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Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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Mods, if this isn't posted in the correct area, please feel free to move, and I apologize.

With that being said, I'll give a bit of background about myself, and what I'd like to do. Perhaps some of the more seasoned magicians here can give advice and direction. I have been doing magic for quite some time, but it has always been a bit of a hobby and an ice breaker, never as a profession.

I am currently an active duty member of the US Army. Over the course of the years I have been doing close up magic as well as some minor stage performances in the military community. The upcoming month of April is "the month of the military child" and I have been asked to run a small booth entertaining the families and military children that come through.

I have prepared a small arsenal of close up magic to preform. Additionally, I have created a brief flyer that directs kids and their parents to magic websites and vendors (i.e. Penguin, MJM, Hocus Pocus, etc) and teaches the kids a free magic trick or two. Hopefully, this will encourage kids to get involved in this art as well as provide them and their parents resources if the kids continue to pursue this art.

Now, with all that being said, I would REALLY love to preform at the next level. I would love to put on a show or exhibit that performs some of the larger stage illusions in magic. The ones I am most interested in are Zig Zag Illusion, Asrah Levitation, Chair Levitation, etc. you know, the big ones.

I have never charged for a show and I never plan to. Like I said, this is a hobby that I enjoy, and I use this hobby to entertain my community free of charge. The first problem is the price of these illusions. Since I do not make any money off of my hobby, all of the financing and illusions I perform are paid for by myself. The prices of these larger illusions are, in my opinion, insane. Yes I know how they work, yes I know they are extremely time consuming to make and require a lot of resources, but they are still very overpriced in my opinion.

Zig Zag Illusion, for example, is a large wood box with a moveable center piece. I know this must be precisely cut and measured and must have a creative paint job, but this illusion is selling for thousands of dollars to have one built.

My questions are:
1.- Does anyone know of any more affordable versions or DIY versions? I know there are smaller versions, like the Zig Zag Rocky or Coke can, but I am not interested in that.

2.- Does anyone have any resources to help me get into a larger scale performance while still NOT being paid for it.

I would love to do a huge community event where I can entertain a larger crowd of my fellow Soldiers and their families, but it is hard to finance what I would like to do on my own. Don't get me wrong, I am not asking here for freebies or handouts, just looking for resources that would help keep costs down while still acquiring a few large scale illusions. Like used illusions or wholesale auctions or something.

Also, please keep in mind that I am currently stationed in Europe, but will be getting re-assigned to the US shortly (I believe Hawaii or Florida).

Thanks for any help guys!
Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
238 Posts

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I actually just saw the Gossamer Flight in the Owens Catalog. Anyone know how much this effect costs?
chill
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colorado, usa
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If the base you're on has a wood shop you could build your own. check out the workshop section.
I spent most of my money on magic and women, the rest i just wasted
Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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Quote:
On Mar 23, 2014, chill wrote:
If the base you're on has a wood shop you could build your own. check out the workshop section.


Unfortunately I am located at a "remote location", so there isn't a workshop or many of the other extra-curricular resources that larger bases have.
w_s_anderson
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The United States
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Gossamer flight will still set you back a few grand. Are you familiar with Andrew Mayne? Look up some of his books. He details plans for larger illusions for a fraction of the cost. I built some of his stuff when I was in Iraq. Also, look up Paul Osborne's plans. He has DIY plans for many of the illusions you are looking for.
Lin_
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It is fast to buy some books and then make some effects from that illusion. then buying something

I recommend to buy The Briefcase Illusion book. It is just $25 but you can make good impression to people.
Poveglia
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Quote:
On Mar 23, 2014, w_s_anderson wrote:
Gossamer flight will still set you back a few grand. Are you familiar with Andrew Mayne? Look up some of his books. He details plans for larger illusions for a fraction of the cost. I built some of his stuff when I was in Iraq. Also, look up Paul Osborne's plans. He has DIY plans for many of the illusions you are looking for.


Thanks for the tip! Do you by any chance have the names of some of these books?

The main illusion that I really would like to own is the Zig Zag.
Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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Quote:
On Mar 23, 2014, Lin_ wrote:
It is fast to buy some books and then make some effects from that illusion. then buying something

I recommend to buy The Briefcase Illusion book. It is just $25 but you can make good impression to people.


I like the video for this! May purchase this one. Thanks!
w_s_anderson
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Inner circle
The United States
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Take a look at the top topic in this forum, you will find 8 pages of posts about Paul Osborne and his Illusion Systems series. Here is a link to the set of plans for the zig zag. http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S13337

Here is a link to Andrew Mayne's stuff. http://andrew-mayne-mischief-magic.myshopify.com/
Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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Quote:
On Mar 23, 2014, w_s_anderson wrote:
Take a look at the top topic in this forum, you will find 8 pages of posts about Paul Osborne and his Illusion Systems series. Here is a link to the set of plans for the zig zag. http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S13337

Here is a link to Andrew Mayne's stuff. http://andrew-mayne-mischief-magic.myshopify.com/


Thanks a ton!
w_s_anderson
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The United States
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No problem man...... there is also a pristine zig zag being sold for 1800 bucks in the for sale section. I understand that may still be a bit pricey, but it is way below what buying a new one would be.

As a side note, when I was going through flight school down at Ft. Rucker Alabama I was able to get the post to chip in for some props in exchange for me doing shows on base for free. Something that may be worth looking into........
Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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That's pretty sweet! Did you work that out with the MWR? Also, are you still in the military? If so, I'm PCSing to the FL area sometime in the near future, would be sweet to set up a 2 man charity act or two for the local Wounded Warriors or DoD schools or something.
Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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Also noticed an eighty duece patch on your shoulder. Good stuff! Fellow paratrooper/82nd alumni here!
MRSharpe
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I didn't read every post, so some of my points may have already been mentioned above. The best way to get into illusions on a budget is to used simple cardboard construction. There are several books that have plans on building them, such as Victory Carton Illusions. You won't find a cardboard Zig Zag, but there are some good effects that can be built for pennies. The usually have much more to do with choreography than mechanics, but the still work. You could also check out some of Andrew Mayne's illusions. The can be built with no wood shop and have the added advantage of being solo illusions. You mentioned a booth above. One thing the you should realize before setting out on the path to 'illusionist' is that most of them are not easily pulled off with spectators within feet of your performance. You need to have some aesthetic distance between you and the audience. Good Luck!
Custom Props Designer and Fabricator as well as Performer from Indiana, USA
w_s_anderson
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Inner circle
The United States
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I have done a lot of shows for the WWP, as well as other veteran based charities. That would be fun. I have been in for 18 years now and am a warrant officer and helicopter pilot, though now I am a part timer for the National Guard. Do you know when you will be returning to the States?

I did work out a deal with the MWR office. I actually had performed some smaller scale stuff for them before so they were familiar with who I was. Then I approached them with taking over the post theater for a night and doing a big show for the base. They ate it up, and with what they pay acts to come perform on base, a few used illusions was chump change!

Let me know if you ever are out by the West Coast. I just got booked again this year to perform at the Magic Castle.
Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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I return to the States in June/July. Will be stationed in Tampa, FL.
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