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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Joseph Gabriel's Disembodied Princess (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

WRandall
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Hi,

I'm Will: first-time poster, long-time lurker. Actually I've only been lurking for a couple of weeks, and it's awesome being in a place where people talk about illusions from so many points-of-view.

The thing that made me go from Lurker to Poster is that I suddenly had questions about an illusion that I knew weren't going to be easily answered - unless maybe I asked them here.

I saw "Joseph Gabriel on Broadway" at the Lamb's Theatre several years ago, and he performed The Disembodied Princess using a certain kind of gimmick for masking the side angles. Reflect on the following and you'll see what I mean:

The cabinet appeared to be just a sleek, white metal frame. The masking jumped out at me when the cabinet moved and one of the gimmicks - which was perpindicular to the backdrop - jiggled. The Gabriel show may have fixed that give-away motion later in the run, but at the time I felt like it was a fatal flaw. (For the record, my non-magician friend was still amazed.)

Looking back, it doesn't seem like a bad method for side masking, if the cabinet could be built sturdily enough to prevent the jiggling. Does anyone know who built that piece for Gabriel, or who originally had the idea of using this principle with the Disembodied?

Thanks. I'm happy to be part of the discussion.
The Mirror Images
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Well I don't know anything about Gabriel version or who made his piece. But I have to say it seems appropriate to mention Micelangelos new look with this piece. Visit this link (which is Magic Works) and you will see what I am talking about.

http://illusionist.net/des_current.htm

Enjoy.

Michael
Steven and Michael, The Mirror Images
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WRandall
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Michael, thanks for the link. That description sounds cool - I can't wait to see the illusion in action.

Right now I'm just researching different ways of presenting Disembodied for a possible future project. I wish I could remember the staging of Gabriel's routine, b/c if I'm right about the arrangement of the gimmicks (basically the same as in Million Dollar Mystery), he wouldn't have been able to move behind the prop to open the back doors.

Blast my imperfect memory. I should have taken that Harry Lorayne course.

- Will
The Mirror Images
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Sorry I wasn't any help.

Yeah that course would have helps :O)

Michael
Steven and Michael, The Mirror Images
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jwebyra
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There is actually a picture of Mr. Gabriel with the illusion with his wife sans middle in the November 1996 issue of Magic Magazine. I remember because of the article I went to see the show too. Hope this helps.
kregg
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Every live performance I've seen of Dis... Princess has been done far upstage. And the screens have been assistants, usually holding feather fans or the like and wearing outrageous garb.
POOF!
Osiris
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There are numerous methods for masking the angles as well as turning the prop around so as to show the middle really is gone from every point of view. One of the neatest versions was Dante's original cabinet, of which, I've only seen one other operate in a similar manner.

Several years ago Ken Whitaker and I came up with another method that "conceals" the load in a way that "shifts" (I'll not go into too much detail at this point... for obvious reasons). There is likewise the Roy Houston method in which there are NO ANGLE PROBLEMS... this method can work in the round. The drawback is however, you don't have that nice clean modern looking frame-cabinet we've all come to know and love. Rather, it's more akin to the older Thayer design and totally enclosed.
Dennis Michael
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Take a look at the way Lance Burton has done this illusion on his DVD "The Secrets of Magic" He puts on Sun Glasses and locks himself in the box. The way he crosses his arms hides the unit you are talking about.

I love this effect and after seeing how he has done it it may cause you to re-think how you would like to do it. The price of this DVD is worth it and small in comparison to building this illusion. One does not need to got to the expense Lance Burton did or copy his routine.
He covers angles, he covers the cost of new heads for new assistants (not necessary if it is you). I also saw John Kaplan do the same on one of his VHS videos with a home made version of this effect.

Give serious consideration to you being in the illusions instead of an assistant.
Dennis Michael
WRandall
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Thanks for the replies, everybody. I'll keep an eye out for that 1996 Magic and pick up a copy of the Lance Burton DVD, which I didn't even know was on the market (thanks, Dennis).

Clearly there are many more versions of this illusion than I'm aware of, which is pretty exciting. Osiris, the version you developed with Ken Whitaker sounds especially interesting. I hope I get to see it in action one day.

Thanks again,
Will
Dennis Michael
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The Owens Disembodied effect is beautiful, and most likely the price.

Check it out: Owens' Disembodied Princess
Dennis Michael
WRandall
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Dennis, that Owen model has a sweet design. I like that it can be performed solo. I've always had a thing for prop doors that open by themselves to reveal a vanish. There's something elegant about that, especially if they open slowly.

As per your advice, I'm now giving more thought to disembody-ing myself as opposed to an assistant. Much more practical, though maybe not as pretty as using a girl. Smile There's always a trade-off.

- Will
dsilverfield
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The last I heard was when I was thinking of buying it. The Owen piece was around $12,000 US and that was 4 years ago.
The Mirror Images
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Wow! That is a BIG price tag. But it is a sleek looking prop.

Michael
Steven and Michael, The Mirror Images
The MOST Identical Twin Illusionist
http://www.themirrorimages.com
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