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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The March 2006 entrée: Tim Ellis & Sue-Anne Webster » » Tim Ellis -Razor blades » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Brent McLeod
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Hi Tim & Sue Anne,

Tim having e-mailed you a few times recently regarding the response I was getting to using your version of the Razorblades routine in many clubs & theatres-which was huge to say the least-Its now in every show-it plays that strong!!

I would like to know what or who was your influence originally for this great effect as many people who have seen your lecture now realise this!

Also do you now perform mainly corporate shows with a pack small (razorblades etc) play big format or are you still doing the Illusions as often as you used to & has the school shows taking a backseat now you & Sue-Anne travel more

Thanks for your time & as always Professional help!!

Tim Ellis
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Brent, I'm so glad you're getting so much value out of the razorblades. To be honest, it was sort of the "surprise hit" of the 'Ellis in Wonderland' DVD.

Influences... now that one is tricky. It's an effect I've seen in various forms since I began in magic 32 years ago. I even ordered a set from Tannen's once and got plastic blades that looked nothing like anything I'd ever seen before.

I'd seen a few people do the blades at conventions and shows, but the thing that always irked me was pausing to take a big drink from a huge silver goblet as soon as all the blades were in the mouth. To me, it was just WAAAAAY to obvious.

Also, why slice things up to show the blades are sharp, then put them aside before swallowing them... why not just slice - swallow - slice - swallow etc...

I guess it was the quest to purify the trick that was my inspiration. The desire to do the trick, but make it more direct and subsequently more deceptive.

I remember my first presentation of it was back in the 1980's in a comedy club called 'Le Joke'. I performed it to ZZ TOP's 'Sharp Dressed Man' and the scene was a real "hotshot" getting dressed to go out for a night of clubbing. It began with a vanishing and reappearing comb, a splash of cologne, then went into the blades while eating potato chips.

Of course, while eating with one hand and shaving with a naked blade with the other, I got confused and "ate" a blade... not realising until I'd rubbed a chip across mt cheek.

Eventually - all the blades came out and I headed off the stage to big applause. (I hadn't developed the paper-cut "clean up" at that stage).

ODD STORIES - One night at the club the comedian compere came on after me, made a few gags, then picked up the BRUT 33 and, assuming it was a prop, took a big swig of it. He spent the next 5 minutes gagging all over the stage attempting to vomit. The audience thought it was HILARIOUS! I bet he'll never mess with a magician's props again!

Also, doing the same routine at The Magic Castle, Carl Ballantine gave me a BRILLIANT idea. I put it into the act immediately, as you should if Carl tells you anything, do it straight away! As I pulled the thread out at the end we got blade, blade, blade, blade, potato chip, blade. Brilliant.

Back to the Comedy Club: Another night I did the blades as a suicide piece. I sat on top of the grand piano in a spot with a photo of a girl. As a sad song played I took a blade and went to slit my wrists, but instead sliced the photo and swallowed the blade. I didn't die. I continued to swallow blades, becoming more "alive" the more I felt indestructible. Finally, after bringing the blades out on the thread, I found one loose, left behind in my mouth. I took it out, looked at the shredded photo, brought the blade down to my wrist and black out.

Now they weren't expecting THAT at a comedy club! The guy who followed me had a real job changing the mood! Smile

Nowdays, I don't do the blades in corporate shows because a lot of our work takes place between courses at dinners... and it just doesn't feel right...

However, when the venue is right I LOVE doing it as I performed it at the lectures to the delightful contrast of that annoyingly happy song 'Lemon Tree'.

As for what we do in corporate, it's a real mix:
We both do a lot of close-up strolling shows, solo and as a team.
I do a lot of formatted close up shows for small groups of 10-15 at dinners.
I do a pack small play big stand up show (bill to banana) a lot.
Sue-Anne is starting to develop her solo show, though she does have a roadie too.
We do A LOT of our 'Classic Show' featuring the Mic Levitation, Soda Resurrection and the Arms Routine - and we often do it with strolling as a package.
Plus we do a bigger version of that show with the Sub Trunk, Squash, or Sawing in Half.
And our "big" illusion show, which we do now and then, also features our Roadcase Illusion, Sword Box, Super X, and Triple Escape Challenge.

We also do a lot of custom projects where we make up a show based around the client's product.

As for school shows, I just had another call from our school's booker who keeps asking us to get back on the circuit. (Start a school's thread if you'd like to know more about these shows). We've hooked them up with a great upcoming young magician called 'Cosentino' who does a killer school show. We still do the odd one-off show in schools, but we don't do any of our previous school shows, we just do a "greatest hits" selection from our corporate material.
Brent McLeod
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Thank you so much for that info-brilliant!!

Im still laughing at the potato chip sequence!!-Carl Ballantyne-what a legend!

Thanks again-appreciated!!
Tim Ellis
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Melbourne, Australia
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If you'd like to see the Razor Blades in action, Brendan Croft has put the clip up on You Tube for me. Click here!

Take a look.
Chris Becker
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New York, NY
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The razor blades totally rock! Especially because of "Lemon Tree" - I'm listening to it right now Smile)) I even liked it better than Runaway Sue.

Anyways, sorry if I'm annoying anyone with my over-the-top praise of Sue & Tim but I really think they have accomplished something extraordinary in magic: bringing it all to the 20th century (I'm not sure anyone's in the 21st yet). Only very few others have achieved this, I'm thinking of some members of the German Flicking Fingers... or Axel S., a young German diabolo juggler.

"and all that I can see is just a yellow ... la la la"

- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
Tim Ellis
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Melbourne, Australia
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I'm sitting here in the boring room
It's just another rainy Sunday afternoon
I'm wasting my time
I got nothing to do
I'm hanging around
I'm waiting for you
But nothing ever happens and I wonder...
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Maybe it's my computer connection (I am back in Australia by the way), but I've tried for over 12 minutes to try and download the clips from the You Tube site. I got a second of clip for about every 10 seconds of download. don't know if it's the site or it's possibly my ISP. You'd think that a download speed of 1.5MB would do it faster than that. (Oh, well)

Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Michael J. Douglas
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I had that same problem. I think it's YouTube. Sometimes their vids download fast and other times slow.

It's worth the wait!
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
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