(Close Window)
Topic: Diamond Plated Steel Box Escape
Message: Posted by: p:m (Oct 12, 2005 02:57PM)
Anyone used this? Or seen it?

Im wondering if it is at all worth purchasing from Mark or building your own.

So, again, Anyone have it or performed with it?
Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (Oct 12, 2005 03:09PM)
I have seen Mark performing it and it is really good. I think it would be courteous to the Cannon's if you purchased one. After all, Mark designed it and did all the research. This could be a feature of your show.

Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 12, 2005 03:36PM)
I agree with Mick. Marks performance of it is great and as its his effect you should really buy it rather than just build one, only fair really.

There are a few others that already use it and many pictures of performers in them that form part of their promo.
Message: Posted by: Nell (Oct 12, 2005 04:15PM)
I do this escape, and so does my partner. Actually, it was his, but I liked it so much, I think I've inherited the job. I'm in the process of incorporating a costume change into it, currently. It is, not surprisingly, well made. I would definitely recommend purchasing it rather than making one as it is ethically the respectful thing to do. The quality and audience reaction will not disappoint. I can't say whether it would be worth it for you to add this to your repetoire as I don't know your work-style, but we are happy with it.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Oct 12, 2005 04:37PM)
Its a great idea,,,shame that I am too over wieght to fit inside it and having enquired how much it would cost to have my leg off in order to fit in it, I had to decline from buying.
Message: Posted by: RJE (Oct 12, 2005 04:46PM)

You and I have the same view for the same reason. Perhaps Mark can construct one for us more "mature" body types? I just don't know how we'd ever be able to move it! :)

All the best,

Message: Posted by: Nell (Oct 12, 2005 04:58PM)
That's the fun of it! Seriously, it's hard for just about everyone to move in the box. I'm quite small (5'4") and I only have a little open space above my arms. With proper positioning and cuffing I can fill the open space too. I'm adding the costume change just for an added impossibility factor.
I bet Mark would custom make them though if you were really interested. It does get a big response for a "little" box... The audience members who are claustrophobic have the best responses.
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Oct 12, 2005 06:29PM)
I saw something similar to this box at the lab I work. OSHA and NRC regulations require certain storage containers for the nuclear gages we use. They delivered three to the lab one day, and they looked strikingly similar to Mark's Diamond Plated Steel Box. I was examining the storage containers and one of my co-workers asked me what I was doing. They already knew I was into magic and escapes, so it came as no surprise to any of them when I replied, "I'm looking to see if I can be stuffed into this."

Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Oct 12, 2005 09:04PM)
First of all, let me preface my remarks by stating that I appreciate all the work it takes to be an escape artist and I love the people involved, escapes don't do much for me.

However, that being said, if I were to put one escape in my act, the diamond plate box would be the one. Why? Gimmicked or not, I'm always suspicious of handcuffs and legcuffs. However, when the box opens a little and a hand comes out to open the combo lock, that sells the effect all together. The drama doesn't get any better.

I saw Kristen (Living Illusions) do it at Cannon's last weekend and it was my favorite escape. She did a fantastic job of selling the illusion.
Message: Posted by: AJP807 (Oct 12, 2005 09:32PM)
I agree, I love this escape. I missed Mark Cannon's escape from it at last years convention but I was fortunate enough to see Dean Gunnerson escape from it at the evening show. For me it was the Highlight of the convention. This year Kristen also did a first class job with an even smaller box, and it was certainly one of the highlights of this years convention as well. Unfortunately I am in the same boat as Kondini and Rob since I'm dressing out near the 250 pound mark. On top of that, being extremely claustraphobic, I think I'll pass on purchasing this particular escape for now and leave it to more capable hands like Nell and Kristen. However should I be so inclined, I would definitely purchase one from the Cannon's as opposed to building one. Everything I've ever bought from them has always been well worth the money and extremely well made. Plus they both do so much to promote this art that I like to do whatever I can to be supportive of them. I do consider it somewhat unethical to copy an idea of theirs just to save a few bucks. Think about how much different all of our lives would be if the Cannon's were forced out of business due to lack of support from the escape community. OK I'm getting off of my soap box now, let me just sum things up here. BOX GOOD! BUY FROM CANNONS!!
Best regards, Tony Parisi
Message: Posted by: cuffs (Oct 12, 2005 10:23PM)
Hi. For what its worth, I missed last years show and have not seen the box being performed before. Mark showed it to me while it was sitting in a corner of his garage but I did not know at that time that it could make such a striking illusion.
Kristen presented it very well and as a lay person when it comes to escapes, I thought it was spectacular. I would also urge one to go through the Cannons if you need to add this to your repertoire.

Message: Posted by: p:m (Oct 12, 2005 10:45PM)
Hmm. I am definately intrested. But it is also very expensive.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Oct 13, 2005 12:15AM)
It is only expensive if you don't get a return on your investment. I added a $500 effect to my show and raised my fee. It paid for itself in 4 or 5 shows. Look at it as an investment and calculate your payback time. Only then can you be sure it is worth it.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Oct 13, 2005 10:05AM)
I don’t know how it can be considered expensive! Let’s see, you can pay upward to $1,000.00 for a set of cups, heck the mean cost of a set of cups for cups and balls of those available is about $250.00! Yes there are $25.00 sets available that work but…

You will spend over $100.00 and up for a trick wallet. I was looking at a single function mentalism wallet that allowed you to peek information that cost about $150.00!

A quality nest of wooden boxes runs from between $200.00 and $900.00!

I guess the price is relative. If you get a quality prop and YOU USE IT then it costs very little. If you buy a prop and it sits in a drawer or on the shelf, or in the basement then you just wasted your money.

I spent almost as much for a Steve Bakers Challenge Belt as I did for a set of “street cups” (the cups actually cost more). I have used the Belt weekly the cups sit on my shelf (yes I will use them, yes I will use them, or maybe not!).

Cost is not measured by the price tag of the prop. The price tag may keep the prop out or your hands simply because you can’t get the money together. But the real value is in if you use the prop. Look at your act. Will any given prop add value to the act? If the answer is no then don’t think about if, if yes then work to include it.

By the way, I got my Belt and Cups by NOT buying a ton of smaller and less expensive “stuff”. I would read an ad and think, “I want that card trick or DVD”. I’d be honest with myself and know that I was just looking for the secret and would never add the thing to anything I did. So I’d put the money that it would have cost into my “big trick fund”. In a years time I had enough money to buy two expensive props that I honestly believed that I would use and use regularly. So far the Cups have not paid off.
Message: Posted by: p:m (Oct 13, 2005 10:09AM)
Thanks a lot Murph.

Your posts are always helpful.

I am going to take your advice and basically start saving for this because I feel it will be a big finish for my show.

I wonder if the combo lock is included with it..
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Oct 13, 2005 12:05PM)
JAK, thanks for the kind words! Every thing you need is included with the box. What can I say? It is complet, an act unto itself!

My plan had been to get to the convention to see if I could stuff myself into one. My daytime job kept me from going but I am sure I would have come home with one! I have been saving for months to invest in it.

Now I may try to talk Nell into letting me come up to Morgantown (an hour away) and trying to stuff myself into hers.

This can be a killer prop!
Message: Posted by: p:m (Oct 13, 2005 12:34PM)
I will also be saving for quite a while. But I can just imagine the looks on people's faces when your hand squeezes through and begins to dial the combo lock blind.
Message: Posted by: Nell (Oct 13, 2005 01:36PM)
The effect is well worth the money! I hate to say that just for the sake of trying to keep strong performance pieces out of the hands of many, but I'm much too honest. If you're looking for an effect like this, it's a wise investment and a major crowd pleaser.
I'm finishing up my bachelor's degree and I know money doesn't just fall from the sky, but I also understand the importance of buying quality props, IF I plan on using them all the time. I saved all the money I made working at a theatre festival this summer. Most of it went to bills, but I was determined to make an investment in my act. So, I just recently purchased 'Hospitality' from David Charvet, it was a $500 prop, but it kills, and it's beautifully made. I had the rights and carpentry experience to build this illusion myself, but the craftsmanship trumps the simplistic approach I might have taken with it to save some money, had I built it myself. It was a wise investment, for another small prop which plays big.

The steel box belongs to my partner. He paid for it, but he too saves his money for purchasing illusions he strongly desires to perform. That's the best advice I can give because what's right for one person may not be right for someone else. I've seen illusions on television, many times, that weren't suited for their performer at all, but then I see it by someone else with a nearly identical presentation and it blows me away. Of course, creativity in performance is always a plus in my mind.
Message: Posted by: p:m (Oct 13, 2005 02:51PM)
I am also finishing up college. About a year to go. So Money is scarce. but this is something I would like to invest in. If only I lived in Maryland. I could check out the box with you guys. Oh well!
Message: Posted by: Nell (Oct 13, 2005 03:49PM)
I have a year left too...it delays graduation when you change your major, but to actually learn some skills in college, it's worth the extra semester. Plus I'll get to do a big capstone production showcasing my magic and my theatre training, which I probably wouldn't have time for this spring. Next summer will be very valuable.
Message: Posted by: p:m (Oct 13, 2005 10:22PM)
Well, good luck to you in your magic and school. A Year this time I'll be FREE forever! Free to do the diamond plated box escape everyday.
Message: Posted by: Nell (Oct 14, 2005 01:53AM)
Haha...absolutely! Same to you...good luck. I can't wait to be done and able to pursue the career, on my terms...
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Oct 14, 2005 11:21PM)
On 2005-10-12 22:32, AJP807 wrote:........ I do consider it somewhat unethical to copy an idea of theirs just to save a few bucks. Think about how much different all of our lives would be if the Cannon's were forced out of business due to lack of support from the escape community. Tony Parisi

Hi Tony, I agree, this niche art needs the support of all. Recently one person who should have known better sent a hamburg eight handcuff to Pakistan to have it copied and asked for sole rights for sales in the USA. He then cried foul that they wouldn't do that. The hamburg eight has been one of my staple products for years and has cost me thousands in molds and patterns, now I have been slightly undermined in this product as well as a few other which the same Pakistan company did off their own back. I wouldn't have thought that one in this business would do such a thing to another.

When I was younger and started to ask around, all the names of dealers and makers of escape equipement that were mentioned were not in business any longer. ( which is why I started my business ) Please support those who support your art.

Good topic Tony, thanks

Message: Posted by: AJP807 (Oct 14, 2005 11:40PM)
Thank YOU! Ian, and of course, whenever I refer to the Cannon's I am of course including you and all of your incredible products and ingenious ideas being their main supplyer. Of course they do come up with many fine products and ideas on their own. All of you brilliant, creative people just make me sick! (just kidding)
You all need our well deserved support. Thanks from all of us for a continued line of fine products, manuals, advice and friendship.
Best regards, Tony Parisi
Message: Posted by: Mr.Wizard (Oct 19, 2005 07:38PM)
"Oh what a gift, the gods whould give us!

If we could but see ourselves, as others see us!"

...and now, for a different opinion.

I was at the convention last year when it was done. I stood in the hall as the people passed and commented on the escape....

...the comments were not positive.

There seems to be an ever moving idea that "full view" is the only way to go today. Skipping the theater for a moment, lets honestly look at what we see here in full view.

1. We see a ratchet strap slide in a manner that NONE of them do. Anyone who has used one knows that.

2. We see a lock hasp that moves in a way that is clearly there to give you room to escape, not hold you in.

3. We see you "jimmy valentine" a padlock, in an odd manner.

Now, is this a bad trick? No, far from it. It simply is NOT as effective in full view, to laymen, as some seem to think. As least not to those in attendence last year.

All one has to do, is throw a sheet over the thing. Now, they can see movement, and know you are doing "something". However mystery is maintained, and things that defy the logic of the viewer are hidden.

To each their own, and I am aware some will disagree, but I was there too, and I know what I saw....

....and heard.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Oct 19, 2005 08:32PM)
Well our audiences would disagree with you.

Jimmy Valentine the lock in an odd manner?....hmmm, to the laymen, this is exactly what one would do to free themselves at that point.

It is exactly as effective in full view, as the lay people who see Kristen do it, as I think it is.

As you mentioned, people will disagree...I would like to hear from people that saw it this year.

Message: Posted by: Houdini man (Oct 19, 2005 09:10PM)
I've come to the rescue Kevin,

At least in Livingillusions show I saw this year, full view helped it. NOT seeing "how it was done" would have been far less entertaining, from the lay persons perspective too. It would have lost a lot if it was behind a curtain. If nothing else, I liked it.

Message: Posted by: Mr.Wizard (Oct 20, 2005 07:09AM)
Gee, people need to be "rescued" from a different opinion? Wow. You do know they did NOT do the box that year?

You know, long before most of you were born, a guy named Vernon warned about basing opinions on polite people.

I said many would disagree, and I expected those who feel all escapes should be done in full view to really disagree.

However, the STRONGEST comments I heard that year were about Kristens exchange with the sport coat and rope tie. EVERYONE was blown away by that, and I made it a point to tell her so.

I seem to recall that is covered. Perhaps if you did it in full view it would be even better....

...unless you think seeing what she does would diminish the mystery.

Which is my point you know.

I will simply state again, that the people in the hall that night were NOT impressed with the box, and were vocal in expessing same.

Its not even MY opinion folks, just reporting what people were saying, AWAY from the performers.

Accept or reject as you see fit.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Oct 20, 2005 09:18AM)
Mr. Wizard....
You DO know that Houdini Man was refering to when HE saw it THIS year. Perhaps you read too fast.

I respect what you have done in the past..and what you are currently doing. You have a vast knwoledge of magic and escapes. However, you also did the greatest amount of performing before extreme sports, X games, Fear Factor, etc. Things have changed and so is our industry...but it is still all in the presentation. The same prop, with two different performers will be received two different ways. in fact the same performer with the same prop can be received two different ways, if one show he has built rapport, while in the other he has not. Especially in escapes, if the audience doesn't have respect for you or care for you, they could care less if you escape or not.

What we have done and seems to be working for us is to have a video camera projecting the live feed of the Diamond Box up to two large video screens. The audience gets a close up view of Kristen as her hand comes out of the box and works on the lock. Also, four more inches was cut off the height of Kristen's box from Mark's original size.

In our opinion Mark Cannon has come up with a winner here. As mentioned presentation rules supreme, if someone comes up with a great version of performing this while covered, I would cheer them on.

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Oct 20, 2005 10:06AM)
Hey Kevin, you make a very valid point. I have seen the diamond plated steel box performed now by Kristen and by another (video), both have different styles and both were intriging to watch. In both cases, I have also heard and (in one , witnessed) the audience reaction. If they love it, go with it. It may not be 'science' but it is very entertaining.

Message: Posted by: dylan1961 (Oct 21, 2005 12:55AM)
I've seen Dean Gunnarson, Kristen Johnson, and Mark Cannon perform this live before audiences of Escape artists, padlock collectors, and laymen. All did an excellent job, and as far as modern day escapes go, I rate this among the best. So many people do the straitjacket that the audience expects success. Same with handcuffs. But the mere fact the someone can get into a box this size, let along get out in FULL VIEW is what makes it so impressive. Still, a mystery how the handcuffs/leg irons are removed, but the skill and sight of overcoming the three locking mechanisms (built in lock, nylon strap, and combination padlock) is simply incredible. It's a GREAT escape. NO two ways about it.