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Roslyn
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Hi ,

For those of you that haven't been to Steve's website in a while, the Escape Biz Vol 2 has been written and there is a review of it on the home page for those that have been waiting for its release.

Talking of release, is there any news of when this might be?

Or purhaps it could be possible to pre-order a copy of the book so it gets shipped out as soon as its done?

I'm looking forward to reading it,

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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CARNEGIE
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Ros,

As Co-author of the book, I can tell you that the book is going to be officially released at the Cannons Escape Convention at the end of the month.

We've gotten several reviews back on the book and they have all been very enthusiastic. This Volume deals with how to put together an escape act. And it really gets broken down into a simplied formula. In addition, there is a chapter on escape routines with contributions by a number of people. The book is almost twice as big as Volume 1.

Steve is considering allowing pre-orders and if that turns out to be the case, I'm sure he'll have something on the website.

When you do get your copy, we'd love to know what you think of it.

Carnegie
aggieman
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What will the price be?
Roslyn
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I can't wait to get a copy.

As one of the younger escape artists at the beginning of, what I hope will be, a long career I'm sure I'll find it really useful.

I can't wait to read it.

Steve, if you're reading this please allow pre-orders (even if its just me Smile ).

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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CARNEGIE
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Ros,
You are in luck. I just got off the phone with the new webguy for Steve's site and the books are now up for sale. There is a pre-publication offer so you save $10 but they won't be shipped until AFTER the escape convention. So Steve would mail them out the Monday after the convention. Check out the site for the information.

Carnegie
Roslyn
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Cheers Carnegie,

I got a pm from Steve too.

I'm looking forward to getting it.

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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Harley Newman
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I started doing escapes in 1972, and for most of that time, have had little contact with other escape artists. So when Steve Baker asked me to review “The Escape Biz”, I thought “This should be interesting.” Actually it is. Very! Steve and Dean Carnegie have written a solid primer of information that’s far more important than instructions on how to pick each of 473 locks.

I was presented with some viewpoints with which I differ, and a lot of things with which I totally agree. I learned something, a number of times over.

The book has 4 titled sections, and one of bonus material. Background information oozes through the pages. The Escape Act is full of commentary about, among other things, Why Escapes Fall Flat. The Escape Performer talks about character and presentation. Creating the Act discusses ways in which to create solid presentations from a few minutes to a full evening in length, in a variety of types of venues.

Escape Routines is gold, with contributions from Steve and Dean, Morgan, Mark Tripp.and Rick Slimser. I’d like to draw your particular attention to Morgan’s “The Cuff Box” one of the most stunningly beautiful escape routines I’ve ever seen described.

The Bonus section includes “5 Rules of Escapology” and “Be Your Own Worst Enemy”...important stuff.

Whether you’re an aspiring escape artist, or a perspiring veteran, your show can be improved by hiring a director and a production team. This book gives quick, well thought-out ideas of some of the things that each of them would ask or comment about.

What’s your character? How do you dress? What kind of routines fit together to make a good show? What kind of guidelines should you follow, so as not to get hurt? What do you say and, sometimes even more importantly, not say, to make the presentation better? What kind of things can you do, to engage the audience better?

“The Escape Biz” is 81 single-sided pages, which is good. Read it with a pencil in hand. You’ll be writing things in all the margins, and the blank pages won’t stay that way. Mine didn’t.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Cliffg37
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Harley, I have already ordered my copy, but thank you for that very detailed and wonderful review

Cliff
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Harley Newman
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You're welcome!

Steve and I have only met by telephone (some delightful conversations) and reputation, and we have a lot in common, except he's shorter, and I'm uglier. We both got our real starts in showbusiness, working for Hoxie Tucker, although a number of years apart. The lessons we learned then, show in our work today.

Hoxie was an old-time circus man and promoter. I think he was the last circus owner in the country, who wasn't a corporation. It was his domain, and he ruled it pretty well. He'd been partners, for quite a few years, with Col. Tom Parker, but went separate ways when TP started to manage Elvis, and Hoxie decided he'd had enough of country singers.

Hoxie knew how to give an audience, what they were paying for, which was a great show. His ability to structure a performance, showcasing every performer who could handle it, was amazing. He encouraged talent, and could also make bad performers look a lot better than they were.

Circus help are not always the brightest people, nor the most reliable, nor particularly sober of habit. The performers sometimes have egocentricities. But Hoxie knew his show inside and out, equipment from A to Z, animals, personnel, and the layout of everything. He had high expectations about any job that needed doing.

He had a temper. He wore a Stetson hat, and if something was wrong, everybody knew to stay away from him, because the brim would be turned down. If he was in a good mood, it was up.

I honor his memory.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Harry Murphy
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I second what Harley has said about this book. Bottom line is that you won’t regret buying it! It’s good! It really addresses the building an escape act and I say, it’s about time something like this was published!!

I believe that we have enough tricks and stunts but we don’t have enough on how to present them or how to put them together in a unified act. In fact, there are very few books on how to build and present an escape act (or any magic act for that matter). This book delivers the goods!

The book addresses building venue or time specific acts. It looks at the needs and requirements for a short act, a “standard act, and the “big show”. It even looks at the specialized requirements of doing a very short, constrained, and contained piece for TV.

Oh there is more, so much more, there are discussions on building “character”, exploring the differences between the magician and the escape artist, rules of escapology, and , as Harley has pointed out, it even has contributions from our own Morgan and the legendary Mark Tripp.

I could go on but I think that gives you a taste of what is in store for you.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Harley Newman
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I liked the book a lot, but it crosses my mind, that I should say something it's not.

It's not a substitute for experience. It's not anything more than a taste of what you learn to get a theatre degree. It's not a complete how-to build, publicize, and earn millions of dollars a year from performing book.

It's a primer, and a d*mn good one! It will give you ideas, and point you directions. You can ask for more, but that'll take a few more books, eh?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Ms. Morgan
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Wow, I'm stunned...to be asked to contribute to Escape Biz is a tremendous honor on it's own. To be given that sort of recognition by not one, but two, men who's work I greatly respect means a lot to me.
Now add to that the very nice things both Harry and Harley have had to say about not only my contribution but, the whole book and I'm on cloud nine. Thank you both, you are too kind.
I hope someday I can perform "The Cuff box" for you Harley.

Thank you, Mr.Baker, Dean, Harry, Harley and all you guys who hang out here.

Morgan
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
www.illusionbiz.com
www.WackyDracky.com
GreatWizardoftheEast
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Oh to be young again! I'm jealous of you younger performers having an opportunity to learn from a book that is getting so many great reviews. From what I've read about it, the book spells out how to put together an escape act of different sizes. I'm past my prime but I'll still enjoy picking up a copy when it comes out. I'm curious now about the Cuff Box by Morgan that Harley raves over.

Harry
Harold White
Steve Baker - Mr.Escape
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I would to thank all of you who responded so positive to the announcement
of the release of "The Biz" Vol 2!

I have been planing to write this book for years,but it took CARNEGIE to
light a fire under my rear to get it started!
CARNEGIE understands my passion for my craft,because he has the same passion,
and together we would like to pass the torch on!

There are no more venues like I had to hone/sharpen my craft,no more Night
clubs,Theaters.... Places to work out your act,to be bad untill you worked
out the kinks!

So we decided to put our years of experience and knowledge into this effort
to give a leg up to those who truly want to have a career as entertainers with
magic/escapes.

I would also like to thank Mark Tripp,Morgan,and CARNEGIE for their
outstanding contributions to the story escape chapter...GREAT WORK!!

I would also like to thank Harry Murphy,Ace Starry,and Harley Newman for
their GREAT reviews of our book!

Thank You,Thank You,

Steve
Wolflock
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Oooo. When I am able to, Must get a copy.

Steve. Have an idea that I have been working on for an escape which I would like to ask your advice on. When I get a chance (probably this weekend) I will email you. Would like to hear your views on it.

Regards
Wolflock
Wolflock
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Roslyn
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Since there seems to be very few reviews of this book I thought I'd write one from the view point of one of the younger generation of 21st century escape artists.

I'd also like to point out that this is my own opinion and I have no business relationship with either Steve or Dean.

The book it self spans 78 single-sided A4 pages and is spiral bound. It has been writen in a very clear and easy to understand manner. The thoughts, ideas and general information is the stuff that can only come from someone that has worked within the entertainment industry for many years.

As a bonus, you also get a list of escape resources as well as a short bio of the authors.

What's really nice about this volume is the fact that you don't need volume one for it to make sense. It stands as a book in its own right, but that said, if you do have volume one, adding volume two will give you a set that pretty much answers any questions you may have thought of (and indeed some that you may not) within the escape field.

When I read volume one I was extremely impressed. The information within it was a mixture of stuff that I'd been told in drips and drabs in various emails, phone calls and on message boards combined with ideas that I'd never been told or thought of before all brought together in one place.

I enjoyed it because it confirmed what I was already doing right and highlighted areas that I'd not before thought of working on.

When news of volume two was released I have to admit I didn't think that there could possibly be anything new that could be covered in a book of this sort.

I was expecting a re-hash of old stuff mixed with stories of "the good old days".

I have to admit I was wrong.

There is nothing in volume two that has been covered before in any of the books that I own on similar subjects.

Everything is new and exciting.

Some of the best material in this book is the simple stuff that generally gets over looked. Especially by an inexperienced performer (and lets face it most of us are inexperienced when it comes to the career of Steve and Dean) who is concerned about getting the tricks right and can easily forget about the actual performance.

I particularly enjoyed chapter three that covers the different types of escape show one is likely to face.

Everything from a short five minute segment on TV to a full blown 90+ minute stage spectacular is covered.

Steve sets out the basic formula that he used to create his own shows, yet at the same time leaves enough scope that you won't end up with hundreds of Steve Baker clones.

Creativity is encouraged throughout, but the student is also given the tools in order to create the foundation needed to produce a decent show.

Another chapter that I really enjoyed reading was chapter 4, which covers story routines.

No secrets on escape technique are revealed, but the secret to weaving a story within the routine is.

Story routines are something that I myself have never used. I thought them to be dated, and not entertaining to a 21st century audience. Again after reading Volume Two I have to admit I was wrong and have started work on creating my own stories that I can include in my own shows.

Plus with extra bits of business by Mark Tripp and the lovely Ms Morgan added to that of Dean Carnegie and Steve Baker the reader gets a very rounded view of what it is to produce an escape show.

I rate this book 9/10 (because no-one is perfect) and recommend the Escape Biz Vol Two to everyone and anyone.

The only downside to this book for me was the binding. It would have been nice if the it could have been released as a hard bound book rather than as a spiral bound manuscript. I understand that the costs of doing this would have driven the price of the finished book through the roof, but it would have been nice.

Perhaps it could be something that will happen to include all the different volumes in one limited edition book in the future?

Something else that would also be fantastic for the future would be to learn the secrets of how Steve pulled off his various escapes. This would certainly bring about the perfect ending to the Escape Biz manuscripts.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens Smile

As a sneaky bonus I was also given a copy of Steve Baker performing his French Transport Chains. This was a great companion dvd and really helped to bring what was writen in the book to life.

If you have the chance to get a copy of this or any other of Steve's performance dvds then I whole heartedly recommend that you do.

I hope this review is of some use to someone and I hope there's more where this came from.

Take it easy,

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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Russell_LA
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I recently read "Volume 2" and thought I would add something from a slightly different perspective. In my current job, I work behind the scenes in the film business. I have a background in live theater but I am not currently performing. Escape acts have always held a fascination for me, I am a long time fan of both escapes and magic acts in general.

Something that struck me about Steve Baker's book is the universal approach to the information. Yes, it discusses escapes and escape acts, but the advice he gives can be applied to many types of performers. His discussions concerning the value of defining who you are, what your intention is as a performer, what you want to convey with your performance and the numerous ways there are to fine tune such aspects of any type of act go far beyond escape acts.

Personally, I think any one of us who has stood on a stage and performed can learn from this text. He gives a great deal of food for thought on how acts can be developed while always keeping in focus the idea that a performance is about entertaining the audience.

I found it a truly informative and enjoyable read.

Russell
"You cannot kill the boogeyman."
- Halloween
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