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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Houdini Historical Center exposes Metamorphosis illusion (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Donster
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SANTINI
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SANTINI
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This link means nothing. All it deals with is the "masked magician" and a lawsuit concerning his "exposes" on television. And, while the masked magician reveals illusions and methods that are currently in use, (and this is clearly bad for the art), this court case discussed in the thread in no way deals with the points I raised in my previous posts.

For magic to evolve and expand, we as magicians need to explore new ways of doing things to create new effects. The "old" Metamorphosis illusion/escape has been
"exposed" a million times over in both modern media and print. Now if the current method were to be revealed, I personally would think that this was a breach of the core of the art form we all love so dearly.

I will put to you this fact; when Houdini began to get media attention for his handcuff escapes, a number of "pretenders" began to "expose" his methods in the press and in privately printed publications. In most cases, all these "exposures" consisted of was stating that the escapist used duplicate keys. What did Harry do when these articles started to appear? He did not sue. Rather, he changed his methodology and presentation in an effort to convince the public that this was not the same method he used, i.e. naked multiple shackle escapes. If he was searched and nude, how or where did he hide his keys?

The mystery remained intact and Harry triumphed over his detractors. Likewise, when an "exposer" purported to reveal how Houdini got out of a coffin whose lid was screwed down, Harry once again came out the winner by developing a different method that clearly showed he was not using the short cut off screws the pretender was claiming he employed. Over and over throughout the course of his amazing career Harry continued to evolve and meet these situations head on. Why did he do this? Because he had the imagination and skills to adapt and overcome.

For the art to continue to evolve, other magicians and escapists must also learn and develop these same skills.

Regards, Steve Santini
Stuart Burrell
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I've cooled off now.

I agree with Mr Santini about the art needing to evolve and develope.

My only issue was that by showing how some of the minor or old fashioned escapology tricks are done, there is a danger that people may attempt to copy outside the museum with equipment that could fail or be unsuitable for what they want to do.

I remember reading that someone used a set of gravity release handcuffs in a swimming pool and was half drowned before anyone realised there was a problem. Just because a method of escape works in one environment does not mean it can be transfered to another.

There are hundreds of magic tricks that are already exposed that can be examined without the need to expose others.
Scott Xavier
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Well gentlemen, the lawsuit against Fox for exposing has been thrown out of court.

X-Treem, I was going to ask you if you wanted to head over to the museum next holiday coming up but until this is fixed I am banning my museum visits!
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2003-06-18 14:04, x-treem wrote:
Dai, I know Terry personally as well as the updates to the center, this has never been brought up so it is more than likely bull but I will look into it.


I think I'm just as fascinated with this "Terry". What is this person's background in magic? This "public hands-on" idea is way off base. Of course it will attract many—all wonderful things do. If this were to occur, it would ruin it for all modern versions of the effect. Heck, many don't even know that Houdini and Betty featured the "Metamorphosis" in their show. It was the cuffs/escapes he's appreciated for.

Keep us posted.
x-treem
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Betty? I did not know she was called that, to most it is Bess.
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
RandyStewart
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x-treem,

Thanks for the correction. Her name was indeed Beatrice "Bess" Raymond.

This is just grand! All I need now is the ghost of Bess to haunt me over that one.

My embarrassed apologies to all.
Scott Ocheltree
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I have to agree with Santini on this point. Magic is not a big secret society. The substitution trunk is not a secret. A standard presentation of the classic effect does not contain any deep mysterious puzzle for a lay audience.

If a lay person watching Metamorphosis chooses to ponder over possible methods, the first one to come to mind will be a gimmicked box. What are the alternatives? The person outside the box is unlocking multiple locks in seconds without using their hands? The person inside the box is dematerializing? Come on folks, the lay mind does not work any differently than your own. I don't care how good you think you are, your audience believes you are fooling them somehow, not that you have supernatural powers.

Lay people know the box is gimmicked. Everytime an illusionist rolls a box on stage, any box, the lay audience knows it is gimmicked. They might not know how it's gimmicked. It might not even be gimmicked but in their minds they know it is!

This museum exhibit is not exposure. This is good for magic. The more people learn about magic, the more they are interested in it.

Exposure does not hurt magic. If it did, no professional worker would ever perform the linking rings, because everyone knows how they work! This is not The Terrible Masked Magician's fault. There are tons of cheap sets of rings that have been included in children's magic kits for decades. There are numerous books in public libraries that show how it works. If you were so unfortunate that you didn't get one of these magic sets as a child, and everytime you go the library all those books are checked out, you can buy a set of rings with the "Big Secret" HERE for $10.49. If you can't afford that, I'll tip the secret for you right here using the special code that only Café members with more than 100 posts are allowed to know:
One of the rings is g******** in a special way. This ring is called the k** r***. It has a small b**** or o****** in it that allows the magic to perform the miracle.

Whining about this kind of stuff actually does the opposite of what you guys are hoping to achieve. Want to know how to make sure people will read a book? Ban it. Same principle applies here. But why even worry about?
x-treem
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Update on this. I talked to Terry. As we get geared up for Houdini Days they are also gearing up for the protesters.

Bits of news for those who are planning to go there and be rude or protest, etc.

  1. Terry will not be there she will be out of the country.

  2. Friday before everything starts there is going to be a conflict resolution meeting to resolve the problem, so it will have been taken care of before the convention and protests even start.
Shawn
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
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