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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Into the box, spikes into the box, vanish from the box (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of sb
This is not something that I do, and am not planning on doing, it is just an issue with certain illusions that always bugs me and I wanted to see others' thoughts.

Lets use a fire spiker as an example. Girl gets into the box, box is implaled with spikes, box is opened to show girl is gone, box is closed and girl reappears.

Does anyone but me think that this effect may be better (or more consice) if the girl does not vanish? In essence, there are 2 magic effects happening here. She is impaled by the spikes, and then vanishes. But the impaling effect is explained by the vanish!

I guess now that I am typing this, it occures to me that what I am explaining, is sorta like a "table of death" where the spike crash down, and the performer is on top of the spikes.

any thoughts on the routining? Or am I just crazy? or both?

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Profile of DavidThomas
SB, I perform the "Spiker" just as you describe, and prefer it that way. But I agree there are many different ways to consider performing an illusion. Is my way the right way? Absolutely not....I just feel it is the right way for me. Your question is true of many illusions:

1) Is it better to when performing the mini cube zag to cover the tubes so it does not appear there is a vanish?
2) Is Origami better performed as an appearance only? Or is it better to just make it appear as the box is getting smaller and the girl is a contortionist and could really fit in the small space? But not putting the swords in this could be construed this way.
3) Sub trunks are sometimes performed as the magician disappears and appears in audience (Taylor Reed) or sometimes as an simple transformation

My Table of Death has two methods. One where I just appear on spikes and another in the audience. I bounce back and forth and could not really tell you which I like best.

Bottom line for me is some say Tomato, some say Tomota....Thanks for the question! I think a discussion always helps us find the way that is best for us by the input of our peers.
David Thomas
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David, thanks for the participation in the discusion. And you hit the nail on the head, I only really posed the question to stimulate a conversation about the topic.

I am going to rephrase my original point. I agree with you, I don't really think one presentation is better or worse. But I am interested in seeing others' reasoning and points of view.

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Profile of freefallillusion1
First, before I give my thoughts, let me begin by saying that we're seeing this as magicians. Does the "impalement followed by a vanish" play strong for the audience? Yes. So, given that the spectators are the ultimate judge, we're just nit-picking.

Now, that said, I have felt exactly this way for A LONG TIME. I never understood why a magician would bother to dramatically pierce a container with swords/spears/penguins/whatever, only to open the box and show that the girl has vanished. My thought was always that maybe the audience doesn't know how she got away or where she went, but if she's going to vanish, why bother with the swords? So, I do an illusion in my show where the girl is placed in an impossibly tight container and pierced every which way, only to have her hands protrude from holes and wave. It's sort of "she can't be in there, but she is, but she can't be...". It plays very strong. Also, I never cared for the versions of Houdini's water torture cell that involve a vanish from the tank and reappearance in the audience. For some illusions that's fine. But for the WTC, I always felt like it should be treated very serious, and the performer should appear to have just barely made it out. I think a vanish, in this case, is asking too much. The best presentation I've seen of the WTC is Brett Daniels- he really sells it and you truely get the feeling that it was a close call.

As for the Table of Death, I do the version where I appear reclining on top of the bed of spikes. I guess there are several lines of thought that the audience could apply to what they see- for me, it was always "The magician couldn't escape in time so he had to do it by magic at the last second". The final reveal for this always comes as quite a surprise to the spectators.

So, again, this is only my opinion, and bottom line I think it's all kind of nit-picky because if it plays well for the audience, then it works. The spiked/vanish illusions work well!
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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I perform Rich Hill's Spikes illusion. The vanish of the volunteer's head is definitely a "wow" moment. I didn't think it was going to amaze me, but I was amazed by the audience response.
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Profile of Lin_
Dear sb:

I think we have to think about the important thing : how you can assure the safety of assistant, in the 'impaled' state of assistant, which impaled by spikes with fire?
Because of many fire spikers use real fires, and that is important problem which can threat assistant, you have to not underestimate this issue.

Yes. If you can make seems to audience she impaled by spikes and fire; then vanished; and returned without a bruise; It will be a Very Good spectacle.
If you have a solution of it, I want hear about it.
But If you don't have a solution, it will be a vain discussion.
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