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Al Desmond
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Inner circle
Secret Mountain Lair in Conifer, Co
1468 Posts

Profile of Al Desmond
Ok folks - a vague question which requires vague answers or PM so we don't tip this...

My theater, Miners Alley Playhouse, has a show going up in Sept. It's a magic-themed play.

We purchased 2 thin-models, we weren't sure which one would play better in our venue, a stepped or tapered, so we bought both to test out sight lines etc.

So both are here. I am not an illusion builder (of course, that's why we buy) but I wonder if I got screwed.

The tapered sawing has real estate for the girl that messures 23 inch x 26 inch times 13 inch deep.

That can't work, can it? The other one is 4 inches more width and length, same depth, but we tested, it works, snug, but it works.

But what do I do with the tapered one, use a 12 year old girl.

I almost feel like I bought some vapor-hardware. "We build them but you can't really put anyone in there. Looks good as a coffee table."

Can anyone with a good knowledge of sawings give me some skinny on this, or am I just not seeing this right.

And don't get me wrong, I know illusions, just never had the need in the last 30 years to routine a sawing into a production. So this is my first time with this effect.

By the way, these two units are both the standard older models without the electronics, more on the style of the older Osborne.

I won't go into detail about who made this sawing, but he is a well-know mid-priced builder.

Al Desmond
Denver, Co
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Special user
549 Posts

Profile of M-Illusion
A lot depends on the size of the assistant you're using. I have a few Thin Models, one of which is about the same dimensions as the one you state won't work. Using professional dancers, I've never had a problem pulling it off. Of course, I always make sure they're no taller than 5'5", not only for this, but also for other illusions in my show.

Since the other one has no more depth, but has more length & width, I would say it's a height issue for the person inside the illusion.

Now, depending on construction, the entire unit *could* be modified to accommodate someone else.

If you would like to discuss this further, feel free to contact me directly.
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Inner circle
Southwestern Southeast
3999 Posts

Profile of ClintonMagus
I have built a good many illusions, and would be interested in seeing a photo. Typically, "standard" illusions seem to be built to handle a person between 5'-3" and 5'-7" in height. As you are aware, assistants are often required to crouch in illusions such as Modern Art. Although this is less comfortable for the assistant, it gives more "room to work" and makes the illusion somewhat more impossible.

I can see how this same principle might apply to a sawing illusion, although what you are referring to seems a bit extreme. I wonder if they custom built the illusion for a short person who then didn't buy it, so they sold it to you.

Is there a way I can see exactly what you bought?

Amos McCormick
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
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