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Mental_Mike
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Canada
725 Posts

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Are there any books on instructions for sideshow stunts. I heard swami/mantra doesn't have clear instructions... Any info would be appreciated..thanks


Mike
Cholly, by golly!
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Mike,
I don't know if a comprehensive how-to book will EVER be written do to the liability issues. Sideshow stunts are very dangerous. Virtually every "stunt" will cause permanent damage if performed repeatedly. Understand the risks.
Do not attempt to teach yourself! The only way to learn is from a teacher. If you can't find a teacher in your area, contact Todd Robbins or Slim Price. Both are regulars on this forum.

Cholly
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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SW Ohio, USA
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I concur; learn from a pro if you're going to do it at all.

For the sake of completeness, however, I will mention two books:

"Great Hindu Feats" by Ovette

"Thrilling Magic" (Abbott's Magic Co.)

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Todd Robbins
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The problem with books is that there is no way they can tell you if your head is at the proper angle to swallow a sword or if the nail is going in the right direction for Blockhead. You might be able to discover this on your own. If you make a mistake, it will either take you a lot longer to learn or you could hurt yourself.

I was approached by a major publisher to do a book on the sideshow. They wanted a how-to book. I explained the problems with that concept. They asked me what kind of book I would like to write. I spent a month working up a book proposal that would be, in my opinion, THE book on the sideshow. It was filled with history,insight into the world of the sideshow, profiles of the freaks, working acts, showmen and more. I was quite excited about the project until the rep from the publishing house read it and told me it was great...all I needed to do was add in all the work on doing the skills and take out the history and profiles.

I passed on the project.
Ty
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I don't know about books, but there are most likely some sideshow websites out there.
Harley Newman
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I agree completely with Todd. Stunt material should be learned in person, from someone who knows it.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
MattTheKnife
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Todd,

Ever think about publishing it yourself?

-Matt (TK)
Todd Robbins
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Yes, I have let that notion roll around my buzz box. The problem is that the book would be a full time project for a least six months with some traveling around to speak to various folks and look at various collections and archives. Right now, I am suffering from that Italian illness...myfundsarelow. It's a terrible condition that many are inflicted with. I have a wife and two dogs that must be fed, and they don’t eat glass. So, for now, the book project is on the back burner while inflict mayhem upon myself for fun and profit.
Kondini
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I have copies of most of the how to books and must agree with all here,they have mis info to say the least.
However if you want a rough guide which is more accurate than most, try a Supreme publication, "Stranger than Fiction" by Derek Lever,,,also he puts out a how to, Fire audio tape through the Taurus Magic Supply Company.
Once more, interesting reading for the novice but nothing beats hands on instruction from a worker.
werton
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I BIELIVE THE BOOK SNAKE OIL BY JIM ROSE AND SWAMI/MANTRA is good
Harley Newman
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Swami-Mantra is mighty ok, but if you follow the directions carefully, it's still not quite there. I haven't seen the new Rose book yet.

Books don't do the job right. Books can't judge safety issues, nor can they help you work through personality quirks that get in the way. They just can't take the place of a good student-teacher relationship. And some things need to be learned this way, with a student-teacher relationship. Learn from someone who knows it. REALLY knows it.

One of the problems with the internet, is that we've come to think that information should be at our fingertips, just for the asking. I disagree. Strongly disagree.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
FacadeTheStiltBoy
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There is always "The DareDevil's Manual" by Ben Ikenson, but nothing really goes into too much detail. (well except for the warnings)

(you know it's fun, look at all the warning stickers)

It's intersting, but it's vague on a few things and rather descriptive on other things.
Harley Newman
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Yes, Daredevil's Manual is a good book, and quite a few of us contributed to it. But as you say, some of the extended (and important) details are not there. (Nor should they be.)
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Spider Jerusalem
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Jim rose's new one "snake oil" is a good start for basics the blurb reads

Jim's new book "SNAKE OIL" is out now.
It is an eclectic encyclopedia of all things hustler, ie: how to do mind control, hypnotism, how pimps turn girls into prostitutes, brain washing (what happens when those cult doors close?), hundreds of bar bets (some people never have to pay for their beers because of these tricks), how to do almost every circus stunts imaginable, along with many cons and scams.
You can be dropped off in any city around the world, broke and not know anyone, and still survive with this underground survival Bible. Alleluia my brothers and sisters!

For a full review or to order the book, visit: http://www.jimrosecircus.com .
SNAKE OIL, there's nothing it can't cure.

Check it out.
stine
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TN
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I learned sword swallowing from a book, but found myself stuck on getting it all the way down . I actually went to my local md and asked him to watch me while I tried it. When it got to the stuck place he walked over, angled it right and it slipped right in. so my first live performance of sword swallowing was in a doctors office with 2 nurses looking in and freaking out.

Side note. The book was called how to eat fire and swallow swords. many years later I was hired by Knotts Berry Farm to perform a sideshow act during their Halloween haunt and found myself working with the "Torture King" of Jim Rose fame AND with the guy that authored the book that taught me how to swallow swords!
Todd Robbins
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Quote:
Jim rose's new one "snake oil" is a good start for basics the blurb reads

Jim's new book "SNAKE OIL" is out now.


This seems to be a reworking of the book Jim was selling on his Secrets of the Strange tour several years ago. I haven't seen the book. I should add that some of the explanations in Freak Like Me were missing some of the real work. I hope no one bases their skills on what was written up in that book.
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