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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Ashra levitation (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

HighClass
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I was looking to try and play around with a hand held ashra I bought a while back. I have been debating backs and forth as to weather or not I even wanted to start because in every video I have seen, the gimmick looks fake. John Schrock has great handling of it but even his I wonder how many people really think she is even under the cloth. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? And also does anyone know any videos where the handling looks really nice. I'm not interested in taking any ideas, I already have something routined out, I would just love to see any others who have convincing handling, or have mastered this.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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I would use it and see what kind of reaction YOU get.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Hegbli
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This is much like performing the Zombie Floating Ball, if you do not believe it yourself, neither will the audience. It is not a trick, it is magic feat, that the performer conveys to the audience, that he is really floating a woman in the air.

The performer's belief transmits to the audience. So while you are making the girl float, think to yourself, I have a live human being under my control. Then how would you act, with a person's life in your hands. Forget about the prop, you have a human being in your arms. Do you love her, do you care for her well being? If so then how would you handle her?

If you do not have the confidence to convince your audience, then don't do it.
jay leslie
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High Class, The ability to "work" a Asrah, zombie, Table, Cane or vent figure are all related.
On the one hand the object needs to appear disconnected but on the other hand you need to exert control.

Do you believe the assistant is floating? Do you picture her under the cloth? Is she real to you? If not, she won't be real to the audience.

Remember your first lesson in magic "Put the ball in your hands 1000 times and remember the size, weight and the feel. Take the ball out of your hand and pretend it's there.
In theatre it's called "inner script". If you're just moving that form around, in a mechanical point-A-to-point-B manor, then that's what it will look like to the audience.
tristanmagic
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An important part is also the ashra that you use and the cloth. Some look great, like John's that was build by Owen Magic Supreme, but most are wrongly or badly build & expose the secret.
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On May 31, 2015, HighClass wrote:
...in every video I have seen, the gimmick looks fake.
...I would just love to see any others who have convincing handling, or have mastered this.


In any of the videos you have seen, were you performing in them? My point being, none of those other guys were you. Maybe you are the one to make it convincing.

Why are you looking for how others perceive this Grand Illusion. What can you get from what others have done.

If these issues are that important to you, to see others so that you are personally convinced that this is a good illusion, then you are not ready to perform illusions.

Do you think David Copperfield, says, build me an illusion, then perform it so that I am convinced that it worthy for me to perform it. I don't think so.

I would say, you are just not ready to perform illusions, as you do not believe in yourself or the what creating magic is all about.

I suggest you read some books on performing, like Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber, and Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms. Read them with an open mind, don't discard anything that you read. Don't say, that is not for me, or I don't do this or that.

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S4720

http://www.tricksupply.com/product-p/maximumen.htm
HighClass
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Thanks guys for all the advise Smile I think you may be right Tristan, it could just be that the ashra I am using is just not very life like. And also some of the others I've seen may not be either. A lot of the ones that are not hand held tend to look more life like. And now that I think more about it, maybe it's not the handling that I am worried about, it's the actual form itself. I guess was just thinking maybe if the handling is better the form would look more life like. And that may just be the wrong way to look at it.
jay leslie
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You're probably half on and half off

While the actor "makes" the performance look real it's somewhat difficult to make a stick look human.

In own case, I created a form & elevating mechanism. The form goes completely limp (flat) upon the vanish.
My form doesn't work like any other. It has entertained & amazed some of the most enlightened minds in the magic world.
But.... Then again... you can paint lipstick on your thumb and make it come to life. The best actors at floating things would be great puppeteers.

(Now I need to transfer Hi 8 to digital) ouch!
Bill Hegbli
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HighClass, that is really funny. You want an unconscious, spell bound, person to look lifelike. What exactly does that look like?

True you have not bothered to post a picture of your Asrah covered, so I have no idea what you're expectations were when you purchased it. Neither do you give the brand name, so I cannot even look it up.

Only from your comments posted, I would say, you have some fantasy expectation that will never be found in a magic prop. Sorry, but no one can supply you with what you need, a change in thinking. As you would not believe anyone anyway.

I will say, that complaining or wishing will not change anything, you either will do what it takes to make work, or not.

Don't do it until you believe in yourself.
HighClass
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Thanks jay, your ashra sounds very interesting, all the collapsing ones I have seen don't collapse flat, they all seem to kind of squish into a think "packet". Whereas the ones that are on rigs, seem to melt off the ashra frame, and have a beautiful effect. I do like smashing down the hand held ashra when it's held vertically, it looks very good, but there is a trade off, the ashra I have is shorter than my assistant and the vertical movement during the levitation isn't as nice as when it's horizontal. Hey bill, thanks for taking the time to post and discuss. Please understand I'm not looking for an easy answer, and I'm not looking even to talk myself out of the trick. I just wanted to discuss and see if anyone else shared these thoughts, or possibly had them and discovers a solution during there creative process. And I would love to see someone who has mastered a hand held ashra just like a zombie or floating table, it would be enjoyable to watch even if I never do the trick. And very many of David Copperfields effects were perfected by others before he performed or bought the rights to them. Floating rose, the scorpion trick he currently performs,ect. So seeing someone might just be what I need to see, but I do think your right, I might just have to be the first one to do it lol. The ashra brand that I have is the lipan version, and I used to have the original model years ago then I sold it and bought a used one years later, there were changes in it and my problem is more that you can see the ribs. When you have a vanishing cage the frame is square and the cloth once removed looks exactly as if a cage were undernieth it. In this case it seems to looks suspect. There are also a slight bow in the body. It does look good on a table though and if you rig it like the non hand held versions it looks better. If you type in lipan ashra in you tube bill you can see a video of a guy doing the ashra with a bed
Dick Oslund
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As several have said above, the performer must BELIEVE!

Does anyone remember the story in George Boston's book, "Inside Magic", of Howard Thurston's brother Harry doing the Asrah?

Harry didn't have much "class". He would "pat" the body under the sheet. Someone told him: "Harry! Don't do that!, It's indecent! Harry replied, "It's only a w*r* form."
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Sealegs
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Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Bill Hegbli
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They just had an Ashra levitation on the new Masters of Illusion show last Friday, 07/10/2015, 8p.m. - 8:30p.m., ABC Television Network.
jay leslie
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Quote:
On Jun 2, 2015, HighClass wrote:
If you type in lipan ashra in you tube bill you can see a video of a guy doing the ashra with a bed


Wow. I read that 4 ways till I understood it.
Here was the funniest one.
If you type in lipan, ashra in "you tube bill" you can see a video of a guy "doing the ashra with a bed"
scottmcfall
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I have just begun the long process of learning the physical part of this routine. It is important to me that we all do as good a job with this effect possible so audiences can enjoy it as much as I did 30 years ago. When this is right it is one of the best illusions out there with either method. The issue is... do you love the illusion enough to keep playing with it until it is right to you. If you question it then we don't play with them enough to obsessively work out the kinks. I have a new rule from cable t.v. With an illusion I either love them or list them. They either fit me or they don't. I do truly love this one.

1. Best possible gear. Purchased from Owen Magic.
2. Time with people at Owen to learn what I could.(Alan)
3. Video review from pros that are paid for directing so it doesn't stink too bad.
4. Music that is set to the distractions.
5. Not too much time ( just because it's spendy doesn't mean in can fill massive time on stage).
6. The audience already has a relationship with my wife for an hour and are thinking about her as a person rather than the props.
7. Consideration of how the past people could mime with the routine to sell the illusion to the audience.
8. Light the fabric to maximize the look of real. You don't have to do it in full light.
My view is that the illusion should still only be performed where it is staged right. Sure you don't need rigging but it is still the same miracle if done correctly. John Shrock (sp) is great with this prop as was Goldfinger. But I will be limiting the moves as much as possible because I believe that the biggest mistake I see is people trying to do to much with it.

After all that... as I perform it over and over... I hope to make it Heather and my routine some time after we master what the classic has to offer.
Blair Marshall
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For the folks that will not watch the video a couple of posts up it is of John Shryock on the Masters of Illusion show also already referenced. A great performance with a great piece of equipment.

Blair
ProfessorMagicJMG
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Just throwing this out there, but Abbott's makes an Asrah in Miniature that uses a Barbie Doll, and I think it would work perfectly in a comedy or kid's magic show. Theirs is relatively inexpensive at around $100.00. On the other hand, Peter Loughran makes a very expensive miniature Asrah also with Barbie doll that is very deceptive and is built and priced like a pretty major stage illusion at over US$1,000.00, but it could be an incredible centerpiece even for a regular illusion show. You could make up a funny story about not being able to "afford" a full sized Asrah, etc., or that you will now "levitate this lovely young woman whom I have hypnotized, shrunk, and transformed into the appearance of a child's toy!"
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Clarke's 3rd Law

"Any sufficiently primitive technology can mystify a postmodern audience." - JMG's Corollary to Clarke's 3rd Law
Scott Alexander
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Just for the record it is Asrah not Ashra. There....I feel better now.
Smile
-Scott




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Ray Pierce
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Thank you Scott, you beat me to it. I was just directing a show where they spelled it "Azrah"... killed me!

I'll admit that I never really cared so much for this version until I saw Jack Goldfinger do it. It always just seemed like a more practical "Night Club" version of a traditional Asrah. John Shyrock does it beautifully and gets more out of it that anyone I've seen. Yes, I think you need to be a good magician, actor and puppeteer to sell this as there is a LOT more pressure on the performer to maintain the illusion. Jay, I would have loved to have seen yours, I'm guessing it was great! There are so many ways to create subliminal unrest in this effect so if you want to use this version, I would plan an a LOT of rehearsal time with mirrors and a camera to bring it to life.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
AndreOng1
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Quote:
On Jun 1, 2015, Pete Biro wrote:
I would use it and see what kind of reaction YOU get.


I agree. Always better to test out ideas for yourself.
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