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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Question on themed Chair Suspension (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

seforeman
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Hello. I am new to the forum and have a question on presenting the chair suspension. I currently do not own one, but I am considering either purchasing or making one. I have a "rough" idea of how the illousion works, but I am curious from those of you who have performed it. Could the board the assistant rests on be made to look like a small ladder (I believe I saw this on YouTube)? Or would it reveal the gimmick? Could the gimmick be made to accomidate a "ladder" look? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance - this is a great forum.

Stuart
Stuart Foreman
Bill Hegbli
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The Mak Magic version with the metal chairs could have the board look like a ladder.
seforeman
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Thank you so much!
Stuart Foreman
magicelam
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Assuming you have it assembled pre show, they will not actually see the board until you remove it... The audience will see the cloth that is resting on it. So I'd say use whatever you want.

Why a ladder?
Mike
seforeman
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Ok so the cloth will hide the gimmick, so the board is not nearly as much of a concern ( size/shape), as I can use the cloth to hide the gimmick. is this an accurate statement?
Stuart Foreman
magicelam
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I can only speak for my particular version, but my gimmick is in the cloth.
Mike
jay leslie
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Stuart. First, welcome to the Café. It's a good place for ideas but in the end you have to make your own decisions.

Re Chairs: Every version may have a ladder substituted for the board. Once the ladder is removed and all the heat is on the person in suspension (implying that it doesn't make much difference mechanically) you may use a ladder, a board or a plank (Walk The Plank). Making one yourself may be more trouble then it's worth.

The impact of the illusion is the suspension of your helper. Whether the chairs are red, yellow or purple & whether you use a ladder, 2 Suitcases or the standard board shouldn't have an effect on the perceived effect. However, if you have a theme-specific presentation then let us know along with your motivation, then we can help illuminate "How To DressThe Set". You may need specific costuming and lighting in addition to the substitution of the board. Incidentally, if you're attempting the original Harbin presentation with a small adult, you'll absolutely want to consider a more stable version then the MAK.

If you have a website you could out in your profile, that would help everyone see your style and just generally help.
seforeman
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Thank you for the advice and direction. I will describe the background of the "act" I would like to put together (which undoubtly lead to other questions). I am trying to put together a palor atmosphere. The backdrop (or background) would be some book cases(collaspable) and small tables and chairs (from the Chair suspension). The idea to the act, is most if not all items in the act would look somewhat - ordinary, and be in plain view. So "small ladder", would be leaning against a bookcase to get items down from a higher shelf. This might have a "blanket or throw" draped over it. So conceptually - it would look quite innocent.

This would brings me to my next questions (and forgive my ignorance as I have never seen a Chair Suspension performed in person):
1) Is the Gimmick sewn into the cloth, or separate from the cloth?
2) About how much does the "heavy duty" Klam or Mak weigh? (both claiming support weights of 140 - wife is 105). Can it be lifted quite "naturally".
3) How close can this illusion be performed. I had a flying carpet, and I used it with a backdrop, and I could perform it safely with seated audience at about 7-10 feet away. Would this be about the same performance distance or would it risk exposure?

The reason for the questions is I have in the past bought magic effects based on description - only to be disappointed when I got them that they were - well exagerating the description. This would be quite expensive (650+ for the heavy duty version), so I just want to be sure the effect would work for my situation (even if I had to "modify" it a bit).
Stuart Foreman
magicelam
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I have a Sommers, which is what Klamm sells. I've had it for five years. It is great for bday parties. I don't care what klamm tells you, do not put a 105 lb woman on there. Her placement on the illusion for it to support her will not look correct.

For kids it works like a charm.
Mike
seforeman
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Thanks for the honest opinion magicelam. Its a shame there is no place you can go and check out the products before you purchase them (or even have a refund program). I wonder if the "heavy duty" MAK version would support 105 lbs (as I don't have kids and was intending the act to be a bit more adult)?
Stuart Foreman
jimhlou
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Good advice .... I had a Jim Sommers chair suspension, a great prop! Used it for 5 years. But it would not support 100 pounds. A 60 - 70 lb. (or less) child is perfect for this illusion. I sold this prop and bought the European suspension, and it WILL support 105 lbs with no problem. Very stable and deceptive. Don't, and I repeat, Don't buy a less expensive chair suspension and try to make it work.

You also mentioned making your own - unless you're a mastercraftsman/welder, you'll spend more time and money making one than it costs to buy one. Sommers, Leslie, etc. have learned from their past mistakes and know how to assemble these things for the working pro.

Just my 2 cents,

Jim
Michael Messing
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I have tried out the Sommers Chair Suspension, owned a Harbin Chair Suspension made by Sandy Rhoades, owned a European Chair Suspension and currently own Jay Leslie's Chair Suspension. As has been stated here, the Sommers version will not safely support 100 lbs. The European, Sandy Rhoades and Jay Leslie's will easily support 105 lbs. I went to Jay's version because it is the best combination of price, portability and stability. It's better made than the European Chair Suspension (and easier to use) and significantly lighter and cheaper than Sandy Rhoades chair suspension. Here's the link to Jay's: http://www.thehouseofenchantment.com/pag......ion.html
seforeman
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I did not know there was such a difference between the versions of this illusion. Thinking maybe should try a Magellan Levitation (as the cost is very close now if you go with one of the more expensive models). I understand you can use the Magellan with an assistant as well.
Stuart Foreman
magicelam
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You can use an assistant with the magellan... but it's great as a one man illusion.

I'll be honest, when I first saw the magellan, it looked like a guy standing on something to me. But I showed it to 10 or so people who work for me, and it blew their minds. Upon re-watching, I really really liked it.

It all depends on your purpose. I have a chair suspension purely as an add on to birthday party shows. I can charge more by making the birthday kid float. If you're buying for a stage show, Magellan might be neater.
Mike
seforeman
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I think for the way I want to perform it (with an assistant) it might work better. I will probably start a separate thread on that. But thank you all for your chime in on the chair suspension. It has been an education.
Stuart Foreman
guyactor
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Stuart, I'm still not sure how much weight you'd like the suspension to hold, but it appears you'd like a very sturdy one. Jay Leslie, by the way, makes a very good version. I suggest you read about what he makes.

http://www.thehouseofenchantment.com/pag......ion.html

I don't know if he would tout it himself, but this is the one I would purchase!!
seforeman
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After comparing these models, if I do go with the Chair Suspension, I would probably go with the Jay Leslie. I looks like he really test out his gimmicks (A Chevy Engine Block - wow). But am I still strongly considering the Magellan Levitation. Will be starting a thread on my questions on that. I noticed the inventor is on this site, so hoping to get some insight into how it works using it with an assistant.
Stuart Foreman
magic4545
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Jimmy Fingers
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Hi Stuart, please see the video on youtube of the duo presentation... It's rough, but gives you an idea of the possibilities with a trained assistant. Rachael's performance here is just after about 15 minutes of rehearsal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUP75FU6dAk

Thanks for your interest,

Jimmy
http://www.magellanlevitation.com
dave_matkin
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Quote:
On 2012-11-08 07:00, seforeman wrote:
After comparing these models, if I do go with the Chair Suspension, I would probably go with the Jay Leslie. I looks like he really test out his gimmicks (A Chevy Engine Block - wow).



I believe he used to supply it with the engine block and a contact that you ONLY use the illusion with the engine lock and not people. But in the economic down turn he has been forced to use the Chevy dinky toy instead!

You can obviously use your own engine block....... Smile

I just wanted to see how long it takes Mr Leslie to cotton on to my AMAZING marketing ploy Smile .......
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