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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Small Illusion help needed (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Davro
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UK
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I have a stand up show which I use at weddings, parties etc and I would like to add a small illusion to try and make this play larger. Can anyone help with suggestions? I don't use an assistant so I have been thinking about Murder Inc. but have been told the angles are awkward or the Portable Sawing in Half. Any help appreciated.
Thanks
Best Wishes, David
<BR>
<BR>Mid way this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
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What is the overall theme of your show?

What type of character are you portraying?

What other types of effects are you performing?
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Davro
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Hello Philemon,
The theme of my show is light hearted Magic with a little mystery and mindreading in the mid section to give a little shape and feel.My character is a larger than life me.Other routines include, flash champagne appear as present for the Bride or whoever, Chop cup, Book Test, Bill in Lemon, two Card routines, you get the idea
Best Wishes, David
<BR>
<BR>Mid way this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
karmic
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Have you looked at the Andrew Mayne Solo X book loads of good ideas there.....or how about a classic chair suspension or snow animator(for weddings use confetti)?
Just a couple of suggestions for now!!
Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
Maryland
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I don’t really know what you mean by smaller illusions. Do you actually want a “box” kind of small illusion to make your show look bigger? Do you want to include spectators? Etc., etc.

I have some ideas that might get you started thinking. Or maybe not, I might have missed the boat entirely.

Right off the top of my head I can think of an effect that plays fairly big and uses three spectators! It is pure theatre and can lend itself to almost any presentation or theme idea. I have used it in several different kinds of shows.

The absolutely bare bones of the effect: A Petite woman volunteer is drafted and has a length of rope wound several times around here waist. Two burley boy (men) volunteers pull the rope tight. The Petite woman steps back and the rope seems to melt through her middle leaving her free and unharmed.

Props needed include about 10 feet of heavy rope. And a table knife or wand (chop stick, fan, ruler, whatever!).

Reference: U.F. Grant (circa 1940).

This can be played with as much drama as a sawing through. It can also be played as teaching a spectator to do a dangerous escape! It fills the stage and it uses spectators. They do the magic and you get them a big hand. Cost is minimal (maybe $10.00!).

Ok, that’s one, no box, plays big, and packs small.

Pavel’s Super walking knot is yet another small illusion that can play large. Cost is close to $300.00 USD however. There are at least two versions of waling knots that are less expensive and don’t use gimmicked ropes. Both play well.

Sword through neck is a small illusion that takes almost no room to pack and plays with a good presentation. The think electric saw sawing through neck or body could also play well with a good presentation.

The trouble with the Dagger Head Chest type of effect (including Murder Incorporated, Dagger Head Chest, Abbots Arrow head chest, and Spikes through the head) is that the assistant needs to be briefed and to some extent is in the know at the end. The old Abbots Arrow Head Chest did not use panels or mirrors as the gimmick. It used to be fairly inexpensive and was a fooler even close up! It packed flat and could play well.

The old Square Circle is often overlooked and I believe is still a strong production and great little illusion. However it needs to be loaded with items that appear much larger than the production box. The production should always appear impossible.

Tons of silks, flags should come out of it. Fantisio’s appearing lit candles could be produced, and a final live stock production (fish bowl with fake fish) all makes for a very good illusion. In fact you can produce your entire act from it. If you have one of Powell’s card fountain devices installed you can even have a deck of cards shoot from it (and stab or simply catch a chosen card from them!)

By the way, I do use a homemade very small looking Square Circle. Two sides are open and the box sits on the diagonal (diamond rather than square) to the audience. I believe it to be much more deceptive that the one open panel version (See Mark Wilson’s “Complete Course of Magic” for a drawing of his Magic Hat of Alakazam version. Mine sits on a platform that has short (1 inch) legs on my table. Thus you can see under the platform. My table leg is hollow and I have a nested set of production umbrellas that I can produce from the chamber. How do I make the steal you ask? Simple, I drop some of the already produced silks in front of the platform and they effectively mask the dirty work. The umbrella is produced and split into two,

Multiplying bottles might fit your bill. You could routine it with the bottle production you are already performing. Produce the first bottle and end up with 12 in a longer and comedic routine!


Andrew Mayne has a little booklet out called Solo-X with some ideas for one-man illusions. Mark Wilson’s Magic course that I mentioned above has several ideas and instructions for illusions. Then there is always U.F. Grant’s Victory Box Illusions pamphlet that is a treasure trove of ideas.

Hans Moretti combined two of Grants ideas in that book and created a feature illusion in his show. In fact it a signature piece for Hans. It is his sword box to costume change with live stock illusion. Briefly, Hans is chained, shirtless, and goes into a cardboard box that has been shown empty and is sitting on a table. Then several real swords are pushed through the box from side to side. They are removed after the box and table is spun around showing all sides. Then out comes Hans dressed as a clown, with full clown face make-up, beating a drum and holding a chicken which he puts on his head! Killer illusion as presented by Hans! And the secrets have been in print since the late 1940’s. Hidden in plain sight! You will need an assistant to perform something like this.

Finally, perhaps you could look into using a Die Box (Rubik’s cube box, please), or any of the Bunny production boxes [Even adults love the production of rabbits! And very few magicians produce or use livestock (doves not withstanding) anymore because they are such a hassle to deal with (in terms of care and feeding)], or even look into the Flexible Mirror or the Mirror Penetrations available as possibilities to add to your act. They are all examples of small illusions that can make your act appear bigger.

Is any of this helpful? I hope so!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Brandon Harper
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Austin, Texas
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I have found that if you are willing to dish out a little money, Collector's Workshop offers some fabulous "smaller illusions" Check out their website. http://www.vikingmagic.com/
Davro
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UK
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This is great guys, all much appreciated. Thank you
Best Wishes, David
<BR>
<BR>Mid way this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
Fantasy Knight
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Toronto,Ontario,Canada
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David: I was under the impression you meant grand illusion, but everyone seems to be offering you illusions that are small and play big. If your looking for something bigger!! I would try a chair levitation. That way you can borrow someone to play the part of your assistant. Well, hope you found out what you were looking for.

magically yours Tricky Ricky Smile
Grew up near one of the greatest minds in magic the late Stewart James, in a town called Wallaceburg just 15 mins from Courtright where James could be found, time and time again he would inspire me to always be creative and just love all magic.
Dolini
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David,

This may sound a little hoakie but you can pull the shirt off of the best man or some other person that has a vest and a coat or a sweater over a shirt. This is an old trick but you would be supprised how much mileage I have gotten out of the trick. Audience responce is great. The other plus is no cost to you.

Dolini
John O'Shea Dolan
johnosheadolan@hotmail.com
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