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Topic: Steve Santini is Houdini reincarnated
Message: Posted by: Don Randini (Nov 1, 2004 06:58PM)
Anyone looking for the closest thing to Houdini you gotta check out Steve Santini's website at http://www.stevesantini.com this guy is something else. anyone seen this site? he's Houdini reincarnated

Don
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Nov 1, 2004 07:10PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-01 19:58, Don Randini wrote:
Anyone looking for the closest thing to Houdini you gotta check out Steve Santini's website at http://www.stevesantini.com this guy is something else. anyone seen this site? he's Houdini reincarnated

Don
[/quote]

I have written about this before...

...but read the above again.

Now, you mean to tell me you can't see how silly (the kindest word I can use) it sounds?

First, LOTS of people claim to be Houdini reincarnated. He can't be in all of them! Years ago a local yahoo, upset that I was on the radio as an escape artist and he wasn't, actually called the station and said "he shouldn't be on the air because he is stealing my act!" When they asked him how I stole his act he said "Because I am Houdini reincarnated and he stole my act!"

Needless to say, such claims make one an odd ball at best.

Second, and more to the issue of escape artists in 2004 and beyond, why would ANYONE want to find Houdini?

HE IS DEAD!!! So is EVERY manner he used to gain publicity.

You have to take the concept and move it forward.

I am sure Mr. Santini is a comptent escape artist. How much fame he will gather for himself will depend on how well he "escapes" the Houdini mould (not a mis-spell), rather than embraces it.

Notice how each major illuisionist of the last 30 years (Wilson, Blackstone, Henning, Copperfield) has been NOTHING like the other.

Escape artists need to learn from that example.

Mark Tripp
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 1, 2004 08:28PM)
We all need to be different in our own ways.
Message: Posted by: schwartz (Nov 1, 2004 08:51PM)
Gotta disagree with you there. Santini is not Houdini reincarnated. I would say that no one today even comes close. Sorry. Santini is a very good escape artist but he is not the second coming of Houdini.

That is a pretty stangely worded plug I must admit. If you've read any previous posts you know everyone on the board knows who Santini is.

Schwartz
Message: Posted by: Don Randini (Nov 1, 2004 08:52PM)
Everyone? I would disagree with that!

Don
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Nov 1, 2004 08:56PM)
Well, if there are those who do not, then it kinda kills the Houdini reference.

EVERYONE would know Houdini if he were around today.

He isn't, we can't ever be, so best we forge our own trails.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 1, 2004 09:24PM)
Houdini got Fowled up a couple times in a straitjacket. a phonebooth and even in a pay toilet from what I hear. Don,
Message: Posted by: Kevin Connolly (Nov 1, 2004 10:24PM)
I think the phone booth etc. stories are now Magic Urban Myth. I don't remember reading any of these stories anywhere, but I'm willing to learn.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 1, 2004 10:40PM)
Ok in Kansas Cirty Mo. there is a Bar in a Hotel that has a Plaque in it. which I beleive is for the Bathroom one as for the phonebooth I beleive it has been in more then one book and also might of been in a newspaper. also there is a stritjacket Houdini didn't get out of. thanks to KSD for tipping this one off. Houdini Also Refused to Attempt the Fenton Lock. Why did He I'm not sure. there are also a few jail cell's Houdini Supposedly Refused to Escape from. Don,
Message: Posted by: Kevin Connolly (Nov 1, 2004 10:55PM)
I don't know how much weight I put in plaques, especially in bathrooms in bars. That's just me.

As for refusing challenges, he would, if it meant the challenger/challenge was made to injure him. Like the time two doctors challenged him to escape from surgical thread. He did it once and no need to reinjure himself. There was a small part of the public that would enjoy that in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 1, 2004 11:00PM)
I'm not sure if the plaque is in the bathroom in the bar. but why refuse the fenton lock. and were there signs/posters going around that nothing on earth could hold houdini a prisoner houdini was only human not super natural.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Connolly (Nov 2, 2004 12:26AM)
I don't think I or any poster ever said he was supernatural. And I don't think 1 lock could overshadow a whole career. Houdini was much more than just an escape artist.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Nov 2, 2004 03:31AM)
OT: Does anyone have a photo of Houdini holding a black rabbit?
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Nov 2, 2004 09:57AM)
Hi,

I just got back from Germany after a great trip and I saw this thread.

Against my better judgement, I think I want to throw my two cents in since this thread seems to have mentioned me by name.

While I do appreciate the compliments, I think the premise of the tread is rather silly.

It seems to me that there are already far too many people in escapes calling themselves the greatest in the world (something I have never done) and that to imply someone is even more somehow and is in fact the modern Houdini is going too far overboard.

Let me go on the record and say I am not the world's greatest, I do not claim to be, I have never claimed to be, and, more importantly, I personally want NOTHING to do with the legend that is Harry Houdini as far as comparisons are concerned.

No one could ever be like Harry because the times in which he crafted his fame were so very different than modern days.

Society was different, technology was different, etc.

Let me also say that while I respect what Harry did in his career and how he pulled it all off, I really want no comparisons between myself and his work and in fact feel that the hardest thing anyone in this trade can ever try to escape is his shadow.

I would be more than pleased if when a news story is done on me his name never even came up but it often does.

It just can't be helped I guess.

Please let me also say that I do not really care if anyone in escapes thinks I am good, better, or great in any way.

While it is nice to hear positive things from peers, it is really only the opinion of the audience and the people that pay you that counts.

To this end I will just go on doing what I have done for over 20 years... namely, crafting escapes, performing them, and enjoying them.

Let someone else enjoy the mantle being "the best".

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Don Randini (Nov 2, 2004 10:24AM)
I gathered from your great website and the wording that you were considerd to be the next houdini. thought others might want to check your site out if they have not seen it already.

Don
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Nov 2, 2004 10:30AM)
Since I designed the site, yes I have seen it.

Let em say this about Mr. Santini:

Houdini was often considered boering. He took forever to escape devices and cells. Steve is the cutting edge escapist. Within moments Steve escapes danger and other obstacles that help foster a feeling of fear and drama. Mr. Santini is a master of his craft and has created several routines that elisit astounding emotions even HUMOR!

I currently use several ideas that Steve has originated including a hypno induction, russian roulette (On occasion), and even some publicity stunts. I am honored to have been a part of the Santini legend by creating the site.

"Steve, may you experience even more success and fame with the future (especially Germnay)! Legends never die, they only grow stronger!

-Doctor Zodiac"
Message: Posted by: Don Randini (Nov 2, 2004 10:34AM)
He sure has a great site and sure looks like the real thing to me. anything but boring from what I can tell.

Don
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Nov 2, 2004 10:52AM)
Dear Dr. Zodiac and Don Randini,

Thank you for the kind words but I really want it made perfectly clear that I am just an ordinary guy doing something he loves and has loved doing for over 20 years.

I have come to the point where I only really care what the audience thinks and those who engage my services.

There are just too many egos in the escape world to expect consistent opinions on any one artist from those involved in the craft. Too many are in too many camps which sadly are opposing as opposed to united as one brotherhood.

I know this will likely never change so I really care very little about what others in the craft say about one artist vs. another. I do what I do the way I do it and that is good enough for me thank you.

Call it humble, call it what you want but these are my own feelings on my involvement in escapes and I consider them to be nothing but honest.

Of course, others will no doubt have a different opinion and will ikely voice same here.

It does not really matter.

Scott, the trip to Germany went well and I even got into a German newspaper while over there. I will e mail you a copy of the story but I imagine you may have trouble reading it :)

Glad I have been able to be of help to you over the years.

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Nov 2, 2004 11:14AM)
Steve those first three lines of your post say it all. I side with no one, I love you all, until you cross me. Ken.
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Nov 2, 2004 11:18AM)
Hi Ken,

Yes, killing is a messy business but it must sometimes be done.

Steve
Message: Posted by: WEASEL DANDAW (Nov 2, 2004 03:31PM)
Sorry that I'm almost following you again Ken, but I can only agree with you whole-heartedly.

Do your own thing Steve, what makes you happy.

Weasel
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Nov 2, 2004 05:23PM)
[quote]
Houdini was often considered boering. He took forever to escape devices and cells.
[/quote]

Ummm.... Whom thought this way?

Not anyone Houdini performed for.

There is not a single bit of print from his time that supports the statement.

Yes, people might think that today; but they didn't then.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 2, 2004 05:56PM)
We are all who we ARE. We all contribute and have an impression to make. Let's revel in that and get on with it.

Steve
Message: Posted by: AJP807 (Nov 2, 2004 07:53PM)
Hey, Welcome back Steve! Hope you and the family had a good trip. We really missed you around here (well, some of us did) Hope to see you here more often now.
As a side note, I'm probably one of a handful of people on the Café that has actually had the priveledge of seeing Mr. Santini perform live before an audience. I find his escapes to be very original and unique, and very enetertaining. He's also been very generous with sharing his methods. In my opinion, he's a very valued asset and resource to the escape community. Once again, welcome home Steve. I hope to hear more about the trip.
Best regards, Tony Parisi
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 2, 2004 08:33PM)
Yes we need more People like Mr/Sir Santini.
Message: Posted by: EscapeMaster (Nov 3, 2004 02:26AM)
>There is not a single bit of print from his time that supports the statement.

So you have read every single bit of print?

I have seen more than one letter written to newspaper editors who ran reviews of Houdini's shows that far from wax lyrical.
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Nov 3, 2004 04:22AM)
<<<So you have read every single bit of print?>>>

I have known Sid Radner for many years; I am positive I have seen more than most.

<<<I have seen more than one letter written to newspaper editors who ran reviews of Houdini's shows that far from wax lyrical.>>>

So you are ready to name the source and date of the paper that said Houdini took to long to make his escape?

Please let us all know where and when it was.....
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Nov 3, 2004 10:03AM)
Dear Dr. Zodiac,

I should have posted earlier; "I am glad I have been of help to you over the years AND I am glad you have been such a good friend and have been of such great help to me".

"Thanks man".

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 3, 2004 10:29AM)
Technically...as Steve Santini...Tont Paris and others can testify...

I was Houdini Reincarnated. :)
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Nov 3, 2004 10:31AM)
And heck,...

You still look pretty darn good too!

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: EscapeMaster (Nov 3, 2004 10:31AM)
Mark, your post seems very aggressive. I would gladly have a look through my material but I do have rather a lot and it could take some time.

One letter I can remember off hand I believe is quoted in DeVal's Cell Escape. A piece of correspondance from somebody who had witnessed/read a report about a Houdini cell escape. He pointed out that if the feeding hatch had been left open there really was no mystery to the escape which became, by implication, boring for the lock was obviously just manipulated from within the cell.

Whether the content of the letter is true or fair I will not comment but here is somebody in public suggesting Houdini was not all that wonderful and gripping as some had suggested. Not the only example, I am sure.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Nov 3, 2004 11:07AM)
Yep, break out the books and read. Houdini had a few boring runs mentioned, the straight jacket in the cabinet being the first one that comes to mind. Read the books about him.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Nov 3, 2004 11:29AM)
Yes Houdini had a few failures, who hasn`t, but in fifty years time who on this board will the public still be talking about ?
I see no mileage in knocking the King. Just think what could be achieved in biulding on his strong foundation.
Message: Posted by: Riley (Nov 3, 2004 11:54AM)
Well said, Ken

[quote]

One letter I can remember off hand I believe is quoted in DeVal's Cell Escape. A piece of correspondance from somebody who had witnessed/read a report about a Houdini cell escape. He pointed out that if the feeding hatch had been left open there really was no mystery to the escape which became, by implication, boring for the lock was obviously just manipulated from within the cell.

Whether the content of the letter is true or fair I will not comment but here is somebody in public suggesting Houdini was not all that wonderful and gripping as some had suggested. Not the only example, I am sure.
[/quote]

Well, that letter was written by a jealous local magician, who claimed he could do the same escape if given the opportunity. So why didn't he?

Although I don't commend the way Houdini dealt with some people (particularly his "imitators"), let's not forget he was at the top of the tree for many years, and people queued "around the block" to see him.
He was a hard act to follow -- he is still.

As David DeVal used to say, "there's no point trying to be the "New Houdini" - the world hasn't finished with the old one yet!

We don't need any new (or re-incarnated) Houdini's. We've got some GREAT Escape Artists around at the moment - time moves on!!

Riley
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Nov 3, 2004 01:00PM)
<<<Mark, your post seems very aggressive.>>>

No sir, it reflected your tone to me. If you found it so you need to look to what you directed my way.

<<<One letter I can remember off hand I believe is quoted in DeVal's Cell Escape. A piece of correspondance from somebody who had witnessed/read a report about a Houdini cell escape. He pointed out that if the feeding hatch had been left open there really was no mystery to the escape which became, by implication, boring for the lock was obviously just manipulated from within the cell.>>>

You might want to look up the defination of "boring" so we can agree upon one for this discussion.

Understanding the method is not the defination I would use. More to the point, your contention that Houdini took "too long" and was "boring" is.

<<<Whether the content of the letter is true or fair I will not comment but here is somebody in public suggesting Houdini was not all that wonderful and gripping as some had suggested. Not the only example, I am sure.>>>

Not the same thing as boring or "too long". You have to stick with what you claim, not jump about when on the hook. That people were unhappy with a performance can have a great many reasons.

YOU said people thought Houdini took too long and was boring. THAT is what I want to see in print.

Thank you

Mark Tripp

[quote]
On 2004-11-03 12:07, KingStardog wrote:
Yep, break out the books and read. Houdini had a few boring runs mentioned, the straight jacket in the cabinet being the first one that comes to mind. Read the books about him.
[/quote]

Sorry but this is simply wrong.

People were not BORED by Houdini's Strait-jacket out of view. They simply DID NOT BELIEVE he did it without help.

Not the same thing at all sir.

When brother Theo tiped him to doing it in full view, it clicked big time.

[quote]
On 2004-11-03 12:29, Kondini wrote:
Yes Houdini had a few failures, who hasn`t, but in fifty years time who on this board will the public still be talking about ?
I see no mileage in knocking the King. Just think what could be achieved in biulding on his strong foundation.
[/quote]

Well, the issue here is one of "projection" and more to the point the silly idea that those doing it now are somehow much better than Houdini as by intimation they don't take too long and are not "boring".

The truth is, when they shed a strait-jacket in 5 seconds they become fools. No one in the audience believes they are really in there; and there is NO presentation or showmanship in such a release.

I find the entire "look you tied me up and now I am out" to be VERY boring, as do most audiences. Hence the need for showmanship and presentation.

THAT Houdini had, and most of his followers do not.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 3, 2004 01:42PM)
True and there was one guy that got out of one in 45 seconds I was the time keeper. problem is he had his arms/hands up awful high either the jacket was rigged or he cant realy work it out.
Message: Posted by: EscapeMaster (Nov 3, 2004 02:46PM)
Yet again, Mark, you are unnecessarily aggressive. Do you deliberately want to raise the temperature in this place?

My tone to you? My, I merely asked you whether you could really know for fact what you said in a rather sweeping statement. If you took that personally my sincere apologies.

The problem with the net is that you cannot write with tone so you have to take everything at face value. Please do not try and infer things from what I write. I know a lot of people on this forum are full of spite but do not take me for one of them.

>YOU said people thought Houdini took too long and was boring.

No need to shout.

Now please point out where I 'contended' that Houdini took too long to effect his escapes. I picked up on somebody elses suggestion that some people regarded Houdini as boring. I did not pick up on the taking too long part. I was making a different point. This besides, why do you care so much?

I am not taking sides with whoever made that initial comment against you like we were in some schoolyard. I was merely trying to add another angle to our discussion. And now, of course, as usual, it is turning sour.

> You have to stick with what you claim, not jump about when on the hook.

What I 'claimed' was that not everybody 'waxed lyrical' about Houdini. And that I confirmed with the evidence I cited above. The very fact that you believe you have me 'on the hook' is a clear indication that you are being aggressive.

Cutting back to the chase, just because something is not in print does not mean it was not so. If you were to go to see Copperfield and you thought he flashed at one point or drew out an illusion too long you would not write an article about it for a paper! And I doubt you would even write a letter to an editor about it. So your demand for print evidence is not the write request to make to solve the suggestion that has been put to us.

Now, to further this discussion along, writing these posts has jogged my memory. I now remember seeing an interview on television with somebody (now an old man) who was talking about seeing Houdini as a boy. In the interview he said he remembered people being bored because the escapes took so long but they put up with it because they wanted to see whether he would get out. This is coming back to me the more I think about it but I cannot remember the source. Does this ring any bells with anybody?

I am sure somebody (Mark?) might argue that if they wanted to stay and see the result then they clearly were not bored but I believe anybody thinking that is just facetious.

I just wish I could remember when/where I saw it.
Message: Posted by: GreatWizardoftheEast (Nov 4, 2004 12:36AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-02 11:30, Dr_Zodiac wrote:


Houdini was often considered boering. He took forever to escape devices and cells. "
[/quote]

Who was it that considered Houdini boring? To quote you Doctor, from June, "Facts, I need facts!" LOL, I knew if I waited long enough, I could get ya back. All in good fun :) Glad to see you posting again.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Nov 4, 2004 03:32AM)
A well known magician who owns a shop in Chicago has stated that he fell asleep during Houdinis show it was so boring.
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Nov 4, 2004 04:43AM)
Ok, so like Area 51, now we resort to third hand accounts, with no names on them?

It is no revelation that magicians thought Houdini was not very skilled.

Vernon hated Houdini as a performer too.

Whom DID THE PUBLIC think was better?

This is a core issue boys and if you can't grasp this one there is no way you are going to progress.

The PEOPLE WHO PAID HIM, NEVER thought Houdini was boring or took too long. His audience never thought so either.

That magicians were negitive because they were jealous is not only not new, these pages are filled with it as well.

Not going to get there this way. I reject the premise as unfounded and lacking any evidence. Moreover, the core point was the silly attempt to infer that escape artists today are better than Houdini because they work much faster and do not bore their audience.

I reject that one too.
Message: Posted by: escapeguy (Nov 4, 2004 07:45AM)
The kid who fell asleep in houdinis show was jay marshall at the time he was 5 years old.
I think a lot of the people who post here just don't get what performance of escape is or maybe should be in the minds and eyes of the crowd.
This summer we had approx 271 standing room only shows out of a total of approx 280 shows. A lot of those people were returning for multiple shows - they were not bored in fact they said they really thought it was cool. Now we needed to do a box escape inside a cabinet and keep them entertained for up to 15 mins hidden from view. This is not terribly hard to do with a legitimate challenge built box but, with the problems of getting a challenger to come to this particular venue we had to create a vignette escape. It worked extremely well. I titled it 3 tried 3 died. It consisted of being handcuffed adding 30 pounds of chain being sealed into an airtight, waterproofed canvas bag which lockes on the outside and then placed into a heavy box made of marine grade plywood, locked and then stitched up in a form fitting canvas cover laced at the tope like a football finally placed in the cabinet. Man, with the proper story this worked like gangbusters
sorry this is longwinded but my point is you can take time if you create beliveability speed kills in something like quickest straitjacet escape (there is no sense of oh my gosh he wont make it)
think theater in the audience mind and you will go far grasshoper
ps check out the new vids on our site http://www.escapeguy.com
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 4, 2004 07:57AM)
Now here comes a question again. how long should it take or be allowed to escape without. losing your audience or their interest
Message: Posted by: escapeguy (Nov 4, 2004 10:05AM)
How long should it take?
The only people who can tell you is the audience.
If you ask the question in hopes of trying the escape it comes out like reading the words to hound dog or some other music classic - its just on paper. This is the biggest problem in magic. Performers think that if they go by whats on paper step by step even down to how long it should take that they will be a good performer no, just the opposite a passionless copy.

you have to go by your gut and feel. This may sound crass to some on here but its like sex. Every situation is a different personality and if you go strickly by the book and don't do anything unique for the instance then its done poorly and remembered if at all for the wrong reason

Go by instinct
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Nov 4, 2004 10:27AM)
100% correct.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Dec 23, 2004 08:06AM)
Well, I'm glad Steve Santini is back at escapes because he was an absolutely terrible Hypnotist. Sorry Steve, o'l buddy, some my think ur Harry Houdini...because you certainly ain't no Terry Stokes.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 23, 2004 09:28AM)
Not evrey body is good at evreything but evreyone trys
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Dec 23, 2004 01:09PM)
Ladies and gentleman of the forum, I am a crude man. Please forgive me, I was completly out of line saying this. I have personal issues with Steve and I should not have taken them up here...again, my humble apologies and this will not happen again.
Message: Posted by: Bigelow (Dec 23, 2004 08:15PM)
Hi Rick, welcome to the board, good to see a straight forward talker.
Many believe the same thing and don't have the heart to say so, or not a Christmas anyway.

David
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Dec 23, 2004 08:50PM)
Thanks Dave, LOL....really...LOL...LOL. I have placed myself into trouble at times with my bluntness. My apologie for what I said was directed at the fair readers of this form, not at Santini. But I have more things to worry about than him...nuff said about that and him.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 24, 2004 02:44AM)
Rick its ok and its not the first time this has happened. others have done it to.
Message: Posted by: thorndyke (Dec 26, 2004 08:39PM)
It is no secret that Santini and I are not friends, but I believe in giving the devil his due, and must disagree with Mr. Silmser's description of Santini as a terrible hypnotist. I saw him perform an act for a group here in Winnipeg some years ago, and I have to admit that he did a good job. I do not do the hypnotist act myself, but am relying on a background of having seen numerous live hypnotists over the years, most of which I could only describe as bottom drawer performers. It does not change my personal opinion of Santini.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Dec 26, 2004 09:19PM)
To coin a phrase..."To each, his own"
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 26, 2004 11:49PM)
Evreyone has their likes and dislikes.