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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Straitjackets...gimmicked or legit? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Margarette
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As one who professes to be both a magician and an escape artist, my opinion is often asked about this subject. The straitjacket...should it be gimmicked or legit? Personally, the jacket that I own is an authentic medical straitjacket. I have contemplated using a gimmicked jacket, but only under certain circumstances. However, I have yet to purchase a gimmicked jacket. The escape artist in me will not allow me to do that. It is my opinion that if the goal is to show one’s ability to escape, then one cannot use a gimmicked jacket. However, if the goal is not the escape, say it is merely a prop in a comedy routine, then the use of a gimmicked jacket is justified. After all, you will not be promoting the escape, but the routine which happens to include a straitjacket. It is because of this reasoning that I refuse to use my gimmicked handcuffs as an escape by itself. However, if it is a small part in a larger escape, then I feel it is appropriate. How many of you out there use a straitjacket, and do you use a gimmicked jacket or not?



Margarette
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Michael Peterson
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Hi Margarette,

I myself have just started working on escapes fairly recently,I use a gaffed jacket.This is because of my initial fear of perhaps not being able to get out of a regular jacket.Now that I have done some more studying, I wish I had gotten a regular jacket.I will be buying a regulation jacket in the near future,reserving my gaffed one for certain occasions.

Ichazod
Billy Diamond
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For years I used a gaffed jacket under the thinking...what if I can't get out of the real jacket. Actually now that I bought one that is all I use. A legitimate jacket seems to be pretty easy to get out of. Although I do like the fact that you can choreograph some nice moves with a gaffed (i.e., bring your arms out from the jacket and unbuckle straps). I don't know if I am allowed to say this, but I bought mine from Andy Dallas Magic. He is not only a nice guy but as an escape artist was more than happy to help out.

I also think gaffed versus normal depends on the illusion. Obviously if you are hidden, the faster and easier you can get free, the better.
Joe Marotta
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Hi Margarette,

I just joined the Cafe and read your post. I agree with you. As a "purist" escapist myself, I feel anything you perform openly as an "escape" should be done with your skill as an escapologist, and not via gimmicked apparatus.

Personally, I think there are times when you should use a gimmicked item but only when your life is potentially at risk, eg. straitjacket under water, etc. , or (like you said) when the escape is but a smaller part of a larger magic act.

It took my doctor 2 months of fighting with the Posey Company to get them to sell him a S/J. I have never tried a gimmicked one, maybe because I don’t have a use for one. I hate to spend money on gimmicked items when I can purchase the real ones.

On a side note, if anyone wants non-gimmicked S/Js, check out Cannon’s Great Escapes http://www.cannonsgreatescapes.net


Warm wishes,

Joe Marotta
Steve Brooks
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Thanks for the information Joe, we all appreciate that! Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Jeb Sherrill
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I've always used ungimmicked. Frankly, they're not that hard to get out of. My magi friends and I like to sit around trying to find ways of making it harder. One night they twisted both sleeves before buckling them. There was almost no way to move at all and it took me awhile. The toughest though was when they twisted the sleeves and passed them around my back, buckling them in the front. It took me forever.

On the other hand, If I was to be dropped out of an airplane or dunked in water, I'd use a gimmicked one in a second. I'm not that much of a purist.

Sable
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Dennis Michael
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After thinking about this, why do this to yourself? Houdini did it and so many other thereafter. I don't plan to need to get out of one in a mental institution.

I have a gimmick for a comedy routine similar to Simon Lovells routine. So the gimmick one is fine.
Dennis Michael
Jeb Sherrill
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Frankly, I think we do it to ourselves because we like to. It's a challenge. I have nothing against gimmicked jackets, especially since you can escape from them in more dramatic ways. For that reason alone I would like to have one myself, but escaping from the real thing is half the fun. I will probably wind up owning one gimmicked and several real ones. There's quite a variety out there now.

Sable
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Dennis Michael
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Sable

I whole-heartily agree with you. When I was 21, I challenged anyone to tie me up and I got out of it. It was cool, I had many try and laugh thinking there was no way out. I was real thin and tall. My hands could fold so anything that was tied around them slipped off and that gave me enough slack to do the rest. I could slip off a pair of hand cuffs if they were not on exceptionally tight, back then

Couldn't afford a straight jacket back then, or I would have liked to do that. Now, if I tried it, I'd probably have a heart attack, so the added slack from a gimmick really makes the job easier. It's the presentation and the illusion of getting out with the comedy that makes it fun.
Dennis Michael
Jeb Sherrill
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Den,
Indeed! I still remember the first time I saw Copperfield do his Straight Jacket escape (still my favourite thing he's ever done because I respect anyone who will do that the way he did). In the middle of the escape, his hand poked out and he started working with the buckles. It would be really hard to do that without a gimmicked jacket and it added great drama and a little extra myth to how we escape from them.

I'm really wanting a gimmicked Straight Jacket right about now!

Sable
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Dennis Michael
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I haven't worked the final routine out yet, but I have a fog machine, and I plan to struggle, fall to the floor, when I rise, I have a monster mask on but still in the straight jacket, fall again, and rise with a duck face, which I quickly knock off revealing a Jason mask. Fall one more time and from out of the fog rises a velocirapter head, (Jurassic music in the background) then it disappears in the fog and I rise out of the jacket.

Don't know how it will play or if it will work. I didn't want to copy Lovell's routine.
Dennis Michael
Jeb Sherrill
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You know, that is one of most insane ideas I've heard. I like it!

Sable
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I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
BroDavid
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Hmmm, and Den looks so friendly and rational in the picture with the bunny.

Who would have thought that such ideas lurked behind that placid facade.

After getting this glimpse into his warped thought processes, I wonder what he's planning to do to the Bunny... Quick, Call the Humane society.

No, wait! Never mind. If his idea for the bunny is as good as the jacket, I will just stay and watch!

Great concept Den!

BroDavid
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Dennis Michael
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What food source can be created RABBITLY, to feed my velocirapter?
Dennis Michael
Michael Peterson
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I love your idea, I hope I can see it someday.

Smile
Starry
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I've used my regular strait jacket so much that it's got holes in the arms where I used my teeth to pull the sleeves over my head.
I also used it when I did the upside-down burning-rope escape. (pics on my web page) As far as I'm concerned you should always use a real one. But even when you use a real one, you have to make sure that it fits you tightly. I've seen performers using a loose fitting jacket and it just doesn't look difficult, let alone impossible. When I get put into a strait jacket, I want the audience to believe that I'm in it for good. (and that they can know they are safe)
Ace Starry - Author or THE MAGIC LIFE - A NOVEL PHILOSOPHY
http://www.starry.com/
Greg Arce
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Den, love the idea. Instead of the Jason mask why not come up in that half leather and metal mask that Hannibal wore? You can have the music track stop and play, "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti... fe-fe-fe-fe-fe!"
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Dennis Michael
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I wanted to do that, but I could not find that mask.
Dennis Michael
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People seem to forget one thing. A straight jacket is designed to hold a person that is insane. If you are not insane, or at least completely insane, and still are able to use logic and order, then you can get out of a straight jacket real or gaffed. Just like a safe escape. People forget that a safe is designed to keep you out, not keep you in. Most escapes are not immpossible to get out of as long as you don't panic and use logic and reasoning.
THOUGHTfully,

LONDON
dAvId tOnG
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how easy is it to escape from a gimmicked straitjacket? I've never done escapes except from chain shackles...is it very easy so that all attention is directed on the showsmanship alone?
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