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Andy Stagg
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England, Devon
25 Posts

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Good evening I was hoping to get some advice from the pros on here on what would be a good first illusion build. The type of illusion I am looking to build is either a vanish or appear now I'm not great at wood work but I will be working under the supervision of my grandfather. Who is a master carpenter with over 30 years under his belt so I will be in good hands.

Just to add I have been looking at Paul Osborne plans but not sure witch to go for, for the type of illusion I am looking build for a first one.

Regards

Andrew
jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
9495 Posts

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Build one that requires no assistants or 1 assistant.

Unless you have an entire stage crew there isn't a need for anything more complicated.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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The type of illusion you build should be based upon the performing conditions you expect. It would be lovely to own an Asrah, but depressing if you could never use it.

Most productions require pre-loading in private, and most vanishes require the same privacy for unloading.

If this is not a bother, I would probably opt for a production over a vanish. A Palanquin is a pretty easy build.

If the load or unload is going to present a problem, consider a different type of illusion. A sub trunk is a fairly easy build, and does not have the privacy issues.

One of the early illusions I built, although it was somewhat involved, was a Temple of Benares. This is basically a cross between a sword box and a doll house. There is no need to load or unload in private.

Now... while on the subject of illusions, please consider some of the "Victory Carton" types of illusions. The Mark Wilson book has some nice spins on the basic concept. Made with care from Foamcore or Coroplast, you could have a very nice, durable illusion for very little money, and with no real difficult skills needed.

Finally, don't overlook the necessity of transporting whatever you build. This may sound simplistic, but if it doesn't fit in your vehicle, it becomes a strange-looking piece of furniture that never leaves your house.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
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Free advice: figure out who you are, who you want to perform for, what you want to say, why you want to say it, why you want to do an illusion, what you have in the way of resources, where you want to go from here, and a whole bunch of other stuff, before you go and become one more "hey, lookit what my box can do" performer. There are more than enough of those already. We don't need any more.

That's not meant to be sarcastic. After more than forty years in and around magic, that's the best, and most honest, advice I could give anybody.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Andy Stagg
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England, Devon
25 Posts

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First I would like to thank each one of you for taking the time to respond to my question above.

@jay leslie - I have the use of one Assistant to help me in the props that I hope to build but I am looking at one man illusions also.

@Michael Baker - in regards to the pre-loading and unloading in private that should not be a issue as I would be looking to perform it in a school hall witch has a backstage area witch I would be able to use for the pre-loading and unloading.

I have to agree though I would be more happy over a production then vanish as this would tie with the routine that I have been planning for the last few days down on paper.

I also have a copy of Mark Wilson’s book these will be the first small illusions that I will be building to get my feet wet with wood work under the supervision and my grandfather who will be passing his 30 years of carpentry down to me.

Transport is not a issue I can get access to a long wheel base van at any time I need and also large SUV and such.

Thank you for taking the time for a detailed response.

@George Ledo - I very much respect in what you say and don’t see it as sarcastic in anyway you are just saying how it is and with 40 years you cant argue with that in my eyes. I have been planning the routine for a few days on paper that I want to perform and there is only one large illusion that I would want to make my assistant appear or vanish then I would go into the rest of my routine.

Thank again gents for you your advice and information as gave me some food for thought.

Regards

Andrew
Andy Stagg
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England, Devon
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Well after much deliberation the first illusion I'm going to make all be it a small and simple one witch I think will be a good stepping stone into making illusions is one from Mark Wilson's book the illusion is called "Take Apart Vanish" if anyone is interested ill be more then happy to take photos as I am building it

Regards

Andrew
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Excellent choice!! I made one of these a few years ago for a collector. You can see pictures of it if you poke around in the custom stuff on my website.

I would very much like to see your progress photos!

Have fun with it!

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Andy Stagg
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England, Devon
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Thank you Michael I thought it would be a good choice as there is not many parts to its construction and would also be a good project so I can work on my cutting and measuring skills. And then I can work on the final finish of the box when it is finished iv been on your website quite a few times and your work is stunning I could only aspire to get to that sort of level.

Regards

Andrew
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Rest assured, I once aspired to get to that level also. Smile
~michael baker
The Magic Company
tabman
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Inner circle
USA
5946 Posts

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Great. Good luck and have fun AND be sure to post some photos when you get it going!!
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
Andy Stagg
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England, Devon
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Cheers for the comments gents I am sure if I keep working on small type illusions and then build up to bigger ones as my skills improve I'm sure my craftsmanship will get better and better the plan with the take apart vanish is to make up a mock one up in MDF to use as a trial run so I no I can make it then make a second one in birch plywood for the main prop that I will use then I can use the MDF model to use as a template for the birch one that I will make I will make sure I take photos from start to finish no doubt ill be here asking on finishing tips and advice

Regards

Andrew
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
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Have fun and keep us posted!
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Andy Stagg
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England, Devon
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Well just to keep people posted payday is in a few days and I have my shopping list ready going to get all the bits in one day ill make sure my camera is fully charged to take photos during the build
Mike Maturen
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Inner circle
Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
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Andy,

Take a look at Andrew Mayne's website. He has several illusions available that are easy and very inexpensive to build, and pretty good-looking from an audience standpoint.

I am getting ready to build his "Specter Cabinet" which will allow me to open my show with an appearance from thin air.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

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