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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The November 2003 entrée: Doug Malloy » » The Lean... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steve Brooks
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Northern California - United States
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I thought perhaps you might share with our Café members how The Lean was developed, and what strange dream sparked such a thing in the first place.
Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Fitz
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Phoenix, AZ
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I know Bert Easley was famous for doing the lean, did this spark your creativity?

I worked for Bert's son for 7 years at Easley' Fun Shop in Phoenix, AZ. I asked him about the lean and if I could perform it. About two weeks later (after he drew some basic plans of his dad's method) we saw your advertisements. Smile

I have seen many pictures of Bert Easley doing his Tipsy Trickster routine and he was a master. It was said that he could pick up a shot glass from the stage by leaning over and grabbing it with his mouth!

I have yet to perform the lean, but I know I will soon!!!

Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
boltt223
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Arizona, USA
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The Lean has always intrigued me. I think it would fit real well in my stage act. Could you lean as far as Fitz says you can? Smile
Doug Malloy
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The Lean is probably one of the most interesting visual effects in magic! Billy McComb and I traced the history of this illusion as far back as the late 1800's.

Ramseys the Magician had a clown in his
show that performed this effect. For many years it was used in vaudeville and was also taught in the Ringling Bros Clown College. A version of it also appeared in a very old issue of Genii Magazine. It is true that Bert Easley built an entire act around the Lean.

The original version used cleats in the shoes and a giant wooden board that you attach to. I was looking for a way to perform this that would be portable and
reliable and after much trial and error, I created the method I now use and sell.

I am able to lean about an arm's length from the floor. It is not a difficult effect to perform but it takes some practice and getting used to.
VMC_Alex
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Just out of curiousity (Although this may sound stupid no matter how I word it) is it physically possible to lean over to grab something from a table? Smile
philblackmore
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I love this effect! As an effect it would fit into my show perfectly. However I'm not sure if it would be practical to use in my show.
I perform a 45 minute show that's very physical with juggling, mime, unicycling, stilts and rola-bola, along with magic. Would the alterations to my shoes prevent any of this? I'm not able to change them during the show.
Also I'm assuming there is some sort of board on the stage. Is this likely to be noticeable to spectators on stage later in the show? Could I stand on my flightcase and lean off that?
I usually wear Dr Martin boots on stage, would these be suitable? Also when my shoes wear out can I transfer the gimmick to another pair of shoes or do I have to buy the trick again?
Finally, I live in the UK, can you ship internationally?
Lots of questions! I hope you can answer me.
Thanks in advance,
Phil
Doug Malloy
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Alex,
No, your question is not stupid! And yes, you
can lean over to pick something off of a table.

Phil,
The Lean would be perfect for you. As far as
mobility you can do everything you are doing now
with no restrictions. The shoes you are using
in your shows are also perfect for the Lean.
You can wear the gimmicked shoes just as a
everyday pair of shoes. If your shoes ever do
wear out, or need to change your shoes for some
reason, we can do can another pair of shoes for
you at a discount once you own the Lean.

There is a very thin steel plate that lays on
the floor and is very unobtrusive. I do get
asked all the time if there is a need to hide
the plate; and simply put, after all the years
of doing the Lean, I found that it was not necessary
to hide the plate because this is more of a visual
effect than a magic trick. I have had people
stair at the plate and still ask me, "How are you
able to lean?"

It might be possible to modify your Flight Case so
you can use that to stand on.

Yes, we can ship to the UK. If you would like to
contact us directly with any other questions, please
call or e-mail us.

Ph. 661 947-6581
e-mail: doug@malloymodernmagic.com
philblackmore
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Thanks for the full and swift reply!
Christopher
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How heavy is the plate? I'm trying to decide if this is feasible given my traveling.
Doug Malloy
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Hi Christopher
The reaction this gets is worth carrying the plate,at least to me. It is about 70lbs. I travel with it everywhere. If I need to walk a long distance with it,
which sometimes happens, I use a small luggage cart
to pull it.
camikesrd
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Richmond,Virginia
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Doug, I'm 5'10" tall and weigh 220#. Am I too heavy to do the lean+, I worked out once to loose weight once and have pretty good leg muscles. I'm 63 and I remember Bert Easley, seeing his picture in the magic magazines when I was younger, I never saw him in person.......this is how I work out now.... Smile ...Mike
Doug Malloy
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Hi Mike,great question!
I once made one for a Guy that was about your height and he weighed 230 lbs. he had no trouble and as far as I know still performing the Lean.
Bert was at least still in his sixty's when performing the Lean.
However everyone's ability is different.
The Lean does take some amount of physical strength,
because you are pulling your body weight back up once you are in a leaned position.
You also do not have to lean very far for it to be effective. It just takes some getting used to.
Fitz
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Phoenix, AZ
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Bert Easley would walk out on stage drunk draging a detour sign (the board) and drop it on the stage in full view. The text was face down, and the back was all black. By the time he actually performed the lean in his act the audience had forgotten about the sign all together.

One of the best photos of Bert was of him on a table. Instead of a board or plate he had made the gimmick on the top of a small table, taking his act to a whole new level.

Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
Doug Malloy
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Palmdale,Ca.
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That is a great photo...

We actually can and have built the lean platform system into many different props.
Ashley Springer (who has a great routine with our lean) did a guest spot on the Lance Burton show and we rigged the bolt system into the stage floor.
This is also the method used on the Michael Jackson "Smooth Criminal" video.
Paul Mazzoni
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Chicago
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Hey everyone
hi Doug

I have the lean and I am not a stong person but in a couple of days I was able to lean very far. It is one of those effects that is really fun to do. I love it as I do all of the products if got from Doug Malloy.
Keep up the great work.

Magically,
Paul Mazzoni
Beasteau
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I have a back problem. Technically I'm only 15% disabled. I have a pertruding disc. L5 for all you medical people out there. I was wondering if I would be able to perform the lean. Actually it's not the lean I'm worried about. It's the return trip up! Does this utilize leg muscle more or is it a 'complete' body thing? Any input would be great. Thanks, B. Smile
Doug Malloy
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Paul
Thanks for the kind words!! I too have to much fun with the Lean.
In fact I will be doing it all this weekend in shows.

Beasteau..
I would love to tell you NO Problem.
However in your case I must be honest and tell you I would probably think twice. Allthough the Lean is not very difficult to do, it does take a bit of leg and body strength to pull yourself back up.
I would rather not sell a Lean than to see a fellow performer hurt.
You might not have any trouble, but I don't want to be the one to make that call.
Also in your case, carrying and lifting the plate would not be a good idea.

Your friend
Doug
Beasteau
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Doug, I really appreciate your honesty and consideration. That's what I call integrity!
Smile Maybe one day I'll come up with a routine that I'll need a specialized prop for. I'll give you a call. I'm sure you would be able to help. Thanks again, Edward. Smile
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