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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Sword swallowing (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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olivertwist
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Nashua, NH
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I recently saw an item on ebay for a sword swallowing sword. It looked good, but I could see that it looked similar to the swords used in 'Sword Thru Neck'. So I tried simulating 'sword swallowing' with my 'sword to neck' sword and it was both easy and visually convincing.

My questions are, has anyone else used this? and would it be better to do it as a separate effect or as an added feature of the 'Sword Thru Neck"?


Oliver
DavidEscapes
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Hi Oliver

Sorry if what I have to say comes off harsh. But I have strong feelings about this.

Sword swallowers work for years to swallow real swords, in doing so they put themselves through huge physical pressures, put up with great risks, and suffer long term discomfort in the process. Faking sword swallowing in any act is an insult to any real sword swallower, it cheapens what they do and damages the whole act. In my opinion any magician who fakes any real sideshow act is no better than the masked magician, and should be treated the same by the entertainment community.

As soon as anyone figures out your fake, then it is set in their minds that all sword swallowing is fakery. It reduces our lifetime of commitment to the level of a cheap trick in the eyes of the audience. If you want to swallow a sword, then learn to swallow one. Anyone with enough commitment will find a way. The day you buy one of those flimsy retractable swords is the day you show total contempt for the real sword swallowers out there.

David Straitjacket
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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olivertwist
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Nashua, NH
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David,

Thank's for your response. I asked because I wanted to hear what people thought. I don't do side-show feats, only tricks and ventriloquism. I don't want to step on anyone's toes so I won't use that bit.

Oliver
Slim Price
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1935 - 2006
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I think David speaks for everyone who does the sideshow acts. We are real and faking it cheapens what we do... And then we are ignorantly called "Geeks."
Slim Price
sanscan@tds.net



"I will never bitter be, as long as I can laugh at me!"



"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
olivertwist
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Nashua, NH
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Thanks, Slim. That's why I asked. I stick to the usual tricks and not take a cheap shot at side show routines. I was also concerned that doing the fake swallowing might tip the gaff on the sword thru neck.

Oliver
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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SW Ohio, USA
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A bit harsh, though I can identify with the sentiment.
I will say, as a mild counterpoint though, that I prefer Lester Lake's "boiled alive" to the method once used by Japanese Shinto miracle men (both for spectacle and safety).
Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
zur
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California
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Something as a side note: sword through neck is actually a good kids show material because all the kids want to volunteer for it.
Alan Munro
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Bang that sword on something before you swallow it. Smile

You can't bang the fake sword like that. A few magicians already use a roll-up sword for the gag and expose it at the end.
Slim Price
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1935 - 2006
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Usually. an authentic sword swallower will drop the sword point first into the stage, or a board placed there for the purpose. It's a good way to prove the reality.
Slim
sanscan@tds.net



"I will never bitter be, as long as I can laugh at me!"



"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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I saw a 10-in-one sword swallower who demonstrated his legitimacy by first swallowing the loop part of a coathanger that had been bent into a long, narrow oval; vaguely the configuration of a sword blade 'in skeleton.'

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
MattTheKnife
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I tend to do two things in my show as far as SwSw goes. I swallow a clothes hanger first and then later I swallow a sword that an audience member checks out prior to it going down and then once it's in I have the guy remove it from me personally.

If those don't convince 'um then NOTHING will!

-Matt (TK)
g0thike
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To present sword swallowing you need a good presentation. The best act I have seen is David Markham "The Miracle Man". He is a member of my side show circus. His last TV appearnce was on the Steve Harvey Show "Big Time".

G0THIKE
stine
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TN
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My experience has been no matter WHAT you do, some people can't believe its real. I started swallowing a Japanese sai weapon. People questioned it so I cut off the handle to make it a long "spike" that I could close my mouth around, still some were skeptical. eventualy I drilled a hole in the spike, put leather strap through it, threw a rope out to an audience member, my end of the rope had a hook attached, so while the audience guy held the rope, I bent sideways and backed up allowing the sword to slide from my moth, no hands, and clang to the floor.
Mad Mat
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Norwich, Norfolk, England
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Id liek to be able to swallow a sword, however I wouldnt try it.

I may be stupid, but not that stupid..
MattTheKnife
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Mad Mat:

Wow, that's really a very offensive comment to those of us that actually do it as well as to our fans!

It's fine if it's not your thing but it'd be nice if you kept comments like calling me and my friends that actually DO this "stupid" to yourself. Instead how about you just refrain from commenting on these strings if you’re going to retain such a repugnant attitude.

It’s a very old tradition and one that less than 85 people in the world can say that they do.

These forums are meant for friendly conversation... not insults. As you’re a new member it can be overlooked for the time being, but you'd be smart to learn to do otherwise in a timely manner should you be looking to make any friends here.

-Matt (TK)
Slim Price
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Mad Mat, if you want to learn sideshow arts, you are really getting off on the wrong foot! Sideshow workers do real stuff, not those cute things that come in neat little zip lock bags.I am neither stupid or look like a "geek" whatever that image is.
Slim Price...
BTW, I have been earning money with sideshow acts since 1949. What are your qualifications? I've seen your posts all over the Café, and likely you have already caused harm. Do some of the things you are pontificating, and then come back.
sanscan@tds.net



"I will never bitter be, as long as I can laugh at me!"



"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
Harry Murphy
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Guy’s, just reading Mad Max’s posts (short, usually trivial, and rarely adding anything to the ongoing discussion) indicates to me that he is probably just a kid of maybe 13 to 16 years old (or perhaps he is older but mentally challenged). There are a number of posters here at the Café whose posts add absolutely nothing. When I run across one of those posts I simply skip it.

There are a couple of threads here at the Café that caters to the young and inexperienced. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them. As we know many of the acts discussed here are potentially dangerous and are really only for the few, the crazy few!

Maybe MM will develop a real interest in some branch magic or the performing arts to the extent that he will have real questions and real input. But for now, he is one of the guy’s that I simply skip as wasting band space.

OK, I’ll get back on my meds now!

Back to the topic...
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Clifford the Red
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LA, California
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Jeez, I don't know how someone can see the real thing and not know it's real. I see it a lot and I still want to gag, along with most of the audience.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
FacadeTheStiltBoy
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Greensboro NC
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I'm still having problems with my head tilting forward knocking into the blade and the weird choking feeling doing it. (I got it 10.5 inches down my throat but that's as far as it wants to go before I get the strange feeling of choking)
MattTheKnife
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Clifford,
Yeah I don't get it either. I can spot the difference between a fake and the real thing from a mile away. And personally I always thought it to be real even when I was a child. I didn't realize that people ever thought it was fake until I started to do it and people would say to me, "Hey that was a great trick!" after a show. After all of the work that went in to it I found that it simultaneously enraged as well as crushed my spirit a bit. However that also made me adapt my act in order to minimize (if not entirely eliminate) any doubt from within their minds.

The funniest thing to me though was how I used to occasionally get guys that had seen me do my Mentalism act at one time and my sideshow act at another time. They'd see me out somewhere and they'd approach me in a restaurant or something and tell me how great my "tricks" were (in reference to sideshow) and then ask me how to learn to read minds (because they thought THAT THE MENTALISM WAS REAL!!!). Hahaha

Facade,
Yeah- it can take a lot of time and it's certainly not for everybody. If you really want it then just keep working with whoever your teacher is. Other than that just be patient and safe.

Oh, and by the way, I saw the name of your show in another post- "The Emergency Room Regular's Hour". Hahaha- I just loved it!

Cheers,
-Matt (TK)
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