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Mark Tripp
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Some time ago I made a challenge for people to create new miracles for escapes. I am going to give you a few more. Harry Murphy is all ready getting his notebook out!

Seriously, lets get started.

First, this is the best thing I have some up with for a standard prop. I have always loved Abbott's Canvas Covered Box. I have a very old one, made great. Of course the problem is in the classic routine, you need a highly trained assistant and a lot of prastice.

Here is a routine I came up with for Steve Baker, but I am sure he won't mind if I share.

DO IT AS A SINGLE!!!!!

Now, stay with me. You need a lot of stage management to pull this off. In my show, when we did this the box and materials were constructed and examined over intermission. After intermission we did this bit.

You take off your jacket and hand it to the time keeper. You are locked in the cuffs ("real" ones, not those awful looking chain things. Get something great from Ian), BEHIND YOUR BACK!!! In the bag, locked in the trunk, and laced in the canvas cover.

The people bring the tent over and your assistant (who needs MUCH less training for this part) Puts the time keeper on one side of the tent and he or she is on the other. The "build up" is you are going to escape in under a minute. That "framing" of your words works to make what happens a miracle.

When your assistant says "go" the time keeper starts the stopwatch. RIGHT THEN, you stick your head out of the tent and say "that's my jacket!!". You grab it and go back inside. The assistant line is "How long was that?"

They take the tent off, undo everything, and there you are, WITH YOUR JACKET BACK ON, still locked in the cuffs!!!!!

Now, for magicians, I think the orginal routine is best. BUT FOR AN ESCAPE ARTIST, the focus is different and this is EXACTLY how an escape artist should do this.

Let me know what you think.....
Mark Tripp
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Here is another one for the lady escape artists in the room...

were I to add any big illusion to my show these days, it would be the Selbit Sawing. I would get the Steinmeyer works on both Jarrett and Selbit for the working. I really don’t think I would use the wonderful Wakeling version, for a reason I will now explain.

I love the fact that the Selbit looks like an old crate. There is nothing “magical” about the box. I would create a mock up of the trick so I knew EXACTLY what the size was for the girl; and then for EVERY show, I’d have someone else MAKE THE BOX!

This is like Houdini here folks! A challenge effect! Every High School wood shop can knock out the box. You supply the “glass” panels (actually pexli-glass), the ropes, and the trained girl.

I would stage this with ALL credit and attention going to the girl. I would costume her as a gymnast rather than a porn star, and really build this up, something like this:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now going to present an effect for you that at one time was the talk of the modern world! Sawing a woman in half. Hard as it may be to believe, when PT Selbit created this effect, people stood in line for hours just to see for themselves how such a thing could be possible. Tonight we are going to use NONE of the modern methods of electronics, and holographic images that the magician of today would use! No, we are going to present this effect EXACTLY as it was performed almost 100 years ago!”

“What I do need, is an exceptional and extraordinary young lady. We all realize there is no way to REALLY saw a person in half, but it sure is going to look like it! How? Because of the incredible talent of this woman who has spent YEARS in training to perform this illusion for all of you. So, let me present to you the illusion of sawing a woman in half, and introduce you to her now…”

That is it! All focus is on the girl, who when the effect is over is going to get a standing ovation if you did this right. YOU are going to get all sorts of credit for avoiding the horrible stereotypes that fill the world of magic.

Now, for the escape artist, you have set in the audience mind two important concepts. The "escape" and the element of danger. With thought, many classic's of magic can be staged to foucus on the escape aspects we need to sell.
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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I like your routine Mark, I might try something like that myself. One question though. I am assuming since you called for "real" cuffs that they are examinable. In such a close quarters with specs right there, how do you cover the racheting noise? I think they can be taken off in silence, but put back on?

Anyway it is a great idea.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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Mark

(Welcome back as yourself!). You are absolutely right! I’ve already printed both of these routines out to include in my “Tripp Notebook”. Heck, I almost have an entire book for the professional performer written by you!

You’ve given away another good routine for the Canvas Covered Box (now where did I put mine!!)! It sure does add a little fun to the act and brings a big element of mystery.

The strength of your handling of the prop is that you have come up with a way of doing it as a single (or at least with a “untrained” but briefed assistant). I am more and more forced to using an untrained and found on the spot assistant. I sure does change the act!

I totally agree with you on using a crate look for the Selbit sawing. Reframing the trick to put emphasis on danger, escape, and the young woman is spot on good thinking. I think a husband – wife team would be perfect for this routine.

Both are in my notebook!

You still selling your act?
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Mark Tripp
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By "real" of course I mean one of Ian's OUTSTANDING creations, that you can get from Cannon's Great Escape's web site.

Yes, the act is for sale, but only to a good home....
Mark Tripp
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Quote:
On 2005-08-15 08:58, Cliffg37 wrote:
I like your routine Mark, I might try something like that myself. One question though. I am assuming since you called for "real" cuffs that they are examinable. In such a close quarters with specs right there, how do you cover the racheting noise? I think they can be taken off in silence, but put back on?

Anyway it is a great idea.


Well, when they are putting you in the bag, you get out of the cuffs.

The rest is the method of the canvas covered box.

BUT

You never even get out of the box!

The real speed is that you just lean forward, thru the tent opening, grab the jacket and slip back down.

You put the jacket on as they deal with the canvas cover and the rest is as always...
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