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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Chains chains chains... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

SpiffnikHopkins
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Regular user
Washington DC
135 Posts

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Greetings all. I'm new to escapes and am just starting to put together an escape segment of a larger act. The other stuff is magic and juggling, by the way.

My question is this:
If I get 2, 75 foot lengths of chain and have the audience wrap me up (while I'm in my strait-jacket) how hard will it be to get out? I know, I know, it's a lame question and it varies from person to person, etc... But I'm just trying to get a general sense.

I witnessed this a long time ago by a fellow street performer in Austria. He got in his jacket (with help) and had the same audience members wrap the chains around him. I'm not sure of the length he used but the 2 lengths most common seem to be 50 feet and 75 feet, with 75 feet being easier to get out of.

The guy I saw instructed very carefully how the chain should be wrapped. I think I still remember, but you guys seem to post saying you let the audience do what they want so long as they don't go around the neck. Will being in a strait-jacket prevent me from being able to allow them to do the same? Will it be weeks of practice before I can expect to start pulling this off, or years?

Any suggesstions on how to make it easier on myself?

I understand the meaning of answers such as "stay in control of the show", "it takes practice" etc. but I'm looking for some more concrete and specific ideas and/or thoughts. Thanks guys!

~Spiff

P.S. Unless you have an awesome cheap book suggestion I'd prefer small hints or great ideas as opposed to "if you spend money here, they can help you". I'm oh so poor (full time student with 3 jobs). Thanks, you guys are awesome!
Margarette
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Memphis area
956 Posts

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One thing you want to keep in mind about chains...they weigh a lot more than rope! Smile You don't want to use so much chain that it's going to weigh you down.

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Ian McColl
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Inner circle
1488 Posts

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Dear Spiff, it would be best that you actually try it, the hardest thing you will find is holding the chains on you. The audience members will take your lead if you tell them not to chain around the neck but you don't need to say anything until they try it, then you can casually ask if they wish to choke you. They will probably get a 'tad' embarassed, but the message will get across.

Also work out the wieght of the chain according to the diamater of the links. 75 feet might work out over 50 kilograms.

Ian
SpiffnikHopkins
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Washington DC
135 Posts

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Any thoughts on the size of chain link I should use? Bigger links might be heavier but easier to get out of? That's what I'd guess just thinking of the extremes. Huge chains would weigh a ton but just make a triangle around my waist.

Does anyone do a rope escape while in a jacket? Is that ever done? I'm sure you guys have tried this right? Let me hear about it!

~Spiff
Ian McColl
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Dear Spiff, the size of chain is your choice, the link size should be suitable to the size of the padlock shackles you are using (a standard padlock shackle is approximately 3/8 inch, therefore chain links with an internal diameter to suit). About ten feet to fifteen feet would be fine.

The chain could be wrapped around you and about 5 padlocks used to fasten the area where the chain intersects. Have you even see footage of the UK escape artist Alan Alan? This type of escape he has done for over thirty years (retired now).

Ropes over the top of the SJ are common place, preferred to chain as rope doesn't just try to fall off you due to the weight.

Top hole the chain up, it is best crossed over the shoulder or both but not recommended around the neck unless the loop created is big enough to pull over your head. Best recommendation is to ALWAYS have a personal assistant who oversees you while being secured and looks after your safety. Their job is not to witness you perform but to be looking at and out for anything which can and will go wrong and the unforseen. And to step in to assist any member of the audience who may be doing things different, hazardous or not undertsanding instructions and direct them in a way which is not offensive to the helper but aiding and offering safety to the performer.

regards

Ian
SpiffnikHopkins
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Washington DC
135 Posts

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Ok, so I bought my first chain! It's 75 feet and I'm thinking of taking at least 10 feet off because it's really just not that hard to get out with that much chain.

I have a...uhhh...comfort question for all the guys out there. Funny thing about taking chain between my legs and having someone crank it over my shoulder...I think wearing spandex would eliminate the "wedgie factor" I've encountered. So that solves one of the 2 problems...What's a good way to ask to have my..."children" saved?

Any good funny lines that work on the street whilst not offending anyone would be much appreciated!

Or other tips.

~Spiff
BroDavid
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America’s North Coast, Ohio
3176 Posts

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I used a line that got a great reaction during one recent escape when it took forever to get me locked up.

I used an audience volunteer as I was working to a young crowd of mostly teens and I wanted to get them involved.

But it felt like it was taking forever to get me "secured" and so I just threw out a line of something like "for those of you who are becoming impatient because of the time it takes to get these chains tight, I just want you know that it must be done right because I am trying to set a new personal escape record, and I want it be right. My old record was a complete escape in under 12 and a half hours, but I think I can do better this time."

I was really just trying to kill time, but it got an absolutely completely unexpected round of laughter and applause.

Maybe it was because in comparison to 12 1/2 hours, a few minutes delay getting the chains on didn't seem like such a big deal. Or maybe my boastful revelation (I presented it as really being an accomplishment for me) of such an absurd "record" was the reason.

But it made me a bit more comfortable, and seemed to regather the crowd's interest.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
SpiffnikHopkins
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Washington DC
135 Posts

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A great line and one I may use if you don't mind? But my problem was more my physical comfort level while having someone crank up on chain that was through my legs. I don't usually speak with so high a voice...follow? In other words, the chain was crushing my manhood all too literally.

~Spiff
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