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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Andrew Mayne's Illusions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Whacky Neighbor
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Hollywood, CA
79 Posts

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For anyone who maybe has or might know, I don't own any of Andrew's illusion books (yet!), his "low tech" illusions - do the books contain any kind of information on building them out of wood or whatever? I love his on-line demos but I don't want to go for the cardboard box look. I'm sure you can build them sturdier, but again, I just wasn't sure if they (the books) offer suggestions to make them sturdier. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Oliver Ross
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Inner circle
Europe
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Generally all Andrew Mayne's Illusion BOOKS don't really containe building plan with mesurements, but more often just the ideas and working technic behind them.

His illusion serie, like Voodoo Box etc... have mesurements included.

Anyway, it's quite possible to build the illusions out of hard wood. If you're new to illusion building I would suggest other sources, like the Osborne plans or even the Rand Woodbury DVD serie on illusion building.

Oliver.
magictvlv1
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I love stage illusions... however, I find great difficulties with any kind of box trick... as soon as the box rolls out on stage you know that it has something funky built into it. If it were real magic, why would the box be necessary. I think nothing on stage should look magical. Cardboard illusions may an answer to this, but frankly I haven't seen much that I like from Mayne. And there's also the question... if this a just a cardboard box... why does he need a table or other device to roll it out on stage... you should be able to just pick it up and carry it.

BTW have seen very little from osbourne or rand woodbury that supplies dimensions etc.... that is kinda the nature of the beast... you build the box to fit who is going into the box....
Frank Simpson
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SW Montana
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From Jim Steinmeyer's newest book, Technique and Understandng, page 37:
"I often hear from magicians seeking to be clever that they refuse to perform any "box" tricks. It seems like such a noble goal, but I think this kind of pronouncement shows the ignorance of the performer...

...Magicians would be wise to appreciate that apparatus is the scenery of the production. Few playwrights insist that the story be told without scenery or costumes. Few actors ask for an ugly stage setting so that they will, by contrast, look more important. With a competent performer, there is no danger of being upstaged by a red lacquered box, but inexperienced performers have much to fear."



The whole "if it were real magic" argument holds no water, unless you are genuinely trying to convince an audience that you possess genuine supernatural powers. In which case you have bigger problems. Magic, as we call it, exists as a diversionary entertainment, and as such there is nothing wrong with using brightly colored props as a means to an end.

As to Osborne plans not having dimensions, I have to disagree. Dozens upon dozens of Osborne plans that I own are complete with dimensions. That said, they are not always the right dimensions for my purposes, but they do give a decent starting place as far as general size and proportion are concerned. And as mentioned above, you really do need to ultimately build the box for whomever will be in it.

While certain materials may present themselves as "cheap-looking", if they are properly finished it is amazing how good they can actually look. The more time and attention to detail that is put into a prop, the better chance it has of looking good on stage. And don't let us neglect the impact of proper stage lighting on a prop as well. Good use of color and placement can really enhance the look of an illusion.

I think that what you really get from the Andrew Mayne books are some great clever and novel ideas. If you were to want to build them from more "permanent" materials, you would need to consult an entirely different skill set (i.e. carpentry, finish painting, etc) to implement the ideas in those media. And you may find that some ideas translate easily and others with some modification, and others not at all.

As with so many things in life, the easiest paths tend to deliver the least satisfying results. Shortcuts never work. And learning never stops.

But have fun doing it!
Aaron Smith Magic
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
1399 Posts

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Oliver provided the best advice you can get regarding this. You should definitely check out Osbournes books first if your serious about Illusion building, as well as Rand Woodbury's videos.

However, Andrew's ideas are so simple to construct that you could easily build them without any real Illusion building experience. And if, you have any experience at all with woodworking, you should have no problems what-so-ever translating Andrews Illusions from cardboard to wood.

IMHO, the best Mayne Books are as follows, from favorite on down;

1.) Illusion-Tech
2.) Illusion EFX DVD
3.) Razorwire
4.) Specter Cabinet
5.) Voodoo Box

With all these books, you could easily get a 45 minute Illusion show going for very inexpensive. If yuo have any questions at all, feel free to PM anytime! Good luck!
Jack Murray
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St. Petersburg Fl.
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Quote:
On 2010-01-08 21:34, Frank Simpson wrote:
From Jim Steinmeyer's newest book, Technique and Understandng, page 37:
"I often hear from magicians seeking to be clever that they refuse to perform any "box" tricks. It seems like such a noble goal, but I think this kind of pronouncement shows the ignorance of the performer...

...Magicians would be wise to appreciate that apparatus is the scenery of the production. Few playwrights insist that the story be told without scenery or costumes. Few actors ask for an ugly stage setting so that they will, by contrast, look more important. With a competent performer, there is no danger of being upstaged by a red lacquered box, but inexperienced performers have much to fear."
















The whole "if it were real magic" argument holds no water, unless you are genuinely trying to convince an audience that you possess genuine supernatural powers. In which case you have bigger problems. Magic, as we call it, exists as a diversionary entertainment, and as such there is nothing wrong with using brightly colored props as a means to an end.

As to Osborne plans not having dimensions, I have to disagree. Dozens upon dozens of Osborne plans that I own are complete with dimensions. That said, they are not always the right dimensions for my purposes, but they do give a decent starting place as far as general size and proportion are concerned. And as mentioned above, you really do need to ultimately build the box for whomever will be in it.

While certain materials may present themselves as "cheap-looking", if they are properly finished it is amazing how good they can actually look. The more time and attention to detail that is put into a prop, the better chance it has of looking good on stage. And don't let us neglect the impact of proper stage lighting on a prop as well. Good use of color and placement can really enhance the look of an illusion.

I think that what you really get from the Andrew Mayne books are some great clever and novel ideas. If you were to want to build them from more "permanent" materials, you would need to consult an entirely different skill set (ie. carpentry, finish painting, etc) to implement the ideas in those media. And you may find that some ideas translate easily and others with some modification, and others not at all.

As with so many things in life, the easiest paths tend to deliver the least satisfying results. Shortcuts never work. And learning never stops.

But have fun doing it!





Nuf Said:)

Jack
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22009 Posts

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Frank Simpson, the very best response to the 'magic purist' I have ever read. Thank you very much for your response and thoughts put so well.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Maloney
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Newfoundland, Canada
709 Posts

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I combined Mayne's Specter Cabinet with Stolz's Chair Up There for my biggest show of the year on February 13th. If everything goes will, it will be my openning. I will post the video.
The Magic and Illusion of Jordan Maloney
"Experience the Unexplainable"

www.jordanmaloney.com

Go check it out!
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