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ahogue
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Chicago
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I have been working with a mail bag escape from time to time and although I love the mystery of it I hate the fact that I have to be covered during the escape. Maybe I'll never escape this problem?? Secondly I'm wondering how to speed up the process of putting the bar back through all the rivets after I'm out??? I just feel the effect has potential but it is quite stale for me at this point. Any suggestions?? Smile Smile

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x-treem
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I'm sure others will give you suggestions as well but here is how I combat the problem along with a few other ideas.

When I used the bar I would bend my body away from the audience, towards the back of the stage. By crouching down, I have enough slack or extra material to roll the bar up and in by simply tucking it forward. Now I do what I need to do and get out.

I stopped using the bar altogether in favor of John Novack's Cocoon (not exact to his but close), with that I changed it to a leather strap that was cinched up. All that remained was to force my hand out of the small hole created in the cinching process and "dramatically" undo the strap.

Other ideas, use it in conjunction with another escape such as the sub-trunk. You can escape the bag, do what you need to do to put it right and then escape from the trunk.

With you inside of the mail bag have a nontransparent (large) lawn and leaf bag pulled up over you and tied off. Escape the mail bag and (dramatically) rip your way out of the plastic bag.

Hope this has been some help.

X

P.S. An escape is only as good as the actor (escape artist) that is doing it. Play your audience, make them believe what you are doing is difficult. One of my favorite ideas comes from Mike Griffin (America's escape hero). Tell your audience that you failed to escape last week and you are going to give it another attempt today.

Additions that I forgot. It does not seem all that dramatic to just reach your hand out of the bag and undo the strap. That is where I forgot to mention using handcuffs and leg irons in addition to the bag.

Also I used handcuffs and leg irons with the bar method. Once out I handed the cuffs and iron out for examination after escaping. While people were looking at those, the assistant came out and took the bag. No one really seemed to notice.

X
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
SpiffnikHopkins
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Washington DC
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I love the lawn bag idea! Works as a nice, easy to transport cover. My question is this: do you ever run into trouble with air supply? I'm familiar with the mail bag escape but don't have a bag and bar set just yet. I'm 19 and my mom is already scared about my strait-jacket. The whole idea of me being unable to defend myself bothers her. It doesn't bother me, but not being able to breath would be a concern of hers, and mine.

Hehe, as of right now she doesn't know about the fire eating. I think some things are better left unsaid to poor old ma. Smile

~Spiff

P.S. Would air supply run low in a regular canvas bag? I know it doesn't take long to get out, but it could get to be uncomfortable to just sit and wait to build up tension in the air. Or does it?
x-treem
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The worry is not so much in the canvas bag, I have not checked one out in a while but I believe they are made out of Duck cloth. Like the gimmicked SJ's it is more supple, breathable and cheaper compared to canvas. Hot days I'm sure are still a little uncomfortable.

As for the lawn bag, the thicker they are the longer your air supply.

That is why there is a warning on the thin grocery bags as the oxygen runs out fast, do not use anything that thin in other words.

I actually us industrial bags (thanks to my work), if anyone wants a small section sample PM me with your address.

You can also check out an illusion which I believe is called Assistant in the Bag Escape, it is where I got the idea for the use. That is sold through most major magic companies.

So the thicker the bag the longer you have to breath.

Oh, yeah I don't rip my way out of the bag, I actually escape with it still intact, but I'm not going to post how— check out the Assistant escape for that.
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
ahogue
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Chicago
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A big thank you to x-treme. I really appreciated the input. I especially liked the lawn bag idea. Thanks for the ideas.
ahogue
DavidEscapes
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How about padlocking the bag shut, then, after escaping from whatever restraints you had on in the bag, reaching a hand out and 'picking' the lock in view of the audience? Cannons supply something which would make this pretty easy.

Duncan
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SpiffnikHopkins
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I don't understand... why does the thickness of the plastice have any effect? Aren't they all air tight, and thus you are limited to the volume of air trapped inside?

~Spiff
DavidEscapes
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Yeah... that confused me too!
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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x-treem
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Not knowing how viable an escape like that was, I contacted four plastic manufacturing companies. All four told me that exact same line so I've always just done it that way.

I make and sell a padlock quite a bit like the one you described. I never thought about using it for that reason. I like the idea friend, that's what is so cool about this forum— the brain storming often gives me many ideas.

Even though I do not do the escape would you change over to chain then? I am wondering if that would go through the rivets as well in cinching it up.

X
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Magicduck
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Years ago I apprenticed with a magician who had the strangest presentation of this effect. But it really did have a climax.

He had a small square enclosure with a shower curtain around it. Inside the enclosure, over to the edge, he had the most hideous ape/caveman mask you ever saw... like the 30 to 50 dollar masks being sold about now... Halloween. Also he had a flashpot switch and he had "loud and dramatic music."

They would lock him in the bag, inside the enclosure and they would pull the curtain shut. Spectators would sit down. He would escape quite fast... say a minute or two as the band music roared... sort of Houdini like. Then as he escaped he would put on the mask, a heck of a surprise, pop the flashpot with a tremendous roar... once we darn near toppled an old school I think when he got the thing too full. So to get the full picture:

The music is dramatically playing.

Suddenly there is a blinding flash and an explosion.

This hideous looking neanderthal emerges from the smoke carrying a mailbag in his hand... which he thows on the floor with a vengence. (Fact is everyone was so distracted it did not matter if he had it fastened quite right or not... who could tell.)

It was pretty darn good really. But this was the mid-60's. Today there would be liability concerns over the flashpot, unless it was super thought out... and the creature might lead to a heart attack. Some of them would scream as he ran to the front of the stage.

quack
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