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Topic: Bryce's Screen
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 6, 2005 08:43AM)
For years now, Abbott's has sold an illusion called Bryce's Screen. From the description, it is a multiple sides screen that can produce a person when closed. It says you can actually bring spectators up to the stage and perform it surrounded. Has anyone had any experience with this product? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Message: Posted by: Alex Tan (Jan 6, 2005 11:02AM)
I got it last month and have had great experience with it. The illusion is simple but rather effective. Personally I believe that it's a much more deceptive illusion if you have some distance from the audience. It could possibly work with spectators up on stage but I have yet to try it.

Message: Posted by: Cashetta (Jan 6, 2005 12:54PM)
I used Bryce's screen for the first time a few months ago and it's really a great and easy way to produce someone you don't have a lot of time to rehearse with. I also agree that distance help a lot. I rented one from a fellow magician and then ordered plans to make my own.

Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 7, 2005 03:17PM)

I spoke to the guys at Abbott's today and they actually made mention of the Screen they recently made for you. Is your's the one where the screen's were painted black and white in kind of an oriental theme? I was wondering if you could provide me with a detailed review of this product, including comments on quality and workmanship. Are there any inherent weakensses in the effect? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Alex Tan (Jan 8, 2005 01:38AM)
I had wanted it to be made with an oriental theme earlier on but opted for a simple black and white stripe design. I got the illusion earlier than the date promised by Abbott's, but the air shipping did cost as much as the illusion itself. Overall, I think the illusion is well-built, easy and just as I expected. I'm pretty pleased with the illusion.

Unless you understand the workings and have an idea of how you intend to use the illusion, I would suggest you do more research. If you are only after the secret, you might get a little disappointed. The illusion is however, deceptive and effective if you put some time and thinking into it.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 8, 2005 10:25PM)
Bryce's Screen is a definite asset to an illusion show. It's a very simple way of producing a person, without needing a lot of rehearsal. I've had one for about a dozen years or so.
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Jan 9, 2005 05:28PM)
How tall is this illusion? I gather it doesn't fold for traveling does it?

Message: Posted by: RJE (Jan 9, 2005 05:54PM)
Kent and Mike

If you would like to invest a few dollars before buying the illusion, the set of Osborne plans for Bryce's Screen can be bought here:


The plans are straight forward and you could consider building this illusion yourself. It is probably one of the easiest full size stage illusions to build.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 9, 2005 07:46PM)
Mine is about seven feet tall. It folds flat, into a piece about 8 inches thick by about 18 inches wide, by about seven feet tall. If anyone is interested in purchasing it, I might be willing to part with it. I don't use it any more.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Jan 10, 2005 12:52PM)
I too purchased the "plans" for this illusion. I've always been facinated by the thing and would love to own one, but in reality the amount of times I'd be able to use it and the storage problems of something 7 feet long in a two bedroom apartment have to be considered.

I think one of the biggest stops for me is that Abbott's (bless their souls I love the place), is not known for their tastefully decorated props. Even the drawing is ugly and I can only imagine the coloring of the actual cloth covering.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 10, 2005 01:51PM)
Mr. Palmer,

Could you possibly post a picture of the screen? I've never actually seen one other than the sketch provided in the Abbott's catalogue. Thanks.

Message: Posted by: Bradacal (Jan 10, 2005 09:33PM)
I think if you watch the JASON BYRNE demo you will see one.....I'm not sure....but it sounds similar.

If anyone knows, am I correct???
Message: Posted by: John Bundy (Jan 10, 2005 09:42PM)
Mr. Tougas:

Abbotts is very accommodating. You can have one made in any color you like. I had one made in a solid red for a Santa arrival.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 10, 2005 10:45PM)
On 2005-01-10 14:51, magicman845 wrote:
Mr. Palmer,

Could you possibly post a picture of the screen? I've never actually seen one other than the sketch provided in the Abbott's catalogue. Thanks.


It would be difficult. The thing is at my warehouse, which is not close by.
Message: Posted by: Alex Tan (Jan 11, 2005 06:34AM)
Zaam101 is right, Jason Bryne used a Bryce's Screen for the production of his assistant for his Origami routine.

Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 11, 2005 08:35AM)
Does anyone know where can I find a video clip of the Jason Bryne demo? Thanks in advance.

Message: Posted by: RVH Magic (Jan 11, 2005 08:42AM)
You find a video clip on his website :www.jasonbyrne.com (not bryne ! )
Message: Posted by: Alex Tan (Jan 11, 2005 09:32AM)
Ok... byrne!!!

I apologise for not checking the spelling, didn't know it would get such a reaction.

Message: Posted by: RVH Magic (Jan 11, 2005 11:31AM)
Hey Alex,
No problem - I just wanted to let the folks here at the Café know the correct spelling in case they wanted to look him up thru google...
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Jan 11, 2005 06:04PM)
Are you guys sure that the screens on the viseo are Bryce's Screen? I though Bryce's screen was made up of three visible panels, the one in the video gad six pannels.

Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jan 11, 2005 09:44PM)
I'm really glad to see this thread on Bryce's screen because I've been considering buying the plans too. My interest is in producing a vent figure so I think I could use a shorter screen. From those of you who know the illusion, would it work for producing a 38" dummy? (no offense meant to Dodger)

Message: Posted by: John Bundy (Jan 11, 2005 11:03PM)

The Bryce screen needs a little help from the person being produced. You might consider an over sized Temple Screen.


Six is the number of screens the audience should see.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 12, 2005 09:29AM)
Someone had mentioned that the plans for the Bryce's Screen may be available from the Osborne Illusion Systems. Does anyone know which volume of Osborne it may be in? The catalogues that sell Osborne do not list the illusions contained in many of the volumes. Thanks.

Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Jan 12, 2005 09:57AM)
Can this illusion be performed with just one assistant (the one that appears) or do you need another assistant to help you manipulate and close the screens?

Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jan 12, 2005 10:41AM)
On 2005-01-12 10:29, magicman845 wrote:
Someone had mentioned that the plans for the Bryce's Screen may be available from the Osborne Illusion Systems. Does anyone know which volume of Osborne it may be in? The catalogues that sell Osborne do not list the illusions contained in many of the volumes. Thanks.


Recently there was a discussion about the contents of the Paul Osborne books. I made an excel file that lists them all. Bryce's screen doesn't seem to be listed, but you can buy the plans individually here:


Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Jan 12, 2005 04:06PM)
Bryce's screen would not work with a vent dummy not so much because the assistant helps as this could be worked around in a smaller sized version but because the screens height aids the illusion, A smaller screen unless the audience was below the sightlie of the top of the screen would not work. I think a large Temple Screen would be an excellent choice. BTW - To answer a question regarding number of panels, Bryces screen has six panels (At least as far as the spectators vantage shows.)
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jan 12, 2005 10:04PM)
Thanks, Frank and John. That's what I needed to know.
I'll build a large Temple Screen instead.

Message: Posted by: John Bundy (Jan 13, 2005 09:38AM)
Thank you Oliver.
You may also want to look into the Wonder Screen from Owen Magic Supreme. It may have a lot of advantages for what you want to do.
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Jan 13, 2005 11:05AM)
Abbotts I believe has some plans. I could be wrong.

Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 13, 2005 11:17AM)
Abbott's does not sell their own plans for the screen. Instead, they sell the Osborne plans for the same effect. Greg at Abbotts confirmed that the illusion is very easy to construct, especially if you have access to a decent seamstress. The plans sell for $25.00 - the same price as the web site listed above.

Message: Posted by: Barry Gitelson (Jan 14, 2005 02:46PM)
I have this and don't use it all that often but when I do it works very well.

I first got it to produce Santa in the middle of an open court yard at a shopping center and it blew the audiance away.

Last year I produced Santa at a resort and the helpers I was expecting from the agency didn't show up and I grabbed two of the wait staff during the show and had them turn it for me and even they didn't know how santa got there. For such a good sized production it packs down fairly small and the time needed to teach the person being produced is minimal.

I usually bring "witnesses" on stage to do a quick walk around examination and "keep an eye on things" right before the spin around and production.
Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 1, 2005 10:55PM)
How many visible screens are there in the Bryce Screen illusion? I've seen 3 panel, 4 panel, 6 panel props called Bryce screens. The 3 panel screen was not gimmicked, it was just accomplished by handling, without enclosure during the display. I didn't consider it very deceptive or easily handled.

I'm interested in producing untrained helpers, with little or no effort on their part.

I'm looking for opinions, pros/cons of different Bryce Screen setups. I'm considering a 5 panel, set up as a 6, but the offset storage diamond would be less noticeable than the diamond storage being completely centered. Also, which would be most easily handled by a single performer.

Also, any ideas for panel construction? I'm considering coroplast, not foamboard, with 1/2" thick by 2" wide poplar wood borders, fastened to the coroplast using adhesive. I'm still up in the air on hinges, but I'll probably end up with bookbinding or gaffers tape.

Any ideas on the bottom of the panels, where they touch the ground? Angles of attachment, angles of the top borders, etc?

I watched the video of Jason Byrne's screen that he uses before the origami, and it looked really good, lightweight and solid, but I want something that would be a little bit easier handled by a single performer without the 3rd person.

I'm also already using a small Temple Screen in the act, so I don't want to try to do the Temple Screen setup for the person production.

Thanks for any ideas,

Message: Posted by: David Charvet (Feb 2, 2005 03:37AM)
FYI - It's called "Bryce's Screen" because it was invented by Bryce Chambers, a Seattle magician who sold the idea to Percy Abbott in the 40's. I remember meeting Bryce when I was a teenager growing up in Seattle. A nice guy. I don't believe he's still around.
Message: Posted by: Rip (Feb 2, 2005 04:46AM)
Jason Byrne is updating his website at the moment and it is off-line. Would anyone have a copy of the video I could access?
Thanks... Rip
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 2, 2005 09:23AM)
I received my Osborne plans a couple of weeks ago and build the screen last weekend. It looks pretty close to the screen used by Jason Byrne. The illusion is very easy to build, especially if you (or someone you know) happens to know how to sew. I did make a few modifications to the plan in order to allow for slightly easier operation. Even with those changes, though, the total construction cost was only about $100.00. Bang for your buck, this illusion is definitely worth it.

Message: Posted by: Andrew (Feb 2, 2005 12:47PM)
Can "Bryce's Screen" be performed surrounded by the audience?

I'd like to use this for an outside event.


Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Feb 2, 2005 12:57PM)
In theory yes since it can be looked at from all sides. In practice, not really since you still have to load the person you are going to produce and with people on all sides there is no opportunity to do that.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 2, 2005 03:29PM)
From the official description in Abbott's catalogue, you can have an audience member come up on stage and stand behind the screen during the production. However, this would only work if the illusion was "loaded" ahead of time. In that case, the only bad angle would be from above. It is not an illusion to use if there is balcony seating.
Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 2, 2005 03:41PM)
Hi everyone,

I'm in the final stages of design and development. Before I commit to building, does everyone agree with the 18" panel width for corporate work, or would any of you recommend an extra inch or two here or there? How tight is that 18" diamond area on a larger CEO? I may go 20", that is still able to be toted under the arm.

Also, what height would you recommend? The Abbott's one is 6' tall, according to the ads. I'm thinking that 6'2", or 74", would be better, even with a taller person who could bow their head a bit.

Thanks for any input,

Message: Posted by: Andrew (Feb 2, 2005 05:35PM)
Thank you Frank Tougas and magicman845, for the answer to my question.
Sounds like it won't work for what I was planning.
Perhaps it may come in handy for other performances.

Thanks again.

Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 3, 2005 07:49PM)
Not addressed in the Paul Osborne plans...

What material for covering the panels? Not pattern or design, but which weave, material, etc.?


Message: Posted by: Rip (Feb 3, 2005 09:48PM)
There is no need for 'give' in the fabric so a strong canvas, which can be primed and painted to your own design, is a good choice to stand up to bit of punishment.
Alternatively a double layer of matt laminate (back to back) will give years of service for little extra outlay and is soooo easy to keep looking fresh. (Matt to avoid unwanted glare from lights). You can apply decal to it if you want to add pattern or design.
Message: Posted by: Jimmy Joza (Feb 5, 2005 09:17PM)
I, too, have been considering either purchasing this or having someone build this for me. All this input has most definitely been food for thought and very helpful.

Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 5, 2005 11:47PM)
I just wasted about $15 trying to make the covers. I sew okay, but I think that I will try making the panels with cotton canvas, applying Gesso while laying perfectly flat, and then glued to the wood frame. Then, I'll apply Gesso to the other side.I'm going to go back and paint the borders black, leaving the back side of the panels coverless. I'll double side the extra gimmick panels.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe that Gesso is the emulsified acrylic polymer that is used to make painting canvas surfaces.

It's hard to get the fabric flat, so I'm going to do the gesso in several steps to make sure that it stays hard and flat.

Let me know if you have any hints out there. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wow! I just finished putting the screens together, unbordered, undecorated.

Wow! If you do this alone, the 5 panel handling is a must! The handling actually negates any need for magnets, latches, etc.

I feel that 6 panels would be way too much harder to handle, unnecessarily.

So far, without putting the back side fabric on the flipper panels, the think is 3 9/16" thick.


Message: Posted by: Paul Arthur (Feb 8, 2005 05:14PM)
On 2005-02-06 00:47, imagique wrote:

It's hard to get the fabric flat, so I'm going to do the gesso in several steps to make sure that it stays hard and flat.


Have you tried starching the fabric before applying the gesso? Arco laundry starch works pretty well...
Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 8, 2005 05:25PM)
I was afraid that starch might affect the absorption of the Gesso into the fabric.

I am ironing the fabric first, and it seems to be doing pretty well.

I'm already concerned that the poly/cotton blend might not do as well as 100% cotton. However, the longer that I'm around these panels, I'm thinking that I'm on the right track. They look fantastic!

Have you personally tried the starch with this application, or are you just throwing that out there?

Either way, it's a good idea... I'd like to hear about any experience with this, but I'm not expecting much, since I'm just learning about Gesso
Message: Posted by: BaseballMagic (Feb 8, 2005 09:18PM)
Hey guys-
I am a teenage magician with limited building experience and tools. I would like to add a stage illusion to my repitoire, but without spending a lot on building supplies, and not having to have much building skill. Do you guys think I would be over my head building a bryce's screen, or would I be able to handle it? Also, after reading the many posts on this topic, I saw people talked of building the screen out of other materials than wood, such as plastic sign material or cardboard. Has anyone ever actually built a bryce's screen out of one of these cheaper, easier-to-work-with materials, or has this just been talked about. The bryce's screen certainly sounds like a neat illusion! Any answers would be great! Thanks!

Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 9, 2005 01:27AM)
Hi Michael,

I'm finding this one pretty tough to make look good, and I'm pretty resourceful.

You might try a set of stocks for an escape or a sub trunk first.

Although this one might seem easy, to do it right takes a lot of trial and error.

If you do want to try, get the plans, and check with this forum. Hopefully there has been a lot of help here already.

Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 9, 2005 09:56AM)

If you have the Osborne plans, the construction of the screens will not be difficult. However, you will still need some basic construction skills and some very good sewing skills. I would not use cardboard or any such substitute since your panels may warp over time if you do so.

Before you try to build this, however, ask yourself WHY you want to include a stage effect into your repertoire. Do you do a lot of stage shows? Will it fit into your existing act? I only say this because you don't want to invest the time and effort into building an illusion if you are not going to be actively using it.

Bryce's screen is a stage effect. Unless you are going to perform on stage, the effect will sit in your closet and collect dust.
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Feb 9, 2005 11:28AM)
You may also want to consider how you will transport this thing.
Message: Posted by: Paul Arthur (Feb 9, 2005 01:55PM)
On 2005-02-08 18:25, imagique wrote:

Have you personally tried the starch with this application, or are you just throwing that out there? Either way, it's a good idea...

Just throwing it out there..... might be worth doing a test on a small 1'x1' frame.
Message: Posted by: BaseballMagic (Feb 9, 2005 08:20PM)
Imagique, magicman, and MikeDes:
Thank you all very much for suggestions and ideas. I really appreciate your input, and I have realized that a bryce's screen may not be the right "first" stage illusion for me to try and build. Instead, I have thought about making a some escape stocks, like the stocks of zanzibar, or maybe even a giant squared circle from which I could produce a girl. A large square circle seems like it would be easy enough, and I may even be able to make the outer square out of something like foam board or heavy cardboard, which would be easy to work with. As for magicman's question on why I want to build a stage effect--it is mainly just for a hobby and fun, and I am planning on putting together a small stage show soon, so I want to add some nice effects to my repitoire. Thank you all for your great suggestions!

Message: Posted by: Payne (Feb 11, 2005 11:49AM)
On 2005-02-02 04:37, David Charvet wrote:
FYI - It's called "Bryce's Screen" because it was invented by Bryce Chambers, a Seattle magician who sold the idea to Percy Abbott in the 40's. I remember meeting Bryce when I was a teenager growing up in Seattle. A nice guy. I don't believe he's still around.

Actually Mr. Chambers is quite alive and kicking and is a regular attendee at the Lynnwood Magic Ring meetings. I saw him last night and someone had told him about this thread on the Café. He was interested in seeing it so I will have to print this out to show him as he doesn't own a computer.
He drew out the secret to his infamous screen on a napkin so we could see how it worked. It's a very clever idea.
Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 21, 2005 05:06PM)
PM me for the link to see my online video of the finished 5 panel Bryce screen (free video of my wife, no extra charge!)

Message: Posted by: Rip (Feb 21, 2005 05:42PM)
Hi Jimmy,

great to see a project finished... and luv the "no extra charge"!
Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 21, 2005 05:51PM)
Well... no extra charge isn't exactly true...

Somewhere down the line, she'll make me pay!

Message: Posted by: Rip (Feb 22, 2005 07:11AM)
And worth every cent!
Message: Posted by: Tyler_Magician (Mar 2, 2005 04:46PM)
How much would it cost to build?
Message: Posted by: AmazingA (Mar 4, 2005 05:21AM)
I have it as well..It's a nice small quick production in my opinion. Not bad for a small show with limited space or assistants.
Message: Posted by: calimagician (Mar 4, 2005 10:28PM)
Might someone know where on-line I might be able to find a performance video of "Bryce's Screen"? "Imagique" was kind enough to give me a link to his website to see the illusion in action. (Thank you, Jimmy). But alas, I am an Apple/Mac user and to view his clip I needed to have Window's Media. I would appreciate anyone who could turn me onto a clip that can be viewed with Quicktime or Real Player. Likewise, I would like to see a still or two of the finished product. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Tyler_Magician (Mar 5, 2005 07:40AM)
On 2005-03-04 23:28, calimagician wrote:
Might someone know where on-line I might be able to find a performance video of "Bryce's Screen"? "Imagique" was kind enough to give me a link to his website to see the illusion in action. (Thank you, Jimmy). But alas, I am an Apple/Mac user and to view his clip I needed to have Window's Media. I would appreciate anyone who could turn me onto a clip that can be viewed with Quicktime or Real Player. Likewise, I would like to see a still or two of the finished product. Thanks.

Could I have the link to see the demo video of it?
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Mar 5, 2005 09:49AM)
On 2005-03-04 23:28, calimagician wrote:
But alas, I am an Apple/Mac user and to view his clip I needed to have Window's Media. I would appreciate anyone who could turn me onto a clip that can be viewed with Quicktime or Real Player. [/quote]

Hello, fellow Mac user,

You can get Windows Media Player for Mac OS X (or for OS 9 if you're still using that ) .

Go [url=http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/software/Macintosh/osx/default.aspx]here[/url] for free download
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Mar 5, 2005 11:29AM)
On 2005-02-09 12:28, MikeDes wrote:
You may also want to consider how you will transport this thing.
I remember when I was a teenage magician. The props don't seem that big, until you try to get them into the van. It's no wonder that everything in my show is small, now.
Message: Posted by: david alan (Nov 6, 2005 07:59PM)
OK guys, help me out here. I want to produce my wife as portably (if that's not a real word it should be) as possible. You see my wife is a Marilyn Monroe impersonator and I am looking for a way to procure her in our show. When she walks on staff...the crow goes nuts, but if I could only produce her magically...well all of you guys out there know what I'm talking about. The illusion needs to be practical. We will be doing Te Cruise ship thing next year and I need to vanish her also, sort of like a "dream sequence". We will also need to blow her skirt up...so the illusion needs to have a fan mounted into the base either during the appearance or vanish. "IMAGIQUE" stated he had a video of Bryce's Screen but I cannot contact him. Put your heads together boy's and help a blonde have more fun.

Any illusion we do with miss Monroe must not mess up the classic white dress, so let's not stuff her into any boxes, ok?

Thanks, David Alan & Tracey
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Nov 6, 2005 09:42PM)
Interesting thought. Here check out the Owen site.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Nov 7, 2005 12:52AM)
How about stuffing her into a cake for the traditional "woman pops out of a cake" bit, complete with blower. It is, of course, the inflatable six foot birthday cake, and Jim Gerrish (who actually converted one of these for a show) assures me it would not ruffle her dress as there is plenty of room inside one of these big cakes so she just needs to hunker down for a minute as it is brought out. She emerges by splitting open a Velcro slit sewn into the top (that's the part you have to do - the cake doesn't come with one of those!) and lets the nylon cake deflate around her as the blower continues to do its thing on her skirt and her poses. Just a thought. Nice thought, too!
Message: Posted by: david alan (Nov 7, 2005 06:10PM)
Thanks for the advice guys! I checked out the Owen site and liked a "Book" effect I saw which is simply a modified door frame illusion. I need a vanish and production so these are great ideas so far. About the cake thing...we have actually gotten many requests for a Marilyn from cake but never found it practical. Thanks. A great idea but...is the blowr in one of those things strong enough to lift a skirt? I have the snowstorm by Kevin James and it nees some strong music to perform it. That's not that big of a deal, but doesn't it take a lot of noise to create a lot of wind? Any final thought before I spend a lot of money? PM me and I'' send you a photo of my Marilyn. She's one of the best I have seen and she walkd, talks, and sings just like her. A special thank you from the lady herself will be included in all published material. The Café is a great place to go...You guys are always thinking and we thankyou for being there.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Nov 7, 2005 06:22PM)
Go into any Home Depot or store where they sell inflatable lawn decorations and give a listen. However, to get the right kind of gust of wind from the blower, right before she reveals herself, she should have a funnel that she clamps over the blower before standing up. Once she opens the top slit, the cake will collapse anyway, and she can maneuver herself to stand right over the stream of air now channeled through the small end of the funnel.
Message: Posted by: david alan (Nov 7, 2005 07:10PM)
OK... The fun begins...I'll let you guys know how it goes...
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Nov 13, 2006 01:35PM)
For those interested, Creative Magic has just come out with their version of Bryce's Screens (with permission from Bryce Chambers). Typical of Creative Magic they have made it so that it packs down into a small duffel bag so you don't have to worry about storing and transporting seven foot screens. They also have a teaser video up that is worth a look.

Here is a link: http://www.creativemagic.net

I have their Arabian Framework (Card House)as well and get a lot of use out of it. For me storage and transportation a VERY VERY important. The screens are made in the same fashion. Can't wait to get my hands on one.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Aug 23, 2007 03:44PM)
Here are my two youtube videos of my Bryce Screen...



My ex-wife, in the first video, is angry, and won't give it back to me. Granted, SHE doesn't need it for anything. She just doesn't want me to have it...

Good luck!

Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Aug 24, 2007 10:01AM)
That is the first time I have seen a performance where there wasn't two people handling the screens. I looked a little awkward and not quite as spectacular but I must admit it did work.

Does anyone else perform it in this fashion?
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Aug 24, 2007 01:36PM)
Nobody else probably performs it in this fashion, because it's been done the other way for so long, and everyone just accepts it without applying ANY logic or personal critical thinking to the old version.

The concept has a huge weakness, initially, in that there's no way to verify that it's just not a person behind the screen somehow coming through. And, of course, the inability to view it from an eye level higher than the top edge of the screen. Sure, you can use black art, design, etc. Granted, it's not something that you want the audience sitting around talking about or focusing on... it's more of a throwaway when you question the effect on the audience.

It's like producing livestock... there's a certain amount of oohs and ahhs that you'll get if you were to bring it out of a bag... without ever showing the bag empty...

Please also see the reaction that I received when producing the lady from the screen in front of a live audience. The reaction of the lay audience is excellent.

I'm open to suggested ways for verifying the absence of a person simply standing behind the screen and somehow getting through. Using a spinning platform of that size is simply too much for the average performer to provide, and, frankly, it's totally against the spirit, beauty and subtlety of this piece. Same with having two people operate it and manipulating it to produce one person. Bringing audience volunteers onstage to circle the effect first seems a bit much, and putting mirrors everywhere seems just a bit too contrived.

Any ideas on showing the back of the screen as empty as it actually is?

I thought that a single person handling of anything would be preferable. I've had one EXTREMELY negative, rudely made comment about my handling of the prop on the youtube video, and now Michel's confusion, as well, and I just don't get it... I know that it's not flashy and well choreographed, but the handling is direct, simple and to the point. The instant fold up and the lighter weight, due to having only 5 panels, is another advantage. The more quickly it's folded up by a single performer and effortlessly carried away, the more impressive the appearance of the person is. In my opinion.

Okay, I just looked at the Creative version... What am I missing? The handling in the Creative video seems to make the load and production more obvious and adds an extra, unnecessary person onstage.

The way that the Creative version is performed, a logical person would ask, "Why don't they just use 4 panels if they are just going to fold it into a square?" Right?

Think about this... my version offsets what is so obviously centered in the other handling... if you know how this works, you know what I'm saying. Also, with so many people onstage, it takes away from the deceptiveness and impressiveness of having a person appear.

I would think that the smaller the screen, 5-panels, would be more impressive than a larger screen, simply due to relativity.

In my version, I fold the screen into a pentagon shape. I agree, I could have paused and 'sold' that the screen was closed into a pentagon before opening it again. But that doesn't take away from the improvements of every aspect of this method over the others that I've seen.

Hey, keep weighing yourselves down with a bigger prop, obvious workings, unmotivated extra stage assistants, paying another person, carrying roughly 15% more materials, having to assemble that extra panel, having something less deceptive than the 5-panel version.

But, really... watch these, and stop and think... What's cleaner, more efficient, more deceptive, and, simply, just makes more sense?

I see a lot of people just accepting what's already out there and being done, without questioning it and really thinking for themselves.

Sorry to be sensitive to this issue, but the evolution of this effect shown in my videos just seems so obvious to me.

What is it that I'm missing?

Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Aug 24, 2007 04:23PM)
Hi Jimmy,

I got about 3/4 of your message before my machine cut out. I've thought about what you said and looked at the videos again. First, please understand that I am in NO WAY an expert on this illusion. I have the Creative Magic version but have not had the occasion to use it very often yet.

I agree with you that if it can be performed with only one person handling the screens that would also be my preferred way. Anyone that knows me and the type of shows I do will also know that I agree 100% in making every prop as lite and portable as can be.

Here is my humble opinion. If this illusion is presented slowly then taking the time to have someone come on stage and look at the back and see that no one is there adds to the illusion. If that isn't part of the presentation then I think a very quick fold and appearance makes the illusion much better. In the video on you tube the screens are folded somewhat slowly and there is some business with the last flap. It kind of looked like there was some funny business going on back there with the screens that the audience was not allowed to see. If the screens had been folded and then opened quickly, I think the impression would be that there was no time for any secret business. Jason Byrne used to have this on his promo video. It was a very quick appearance. I'm just not sure that could be done without a second person handling the screens.

I'm not sure if it was the video or not but at the end I think I saw some daylight between the panels that should not have been there. I maybe wrong about that but I though I would let you know anyways.

Now I also recognize that you got a good audience reaction and at the end of the day the audience is the only thing that counts. Maybe I am just looking at this with a magician's eyes.

I also want to applaud you for challenging the staus quo. That is the only way things can be improved upon.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 24, 2007 05:37PM)
I like the 5 fold screen as it seems cleaner and the spacial discrepancy problem has somewhat been alleviated. however without showing the back of the screen empty it still looks as if someone just came through the screen somehow.
Perhaps just having an audience member walk around the screen to verify it vacant of a hidden assistant.
Message: Posted by: semo (Aug 24, 2007 06:42PM)
I don't have this prop, but understand the workings (aka, I don't have practical experience with the prop).

This may be a silly question, but couldn't you spin the screens around as an individual performer by taking the long end and walking it around? It may take you a few back and forths, but you have a "hidden helper" that could make sure things pivoted where they should, but still make it appear that the magician is doing all the spinning. It seems to me you could do this with the 5 panel screen very well. I really like the idea of 5 panels as it offsets the dirty part.

Would this not work? Or is the prop just not built for that kind of abuse (dragging the bottom on the floor? Or would this look just too awkward?
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Aug 24, 2007 08:29PM)
Jim Gerrish includes a PVC pipe version of the Bryce six fold screen in his PVC Pipe Illusions Book 4 (along with 3 other appearance screens you can also make from PVC pipe). His book is on my site. One of my suggestions for a two person handling of the screen is to buy one of those long door mirrors at K-Mart (under $10 when they are on sale). Then the person who is doing the producing holds up the mirror and walks behind the screen, holding the mirror high and at an angle so the audience can see there is no one behind the screen. Yes, you do have to practice this to get the correct angle for the mirror so they can see the back without seeing anything they aren't supposed to see. Once you figure out what that angle is, fasten a plastic protractor from the dollar store to one side of the mirror (upside down!), where you can see it as you tilt the mirror. A plumb bob on a string will tell you when you are holding the mirror at just the right angle (which you then mark on the protractor with a Sharpie pen) so you can duplicate this flawlessly every time. Once the string on the plumb bob falls along your predetermined marked line, you know the mirror is reflecting correctly.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Aug 25, 2007 01:21AM)
Thanks to everyone for the great input, I feel that this prop has too much potential to just leave it at "this is the way it's always been done..."

I really like Scott Emo's idea about somehow spinning the whole thing around. At some point, you might need to put the thing on legs, and put the girl to be produced on some kind of stilts with the load area reinforced and the bottoms of the panels lined with non-marking skid pads. I don't know.

As for the daylight between the panels, the only panels that show incidental daylight will never show the loaded helper. The only possible panel that could show her is overlapped securely. Remember, there is only one joining corner that needs to be solid, and it is.

Thanks for noting the 5 panels offsetting the dirty work. I'm relieved that it didn't go unnoticed.

I just don't know if this is the kind of effect that we should be trying to hard to sell as hard as mirrors or audience members.

Oh, my god, I just came up with the total solution. You guys are going to crack up when you see how simple the solution is. I'm going to use it on an upcoming show, get some quality footage, and youtube it.

Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 25, 2007 02:17AM)
I have it on good authority that you are suppose to spin the screen around before the production to show it devoid of hidden assistants.
Bryce Chambers was a member of our local club up until his untimely death earlier this year and he once discussed the workings of the effect with me. Clever principle that he got paid way to little for when he sold the right to Abbotts back in the fifties.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Aug 25, 2007 02:25AM)
More specifically, how did he recommend spinning it around? Dragging, folding (a la temple screen) on a platform? Other?

I'm interested.

Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 25, 2007 08:14PM)
I believe he drug it around with a person on either end. His screen was very heavy, made out of masonite, and thus had to be dragged around.
Message: Posted by: semo (Aug 25, 2007 10:33PM)
OK, so let's take the concept of an individual spinning this by himself. My armspan is about 64 inches being able to grab something with both hands and stretching out completely. With 5 screens at 18" a piece, you are at about 90 inches (give or take for hinges). Why couldn't you simply pull the screens in a bit of a semi circle and spin them completely around...think of it like dancing with the screens doing a complete circle. Your hidden assistant can help by simply "dancing" with you. Then you "straighten up" the screens once you do a complete 360. If done to music, this could look quite graceful, I would think. Especially with using cloth (rather than masonite). Then you are not dragging one end, you are picking up 2 ends at the same time, but pivoting it on the middle screens.

Again, I don't have this prop, but it seems that this should work. Someone with the prop should try this and let us know if it is doable and practical in the real world.
Message: Posted by: semo (Aug 28, 2007 01:16PM)
OK, I talked with Jimmy (magic4545) offline, and I think he has a great solution for whole spinning issue that we have been discussing that is really thinking outside of the box -- or screen, as it were. Jimmy said above that he was going to do a live performance of it and put it up on youtube, so I don't want to spoil it. Let's just say Jimmy has come up with a very creative way to get past the issue.

Go Jimmy!
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Aug 30, 2007 08:11PM)
Does anyone have the Creative Magic version, B-Screen, which would seem to solve at least Frank Tougas' problem of storage space. But is it as good as the original? I have Circle Squared and really like it. Very practical and versatile. Bryce's Screen almost seems practical in its "old fashioned" version (withouth the light-weight fabric and velcro), making it a more solid illusion in its original form. Is that the case? Or do people find the B-Screen effect powerful too?
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Aug 31, 2007 07:19AM)
I have the B-Screens. They work exactly like the original version, just easier to store and transport. The only slight drawback is that they are not quite as sturdy when set-up.
Message: Posted by: Fabricem (Aug 31, 2007 01:17PM)
Sorry but what is this? you really think this is a good Illusion?
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Sep 10, 2007 07:47PM)
Okay, here's the solution...



It's also hilarious to watch the ending! I've got friends watching this one over and over...

I'm not sure how long that I'm going to leave this up, but I feel that it's the only way to do the screen that justifies the production.

Let me know what you think. Other than "You've ruined PK Touches..."

Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Mar 14, 2010 08:26AM)
By the way, Jeff McBride liked it so much, he has requested my permission to use the 5-panel construction AND front to back orientation concept from "Touch of a Demon Ghost." I still think that he just liked the mask, he's a pushover for that stuff with masks in it!

Now, everyone is allowed to like it, LOL!!!

Message: Posted by: magicmonk (Jun 16, 2010 06:06PM)
I made myself a 'Bryce's Screen' after watching and analysing the workings from Creative Magic's video,- I used PVC pipe about i/4" oval cross section for the framework. The pipe could be bent to a right angle and all joints fixed with a hot-glue gun. The covering was made two sided out of a sort of silky material and I stuck all the edges etc. together with contact adhesive. Finishing of the joints/hinges with broad black tape,- also syuck with glue.

The finished product was made to be six foot tall as I wanted it to have a reasonable viewing angle from the front . . . not sure if it would pass inspection from a balcony (not had opportunity to test this yet).

As for 'proving' the rear to be innocent I used a couple of kids from the audience who were given a magic wand each. Shown how to wave them at each other across the stage and then took upstage, behind the screens to do their stuff.

My assistant and I then proceeded to produce Father Christmas. The kids at the back of the stage could testify to anyone that asked that the big guy didn't sneak in the back.

Somebody posted saying that they would want to use it single handed to produce their assistant. This illusion, as I made it, requires two people to opperate it, but to produce Santa, or other dignitary is a doddle as all they have to do is stand there and wait for their appearance.

The only downside with the illusion is that it is infact six foot long,- fortunately I have an estate car that will take it.

To see a most amusing picture and funny story of this illusion visit my blog at
http://MagicMonkSolutions.com/2/page/2/ and scroll down to the entry dated 2010-04-15 . . . . . it'll make you chuckle !
Message: Posted by: g.albinana (Aug 13, 2019 10:58PM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2007, magic4545 wrote:
Okay, here's the solution...



It's also hilarious to watch the ending! I've got friends watching this one over and over...

I'm not sure how long that I'm going to leave this up, but I feel that it's the only way to do the screen that justifies the production.

Let me know what you think. Other than "You've ruined PK Touches..."

JF [/quote]

How can we see this? the video is no longer there...really interested because I like your work a lot :)