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Profile of kasper777
I am considering using a chair suspension to end my show. I'm thinking about setting up the chairs and board and using it as my performing table then finish with the suspension. Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.


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America’s North Coast, Ohio
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Profile of BroDavid
You are considering doing this in a street act?

Seems like a lot carry, and..... Hmmmm.... well it just seems like this would be a bad fit for the street.

But I don't do a chair suspension on stage even, so I can't talk about angles, etc. But if you think you are clean on angles and strong enough to lug the props around, I say run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes it.

The first practical issue that comes to mind is the height of the table. I like mine waist high so I can drop and steal as needed, and hind a bit behind it, and get back to a business position with the props.

A low table would; 1. be too low for a lot of people to see
2. Keep you very very honest in your handling.

You could put a box on top of the board for height, but then you have to carry a box too...

Just some odd thoughts. But as much as it doesn't "sound rite to me" it is intriguing.. Keep us posted if you try it out.

If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
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Profile of kasper777
I remember seeing a guy in New Orleans do it on the streets. He did a few tricks, brought a girl up and put her on the board, did a mind reading trick with her then floated her.

I finish with the cups and balls now, a 5-10 minute ending, floating a person could take less, which might make it ideal for a doorway act, or you could build it up for a full circle shows. I don't think there are any angle problems.

From the chair suspension I've seen they are about waist high. But anywho, I would just use it to put cards on and spread them.

Carrying it does seem like a problem. I have to double check but I think it comes with a "bag" with a shoulder strap to carry it in.

Another thing, if I get the suspension and it bombs on the streets, I could always use it for kid shows and other private shows.

Hmmmmm. more thoughts from all please.

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Bradford, England
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Profile of mslj
One of the down sides about the chair suspension is the fear factor. Some times a volunteer, particularly a child, may come to help but on hearing/seeing the details of the effect may become apprehensive about continuing. The result of that could be that your carefully crafted show goes down the drain.

I've used the chair suspension for kids parties and it does play well but I it could be more trouble than it's worth on the street.

However, it is a wonderful illusion and when it pans out the reactions are great.
Great Domino
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Profile of Great Domino
If you think you can pull it off. Watch the angles and be sure to drive that day. That is alot to bring with you.
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Los Angeles
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Profile of JamesinLA
Toni Vera--a great street performer--lifts a kid of 70 to 90 lbs on a steel chair balanced on his chin. I've seen him do this 4 times and each time I am amazed that parents--who presumably sweat over which minivan is safest for the family--let him do this to their precious kids. And the kids themselves enjoy it too. Compared to that, a chair suspension is tame. However, I don't know what fun it would be for kids to lie there, not really getting a good view of what's going on while others are ooing and ahhing. This is true of b-day parties. As far as transport, get a cart. I've seen lots of guys working from a small trolley carts, carrying sound systems, car batteries to power them etc. Let us know how it goes.
Finally, what do people think about a suspension as a finale? I usually think a production makes a good finale? Will a chair suspension as a finale just lie there? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
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Profile of kasper777
I would probably get a teenager type person on the streets to float instead of a kid. Again, all of this is just a thought. A friend of mine has a Klamm chair suspension that he's used only once and would sell to me for about 300. I'm still thinking if it is worth the investment as well. Thanks again for any and all tips.

Harry Murphy
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Profile of Harry Murphy
Frankly, I don’t think that a Harbin Chair Suspension is the way to go on the streets. Save it for your platform act. You need to a fairly level surface to pull it off. A surface that is not level might pitch the illusion one way or another and you might end up with it tipping over and hurting your assistant.

The logistics of trucking an illusion onto the streets is a real pain. Ok, you are going minimally going to carry your prop bag, two chairs, a board (with gimmick), and the covering cloth (unless you are going to do a real stripped down version). You say that you will have the chair/board/covering (if any) act as your table. Even so, you are adding weight and a couple of large items that you normally wouldn’t carry. If you are “moved along” by anyone in authority, then you have to pack all this up and schlep it to the new location. This can be a real pain.

Honestly, the chair suspension is not that great an effect. It is pretty static and it takes a real strong presentation to make it work. About the only one I have seen that was even close to well presented was done by Bob Sheets as part of his platform Renaissance Fair act (gone are those days, eh Bob?). His routine was not so much magical as sidesplitting funny!

I think that there are other mini-illusions that pack a bit flatter, play bigger and whose gimmicks are more hidden than a chair suspension.

Now all that said if you still persist that you are going to be unique on the streets and do the suspension, then I think that it should be toward middle (or next to last trick) of your act. You want to finish alone with no assistants/helpers, with all the focus on you and your pitch for the hat!

The older I get, the less I want to truck around on the street. I am even rethinking my table as being too heavy (homemade waiters stand type table). Presently, everything I use fits into a fanny pack and my Giberciere.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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Profile of kasper777
another option I am considering is purchasing a collasable folding chair. It's a comedy prop that falls at the slightest touch. Hank Lee's has one called "the chair" if you are interested in what I'm talking about.;page=1

Just thinking on ways to improve my show as well as good investmensts multi purposes.
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Profile of Pokie-Poke
As far as how well the trick works on the street, I don't know (angles and sutch)
as far as will it work for a show, YES.
using this bord as the model and looking as a lay person, what is a better show?

A) some guy who finshed his act with some shell game thing with cups and stuff you could not see that well, behind a table. just like the other 10 guys befor him.


B) some guy who made some one FLOAT!!!

it is the lay person you must play to, what looks like real magic. I have heard people tell of some guy in Boston who makes a bowling ball come out of his cups. when I tell them it was gazzo and the ball was out of his hat thay say it must be some one else. thay SAW it come out of the cup!!
play this right and people will be talking about the guy who had some one floating 10 feet in the air, and thay SAW it!!

I like the IDEA of it, let us know how it works.
The Adventure cont...
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