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Topic: Phantom of the Opera Chair Illusion
Message: Posted by: gspencer18 (Feb 4, 2013 01:45AM)
Hi all. I'm creating the illuscions for the musical Phantom of the Opera and would love to have some creative ideas about how to have a person disappear in a large throne of a chair. A large black cape/blanket will be placed over the person as he is sitting in the chair. When another person enters the scene, they pull the blanket off, which is still in the shape of a person sitting. And they are gone. I have a general idea how this is done, but am not sure of the best way to execute it professionally. Would love to hear any ideas you might have.

Gavin (first-timer)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Feb 4, 2013 06:11AM)
Hello Gavin...


Your avatar "gspencer18" -- does that mean YOU are 18? Is this a high school production? Do you have a budget?

The chair is not too commonly used, so finding a used prop might be a real challenge. --and your budget might not allow for it.

Where are you located? What is the deadline for having it up and running? I ask these questions, as I MIGHT know to whom to send you.

I assume your production is on a proscenium stage.

If "another person" enters, who is "they"? ("They" pull the blanket off, and "they" are gone???)I suspect "another person" is the first "he" and the and the third "they" should be "he" (the phantom).
Message: Posted by: gspencer18 (Feb 4, 2013 10:26AM)
No, I'm not 18. I'm the director of a high schools show. Our production isn't until May. We don't have a lot of money to spend on this part of the show as we are spending a lot to fly a professional "phantom" chandelier. We would like to build the illusion ourself rather than hire someone. I have some idea how it is done, but I'm not sure about the details. I believe the chair would have to have a false back. The tricky part is when the Phantom covers his body sitting in the chair with the large blanket/cape and slides through the false back, how do you keep the shape of the Phantom's body sitting in the chair? Then when Meg enters and sees the shape of a person sitting in the chair, she uncovers it, only to find the Phantom's mask sitting in the chair.

And yes we are performing on a 34' wide proscenium stage. Lighting will be fairly dark for this scene. The chair will also be black.

FYI: Our school is in northern California.

Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Feb 4, 2013 02:14PM)
Welcome gspencer18,

Are you a Magician?

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Jim Sparx (Feb 4, 2013 07:23PM)
Welcome to the Café
Message: Posted by: gspencer18 (Feb 5, 2013 10:39AM)
My son really likes sleight of hand / card tricks, but I have only collaborated with a local magician in some other stage productions - Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. I've always been fascinated with illusions, and love the technical part of it. Maybe some day I'll jump in when I feel I have more time. I am a high school choir director in northern California. I have 160 students in five choirs and direct our musical every year. It is a very big tradition in our community. This will be our school's 44th consecutive musical. I want this one to be special.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Feb 5, 2013 11:04AM)
Hi gs--18
Yesterday, I spent a half hour writing up some info. for you, and this "infernal electrisch peckenclacker" ate the whole thing before I could hitr the send button.

I'll try to find some time in the next day or so to reconstruct! But, don't hold your breath!!!!
Message: Posted by: gspencer18 (Feb 5, 2013 11:05AM)
Thank you Dick. I would appreciate it.
Message: Posted by: DavidKenney (Feb 6, 2013 10:08AM)
Hey Gavin Welcome to the Magic Café, it's a great resource! Lots of wisdom in these pages!
Message: Posted by: Dr. TORA (Feb 14, 2013 05:06AM)
Hi gavin,
Let me welcome you to our beautiful Café. As you have noticed it is one of a kind;unique.Absolutely the best the best place about magic ever.You will find this as a invaluable source that you can not buy even with money. The people are so friendly as well as being helpful.The Café is such a the unique place for Magic. It is ever expanding and has over 52.000 members throughout the world. It will make a great contribution to your magic perspective. Do not forget to post often. You will find many new friends and many new ideas here. I predict you will like the Café.Please grab a chair and begin to type your next post while you have a cup of strong Turkish coffee on my bill.
We are glad that you have joined us.
Message: Posted by: Thatoldblackmagic (Jul 17, 2013 06:25PM)
Having built illusions for phantom and having been his makeup artist, I suggest you look up 3 things 1. Dekolta Chair which we used on a base, plans from Abbotts or Osbourne 2. Satans Seat/Dream Seat (Paul Osbourne as this is what the original was based on) just be creative with its method ala the original production & broadway 3. A cape vanish form, look up Illusion Arts they make an awesome one (it was used in the past UK tour and new American national tour). Also look up Rob Lake theatrical for detailed plans and illusion rentals for custom phantom props in the US, If you werein the UK you could have had my throne!
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jul 18, 2013 01:39AM)
Hello gspencer18

Welcome to the café. You got from Thatoldblackmagic the technical track to follow. Now you'll discover that magic is 10% technique and 90% showmanship, misidrection, acting, script...
As you are obviously serious about making a good show but don't know much about magic itself, may I encourage you to get into our section "FCood for thoughts" and do some serious reading about what makes the magic in the use of a technical tool. You may particularly want to read the posts of Pop Haydn as it will tremendously help you to build your show
Message: Posted by: donrodrigo (Jul 18, 2013 04:52AM)
So much for the intro.