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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Am I the only one who thinks that the Zig Zag Girl illusion is lame? (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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irossall
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Snohomish, Washington
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The first time that I saw the Zig Zag Girl illusion was at an T.A.O.M. convention back in the early 70's. I found it to be non-magical and very simple to figure out. I am entertained by many illusions that I know the inner workings to but I just don't get the appeal that the Zig Zag has on an audience. Am I the only one who feels this way? What is the attraction?
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cupsandballsmagic
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Was the one you saw a decent version? There sooo many bad copies out there that look awful.
Eldon
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Virden, IL
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I'm with gambituk1. White Magic Mfg. makes one that the center section actually slides all the way past the vertical riser. That being said I think the Zig-Zag appeals more to the magicians that perform it then the audience. It is angle proof and can be done close up. It's a vertical illusion so it doesn't take up a lot of room on stage. These things are important if your not working in big venues.
floridamagic
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lakeland Fl
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I had a Zig Zag and now I have a Modern Art illusion and I got a better reaction from the audience with the Zig Zag. Believe it or not.
Chance Wolf
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Gambituk1 is right! There are some terrible home-made, as well as commercial versions, out there.
Eldon, you mentioned White Magic created another version. Clearly, the hiding method must be different. I am not aware of it as I have not seen it but iF their method increases the upper cabinet size or overall size, then, in my opinion, it defeats the purpose.
I am a fan of the Zig Zag as I have built a few with my own "tweakings" to the design. I created a more deceptive graphic as well as reduced at least 2 to 3 inches of hiding space adding an almost unbelievable hiding area.
I may release the plans someday as well as a few custom built units. I will keep ya posted.
Overall, I like the effect even though it has been overdone (with bad routines and presentation).
Take care,
Chance
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Marshall Thornside
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I like the Zig Zag.
As the one who performed
the smallest version [as far as I know].
I still find it to be entertaining.

My dad built four.
Four excellent ones.
you will remember my name

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Frank Tougas
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I think Zig Zag probably started a real revolution in illusions. The first time I saw it performed was on television and I was astounded. Of course I was young but none-the-less astounded.

Up until that time most illusions on television were latrge cumbersome boxes, with gaudy finishes, stage traps, and poorly orchestrated performances.

Since that time there have been many inovations. Illusions have become lighter, brighter, far more deceptive, and to that I give credit to Robert Harbin.

Unfortunately now-a-days there is once again a sameness. Lots of chrome, smoke, wind, dancing girls.
Hopefully someone will come along and re-revolutionize large scale illusions.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Whit Haydn
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The biggest problem with Zig Zag is the presentation. Few illusionists seem to understand how to present a puzzle illusion. The Zig Zag was meant to be talked through step by step. If you ever get to see Harbin's presentation, it is a lesson in how to sell a puzzle illusion. So many performers now don't even use the tickle box.

I have seen the Zig Zag done silently to music, and it was pretty awful.

I used to do Zig Zag in the 70's in my amusement park shows. I had an excellent one made by George Kimery of Chalet Magic, and it was always a very good applause getter. The practicality of it really appealed to me, as it broke down easily for transport, and set up quickly. It could be done surrounded and within touching distance of the audience. The closer you are to it, the more amazing the illusion appeared.
Steven Steele
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The Zig Zag has always been an applause getter for me and I do it to music! However, there is a storyline that accompanies the music; so there is much much more than just playing music while you perform the effect.

Mine was built by Owens Magic Supreme and Whit is right. I've done it with a person within 5 feet of it and it blows them away! I love the illusion, although mine packs flat into two ATA cases which is kind of a pain, but it fits in my pickup with my other stuff, which was the main consideration.

Steven
alexkrey
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It is a pity!
But this illusion has died after it has shown to all world masked magician.
By this illusion now will surprise only one of ten men! Smile
Alex Krey
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zigmont
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ZigZig is so old it new to today's audiences.
Stop viewing it as a magician.
Zig zags have black art that must have the correct lighting.

The illusion always worked for me.
Zigmont
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Pakar Ilusi
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Personally, I prefer the Zig-Zag Outdone... You actually pull the middle box all the way out! I saw it once live! It was awesome!



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alexkrey
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It has invented Rand Woodbury!
Alex Krey
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Peter Loughran
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The Zig Zag is one of my all time favorite illusions. It was also one of the first illusions I ever had.

Mine was originally built by Gerry Frenette, and I love it. Although I haven't used it in a while, I still once in a while just stare at the prop for awhile, admiring it. It just looks magical.

The illusion also helped launch my carreer as an illusionist beginning over 15 years ago, and made me alot of money. I owe alot to the prop, and it's creator Mr. Harbin. I was still fooling audiences with it even after the masked magician specials. Its all in how you present it.

To say that the Zig Zag is lame, well you certainly have not had the pleasure of performing the illusion for a live audience.

P.
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yosef_dov
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Greetings...

Paul Daniels mentions in his autobiography that he wanted to do something other than the zig-zag everyone else was doing so he came up with new twist... he had a spectator come up and start pushing the middle section over.. then the middle box slides all the way out and hits the floor... sounds like the zig-zag outdone described above... but this version would definately be a stunner IMO! Even for people who are "wise" to the original zz...

Joe
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cupsandballsmagic
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Yup, some great advice and opinions here. I used to present mine as you would a close up effect really, walking through it and explaining what is going on and having someone up there is essential.

Oh, and someone mentioned Rand Woodbury's.... that Z table just makes you drool!!!!!!
markparker
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Steve Zigmont hit it right on the nail:
Its a great illusion that uses clever masking, this combined with a sliding panel on the middle section as it 'Zags' makes it a wonderful and deceptive illusion. It is a real shame that so many builders of this illusion just don't get it and the prop/illusion suffers accordingly...its a classic not to be ignored.
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Chance Wolf
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Mark,
I fully agree. Zigmont shares many years of knowledge and true experience. It is quite clear that he has studied all aspects of Illusion presentation as well as all the other subtleties.
I mentioned earlier that I had made design changes myself. These changes were in the mechanics and hidden structure leaving all the original ideas and basic design yet adding to the impossibilty.
You and Whit mentioned the sliding panel and the tickler box. In some versions, these features have been REMOVED from the Illusion and or the routine. It is one thing to make a TRUE improvement to an Illusion however, in most cases, the changes only take away fron the original effect as well as the "magic" itself.
As the ol' saying goes,"if it aint broke, don't fix it"
I join the others above and say that to this day I STILL get after-show reactions/questions as to the Zig-Zag! That ol' dog can still hunt.
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

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Pakar Ilusi
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Ah, yes... Rand Woodbury... The "Z" Table... "Illusionworks"... Great ideas...






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"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Marshall Thornside
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Quote:
On 2003-08-28 14:16, whithaydn wrote:
I have seen the Zig Zag done silently to music, and it was pretty awful.


It isn't easy to find music for any illusion.
Its all in the timing.

Our show had a Chinese Theme.
All the props were Chinese themed,
The music was Chinese, the chickens
were Chinese, even the costumes were
Chinese [Dad wore authentic Chinese robes].
And to add to that, my dad is Chinese.

The zig zag we did had great music, dancing, the
Zig Zag had a Chinese style design that
my dad built.
And along with it I did a
costume change.

So if someone is to do a presentation of the zig zag
all those components are vital to making it appealing to the audience
as well as the magic society.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Am I the only one who thinks that the Zig Zag Girl illusion is lame? (9 Likes)
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