The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Deceptive Steps/Assistant Disappearance and Reappearance in Back of Auditorium (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

View Profile
New user
NC, United States
49 Posts

Profile of themagicman3
Hello Everyone-

I am really wanting to build an illusion in which an assistant is vanished and then reappears in the back of the auditorium. I have a few questions...

1) Are deceptive steps the best way to do this?

2) How difficult are deceptive steps to build?

3) I know that the Cane Cabinet is one illusion that uses deceptive steps to allow the assistant to be taken offstage. Are there any others (whose plans are available for purchase) that you may know of where an assistant climbs into some kind of a box or something, only to dissappear and then reappear in the back through the use of deceptive steps or another method?

Thank you very much for your help. I am looking to build the illusion this summer so that I may close my act with it at a talent contest in school some time in November. Thanks again.
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20504 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
Doing what we call a "run around" is really good in the right situation. Lucy and I do that with a horse.

Since this is for a School event in November, I suggest that you save a lot of money by looking at some of the Mark Wilson materials. There is one done with (a bed spread will work) "magic cloth" that works fine with fewer people in your stage crew, less money and it's not near as fakey.

There is nothing wrong with deceptive steps in the right place. Remember they will spend more time in storage than in use. That takes space. I don't think they are as effective as the effect in Mark Wilson's course.

If you just must build a "box" (And I actually understand that!), then start by looking through the Osborn Books. Storage and size will be a major consideration. I'm assuming that the talent is based upon entertainment value and not cabinet making skills. I also suggest that you consider a "Tip-Over Box". It is inexpensive to build, is useful storage itself, and can be moved a lot easier than the steps. One would be as effective with the audience as the other in my opinion.

Use your time rehearsing instead of in the shop. Let us know how you do.

Good Luck!

Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
Kevin Ridgeway
View Profile
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1830 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Kristen Johnson, my wife, of Living Illusions does a spike escape in our show where she ends up in the audience. If you are interested in seeing it, you can see her on The Travel Channel's "Inside The Houdini Museum".

The best plans I have seen for steps are from Rand Woodbury. The video takes you step by step in the process of building steps. They are steps that are sideways to the audience. Another option is to go with steps that are in line with the audience. But these will require some good misdirection, as will anything like this anyways.

Some tips when performing this are:

Lighting- make sure you are lighting the illusion well but make the stage more intimate and not light the entire stage. Thus the steps are not lit as they are rolled off. When the assistant appears in the audience, make sure they she is lit. The best way is to use an intelligent light that sweeps out in the house and hits where they will appear. If this is not possible then an ellipsoidal that has been focused to that position is simply brought up. A follow spot following the assistant back to the stage will keep the audiences attention on her.

Step placement- when the steps are rolled out onto stage, place the casters in the direction that they will be going when the steps are being rolled off stage. This way they will move easily and at the very instant pressure is applied.

Staging- Stage legs are your best friend here. Roll the steps just past the legs and unload quickly. Downstage legs from where this happens should be pulled downstage to mask any movement . Glow tape along the path of the assistant will make it easier to navigate the darkness. make sure path is clear.
The door that the assistant comes in to reappear in the house should already be open. First to not slow her down, second to not make a change in the light that may bleed into the house, along with noise.

Hope that helps.

Kevin & Kristen
Living Illusions
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist
View Profile
New user
NC, United States
49 Posts

Profile of themagicman3
Thank you for your help.

Does anyone else have information on how difficult a fairly simple set of deceptive steps to build?

Also, does anyone know of other illusions, besides the cane cabinet, that use deceptive steps or something like them to get an assistant to the wings of the stage so that she may run to the back of the auditorium to make an appearance?

Your help is greatly appreciated.
Pakar Ilusi
View Profile
Inner circle
5715 Posts

Profile of Pakar Ilusi
Living Illusions, thank you for that. That kinda advice really only comes from someone whose done it many times in real-world settings...

It helped me a lot...

Thanks again...
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Dave V
View Profile
Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

Profile of Dave V
On 2004-06-01 20:21, themagicman3 wrote:
Also, does anyone know of other illusions, besides the cane cabinet, that use deceptive steps ...

Melinda used them to vanish from a box that was placed on a raised platform, presumably so people could see under the box. She climbed in, the sides were closed, cable attached and the box was lifted off the platform as the steps were wheeled away.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
View Profile
Veteran user
371 Posts

Profile of Farrell
I use deceptive steps in an escape. A box is on a platform and the steps are attached. I get in box, box is lifted in the air, stairs rollaway as spikes roll on. The box is dropped on the spikes and the door on the front of the box breaks open showing my vanish and voila! I appear in the audience.
Chris H
View Profile
Inner circle
Melbourne, Australia
1364 Posts

Profile of Chris H
Can someone define "deceptive steps" for me? Thanks!

-- Topher
View Profile
Veteran user
Fayetteville, Arkansas
396 Posts

Profile of magictim
Hmmm....I don't know how to say without openly saying. Pm me and look into getting illusionworks vid #1.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Deceptive Steps/Assistant Disappearance and Reappearance in Back of Auditorium (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.11 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL