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Illusions4Life
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Indiana
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Get ready for an unusal post here folks. I got a call last night, from the local community theater in my home town. They are putting on a murder mystery on new years eve night. The mystery just so happens to have a magician strongly intertwined in the play. They have asked me to play the part of the magician.

Now here is the problem, I perform mostly close up and parlor magic. Since the phone call last night I can't stop thinking about some sort of large scale illusion to include in this act. I have a book called The Greatest Illusions of Magic by Byron G Wells and have been looking through it.

Now for the question, does anyone know an illusion that can be built relativly easy at minimum cost, that requires very little practice to perfect. I can get an assitant so that is no problem.

If not feel free to tell me that I am whacked in the head.

Thanks

Jim
Peter Loughran
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There are several illusions that can be built with a fair amount of ease, but first let us know....

What type of resources do you have to build the illusion, ie: Tools, budget, knowledge, type of effect you are looking for, etc.

Im sure the friendly folks here at the Café will be able to lead you in the right direction.

P.
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Tom Cutts
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My first concern would be how does an illusion fit into the play. If it just looks crammed in there, it will not work within the play.

I consulted on two seperate productions of "Carnival". In each, the magic was worked into the plot.

Tom
Peter Loughran
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Good point Tom but I don't think this is really a play but rather a game. One of those Murder Mystery games where the people invited get assingned a character and they have to mingle around the the cocktail party trying to solve the mystery.

But Im not 100 percent sure that thats what he is talking about. Perhaps Illusions4Life can shed some more light onto the subject.

...I think the Butler did it!

P.
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Illusions4Life
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Indiana
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Sorry I did not make things a clear as mud here. I knew what I was saying in my mind, but how were you to know.

I will be performing a 1 hour show prior to the murder mystery, it will set the stage for the perfomace of the mystery. Hope that clears it up.

Peter I have every tool imaginable to man (my brother is a cabinet builder) and budget is really no concern I can probably buy any wood that is needed from him at hugely discounted prices (aren't I lucky)

I would love to have something requiring an assistant that I could do to music with very little patter. Most of my stage show currently is done with patter and comedy. I have toyed with Metemorphisis and have built one to my specs, however have not been able to perfect it. I am afraid that I will not be able to get it to the point that I feel comfortable doing it.

Thanks for your help. Hope this makes it easier to answer my questions.

Jim
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Peter Loughran
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Well 4life, that does help a lttle.

First if you plan on keeping the illusion and perhaps using it on a regular basis in your show, then I would not cheap out and get plywood as it usually only comes in G1S.

I would recommend getting birch G2S. if you are staying with wood to build the illusion. If your brother has aluminum working skills you will have more options.

A subtrunk is one of the easier and less expensive illusions to build. However if you want somethng different there are may choices for easy to build illusions that are also easy to perfect in a shorter time frame.

I would reccomend finding the appropriate plans for illusions like these,

Tip over Trunk,
Screen production
Arabian Nights(Temple of Benares)
Chef's Nightmare
Divided lady
Sword basket
Modern cabinet
Flash Appearnace

I would try and stay away from illusions that require bases as the method unless you are familiar with streamlining and metal work.

The illusion has to work, and for an illusion to work it has to be deceptive. Stay with the basics for your first time.

P.
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Illusions4Life
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Indiana
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Thanks Peter I have been looking at some of those very things. I have almost decided to go with a flash appearance and possibly the doll house effect to introduce my lovely assistant (who know who that will be) but I will find one.

Thanks again for your help, will let you know how this comes out.

Jim
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