The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Elite Chair Suspension (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
I received my Elite Chair Suspension last week and just had to post some comments here because I really, really like it. I know there's a lot of discussion of the different models of chair suspensions available here so here's my perspective. I have owned three different chair suspension illusions over the years. My first was made by Sandy Rhoades. It was made directly from the Harbin plans and was rock solid. It also weighted a ton and really was only practical on stage. It was just to big and heavy to bring into a home for birthday parties. It held lots of weight and even came with a large board for adults and a smaller one for children. I sold it because I really wasn't doing many stage shows and I wanted something practical for the living room.

I absolutely did not want a Jim Sommers' Chair Suspension or the older Mak Version that used the plastic Samsonite chairs. (I owned a Sommers version for about four days before sending it back to the dealer. He had agreed to take it back if I didn't like it when I bought it.) I know there are a lot of people using them but everyone knows you really have to limit how much weight you put on them. Even Kyle Peron, who wrote the ebook on the chair suspension, warns of the danger of using a chair suspension and limits how much weight he will put on it. (He indicated he limited it to using someone under 100 lbs. but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with more than 85 lbs. on one of those.) I just don't like using a prop that has that much of a risk. It's not worth it to me.

I wanted a chair suspension that was solid and could hold a small adult but still was practical enough for use in a person's home for a birthday party. That lead me to a European Chair Suspension. I bought a used one and was reasonably satisfied with it. The European would certainly hold an adult if they were positioned properly and was lightweight enough to use almost anywhere. There were a couple of things I didn't like about it. It was solid but not like the Sandy Rhoade's model I had and parts of it were not as well made as I would have preferred. (Nothing that affected safety if you did it properly but I thought the visible board and some of the other parts were too flimsy.)

Then, I read about Jay Leslie's Elite Chair Suspension here on the Café and had to investigate it further. After some discussions with Jay and a mutual friend who got the first Elite Chair Suspension, I knew I had to have one. It's not much heavier than the European (which it was based on) but it's much more solid. The parts are substantial enough that I don't worry about breaking the visible board and, most importantly, Jay made several changes that really improve the illusion. It works well and I know that properly used it is completely safe. That means a lot to me!

On top of that, Jay is great to deal with. He supplies a DVD with lots of tips and explanations of the changes he made in the construction of the Elite Chair Suspension. I am very satisfied with this and definitely recommend you looking at it if you want a chair suspension. To me, it's the best combination of price, portability and stability. Jay now has this listed on his website so check it out:

http://thehouseofenchantment.com/pages/c......ion.html

If you have any questions about my thoughts, let me know.

Michael
Kevinr
View Profile
Inner circle
1854 Posts

Profile of Kevinr
Whats the price.

I own the European & Sommer version (both)

I am curious if any real "changes" are actually made to improve the illusion??

I just saw the video on you link and cant see any difference that "enhances" the illusion in my eyes.
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
The price is the same as the European used to sell for which is $995. There are subtleties in the illusion that make it easier to perform. Does the audience see anything different? I don't know about that as I haven't performed it yet.

When I said that the changes really improve the illusion, I meant for a mechanical standpoint. In other words, it's easier for the magician to perform the illusion and makes the illusion more secure.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Thanks Michael for your kind words regarding my ebook on the subject of the Chair Suspension. People have to realize that the Sommers and the Mak Models are what they are. They are intended for a child helper only Under NO circumstances should you ever use an adult on those models. They just are not intended for that.

If you have a Sommers or Mak and stay around the 85lbs or less limit, you will never have a problem or issue. However, you must also follow some tips and safety precautions which I mention in the ebook in detail.

The elite is a great model simply because it allows you a greater weight limit and therefore more flexibility with the performance. It is not meant to make the illusion LOOK different. It is designed for great flexibility in regards to weight limit and is built in such a way to give you more confidence.

When performed correctly, the illusion will and should still look the same.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
I still use the Mephisto Version. I like how sturdy it is. It looks a lot lighter than what it weighs.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
They key with any model is just simply understanding the illusion and ensuring you perform it correctly and safely.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
JamesinLA
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
3400 Posts

Profile of JamesinLA
If using the elite model with a child, would it be possible to have the child's head resting on the chair and not hanging off the chair?

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
Quote:
On 2011-11-18 15:41, Dynamike wrote:
I still use the Mephisto Version. I like how sturdy it is. It looks a lot lighter than what it weighs.

The Mephisto version looks very nice. It reminds me of the one that Chalet Magic used to import and that was a beauty. (I think that was manufactured by Gunther Puchinger.) I think it would be a little too much to bring into a home for a birthday party.
Quote:
On 2011-11-18 18:37, JamesinLA wrote:
If using the elite model with a child, would it be possible to have the child's head resting on the chair and not hanging off the chair?

Jim

It's going to depend on how tall the child is. The key is having the center of gravity over the chair seat. If you have a taller person, that is harder to achieve. With a short child, I would think it would be easier.

Personally, I don't like to see the person's head resting on the chair. First, it's not really comfortable for them unless you put some kind of padding beneath the head. Second, I don't think the illusion looks right if the head is being supported. That issue was discussed in this thread: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......um=17&43

I have done the chair suspension with my own female assistant on several occasions (I know, I know. That's not the best way to present it. It's definitely better with an audience member.) Here's what my assistants (three of them) said: it's much more comfortable to let their head hang down than to put something underneath their head to support it. My first chair suspension (made by Sandy Rhoades) had been made with the chair back at a more severe angle than normal. The advantage to that was that it extended the distance from the edge of the chair to where the seat was. That allowed my assistants to rest their neck on the chair. They tried it in several positions and all of them agreed that it was most comfortable to have their head hang down.

Here's a photo of a young man (I think he is 7 or so) on the European Chair Suspension. He was nervous about doing this but look at how relaxed he is when he lowered his head down and you can see the illusion looks good. (This was not a performance. It was a quick demonstration at a convention when I was trying to sell it. The cloth is also pulled up a little to tight. I prefer to make it a little looser around the assistant.)

Image
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Quote:
On 2011-11-18 18:44, Michael Messing wrote:
The Mephisto version looks very nice. It reminds me of the one that Chalet Magic used to import and that was a beauty. (I think that was manufactured by Gunther Puchinger.) I think it would be a little too much to bring into a home for a birthday party.

Yea, it is a lot, but I do not mind bringing it in a house for birthday parties: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......start=30
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
This is one area that I am pretty adamant about. I know folks think they need a head rest and that is solves a problem. The fact is that a head rest is never needed if the illusion is performed correctly and with the proper set up, proper positioning and proper patter. Let me clarify why in regards to my strong opinion aginst the usage of a head rest.

I perform this illusion literally hundreds of times every single year over the past 10 years or more. I probably perform this more then anything else I own. In all of those shows, I have not had a single kid complain about the head being a problem at all. The reason behind this is because of how I present the illusion, my routining and the psychology that is involved.

Too many entertainers THINK that the child will be uncomfortable and so they go the route of a head piece thinking they are doing a favor. Instead they are killing the look and feel of how the illusion is supposed to come across.

Another problem many performers have is that their patter is worded in such a way that it evokes a negative response in the child. Many folks will state things like, “don’t be scared. Don’t be nervous. Are you ok?” These types of patter gets the child thinking that maybe somehting is wrong or that they should feel that way. It is almost like telling a child not to touch a light switch. If you tell them not to, they tend to want to. So I am mindful of my patter and what I say to th e child because it does make a huge difference.

If any child is off center or not in the proper positioning, NEVER go on with the illusion. Off center and unproper positioning should never happen. This should always be a part of the performers safety checks and the understanding of balance points. If it is not correct, make sure to fix it before proceeding with the illusion.

The head rest just goes against how the illusion is supposed to be presented. This is a suspension and many folks forget that. In a suspension the audience needs to see and feel like the person is suspended at some point. In the broom suspension illusion, that point is the arm pit. On the chairs, that point should be the neck of the child. With the head hanging gently down, this sells the illusion properly. It gives the natural appearance of the point at which the child is being suspended.

Not only does this look proper, but it is the way the original illusion was designed. It just looks more natural and sells better to an audience. The head rest idea (as nice as it is to think you are helping yourself and the helper) takes away form the power of the illusion. It just looks awkward.

With the head hanging gently down, it not only makes for a better illusion, but it serves a purpose. The head hanging gently hides the gimmick for you. This allows you a much wider angle range. In fact I can do it surrounded by doing it this way if I had to.

The biggest concern is that the child is hurting. This is not the case at all. Children are used to having their heads like this. Am not forcing it down or causing them pain by doing so. It gently hangs over naturally and comfortably. It also keeps them more steady, and helps them to not look upwards at what is going on. Kids on the playground have their heads like this all the time. They are also not in this position for anything more then a minute tops. It also gives the proper appearance that the helper has been magically hypnotized or is in a magical state of rest. With the head rest, their is much too much a feeling of tension.

The other problem with head rests of any type, shape and size is that they can be easily seen. The audience sees it from the start and it looks unnatural. It should be 2 chairs and a board and a cloth. Nothing more and nothing less. A head rest seen by the audience makes them question it. Why is it there and what does it do? It makes the illusion look more like a magic prop.

The other problem is that with the head on the rest, even during presentation, the audience can clearly see the head rest. No matter how you try and hide it, it can still be seen. The audience knows it is still there. They saw it at the beginning and know the head can not stay out like that without it. They also can see upwards as most are seated. With the head hanging naturally downward, this covers this angle very well.

Actually I have adults amazed at this illusion. No lie. They freak out about it. The reason once again is in presentation and proper handling of the illusion. When done well, it really can and does fool adults. Never downplay that point.

I agree in that every performer must tweak things to their desire. The problem is that there is also a right and wrong way of presenting an illusion. In my humble opinion, the head rest is a not needed item that hurts the illusion from being as powerful as it can be.

Just my opinions is all and certainly not meant as an attack on my good friend dennis or anyone. Just something I feel strong about is all. =)

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Kyle, I agree no head rest is needed on the kid style Chair Suspension, that is the only you have. When I was performing that I never thought about using one either for children. But after I received the Mephisto Version Chair Suspension, I use mostly adults. It is too long for children. I noticed a lot of older adults have less strength in their necks. And they feel pressure in their head from laying their head back. Don't get me wrong, a lot of adults can take it. But I noticed a lot are feeling uncomfortable during the effect or when they are getting up, from the head pressure. My opinion it to bring a head rest to the scene just incase an older adult with less energy is used. If I notice tightening in their face, I will add a head rest. I want to entertain the audience without hurting the assistant. What is your opinion if you used older adults Kyle?
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
My opinion is never to use ahead rest at any time. It absolutely kills the illusion. If you need to use an adult, I would use an assistsnt who already knows your show. Or if you have to use an adult helper from the audience, try and select someone who you know is a bit more atheletic, in good shape and is a lady. their hair will help you hide the attachment better. But no matter if an adult or a child, the proper way to perform and present the illusion is with the head hanging gently over.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
I agree with Kyle. As soon as you put something under the head, it tips off the audience how the effect works. Think about it. If the head is supported, then the body is now on straight line. The head being allowed to hang freely makes it look like everything is completely unsupported.

It's the same reason the illusion looks wrong when a person is has too much of their body over the edge of the chair like in the photos and video of the Mak Magic Chair Suspension Deluxe:
http://www.abbottmagic.com/Chair-Suspens......0704.htm .

Compare the photo of the person on the Mak version with the young man on the European version above and you can see something doesn't look right about the way the Mak one is used. The person looks too stiff.

Posted: Nov 19, 2011 11:09am
One more thing. When I use a teen or adult audience member to do the routine with me, I usually have them test it out with me before the show to make sure they are comfortable doing it. Quite frankly, the chair suspension can be uncomfortable in several ways. I tried one out many years ago (when I weighed about 30 lbs. less) and I really didn't like the feeling at all. You will feel some movement when the board is removed and it can be quite discomforting. One of my assistants hated it and the other two thought it was fun! In addition, there is the thing about supporting your legs.

A pre-show test of your audience assistant will assure that it goes well.

This isn't nearly as much of an issue with children as they are so much smaller and lighter that there is less movement.

Michael
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Quote:
On 2011-11-19 11:09, Michael Messing wrote:
One more thing. When I use a teen or adult audience member to do the routine with me, I usually have them test it out with me before the show to make sure they are comfortable doing it. Quite frankly, the chair suspension can be uncomfortable in several ways. I tried one out many years ago (when I weighed about 30 lbs. less) and I really didn't like the feeling at all. You will feel some movement when the board is removed and it can be quite discomforting. One of my assistants hated it and the other two thought it was fun! In addition, there is the thing about supporting your legs.

When are you going to write the first e-book to "adult" Chair Suspension? I will be one of the first buyers.
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
Quote:
On 2011-11-19 11:56, Dynamike wrote:
When are you going to write the first e-book to "adult" Chair Suspension? I will be one of the first buyers.


I actually thought about doing a DVD! Smile
Paul Rathbun
View Profile
Inner circle
Michigan
2461 Posts

Profile of Paul Rathbun
Back to the original topic. My experience with the Elite Chair Suspension is more on the negative side. I will not bash it here in a public forum but if anyone is interested in my experiences I will be happy to share via PM.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Mike: there is no reason to write an adult ebook for chair suspension. What works for children and what I wrote in my ebook is the exact same set up and same tips and positioning for an adult OR a child. It is the same.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
Don't worry Kyle. I was just kidding about the DVD! Yes, your ebook does cover the chair suspension thoroughly! No need to duplicate what already exists. Smile
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Mike: lol No worries. I actually am planning on expanding my ebook to a much fuller book on chair suspensions to cover off on more information and include photos. Many have asked me for something like that.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
Quote:
On 2011-11-19 19:01, magic4u02 wrote:
Mike: lol No worries. I actually am planning on expanding my ebook to a much fuller book on chair suspensions to cover off on more information and include photos. Many have asked me for something like that.

Kyle

I want one of those. If you need any photos for it, let me know. As you know, I do professional photography as well. In fact, I plan to take some photos of the Elite Chair Suspension shortly. I want Jay to have good photos of it with an adult assistant on it.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Elite Chair Suspension (5 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.36 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL