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x-treem
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Yeah, yeah I know what you're thinking when you saw that another "tiff" ready to break out. Sorry to disappoint.

I wanted to get others perspectives on this:

Do you out and out lie to your audience? Dance around the truth, or not mention "it" at all.

Examples:

Lie - This is an un-gimmicked padlock When in truth it is gimmicked.

Dance - This is an authentic pair of Darbies Sure they are but they are also gimmicked.

Non mention - This is a padlock (hoping you are holding a padlock and not a pair of handcuff Smile) this is self evident though it is gimmicked

I personally don't like to lie as you can be found out. From time to time I dance but I'd rather just "non-mention" as dancing may lead to problems as well.

Hopefully the question is clear (my head currently is not) Your thoughts?

X
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
James Peters
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I generally try to stick to the truth. If I use a gimmicked lock, I don't mention the lock at all. For gimmicked cuffs, I just tell them I'm going to be handcuffed!

James.
Ian McColl
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Hi Shawn, The wording "authentic, regulation, real etc etc shouldn't even be in your patter. If you say this is a non gimmciked padlock, you are automatically letting the audience know that there is the alternative, a gimmicked padlock.

James is right. "Here are the cuffs I will attempt to escape from", "This brand ? of padlock will fasten my box" nothing more needs to be said.

If someone yells out it's a tricked padlock or handcuff, lock them up or let them examine it. Mind you, you need to have good quality products to do that with.

If you are forced to use products that cannot go the pace, then you will be forced to propose the question you ask.

Ian
Roslyn
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I have to agree with both James and Ian.

I would also like to point out that if you are open with your props, your spectators will asume you don't have anything to hide, even if you do.

I even let the spectators lock me into bridge jumpers before doing a mail bag or what ever. Working on the 'if they hold it in their hands, then it must be ok' thing. I also find that if the escape is protrayed as magic, then people think there is a 'trick' to it. But if the escape is portrayed as a feat of human dexterity, then you can get away with most things.

Roslyn
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x-treem
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Just a clarification (not for you guys, for others) I was not talking personally it was a general question to start conversation.

Though I have to admit I was stupid enough to explain how to properly lock and unlock the Abloy padlock to a bunch of locksmiths at Indy last year during my escape. Ah well, what do you expect for spur of the moment.

Shawn
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Kondini
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I Lie,,,, A Lot !! (well at least Im telling the truth).
Ian McColl
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Most of the lies you hear today aren't true!

Ian
James Peters
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If you know what your audience knows, then knowing what they know helps you with knowing to know what to knowingly let on ...

And if they don't ... then say nothing! Smile
drwilson
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Dear Shawn,

I am thinking more along the lines of getting the audience to think about irrelevancies:

1. The tide is nine feet.
2. The ocean temperature will cause unconsciousness in about 30 minutes, death in an hour.
3. The tide is coming in.
4. We better get off the sand bar and watch from shore.

With all this to think about, they might only think about the chains and borrowed padlocks later.

If this all works out right, there is so much "smoke" around the performance that they will see what they have been taught to see by the publicity.

I didn't invent any of this, I learned it by following politics in the news. You know, if you don't want to talk about the economy (it can't be "examined"), then talk about the plot to sap our strength through fluoridation of our drinking water (this is inserted instead of some of the more contemporary phony issues to avoid offending people).

Yours,

Paul
KingStardog
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I start right off and clearly state that everything they are about to witness is real. I tell them up front that what I am doing is dangerous and warn them not to attempt to replicate anything they may see.

This is the truth. Its all real. If they try stupid stunts with real equipment sooner or later they will get in a jam and could get hurt. They may examine the equipment post show and find it is real as well.

From that point on the BS mill is turning at full speed. I will use their thoughts fears and anything else they believe, against them, to elict raw emotion.

The correct term is: Linguistic Deception.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Reis O'Brien
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This is like saying, "I have here a perfectly normal deck of cards!" right before you go into a Svengali routine. The first thing they're going to think is, "Why did he need to point that out so obviously? Hmmm... must be lying to us."

Now, I've only done a few escapes. And I simply didn't want to point out anything about the cuffs that may lead the audience to come to unwanted conclusions. I simply clicked them on and on with the show.

Being an amatuer to the escape scene, I'm not sure if I'm handling this right, or not. But I just had to go with my gut.
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

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ufo
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I think the old saying " a magician is really an actor playing the part of a magician" holds the answer for us. If the actor's lines are delivered with clarity of characterization and conviction, then the storyline (your escape) will sell with impressive dramatic results. SO...we all deal in creating false impressions. Just like actors we must start with the premise that the audience knows this is a show and that they are meeting us halfway on the believability of all we say...at least up to the point where they just decide to accept, suspend disbelief and go wtih us.
So do what is needful to present a great show without going out of your way to defraud people or hurt your offstage credibility.

-Ed
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
MarkTripp
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I would suggest that saying something is "ungimmicked" brings to mind that "gimmicked" things exist.

Let them look at your stuff and move on.

They are going to believe what they believe, you can't change that.

If you entertain them, they are not going to care, or even think about it.

If you stick your finger in their eye with "I am the greatest, I am the new Houdini, I can escape from anything" etc, then as you sew, so shall ye reap......
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Norm Bigelow had some interesting things to say on "verbal deception" and I tend to follow that route.
That is, tell the truth, but in such a way as to hide the secret and make everything sound good.

I was handcuffed and tucked away in a cell at the police museum, escaping in 5 minutes! (Don't mention that the cell door was never locked).

I dove into the river after being handcuffed and manacled by security police, escaping underwater! (Don't mention the handcuffs were yours).

I offer $1000. to anyone who can prove this trunk has any trapdoors or sliding panels! (Your money is safe, since the gaff doesn't involve trapdoors or sliding panels).

You get the idea.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
MarkTripp
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Well, here is a left field opinion..

...who cares?

Do we believe our audience cares? Here is a present from an unpublished book, as of yet:

A MODERN ESCAPE ACT

Many years ago, James Steranko made history with one of the most sought after Genii issues of all time. Steranko's world of escape was a remarkable source of material, and remains so to this day. I'd like to take his wonderful thoughts and ideas, along with those of William Larsen Sr., Burling Hull, and Don Viano. Also, if you're going to do this stuff, get John Novak's Art of Escape. Lee Jacobs has some important materials on this subject as well. Armed with a background in this field, let's deal with the most important thing you must do!

Why do you think the people are paying you? They are paying you to entertain an audience of people. They are not paying you to entertain yourself. The question is not, and never was who can pick off a cuff faster than another. Let me say this now, Norman Bigelow is probably the greatest exponent of lock picking skill I've ever seen. If I were to be locked up in a Mexican prison, I'd want him in the cell with me, and not because he's cute. But a lay audience isn't impressed by watching someone do with a piece of wire, what they could do faster with a key! The audiences of today think differently than those of years ago, and that's where I'm coming from. The act has to flow, be funny, and very entertaining! With that in mind let’s get on with it:

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I'm sorry I was a little late; I just saw a horrible thing. As I was coming here tonight I saw a man throw a brick into a store window and steal a VCR! He started running when some cops grabbed him. They handcuffed him and threw him into the backseat of the police car so hard; he flew out the other side! He ran off and they never did catch him. It happened right over there!”

You raise your arm and point, at which time the audience sees a handcuff hanging from your wrist. This should get a good laugh. Thanks to Ed Dunhill for the gag. The cuff is placed on by means of "The Mark Tripp subterfuge". All you do is push the part of the cuff with teeth (called the bow), behind the cuff, not into it. All you have to is pull and it's open, BUT the cuff is ungimmicked and examinable. This is what I mean when I say non-illusion. Drop the rest of the cuff down your sleeve and keep your arm up till its time to point, then let the cuff drop off and get the laugh.

“Let me show you how I get out of these things, now not every cuff is the same”, (AT THIS TIME PUT THE OTHER CUFF ON BY THE "MARK TRIPP SUBTERFUGE"), but some of them open quite easily. (DISPLAY THE CUFF ON THE WRISTS) Some of you may have read about Houdini doing this (SLAM YOUR KNEE INTO THE CUFF, PULL AND TWIST YOUR WRISTS AWAY, AND THE CUFF WILL OPEN AND FALL TO THE FLOOR. RAISE YOUR ARMS INTO THE "APPLAUSE POSITION". PICK UP THE CUFF, CLOSE THEM THE RIGHT WAY, AND HAND THEM TO SOMEONE IN THE FRONT ROW) Go ahead and examine those if you'd like, but be careful, I don't want to change your lifestyle, or remind you of prom night!"

Now, at this point NO ONE cares one wit about anything because you made them laugh, and they see you as a funny and warm person not afraid to make a joke at your own expense. From this point on, if you keep this up, subjects like real, fake, gimmic, are never going to come up.
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