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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Mail bag - assistant? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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T. Durden
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Hey folks - Thinking of adding a mail bag escape to my stage/club comedy/magic act. Despite the new account, and the question to follow, I'm not a newb. Not looking for secrets or to steal presentations. I've just never had any experience with the mail bag.
Fairly simple question:
I'm a solo performer. Can spectators easily figure out how to thread the bar and lock it, or would an onstage assistant be required?

Thaaaaaaanks. Smile
Nathan Tricky Allen
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Cliffg37
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I would be careful of this, since once in the bag you basically have zero control over what is happening.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Ian McColl
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If you cannot see or have anyone watch out for you, you will be at the mercy of your captors. It may never happen but someone is sure to kick the bag to see you are really in there.
T. Durden
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Quote:
On 2013-02-23 19:43, Ian McColl wrote:
It may never happen but someone is sure to kick the bag to see you are really in there.


LOL! That would make GREAT YouTube footage.

So is it safe to assume that people who do this (successfully and regularly) are not solo acts?

I don't doubt my ability to handle crowds (my favorite venues to perform are biker bars), but... yeah. Zip-ties through the grommets might not be fun.
Nathan Tricky Allen
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Ian McColl
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Quote:
On 2013-02-23 22:00, T. Durden wrote:

LOL! That would make GREAT YouTube footage.



Now there's an idea for an act!!!
With an assistant, who is the "choosen spec". They can lock you up and do all the nasties that you wouldn't want to happen in a real situation.

As to what might happened??? Quick learners live longer. If you come up with a solo method, let us know
AND if you post yourself getting a kicking, let us know that too..

Ian
(do I really have to add LOL)
tjaymagic
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Quote:
On 2013-02-23 22:39, Ian McColl wrote:

With an assistant, who is the "choosen spec". They can lock you up and do all the nasties that you wouldn't want to happen in a real situation.



I feel so much better now! I have just started perfroming a strait jacket routine and get my mate (aka driver) to tie me into it, as it then means that I am in complete control of the situation!!
hey... Smile Smile Smile ... what is this signature saying about me?!
Roslyn
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I've used the mailbag as a solo but only under controlled conditions. It's my go-to piece for telly spots that want something quick. I don't like the bar method because audience members who haven't rehearsed do fumble.

In actual shows I prefer to use a plastic bag. I do that solo. The top is held together with gaffers tape. Dead easy for the spec to do up, cheap and light to carry. After the escape I gather up any cuffs used and bin the plastic bag.

You also get a built in danger element and the bag I use is clear, so they can see the struggle inside.
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Ian McColl
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Hi Tjaymagic, If you are starting out with the strait jacket ( an it's a legit jacket ) maybe you might want to feel more in control.
There shouldn't be any good reason (once you have some experience) to let a stranger put you in the jacket. That's why the jacket is a great piece to work with!!

Once you know how to get out of a jacket in all its configurations of how people will try to beat you, it's only timing that can be mucked up. There are very few jackets you cannot get out of and the ones for escape are not those type.

The difference between your situation and the mail bag, is that you cannot see what is coming when in a mail bag. It a strait jacket, you can see, therefore yell out, kick or better still run away from harm. Once I got gropped once in the jacket for a laugh. I still didn't see that coming though, I didn't think it amusing either. It was a dinner show and I hope he washed his hand.

Ian
Cliffg37
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Great Scott Ian... Are you saying a spectator actually put his hand down your pants! In my younger days I was often worried about a slap in the face or a punch in the stomach, but that? How did the audience react to that? How did you react to that. I would probably have laughed, but not a ha-ha laugh, more like a very nervous one. How do you keep your dignity at time like that?
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Darkart
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Only use it when I have assistance (Usual my son If hes helping out with a show). As if you do it your self every one will crowd around you and then not only that but you cant see what happening to any of your gear or equipment etc, Made that mistake way back
Impossible is just another level of difficulty
dave_matkin
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Yep can have issues with people being alkward when you can't see. I had some spekies mess with my straps on my SJ when I was starting out (it was a De-Val jacked. I was able to play on it to my advantage in the sow. But before that it had never entered in to my mind!

Another time I was doing a body bag escape and my assistant ..... AKA 'the basterd' since then. He said ..... "Just in case any of you don't believe he's in there" .... Then he laid the boot in! But he acted it really well, it didn't hurt but apparently look really nasty. I had my box in though ..... I done learned that too! One of my wife's colleagues was there and he keeps going on about how I nearly died! ....... It's all down to my body bag line. It really gets in their head! Smile
T. Durden
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Quote:
On 2013-02-24 04:34, Ian McColl wrote:
...run away from harm. Once I got gropped once in the jacket for a laugh. I still didn't see that coming though...


I was doing a show at gay bar a few years ago, and I was doing the straitjacket at the time. Once I was strapped in, the manager of the club yelled out, "We got him where we want him, boys! Get the Crisco!"

Funniest "heckle" I've ever had. I so wish I had caught that on video.
Nathan Tricky Allen
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T. Durden
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Quote:
On 2013-02-24 12:54, Darkart wrote:
Only use it when I have assistance (Usual my son If hes helping out with a show). As if you do it your self every one will crowd around you and then not only that but you cant see what happening to any of your gear or equipment etc, Made that mistake way back


I assume you're talking about doing a street show?
Nathan Tricky Allen
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Darkart
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Quote:
On 2013-02-24 19:15, T. Durden wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-02-24 12:54, Darkart wrote:
Only use it when I have assistance (Usual my son If hes helping out with a show). As if you do it your self every one will crowd around you and then not only that but you cant see what happening to any of your gear or equipment etc, Made that mistake way back


I assume you're talking about doing a street show?


More so where you are on the same level so to speak wither street as you say or open venue, Some of the Gala day events Ive done where you have a wide mix of speccys which will always inc the mad group of kids that are hell bent on causing mayhem! So in a way its like a street set up its on the same ground level not a stage, where they can come as close as they like. All good advice above....you need to control the escape.
Impossible is just another level of difficulty
Ian McColl
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Quote:
On 2013-02-24 19:13, T. Durden wrote:
Get the Crisco!"



I hope I can remember that when I see in the future an oil soaked secondhand strait jacket for sale.
T. Durden
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Already sold it to some guy in Canada.
Didn't tell him about that story, though.
Nathan Tricky Allen
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Ian McColl
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Very funny.
magicofCurtis
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I have used it as Solo T. Durden.

Never really had any major issues.

I would always put the first lock on the bar (the gimmick side) and demonstrate how to thread the bag.
This seem to have them focusing on the threading of the bag and not the bar.
At times, I also used a sight unseen combo lock. But the presentation was a bit different. I stuck my hand out of the bag in the audience view and showed them that I was figuring the combo out just by touch....
Played pretty well...

Best wishes Solo T.
T. Durden
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Curtis - I like the combo lock idea. Makes the escape seem more "organic" and real. Less trick / more skill.

When you folks have done this, have you made a big deal about showing that the locks are still attached to the bar? Or do you just sort of ignore that and crumple everything up?
In my mind, showing that the locks are still attached makes it seem a little TOO magical; if one were escaping by picking the locks or whatever, why would one take the time to lock the locks back onto the bar?

I guess what I'm asking is... Is there more "bang" in playing this as a legit escape, or more of a penetration effect?

My wheels are turning, now. The more I think about this, the more I like it.

Instead of padlocks, what might be able to be threaded/attached/locked onto the ends of the bar? Instead of calling it a mailbag, what else might this canvas item be?

Consequences of not escaping? Perhaps a timer. Escape in XX seconds, or else these LAPD officers with night sticks start swinging...

hmmmmm....
Nathan Tricky Allen
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magicofCurtis
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T. Durden,

Good questions about the locks.
I use to put the bar back through the holes.
This took the focus off the locks and the bars directly.
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