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Topic: Temple of Benares Question
Message: Posted by: Jonathanmc (Oct 23, 2007 11:20PM)
Ok so I need you to take a moment for me since this is the first time I have had an illusion question because I just bought my first ones.

Great. thank you for sharing my joy.


Now my question.

Who in the world is going to fit in this thing? Do I need to put an ad on Craig's list looking for anorexic twelve year olds without claustraphobia? I think you can get arrested for that.

Seriously, can anyone tell me height and weight dimensions of who will fit inside this thing. And no I don't know whose version it is but it seems to be the same size as all the ones I have seen pictures of.

Thanks in advance
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Oct 23, 2007 11:34PM)
When you bought the illusion, whom did you have in mind as your assistant? Were you going to use a family member, or hire someone? If none of the family members who might qualify will fit in it, then you're going to have to hold auditions for an assistant/dancer. By specifying dancer along with assistant, you're going to be able to weed out the obese to some degree. Of course the final test will be when you put them inside the illusion, close it and whirl them around. If they can then appear with a "ta-dah!" attitude, you've found your assistant... all the others may leave, thank you very much!
Message: Posted by: Jonathanmc (Oct 23, 2007 11:57PM)
Honestly when I bought the illusion I had in mind the fact that the person I bought it from was selling a bunch of really good illusions for a song. I had wanted to find someone to start working with but the price point was too good to pass up.

So be kind and don't tell me what I already know which is that without an assistant this is a really silly illusion.
Message: Posted by: Killed_CZ (Oct 24, 2007 01:09AM)
As I already have many books on illusions and plans to build them, I find that in most cases I have to "re-mesure" because most of the plans are made realy for very "fit-in-antyhing" assitents.

Was that illusion in use or it is new one ? Or just post measures of the illusion ..
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Oct 24, 2007 08:22AM)
With some illusions, the dimensions are more of a factor than with others. Unless yours is really just smaller than typical, it seems that you may have one of those. As with many other things, one size doesn't always fit all.

I have owned many illusions over the years, and with the exception of one, I have built them all. Those were specifically sized to the person who would be "wearing" them, whether an assistant already working on the show, to myself, to corporate executives. That may or may not be a practical solution for you.

If so, and if the price you paid truly was "for a song", you might wish to do what I have often done... consider the illusion apparatus you bought to be a pattern for constructing one that is customized to your needs. You can then sell the original to recoup some cost.

Hiring an assistant of the required size is really about the only other choice afforded to you, if you wish to use the apparatus you now own.
Message: Posted by: dbearden (Oct 24, 2007 07:46PM)
I used to own a temple, and the assistant I used was about 5'4, 105 lbs. Someone 5'6 might have been able to get in, but it would be pushing it. I have seen different temples made up that would hold larger assistants. It is a great illusion.....sold mine, but am thinking about buying another one.
David
Message: Posted by: ricker (Oct 24, 2007 08:09PM)
Illusions aren't designed for comfort, they are designed for the optical illusion of being smaller than they are.

you'd be amazed at how little room it take to hide a full size person between 5'2" and 5'6" and 100-135 lbs. Of course the taller and heavier they are, more space will be needed.

If your assistant complains its too small and gets cramped the first time they try it, then you have the right size. Why do think most dancers and gymnists are used for assistants.

Because they are very flexable.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Oct 25, 2007 12:40AM)
Rick makes a great point when he said illusions are designed to appear smaller than they are, but I'd like to add that they are also designed to BE as small as possible. The assistant who fits inside is often as small as possible for the simple fact that they take up less room, but appearing outside the illusion in a non-compressed state, relatively similar to other people, who are not so small.

That is part of the illusion, as well. The apparatus appears smaller than it actually is, while the assistant appears larger than they actually are. Combined, this creates a seemingly impossible situation. Similar techniques are used in other areas of magic, too. Production items appear larger than any area that could have contained them, sometimes by design alone, sometimes by expandability, and sometimes by both.

While virtually identical in design, a Temple of Benares (original name is actually Temple of Angee, until Percy Abbott allegedly pinched it) differs from a doll's house illusion in that the girl assistant is seen prior to the effect. Because of this, it is necessary for her to appear as large as possible compared to the apparatus that she is climbing into. She must appear to completely fill it. This factor alone makes the subsequent effect even more astounding, but the tolerances must be very close.

The audience is lead to believe that if she barely fits within, there is no way that the swords can, too, without harm to the girl. When she then vanishes, the actual method is nearly impossible to decipher. If you barely fit within a box, how could you fit within just a small part of it? It becomes easy to dismiss this as illogical.
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Oct 26, 2007 12:44AM)
I had a Chalet Doll's House that I used when I worked for Paul Osborne back in the late 80's. My main assisant was a petite dancer.. about 5'5 100 pound soaking wet.

Oddly enough.. her boyfriend at the time was a swimmer in the high diving show across the park.. He was 5'9" 140 solid muscle.

Each of them fit in the illusion. The guy had to shimmy a bit.. but he fit in...

It was a GREAT advertisement for the high Dive show.. producing him in his speedo and then annoucing the showtimes. Unfortunately, the management of the park didn't have the same sense of humor and made us stop.

Howeer.. I have a friend in Chicago that just hired an assistant who DIDN'T fit into an iluson that MUCH larger girthed assistants had fit in. As it turns out.. she was very tall in the torso.. not fat.. just tall. That extran length kept her out of that particular box.

One size deosn't fit all. but it does fit most within reason.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Oct 26, 2007 08:21PM)
I used a Chalet one years ago. It was one of the first George built and did not have a lot of room for the gal. I was using a gymnast whose muscular thighs posed the most problem in loading her in the box.

It is a good illusion but you need an assistant. I preloaded the girl, put the swords in and showed in empty. When she was produced, she came out with a mutilated parasol and we went right into that routine.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Jonathanmc (Oct 27, 2007 12:55AM)
Thank you Jay.
Message: Posted by: Douglas.M (Nov 24, 2007 10:00PM)
Hi Jonathanmc,

My pal used to do musical/mimed act of Asian-themed manipulation and stage illusions (rings, kuma tubes, ducks, aerial fishing, etc.), and T of B was a favorite. Being an artist, I helped by using an airbrush to paint the Temple in order to make it look exotic. I made the roof look like gold tiles, put Chinese characters on the sides, and painted fighting Griffins on the door. It was beauty. My friend's Wife was the box-jumper. Although his Wife was petite, she was no contortionist or twelve year old but her size and general flexibility helped. It did look impossible that she could have come out of the thing. I am not a big fan of box illusions, but I thought this one was cool.

Douglas M.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Nov 25, 2007 04:38PM)
Dennis Loomis--in his great doll house dvd--says that the first time your assistant climbs into the doll house/sword temple, it probably will feel too tight for them until they get used to it.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Nov 25, 2007 10:13PM)
Here's what my dad always said:

1. the illusion should be made to fit your box jumper

2. there is no such thing as a temple in benares
Message: Posted by: Magic1962 (Nov 25, 2007 11:13PM)
I am right now having an illusion built for me, they needed height, and weight so they could make sure that she would fit fine.... in my Crystal Casket, its such a large base and box that it looses the illusion, if I don't have TWO girls come out... but I have found I make the one appear.... and cover it again... and make the other appear.... BLOWS them away they think they know how the first one came out... but cant believe the second... I was always told when you are getting an illusion, make sure that you build one out of cardboard first to make sure she fits good... but with you buying site unseen I totally see your problems.... GOOD LUCK! Dave
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Nov 26, 2007 05:26PM)
The problem with illusions that hide a person inside is that people come in many sizes. Often times an illusion act is a husband and wife, and when they are both young and svelt the illusions are fine. But, as we approach middle age, many of us "spread" ... some of us more than others. And so, it's often the case that the illusions come out of the act. Many times the wife retires from performing as well. Then, in some cases, the illusions are revived when the oldest daughter grows up to the point where she can perform.

Magician's that hire assistants for illusions prize the smaller assistants that are no taller that 5' 3" or so, and weigh in at 125 pounds or less. Many magic builders assume that's the standard size of the assistants, but often it's not.

As Jim said, sometimes the very first attempt to fit into an illusion seems hopeless. But, by removing the shoes, trying a simple costume with little bulk, and lots of experimentation as to position, often what seemed impossible works out to be only difficult but doable.

However, illusion buyers beware. If you're purchasing an illusion in which the size is critical, and if you have a specific person in mind who will work the illusion, it's important to try the actual illusion, or a same sized mock-up before investing your cash.

The best illusions are made specifically for the person who will work in them. They need to fit, but just barely, to make the hiding place as small as possible.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Nov 26, 2007 05:36PM)
The problem with illusions that hide a person inside is that people come in many sizes. Often times an illusion act is a husband and wife, and when they are both young and svelt the illusions are fine. But, as we approach middle age, many of us "spread" ... some of us more than others. And so, it's often the case that the illusions come out of the act. Many times the wife retires from performing as well. Then, in some cases, the illusions are revived when the oldest daughter grows up to the point where she can perform.

Magician's that hire assistants for illusions prize the smaller assistants that are no taller that 5' 3" or so, and weigh in at 125 pounds or less. Many magic builders assume that's the standard size of the assistants, but often it's not.

As Jim said, sometimes the very first attempt to fit into an illusion seems hopeless. But, by removing the shoes, trying a simple costume with little bulk, and lots of experimentation as to position, often what seemed impossible works out to be only difficult but doable.

However, illusion buyers beware. If you're purchasing an illusion in which the size is critical, and if you have a specific person in mind who will work the illusion, it's important to try the actual illusion, or a same sized mock-up before investing your cash.

The best illusions are made specifically for the person who will work in them. They need to fit, but just barely, to make the hiding place as small as possible.

Dennis Loomis