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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Walk away suspension x type (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tricky dick
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new hampshire
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Im very interested in purchasing a suspension. Does anyone have one of these to advice good or bad? I have a flying carpet routine but it is very difficult to get away from the support in the rear, people seem to know that there is something behind the stand. I just don't want to be in the same boat with a walk away suspension. Any feedback please let me know.
Thanks
perform for birthday parties,stage shows and walk around. looking to get into larger illusions.
johnnymystic
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Well if you have the cash you could check out Walter 'Zaney' Blaney's ladder suspension. He also has an economical model that is still out of my price range. I would say these are the best of what your looking for.

The Chair suspension is what I use and it can be performed surrounded and is a lot cheaper then the two I mentioned above.

Johnny Mystic

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JAEIII
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I agree with Johnny here. The Blaney Ladder Levitation is the best suspension out there. That is why it has been performed by David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Siegfried and Roy, Paul Daniels, etc...

(Copperfield has admitted that Blaney's levitation was his 2nd favorite illusion to perform ever. He used it in his tour for over 6 years)

It is definitely worth it if money is not an issue. It costs a lot but each levitation is hand made by Walter himself. He won't let anyone help him because every inch of the illusion has to be just right. It is a real piece of art.

As said above, Walter also builds a cheaper version called Suspension: 3001. Similar to the Ladder Levitation, but not quite as convincing secret wise. They both look great but the Ladder Levitation is famous for a reason. You can check them both out at

http://www.walterblaney.com/illusions
Believe In Magic....I do!
Michael Messing
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If you're talking about the Jim Sommers' version (sold by Klamm Magic), that one's not very good. I looked at one once and the base sagged when weight was put on it. The two upright tressels were made of corrugated plastic and didn't look solid at all. I doubt it would hold much weight.

The Blaney suspensions are the nicest around but are both fairly costly. The Ladder Suspension is really expensive.

I'm not sure you'll find a quality X-Type suspension at a bargain price. You might want to check into a high quality Harbin Chair Suspension. (Once again, not the Sommers version or the Mak Magic version.)

Bill Smith used to make one (Magic Ventures) and I have one I bought from Sandy Rhoades. The one Sandy makes is rock solid. It will easily handle 150 lbs. (Sandy isn't an illusion builder. The Harbin Chair Suspension is the only illusion he builds.)

If you want info on Sandy's Chair Suspension, e-mail me or PM me and I'll give you his e-mail address.

Good luck.

Michael
Magicduck
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The standard super X, I believe is gonna have the same problem for you as the magic carpet. Actually it is almost the same arrangement. With some your leg obscures the gimmick, with others it is some ornament, such as a large candle. But, when you get down to it, you are not going to be able to, in a convincing manner, convince them there is no support...because there is.

As far as Blaney, that is a great illusion but it is not really suitable for someone doing small shows at floor level, such as birthday parties, some other venues. I am intimately familiar with this prop, helping a guy figure out how to present it a few years back and it does have limitations. For example, if people are at floor level and close, there are a couple dead giveaways that the clever painting does not hide. Great prop for stage, MAYBE platform, not suitable many other places.

Honestly, after years in magic, I am not convinced there really is that great a levitation for the average performer. Magic Carpet is pretty good, although the weakness discussed here can be a problem. And if someone in a small show starts talking about something behind the screen, as the magician you are kind of hooped. You cannot do anything but act like you did not hear them. I have a Harbin chair suspension I made myself, works great and holds 200 lbs. However, it does not garner the kind of "wow" one might want. Because the person is still supported by the chair, under the shoulders, I think many people see it as more of a balancing stunt than a true "levitation" or suspension.

For the smaller venue performer, again, I am just not convinced there is an IDEAL suspension or levitation.
quack
philblackmore
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Could Zany Blaneys hoop be used with a flying carpet? This could stop you being hooped.
Also I asked this a while back and got no replies, but does anyone know anything about the Float me alone suspension on Hank Lees site?

Phil
Dennis Michael
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I couldn't find Float Me Alone!

Feed Back:

You specified Super X...

There are many factors to consider when we talk about the Super X. "Walk Away" means you want a suspension which looks like someone floating, without any visable means, for self or for assistant or volunteer.

The answer is in the disguise. It must blend in naturally or with well designed background, or backdrop. Looks at Blaney's Ladder Illusion and study that picture. Then look at Blaney's Suapension Study that picture. Think of the Super X design... Think of the Chair Suspension Design....Think of the Flying Carpet Design.

Develop a frame work on paper then hide the object in question with an object, BA, backdrop, or prop.

I own the 3-in-1 levitation. For a stage effect I used both the Chu Sword Suspension and the Flying Carpet. I redesigned the Flying Carpet and I use the 3-in-1 with both and it enhances the illusion becase it wipes away the origional concept in the mind of the view of how it is done. So a combination of effects can achieve a desired effect, however, for the price I must need a stage, a backdrop and an strong assistant. It stopped being a suspension and turned into a levitation.

Chair Suspensions will have the drop, Carpet Suspensions will need a method to hide the designed method. I looked over a Kid's Fire Engine Suspension (Flying Carpet like) which gave a depth perception deception to the Flying Carpet method. The wheels acted as the screens and it just looked good. The price...limited audience.. small kids. What is being said here is the depth of the "board" for the Fire Engine turned a Flying Carpet into a longer "Board" Almost like a chair suspension facing the audience (feet first).

Hopefully, you are getting a picture of what you want. It is a matter of brainstorming the deception which becomes the goal. Consider Depth perception with the board (Fire Engine), Consider concealment with natural objects, (Blaney) Consider Black on black. Consider where it is to be done...Stage, Living room, surrounded, etc. There is the base design, there is the Frame Design and there is the board design. For it to be a levitation, there is the motor and lift design.

For a supension to work a price must be paid and the price does not mean money. Yes, it will cost money to get it to work.

Now here is a brain storming design I just thought of. To the music of Surfing USA by the Beach Boys, you have a ocean with waves background and a surf board pointing toward the audience and the assistant is surfing in mid air via suspension. It gives depth perception to the chair suspension effect, the music adds to the effect, the background gives the appearance of a wave. The Surf board is placed on two saw horses as if you are waxing the board, the assistant gets on the board and the saw horses are removed. The base could be a mini sand dune.
Dennis Michael
JAEIII
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Your correct, Magicduck:

You would not want to perform Blaney's levitation at a birthday party or anything with a real close-up atmosphere. It is great for small banquets and up though.

Phil,

Blaney's hoop would probably work on a flying carpet, but I'm not a 100% sure. Email him and ask. He'd be happy to tell you.

zblaney@aol.com
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tricky dick
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As far as the Super-X goes, is it something passable in school assemblies and events like that?
perform for birthday parties,stage shows and walk around. looking to get into larger illusions.
Dynamike
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Performing at a secure angle on stage, the SuperX or Blaney's Suspension. Surrounded or in a house, Chair Suspension.
Magicduck
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The gimmick on magic carpets vary. Some use a bent 2" flat bar, some use a 2" or 1.5" metal, hollow, square pipe...often aluminum. The Blaney Hoop is made to fit, quite tight as I remember, over a round object..no corners. As a result, I think the answer depends on what type of gimmick you are using.

I guess I am wondering about the logic of this, however, anyway. The Magic Carpet is one of the cheapest illusions around, yet the Blaney Hoop, even the cheapest one, is pretty darn costly. And, if you are having a problem with people suspecting a support, I am not sure passing a hoop over it is gonna help that much. The are likely to suspect a phoney hoop. Part of the reason it works for Blaney Suspension and some others is because the suspension looks so good.

On another issue: To avoid this problem the inventor of Magic Carpet, Jack Gwynne, used two screens/books. He pulled the first one out...which hid nothing. He pulled the second one out and it just cleared the lower platform on a FAR EDGE. He felt that the Grant style, which has gone to only one screen in the center destroyed his effect. He never liked it. If you were to go back to the original Gwynne concept it would be much more effective. I use the two screens and having the first one takes suspicion away from the second one.

On yet another matter: Regarding the "dip" or sag in the chair suspension. I built my own, and there is a way to solve the problem...at least mostly. If it is built strong enough, the dip is not real severe to begin with. Therefore, I built the "ungimmicked chair" so the back is just a bit higher than the gimmick chair. As a result, when the board is on it, the "feet" end is somewhat higher. Not sure just how much, but I made it the most I could get by with, without it being noticeable to the eye. I just kept adjusting. One can also get a bit of this adjustment by cutting down the back legs of the gimmick chair, which makes the foot end go up. It is a bit of putzing around, but with mine there is almost no noticeable dip because, in fact, the board goes to just about level when the chair is removed. As everyone knows, who does this, one needs the volunteer to have his shoulders back on the gimmick chair too.

quack
Micheal Leath
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I believe that a really good suspension is one by Steinmeyer called HOT AIR. It is in his book DEVICE & ILLUSION. I built this one myself and it looks great. I made just a couple of changes to the design to take up less space in storage and travel.

I think it really looks like the child is floating and also that the support that was removed is further away from the child than it actualy is. The gimmick allows a very convincing hoop pass. You may also be able to use something like a Blaney Hoop to allow just one pass, but I'm not sure.

Micheal Leath
Frank Tougas
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I own the Walk-Away type suspension sold on Tillford's site. In fact if you go there and look at the picture, you are not just looking at a picture of one you are looking at a picture of the ONE I own. (Prior to ordering it there was no picture available only a drawing).

I've used it on stage in a school setting. Prior to performance I carefully checked out all sight lines. This is very important to the effect.

If sight lines are good it is a fooler, otherwise forget it.

The "supports" are cardboard but painted to look substantial. It has the feature of also removing the board from under your assistant, but I don't use it as it can get caught on clothing and messes up the flow.

The original cloth fringe has been replaced as it was too short to cover the "mechanism" (if ya know what I mean, and I think ya do).

It's not as practical as a chair suspension but then the chair suspension ain't exactly a fooler. Probably the best recommendation I can give came from a student in the front row who I overheard say in an amazed voice, "That's not possible." It made lugging the dang thing around worth it that day!
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Dynamike
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I know what you are talking about, Frank. I have that one also. I like it myself.
tricky dick
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Frank,
Thanks for the info on the walkaway 21 century suspension.If you were going to do it again would you have bought it?
perform for birthday parties,stage shows and walk around. looking to get into larger illusions.
Michael Messing
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Knoxville, TN
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The Walkaway 21st Century Suspension, made by Jim Sommers and sold by Doug Tilford and Klamm, is based on the Harbin Walk-Away Suspension. I had a Harbin Walk-Away Suspension built by Gandalf Enterprises (no longer around.)

The illusion is relatively effective but I did not get a good response from it until I began using one of Walter Blaney's Great White Hoops. (That's the inexpensive hoop - about $500 at the time.)

The Walkaway 21st Century Suspension is a good idea but I really didn't like the way it was constructed. As I mentioned earlier, the base sagged when weight was put on it. This was several years ago so it's possible Jim has improved upon the construction but I would be very careful when purchasing his products. He has some great ideas but is not a fine craftsman. To keep the prices down, he doesn't always use the best materials.

Tricky, if you really want to be sure, you can do what I did at the time. I called Doug Tilford and asked him if he had sold the illusion to anyone in my area. He had sold one to a magician in Atlanta. I was planning a trip to Atlanta anyway so I contacted the magician and he agreed to letting me look at it. One look was all it took to convince me not to buy it.

The only way to be sure about it is to examine one before buying.

Good luck,
Michael
Ray Anderson
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There is a Tilford 21st Century Suspension for sale on Magic Auction right now. 11/20/2003
Kingry
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10 years ago I bought just the frame for Super X from Abbotts. Cut the price to 1/3. Heavy unit. It has served me well. I also use a Jack Gwinn idea. The support is hidden by a chinese broad sword. The saw horses are removed. I stand in front of the sword, removing it to pass it over the girl.
Frank Tougas
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Tricky D.

Yes being lazy I would never have built one myself. And for the amount I actually need to use a suspension, it is very serviceable. Now if you're asking what I'd like to have if I could afford it? For a small suspension I'd take the Blaney Ladder Suspension any day.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2003-11-17 07:12, DenDowhy wrote:
Now here is a brain storming design I just thought of. To the music of Surfing USA by the Beach Boys, you have a ocean with waves background and a surf board pointing toward the audience and the assistant is surfing in mid air via suspension. It gives depth perception to the chair suspension effect, the music adds to the effect, the background gives the appearance of a wave. The Surf board is placed on two saw horses as if you are waxing the board, the assistant gets on the board and the saw horses are removed. The base could be a mini sand dune.


Actually, magician/illusionist John Kaplan of Richmond, BC, Canada, (John is the one who has the Fundraising Magic course, and the Santa via satellite course) has been performing a "surfboard suspension" for about 10 years now. I saw him do it in Calgary at a theme park in the summer of 1994, and many more times since then, in his public shows. His prop on stage is a sand "island" with a palm tree. The surf board is brought out, set on chairs, the volunteer lies onto the board, chairs are removed. John walks away as necessary because everything is hidden by the palm tree. He uses the blaney great white hoop as the convincer.

Here is a thread on another forum that discusses chair suspensions, flying carpets, super-x's (even walkaway), and even Steinmeyer's Lighter than Air suspension:

http://www.thedean.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=593

The Gr8 DonaldD.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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