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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » How do you get started in Grand Illusion? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Eshla
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This question is probably just academic, as I consider myself a Mentalist who just happens to design Grand Illusions, but I've always wondered how someone can become a Grand Illusionist?

I mean, everything seems to complicated. Even the cheapest of illusion props cost £2000 or more (and many cost £20,000), add in the cost, stress and complexity of organizing such things as venues, lighting, marketing, publicity, sound, assistance... it all seems like an amazing challenge when your starting out.

I generally don't perform big illusions, and due to the above difficulties I doubt I ever will be (but I can dream Smile), at the moment any big illusions of mine are self built (though I'm very proud of them because of their originality).


Tell me your stories of how you started out? I've always wondered Smile


Tom
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I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
JoyJoy
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James Fraker
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Quote:
On 2010-01-18 05:18, Eshla wrote:
This question is probably just academic, as I consider myself a Mentalist who just happens to design Grand Illusions


Really? And yet you have asked extremely basic questions about magic and mentalism very recently and now you are a mentalist? Using an invisible deck does not make you a mentalist.

Also you have said you don't know how shadow box works and now you design grand illusions? Sorry kid, that just doesn't add up. Get your stories straight-people can see what you have written in the past.
James N. Fraker
Magician/Set Designer/Theatrical engineer
Eshla
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Ohh I know how a Shadow Box works, just not Copperfield's version, which works differently from others. I have a Shadow Box myself which I made from a tall dark tent, unfortunately the method is somewhat obvious so I never use it.

Also, please don't criticize me, I never claimed to have been trained professionally or have much experience. I just have a very good brain and a factory to work in. I have designed and built several grand illusions, though I've never performed them to anyone but my family and some guys from the local magic store. They loved them and I feel very proud of my creations.

I find creating new illusions and making "magician foolers" much more fun.
By the way, your post is made of flame.


Tom
xx


Edit:
Does the fact that I have a Master Prediction System make me a Mentalist? xD
I don't consider myself a great Mentalist, but when you are daily performing with Center Tears, Imp Pads, Smart-ass decks and Brainwave decks, then I think your a Mentalist. I've not done a paid gig yet, but currently I'm doing charity events and such.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
Jack Murray
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Quote:
On 2010-01-18 10:00, Eshla wrote:
Ohh I know how a Shadow Box works, just not Copperfield's version, which works differently from others. I have a Shadow Box myself which I made from a tall dark tent, unfortunately the method is somewhat obvious so I never use it.

Also, please don't criticize me, I never claimed to have been trained professionally or have much experience. I just have a very good brain and a factory to work in. I have designed and built several grand illusions, though I've never performed them to anyone but my family and some guys from the local magic store. They loved them and I feel very proud of my creations.




I find creating new illusions and making "magician foolers" much more fun.
By the way, your post is made of flame.


Tom
xx




Well Tom, welcome to the Café! You unfortunately will always find someone here [notice the small amount of post from your detractor] who is willing to rip you apart if you give him a chance! It seems those with way too much time can always find a reason to type a post to "try to bring you down to their level". I have had my share of this as well. Kinda puts a wrench into the "Magicians helping Magicians" doesn't it.
Good luck with your dream, and hopefully you will get some advise from someone who really wants to help.

Jack
Eshla
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Thank you Jack, your post really cheered me up there Smile

As they say on the internetz: "Don't feed the troll."


Tom
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I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
Eshla
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By the way, I mentioned in my above post that I am not an expert at Grand Illusion (perhaps this is why I am good at making original stuff?) by any means. I would love to know more and am willing to put the time and effort into reading books and plans.

Can someone recommend some good books to start with Smile


Tom
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I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
Jack Murray
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Quote:
On 2010-01-18 10:11, Eshla wrote:
Thank you Jack, your post really cheered me up there Smile

As they say on the internetz: "Don't feed the troll."


Tom
xx


You're welcome Tom. Now let's wait and see if I get slammed for making this honest obesrvation.

Jack
Olle Tro.
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Follow the helpful links of JoyJoy. Full with answers!
Sam Sandler
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By the way t he guy asked what are some good books to read so maybe we shoudl try to help him. what a concept huh.

you can read anything by stynmyer did I jsut spell that wrong

also the above post by Joyjoy indeeed does have lots of stuff to learn from.

as an illusionist myself I can tell you one of the first things as you get into it is to pick illusions that can be done surrounded this helps eliminate lighting problems and angle problems and lets you focus on the performance. tehn as you build your show you can learn wh at you can get away with as well as discover what you need to create the right performace area for your show.
I carry my own curtains and lilghting so that every show I have the same stage!
this is a HUGE benefit!

good luck

sam

ps hope jack comes back. I personally own one of his iilusions and it is a work of art and love perfoming it each and every time!
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Mad Jack
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Hi Tom,

Here is an excerp (spelling?) from a previous post that I think would be good advice for anyone trying to get into illusions. I've said it before, so sorry if some of the regulars here on the Café are sick of seeing it. All the best of luck.

Mad Jack

Get yourself a Sword Basket first! Trust me on this one. There are a few reasons why a sword basket is the best:
1) It’s easy to carry and is light weight.

2) It can be set up and torn down in front of an audience (try doing that with an Origami).

3) It is angle proof.

4) It is "lighting proof". Meaning it can't be suddenly exposed by a lighting miscue, etc.

5) It can’t be "figured out" (meaning that when people come up to talk to you after the show, they can (and usually do) look inside it. This leaves them even more stumped because it is just an empty basket. No other illusion that I can think of has these qualities.

Also, it will teach you proper staging, blocking and teach you how to work effectively with an assistant. It is also easy for an assistant to learn and (depending on the routine) doesn’t require perfect timing. We all want to dream big and purchase our shiny new Eclipse Illusion or Osmosis, but trust me... start small and two things will happen. Either you will grow with the size of your show, or you will realize that you never really needed the huge stuff to entertain your audience in the first place. My dream for you and all magicians is the latter.
barrypeters
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Jack,

Which sword basket version do you recommend? I know some guys are using Jim Sommers, as it is lightweight, portable and inexpensive, but others say it just doesn't cut it for quality and audience appreciation.
Kent Wong
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Barry,

As with all things, there are differing degrees of quality depending on your budget. The cadillac of baskets in my opinion is the Owen's basket. It's made from good quality rattan and is more expensive than the other baskets on the market. This is the basket the Pendragons have used for years and you can get a really good look at it from their DVD. Unfortunately,everything else that is needed to actually perform the routine must be purchased as an "extra". The basket does not come with the swords, the center spear, the cloth or the table. By the time you've added in all of the extras, you will likely spend about $3000. At this price, you are likely going to want to protect the basket with a well-built ATA case. That may run you another $1000. For a great quality grand illusion, that's not outrageous; but for someone just getting into illusions, the cost can be huge.

If you're not prepared to spend that kind of money on your first illusion, then Abbott's has a fiberglass sword basket that is considerably cheaper. Again, it doesn't come with the table. However, it comes with basic swords so you can start rehearsing the standard routine fairly quickly. As I recall, this unit sells for about $750 which is considerably cheaper than the Owens model. One caveat: some people don't like the look of the fiberglass basket and refinish it to their needs.

As for the Sommers basket, it cost about $450. It disassembles for transport and you can get Jim to customize the cloth exterior with material to your liking. It also does not come with any swords, cloth or table, but you can purchase them as extras. If you are a weekend warrior rather than a full-time touring professional, the Sommers model is good value for the money.

Hope that helps.
Kent
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Mad Jack
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Barry,

Kent is right on. The first basket I bought was an Abbotts when I was just a kid. When I unpacked it, I cried (literally). I didn't "quite" look like the drawing in the catalog! LOL.... I did however put it into a table (base) that hid the bottom 3 inches or so and painted the whole thing flat black. Then "mom" made some fabric panels and we glued them onto the sides. This way the edges were all black and it was much more deceptive. I was very proud of myself because I had never seen one like it. Years later, I saw the same idea in the Rand Woodburry book. This is still a great option, but the Abbotts basket is pretty big. Currently I use a chalet (Ralph Adams Style) basket. I bought this new from George for $1600 and I has been a great companion. You can still find them on magicauction from time to time, or you could talk to Dan Wolfe (a Café member) and I know that he could build you a great one for a fair price! You can see from the pic that I still went with my original "panel" idea only this time I used diamond plate. This basket is very tough and isn't as fragile as wicker or rattan models. Hope this info is helpful!

Mad Jack
P.S. My wife is inside there, so you can see how deceptive it really is.

Click here to view attached image.
illusionman2
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Quote:
On 2010-01-19 16:03, Mad Jack wrote:
Barry,

Kent is right on. The first basket I bought was an Abbotts when I was just a kid. When I unpacked it, I cried (literally). I didn't "quite" look like the drawing in the catalog! LOL.... I did however put it into a table (base) that hid the bottom 3 inches or so and painted the whole thing flat black. Then "mom" made some fabric panels and we glued them onto the sides. This way the edges were all black and it was much more deceptive. I was very proud of myself because I had never seen one like it. Years later, I saw the same idea in the Rand Woodburry book. This is still a great option, but the Abbotts basket is pretty big. Currently I use a chalet (Ralph Adams Style) basket. I bought this new from George for $1600 and I has been a great companion. You can still find them on magicauction from time to time, or you could talk to Dan Wolfe (a Café member) and I know that he could build you a great one for a fair price! You can see from the pic that I still went with my original "panel" idea only this time I used diamond plate. This basket is very tough and isn't as fragile as wicker or rattan models. Hope this info is helpful!

Mad Jack
P.S. My wife is inside there, so you can see how deceptive it really is.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Does anyone have plans for this version??? They are not in the Ralph Adams book.
Kent Wong
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Dan Wolfe's website is:

http://www.smmagic.com

Contact him to see if he can either build it for you or point you in the direction of some plans. To the best of my knowledge, these plans are not on the open market.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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<BR>www.kentwongmagic.com
magicmarkdaniel
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I may be very wrong here, but I thought that particular style of sword basket was a Chalet model. I much prefer this style to the regular wicker sword basket.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong!

Mark
Mark Daniel
Kent Wong
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I'm not sure. The style may be similar to Chalet, but I've seen other manufacturers with very similar designs. This does, however, raise an interesting theoretical question. Can a "style" (as opposed to an actual design or plan) be proprietary? As I understand it, the Sword Basket is not a proprietary illusion with exclusive rights to any particular builder. But if a particular builder has become known for a certain cosmetic design or "style" of Sword Basket, can he exert any proprietary right to that "style"?

Kent
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barrypeters
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Kent & Mad Jack,

Thanks for your comments. I have done some research into the different sword baskets, and your comments do confirm what I had found out already. I definately love the look of that Chalet model, and it does look very very deceptive. Thanks again!
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