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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » 50' Chain and Borrowed Locks Escape (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of pastorclyde
I didn't want to take away from Ark's conversation any more than I already had. At the same time I had promised to get back to Chance and others how my escape went utilizing 50 feet of chain and borrowed locks. In short, if I include it in next week's show I will add a new rule.

As it turns out the communique asking that the men bring their own locks failed to get out. I was prepared to have my locks Smile be the first 2 and the last one in order. They are KA and I had hidden a copy and had enough on hand to still perform the escape.

So, wouldn't you know- the person I picked asked his buddy to help him. His buddy is a mechanic who chains engine blocks, etc. The mechanic took the lead and began with a loop around my neck. I reminded him it had to have 2 loops before locking it and I had appointed a referee to check on matters (I also gave the referee the "master key" (a giant bolt cutter) in case of emergency). The referee missed that the lock went into the chains making a single wrap.

He proceeded to wrap, lock and sinch me up in pretty good manner. He ended by again putting a loop around me neck. Again I reminded him it needed to have two wraps before locking. Again the referee missed it and the padlock was placed through the two chains at the one wrap level.

So, having been able to SL I began with my feet, then legs, etc. until I just had my hands and neck. Freeing my hands I worked to tighten one wrap around my neck but found that it was a single loop. In the end, I had to have the referee unlock the two single loops around my neck while declaring them foul-locked. Though my pride was saved it was still a lack-luster ending for the escape. (I didn't use the hidden one due to the exposure by that point.)

So, what did I learn? Worry less about two wraps around body parts (as long as hands and wrists remain together while chaining) but prohibt any chain from going AROUND the neck. Over, against, past- yes but not around.

Hope this helps and hope it saves some of you a similar experience. As I said, I may perfrom it again next week but with modified rules

Onward and upward!

Houdini man
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Profile of Houdini man
Good learning expierence, thanks for sharing!


The only thing that spererates genius from insanity is success.
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Profile of Chance
I must say that I don't understand the use of a referee during an escape. The person is a complete novice, and your reputation and safety are on the line. Overall it makes no sense to me whatsoever.

From your narration here, I would say that you made 2 grave errors: One, using a referee; and two, allowing the volunteers to lock the chain tight *as they went*. (And I had already warned you against letting the locks get too close to your ankles or neck.)

What makes better sense to me (a guy that uses chains for every show in the past 11 years), is to provide only one lock per chain to start with. It is placed at the end of the wrap only. Depending on how they did, and if you think more locks would better enhance the escape overall, you can always offer 2 or 3 extra padlocks which they can place pretty much anywhere they like. Handcuffs are also good for this. Keep the extras off to the side in a box or bag, and offer them to the volunteers as you see fit... once they have completed the initial wrap (and you have had the opportunity to preview it.)

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Profile of TheHandcuffKing
Thank you for the heads up, Clyde.
"If it can be locked onto my wrists, I will open it"
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Profile of Arkadia
That's great tips Chanse! As always. The extra padlocks at the side is a very good idea.

Don't miss out on the great new mentalist magic:
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Profile of pastorclyde

The referee was selected more to "sell" the escape since he walked around carrying a 30" long set of bolt cutters. Another time I'll prohibit the locking of the neck but other than that I'll let them have at it. I was to perform it again this Thursday but the show got cancelled due to the death of the organizer's mother.

Live and learn!

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