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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Chair suspension question (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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seforeman
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Another pic - underside..

Click here to view attached image.
Stuart Foreman
seforeman
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And the ladder itself..

Click here to view attached image.
Stuart Foreman
seforeman
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Maybe this should have been moved to the workshop?

Thanks for all of your input and direction. I am really liking the chair suspension, its a nice closer. And Kyle - your notes Rock! Thanks to Matt for providing the "hardware".

Stu
Stuart Foreman
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Quote:
On 2013-01-17 15:52, seforeman wrote:
Today I received my Chair Suspension and I am very excited (thanks Matt Adams). A quick question, how many (if any) perform the chair suspension and DO NOT remove the board? Do you feel this lessens the effect or perhaps the removal of the board adds some level of conviction?

The board (or sleigh) is quite, well, ugly (across all chair suspensions - have not seen a "normal" board. (Ladder ..yes, board no). I am toying with either leaving the board in place (shortening the cloth so it does not have to cover my assistant) or building a better board. I am interested in anyone's thoughts.

Thanks in advance.

Stu


When I purchased my suspension used, it had an ugly board, I painted it and now it looks good
magic4u02
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Stu: Thanks for the kind words on my ebook and information. Much appreciated. Your additions and such look quite good. Nice job there. Let me know how this is working for you and if you have any questions regarding it. Be happy to help.

Kyle
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Al Desmond
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Quote:
On 2013-01-17 15:55, Donald Dunphy wrote:
I have a version where you can't remove the board, and I've used it in hundreds of shows over the last couple of decades. My illusion works a little differently than others.

Here's a photo of it:

Image


- Donald


Just some thoughts. The only time I used a chair suspension was when I was producing various stagings of my full length play with magic called "Poof!." I just so happened to use the suspension pictured in the above picture (which I believe is sold as the "European Chair Suspension.") Wooden chairs and a wood board. Since this was a play, I actually used the various pieces of the illusion as part of the stage set. One of the chairs was behind a desk, the other chair was next to the desk and the board was laid across two small boxes to create a small bench.

All of these pieces were sat on and used like "normal" stage furniture. In the scene where the chair suspension was used, the "star" of the show appeared to be looking around for something that he could use to "do some magic." He took the two chairs, removed the board from the bench and constructed the suspension arrangement. WE DID NOT REMOVE THE BOARD. And we did not use a cloth. The audience was already used to seeing these items used normally, so this further added to the sensibilities of the audience that there was nothing "tricky" about those props.

My point is this. Think about having the chairs on the stage during your act. Use them to put other props on, or have someone (an assistant or audience member) sit on one (or both) chairs. The board itself could be set up like a table, supported by some uprights, and used for other props. The whole idea is to hide the real purpose of these props in plain sight. This would be a great idea if part of your act includes bringing up audience members to help you. A chair is a nice place to have your audience assistant sit if it works out with an audience participation routine.

"Poof!" was written in the late 70's, and at that time I used a Abbots Chair Suspension, in the 2000's I started to use the European Chair Suspension because the chairs were less bulky. In all of the performances of "Poof!" over the last 40 years, I've never heard or had an audience member question the chairs or board. When you are framing your act, thinking out WHY your props exist is as important as using the props to fool and entertain your audience.
Donald Dunphy
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It's not a European Chair Suspension.

I made the board on the version in the photo. There was originally something worn by your assistant (not volunteer), and then you would put her onto the chair back and suspend her horizontally without a board (before I bought it and changed it, I saw a performance where 3 men struggled to put her into place).

She had to have a flowing gown, because of something else.

It only came with one chair (yellow, which I re-painted as red and black)... I had to get a matching one built by a local craftsman.

I hope that I haven't revealed too much detail, because I don't want to reveal secrets.

But again, I can't remove the board in this version, because the thing that was once on the assistant is now permanently on the board.

Also, it is necessary for the cloth to hang down. You can't wrap it around the child.

As I said, it works differently in method than other chair suspensions.

The original prop was half chair suspension, half broom suspension. I've had it for a very long time. It's a bit of a Frankenstein prop, but has worked fine for me.

Because of necessity, I can't remove the board. But I never have anyone comment about that. They are much more likely to comment about you only removing one chair (and I developed a solution for that, in my patter).

Lots of kids tell me that their favorite part of the show was where I floated a child. So, they view it as a floating, even with the board and chair in place.

But yes, before I use it at the end of the show, the chairs sit facing the audience, with the board across the seats, and some misc. props are placed on the board. Giving it the look of an extra table or side table.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dennis Michael
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I do the normal chair suspension, but I've also altered it for a stage version. In that version I take bot chairs away and it becomes a levitation. The assistant than lands on the seated portion of the chairs and gets up. It also works with my Magic Carpet, where the base is rolled away from the seated area. The assistant ends up on the floor rises slowly lowers slowly. than picks up the seat and walks off stage.

It must be done on a stage. and it is a combination of illusion which include the Multi-Purpose Levitation.
Dennis Michael
jay leslie
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Quote:
On 2013-02-20 13:00, Donald Dunphy wrote:
It's not a European Chair Suspension. There was originally something worn by your assistant (not volunteer), and then you would put her onto the chair back and suspend her horizontally without a board I saw a performance where 3 men struggled to put her into place).



I have one. I believe it was an Abbotts item.
Only 3 men? I wouldn't trust this thing if it was nailed down Smile Fun to show people, though.
AllanK
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About 25 years ago, I remade the board that came with my Chair Suspension (purchased from Quality Props in the UK) so that it appears to be a solid board! In fact the head end does have the usual cut out but the foot end does not. There is a thin slide that is half the length of the board resting in a recess that runs the length of the board. To start with, the slide is at the foot end of the board with the folded cloth covering the board (and cutout end) as usual. The only difference comes when the board is removed. Friction between the slide and the gimmick above it automatically closes the slide as the board is removed so that the audience sees a solid board. My arm covers the edge of the slide that is in the middle of the board. When it comes to replacing the board, friction pushes the slide back towards the foot end. I have been very pleased with this addition. When I made it I had no idea that it would work so well. If I ever figure out how to post pictures on the Café, I'll post a photo!
seforeman
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Allan do you have a pic. That is similar to what I was first trying (only actually spring loading the slide).

Stuart
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AllanK
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Sure! Give me a day or so, Stuart. I have to unpack a lot of gear to get to it! If you PM me your email address, I can send it to you - I don't think I should post a picture of it on a public forum.

Allan
seforeman
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Thanks Alan, done. This is an awesome forum. I love the discussions and friendship.

Stu
Stuart Foreman
themagiciansapprentice
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Kyle,

thanks for sharing your thoughts about the removal of the board. I had a great discussion about this a few weeks ago, we even had two different chair suspensions side by side. On one - the board can't be moved ; mine has a clip and the board can be pulled away. I was thinking though of using lycra to disguise the cut-out at each end??

(I bought your e-book last year and it has made my presentation a nice killer ending for my Gospel presentations)
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
AllanK
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Stuart, I've emailed the photographs to you. I hope they help.

Regards,

Allan
MrGoodfriend
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On 2013-02-24 04:03, AllanK wrote:
Stuart, I've emailed the photographs to you. I hope they help.

Regards,

Allan


Allan, could you share those pix with me too?

Derrel Allen
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Dick Oslund
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This is NOT my area of expertise! I just sit in occasionally. One is never too old to learn something!
I've learned a lot in this thread. Thanks to all who have contributed.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
jay leslie
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I believe if there is a cut-out it means the engineering is unsophisticated. My board, including both rails is 48 long with the actual wood rectangle coming to about 5 inches from each end. Having a cut-out, to me, is a tip-off that something is interfering in that general area.

My 3 suggestions for fixing the problem (for those who have it) are:
A. Make another cut-out on the other side. This becomes similar the the ladder concept that some people are gravitating to. You can also make a large cut-out in the middle of the board because the board doesn't really require a lot of strength. So two cut-outs and a hole would "fit".
B Make the rails another inch higher but, then, cut-off an inch underneath (ends of the rails to the beginning of the board). That will lower the plane of the board but keep the top of the rails at the same height. If you think the rails look too tall, add a few thin stripes in contrasting color, longwise down the sides. In Sharps book, this is referred to as (paraphrase) Diminishing The Size by Division, It's an optical illusion.
C. Use Spandex. Staple a piece (Hot glue will probably come loose) to the entire underside of the entire board itself along the rails... and straight across. You may add a piece of trim over the top to decorate and hide the edges and the staples. That strip can be Hot Glued directly on the Spandex... For some there might be space to add a second piece inside the rails. That way you can show both sides of the board.

Making a slid is akin to some versions of a Mirror penetration, a really bad mental epic, a French Arm Chopper or the middle part on a Zig Zag. It's hard to hide something like that unless it's held at a severe angle, or you're on a stage and/or there are decorations/trim immediately surrounding the part. Or you can hide it by flashing the board and not letting anyone see it.
QuailCreek
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Hi,
I think this is a good place to ask a couple of questions of the experts. I have an old MAK chair suspension that was in rough shape when I got it awhile ago. This thread has spawned a desire to buy a better prop. I'm looking for suggestions. I don't expect anyone to make the decision for me. Just pass along you thoughts of which chair suspension you have used, why you like it and what features you feel it has that you like and why. I know my decision will be based upon my performing style as well as other factors which I'll factor into the equation. I would use this only for children shows. Cost is not as much a factor as quality, deceptiveness and appearance. So far I'm looking at the MAK and the Sommers. Any help would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom
Regards,
Silverthorne
AllanK
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Derrell,

I've PM'd you.

Jay, I have a few of your props and they are meticulously made - the work of a consummate professional! Anyone wishing to consider this illusion would be wise to heed your advice.

Allan
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