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Cyberqat
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I think this might be a fun topic. It was inspired by my recently acquiring a "fold-down box" production box. When I read the instructions, all my gut instincts said "naw, this is too obvious. It'll never work." Then I did it in front of a mirror and was floored. The visual similarity to what is "expected" is so strong that the nonsensical nature of what is seen just doesn't register.

Does anyone else have some good examples of illusions that, logically, they were sure wouldn't work, but do?
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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Great topic. Time for the thinking cap!
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Pressure seems obvious to many magicians (according to the thread on it) but according to many, laymen are floored.
magicians
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The "slice of hand" or "Hands off" is as simple as you can get. Obvious to some magicians (not a lot), it has sold thousands since 1978, and fools layman audiences (or delights them with with the comedy).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW02Tnznmps
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Cyberqat
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Quote:
On 2010-07-08 19:08, magicians wrote:
The "slice of hand" or "Hands off" is as simple as you can get. Obvious to some magicians (not a lot), it has sold thousands since 1978, and fools layman audiences (or delights them with with the comedy).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW02Tnznmps


that's neat, and your right. It seems amazingly obvious... and yet, the first time I saw it done in that video it got me for a long moment.

I think if it was done not for laughs, but with a more believable distance, it probably WOULD fool a lot of people!
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
VcosNJ
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Check out Angelo Carbone's Humbug. Great illusion but when you get the package, you'll be wondering how it will fool anyone! Smile
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Quote:
On 2010-07-08 19:08, magicians wrote:
The "slice of hand" or "Hands off" is as simple as you can get. Obvious to some magicians (not a lot), it has sold thousands since 1978, and fools layman audiences (or delights them with with the comedy).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW02Tnznmps


I am sorry but that is an awful presentation. He is using the wrong hand. The spectator is using his left hand and Mel is using his right hand. That is totally wrong. I own this prop and love it but boy is that the wrong way to do it. Also, if I am not mistaken Mel exposes the secret during performance for the sake of a cheap laugh. This got me so angry when I saw him do this at a convention as it is a wonderful illusion and he spoilt it.

This is how it should look with the correct hand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpct_7pEG4M&feature=related
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Paul Rathbun
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Slice of hand is so obvious I cannot hardly imagine it fooling an adult of average intelligence. Maybe children but I would imagine most adults that don't yell out the obvious secret are just being polite. Just my opinion, I am sure some will disagree.Smile
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Paul, I first saw Paul Daniels perfom Slice of Hand on TV. It was truely amazing. He went all the way in terms of fooling us by having a member of the audience place her hand in and she had long red fingernails too! It was a great subtlety and the illusion was great. It was seeing his performance that made me purchase the prop. I have since added moving fingers underneath which adds to the realism. I agree that it can be obvious but only if performed incorrectly. Their are a lot things to know and if done right it DOES fool.
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Paul Rathbun
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My mentalism skills are better than I thought. I knew somebody would disagree with me.Smile

Angelo,
Having a moving hand underneath and touches like matching fingernails would certainly take it to a whole new level. However, performed the way it was in the link you provided seemed pretty obvious although the correct hand was used. Again, this is just my opinion based on watching the clips. I did notice in the clip you provided that the audience laughed. That to me tells me they see what is going on and look at it more as a gag.
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That was the only clip I could find with the correct hand. If I find a better one I will let you know Smile
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Quote:
On 2010-07-08 19:08, magicians wrote:
The "slice of hand" or "Hands off" is as simple as you can get. Obvious to some magicians (not a lot), it has sold thousands since 1978, and fools layman audiences (or delights them with with the comedy).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW02Tnznmps


That fools people? I'm amazed that it does!

Quote:
On 2010-07-09 07:02, Angelo M Carbone wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-07-08 19:08, magicians wrote:
The "slice of hand" or "Hands off" is as simple as you can get. Obvious to some magicians (not a lot), it has sold thousands since 1978, and fools layman audiences (or delights them with with the comedy).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW02Tnznmps


I am sorry but that is an awful presentation. He is using the wrong hand. The spectator is using his left hand and Mel is using his right hand. That is totally wrong. I own this prop and love it but boy is that the wrong way to do it. Also, if I am not mistaken Mel exposes the secret during performance for the sake of a cheap laugh. This got me so angry when I saw him do this at a convention as it is a wonderful illusion and he spoilt it.

This is how it should look with the correct hand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpct_7pEG4M&feature=related


Only one small tiny little problem with that one. It was the correct hand, but, um, the skin tone of the fingers changed from dark to light and back again when he put his arm in and when he pulled it out.
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magicians
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Quote:
On 2010-07-09 07:02, Angelo M Carbone wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-07-08 19:08, magicians wrote:
The "slice of hand" or "Hands off" is as simple as you can get. Obvious to some magicians (not a lot), it has sold thousands since 1978, and fools layman audiences (or delights them with with the comedy).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW02Tnznmps


I am sorry but that is an awful presentation. He is using the wrong hand. The spectator is using his left hand and Mel is using his right hand. That is totally wrong. I own this prop and love it but boy is that the wrong way to do it. Also, if I am not mistaken Mel exposes the secret during performance for the sake of a cheap laugh. This got me so angry when I saw him do this at a convention as it is a wonderful illusion and he spoilt it.

This is how it should look with the correct hand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpct_7pEG4M&feature=related


Thanks Angelo, I invented this in 1978. It received 4 stars in Genii magazine.
It lasted 6 years in the Tannens catalog and they sold 100's, Mephisto from Belgium knocked it off and they sold a few hundred as well. Other reproductions came from Supreme, and Mel Mellers has 50 different manufactures in his collection (he buys them all over the world).
My performance (which you linked
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpct_7pEG4M&feature=related
Is, of course the right way and one of several methods. The Mel Mellers performance is a joke, but he has performed it for 30 years. Yes he uses the wrong hand to hold and perform the box, and exposes it on his DVD's.
I included his act to tap into his fan base.
Now, as far as the layman, it works, and the suspension of disbelief is strong. I find the same problem with when watching a zig-zag, but that's a whole other arguement.
Anyway, 35 years, hundreds of top performers doing it on TV and shows in over 100 countries should make a case.
I just started making them again so people can buy from me rather than the knock-off.
Supporters of this effect include, Paul Daniels, Allie Bongo, Jeff McBride, and Rudy Coby (the first to perform it with me when he was 11 years old).
Back then, the box was a tube and I dressed Rudy in a white Doctors robe (early Labman). He did the slicing (blood and all). That was one of the first versions and I used a handsaw and cut thru black tape at the seam of the tube.
A variation of the effect was put out by James and it eventually became the "living arm".

Quote:
On 2010-07-09 13:27, Paul Rathbun wrote:
My mentalism skills are better than I thought. I knew somebody would disagree with me.Smile

Angelo,
Having a moving hand underneath and touches like matching fingernails would certainly take it to a whole new level. However, performed the way it was in the link you provided seemed pretty obvious although the correct hand was used. Again, this is just my opinion based on watching the clips. I did notice in the clip you provided that the audience laughed. That to me tells me they see what is going on and look at it more as a gag.

The version I sell, does it that way. It is included in one of the 6 methods of performing it.
Another note: I once did the effect with Mohammed Ali, whose hand was too big to fit into the box. He joked with me and said "you can't do this with a Brotha".--1983 SAM convention in LA.
---------
This was also featured in the film "Bagdad Café" with Jack Palance.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Cyberqat
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I wonder if you could make it a bit more believable if the two halves were attached by a baffle and it was done as a "streatching" routine. Or if they just slid apart within a larger frame so it left people wondering if it was mirrors somehow.

I actually DID think while I was watching it that a f-l-e h--d holding the box might also make it a bit more confounding.
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Quote:
On 2010-07-09 22:58, Cyberqat wrote:
I wonder if you could make it a bit more believable if the two halves were attached by a baffle and it was done as a "streatching" routine. Or if they just slid apart within a larger frame so it left people wondering if it was mirrors somehow.

I actually DID think while I was watching it that a f-l-e h--d holding the box might also make it a bit more confounding.

Hey guys, let me let you in on a secret. I suggested this effect as a case in point, that a lot of magicians are just too smart for their own good.
When I introduced this effect, it was NOT obvious to spectators. And, it was not obvious to a lot of magicians (still isn't). Those who think like magicians miss so many wonderful effects just because they solve (or think they've solved) an effect. They are satisfied that they are "smart" enough to have solved the "obvious".
In fact, this effect is as successful as it can be. I have no problem with it fooling an audience. It takes up 5 to 7 minutes of stage time and is a hit including applause.
Now, about the "tube". One of the suggestions by clowns, is to have the flex tube between the boxes (this was even more fun when the boxes were tubes). That version or "addition" works and is funny for clowns.
Note: the original version, clown gloves covered the "clown" whose hand was stretched. The magician who held the box, did not have gloves.
Another version: the magician had white gloves, and the spectator did not. This gave it different dynamics.
This topic, was "effects that shouldn't work, but do", NOT "effects that don't work".
THIS effect works great, fools most of audiences, fools magicians for a while..but in truth, does NOT work the way you think. There are so many subtleties and cool things that go on that even most of the posts on this thread "think" they know, but are missing.
So, back to why I suggested, my own invention on a thread that invites critical bites. It is because magicians who "get it", or "think" they get it. Are missing a wonderful proven effect. As a creator of magic, my attitude is, "there are none so blind, as those who will not see".
----------------
Points to remember, my demo involves using any spectator from the audience to do this effect with me. That, just isn't easy.
The optimal way to perform this, is to use a stooge, or better yet, use two assistants and ME the magician only doing the cut and separate, and not hold the box at all.
The versatility of this lends itself to any act.
---------------
The thinking behind this, was right of of Fitzkees "Trick Brain". Simulation, substitution, and misdirection.
---------
The demo, was not staged for your pleasure. It was one of thousands I have performed. It was, one of the few that I had a high-def camera available..so I show it. I have done this for audiences as large as 1500, had standing "O's" and the effect has credentials and some of the world's best magicians performing it.
------

Here are some posts on the "Café" about this effect.
Quote:
Hello Ian,
I wanted to thank you for what has become one of the funniest routines in my shows. It is your "slice of Hand" effect. a long time ago I had seen Mel Mellers perform his version of that effect, and I spend close to a year trying to find out what that was and where I could buy it. I got really lucky and bought an estate from a very old magician and found it and your original instructions in the mix. I have had a ton of fun with it, and have received many laughs and applause. I've been performing it for quite some time now, and I don't think I'll be done with it anytime soon. "A little slice of Hand" is a great little illusion, perfect for a variety of presentations from comedy to serious and It's size is so great- I can take it with me to many shows - Heck even when I don't plan on using it, it takes up so little space I keep it in my van just in case ( A great emergency routine if something goes wrong, or the client needs an extra 10 min show) Well, I just wanted to thank you for creating a wonderful effect and let you know that I'm showing it to thousands of people on a regular basis right now here in Ontario Canada.

Thanks!
Mike Fisher
Captain Corbin
http://www.CaptainCorbin.com


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Quote:
On 2009-02-03 14:44, magicnator wrote:
I had one that I sold not to long ago. It was great. Good effect especially for kids....if you don't take it to extreme.

---------------
Quote:
On 2009-02-03 06:36, Spellbinder wrote:
Jim Gerrish and I used to perform Magic Ian's "Slice of Hand" together ( http://magicians.tv/ and click on ARM BOX ) where the two pieces of the box are taken completely apart, and it always got a great reaction from the audience, especially when the magician is Black and the assistant is White. It can't be done solo, but I still run into people today who remember that effect above all others we used to team up for.

------------------
Quote:
On 2009-02-04 08:48, DanielCoyne wrote:
Ian, Mcharrise, Meyegr,

I agree regarding disarmed. When I first stumbled across it online, I had high hopes from the description, but as soon as I saw pics and then video(!), it was obvious and dull.

Ian's prop and routine looks visual and fun. Even though I understood fairly quickly what was happening (more or less), the illusion was still effective making the routine entertaining.

There are some great opportunities for comedy as well. (Asking the volunteer yes or no questions and answering with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down; putting a foulard over the break and "stretching" the arm, etc.)

Ian, keep us posted or let me know if a used model turns up. : )

-Daniel
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Cyberqat
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You make an excellent point. In the end, it IS the magician who makes the illusion succeed or fail. The most brilliant mechanics in the world can be ruined by a lack-luster and ham handed performance, and vice versa.

I suppose, for me, this illusion as presented in the youtube videos falls outside of my personal suspension of belief zone. I have the same problem with the bare-backed version of the buzz saw. I don't *want* to believe it so I don't.

But, again that's just me. Everyone responds differently and there is no question I have seen laymen fooled by many things that no magician would fall for.
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magicians
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So, lets get off of my Slice-off, and discuss other stuff.
How about: candle thru arm, finger choppers, d'lite bag of lights to start.
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Quote:
On 2010-07-09 22:58, Cyberqat wrote:
I wonder if you could make it a bit more believable if the two halves were attached by a baffle and it was done as a "streatching" routine.

this was actually done and sold. "Fractured" by Master of Illusions.

s
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Quote:
On 2010-07-11 01:25, the Sponge wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-07-09 22:58, Cyberqat wrote:
I wonder if you could make it a bit more believable if the two halves were attached by a baffle and it was done as a "streatching" routine.

this was actually done and sold. "Fractured" by Master of Illusions.

s

I had contacted them, and they said that theirs is not a derivation of my effect. I guess they just can't see the similarity. Of course, my box was $250, and theirs was $1500.
So, there we go again, an illusion that shouldn't work yet they sold a few.
-------
Let me tell you, while this subject is continuing. That, there was no device that worked like this prior to mine. I actually came up with it, because I couldn't do the old gag of separating my thumb off the hand.
-------
There have been a lot of variations since (and exact copies). The refinement was using the principle used by a ventriloquist Dan Richard in the New Jersey area (might have been an Axtell product but I think he preceded Axtell). He had a parrot on a gloved hand and arm. The parrot was animated and the arm held the weight of the parrot. Using that principle (which shouldn't be believed, but is) was the refinement I used in my "little slice-of hand".
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Cyberqat
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So... candle thru arm. Ive never owned it and rarely seen it done. Anyone have a video as refresher?

Posted: Jul 11, 2010 4:55pm
Hmm. I looked at few you tubes. I *think* what sells is it people's natural fear of fire. Having never passed a candle by their arm, I think they assume that it should burn... I agree that the penetration is no great shakes, particularly if you show the diameter of the tube anywhere near your arm so it can be visually compared.

It also seems to me like this is one that could by improved a lot with a little acting... make it seem hard to get the candle through. Most of the you tube presentations I looked at where pretty uninspired.

Posted: Jul 11, 2010 4:56pm
Oh, I always through the finger chopper was moderately clever and inobvious. Particularly if done with the cigarette prover.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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