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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Siberian Chain Escape - Does Extra Loop add to the effect. (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

tank5030
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Hello all,
I have never done an escape effect before, but I am thinking about adding a simple chain escape to use on a mission trip I am taking this upcoming summer. I came across the Siberian Chain escape and really think it's great as far as its simplicity and ease, yet good impact. My question is this. At first viewing, the biggest visual weakness I see is that the right wrist is not wrapped with a chain all the way, perhaps leaving the specs thinking that the gap is just big enough to slide the hand out. Am I right in understanding that by using a longer chain which could then be wrapped around the right wrist an extra time, that it might appear more "secure" without affecting the working at all? The wrists could still be moved in the right way to be able to do what is needed?

Just like to hear your thoughts since you guys are the experts on these things. Thanks a lot.

Donnie
Cliffg37
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To execute an effective Siberian chain escape requires some degree of salesmanship. That is one reason it is often combined with other things like bags or boxes. I watched Patrick Culliton at a convention years ago sell it as a "brute force" escape and it looked great. No one needs to get a good enough look at the chain to be able to follow the path and locking system... that is your job then; to make it look good. Make it look hard and believable.

You might want to seek out some experienced person to "show you the ropes."
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Harley Newman
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It's an advantage that you can put it on a spec, and on yourself. This gives it a kind of variability that many "fixed" escapes do not have.

It seems to me that your concern is based in your inexperience. Handling is everything with Siberian.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Dick Oslund
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HARLEY IS 150% CORRECT!!!

Yup! As always, IT'S THE PRESENTATION! The presentation is more important than the prop!

When Dick Xavier, whom Jack Lythgoe and I had booked for a spring tour, canceled at the last minute, in December 1995, I loaned some props to Jim Jayes who had road experience, AND SHOWMANSHIP. Jim did a fine job in Utah and Idaho. On the last day of his tour, he "blue labeled" the props to me in Tennessee, and, I did the last four weeks.

I had occasionally done the jacket and, the Kellar tie, in my high school program, with success, but, I was surprised that my presentation was as successful as it was.

It was definitely PRESENTATION, and not SKILL!

I suggest that you buy, or have made, a professional prop. The late Prynce Wheeler, from whom I bought his "German Transport Chain", sold a real restraint. You can make one up from a large dog "choke collar", a couple of rings from a horse tack shop, and a real padlock. Then, USE IT, this spring! Get some EXPERIENCE, before you 'hit the road'!

If you don't want to make one, PM me. I'll sell the Wheeler!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
tank5030
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I am planning to make one myself and that won't be a problem. I agree that the presentation is what sells it and will be practicing to prepare for the trip. Since I am making it, I was just curious that if all else is equal (presentation, etc.) does it hurt or help to have the extra loop? Thanks already for all the help.

Also, any recommendations for videos of people "doing it well" that I could take a look at?
jay leslie
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Tank
Leave it alone. Make it the way it's always been made. Don't reinvent the wheel. Keep it simple.

This trick has worked since what? - 1952... just fine.

It's been made with chains, leather, in wrist size, as a thumb size and my friend Joe can apply it 4 different ways, 4 count them 4.

ALL the action happens in the presentation. As above, it's how you do it.

Just follow the plan and you'll impress them.

Remember, as in all Greek theatre, this is "Man Against Machine " and even if they know you'll escape they'll applaude the fact that you won. People want to root for the underdog. So be the underdog and don't present this like you're a smart ass.
Dick Oslund
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YUP!
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Harley Newman
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And when we say presentation, it's not just about the story we're telling. We also include knowing the types of movement that work, and the ones that don't. That can't be learned, using words.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
tank5030
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Guys,
Thanks so much for the constructive feedback. Perhaps I am "running when not being chased." I have been thinking through how I want to approach my presentation. From what I have seen, it tends to be approached from a comedy perspective (where the magician slips in and out of the chains to the amusement of the audience) or drom a serious "escape" perspective (where the magician does indeed escape despite the seeming impossibility of the situation).

I was wondering if anyone had tried to combibint the two approaches. Here is something I was kicking around.

Set up as normal, but without drawing much attention to the lock. Proceed with the "comedy" approach, slipping in and out of the chain, and eventually getting "caught." He then "fesses up" to using a fake lock and shows that the lock doesn't actually lock down. He then gets out another another lock and has it inspected and verified to be genuine. He then presents the effect again as a more serious escape.

I would think this presentation would be entertaining and also focus any questions on the lock. Has anyone ever attempted presenting it in this way or something similar? As you guys have said, its all about the presentation and entertainment value as much as the effect, so I figured I'd see what you guys thought about this idea.

Thanks again,
Donnie
Dick Oslund
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GOOD! You are THINKING!

Have you tried this presentation, or is it still in the thinking stage?

MY thinking is that this would be "TOO MUCH".

First, the "Siberian" is an ESCAPE. The mechanics IMO, don't allow for easy "in and out". There are a number of rope ties, and, cuffs like thumb cuffs. or "loop and chain cuffs" that are much simpler for "in and out".

The EFFECT, is what the spectator(s) SEE, or THINK THAT THEY SEE.

The ENTERTAINMENT "comes" from the PRESENTATION.

"ESCAPE EFFECTS" are not "MAGIC EFFECTS". People KNOW that "MAGIC" is not REALLY MAGIC!

With a good presentation performed by a performer who understands how to make "magic" OR "escape stunts" ENTERTAINING, people may well be ENTERTAINED.

IMO, what you suggest would really "clutter up" the EFFECT.

KIS-MIF!!! (Keep It Simple-Make It Fun!)

My dear friend, the late Dennis Loomis, (an accomplished ESCAPE ARTIST) was a fellow professional magician. He wrote me, years ago, that he had "discovered" that he could use the typewriter, while wearing thumb cuffs. He never did THAT, in his act! He realized that it would clutter up the act.

Back in the '40s, I was in my mid teens, I saw an idea in a magic magazine, written by an amateur magician. The amateur had discovered that he could conceal a 12" silk in the "wand" that "disappeared". He suggested showing a silk, vanishing it, and then tearing open the wrapped wand, to reveal a silk. I suggested it to my mentor, a professional magician. My mentor, STUART ROSS, said, "NO! It's a WAND trick! DON'T CLUTTER IT UP!" I've never forgotten that.

It's entirely possible that others may not agree. They are entitled to their opinion. You have my opinion.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
jay leslie
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Yeah… why would you even lead them to think you have a fake lock?????
Then everything is suspect.

Are you good at cards?
dave_matkin
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Quote:
On Mar 13, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:

KIS-MIF!!! (Keep It Simple-Make It Fun!)


I prefer to Kiss-Milf ...... Keep it simple stupid (refgerin to me as stupid) Make it loads of fun. I just ewwanted to have an acronym of Kiss-Milf really!



Quote:
On Mar 13, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:
My dear friend, the late Dennis Loomis, (an accomplished ESCAPE ARTIST) was a fellow professional magician. He wrote me, years ago, that he had "discovered" that he could use the typewriter, while wearing thumb cuffs. He never did THAT, in his act! He realized that it would clutter up the act.


That's it I can see it now - April the first will be "everyone type whilst wearing thumb cuffs day" on the magic Café - at least in the escape section!

I agree with keeping the effect simple and clean. But at the same time there must be enough to look like the escapist is restrained and then he must prove that it is a struggle to get free! Smile

All the best

Dave
tank5030
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Dick: No I have not done it this way. I am just in the thinking stages of how I want to present it. That was just a thought I had and wanted to get some feedback. I was also worried about it being to "cluttered" that's why I wanted to get some other opinions, so thank you very much for your thoughts.

Jay: I just assumed that would be where the specs mind would go, so why not use that as a bit of a "ruse". I was just trying to come up with a way to combine both presentations, but perhaps that's not the way to go. You bring up a good point though, I guess that would call everything into question. I appreciate the feedback...and no, I am not any good at cards. Smile I mostly do stand up type stuff (rope, silks, spongeballs, etc.) Just trying to expand my skills a little.

Dave: Thank you for your thoughts as well. I think I will try and keep it straight forward and to the point.


Thanks again guys.

Donnie
Harley Newman
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I agree with Dick. It may be too much, and the business with the lock makes everything else suspect.

There's a condition I call "juggleritis", where the performer keeps piling one effect on top of another, trying to make it the biggest possible thing. It's terrible showmanship, because it avoids the simple story, which is what audiences follow.

Siberian is technically interesting. There's a big difference between an escape and a spirit tie. In an escape, the object is to, well, escape. In a spirit tie, the object is not to appear to escape. Things happen, and at the end, you need a volunteer to untie you. There is a different kind of mystery. Siberian bridges the gap between the two, though that is no guarantee that the performer will do it effectively.

Keep it simple...very simple.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Kondini
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Think in this case less would be more,,,or at least, enough. Can't improve on the wheel unless you look from the outside and change the complete concept. Too many escapes are embellished beyond belief, they become cluttered and defeat the object. To me the more basic the restraint is the less fishy to the speckies it appears.Giving you a stronger effect in the end. Just my dimes worth.
Dick Oslund
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Heqq! I'd say that that was a darn good 50 cents worth!

It's obvious that you have "paid your dues", and, are certainly entitled (and definitely qualified!) to speak up!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Steve_Mollett
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I do the Burling Hull, simplified one-ring version as "child's-play warm-up."
After being fastened in, and having the chain & lock inspected, I ask the volunteer to place a cloth over my hands.
The second the cloth covers my hands, I pull out a free hand to assist in adjusting the cloth ("Yes, just like that...").
I then comment, "This isn't easy, as [pulling out other hand, holding still-locked chain] you can see how securely he has locked this."

I then thank the volunteer for being such a good sport, adding "I think I'm warmed up, don't you?"
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
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