thanks again!

Jon Smile
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Harry Murphy
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Your questions are a bit difficult to answer out of context.

You ask is the sword through body a visible illusion. Yes, most definitely it is a very visible illusion. A solid steel sword penetrating straight through a human body is very visible.

Does it get a good reaction? For me it, in the context of my presentation, it gets a strong reaction. First gasps, then laugh’s but above all it mystifies.

I recently watched a version of the sword through body presented by a “Goth” magician. He played it as a dark, dangerous and menacing piece set to heavy, throbbing, industrial rock music. It bombed with his audience. They laughed and hooted. He would have gotten a stronger response by jabbing (apparently) a skewer through the palm of his hand.

By the way, I performed the needle through arm bit (with blood, lots of blood) after the show, in the lobby, and got the response the Goth magician was looking for (including a girl tossing her cookies!).

Where I am going with this discussion is that the reaction you get from this illusion will depend on your stagecraft and your presentation of this effect. But then that is generally true for most magic effects.

If you can make it work for you then it may be just the illusion for your show. I suspect that the only way you will really know is by trying it. Truly, other than requiring an assistant, it packs very small and can play very large.
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JAEIII
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Thank you Harry. I understand that not knowing how I will be using the sword can make it difficult to answer how the reaction will be received. But you have helped a lot with your comments. I think I will purchase one. Thank you very much!
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Harry Murphy
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JAEIII,

I don’t think you will be disappointed in the overall effect. However, I strongly recommend that you physically look at the versions available to you. The “gimmick” worn by the assistant is basically the same in all of them.

The sword is the key to making the effect believable. It must look solid and must look like a sword. Norm Nielsen used to sell the best there was. The blade remains the same length before, during and after it goes through the body!

Ask Hank Lee if that is the one he is selling. If no, then try to find a Nielsen version. It used to cost about $850.00 new.

I will be interested in hearing how you work it into your act and the response you get.

I like the effect, but then it works for me.

Go for it!
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JAEIII
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Thanks Harry,

I will definately research to buy the best available. And I will let you know how it works out!

Thanks Again!
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steves7
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Have any of you ever used the Tilford Sword through Neck version? How does it compare to the Nielson version? The Tilford site describes the version as not the child's version, but a better-made version.
David Todd
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Tilford is listing Imperial Sword Thru Neck

http://www.tilfordillusions.com/swordThruNeck.html

This is available from several other dealers, including The Trickery

http://www.thetrickery.com/?nd=full&key=7596

Haven't used it yet because I'm saving up to buy a new Sword, and can't decide between the Imperial Sword Thru Neck or the one recently listed by Hocus Pocus as Knight Sword Thru Neck :

http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/pro......tem=5716

These swords are around 24" to 25" long (the blade part, not including the handles) , so I'm not sure if they're long enough to convincingly make them work for the Sword Thru Body (because of the extra thickness of the torso as compared to the neck )
JoeJoe
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I have a sword through body that I made myself, it doesn't look as "real" as the high price ones ... but it makes a great attention getter - I have worn it at the magic shop to attract customers in, it's interesting the way people slow down and stare at you as they walk by ... after the effect registers, it gets a good laugh and smile.

I have plans on documenting exactly how I built it (under $30 at Home Depo), and it requires a Garth Brooks type shirt ... there is an extra layer of material for decoration on the back of the shirt that forms an upside-down pocket for the gimmick.

It is a one person illusion, you push the sword through your body and fall to your knees - your hand goes behind your back as if in pain (where you secretly attach the gimmick) ... gather yourself back together and then stand back up raising both hands into the air ... spin around to display the sword through body. The audience can see the sword sticking out the back ... without your hands ever going to your back, remove the sword and turn again to reveal the sword is no longer sticking through.

Hopefully this week I can start street performing again, I plan to put it on and as people walk by "the magic and illusion show is going to be right over here folks". I'll get some pictures of it in action.

JoeJoe
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