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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Strait Jacket Help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Josh Isenhardt
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I'm looking to purchase a Posey gimmicked strait jacket from Cannon's and I'm wondering just how close of an examination it can undergo. Can an audience member put it on? Any advice would be helpful in that I will be performing it in September and I need to get on with it. Also, I will be suspended; will this be a problem with this jacket?
Josh Isenhardt
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BTW, if anyone has a medium or large jacket they they want to get rid of, please send me an IM.
Harry Murphy
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The Cannon gimmicked Posey jacket will take moderate examination if you are careful. Why would you have the jacket examined anyway? Just put it on a person briefly to give them the experience. Don't bother to buckle it, just wrap the arms and hold them. Examination slows down the presentation. Get on with the show.

You will have no problem getting out of the jacket suspended or standing upright. It makes no difference.

Of the gimmicked SJ's the Cannon Posey is amongst the best there is.

For a suspended escape you might want to try using the old standby, ungimmicked regulation jacket. Gravity sure helps you escape that one.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Josh Isenhardt
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Thank you Harry, I really appreciate your comments.
wildwolf
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I am planning on buying a cannon straight jacket, but not sure what gaffed jacket to get. I was thinking of the following:

GIMMICKED LEATHER & CANVAS STRAITJACKET
just wondering the same how examitable is it or any of the gaffed jackets, I will be using them on stage, and in small shows.

can anyone help me
Harry Murphy
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Wildwolf, re-read my post above.

Most Gaffed straightjackets are not able to be examined closely. They use a “extender” gaff (a la’ the Abbott gaff). You have to manage a spectator well in order to put the jacket on them and them not find the gizmo. The one skill that a performing escape artist has to have is audience management. How do you keep them interested while you are being restrained?

The upside is that very, very, very few individuals have ever seen a straightjacket unclose and in person and haven’t a clue what they are supposed to look like. Even if they feel the gaffus and you hold the strap they don’t trip to the workings. I used an old Abbott’s gaffed straightjacket for over 20 years and put it on dozens of spectators with no worry. The pace of the show kept them from examining the jacket closely.

Another upside is that most spectators who are called on to help have never been up before a crowd before and are anxious to not look foolish. They look to you for direction as to what they are supposed to do. It is a fairly simple matter to direct their attention toward what you want them to see and away from what you don’t!

Furthermore, as I mentioned above, you don’t want to hand the jacket out for close examination anyway. It slows down the show. In fact most examination of props slows down the show and helps make it boring (the problem with most escape acts!). Tell them what they are seeing and get on with it.

There have been jackets made that do stand very close examination and yet till have subtle gaffs built in. David DeVal’s jacket comes to mind. He tailored the sleeve opening to assist the escape artist in the escape. Still the escape artist had to know how to get out of a regulation straight jacket to begin with. The subtlety only made it easier.

I have taken a “regulation” straight jacket and made a couple of modifications that make it impossible for me to be restrained in it yet even knowledgeable escape artists don’t notice anything different or “wrong” with the jacket. I can hang it up in public for a week in advance and let people examine it to their hearts content and they will find nothing. Yet it is gaffed/modified. Of course if I gain too much weight it will not work on me! LOL!!!

I say don’t worry about it. Buy the jacket that has the “look” that you are going for in your act. Don’t even get into the argument about gaffed or un-gaffed.

The GIMMICKED LEATHER & CANVAS STRAITJACKET you are looking at is a nice, antique looking jacket that will serve your purposes well.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Roslyn
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I'm with Harry on this. Why let them examin the jacket?

I don't think they need to put the jacket on, whether you're using gimmick or not.

When using the Posey gimmed jacket you can have them pull on all the straps, the buckles, the front and side loops. All the parts that are supposed to keep you in.

This adds to the show, and doesn't slow it down.

Hope this helps,

Ros
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London
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I agree , I do not think the jacket "needs" to be examined. Don't draw any more attention to it than you need (especially if it is gimmicked). I personally use a regulation ungimmicked jacket and I do hand it to the two that come on stage with me. I explain what a straight jacket is and what it is made of. Reinforced canvas and leather. I say here have a look and all the years I have done it know one has ever really done much exept hold it up and just look at it. Nothing but a straight jacket as far as they are concerned. I guess my point is don't draw attention to the fact that there are indeed gimmicked jackets , by saying "here have a look and see if it is gimmicked in any way" I have seen people do it and I don't understand why you would put the idea in there heads to begin with. Magicians tend to think that "lay people" suspect everything to be gimmicked in some way but I don't find this to be true. Most performers put the idea "something isn't right" into the heads of thier audience members. Oh well enough ranting from me. Good luck,
London
THOUGHTfully,

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Kondini
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Slow the show down and you will soon have no show to slow down.
Examine!!!!! PooPoo get on with it, they have paid to see you get out not in!!

Ken
Wolf Fisher
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..it is like "here I have an ordinary pack of cards.." SO, you push the mind of the spectators to the fact that a straitjacket could be gaffed in some way if you shout ot "look, you can examine it , it is ungimmicked!".
I don´t use the straitjacket very often, because obviously the way of "chaining" is always the same, so it could be somehow rehearsed. That´s not a strong selling point.
But anyhow, I sold my gaffed straitjacket and use an ungimmicked one (IF I use one).
Like to leave it....and the press people could check it out

I never really liked things that are gimmicked, there are LOTS of possibilities with absolutely genuie shakles (like the Sibirian Chain, f.ex.).
Josh Isenhardt
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Hey everyone, I got my jacket today! A medium, ungimmicked posey. I got a great deal on it used. Here is why I went with ungimmicked:

I am doing three performances over the course of one weekend for hundreds of Jr. High students . . . I'm a junior high pastor. It is going to be part of our new building launch. I wanted students to examine the jacket and try it on over the weeks prior to the performance to build a buzz. This also will drive home the message that I'll be sharing later; make it more tactile and concrete.

QUESTION: The jacket I got has been in storage for quite a while and could use a good washing. Does anyone have time-tested advice on laundering an ungimmicked posey straitjacket?

Thanks to all who commented. I will repost to let you all know how the perfomance went.
EggMan
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Hi Josh,
I have an ungimmicked Posey as well. I suggest that you wash the SJ before practising with it as the rough canvas can be abrasive to your skin.

I soaked my SJ with fabric softener and let it dry in the sun. Expect a little bit of shrinkage, but do not put it in the dryer as it'll shrink even more. After a couple of washes the material will be easier on the skin.

There was a discussion on SJ care here in this section. I'm sure you'll find this link useful - http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=18
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