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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » In depth discussion on Sword Basket theory (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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HighClass
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I am very interested in discussing theories on what makes the sword box a great routine. I am interested especially in certain aspects like...

What effect the audience should be seeing when performing the sword box, is it a disappearance, mutilation, puzzle, ect
What order the events should happen and why ( swords first,then step in side, or visa Versa ect)
Any tips and tricks that certain people have to make it better....

I have to do a version if this trick that has to be a serious piece so I am very interested in presentation ideas that are more on the serious side and not comedic. There are many great comedic routines and If I really feel like its it a great route to take but I want to put something serious together, any information however is appreciated.

I would like to really hear from people who do it and love it, or who have seen it and love it. Please don't post if you have something negative to say a about it because I have to do the trick, and don't want to dwell on why it doesn't work and just want to hear good theory on how to make it work. I will also be trying to pay close attention and use some of the theory in my routine. I am not looking to copy, but if you post great theory or advice I will definetly use it as inspiration. Please don't post anything you feel is uniquely yours or some else's intellectual property, if you have to in order to make a point, then please note it so I don't consider it for inspiration of my routine.

Also, I am mainly interested in the basic style sword basket, like abbots, or modern sword box, not the cardboard box with spears ect so please let's keep to those to keep this thread specific. The box I have to use is from the Jim sommers book build your own illusions, and is fabric so I think is already is a bit at a disadvantage because you can't have two girls or fire. So the routine needs to be really well though out.

One last thing, everyone is entitled to there own opinion and therory no matter what is is, but this thread is about how to make the sword box great, so please don't post negative comments about the sword box or any other posts on the thread, and I will probably not reponse back unless I have questions. I just want to sit back and listen.

For those of you who take time out of your busy day to resoond just know that your information, wether or not I agree is evterey valuable and will not call on deaf ears.
You are truly appriciated.....

Thank you
HighClass
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Please excuse some of the typos, the auto correct seems to have a mind of its own.
AlbertoGiorgi
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Buy Grand Illusions CD-ROM by Jonathan Pendragon. A great document with a lot of answers for you from one of the best magic thinker ever. An entire part dedicated to the sword basket theory.
HighClass
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Thank you Alberto, I will order that soon Smile
Sam Sandler
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To this day I have yet to buy a sword basket cause I don't get it. I can not convince myself that it is worth performing.

I have asked here on the Café a few times to convince me and yet I still struggle with it.

I know you don't want negative comments but please don't take this as negative but rather as I am still seeking proof that it is worthy to perform

here is my offering to this effect to make it worthy to perform
I feel it would play much better as a comedy piece then a mystical magic presentation.

about 7 years or so ago I wrote a comedy bit for the basket and got real close to buying one. but even then I backed off.

I just don't see it being a good illusion.
maybe I am wrong but for me it does nothing...at least for now.

I am looking forward to reading what others have to say about this effect.

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
HighClass
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Thanks sam, I don't take that as negative at all. That is exactly the type of stuff I want to know. It's well thought out theory backed by experience and not an "I hate the sword basket" rant. And I also am not a big fan of the trick, and think it would work better as a comedy piece. I am just in a position where I can't do it as a comedy piece. I also am intrigued by the challenge of making a good trick out of one that I am not so sure is good. It's kind of like a challenge. Thanks for your input, that's exactly the type of stuff I like to hear, honest criticism about the trick. Thanks
Sam Sandler
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Highclass you are quite welcome.

I put the sword basket in the same catorgory as the chair suspension.
cute but not really anything to write home about.

but thinking about the swordbasket and your needing it to be an illusion not a comedy spot I am reminded of jeff McBrides routine (which did nothing for me either) although as I watched the audience I felt that they were indeed intrigued but still it seems that Jeff had spend a small fortune on decorations, set pieces and costumes and yet it still fell flat to me.


so here is my other thought I once had but it does not really fit my character and that was the other problem for me.

I don't recall any one doing it as an old time fakir. meaning build a story around the basket where things go into it and vanish explaining that how (maybe a witch doctor) or some one like that would use it to banish some one from the villiage.

maybe also show how you can produce things from it as well.
think about all the thing that could be used.
such as appearing pole, appearing ladder, as well as maybe some impossible objects BUT NOT AS BIG AS A PERSON!.

then take the story to the reason to get your assistant and tell the story of how they would banish some one. proceed to perform the sword basket.

show her gone and the bring her back.

of course there is much more that can be done but my thinking is that having a basket on stage and shoving a girl in it is not that different then all the boxes you shoved her in. just because you changed the box to a basket does not make it different.

there needs to be a REASON for the basket. why do you have it? what purpose does it serve?

hope this helps get your ideas flowing.

sam
ps feel free to use my ideas here although I reserve the right to use them myself if I ever do take the plunge for a basket Smile
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Lou Hilario
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A long time ago, I used to combine the Vertical Asrah (Lipan) with the Basket. I covered my assistant with the cloth and she switched it with the Asrah Form, then I floated the form and made it vanish. I used another cloth to cover the basket again and revealed my assistant.
It's been years since I haven't used my basket now. But if ever I do, I would like to do it the way Ed Alonzo does with a "love doll".
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
HighClass
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All good stuff guys thanks for going into great detail... Now let me ask this,What do you think needs to be changed about the basket, for it to become a better trick than it is... And same thing please don't bash it but crtique it constructively. If I can eliminate some of the weak points, then maybe I will have a better routine.
chill
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Weave it around your assistant onstage?

find the smallest one your assistant fits.
I spent most of my money on magic and women, the rest i just wasted
jeffl
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My take on this could be "off base" so forgive me in advance, but if you're having trouble conceiving doing the sword box the way you envision in MIGHT make sense to consider very similar illusions that might offer an overall effect closer to what you're trying to accomplish, for example consider the Kovari blade box:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNRganHi7nU
jeffl
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Or this sword "box" variation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCidaJeCQy4
ClintonMagus
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I have always thought it would be more effective if the basket could be tilted to show it empty, or lifted and tilted. As it stands it is more of a puzzle, but I really like the Pendragons' take on it more than most.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Hector
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This was one of my very first illusions.

I loved it because it packs very small and plays very big.

The audiences seemed to like it as well. And for me has been one of my favourites for a long time.

Then, one day after performing it hundreds of times, I decided not to perform it anymore... just because Smile

Yet one of my favourites.

Here is my presentation of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m5FaCA0kg0

I hope you like it.


All the best!
61magic
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I never considered the sword basket to be any more a puzzle than any other magic effect.
The effect requires a different presentation to really sell the vanish, some performers don't bother with the "step inside" move as proof the assistant is gone.
I've always felt that one move is critical to selling this to the audience.
Too many want to rely on the "open the doors" to prove the effect.
Think of old horror movies, they didn't need to show all the gore they scared you with shadows...
Professor J. P. Fawkes
HighClass
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Hey jeffl, I wish I could pick something else to replace it but unfortunetly it has to be the traditional sword basket. Although you right if I had to pick a "spike" type of effect it would probably be a spiked of some sort where the girl actually disappears and you can show it empty. Which brings me to my next question... What do you all think the effect should be, girl disappears and you show the box empty by staving it. Or girl gets in the box and you stab it and people try to figure out how she is dodging the swords?

Hector wonderful routine, it definetly makes the routine much better... btw and 61 magic thanks for the input
illusions & reality
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I have seen two wonderful comedy presentations of the sword basket. The first, (my favourite), is performed by Denny Haney. Scott Alexander also performs that routine, with some touches of his own. Hands down, (pun intended), the best routines out there.

The next version was seeing Rich Marotta at the Magic Castle. Brilliant ending that made me wish that I had thought of it.

I know that both Denny's and Scott's versions are available on YouTube. I'd encourage you to watch and be inspired - don't give into the temptation to copy these excellent routines.

Lou
Ingo Brehm
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First of all get a deceptive prop. The smaller it appears to the audience, the better it will be. Then think about the plot. I never liked this illusion when it was presented as a "vanish" and the swords were put into the basket as a "proof" that the girl is really gone. I think it is better and more believable to let the girl "melt" into the basket behind the cloth and let her actually put out her hand from time to time during the sword phase to proof she is still there. Now the plot is about invulnerability. Always decide about your plot in the very first place!

From an asthetic point of view I think it helps to learn a bit about the handling of swords. Maybe you can take some martial arts lessons in escrima or other weapon based arts to make your moves more elegant (especially if you want to do it in a serious way).

The Pendragons talk about their take on this illusion on their first DVD of L&L. Maybe you should consider buying it.
HighClass
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Yes, I love Scott Alexander's routine! He's a friend of mine and that routine is top notch. If never had the pleasure of watching Denny perform but I would love to see it as well. If I can find it I will have a look. And don't worry, I'm not interested in copying. I guess I'm not really sure what the plot is supposed to be vanish or puzzle. And actually I'm not really sure which I like better. If it was a comedy routine It may be a bit easier.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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As said, deceptive props (and I might add somewhat authentic looking) are a key.

For me a meaningful, emotionally engaging, logical presentation truly helps heighten the magical impact. (You can find mine in my book.) I dramatically take my time with each plunge, not cavalierly shoving them through.

Another facet that strengthens the magic is distance or lack of, I perform mine in a Parlor setting, just a few feet from the first row. My stage is only ten inches high and covered with an oriental carpet, so at close range there’s just no place to “hide.”

Finally, I use a man not a woman, I think this makes the vanish stronger as he doesn’t seem to be able to fit or twist around the swords.

Mine was a very customized version (I provided fabric) made for me by Jim Sommers. I use genuine swords and spear.

Magically, Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
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