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Profile of HarbinJr.
I agree with the rest that you shouldnt be doing any stage illusion building with only two weeks or less let alone do the practicing that would be involved. However here is an idea that you might like. You said that you are a close-up why don't you get a camera and a projector and a screen so that you can project a close up arena for the whole audience. See if the school has the necessary equip so that you don't need to provide it and then do your best closeup magic possilbe. Good Luck with it!!!

Robert Long
May your dreams be touched by magic!!!!
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Profile of magicsoup
If you wanted to make anything from the cardboard book you might want to use plasitc sign board. I'm not sure but it might be cheaper than wood and sturdier than cardboard. Does it have to be a big stage illusion? There are smaller things that will play big for an audience. A rope through neck could play big, and have the audience involvement you are looking for. It's also easy. The Iron Garrote is a chain through neck (a little scarier looking) that is easy to learn. It's in your budget. I have a hard time saying no to shows. If you belong to a club you might be able to use someones arm chopper or something. I have a friend who has let me use things before, who knows, you might too. I think it's worth a try.
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Profile of magicbilly
Guys, thanks for all your support and comments. I spoke to a magician friend of mine who is big into stage magic and he thought it was possible to do a good illuson in the time frame but, after about two hours of discussion, we came to the conclusion that it wasn't the right thing for me to be doing. I spoke to the organiser of the event and told him that a big illusion was out of the question. I am now going to do a small caberet style show that will be open house. That is to say people can walk in and out of it at any time. I think this is the best solution for the dilema and it suits both my performance style and the needs of the event.

Thanks again

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Profile of Dougini
I am glad to see you made that decision, MB!

I had the unfortunate experience of failing onstage, due to a rush, and a week of rehearsal. Back then I had never performed Zombie for anyone but my mirror, and thought, "Well, I can do this..." Guess what?

300 people in the college auditorium laughed me off the stage! The gimmick made an unexpected appearance above the edge of the cloth...the cork caught the edge, and SPROING!

"Ha ha ha ha haaaaa" I was so freaking embarrassed. I swore I would never be on stage again (and haven't).

I only do close-up, and one-on-one, now. I hope no one else makes that mistake. My local magician's club tossed me out of the ring, furious that I had exposed such a treasure of magic...

Practice...practice...rehearse...until you can do it in your sleep! Don't ever attempt to to a stage act, unless you've prepared for it! Man, I wish someone had stopped me before I made an utter fool of myself. I quit doing magic for YEARS after that. Regretful.

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