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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Sword Suspension - Your Thoughts? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sealegs
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The UK, Portsmouth
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This is a thread that was started a long time ago but here’s my take on this illusion. The starting position/premise of balancing the assistant on the swords isn’t believable. So the illusion starts with an always clumsy set up. (Clumsy both physically in getting the assistant in position and mentally as a belief that the illusionist is trying to create in the audience’s mind)

I have always thought a better way of doing this would be to have 4 or 5 swords, parallel to the floor, in each space between the perpendicular upright ones. They would form a sort of table made from the sharp edges of the swords. The assistant would be laid on this ‘table’ which, like a bed of nails, would be an impressive but still believable visual. Now the horizontal blades can be removed leaving the assistant impossibly balancing on the points of the 3 remaining swords.

Then two of these would be removed at the same time leaving the assistant impossibly suspended on one sword. (Removing two swords at the same time, one in each hand, mitigates the expectation of removing the last sword as the illusionist’s hands are both fully occupied.)

This I believe would vastly improve this illusion.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Jul 2, 2018, Sealegs wrote:
I have always thought a better way of doing this would be to have 4 or 5 swords, parallel to the floor, in each space between the perpendicular upright ones. They would form a sort of table made from the sharp edges of the swords. The assistant would be laid on this ‘table’ which, like a bed of nails, would be an impressive but still believable visual. Now the horizontal blades can be removed leaving the assistant impossibly balancing on the points of the 3 remaining swords.

Then two of these would be removed at the same time leaving the assistant impossibly suspended on one sword. (Removing two swords at the same time, one in each hand, mitigates the expectation of removing the last sword as the illusionist’s hands are both fully occupied.)


This reminds me of a ren faire magician in Wisconsin who had an act like that. I wish I could recall his name.

It is only time I have seen UF Grant's Super Fine Suspension used. The super fine suspension is where the suspension board is visibly supported from above by chains rather than underneath by chairs, ladders, screens, etc. In this case the board hung by chains from above over six swords. The magician plays the role of a wizard whose daughter is kidnapped by two guards of the ren faire's antogonist, the evil Duke, who had it in mind to blackmail him. They put her in chains and place her on the board with the idea if the wizard tries to save her a guard pulls a lever, the chains are released, and the board plunges on the swords. One guard walks off to tell the duke they have her and the other one watches over her with a hand on the lever. Enter the wizard. The guard warns him but the wizard walks towards her. He pulls the lever and the chains rattle down to the floor but the wizard throws a spell, flash pot goes off, and daughter on board is floating above swords unsupported. Guard then charges wizard but he hypnotizes him. The guard then removes swords enhancing effect of suspension. Then he puts table under board supoorting it and wizard visibly relaxes. The guard lifts the daughter off board so she is standing. Wizard then waves hand and chains fall off daughter. Quite an involved illusion act.

It was one of the best motivated suspensions I have seen. I really liked the added touch of the falling off chains. The theme could potentially be adapted to the sword suspension i.e. two guards holding bound assistant over swords as threat. Wizard remove first two swords so he could presumably get in position to lift her off final sword.
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