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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Suggestions for presenting suspension (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

suspectacts
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As an early New Year's resolution, I am trying un-mothball a couple of those effects that I have bought over the years and have rarely performed. One is my Super X.

For those unfamiliar with the effect, it is a suspension of a volunteer that enables the magician to create the classic prone woman floating at about waist height while the magician poses dramatically behind her. (Please start a new thread for cheap jokes based on my somewhat clumsy description).

Although I have performed the illusion 3 or 4 times, I have never found a presentation that truly 'sells' the effect.

Here are my specific questions:

1. To present it on stage, I made a platform which the two saw horses stand on (and hide the 'something special') but currently , the whole mess has to sit on stage the whole performance. Does anyone have any experience adding wheels (I would get a pro to do the welding), so I could wheel the thing up into place right before I do it. Does it screw up the balance?

2. In these days of DC and Blaine, anyone have any suggestions on presenting a suspension when I can only assume the audience is hoping for the volunteer to float into the rafters? This maybe something I just need to accept and not worry about...

3. I do not work with assistants, nor do I do any silent routines (check website for what I DO do). How would people solve the problem of 'choreography' - moving the saw horses, folding the cloth around the volunteer and being in position for the 'money shot'?

4. I'll admit that the way I present it , it doesn't have a clear climax. I guess what I mean is that there is an ackward moment because the 'magic' moment is when the each saw horse is removed, but without assistants, I am actually moving the *** things myself instead of selling the magic, not to mention the fact that I am a bit pinned into the thing (hard to explain without tipping too much).

-To be honest, writing this post may have convinced me I will have to work up a version where I have two more volunteers that I train to move the saw horses for me- Has anyone ever tried this?

Sorry for the length of this post. And thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Peter Gross
http://www.funnymagic.com
Chance Wolf
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Inner circle
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Hey Peter, I think the best place to start is at the beginning. I am a big believer in giving magic a theme/reason for happening. I will give it some thought and write you later with a few ideas. Copperfield's version of Walter Blaney's Ladder Levitation is a good example. David added in the "thought cloud" caption bubble props which really added an extra bit of fun and he made the removal of the ladders seem smooth and effortless. I create wild and crazy magic designed on this philosophy. Check out my site and you will see my first release. Sorry for the plug but it will make my point. There are many obsticles to hurdle on this paticular effect but it will be well worth it if you put in the effort to re-invent the purpose.
Good luck!
Chance Wolf
http://www.wolfsmagic.com/
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
JAEIII
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A super-X can be performed a hundred different ways, you'll just have to come up with a way that best suits your character. I would recomend purchasing Mark Wilsons video, Illusions: Volume 3, Supsension levitations. This gives you lots of different ways to use one.

Be extremely careful using this prop if you are floating someone from the audience. Unless your prop is made very well and very sturdy, there is a good chance that an audience member could fall off the illusion, and that is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Believe In Magic....I do!
suspectacts
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Thanks, Both of you...

Chance, Based on you obvious skill as an inventor, I would greatly appreciate it if you would in fact 'write later.' I did look at your and you look like you'd be a great resource for this kind of thing.

To be clear I am not looking for a frame for the illusion, but more specific suggestions from people who have actually performed it, or who are struggling with the same questions.

Thanks

Peter
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
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I like you website, Peter.

I thought about wheels also. Make a hollow platform with wheels. Make sure the platform has strong wood. The wheels can be connected to the bottom. The opening is in the back. Of course you know what slides into the back of the platform. Have a golden fringe as decoration around the front of the 2 - 3 inch platform. The platform extends longer than the board. Because it will be supporting the saw horses too. Black carpet can be glued around the platform.

I made a 3 - 4 inch detachable flat wood candle to cover up the standing you know what. When the platform is rolled on stage by you, the tall 40 inch substitute candle it lit blocking the you know what.

Try and get a confederate from the audience to lay on the board. She seems like a nervous lady. You push her back down the second time by pushing her forehead. Accidenty her wig comes off. (comedy)

You stand between the lit candle and the girl laying down. Reach behind you to get the candle. Bring it in front of you. Wave it over the girl a few times to show no connections. Put it back behind you. Walk off the platform and put the supports back.

That is the basic. I'm sure you can add in all the touch ups. If you put one togrther scan it to me. Let me know when you are going to be on my side of town. Smile
suspectacts
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Boston
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Mike-
Just Tremendous! Thanks so much for your suggestions. It's these kind of specifics that are going to really help me move ahead. Thanks so much, really.

One question: how thick is the wood you made the platform out of? My gimmick is quite heavy and I would be worried that almost any wood would strain under the pressure of the person's body. My idea was to make a platform with no bottom that would rest on top of the gimmick (maybe clamped in place) and that the wheels would be connected directly to the wrought iron base.

What do you think?

Peter
omnibozo
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Boulder, CO
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When using a "volunteer" for Super X I always prescout the audience for someone just the right height, dressed nicely in slacks, who appears to be already having a good time...but not too rambunctuous. Invite her... and an escort backstage to "teach her some magic for later in the show." My cloth covers the nasty magic bits... so she really learns nothing other than to lie very still during the effect. I also make sure to turn off my lavilier mike and talk her through the effect during performance.
Blair Marshall
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Montreal, Canada
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Wrote about this illusion back in the 70s' for Genii and gave plans for a wooden base to hold the --------. Used 3/4" ply for top and bottom and a wooden channel for the ------ to slide into. On many illusions I do not use locking castors, but I use ones that the pressure of the weight on top keeps them locked from rolling (what size? this comes from experimentation) One idea that I mentioned in my article was the use of a large Arabian Night scimitar in front of the -------. This was in a holder and was removed as your leg took its place to cover the ------, this sword was then used to pass around the "floating" body.

By certain moves of your body you can give the impression (slightly) that the body has some movement. Practice, knee bending and swaying!!!

Hope this gets your creative juices flowing!

Blair Marshall
"ShaZzam!"

You can see a promo shot of my super-x on my site, it is in the photo section at the end.
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