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Al Desmond
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Secret Mountain Lair in Conifer, Co
1461 Posts

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I may have the name of the artist wrong, I know during the run of the show, there were times that a act would drop out or be replaced, but it believe this was the guy I saw. This was the name listed in one of the original Playbill's I've had the oppertunity to view since the 70's.

Anyway, I've never seen this stunt since I saw Kriska perform it. He was a "hindee" performer, wearing the typical vest, puffed pants and traditional "slippers" shoes. I had heard from someone in Tannen's back then that he was really a guy from the New York city area. He was a chubby gentleman and short.

He would swallow a long length of cotton cord. Then he would remove his vest, take out a medical hemostat, start digging the hemostat into his chubby belly, that would draw some blood, and then suddenly, there was a cotton cord clamped onto the end of the hemostat. He would pull on the cord with the hemostat, which would pinch out his belly a bit, as if there was great effort in pulling the cord out from his "innards."

Then he would walk into the audience, hand the hemostat to someone, they could see that the cord was actually coming out of his belly, and then he would walk away, allowing the cord to slowly be extracted from his body.

I got the tip on this from a number of my magician friends in New York, at least two different answers to his method, which probably means no one knew for sure how he did it.

I know the two methods told to me could/would work, but that's really not really my point.

I've never seen anyone doing this before Kriska and I've never seen anyone doing the act since then. Back in the late 70's, I even asked Ward Hall if he's seen it, and he couldn't come up with anything that matched my description. (off topic - Ward is a gem, we use to trade illusions out of his 10 in 1 European Show when I was outfitting outdoor venues with illusion acts - I loved the carny equipment, solid as a rock and would last many seasons).

So... anyone know what I'm talking about, and has anyone seen this act before, or now?
Harley Newman
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5108 Posts

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Zamora the Torture King does it regularly, as does Anastasia Synn.

I have a version also, which will be included in regular performance repetoire soon.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain
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