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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Escape Question! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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168 Posts

Profile of magicman222
Well I'm planing on escaping from some shackles, while in a mailbag, inside a packing crate that's locked. I'm gona have a curtain in the front.

what would be more impressive?

A. appearing out of the curtains free in a very short time (ie: 30 seconds, 40 seconds...)

B. appearing out of the curtains free in a not so short time (ie: 3 minutes, 4 minutes...)

if you go long it builds up suspense I'm told but if you go in a short time it looks more magical and amazing. thx for your help.
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Regular user
176 Posts

Profile of BonzoTheClown
Well what is your aim? What is your vision? What kind of response are you trying to elicit from your audience?

Will you be performing another escape afterwards, or just one escape. Is this the only piece you'll be doing.

Are you performing as a magician or an EA?

It's not a cut and dry answer that can be given

Marc Climens
James Peters
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Romford, UK
385 Posts

Profile of James Peters
I'd go for quick over suspense, unless there was a danger element involved, otherwise you may well lose your audience's interest.

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New York City
559 Posts

Profile of AJP807
I agree with James. A 3 or 4 minute escape would be great if they dropped you in a river, or some other death defying feat, but if all you are doing is pulling a curtain around you, then I would advise a quick escape. These are much different times we live in than when Houdini performed. Good Luck with the escape and please be safe!
Best regards, Tony Parisi
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Darlington UK
954 Posts

Profile of Riley
Me too. The days are gone when the audience would sing along with the orchestra for 20/30 mins waiting for the apprearance, as they did in Houdini's day!
Have you got a good method(s) for what you intend?

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54 Posts

Profile of braveneil
Are there different versions of mailbag escape sold?
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Inner circle
1133 Posts

Profile of x-treem
With out giving much away, there is a standard right hand gimmick and a "pro" left hand. "Pro" being what the lefter is called as opposed to the right which is usually "standard"
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
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115 Posts

Profile of BBunnell
True, we live in a fast society. People want things now. I feel 20 minutes is too long. 15 minutes too long and 10 minutes pushing it. However I am of the opinion that too fast makes it look too easy. I have had people tell me that after a 2 minute straight jacket escape.
Here is what I have learned: When they can watch you escape, like from a straightjacket, make it look hard! Struggle, let the audiance struggle with you. Wriggle around and then pause to catch your breath. This takes the audiance on a trip of their own. They will pause to catch a breath also when you do.

When behind a curtain in a trunk, still take your time but stress the lack of oxygen or other dangerous element and attach a time limit to it. If you do that, people will wait a few minutes longer. Then you allow that time to pass, Then the audiance will begin to be concerned for you. Then make youe escape.

When I did my guillotine escape, I made it more of a race between my skill and the "exocutioner". My head was locked in the stocks, hands handcuffed individually on each side of the platform the guillotine was on and legs in shackles. A curtain was then placed around the base of the illusion rising up just high enough to hide be, but allow the blade to be seen. After 90 seconds the exocutioner would chop the rope holding the blade, with an ax. Then I would roll out from under the curtain. True, this does not seam like a long time, 90 seconds. But that is to escape. It does not include the locking up time and explination. Total time was 7 or 8 minutes. Sometimes I changed it just a bit. I would have one assistant counting down the time. "15 sec, 30, sec etc... then she would count down the last 10 seconds. When she shouted out "ten" the exocutioner would act startled and cut the rope then rather than at zero. This would surprise the audiance, and the other assistants would woould act very scared and just as they pulled the curtain away, I would roll out ok. (the curtain would only go up so high so the top of the guillotine could be seen and the blade seen to actually fall when the rope was cut).

Safety is first! Then presentation. A good presentation will keep the audiance interested and cheering for you even if it takes a bit longer.
Your Friend in MAGIC
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