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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Wakeling Sawing (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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incompletefaro
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Here's Kalin and Jinger performing the Wakeling Sawing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lcbk4VcUwQ
freefallillusion1
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I've said it before- I just don't get this illusion. There is absolutely no improvement here over the classic thin model sawing. Now, I wholeheartedly agree that Steinmeyer is a genius. I do not have the "Magic of Alan Wakeling", so I haven't read Jim's thinking behind the illusion. What I have seen is the top pros doing it (as a layperson would see the illusion) and I just don't get it. In both Kalin and Thomas's case, the presentation is blatantly about "look at how fast my assistant can manipulate around inside this box". I have never seen an illusion which more openly points to the method. As for the presentation being what sells it, and "it's an illusion which a good performer can really build up in the audience's minds", would you say the same thing if I decided to do a zig zag with no body parts showing? No! There is nothing that happens here which can't be done, and done better, with a thin model. No over-proving anything, no moves when the heat is on, both of which occur in this one.

Phil
jimhlou
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I think it's a nice change from the typical "rubber feet" illusion. There doesn't appear to be any room in the box to move around, and the audience members are convinced that they are holding straps connected to the young lady. I just don't understand why the Wakeling sawing illusion is so darned expensive.

Jim
sethman
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In Vegas I held the straps while Rick Thomas was performing this sawing. It really seems as if I was holding her down and she could not move an inch. It's a great illusion.
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2007-06-02 14:55, freefallillusion1 wrote:
[...] I do not have the "Magic of Alan Wakeling", so I haven't read Jim's thinking behind the illusion. What I have seen is the top pros doing it (as a layperson would see the illusion) and I just don't get it. In both Kalin and Thomas's case, the presentation is blatantly about "look at how fast my assistant can manipulate around inside this box". [...]


"Jim's thinking"?

In his book Jim Steinmeyer tells of the life and career of Alan Wakeling, but the illusions described were created by Wakeling without Steinmeyer's help - so "Jim's thinking" is not really an aspect of the illusion. I performed the Wakeling sawing myself numerous times a few years ago and in the video tapes of those performances you can hear audible gasps and cries of "Oh God!" when I slammed the belly blade through the first time. I would have to say your attempt at viewing the illusion "as a layperson" is not succeeding, and you are bringing too much of your magic knowledge to bear.

But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Since you have not read the book, I will tell you Jim Steinmeyer pointedly states that this illusion requires a strong performer exuding an air of extreme confidence to succeed, so perhaps it's not for you.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Lusion
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Jim, I don't know what to tel you, I also wondered why the Wakeling Sawing was so expensive, even after I bought one and I have build 2 others I couldn't tell you why.
freefallillusion1
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Quote:

Since you have not read the book, I will tell you Jim Steinmeyer pointedly states that this illusion requires a strong performer exuding an air of extreme confidence to succeed, so perhaps it's not for you.



Whoa- easy there. I did not put anyone down with my post, as you just did. I simply stated that I don't understand the logic behind this illusion. It seems to be a huge step backwards in every sense. Every part of the presentation points directly to the method, wheras the thin model incorporates misdirection and when the "magic" does happen, it's done deliberately and in a totally impossible way. You say that it draws strong gasps from the audience? Of course it does. So does the thin model sawing, Modern Art, buzzsaw, etc. Any strong performer can get a good reaction from a good illusion, so that's not necessarily a pro-Wakeling thing. I just can't imagine why, with all the good sawing illusions out there, one would pick the Wakeling. Yes, given the choice, I'd prefer to have a fully visual sawing illusion where a mad chef chops me into 74 quivering pieces and then the bits all levitate up and rejoin in midair. I don't have a 5 or 6 figure budget, though, so given the choice between the thin model and the Wakeling, I don't see why some choose the Wakeling. That was my original question (or pondering, if you like).

Phil
Terry Owens
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I think it's a great illusion...I saw it for the first time this week. It had me, and I'm sure it had the audience...it seems impossible, I agree with Jim.
Jazz
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I think it´s a classic
Mattillusion
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The strength of the illusion is in what you DON'T see and the 'test conditions' that it is presented under. I think it's great. It does require a strong, confident, commanding presence, a great assistant and lots of rehearsal to make it play as well as it does for the Kalins and Rick Thomas. I'm glad everybody isn't doing it. The Wakeling book is excellent, as is everything Mr. Steinmeyer puts out.
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2007-06-02 19:24, freefallillusion1 wrote:
Quote:

Since you have not read the book, I will tell you Jim Steinmeyer pointedly states that this illusion requires a strong performer exuding an air of extreme confidence to succeed, so perhaps it's not for you.



Whoa- easy there. I did not put anyone down with my post, as you just did. [...]


You think that was a "put down"? lol

Are you feeling a little insecure? That was no “put down”; I promise it'll be pretty obvious if I decide to lay a put down on you.

Most skilled performers have established a character for themselves, and those characters can vary greatly. Some are dry-humor funny, some are goofy funny, some are slap-stick funny, some are cartoon funny (think Sylvester). Some are dead-pan serious, some choose to be a caricature of a traditional magician, some incorporate current culture (punk, goth, emo...) into their persona (think Criss Angel). And some (those who do "get" the Wakeling sawing, for example) may have a strong performance character "who exudes an air of extreme confidence” - exactly what Steinmeyer says this particular illusion calls for.

I’ve got a news flash for you, "freefallillusion1", your performance character is not who you really are - nor is it a measure of your self-worth. So go try to grab yourself some security somewhere... and maybe don't read into a post what isn't actually there.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
AaronTheMagician
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Then again, who but magicians or magic enthusiasts are going to read about Alan? Just looking at the pictures (if someone even got as far as to look for pictures under the assumption that something was to be exposed in a BIOGRAPHY) couldn't give anyone a clear enough idea without reading.

Still, I understand your point.
But even though he's "exposing" something that he still owns the rights to...
...you couldn't build it without PROPER plans.
Those illustrations only give you a concept of what is supposed to be happening.
David Charvet
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Just a point, here.

What everyone now refers to as the "Wakeling Sawing" was actually first performed by Virgil and Julie in 1942. (See my book, The Great Virgil, pgs. 78-79 for photos.)

In the Wakeling book, Jim alludes to the fact that Virgil was working on an "improved" version when he discussed the idea with Alan Wakeling in the 1960's. It is implied in the book that Virgil never built the improved version, but gave it to Alan. Not true. Virgil did build and perform the improved ("thin") version of the Selbit Sawing and later sold his original prop to Mark Evans, who continues to perform it to this day, with his wife, MarLynn.

The big difference between the Virgil and Wakeling versions is that in Virgil's version, EVERYTHING can be examined FREELY by the audience (including the neck and foot restraints.) There is nothing gimmicked.

I think the story got twisted a bit in the book. I knew Alan Wakeling and he was one of magic's true gentlemen - and geniuses.
hugmagic
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Think about this.. maybe Jim was doing it to help Helen Wakeling. I know that Alan was not financially set. In fact, two friends of mine helped to support him in his later years. They did it quietly and without fanfare. I would never mention it but it seems that Jim Steinmeyer is under attack here and I do not agree with it. Maybe people should accept that they might not know all the facts.

As for the original edition being reasonably priced. It was very reasonable. If you cannot not afford a $75 book of this quality, you should not be doing magic.

David, very interesting about the Virgil sawing. I will have to dig out my book and reread again. Always learning something I missed the first time or second or third.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Magicque
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Well said Richard! Thanks!
Starrpower
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JS can do as he pleases. It's his book. Personally, I'd like him to make as much money as he can from it, as that will encourage him to continue publishing -- and I like to be able to benefit from his ideas.

Being an original purchaser of the first run, I was disappointed to see it now available to the general public. But the more I thought about it, I came to realize who's gonna buy this book:

1) Magicians. What do I care if magicians have this information?
2) People interested in magic. Wonderful - the more they know, the more they'll enjoy the show. Very few will be spoilers and hecklers.
3) People who buy it to give as a gift to someone else, who will never read it.
4) People who buy it, skim through it, and put it away or throw it away.

Bottom line, it will hurt magicians almost none. In fact, most magicians will NEVER build or use the material in the book. Most of it is theory and advancements of basic methods. The average Joe doesn't care -- it'll bore them. I've used two elements from two pieces of the book. Not entire routines or illusions, but two ideas -- and I think that's a lot.

Look at it this way: most of us wouldn't have this information in the first place if Jim hadn't published it, so who are we to complain?

If it DOES bother you, do what Hulk Hogan did when his daughter had scantily clad pictures in a magazine: go to all the stores and buy every copy!!
Lusion
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And now back to the sawing! LOL
freefallillusion1
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Thomas Wayne-

Question for you. Your profile says you are a prop builder and designer. Do you have a website? Would you happen to be the "Wayne" of the old "Douglas Wayne illusioneering" (forgive my ignorance here, as I may or may not be dead wrong on that- just going by the name). Is there somewhere we can see pictures of your work?

Phil
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2007-06-03 15:30, freefallillusion1 wrote:
Thomas Wayne-

Question for you. Your profile says you are a prop builder and designer. Do you have a website? Would you happen to be the "Wayne" of the old "Douglas Wayne illusioneering" (forgive my ignorance here, as I may or may not be dead wrong on that- just going by the name). Is there somewhere we can see pictures of your work?

Phil


Not related in any way to "Douglas Wayne Illusioneering". Your ignorance is forgiven. Go in peace, my son.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
incompletefaro
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I have the latest paperback version of "Magic of Alan Wakeling" and the I believe that the Wakeling Sawing is a very deceptive illusion. The addition of spectators as helpers, adds a very important dimension to the Sawing Illusion. I like the concept of the specatators having control of the lady during the actual sawing. I guess very few illusions have this feature. I have personally built Modern Art from Jim Steinmeyer's Modern Art & Other Mysteries. He leaves nothing to chance. Though the building plans of the Wakeling Sawing are not as detailed as Modern Art, any person with decent prop-building skills can definitely do a great job with the available details.
eb02
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Osborne has the illusion plan for the wakeling sawing.
Eran Blizovsky
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incompletefaro
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Quote:
On 2007-06-04 07:44, eb02 wrote:
Osborne has the illusion plan for the wakeling sawing.


Do you have a link? Thanks.
Irish_matt
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incompletefaro
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Thanks !
Bryan Gilles
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Here's a clip of Rick Thomas performing it on the Late Late Show:

Wakeling Sawing

-Bryan
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