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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » First Illusion (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

StreetWitch
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Dayton, Ohio
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Hi, I'm looking for my first illusion, and something that could be performed on the street. I love David Copperfield & I might buy a "Duck Bucket" because it could work on the street. Illusions are a big investment so I'm looking for suggestions. If you don't feel comfortable posting on the forum you can private message me.

Thank you!
thomasR
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Illusions on the street can get pretty tricky. There are tricks that can technically work, but would be hard to stage properly such as the Harbin Chair Suspension, Harbin Sawing, etc.
Duck Bucket could get tricky on the street too.

My biggest suggestion with first illusions is save up for a good quality pro-built prop. You'll be very happy that you did.
StreetWitch
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Dayton, Ohio
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OK, on stage. But how do I find a good illusion?
thomasR
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Well... research! Which can be lots of fun. Lots of illusions out there. There are lots of good “1 man” illusions which can be performed without a trained assistant.
Harbin Bow Saw is one such illusion which can be performed surrounded. Harbin Chair suspension as well, but that can be a bit tricky to perform effectively solo.

The Willie Kennedy / steinmeyer plate glass illusion is a pretty affordable 1 man illusion.

Also the lossander floating table, and the Magellan Levitation
FrankFindley
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I worked surrounded, outdoor platform in center of an outlet mall for a summer. Not exactly street as distance would be longer. For me it was about illusionettes. For example, Sword thru neck done as a comedy routine was a staple that worked great. Jimmy Fingers' Choppo is a similar idea which probably would be better for street: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOwJ9g7RiPc

In another thread I mentioned a renaissance magician (not sure of name) who did a great unexpected levitation off a stool with cloth at end of his act. Similar to Mayne's Levitator, same general method but more sophisticated presentation.

A Walking Knot is another effect which approaches illusionnete level. Strangely not very many magicians do it now. But that is great for us who do. Chris Philpott's End of My Rope and Hangman are two I have been wanting to try which may play similarly.
jimhlou
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Sword through neck would be a good investment for you. Do you own a duck? If not, why a duck bucket? That's a whole never level of difficulty just taking care of the animal. A simple chain/shackle escape is very good, and very inexpensive. You can do it seriously, or as a comedy routine. Remember an illusion for the "street" brings another layer of difficulty to your gigs.
jimgerrish
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East Orange, NJ
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Think "bed sheet." What illusions can you perform with just a large bed sheet? It folds down flat so it is easy to carry, and when opened up commands attention. Of course, you wouldn't want to actually perform with a bed sheet, but that's just to get you thinking of an illusion that size, shape and texture. You can then substitute (perhaps) a six-foot silk, or paint a real bed sheet with fabric paints as a what... Target... Skull & Crossbones ... Big Question Marks? If you don't know what to do with a piece of fabric that size, check out my "Transfigmigration Illusion" from PVC Pipe Illusions Book 2: https://www.magicnook.com/pvcpipe2.htm The use of a PVC pipe with a large piece of fabric makes it easier to hold and manipulate, but is not absolutely necessary to the trick. But get a bed sheet and play around with some ideas before you buy an expensive duck bucket that you have to carry around and protect (not to mention the livestock used with it!).

Spellbinder also reminded me of his "Beach Illusion:Parachute Game Appearance" from Wizards' Journal #5: https://www.magicnook.com/WizardsJ05/wj0507.htm as well as his "Magic with Themed Party Goods" from The Wizards' Journal #14 in which he has a large plastic tablecloth illusion: https://www.magicnook.com/WizJ14/WIZ14-03PartyGoods.htm

Easy to carry in a back-pack or turn it into a cape and wear it home.
Dick Oslund
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When I "joined the Café, about 7 years ago, some guy wrote that "an illusion is a trick with a big box." I refuted his statement. He neither replied, nor ever again wrote that sort of ignorant remark.

For YEARS, I have presented 3 different illusions in the second spot segment of my high school program. The props for the first one fit in my hip pocket. The second prop fits in a "pocket" in the lid of my attache case. The third prop fits in my pants pocket. All three items illustrate that an illusion is something that one thinks he sees, but does not really see, or something that one thinks he does not see, but does see. These presentations illustrate that I'm going to fool them, but, not make
fools of them.

Later in the program, I present an illusion (for as many as 2,000 students) that requires no prop. --and, the students perform this themselves!

Always remember that, "it aint WHAT ya do, it's HOW ya do it!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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New "magicians" as well as those with some experience, will probably benefit from reading my post in KIDABRA INTERNATIONAL, starting on June 14, 2016. The thread is titled: WHAT IS AN ILLUSION?"

I'm well aware that THIS FORUM IS ABOUT "GRAND ILLUSION", but, a basic understanding of what an "illusion" IS, is important, too. I saw Harry Blackstone SR. present his show "1001 Wonders" on November 18, 1945. Over the next 5 years, I saw it many times. I learned much from that "old timer"! I had an opportunity to visit and get acquainted with "Mr. B."

When Harry JR. began performing, we became good friends. I certainly know what an "illusion" IS! I produced a "phone show" with some "big box" illusions for a promoter. It was successful. BUT, I decided that one tour with the "plywood", was "enough" for me.

The old assistants on Harry SR's show, would say: "Sure I trouped with Mr. B.! --do you want to see my truss"? Those crates and trunks were HEAVY! (The ends of the crates that were the "heavy ends" were always marked with an "X" scratched in the YELLOW paint! When loading in (and out) guess who always "got" the heavy end!!! Yup! the "new assistants"!

For the OP, and his duck bucket, Harry Blackstone JR's line to the spectator, was: "Look in the bucket! You can see YOURSELF, the bucket is empty!" --I don't think that, the bucket is a good prop for street work! heehee

--30
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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Lol... Dick, it is no wonder I love you so much! As I state in my lecture, "A trick is something you buy in a magic shop, but when you practice and perfect it, then in your hands it can become magic, but when they spectator views it and their brain short circuits for that millisecond to accept the impossible, then in their brains they have created an illusion." Now, that being said... let's accept that in normal magician's nomenclature an "illusion" typically is used to to describe an effect where a human body is enclosed. On the other hand, the OP is seeming to equate it to a larger effect beyond a typical small magic experience.

As someone who works streets a lot, I want to avoid anything that is not an elegant effect creating the maximum response with the least items to carry. At the same time, I do understand the desire to have that one finale effect that transcends the expectations of the medium.

I have seriously considered https://upupandaway.tv/ this levitation as a finale to my street shows. I'm still not sure if it is worth the additional effort of transporting and setting it up but it seems to be one of the more elegant solutions that will work in my virtually surrounded venues.

After having worked with ducks for many decades I wouldn't dream of using them in my street acts. There are so many choices. I can only hope you will weigh out the strengths and weaknesses of all your options before committing to a large scale purchase.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
jimgerrish
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East Orange, NJ
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Pack your bedsheet (or large piece of fabric, etc.) into a Dollar Store large gift bag... along with the secret device (that costs about $20) described in Spellbinders "Vampire Levitation" from The Wizards' Journal #17 ... and you can levitate yourself on the stage, in a parlor, or on the street given the right conditions.
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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Jim, I took one for the team and purchased the "Vampire Levitation". For the life of me, I can't see it being remotely practical to do on the streets where you don't always have control of the viewing angles. I know you said "given the right conditions" but those would seem to be VERY limiting. I do like it and can see it being used on a stage or even parlor setting where you have good control over lighting and your surroundings. It's a clever effect, just not sure how it fits the needs of the OP.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
jimgerrish
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East Orange, NJ
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This is the kind of thing I discuss with customers by e-mail, not on an open forum... "Please remember, if you have any questions about the e-article, you can always e-mail Professor Spellbinder at magicnook@yahoo.com and we will do our best to help you" .... My e-mail will give you some ideas on ways it has been done in a street setting.
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