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Profile of GuySavoie
On 2003-06-12 15:08, -The Scot- wrote:

If you take this perspective, whats the point in doing 'real magic'? Surely it's easier not to cut your assistant in half, not make her disappear, then reappear, not cut the rope, then restore it.

Hi Kevin.

I think you missed my point. First, it was half in jest, hence the wink at the end. I thought an emoticon would make the tone explicit. I have faith that I shouldn't need extensive parenthetical disclaimers in every post, when a Smile should suffice.

Second, I can't do "real magic," in the sense of it being real (genuine, true magic, against the laws of nature, et al.) If you can, then don't waste your time on stage. Win a few lotteries instead! Smile

Personally, I do not believe the "minimal props" school (just a rope) is inherently stronger than the "complicated and/or large props" school (for example, the Steinmeyer design.) Which fits better in the character goal of a show will answer that question better than any attempt at a universal claim of superiority based on the excess or dearth of visible props.

From my experience, a question of which is more magical or leaves a more powerful image is more often answered by the synergy of effect, performer, and audience. In this, there are no universal rules.
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Profile of R2
Very very very well said, Guy!

This has been a most interesting topic for all of us to explore.

I wonder if we could pick another Illusion Principal apart, much like this one, using different methods, props and audience reactions as to it's grandiosity and impossibility? Here's an example.

Were we to eliminate some props and still pull off "Houdini's Metamorphosis", would this make the illusion more impossible from the audience point of view?

Let us continue this exploration....rr
magic 12376
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Wilkes-Barre Pa
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Profile of magic 12376
David Copperfield performed exactly what you speak of Rey Rey. While there were some obvious props involved, a table and an enclosure that appears to be not much more than some sheets wrapped around a small platform leaves the impression that much of the props have been done away with. Smile

Ronald R. Romiski
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Profile of PaulEds
My favourite illusion book: Tom Palmer's Modern Illusions contains an excellent 'metamorphosis' effect called Devil's Express that is diabolical and practical - and costs just pennies to make. The box (cardboard) is just a peripheral prop - the change is done out in the open almost.

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Profile of GuySavoie
Paul -

That's an excellent book, I agree. I liked Devil's Express as well, and performed it once (while still in college) in 1987. It plays *very* well Smile

--- Guy
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Profile of PaulEds
There are so many classics in that book, and again you don't need to remortgage to make them, or a huge truck to transport them. The EFFECT's the thing! My favourite from the book is the Tyre illusion - a vanish/re-appearance - from within a stack of tyres. This is just waiting to be revamped into a Star Trek themed trick!
Blair Marshall
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Profile of Blair Marshall
Bob Sheets "Rope thru ...." is a great effect, caught his lecture with John (above).
It does take you by surprise.

Blair Marshall
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Profile of HarbinJr.
Hello all,
I have found all these posts interesting concerning the Houdini's Rope illusion found in the Steinmeyer Device and Illusion book. I have had this built and have found the illusion to be a very strong illusion if performed in the manor that Steinmeyer states. I mean like in the patter or the story line that he gives. I did have to come up with a bit better way to penetrate the rope for that I am 6'4" tall and there are some subtle things that have to be done. I used to attempt to do a Andrew Mayne a frame mirror illusion and I never got any response to that at all. I had tried different approaches to it and everyone would just yawn. I think part of it was that the mirror did not fit my style in which the rope illuion does. But for the record the houdini's rope illusion is a great illusion whether you are doing a one manned illusion show which I am doing currently or a full illusion show with people and assistants to help you. Hope this helps people that are wondering if its a good illusion or not!

Robert Long
May your dreams be touched by magic Smile
Dan Monroe
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Profile of Dan Monroe
I used the Bob Sheets Hang'em High at my last show. Told them ahead of time what I planned to do with some comedy by-play. People were looking right at me and the gimmick unknown to them. I counted to 3 and pulled the rope through my mid section. Jaws hit the floor and people went nuts. Its a great illusion when you can tip a crowd on what you plan to do before you do it and all eyes are burning in on you looking for any tip off and then you floor'em! My hat goes off to Bob Sheets! Smile
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Profile of KingStardog
"Tops Treasury of Illusions" is the book.

Shows a wood piece that looks like mini saloon doors and some ropes coming off it. No design plans but ample text to reconstruct it.

Looked very handy to pack around. Smile
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
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Profile of LeeAlex2002
There is a big difference between walking through a rope" and a "rope through a body"...

Putting it into perspective, how many times have you seen a "mirror thru' body effect"? The effects are in fact opposites of each other.

In "Illusion Works 2" by Rand Woodbury there is described a very beautiful and logical "Walking through a Velvet Rope" which uses the brass stands that are often seen at such occassions as the Oscars etc. complete with red velvet rope. The concept is by Craig Dickens.
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex
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Profile of Johnny_Dee
I agree with LeeAlex. If we look at it with perspective, walking throught a rope is more dramatic and it can be done slowly than rope throught body. Yesterday, I have looked at Bob Sheet routine. It's true that its great but it is more a rope who pass throught a human body than a human who walk and pass through a solid piece of, it would be great to have the opinion of a layman person and what does she think.

Jim Tighe
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Profile of Jim Tighe
I'm not sure that "walking through a rope" can be done more slowly than "rope thru body". "Walking through a rope" also requires external cover (foulard) that "rope thru body" doesn't.

These points aside, I also prefer the Steinmeyer Illsuion in concept, though I've never actually seen the routine in a live or televised show.
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Profile of johnnymystic
As to walking thru a rope or a rope going thru thinks it could all be in the patter?
Hmmm...(which is much cheaper).

I perform a version of rope thru body ,or body thru rope.

2 ropes are used, 12'. (NOT the grandmothers necklace!) tis more akin to 'hang 'em high'. (Thanks Bob Sheets!)

ROUTINE_ 2 ropes are freely shown one of which is wrapped around the magi's neck. A quick tug and rope goes thru neck.

Magician explains neck feels a little stiff etc. Magician then places the 'Head Twister' on his head and revolves his head in 2 different directions.

Neck feels better (thanx Mak Magic!).

The 2 ropes are held by 2 spectators (instead of 2 posts) and the ropes go thru the magi's body...very visual!

Finally the magi askes if the audience would like to see how it was done.

Magician then performs Andrew Maynes 'Bi-section'.

There are 3 points in this routine that get gasp's of amazement.

The rope thru the neck.
the ropes thru body.
And Bi-section

ALL under $400

Professional your money.

Johnny Mystic

Two ropes dramatically pass thru the body of the magician who steps backwards thru the ropes. The ropes being held by 2 spectator's (which IS much stronger than 2 upright posts No matter what they are made to look like.)
I drink cheap tequila and vomit
<BR>I cannot eat hot wings...acid reflux
<BR>I never inhale Smile
<BR>I can put a field dress on a deer
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