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Topic: Swami/Mantra Sword Ladder
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Nov 23, 2002 12:27AM)
Sorry all, this might not be the right place.
Someone asked about if the Sword Ladder was in Swami Mantra and there were some firm denials but I was unable to find the post again. The Ladder is descibed on Pg 71 under the name "Dracula's Ladder. My lovely wife, Krista (on here as Jenny Price) has performed it for Ward Hall in his last season.
Slim Price
Message: Posted by: Missing_Link (Nov 23, 2002 05:42AM)
I've used the sword ladder a few times, but never performed it. Has anyone seen Jewls perform it? She has a video of it on her website.

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Nov 23, 2002 09:41AM)
I have seen Jewel’s act including the spark spewing grinding of her steel bikini and her signature presentation of the Sword Ladder! Her show is excellent! And she is beautiful! She makes the extreme (geek) stuff look like art. And let me tell you, that is a difficult feat in and of itself.

I would love to see Krista’s presentation.

I used to do a version of the sword ladder. Mine was less a ladder (a la the one in the Swami Mantra) than a staircase (more similar to the set up Jewel uses). Frankly I designed and built mine so that I could control the height, (low ceilings in many venues) and it gave a nice wide and square footprint for the necessary stability. My set-up required NO assistants to help me.

I used five steps/blades in all. Rather than swords, I used wood saws and machetes (two of each) and one Japanese Samurai looking sword (a fake one). It was set up (from bottom blade to top) machete, saw (teeth up of course), machete, saw, and sword. The reason that I used this set-up was simply that I could not afford five or six swords! Machetes cost me less than $5.00 each at a Surplus store, the crosscut, wood saws cost less than $25.00 for the two, and the Samurai sword I got at a yard sale for $10.00 back in the early 60’s and had used in several different magic tricks.

The Ladder was performed, off and on, at carnivals, at small town street fairs and festivals, and as an advertising stunt for years.

I used the ladder routine as part of a glass-walking act. The act started with a series of glass walking/dancing stunts. Following the glass walking stunts I would introduce the ladder, demonstrate the sharpness of the blades, perform the ladder climb and then jump from the top most blade onto the glass for a bow.

On a side note, the sword ladder is a dangerous stunt. In my opinion it is more risk than the outcome of the stunt merits. It is difficult to effetely sell to the crowd. The bed of nails with some block breaking (especially if the person lying on the nails is a young woman) gets stronger crowd reactions.

That said I still love the bit!