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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Floating Board Syndrome (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lou Hilario
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I have seen and used a lot of suspensions and levitations for the past 30 years of doing magic professionally.
I had a TV interview 3 years ago with a famous female personality. I levitated her without her knowing how it was done. It was shown in TV. You know what she said on TV? She said that the board was the one levitating and she was merely resting on the board.
I am now pondering to the layman's point of view: Is it the board that is floating or the levitated assistant or volunteer?
What is your opinion on this matter?
A lot of suspensions (chair, ladder, carpet, super X, etc.) and levitations involve a board that the lady is lying on. I have used a harness, metal cradle, a wooden shaped female figure board, and many others. Sometimes, my assistant has to support her head and legs.
When I use volunteers, this is not possible, a board has to be there to support the head till their ankles.
I own the Phil Moore "Lighter Than Air" and I also have a Gamolo. But I have been able to create a new and more compact levitation that I can do semi-surrounded. If I use my lady assistant, there is no board to be seen. But if I use a volunteer, I have to use a board for her to lie on and I wrap her like the chair suspension method.
I just want to know your opinions on how the audience perceives the "board" issue.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
Terry Owens
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She actually was right in her statement...as long as she is still on a board, the board would have to be the thing that is levitating, if she was levitating, the board would have fallen to the ground after "all visible" supports were removed. But in a Chair suspension, for example, the board is removed and thus it looks like the assistant or volunteer is in deed suspended in mid-air, or broom suspension, but if they are levitating with no visible board that they are laying on, then the assistant would look like she is levitating.
reynold
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I would include the board in my patter. I would say to the volunteer "lay here on the magic bed or the magic carpet for a ride...." or something like that to make clear to the audience you are admitting the board. but I don't think is that big of an issue. your TV host said that because she is on TV and she has to say something but in real life your volunteer won't say that on stage.

Hope this helps,
Reynold
Joe Mansfield
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Slightly off topic, but this thread sparked a suspension memory;
I was performing Steinmeyer's Hot Air illusion several years ago with a 8-9 year old girl from the audience. After I removed the support and popped the balloons, I passed a hoop over her and then paused for an applause cue. When the girl heard the applause, she assumed the trick was over, jumped off the "suspended" board/table and ran back to her seat. I was left on stage with a board suspension.
Terry Owens
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That is funny Joe...but it probably wasn't at that time.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Thank You!

I am soooo tried of seeing the
“Amazing Floating Board”!

In the pursuit of a viable method,
we magicians close our eyes to the desired effect.

We “forgive” our illusion’s flaws,
and hope our audiences are as blinded as we are.

Too many levitations/suspensions depend
upon the performer standing on a ridiculous podium or platform,
or having the assistant laying on a board for no reason.

I’ve even seen magicians remove the supports
BEFORE they remove the board in suspensions,
this is backwards and destroys their very premise.

There is always some risk to using a volunteer,
assistants are best, but if you “must” use a spectator,
take them aside BEFORE the show and assure them of their safety,
and what will be expected of them.
They are not performers and need to be made
as comfortable with their role as possible!

Any dress, robe, or costume with some fabric and flow,
can usually adequately “cover” the workings.

We all love our larger illusions,
but if you can’t find a deceptive method,
move on to something else.

Magically,
Walt
The Drake
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Quote:
On 2007-11-19 13:12, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:
Thank You!

I am soooo tried of seeing the
“Amazing Floating Board”!

In the pursuit of a viable method,
we magicians close our eyes to the desired effect.

We “forgive” our illusion’s flaws,
and hope our audiences are as blinded as we are.

We all love our larger illusions,
but if you can’t find a deceptive method,
move on to something else.

Magically,
Walt


Hello Walt,

I found your post interesting but also a little confusing.

I agree that many effects have flaws but I don't know those flaws are so bad that we need to worry about them too much to the point it prevents us from performing. We as magicians sometimes worry too much about the small stuff. Why do we need to cover a person before they vanish? Why do we need a cloth to cover a zombie balls movements? Why do we need a board for a levitation? If we focus too much on these questions then the audience will as well.

Reynold mentioned the idea of including the board in a routine. Walter Blaney aways refers to his " anti gravity board" which will float even with a lady on it. I don't think the board has held back Walters success with the effect. The only problem that ever really came from the board was the thought that it was a problem. I used to think it'd be a problem and thought the idea of a board was counter productive. Years later I am on a waiting list to own one. LOL

The practicality of it can't be denied. It will give me the power to do a levitation effect just about anywhere. Splashes Ultimate levitation doesn't have a board but it does have that platform that you speak of. I saw it performed again live last night and it got a great reaction. Nobody seemed to ask..." Why did the magician have to stand on an 18 high platform to levitate the girl?"

The only way to get around the board or platform is a VERY expensive option. This option is not only out of financial reach for most performers but its not something that would be usable in most of the banquet hall risers or smaller stages we play. Those working pro theatres on long term gigs have the special staging that allows the effect to be done with no board or platform but it'd be a shame if everyone else denied their audience a levitation because they were afraid of that board.

Best,

Tim
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Hi Tim,

While many of your points are well taken,
I’ve however found some inexpensive illusions,
such as the Gwynne Walk-Way and the Harbin Chair,
which can have the support boards removed.

I think the important thing is not to ignore problems or limitations,
but rather (as they do consistently in the Theatre)
find motivations to make them into either non-issues or assets,
your “anti-gravity board" example maybe does this well.

We are working at levels of Wonder and Imagination, in Magic.
but that does not mean we can ignore even magical "logic".

We don't want to put problems or doubts into the spectator’s minds,
but I feel we must address the obvious,
sometimes as magicians we play possum or dig our heads into the sand.

Theatrical solutions, or indeed dramatic justifications, are better than self-deception,
and can solve, or at least lesson, problems in our presentations.

My next two-cents,
Walt
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