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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Looking for a book I saw mentioned...maybe here? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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spook
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The view that stunts like these require instruction from an expert coming from someone who gives just such lessons? There's a surprise.

I do have experience with stunts like this. The way I learned was from the old Abbott publication 'Miraculous Hindu Feats' that gave MAYBE two or three sentences of explanation. I'm still around. Didn't need classes. Compared to this, finding Swami's detailed explanations were like a college course. True, if I had a 13 year old son I probably wouldn't want him trying much of the things in there...but like the rest of you what I did at 13 and escaped injury gives me the willies. I think if a kid wants to eat glass I'd rather see him read the Swami directions than just see a guy at a circus then go home and just try it.

God, I always thought I lived in a fair-sized city but I just looked for 'Professional Geeking Instructors' in our yellow pages and came up with squat. Guess I'll be sticking with half thought out instructions. If my stay on earth winds up a short one, from what I've seen of it, the universe will be doing me a favor.
Bill Ligon
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Some years ago I read a book about the author's experiences as a sideshow performer. It began with something like "I got the job as fire eater the night The Great ??????? exploded."

Bill
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
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obijuan
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There's Swami Mantra which teaches effects that have some basis in reality, but not always safety! Another book on the subject is Memoirs of a Mind Reader, which although safer, are a little more practical effects.
spook
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Nal, that's hilarious!
Clifford the Red
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Quote:
On 2008-10-04 16:59, spook wrote:
The view that stunts like these require instruction from an expert coming from someone who gives just such lessons? There's a surprise.

I do have experience with stunts like this. The way I learned was from the old Abbott publication 'Miraculous Hindu Feats' that gave MAYBE two or three sentences of explanation. I'm still around. Didn't need classes. Compared to this, finding Swami's detailed explanations were like a college course. True, if I had a 13 year old son I probably wouldn't want him trying much of the things in there...but like the rest of you what I did at 13 and escaped injury gives me the willies. I think if a kid wants to eat glass I'd rather see him read the Swami directions than just see a guy at a circus then go home and just try it.

God, I always thought I lived in a fair-sized city but I just looked for 'Professional Geeking Instructors' in our yellow pages and came up with squat. Guess I'll be sticking with half thought out instructions. If my stay on earth winds up a short one, from what I've seen of it, the universe will be doing me a favor.


If you were sincere, there are people willing to teach and mentor simply because they are responsible to the art. There are plenty of people here. Apparently you know more than people in the game who have done it for a lifetime, so enjoy.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
Harley Newman
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Spook, your argument reads along the lines of "I read a self-help book, so now I'm a psychiatrist." You're looking at one dot in an impressionist painting, and saying you see the whole picture. You insinuate that I teach, for the money. You have no clue what you're talking about.

Some people teach, to show off that they know something. Some people teach, because it gets them publicity. Some people teach, because they love the art form and like to see it passed on, in a responsible manner.

There's a lot more to good teaching than half-baked instruction in technique. It's important to know what to do, when something goes wrong, because it will. Some things have multiple techniques, best applied in different situations, and things that can go wrong, with each of them. Theatre, history, and psychology all come into play.

Some of it could be in a book, but there isn't one that approaches it well. I've read most of them. But the important things in teaching this material, are best learned in person, from someone who knows it inside out. As a teacher, I know how to watch what a student is doing, see problems they're having, and help them turn it into a success experience.

For example, off the top of my head, I can think of four different stunts that are majorly affected by a five-degree difference in the attitude of the head. You can't get that from a book. In escapes, a couple of my students have had big trouble being restrained. Knowing how to perceive the underlying problem and resolve it, is not in a book.

People ask me, all the time, what's the most dangerous thing I do. I say, anything I do is dangerous, if I make a mistake.

Teaching is an interactive art, with flexible parameters. In the "sideshow" field, a lot of it is about mistakes and prevention. And, of course, showmanship. You can't get that from books.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Bill Ligon
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Spook, listen to Harley and others who have experience. Some things simply cannot be taught in a book. From a book you won't learn to do it SLOW, and you won't learn to do it FAST. You will, however, learn to do it HALF-FAST! Not (.) but .)

Bill
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
spook
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If my comparison of geek stunts to bicycle riding was foolish, then comparing them to practicing psychiatry is...

Folks I'm not even trying to imply that I know more than any of you when it comes to this stuff. Still, voice a different opinion based on my own experience and I'm painted as a know-it-all. Charming. You are right, Harley, when you say I know nothing of you and your situation, nor your motivations. If I have to make a choice between truth and a sarcastic funny, I'll go for the gag every single time. Seems to be the refreshing norm around here as compared to other parts of the board. Still,when people can't tell the difference the blame is indeed on me. It's a natural consequence of having sworn off emoticons.

My experience in geeking is what it is. It hasn't involved injury and it hasn't involved formal training. That's really all I'm trying to say. Is formal training optimal? Sure. Is it necessary? Maybe the fact I HAVEN'T done this stuff every day of my life is what's kept me alive by virtue of sheer percentage as opposed to the sheer skill of those who do. The end result, though, has been the same (in terms of escaping harm, not in terms of showmanship.)
Steve_Mollett
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The most straightforward booklet I ever read on sideshow stunts was "Thrilling Magic" sold by Abbott's. It was informative, but it still left out a number of important points, like some of the bigger risks involved in fire eating and the human volcano (aka fountain of fire or 'fire breathing').
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Clifford the Red
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Quote:
On 2008-10-07 18:56, spook wrote:
If my comparison of geek stunts to bicycle riding was foolish, then comparing them to practicing psychiatry is...

Folks I'm not even trying to imply that I know more than any of you when it comes to this stuff. Still, voice a different opinion based on my own experience and I'm painted as a know-it-all. Charming. You are right, Harley, when you say I know nothing of you and your situation, nor your motivations. If I have to make a choice between truth and a sarcastic funny, I'll go for the gag every single time. Seems to be the refreshing norm around here as compared to other parts of the board. Still,when people can't tell the difference the blame is indeed on me.


Well then you should've decided to enjoy our sarcasm instead of playing a victim. What's a little burning at the stake between friends. And no I don't think you are a know-it-all. Smile
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
spook
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I'm not a victim but I play one on the net.
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2008-10-04 13:28, Harley Newman wrote:
Yes. There are a number of books on fire-eating. I shall not go onto long rants about the irresponsibility of the authors. All of them are good for something, AFTER you have an idea of what you're doing.

Again, learn from somebody who actually knows what they're doing.


Not many of the books on fire-eating will tell you of the dangers of swallowing the fluid you use. If you think cigarettes can cause cancer...!
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2008-10-03 13:57, nomorechances wrote:
Hi everyone, and greetings from the people of P. I am new to the forum. I hope that in the future I will be able to contribute much. I was curious whether you all could help me find a book I saw mentioned, perhaps in this forum, or perhaps on a site connected in some way to it(for instance, linked) The book had to do with circus freak(not meant pejoratively, but in its usable context)stunts, I believe such as sword swallowing and many others. I've seen it referred to as the book. It is always sold with the disclaimer that it is for those 18 years old and older, and very dangerous. I am looking for it out of curiosity, not out of any desire to do any of these tricks. My stuff is generally more science oriented, focusing on a teaching of appreciation for the world(including the hidden.) I am actually new to all this. Thanks for any help. Oh yes, it's been decades since I've seen 18, so no age worries. Thanks again, Chance


I have a copy for sale in the section of the Café that is devoted to selling stuff. e-mail me for details. Use the address below.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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gaddy
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I've never met someone who eats fire that hasn't burned themselves at some point or another, myself included. Sometimes quite badly. I've still got a big scar on my hand.

I suggest not doing it. For legal reasons. And safety reasons. And for "You're-probably-not-smart-enough-to-do-this-without-hurting-yourself" reasons.

Did someone mention that petroleum products cause cancer? What a myth!

G

PS- They'll pry my copy of Swami/Mantra out of my cold dead hands if they keep at it long enough...

Quote:
On 2008-10-03 19:53, spook wrote:
I should think that if the alarm raised surrounding effects like these was in order there would be far more case histories of people who have been killed or injured. Instead, there simply isn't. We hear and read about people doing these things, not about people being injured by them. Effects like these work on the principle that they look dangerous, but aren't. I'm not saying there's not a need for considerable caution, but anything in these modern, overly-litigious, mamby pamby times where kids can't ride a freaking bicycle without wearing full body armour that even smacks of the barest chance of physical injury is going to be met with cries and outrage. The fact is that people have been eating glass and fire, shoving needles through their body (for real) and passing splinters from eye to eye for centuries. If you know how--and the Swami book has GREAT instructions--the chances of injury are very slim. An idiot could mangle the finger chopper or strangle himself doing rope through neck, but that doesn't mean these effects shouldn't be sold without big red warning labels. I'm just a dweeb on an internet bulliten board, so I can say these things. Publishers of books cannot, even if they agree. It's just we don't have to turn legalese myths into something that bears repeating.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Bill Ligon
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Think about this: you are eating fire and you have a torch inside your mouth. A bit of fluff goes up your nose causing you to sneeze. A sneeze is an involuntary reaction and what do you have to do just before you sneeze? Inhale!

It need only happen once.

A lot of things LOOK dangerous because they ARE dangerous.

Bill
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
Bill Palmer
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I had a friend who was a fire-eater. He was doing a show at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston, and he was ending with the volcano. (This was in an area that had a high enough ceiling and an open enough area that it was not a fire hazard.) He made sure that the engineer turned the A/C off right before he went on. Just as he started into the volcano, some idiot re-started the A/C. He was caught full face with the backflash from the volcano. It set his face on fire. He calmly reached over to where he kept his wet towel and put himself out, took his bow, went back the the greenroom and immediately covered his face with ice.

The only thing that saved him was that he knew that eventually it would happen, so he had worked out what to do when (not if) it did.

The result? Second degree burns all over his face, some blistering (not a lot) and new eyebrows.
"The Swatter"

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Harley Newman
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We worship the god of Aloe Vera.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Bill Palmer
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Neosporin is good, too.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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