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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Razor Blade Illusion (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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The razor blade/needle trick is perhaps one of the easiest of the extreme magic tricks to do. It is even easier than the needle through arm and less dangerous than the Gopher trap trick.

You really don’t need any special apparatus to pull off the trick. John Booth gives you all the details you need, including how to set-up, carry, and switch the tied blades in one of his books and also in Tarbell’s. The switch is done openly and boldly and uses no hollow spools of thread, no magnetic holdout’s, no Himber wallet principle holders, or the like. It uses the blades, some thread, and a man’s pocket-handkerchief. It is all showmanship.

If you want a ready made, inexpensive, pocket version then check out:
http://hanklee.org/xcart/customer/produc......p;page=1

Still, buy Booth’s book and have the razor blade trick, hydrostatic glass, Arial fishing and more.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
cardfreax
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Australia
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If I'm not mistaken, the one David Blaine does, he really shows that the razor blade really goes into his mouth...and also the one I saw in spellbounder,one of elluionist's video...you can actually see the razor blade sits on the tounge...can anyone give me more info which technique they use to do that? I can't see any switches can be done with the razor blade sitting in your tounge.

Thank you.
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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The methods mentioned above will give you all you need to know. The razor blades (six, eight, or ten) ALL go into the mouth.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
DoctorShadow
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Sharp blades are essential. All the "switch" methods look cheesy and dumb. This is the important point: PULLING THE BLADES OUT ON THE STRING IS NOT THE EFFECT!!! Putting five tested blades into your mouth one at a time is the effect. The string is nothing but an applause cue. In order to get teh full effect each blade must be tested individually and placed in your mouth one at a time.
A.G.
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Vancouver Canada
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That's a good point.
Harry Murphy
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I don’t agree with Doctor Shadow. Just putting the sharp blades into your mouth is not the effect. It is nerve grating (much like fingernails on a chalkboard) and does cause the squeamish to look away, especially if you have demonstrated the sharpness of the blades.

If that was the whole effect, the whole routine, the whole trick then all you would have to do is put the blades into your mouth and then to spit then out again, one-at-a-time into a glass. Which, by the way can be done with real, sharp (un-dulled), blades. Which is about as entertaining as watching paint dry.

Further, not all of the switches are “cheesy”. Some of the gimmicked ones clearly are. But not all routines and handlings use them. Clearly, Doc Shadow has not seen a good presentation of the trick.

It is difficult to come up with a real solid routine for this trick. What is the motivation for sticking the blades into your mouth in the first place? Why the thread (dental floss, string, ribbon, whatever)?

My routine included me talking about the old time geek acts in the carnival I used to work at that ate glass and razor blades. I will put a single sharp blade in my mouth and flip it over a few times with my tongue (yes it is real, yes it is sharp, and no there is little danger of cutting myself). Then I openly (no switch) take it out and cut a straw several times with it to prove it real. I will then take several blades and show them sharp and real.

While doing this I talk about a girl I once knew that could tie a knot in a cherry stem with her tongue. In honor of the old time geeks and that very, very skilled tongue (laugh line) I will combine the two. Here I take a length of thread, ball and take it into the mouth “spaghetti” style. Then I take the packet of blades, fan then and put them into the mouth. There is much mugging, and puffing the cheeks until finally one end of the thread pops out. I take it and pull it slowly and the blades come out, one at a time tied to the thread. One blade falls free as if I didn’t get it tied. Yes, I know, it’s gross, but you’ll watch!

There are no cheesy gimmicks, no hokey and obvious switch used. The routine is funny, nerve grating (to the squeamish), gross (anything that comes out of the mouth is gross), and played ONLY to a select audience (the most important part of this trick).
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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SW Ohio, USA
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I did the razor blades years ago. I don't think I'd do it today, though, due to:

1. Double-edged blades becoming less and less common, and, more importantly,

2. The 21st century brain damaged kid who reasons it is easy to shove a thread though the hole in a razor blade with his tongue, and who winds up the latest sensational tragedy on CNN. I don't want the crusading journalists and attorneys knocking on my door.

Granted, any risky stunt has this possibility, but there's something 'compelling' about the razor blade trick, as far as having that punk kid "I could do that" air about it.

Feedback?

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Matthew the Magnificent
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A few points: one, I incorporate a LOT of comedy into this, for 'relief' of the obvious tension it builds up, two, I use HEAVY thread, carpet sewing type... MUCH PREFERABLE... three, I use REAL BLADES to demonstrate, but ONLY use three of six to actually do this... my routine runs 5 to 7 minutes (depends on whether it is in the middle of my show, or at the end), and showing ALL blades to be sharp is ACTUALLY bad showmanship ! It takes up valuable time, and an audience WILL assume and accept that ALL BLADES are equally sharp.... WHY NOT ??? Only if YOU give them some reason NOT TO ! I 'accordian fold them'... not sure how to describe the exact method, but it actually 'locks' the bundle, and comes from Owen's instructions, so I am not sure that I SHOULD explain it, even if I could... it is their Taylor Made GIMMICK and is really fun to work with... allows for pure showmanship and no worries...


However, THAT SAID... well, EVEN WITH DULL BLADES... yeah, ONCE IN AWHILE they may get a bit tangled, and catch on each other... why I have learned to keep two sets ready... it seems to only happen when an 'old set' is still damp from a prior show... and, too, I HAVE cut the inside of my cheek when trying to 'pull out a jam'... be cautious if that happens !

Lastly, I love the idea of leaving a loose blade to 'drop out'... may try that, but I, too, feel that the day of doing 'blades' is coming to a close... MOST KIDS NOW DAYS will have no idea in heck what they are... yeah, may not be old enough NOW for your blade audience, but will be soon...

Oh, one more point... No, DEFFINITELY, the 'effect' is NOT placing them in the mouth... it IS apparently swallowing them, and THEN, as EACH BLADE APPEARS... suspense builds up and up... till the very last one is seen... and an audible gasp of relief is typically heard from the viewing public !
Many years & Many experiences in Magic and Related Arts
what the...?
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North Carolina
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I own the Vest pocket razor blade mystery, and I bought it at my local magic shop for $10. It's great, and effective. The way the owner of the the shop does it, is as he is reaching for the thread, the dirty work is already done, there and then, and it is undetectable. He drops a blood cap out of the spool, but those things make me gag, or I would use them.

Brian
The great Sandwich!
muzicman
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LaCenter, Wa
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Tim Ellis has the answer and everyone passed right over it. With Tims method, you show each blade is sharp and real. He sliced a jumbo playing card and placed the blade in his mouth, no switch. Best part is, the audience see's the results of the sliced card and the blade is real but totally safe. I watched Tim perform this only 6 feet away from me and it fooled me and everyone else in the room. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND any performer wanting to do this, to get Tims lecture notes. There are many other things in those lecture notes as well. Very reasonably priced and the effects are killers.
Bradley Morgan
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The Tim Ellis method is very safe and pretty easy to do( need good acting skills)LOL I am still working on a presentation for it though and the guts and right audience to perform it for.

Best,
Brad
"I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones." - Einstein
Tim Ellis
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Glad you are working on the blades Bradley, and even more pleased that you realise that acting skills are the key to the effect.

If anyone is interested, our new DVD 'ELLIS IN WONDERLAND' has a full live performance of the blades, and then a 15-20 minute fully detailed explanation of how to prepare, perform and present the trick.

There's well over three hours of other magic on the DVD too, but if you are looking to do an extremely clean and effective version of the blades that has served me well for 20 years now, get the DVD and give it a try!


TIM ELLIS
sugam
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Toronto, Canada
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Hi I'm interested in learning this effect. I ordered Bruce Elliot's book via abebooks. Going to check out Tarbell at the library.

But one thing that I would like to do is to adapt it to using scalpel blades. Anyone think this is doable?

Which of Booth's books is the effect found in?
How is the Ellis in Wonderland DVD compared to lecture notes?

Thanks!
Kondini
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The DVD is good,but remember the blades in this version are only up to around ten in number.
Having done the blades on and off for over thirty years, I have found that pulling out 60 blades gets a far better reaction,,,,yep more set up maybe, but worth the effort involved.
magicsiow
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Malaysia
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One of my mentor invention, he really gave two blades to audiences and let them put it in his mouth... than swallow it... audiences using torch light to inside his mouth with nothing. It's really made every audience stunt... so cool!!! but it just a magic+....but it look really magical

TS
Kondini
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Just a magic trick can be a great sideshow stunt, it`s just the way it`s presented.
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2004-05-27 17:52, DoctorShadow wrote:
Sharp blades are essential. All the "switch" methods look cheesy and dumb. This is the important point: PULLING THE BLADES OUT ON THE STRING IS NOT THE EFFECT!!! Putting five tested blades into your mouth one at a time is the effect. The string is nothing but an applause cue. In order to get teh full effect each blade must be tested individually and placed in your mouth one at a time.


I know this is an old post but this sounds the most logical. Ask a magician and most will say stick with the thread version (tunnel version). Is this overused? Perhaps but what does layman think? Good post, dated or new, doesn't matter in the long run. Look at the video of the girl beside the bathtub doing one blade. Her acting is fantastic. She eventually pulls out the blade with thread but it is her presentation that stills the show. What I mean to say is if the thread is a hassle to one, just try to pull it off by inserting a blade (shown to cut like in Ellis dvd) and swallowing then bringing it back up (with thread if necessary). My nickel.
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