(Close Window)
Message: Posted by: Son of a Beat (May 23, 2021 10:41AM)
I would like to have any feedback on past experiences with "smoke challenge" escapes.
As I can't travel with water with my street show, I'm testing out ideas for having smoke as the "can't breathe" factor.

Type of smoke that might hurt less the eyes? Water base, glycerin base,...?
Goggles needed (sure it's good for the comedy effect)?
Compact smoke machine models to recommend? Battery models are super welcome. But will they last 2 minutes...

Do we react differently to smoke than water, instinct wise? Inhalation, absorption: more dangerous in the long run?
How to sell the danger factor as might contraption is not perfectly airtight, as any smoke chamber?

Any ideas or stories are welcome. Thanks.

Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (May 24, 2021 08:08AM)
Hi Marc,

Tell me a bit about your act. Are you a magician? an Escape Artist? Something else. I may be able to hook you up with some people who can share experience with you.

Message: Posted by: Son of a Beat (May 24, 2021 11:54AM)

I'm a a magician / circus artist. I've done basic escapes in the past, always with gimmicked/altered equipement.
The act is the developpement right know so I'm looking in many directions at the same time, lot of possibilities.
I always love to start from the basic, to see if and idea is doable or not.

Sure stuff is:
There will be some kind of contraption plugged to a smoke machine.
I'll need to free my hands in order to get out and breathe.
Pretty straight forward :)

I perform public places, mainly parks.
There's a second artist with me, so no Covid infected spectator is involved in the tie in and other operations.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (May 24, 2021 12:50PM)
Hi Marc,

Do you know Miranda Allen? She is an international busker and escape artist. She told me she was willing to talk to you about this topic. Give me your email address and I will get the two of you connected.


btw... Can you pick a simple lock? Can you pick a handcuff?
Message: Posted by: Moxahalla (May 24, 2021 04:24PM)
This topic reminds me of Norm Bigelow's "Gas Chamber" Escape....He MAY have published the plans, I'm not sure.
Message: Posted by: Son of a Beat (May 25, 2021 04:37PM)
Yes, I do.
But I don't remember Miranda doing any smoke escape?
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (May 25, 2021 07:55PM)
I can't swear on that one way or another, but I do know she offered to help you if she can.
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 3, 2021 12:32AM)
Bigelow's gas chamber "box' had a lift up lid and circular port hole in the front so you could see inside. A huge padlock was attached to the hasp that locked the lid. Norm Bigelow sold his act as full view escapes. I questioned him how he could in full view unlock the large padlock on the outside. He said that the side of the box had a smaller door fitted with a hasp and staple on the inside and was fastened with a regular cuff used instead of a padlock. He also added that this was fully explained to the audience prior to the escape. He said he had to pick the handcuff in order to escape the "poisonous'(?) gas before it over came him . Once the door on the side was opened, the smoke would also be released to the audience. (?) I never saw it performed, only the poster (A4 B&W photo) , just another of Norm's dreamings I think.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 16, 2021 11:54AM)
I don't think you need "gas" to be seen. We all know we breath out carbon dioxide we also all know that the level of CO2 in a confined space will kill you long before you run out of oxygen.

Ive performed a sealed wheelie bin escape on stage they did not want me to use water (fine) so I just gave the audience some figures about how long the oxygen would last and the CO2 would cause me to black out. The wheelie bin had a plexiglass window in the front, it soon misted up with my exhaled gases, no smoke needed. Ken Dean did an escape to promote no smoking day trapped inside a sealed and signed plastic bag with a load of cigarette ash and burnt paper etc. He won an accolade at the event for the innovative way to put across the anti smoking message. The irony there was that he missed the award ceremony as he was having a fag break (I made the last bit up but if you know Ken you know he smoked like a chimney). The being fastened in a sealed casket of some sort does the work for you - no need to provide any visible gas. Just look at Harley's appearance on the Venice Freak Show program doing his escape. COmpletly freaked people out - no fog/mist/gas needed.
Message: Posted by: rch129 (Jul 25, 2021 10:48AM)
Norman Bigelow did the smoke chamber at fairs. He did it while in a straitjacket. The was a hole in the bottom of the chamber and he would have the exhaust from a truck piped into it, real stuff but safe if you followed his method. He also had a smoke machine but he used fuel and when he got out the smell was not good