(Close Window)
Topic: straight jacket upside-down with chains?
Message: Posted by: samhenry (May 28, 2003 08:43PM)
Hello! Somebody know if some escape artist has tried escape of straight jacket upside-down WITH CHAINS before?

I know about Dean Gunnarson, but he made standing.


Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (May 28, 2003 09:15PM)

I am pretty sure that Robert Gallup has done it. If anyone knows different, please put me right! I am not 100% sure, but it's close :)

Standing with chains has been done by quite a few people, it's not that uncommon these days. Though personally I am not a fan of it. I see it as overkill and I think it weakens the straitjacket escape. More so I guess for a suspended escape.

Hope this helps

David Straitjacket
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 28, 2003 09:59PM)
I have done the USD jacket with chains on at least 3 occassions. I am sure others have also. Regards, Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Vonschwager (May 29, 2003 05:55PM)
Dear Santini, could you list what you haven't done?

Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (May 29, 2003 07:04PM)
I think the list would probably go something like this.



Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 29, 2003 09:18PM)
Hello to the arrogant all,
If you will bother to read what I wrote, you will notice that I not only said I had done a similiar escape, but I also gave credit to others who I am certain have also done so. There was no arrogance or "posturing" on my behalf. The great difference between myself and a number of people on this board is, that I have the proof required to demonstrate that I have actually done these escapes. Those who ask will be provided with same. That being said, I am not really suprised by the idiotic response by some so called "escapologists" who would rather buy "ready made props" and follow the teachings of a man who is a locksmith and who to my knowledge has never had the nerve to ever step upon a stage in his life. I guess this is the current "state of the art"... Sad really. Steve Santini.
Message: Posted by: Vonschwager (May 30, 2003 02:42AM)
Dear Santini, don't you make and sell "ready made props" yourself??? And arrogance is seen in your UPPER CASE name.

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (May 30, 2003 06:16AM)
Whoa Guy’s. What’s this about? Simple question was asked.

“Somebody know if some escape artist has tried escape of straight jacket upside-down WITH CHAINS before?”

A straightforward answer given by Mr. Santini (an experienced performer) that he had done it on at least three different times and mentioned that he knew of others that did it too.

So what’s with the personal stuff? It does not add to the thread.

Back the thread. I am not an escape artist yet I have done and will do an escape act when I need to.

I have performed the chained escape jacket escaped both standing and USD. The very first time I performed the chained USD escape was in Oklahoma (Norman) for a University of Oklahoma football pep rally in 1972.

I freely admit that I used a gimmicked straight jacket and about 50 feet of chain. The problem I had with the USD bit was keeping the chain on long enough to make it look like a struggle. It had a tendency to fall off as soon as I had been lifted upside down.

By the way, while I believe that I am self-effacing and humble, others describe me as an arrogant “know-it-all”. Who knows they may be right! But then opinions are like elbows, everyone has at least two!

Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (May 30, 2003 07:46AM)
Hi Steve

I hope that you did not take my response as either arrogance or an insult. It was meant as a compliment. I am sorry you did not see it that way but that was the intention. It seems, quite honestly, that you HAVE done it all in your time, there was no intent to accuse you of anything behind my words. As I said above, I intended to offer you a compliment, and to show recognition of your accomplishments.

For my part I can not claim to have done anything approaching the huge number of things you have done. I am not a pure escape artist and doubt I will ever be. But I will say that I have done everything I claim to, and can provide proof of this if required.

This includes:

Escaping from an ungimmicked and properly applied (with a knowledgable assistant and NO slack stealing) Posey straitjacket, whilst on Chinese stilts.

Picking and shimming ungimmicked Speedcuffs, Smith and Wessons, etc.

Suspended SJ with the same ungimmicked posey, as well as an ungimmicked, but oversized De Val Jacket.

Challenge rope escapes.

Escaping from ungimmicked barbwire handcuffs and neckcuff using my own padlocks. These were gimmicked, but in such a way as to pass a quick inspection by a locksmith, as well as a detailed inspection by a layperson. The gimmick merely reduced the difficulty in opening them rather than making it 'self working'.

Please ask if you wish to know what I did, I would rather not give it away here. And no, the padlocks were not bought gimmicked. I took the time to learn how to do it myself, and as far as I know, nothing is on the market that is the same. Similar yes, but not the same.

I feel that the personal, and in my mind entirly unwarranted attacks that your comment contained were unfair. If I am one of the 'idiotic so called escapologists' you are referring to, (and apologies for this if I am not) I would like to know how you came by that decision? Have you ever seen me perform? Do you know what knowledge I possess and what knowledge I don't posses. Obviously my knowledge and experience is far below yours. But when you first started referring to yourself as an EA I doubt that you had what you have now.

Since I learned of your work I have had great respect and admiration for you Mr Santini, I have always looked upon you as a goal to aspire to, a benchmark. This thread leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth and it leaves you, in my eyes, a smaller, and less important figure. You have insulted me for no reason I can fathom.

Yours confused and saddened.

David Straitjacket
Message: Posted by: samhenry (May 30, 2003 04:04PM)
Thanks Harry Murphy, for the information. Oh my God, what a forum!

Sorry for this Spanish sentence but: "La soberbia ciega al hombre"...

Somebody has been escape of an angry girlfriend? I need help...



Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (May 30, 2003 07:37PM)
Samuel, are you going to perform a USD straightjacket and chained escape?

By the way, how is performing in Venezuela? Are there good venues for magicians and escape artists? Is the Circus still popular? (I traveled with a Mexican circus for part of a season back in the 60’s. Man am I old!!).
Message: Posted by: The Donster (May 30, 2003 10:02PM)
please people this forum is to Help one Another not to go at each others throats. We are all here because of the Love We have for this Art. as to Harry your not OLD Harry just Terriffic. Don,
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (May 30, 2003 10:12PM)
Man, why are you busting on Steve? This man is the godfather of most escapes. There's 2 names I think of when I think escapology. Harry Houdini and Steve Santini. A year ago I knew nothing of Mr. Santini, Today I have seen some of his AWESOME routines on video tape. These are some thought out innovative routines. If I ever wanted to make a career out of escapology, I would have studied Mr. Santini's work more in depth. He is the master of our trade, and an ingenius inventor.

I am a firm believer that if you are going to be anything, ie. an escapologist you should try doing it the hard way before buying gaffs. Otherwise, if asked to perform impromptu, you look like an idiot. With that being said, the use of Steves products would greatly enhance a "real" performers performance 10 fold. There of the highest quality and one of a kind. Heck I wouldn't sell them if I didn't believe in them.

So Max, when you have done half the things that Steve has done, then you may make brash comments that are derogatory and hurtful....


P.S. Dave you and X-Treem would be next on my list of top performers of escapology! Dave, you never cease to amaze me.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (May 31, 2003 06:44AM)
Ok, maybe I should ask this or maybe not, who is busting on Steve and why?
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (May 31, 2003 07:29AM)
Hi All

My intention was never to bust on Steve or diss him in any way. I felt I had posted a compliment. If I am one of the people referred to as 'idiotic' and 'so called escapologist' then I stand by my comments. If not, then I withdraw them and apologise unreservedly.

Scott, I really don't deserve to be on that list! Thanks for the props but in the end my escapology work just doesn't have the depth or skill to be mentioned in that list of names. But hey, if you want to put me on your list of favorite sideshow artists!

Have fun

David Straitjacket
Message: Posted by: RichardJones (May 31, 2003 11:57AM)
Are the best football coaches better than their students? No. Otherwise they would be playing the game themselves.

Did the best directors start as the best actors? No. That is why people such as Orson Welles are so remarkable.

Indeed, many of our classiest directors have never had any real experience of acting at all.

Setting aside any previous encounters we have had, Santini, and merely looking at your post above it is rather naive to assume that someone who has not performed cannot be a great teacher.

Or, inverting the analogy, do the greatest academics in a particular subject necessarily make the best teachers? It would indeed be arrogant to assume that an ability to perform automatically endows one with an ability to pass on knowledge as and when appropriate. Take Houdini...

As for your scathing comments about ready made props, do answer the post above which brilliantly points out that it is you, yourself, who manufactures and sells said items.

And in attempting to deny your arrogance you have merely highlighted in the purest form available that it exists in the first place.

Because when you are paid a compliment by people suggesting, in a jocular fashion, that you might have done everything you take their suggestions SERIOUSLY.

That is intensely amusing.

As I said, my comments are entirely drawn from the evidence above and are entirely impartial.

I cannot be biased until I have seen a performance - and I was quite upset not to have been on your distribution list for a copy of your video when it was released, Steve.

Would you care to send me a copy?

Then at least I will be able to see your talent first hand (and I do not speak tongue in cheek) and I will be able to grant some respect to you as a performer.

Please send me a private message should you like my address. I shall not reply again to this post as it is best not to get sucked in to such discussions.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 31, 2003 12:02PM)
Hmmm, I'm old and a bit senile but I understood right away that David was giving Mr. Santini a wonderful compliment. Why one would have to be an idoit to have not seen that.
Message: Posted by: samhenry (May 31, 2003 09:40PM)
Yes Harry I want to try USD straight jacket and chained escape! Here there are good magicians like Sonny Fontana, but in general the magic is strange in Venezuela.

Well, please talk about escape...

Somebody has been escape of USD straight jacket and chained with burning rope?

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (May 31, 2003 09:43PM)
That’s a good question. I have never done the suspended by a burning rope gag! I don’t know of anyone who has added chains to their USD burning rope jacket escape. Anyone?
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 1, 2003 04:29AM)
Harry, I don't know either but that burning rope can be DANGEROUS. It was shown on T.V. already if you want an idea on how to do it or a way to do it that might be safer PM me. Don,
Message: Posted by: RichardJones (Jun 1, 2003 04:41AM)
Dear escapists, I wrote the following article a few years ago which deals with this issue...not the safety side of things but whether you should actually do the SJ and chain escape...I hope it might be of some use.

Superfluity - Richard Jones

I often hear of people who are proud to be able to escape from several restraints at a time. While on the surface, this seems like a good idea, I am not convinced of its value.

Certainly, when starting out in escapes, it is tempting, having learnt to escape from a straitjacket (usually gimmicked) to then try the escape with rope on top. Having found this not to be much more hassle, the person then tries with chain as well. Discovering the chain doesn’t really act as a hindrance he tries being strapped to a chair. And so on. I know. I did it.

Now, the reason the person is doing this is perfectly understandable. Just starting out in escapes they find they want a challenge. They want to find something that really tests the limits of their newfound abilities so psychologically, stock piling every restraint possible, seems like a tough trial.

However fun discussing the psychology of escaping is, the purpose of this article is that I believe there are various limitations on what restraints can be put together.

What exactly am I trying to say? Well, effectively there are several different groups or families of restraints/restraining devices. These are formed according to a particular restraints nature. So, all the humane restraints would go together, all the chain releases would go together, all the ‘self contained restraining devices’ (SCRDs) like handcuffs etc would go together and so on:

Humane restraints:
Leather cuffs
Restraining beds
Insane muffs

Leg irons

Chain releases:
Lightening shackles
75ft chain escape
Extra chain

Milk Cans
Oil drums
Water caskets

There are four distinct groups and in my opinion, restraints shouldn’t be mixed between the groups. Use as many items from the same group together in one go, but never mix.

So, for example, if you want to make your escape from a pair of leather cuffs a little tougher (by the way, Cannon’s now sell gimmicked leather handcuffs) you should not go adding a few metres of chain. You could, though, try a straitjacket on top.

If you want to make a thumbcuff escape harder, you shouldn’t add a chain wrist tie, but you could add a pair of cuffs.

Deep down, this feels right doesn’t it?

But then we run into problems with a few classic or stock escapes. The straitjacket with chain or rope for one (please don’t tell me you use both). An escape regularly used by the performing professional and even by the leaders of our field.

I can’t possibly say that its wrong then can I? Well I can. It is. By saying you will make the straitjacket even more secure by adding this piece of chain/rope/garden hose you are effectively saying that in itself the straitjacket is not secure. You can deny the fact that this is what the audience will pick up but think about it – the only reason you do add that extra piece of something is because you know you can get out of the jacket easily. As soon as you add something, the jacket might just as well not be there.

Similarly, isn’t it a bit ridiculous to have yourself handcuffed before entering a milk can? Isn’t the point that you are going to try and escape from the can? The audience can see it is impossible to reach the locks from the inside. But they can’t see why having your hands restrained is going to make the impossible task any harder. Can you? Indeed, if someone challenged you to attempt an escape from an ungimmicked can on the spur of the moment, you wouldn’t suggest that you should be handcuffed as well, would you? By having your hands cuffed, you are saying to your audience, “ there could be something inside the can which will help me get out. By restraining my wrists, I will not be able to get at it”. The handcuffs become a throw away. They are completely superfluous to the escape as a whole.

You may disagree with my views entirely. Even if you do, I hope I may have inspired you to give a little consideration to the way you use your restraints.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jun 1, 2003 11:00PM)
I have found your average joe, just wants a good performance, whether it is from a straight jacket or ropes. It doesn't matter what you escape from, make it dramatic and interesting. I just started street performing in Chicago, and people love to see the foolish magician flopping on the floor escaping from a straight jacket, if I add chains does it make it more amusing? I think not. The more we add to the escapes, it only amuses other escapists....

Nice observation Mr. Jones.
Message: Posted by: pastorclyde (Nov 5, 2006 10:05PM)
I have performed a hanging, upsidedown strait jacket escape with chains and locks instead of straps. It was originally Steve Santini's idea. I adapted his idea to make it my own. Please note, dropping locks and/or chains from 90 or so feet creates a very dangerous situation on the ground. Crowd control is necessary. I had a 10 oz lock imbed itself into pavement. Others rolled toward the crowd. I make sure to have security and crowd barriers since some kids will want to retrieve whatever falls. I have performed it many times and it has worked out quite well. For a video see http://www.mighellsillusions.com