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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » New question about chair suspension (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicodine
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italy
198 Posts

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Before you tell me to buy Kyle's e-book, I already did...
:-D

If I perform the chair suspension at a show with children of different ages and I want to pick a volunteer, which age is the most suitable according to your experience? Actually, who would you pick?
If I have a chance, do you think it would be better if I spot a suitable volunteer before the show and ask her|him if she\he would like to help me on my last illusion and also briefly explain not to move and so on?
drosenbe0813
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Long Island, NY
405 Posts

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I do the chair suspension with 8 year olds...but some end up being a little scared, especially with their head being off the board. The main concern is weight, not age. an older girl, who is very petite, would be perfect, I imagine. I would never willingly choose a boy, especially older ones, since they are usually much heavtier.
magicodine
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italy
198 Posts

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My chairs should be able to work up to 80 kg, so children weight shouldn't be that much of a problem, unless I choose a very overweight kid which I'm not going to.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Hi all. Let me chime in here and answer sopme questions for you. My pleasure to do so.

- I usually will do chair suspension from age 6 and up. That usually works fine. With the 6 year age you do have to"spot" them and make sure you build the trust nefore the illusion. You also need to watch them as you are performing it.

- The best age I find for this illusion is the age of 7 - 9 years. I also always pick a girl (if I have a choice). I also restrict the weight to under 85lbs for the Mak model and for the Sommer's model.

Now the reason for the girl is that if they have long hair, it works to your advantage. It helps cover the gimmick area and allows you the ability to do the illusion pretty much surrounded.

- If I can, I try and pre-select a helper. I do this for festival and family-style shows. It just ensures that a child is available that fits my criteria and that I do not waste a lotof time trying to find an ideal one. I can also sense if they will be a good helper from what they say and their reactions back to me.

- There is no reason for concern about rhe head off the board. Keep in mind this is proper positioning for this illusion as it creates the perfect visual illusion when the board is removed. If you follow the steps I talk about, you have no issues with this. You also never rush getting them into position.

Hope this helps.

Kyle
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JamesinLA
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Inner circle
Los Angeles
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Kyle,
Isn't it uncomfortable for them to have their heads unsupported? Have you ever had someone let their head hang way down? I would think that would look uncomfortable.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Jim: I always get asked this question and it is a good question to ask. However, the answer is no. it is not uncomfortable. I have asked many kids over the years this exact question and they are fine with it. What happens is it is us adults who overthink it.

Kids are used to hanging like that. Watch them on the playground. they will often times hang from the monkey bars like this. If you gently have them lay their heads down, it causes no problems at all for them. they are also not in this position for very long.

The idea is to have their shoulders right at the edge of the chair/board and their head extends off and hangs down. Do not have them try and hold theitr head straight out. That is where it would get uncomfortable. You gently show them to hang their head dwn naturally. This causes no pain and it also helps cover up the gimmick.

it is also the way the illusion looks the best and the way it is supposed to look to the lay audience. Hope this helps.

Kyle
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MrFye
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I usually know ahead of time who I will be using (the birthday child) and I find out what they weigh and if they are shy. When it comes time I always ask them if they mind being upside down. I assure them that it is only their head not their body and that it will not be for very long. Make sure the kid is confident, the last thing you want is for them to panic and sit up during the suspension.
Cesar Munoz
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At one time I picked and prepped the volunteer before the show started. I later prepped them as they were coming up to help. I now select them when I'm ready to perform the trick and use no preparation. The patter I use is about the child being hypnotized, and at the appropriate time, the vast majority of them just play along. In picking the child, aside from the age considerations mentioned above, I tend to look for a child that I "haven't noticed" previously. The idea is that if they've been sitting so quietly and been so cooperative throughout the show, they are going to be an ideal helper for this illusion.
magicodine
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italy
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Yesterday I performed it for the first time at a camping. I was nervous so while I was setting up my stuff I notice this little girl who kept staring at me and asked if she wanted to help me. since there weren't many people around I not only explained what to do, but I let her (and me) give it a try so that I'd feel more comfortable and relaxe during the show. she was only 5 but it worked great.
jimhlou
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In my experience, 5 - 8 year olds do best with this effect.

Jim
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