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Special user
Myrtle Beach, SC
639 Posts

Profile of WagsterMagic
Hey guys,

Looking into building a sub trunk. Do you guys have any suggestions on style of the box or presentation.

Such as...
the bag
the gimmick
costume changing
color of the box

Any help would be appreciated.

The Wagsters: World Class Magic & Illusion
The Donster
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Inner circle
4817 Posts

Profile of The Donster
I'll have to say the Osbourne plans are probally the most popular. As for a bag you can get Sack-X. and for the most popular style I'll have to say its the packing crate style. The gimmick I won't discuss here, sorry. Color of the box: just stain it. D
Tony Thomas
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Inner circle
North Carolina
1243 Posts

Profile of Tony Thomas
Hey Wagster,

I think the style of sub trunk should fit into your image. I made mine with Osbourne Plans in a typical rustic fashion because it fit my persona. I used cedar wood, and tongue oil for a nice wood grain look. I went on your web site (very nice by the way), and I'm thinking a wood grain rustic box won't work for you. I'm picturing more the hinged top suitcase type variety.
From the Encouraging Magic of...
Tony Thomas
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New user
Orange County, CA
66 Posts

Profile of kenb123
I built my first sub trunk in 1974 and I did several variations. It sort of depends on the audience and how much time you want.

I built mine out of pine, in the slatted packing crate style - no stain - natural wood looks less tricked.

In my Junior Year in High School I did a long version - people from the audience, examine everything, in again - out again shackles, assistant tied in the sack, box wrapped in ropes, and a costume change.

Then in my senior year, it was one of three illusions in a 3 1/2 minute set. But no audience, no cuffs, male assistant was locked in, when the box was opened there were two female assitants inside and I came from the back of the theater.

So I built a generic box that I can vary based on what I need.

Hope that helps

Also regarding the gimmick - I've read discussions here, and from my experience I think the top t**p is the best. If you are have people on stage and a curtain that conforms to the size of the box then teh top is the only way to do it - and in my opinion the fastest.
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2919 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
What Tony said -- make it fit your persona -- is right on the nose.

Too many performers, especially nowadays, do a show that looks like a bunch of generic tricks they bought from catalogs. There's no connection, no visual consistency, nothing to clue the audience in as to who this guy is or why he's doing what he's doing. There have been a number of threads on this here recently: you want the audience to remember you, and to want to see you again.

Not to toot my own horn, but I did a column on how to connect with our audiences in the Buffet section recently, and it covers some of this territory.
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Inner circle
1932 Posts

Profile of mtpascoe
Depends upon the style of trunk. Tarbell has the dimensions of what the trunk should be. How I build mine was to take the hardware off of a steamer trunk. Then I took canvas and tacked it around the trunk. Then I painted the canvas a brown color. Finally I trimmed it with the hardware from the steamer trunk. This gave it an authentic look to it.
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Regular user
174 Posts

Profile of JasonB
The world doesn't need more bags and handcuffs etc (actually more bags & more handcuffs might work). You've probably seen many subtrunks done. What is the point of the effect? Escape, penetration, transposition? The switch done quickly will kill, people's jaws will drop. Beyond that what can you make different about the lead-up? Duct tape around the wrists, police style plastic zip ties behind your back? It's true not everyone has seen a standard subtrunk but that doesn't make it true to you. You'll know you're doing a standard routine and that doesn't help you. I'm sure there's tons of plans and routines out there. I'm just saying a breath of fresh air would be great. Houdini once escaped from being tied inside a big paper bag. The point is that paper is delicate and obvious when it has been riped. So, the effect is that you have melted or teleported through because the thing that you were in is so simple and still intact. Bags, boxes and cuffs bind you. So what else binds? Glue, nails, tape, chains, ropes etc. Just be creative, your audiences will thank you. best wishes for success with your effect.
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