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jay leslie
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So Mccauley
You used to throw a blanket over you and perform an escape. I'm sure, in retrospect this wasn't a crowd pleaser.

Now you're "of the mind" that developing an escape step by step may be a better alternative. You propose to chart your improvements and to " inspect what you expect".
If you really have made the jump from "know it all" to "life long learner" then I applaud you.
Kondini
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So I think this has run its course with varied response. Some think anything can go with lies and BS as fodder, others take a more realistic view with sensible limits in place.

What many miss is that the public are not as gullible as maybe they used to be. Regards the farce over here, the press summed it up with many derogatory and sometimes funny comments. Sadly with spin off that all eas are idiots or stupid. I think Schofield summed it up on the morning show with the comment "Do you really think this is the job for you ?" A wonderful way to say your in the wrong biz.

Another spin off from OTT BS without ability or solid history is that Health and Safety has now got the bit between its teeth and look upon such entertainment as full of pitfalls. I know of sixteen enquiries and five cancellations or postponements caused by H & S also our local branch of Equity has had numerous calls regards this. Sad that one prick can ruin a whole bunch of roses in such a short time.

From a personal point of view, I have removed our fire cage from offer and not pushing the escapes at all. Just hope that this blows over with time and no other idiots will be trying to make their name on failure as they are incapable of doing the job the right way. Info which has come my way since that farce, enforces that which many of us expected. The whole thing was a put up job which back fired, many of those dragged into it are now so embarrassed as to not make further comment and Riley has exposed the true standard of the "Hero" hahaha.

I opened this thread and consider that those who have posted have shown their real metal. So judge for yourself.

I will not post further on this.

Ken.
magicbymccauley
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Interestingly Jay, the problem wasn't the blanket, but the box. People weren't really that interested in the box. It combined an illusion with an escape. If that weren't complicated enough, I added getting into the box, locking it, and covering it with a cloth. About a million layers to that, not at all "snappy" and loads of dead time.

The stocks escape (which I also did under a cloth) has fared better, it's more comedic and takes much less time. Still, there was a danger element lacking.

But the escapes that have worked best for me are the mail bag escape, handcuff escapes and the 100 foot rope escape that harley helped show me the finer points of. My favorite is the hundred foot rope escape. Harley has a wrinkle where you have a noose that provides a more dangerous look, and I get the biggest, strongest guy to tie me up. He pulls on the rope as hard as he can, and it genuinely hurts (but in a safe way) that the audience can see. It's entertaining from beginning to end, unlike some of the other escapes I've tried. Generally I do the Mail Bag escape for kids shows and the 100 ft rope escape and comedy handcuff escape for the adult shows.

I've never been much for straighjacket escapes. Everyone and their brother (escape artist or not) has an straight jacket over on the east coast. It's extremely overplayed. For some reason I don't think a hairy overweight man such as myself wriggling out of a straight jacket would leave a view to the audience they would enjoy. For these reason's I've eschewed the SJ escape.

I'm sorry if you or others see me as a know it all. I certainly don't know it all or even half of it. But when I see some people telling others who is and isn't a "real escape artist" it annoys me. I've done my stuff, I have chops, I've built illusions and escapes, I've done those gigs where you've got the worst performing conditions imaginable and you still leave with the client happy. If people demmand some proof of your worth, I don't think they are worth satisfying.

You have never done this and have remained above the fray and on the moral high ground, and for that, you have my admiration
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
jay leslie
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I have made a few wacky mistakes, over the years, so when I see someone else doing same, I temper my remarks.
The exception is when a safety issue is never rehearsed or never enters the picture. There is no excuse not to overload a device, in rehearsals, to see if it will hold the A. Weight B. Pressure C. Size D time allotted E in my realm if endurance. And feasible. There was a time I spent days on end, under water to practice escapes from rope, cuffs and devices. I always had 2 friends with me.

Two things I've learned 1. Getting out of something in calm shallow, warm water is completely different then being 20 feet under cold murky water.
2. A real friend asks how they can help. Someone you need to get rid of immediately is someone who jokingly says "if this doesn't work who gets your stuff 0r can I take- out some insurance in your name.

You have to run from those people even if they're related or close friends.

Other then that, when I shoot a DVD, the info on that has been audience tested at least 70 times and sometimes a few hundred.
----
Ok I'll get off the soap box except to go full circle and answer the theatrical license question.
I think, to some degree, it's cultural.i have an original escape from a box similar to table of death (but different) the way it was originally set up was to have a curtain surrounding it. The audience booed as soon as the curtain was raised.
So I talked to Randi and he said that American audiences need to see everything (in most cases) but if I were to do that escape in the Asia, that it would be acceptable to cover the box under the excuse that the secret needs to be kept a secret.
In essence, many people WANT to believe that you are really trapped while other cultures view your efforts as a specialized stunt or act.

----

I once did my milk can at a carnival of 5 shows over two days.
I had cardiologists and other medical professionals practically taking the ax from the hands of the assistants and ready to break the locks, while one huge guy waited till the amphitheater cleared out and shook my hands explaining what he did for a living (famous professional wrestler, well known) and he just had to have a laugh with me because of how he appreciated the theatre, I created.

So, theatrical license depends on culture, location and past experiences of the viewer, but throwing a blanket over yourself isn't usually conducive (is anyone even reading this) and the blanket just puts a barrier between everyone....( even if it's a comedy bit) Not to mention that the audience can't see your face - which can really, really convey the struggle of Man Against Machine.
Part of escaping is to bring the viewers into the struggle in a way they live vicariously through you. (I'm writing an essay here,
will save this for a lecture.)
Rook
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Quote:
I've never been much for straighjacket escapes. Everyone and their brother (escape artist or not) has an straight jacket over on the east coast. It's extremely overplayed. For some reason I don't think a hairy overweight man such as myself wriggling out of a straight jacket would leave a view to the audience they would enjoy. For these reason's I've eschewed the SJ escape.


Interesting. The SJ is probably the most popular escape in my repertoire (in the SW). I generally make it a very interactive experience with quite a bit of byplay with the audience while delivering a mini-rant on the value of adaptability, perseverance, and willingness. Might be a geographical thing.

Quote:
Ok I'll get off the soap box


And here I was rather enjoying it!

Quote:
American audiences need to see everything (in most cases)


Indeed. I find that my 'cabinet escapes' are much less well received than my full view stuff. However, I think it might depend on presentation. The one covered escape I do is actually more of a comedy routine than an escape [i]per se[/] (a variation of Anthony Linden's Suit Jacket Escape). However, the verbal byplay from behind the curtain keeps the audience engaged as they wonder what you'll come out with next.

Another exception to the covered escape is the Threefold Death, in which I escape a Tom Horne belt inside a mailbag inside a body bag. It's pretty simple, really and it's concealed in that no one sees me escape the Tom Horne or Mailbag.
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
magicbymccauley
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I would agree and go even farther, Jay.

Different AREAS in the U.S. respond differently not just to escapes but to other magic as well. DC audiences tend to be full of introverts who dislike "know it all" types. They're sick of hearing from politicians and egotistical bosses, so if you come off as a "cool guy" type they are going to hate you right off the bat. That may be different than in LA which is basically "cool guy" central.

DC audiences LOVE to see you fail and then pull a win out of a situation. They also don't react very much, unlike other audiences from different parts of the country (this is even true at things like music concerts).

DC can be downright anti-social and it can be difficult to perform at all in certian situations. Everyone is overwraught, over worked and super stressed. Even walking up to someone and saying "Mind if I show you a magic trick" can make people feel put upon.

One formula I've found that works is do magic for kid--->kid enjoys magic--->adult enjoys watching kid enjoy magic---->adult starts to enjoy magic.

In terms of escapes that's obviously much more difficult to do. Comedy thumb tie---comedy handcuff escape---serious rope escape, for instance.

The reaction I get somewhere like pittsburgh, chicago or in west virginia is far different. In DC you must prove that you are worthy of their time. Somewhere like Pittsburgh you are providing entertainment in a much more docile environment and a community with a slower pace.

In more remote areas, like in small towns like west Virginia, you're basically providing people with a once in a lifetime experience,(many may have never seen magic or an escape before) and so the rules change there as well.

In DC they'll forget they saw a magician tomorrow as their 50 hour work week starts. In a rural remote area, they may talk about it for weeks or even months. Very different standards, very different audiences, and consequently very different material is required.
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
MateosSpain
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Theatrical license is like when we see a movie and we know that it was all some metaphor in the end but in the middle of it we are totally hypnotized but when the stage is the real life and the "movie" never ends its just b**l s**t xD
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