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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Ankle harness for straight jacket escape (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

BBunnell
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Utah
115 Posts

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For many years I have used an ankle harness that was cumbersome and painful. At times I felt that I was not secure enough and had to be lowered and have it tightened more. It also cost me more money than what I had expected. I did some asking around and came up with an inexpensive (under 20$) ankle harness. It takes about 20 seconds to put on and take off. This harness is "very" secure. The best thing about it was that it did not hurt my ankles! All I wore were leather boots that came up over my ankles. I used it for the first time last Halloween night in my opening show at the Desert Star Theater in Salt Lake and it worked great. If any of you would like to reconsider your ankle harness, please let me know.
You can see pictures of my old and new harness at:

http://members.networld.com/brucebunnell/gallery.html

I would like to specifically thank Steve Baker! Although I did not use his specific design, his help and suggestions were invaluable. He took the time to personally call me and discuss my situation. Steve, if you are ever in Utah, I would love to thank you in person!!

Break a Thread,
Bruce
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Bruce
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Arkadia
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Sweden, Sundsvall
866 Posts

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Hello Bruce!

I am interested in seeing your design a bit more close up. I am working on my USDSJ escape right now and work on different versions for the feet. Perhaps your idea is the way to go.

/Ark
Don't miss out on the great new mentalist magic: www.metalwriting.com
BBunnell
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Utah
115 Posts

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Hello Ark,

I will be happy to email you some more detailed pictures and instructions. Expect them in the next 1 or 2 days. I'm confident the information will be of some help for your needs.

Bruce
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Bruce
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Joe Marotta
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Can You Believe I Have
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Hi Bruce,

It was a little difficult to see your new harness design in the pictures. Do you have any close up shots of them that you can link to?

Joe
Arkadia
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Sweden, Sundsvall
866 Posts

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Bruce! I am more than happy. Anything that can get my thought out of the spiral I am caught in right now is appreciated. Thanks!

/Ark
Don't miss out on the great new mentalist magic: www.metalwriting.com
CARNEGIE
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267 Posts

Profile of CARNEGIE
Bruce,
Your design does look just like Steve Bakers with the exception of using leather instead of the nylon strapping that Steve has. You might want to give him a call.
BBunnell
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Utah
115 Posts

Profile of BBunnell
Hello everyone,

I am sure some of you have played the game where 2 people have a number of toy building blocks that are the same for each person. There is a divider between the 2 players so neither can see what the other is doing. One player builds something out of his blocks then he tries to describe what he has built so the other person can build it. When they are done, they are obviously not the same.

During my attempt to make a new harness, Steve talked with me and gave me some very helpful ideas. I was under the impression that it was not a complete description. There were also things that I did not have a clear picture of. He also suggested to me to do some experimenting, which I did. I also went to different websites and looked at many other pictures. I came up with a design that I believed to be my own since I did not have complete understanding of the details of his harness and I do not prepare my ankles in a way he described to me that he did.

Since I posted this topic, I have talked with Steve, and we both want to make sure that what I ended up with is not his design. I will be sending him some very detailed pictures and other information that I am using.

So, I will not be disclosing the specific details of my harness to anyone. If it ends up that my design is the same as his, please contact Steve for help. He is the one that deserves the credit for his design.

We will have this taken care of in the next 2 days or so.

Again, THANK YOU STEVE for your help and kindness.

Bruce
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Bruce
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Joe Marotta
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Bruce,

Zooming in on your photo to get better detail of the harness, it looks to me just like Steve Bakers nylon webbing setup. Glad to hear Steve's idea worked for you.

Stay safe!

Joe
BBunnell
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Utah
115 Posts

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We have yet to decide if it is the same. My harness does not let me do exactly what Steve's does. Therefore it is not exactly the same as his. My harness comes from other suggestions besides his and a few of them suggested the webbing also. Therefore his webbing idea is not unique. However some of his suggestions were implemented. That was a GREAT HELP TO ME. I want to give credit where credit is due. That is why we are working together to review my harness, and why I am not giving out the details of my design. I have had difficulty sending him pictures of my harness. When I get that problem solved, we will decide if it is exactly like his or not.

Bruce
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Bruce
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BBunnell
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Utah
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Greetings everyone!

Steve and I finally caught up with each other and it has been decided that even though my design does not accomplish exactly what his does and made differently, it is close enough to his design that I will respect his wish that I do not pass along any details of my harness design.

It was my hope to come up with something different enough, using not just his suggestions but also using ideas of others and my own, that I could call it "my design". Then I could help others like he helped me.

I'm sorry that at this time I can't help you like he so kindly helped me. Just direct you to him for help. I know he would love to help you too.

Bruce
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Bruce
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Rob Johnston
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Inner circle
Utah
2060 Posts

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I am not an escape artist...but I have worked with Bruce in his escapes.

The old harness he had was rather painful if I recall..so this is a great improvement.

Steve's and Bruce's harnesses are different...with similarities. Bruce took a few ideas from different designs and incooperated him into his own usage and needs.

Now if Bruce chose to market this harness? That may be a different story...as Steve did offer some brilliant insights to the harness. But we aren't worried about that.

Thanks again Steve...got tired of lowering Bruce to reposistion his ankles!

~~Rob~~
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Harley Newman
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Profile of Harley Newman
Hi Bruce,

I'm confused by some of your pictures. So I have questions, and observations.

I think of electric chair as an old sideshow stunt. I have to delve into my incomplete knowledged of illusion...is this a deKolta chair (or deVolta, as the case may be)? And while this is an escape thread, I'd like to hear the storyline of your presentaton.

For straitjacket, your harness appears to be so similar to Steve's that minor design differences may be negligible. That it's more comfortable is good. We put ourselves through enough discomfort in our art, that making something less so, is admirable (says a guy who's just torn some shoulder muscles, in performance).

Your decision not to market it, is completely ethical, in a market where ethics are frequently ignored. Kudos!

I'm really curious about why you have onstage assistants, when you're in the air. In looking at the pictures, it seems to me, that they detract from YOU, who should be the complete focus of the audience. Why are they there? They seem so out of place.

As part of an overall performance, what was your premise for getting into the jacket in the first place, and then being turned USD?

So I guess my questions are...what leads you from point A to point B to point C, and what does the audience perceive, that enables them to follow down your garden path? Unfortunately, the pictures don't tell the story.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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BBunnell
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Utah
115 Posts

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The electric chair is not exactly like the Dekolta chair. It is based on an idea in the Paul Osborne illusion books. It is much easier to build than an actual Dekolta chair and can be performed almost on any stage. I will try to post some pictures of the first chair I made.

As far as the straight Jacket goes, it is the climax of what I present as the "Extreme" portion of my show. I do some smaller (what I call) "extreme" routines. One example is the needle through the nose as seen in my avitar. People have tole me that I was crazy to get put into a straight jacket. So to make it more extreme, I added the USD to it.

As far as my assistants on the stage, my feelings vary. I agree that I should be the focus and that they may distract. However it was suggested in one of our NUMA (Northern Utah Magic Associaion) meetings, that if the assistants began to become more and more nervous, the audiance would too. If they just stood there waiting and did not at any point seem concerned, then the audiance would not be concerned. The other thought is that if they are not on stage, then there would be nothing to worry about. So it is presented that in case of an unfortunate accident, help is immediately there.

Also, I am all about safety. It makes me feel better to know that they are close by. I am not a spring chicken any more. I am on my 3rd rotator cuff repair fixed by an expierimental latissimus dorsi transfer. So far so good.

I hope that answers your questions. I will bring up the idea of no onstage assistants at our next meeting.

Thanks,
Bruce
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Bruce
numamagic@yahoo.com
www.numamagic.com
BBunnell
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Utah
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I forgot to mention the basis for an electric chair. My assistant comes out to hand me an egg. She drops it. I explain that there needs to be some kind of consequence for the mistake. This being TORTURE. I explain that my assistant is my daughter, which she is. I explain that her brother after helping me at one particular performance messed up and that he is no longer with us. So torture will have to do because good help is so hard to come by. It's fun!
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Bruce
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Harley Newman
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I think the assistants might work, if a danger factor had been introduced, or if they were responding to something that was a surprise. What could happen that would give it a twist, in the middle? THEN, they'd have reason to approach, back off, wonder what they should do, etc. The incident, and their resultant approach and avoidance, should be egged on by your dialogue.

But for assistants to work, the audience needs to perceive that something has gone wrong, or is about to...
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
BBunnell
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Utah
115 Posts

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Correct.
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Bruce
numamagic@yahoo.com
www.numamagic.com
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