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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » What would you have done? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
2492 Posts

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Last night I was performing in a talent show put on by a high school to raise money for a worthy cause.

I started with a fire can that got some ooohs and ahhhs.
I did a change bag routine in which I called for a "middle school" student to come on stage. that went fine.

Then the straitjacket... I called for a woman of 30 or 40 years old to come up. I probably should have just asked for someone's mother. Anyway, with the lights as they were, I couldn't see the audience very well, but I saw a few silhouette hands up, and I picked one. This girl comes on stage, and she was no one's mother. She wasn't thirty or forty. She wasn't eighteen either. I asked her age, and she said 30. I looked at her (I am on shaky ground with the audience here, I don't want to be seen as bullying a spectator)and asked again, she said fourteen. (Oh Spit) I asked I had already brought out and explained the jacket, so she knew what it was. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to do this, and she hesitated but said yes. I am guessing her friends dared her to come on stage. We went on. No jokes about "You've done this before." or "Tight like you do it in the bedroom". That would have made me look like a pervert. As she strapped me in I told a lame, but clean joke. It got a laugh which surprised me. When she got to the crotch strap, she said "EEW!" (Not too good here Cliff) I am sure the audience saw how uncomfortable I was with this. She finally got it all on, and seemed relieved when I excused her from the stage. The crotch strap then popped open on its' own. I decided to ignore it. The buckles were put on loosely, and the escape was nearly effortless. I played with it though, and did the escape like it was hard and a fight. I got lots of complements after though, they loved my set. I guess that is all that matters.

Any advice for a situation like this is welcomed.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
x-treem
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1133 Posts

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Use her as a second assistant / spot checker. Tell her, Stay here I've got the perfect job for you but I need someone a little older and you'll find out why in a second.

Grab the needed person from the audience and have the 14 year old double check the work of the older woman.

Then when you got to the crotch strap you could turn to the teen and say, Now aren't you glad you did not have to do this?
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Steve_Mollett
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Eh, so I've made
3006 Posts

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I once did an escape act in a comedy club and deliberately set up the crotch strap so that it had to be buckled IN FRONT. I chose female assistants, getting roars of laughter as I thrust my hips forward and back to try to swing the strap forward, while telling the assistant to "grab it." The sight of her gingerly reaching for the strap and pulling her hand back repeatedly caused considerable amusement.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Moxahalla
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Los Angeles
748 Posts

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I avoid the whole "uneasy" situation all together... by removing the crotch-strap from my jacket (I don't want the laughter or snickering from an audience).

Never has an audience member stood up and said "Hey, there's no crotch-strap on that jacket!"

I supplement the jacket otherwise - by with using the front arm-loop and shackles.
Kondini
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X-treems answer would have been the way that I would have handled it,,,sit her to the side, give her a magic wand to hold "Now your a Fairy etc etc" Another helper up, job done.
Rotten
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829 Posts

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I ALWAYS go into the audience to hand pick my straight jacket assistant. I ask them if they have a healthy back, knees etc. because I have gotten a man that looked healthy to find out that he had a bad back and didn't strap me in tight enough.
Chance
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Same here. I would have given her a secondary job, like maybe holding a stop watch.

FWIW, when busking I've learned that hard way to only have men tie me up. Women are tougher at it than men, generally speaking, but the tips go way down. The audience doesn't respect the escape as much when a woman does the honors. Go figure.
Steve_Mollett
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Eh, so I've made
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I know what you mean. Ironically, the toughest time I ever had was after being cinched in by two teenage girls at a church Valentine's Day party.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
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