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Topic: Needles through...
Message: Posted by: joker 55 (Jul 7, 2006 08:01PM)
Hi, I know this has been discused a few times here before so I apologise.

The effect needle through cheek is very interesting, and I would like to attempt it, is swami mantra the best place to learn, or should I just get a needle and try it?

Also does the hole just heal up after, and how long does that take?
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Jul 7, 2006 10:29PM)
You are kidding us right? All this stuff about "get a teacher" on this forum and...

Needle holes generally "close" within 24 hours. Full healing takes longer. Damaging a salivary duct or hitting a vessel will take you a lot longer. (Figure out where these important stuctures are on your own. Maybe get some advice. Perhaps a TEACHER?) Getting and infection will take you longer still. Thin needles are less painful than thicker ones. Thin needles are less likely to hit something important. Thin needles are harder to push through the skin because they easily deflect. Sharp needles are less painful than dull ones. Anesthetic is helpful. Needles should be sterile. Performers should be impaired (ok...that last bit was a joke--so no one take offense).

Gaffs are much safer and, if you do it well, are almost as exciting--if you can call the human pincusion "exciting". Personally, I really don't get excited about the human pincusion act. Hang out at any tattoo/piercing parlor and you'll see the same act 20 times a day on people who have never done the act before. In fact, the "true" genius of this particular act, is that the "perfomer" is actually PAYING someone to do this to them. Wow! That says "SUCKER" louder than anything I've ever heard. I can one-up them. For a nominal fee, I'll give you a wedgie AND a swirlie.
Message: Posted by: joker 55 (Jul 8, 2006 08:31AM)
Well, cant get a teacher, no-one near me does this stuff, I cant go somewhere where people do it, so the only way is to do it by myself.
So does this mean that the book swami mantra is completley useless, if you should learn it off a teacher, I learnt the blockhead on my own, with no problems, why should this be any different?
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Jul 8, 2006 10:05AM)
Yes...swami mantra is a collector piece nothing more.


Just take our advice and go do some card tricks.

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jul 8, 2006 12:37PM)
Joker has posted quite a few how-to questions, that relate to stunts. On each occasion, it's been suggested that he find a teacher.

If there isn't one near him, he really needs to go find one somewhere else. If he "can't" go to a teacher, it makes me wonder why.

If he's too young to travel, then he's too young to do these stunts responsibly, and we're irresponsible to give him any information at all. He's not asking about double-lifts.

If he hasn't the means to travel to a teacher, then he needs to save his pennies. I don't think there's anyplace in the world, where education is free for the asking.

But he keeps asking advice, and then he doesn't want to follow it. I, for one, do not teach someone who can't follow directions.
Message: Posted by: joker 55 (Jul 8, 2006 01:49PM)
But do yiu teach those who are enthousiastic?
I would also like to be addresed to as joker and not 'he' and can you please talk to me and not those around me, you talk as if I am on trial.

I have just turned 16, exams have just finished, I am going for a higher education, so no I cant travel otherwise I can go to college.
Message: Posted by: AntonDreaming (Jul 8, 2006 02:15PM)
On 2006-07-08 14:49, joker 55 wrote:

I would also like to be addresed to as joker and not 'he' and can you please talk to me and not those around me, you talk as if I am on trial.


GET OVER YOURSELF! You are asking about serious stuff that requires serious comitment. Any stunt at any time could kill you. don't be so petty as to argue about how people adress you. You may not be on trial but when you ask for advice on such a serious subject it puts you under the scope.

I persoanly don't think you understand the seriousness of what you are asking. You refer to it as an effect as if it were a trick. What you are asking about is not an effect, trick, or gag its serious stuff. You may have taught yourself block head as I once did but it wasnt until much later when I talked to a pro that I truely understood it. You run the risk of hurting or even killing youself.

Somthing from my own heart as a sword swallower. When your on that table in the hospital looking up into the celing lights a million thoughts run through your mind, the biggest one being..."what am I doing to myself?"

Think about.

Anton James Royalty The Tattooed Bicycle Back Man
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Jul 8, 2006 04:39PM)
Swami Mantra is not completely useless. However, I probaby would not go to a surgeon who says, "Hey, I know how to take out your appendix, 'cause I read about it right here in this book". That is really what you are talking about--sticking a foreign object into your body. I wouldn't advocate anyone do it even learning from a teacher.

Joker 55, you are so hot to do this stunt. It has been around for ages and ages and ages and you HAVE to learn it RIGHT NOW?!? You can't wait it out until you have the time and saved up the money to travel? I am 36, I have been doing magic since I was 6 and I have been really serious for over two decades and guess what? When I was sixteen, I didn't have the funds to travel and learn directly from others either. So I had to wait. I had to wait until my life circumstances had changed. I am older and have a greater ability to travel, so last year I took Todd's course. This year was supposed to learn from Slim. Unfortunately, again things changed (as they will continue to change). Now I will be at the Gathering.

I am not saying "I had to wait and you should have to also". But what I am saying may sound as "fatherly". The stunt has been around for ages and will be around for ages. It will be there when you have the ability and means to learn it from someone who can teach it as safely as it can be performed. There is no good reason you can't wait until the time is right to learn it properly. Timing is everything.

Different opportunities present themselves at different times to different people. Slim's opportunity came when he was 14 and ran away with the circus. Harley's came later. Everyone here is shaped by opportunities and circumstances. Yours circumstances haven't given you the opportunity to learn this stunt yet. It will happen. So hold your pants on, keep your enthusiasm.
Message: Posted by: mcalpin (Jul 8, 2006 07:50PM)
I have only recently started reading the posts at this site and, as a newcomer, I feel that my place is usually on the sideline as a silent bystander. But I can't allow to stand unanswered the libelous proclamations that Sam Dalal's delightful magazines "Swami" and "Mantra" were anything less than timeless treasures. "Not completely useless" indeed! Nothing more than "a collector piece"...harrumph I say! I aver with confidence that those magazines are a tremendous resource for anyone trying to learn the ancient art...of conjuring. Really. They're chock full of "wicked brilliant" magic. Every issue contained at least one thing that was just "splendidly boffo". (Trying to make the English "chap" feel at home by throwing in some authentic United Kingdom slang.) However, I do tend to be in agreement with those who believe that the few fakir stunts that Mr. Dalal chronicled (certainly a small fraction of his writing) are best learnt somewhere other than a periodical or an internet bulletin board. Except, perhaps, the classic one about the little toy floating ducks that the "god-men" cause to bob up and down without touching them.
But take heart; I won't be such a stiff purist as others on this board. I will share with you the "secret" of the human pincushion, as revealed in the days before Kaufman reprints. From the authorative little tome entitled "Shaw's Book of Acts for Carnival, Side Show, Museum, and Circus" (undated, but probably from the late 1800s):
"You allow anyone to run a pin or large needle into your breast; for this you want to rub on your breast where the pin is to go, a preparation known as Cocaine, which can be purchased at any first-class drug store. This preparation deadens the flesh where it is rubbed and you can not feel the pin. Cocaine is a very dangerous thing to handle unless you know how to use it (do not use much)."

"First-class drug store" would be the same as "first-class apothecary". So there you have it. The secret that the performing elite did not want revealed. An obscure, little known substance exists that allows one to pierce one's flesh while remaining immune to the pain. I am not certain, but I suspect that this may be the very same preparation that, when applied to the feet, allows one to freely walk on hot coals or jagged glass or wet newspapers (I hate stepping on a wet newspaper).
Now, armed with this knowledge and appointed with the responsibility thereof, I encourage you to discuss the risks and benefits of performing this little feat with a qualified physician before you go and do anything stupid.

Best wishes,

Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Jul 8, 2006 08:31PM)
Two things:

1) I love Sam's book and I need to clarify my "not completely useless" remark....Swami Mantra is and was awesome!

2) I am a qualified physician who makes his living running needles, wires, trocars and tubes in people all day long. My advice included a discussion of the risks and benefits of performing this little feat. Risk: infection, bleeding, scarring, salivary duct damage. Benefits: unimpressive stunt (seen everyday in thousands of piercing parlors mushrooming up all over the country) that can be pretty well mimicked with gaffs. Similar reactions can be obtained through Andrew Mayne's review of pencil through cheek or the ever popular needle through arm or Sean Field's recently released Saw, etc., etc., etc.

P.S. The same preparation is not the substance typically applied to the feet in order to walk on hot coals or walk on broken glass.
Message: Posted by: mcalpin (Jul 8, 2006 09:45PM)
I meant no offense Jeremy. It was a joke.
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Jul 9, 2006 01:03AM)
None taken (at all!)
Message: Posted by: Keairao (Jul 12, 2006 06:20PM)
New here, but deffinatley my area of expertise. Whole bunch of points here:

1. If you really need to stick a needle through your cheeks (Which I do almost every time I perform), you need to do a few things.
a) Find a body piercer who will teach you how. Not every piercer knows how, so you may have to shop around.
b) make sure you purchase proper needles. I use spinal needles, as they are the only thing that I've found which are long enough. You can gennerally get them in 18 ga - 25 ga.
c) If that part didn't make any sense to you, go find yourself a pro.
d) make sure needles are sterile. Sometimes you buy them like that, sometimes you have to do it yourself. The only way to properly sterilize needles is with a spore-tested auto-clave.
e) A blood-borne pathogens course is a good idea when doing anything involving blood. (or anything that could potentially involve blood)

2. You can easily purchase (at least here in Canada) a product called EMLA which dulls pain on the surface of the skin. In my opinion, if you need this, find a different act.

3. I know everyone here seems down on this particular act, but our audiences seem to enjoy it. Mind you we have a darker show with a darker audience. And we do sort of take things to a fairly extreeme level. Also, these types of piercings can be very spiritual (which I realise doesn't always make for a good show). It's a good warm up to the suspensions at any rate...

Finally, if you want to learn, go for it, but find a teacher. It's worth it in the end. I've spent time as a piercing apprentice, been medically trained and had years of practice. It's not a hard 'trick' to do, if you have the right foundation, you just have to remember that there could be serious complications.
Message: Posted by: TAIT (Jul 13, 2006 07:52AM)
If you do you this act you have to ues skewers.
Message: Posted by: Tim Cridland (Aug 3, 2006 09:11PM)
On 2006-07-07 23:29, jeremysweiss wrote:
--if you can call the human pincusion "exciting". Personally, I really don't get excited about the human pincusion act. Hang out at any tattoo/piercing parlor and you'll see the same act 20 times a day on people who have never done the act before.

Coincidentally I read this post just as I was heading out on the road with Bros. Grim Sideshow, and my featured act was to be the boring ol' Human Pincushion.....
And guess what, people loved it, despite what you might think.
I am reminded of a post on an Internet group from about 10 years ago. The posted said that because of TV shows like Guinness and Ripleys, the days of live sideshow where at an end. He said that people like me would no longer be able to shock anyone, now that everyone has seen in on TV.
Well, 10 years later I am still performing, so what was wrong with the guy's logic?
His premise was that acts like the human pincushion work ONLY because they are shocking, and once you lose that you have nothing.
The fact is, any performance that is going to have legs is going to have be entertaining, whether it is shocking or not. PRESENTATION is the key to this. Oft times you will here a performer complain that so-and-so got a great response to an act, and they did THE EXACT SAME THING and got gonged. They may have done some of the physical part the same, but you can bet the presentation was very different.
This is why piercing in a body-piercing shop is so mundane, even though it is THE SAME THING as the human pincushion act.
Let me give you strange example; I have a friend named Scot Nery who does a show where he cooks food. He does this on stage and he does it as a street perfomance. Now, I can go to a diner down the street and see THE SAME THING, someone cooking food. But Scot makes it funny and entertaining, so he continues getting shows, making something you would think would boring into entertainment. Have I made my point? (Sorry about that).
BTW, I go back on the road with Bros. Grims Sideshow (www.brosgrimsideshow.com) on the 9th.

Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Aug 3, 2006 09:58PM)
Personally, I love pincushion acts! But only when presented properly. My group works with two suspension groups regularly. One, hooks people up and hangs 'em. The other...They dress for the occasion (Not just jeans and a t-shirt)present what they do, they get the audience worked up and dangit...They have fun.
Which one do you think gets the better crowd? Which group do you think I prefer working with?
When presented properly it is shocking, amazing, daring, impressive and a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
(And hooray for the Bros Grimm sideshow! Haven't seen 'em live yet, but I have checked out their stuff on the web. They look like they have some real fun!)
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Aug 4, 2006 01:08AM)

You are absolutely correct. Presentation is EVERYTHING! Totally, agreed. 100% The human pincushion can be exciting, thrilling, shocking, motivational, fun, emotional...it can be all those things and I know the way you do it, it is all that and more. If I am going to see that act, yours is definitely up there as an act that sets a standard. However, speaking for me, and me only, the human pincushion isn't an act that moves me. I am a poor audience because I stick people with longer needles, in worse places, under more tense circumstances where millimeters mean the difference between a successful procedure and a dead person. So, it just isn't for me.

Meanwhile, I am still getting those items translated. It has been rough.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 14, 2006 05:45PM)
Can I just say as a bona fide English “Chap” (not the riding sort) I am finding this conversation absolutely splendidly BIFFO!

But please would one try to make sure one spells ones English slang correctly in future. Much obliged Kind Sir. :)
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 14, 2006 09:26PM)
Can anyone direct me to sources of needles through palm?
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 15, 2006 06:32AM)
Nope no such excuses here I am afraid. I normally type anything over three lines in word, then I can spell cheque (ha ha) it and, if I have time and the inclination, get ‘text help’ to read it back to me. Just 2 tools I use to help get round my dyslexia. But on cutting and pasting to and from web sites, some times symbols get swapped (not sure why).

You wouldn’t believe I have written a bunch of best novels would you?