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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Slice Of Magic by Peter May/Chris Murphy (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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stempleton
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In the last two issues of Vanish magazine I've stopped cold on the ad for "Slice Of Magic," a kid-sized sawing in half illusion. Looks attractive and professional, but I've not seen a word from the magic community on this. At 3K I'm interested but not jumping off on a lark until I hear more from real world users. You can see it here:
www.sliceofmagic.com
Any reviews?
Gerry Walkowski
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He Steve,

My comments are NOT directed at you. It's more about me just talking out loud to myself. (Hey, I'm allowed to do that. Smile )

That prop looks great, and I really like the idea of a child being used in the routine.

To me, I just don't think this item is practical for MOST solo performers, and that's how it's being advertised.

It's been my experience that most solo performers drive smaller cars and want to get to their shows, set up in very little time, perform their shows, and exit as soon as possible. If they can work multiple shows in one day, all the better. The biggest prop some performers like to carry is their show banner, which always makes me roll my eyes.

If you're already performing stage illusions, then I think this prop (with an entertaining routine) could be a big hit in your program. If you perform illusions, you're used to spending thousands of dollars on bigger stage effects. To a real stage illusionist, the $3k price tag is reasonable.

For all others, I'm not so sure.

Also, it seems to me one would want a traveling case just to protect it from getting damaged. While no measurements were given, I just don't see this illusion fitting inside most transport vehicles. It looks heavy and bulky.

That said, I just don't think it's practical to the average birthday/kid show-type performer out there today.

Gerry
stempleton
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Gerry, thanks for your honest opinion. No, I do not do stage illusions as the larger part of my programs (a gospel ministry in churches is the largest of venues I play.) And I certainly don't think this would be practical for a living room birthday party. However, I am expanding into the school assembly program genre, one that sponge balls and other "birthday show" props simply will not be visible. So, that's the reason for my inquiry.

My largest expense has been for a SMM Jarrett Box, and it has worked like a trooper. No, I'm not used to spending thousands on an illusion. But this year has seen a much larger demand for my programs outside the typical parlor type setting.

By the way, a truly "different" performance video of this effect. Don't like the way the sides are simply removed; would have liked the entire section to be taken away, but it is what it is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_09H9k7AOU
Donald Dunphy
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I hadn't heard of this illusion before.

As a larger illusion for a solo performer, I think this fits in the same category as "Audience Dismember" (created by Jim Steinmeyer, built by Bill Smith, modifications available by Taylor Reed).

I think that Doug Scheer does "Audience Dismember" in one of his school shows using the participation of a child from the audience, as do other performers. Another performer who does stage illusions in his school shows is Greg Britt (Elgregoe) from New Zealand, with the assistance of his wife Sue Britt. Fellow Canadian John Kaplan is known for performing stage illusions as a part of his fundraising shows (usually for family audiences), but I'm not sure if he does them in his daytime school assembly shows.

Here's a thread from the Grand Illusion area that discussed the topic of Stage Illusions in school shows. Sam Sandler started that thread. I even chimed in with a list of illusions for a solo performer.

Thread titled... Best illusions for school assembly shows

Personally, I've performed various stage illusions at schools, churches, and other venues. I perform mostly for children's and family audiences.

- Donald

P.S. Gerry - they do sell a custom ATA case for the "Slice of Magic" Illusion, but don't have the pricing. It's shown on the "Information" page, if you scroll down.

I believe that the inventor of "Slice of Magic" (Peter May) is from Australia, as is the builder (Chris Murphy from Oz Illusions). I'm not sure if that factors into the shipping cost of this illusion.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Donald Dunphy
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P.P.S. I thought of one more larger / pricier stage illusion for the solo performer -- Rhino Flight (or variations of it).

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......&forum=7

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......&forum=7

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Gerry Walkowski
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Seeing that video does give one an entirely different perspective on that illusion. Visually I think it looks VERY GOOD.

No measurements were given on the first link, at least I didn't see any, so the illusion looked A LOT BIGGER. Seeing it on the video, though, the illusion seems more compact than I originally thought.

Still, here are my thoughts on this particular illusion for you to consider:

Get the general measurements of the illusion upright and when it's condensed down for packing. Also, what is the weight with and without the transport case? (Also, how comfortable would you feel lugging that thing around without a transport case?)

If you don't have an assistant, can you physically handle lifting and carrying that illusion? Would you be able to carry it up several flights of stairs? I don't know your age, but could you handle carry that weight in say 5 years?

Will that illusion fit inside your normal transport vehicle? About how long does it take to set it up and then strike it? Realistically, could you handle that if you had several back to back shows on the same day?

One problem with the illusion might be the sight lines, and you really should consider that as well. If children are sitting on a floor, or you're working on a stage or elevated platform, that shouldn't be an issue. However, if people are sitting on regular chairs, I doubt that anyone sitting beyond 5 rows back will be able to see this illusion because it isn't highly elevated like most sawing thru illusions.

If you haven't read Dick Oslund's book, Road Scholar, I would highly suggest that you pick up a copy. Dick knew the ins and outs of working school assembly programs. He had no big props, but his stuff was highly visible and could set up and strike his show within a few minutes.

I've always been of the opinion that there's nothing wrong with transporting a few bigger effects, especially if they truly complement the performer's style, personality, etc. Unfortunately, too many performers use bigger effects as crutch to compensate for other shortcomings.

Gerry
Chris Murphy
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Hi everybody, thanks for your comments. Slice of Magic is a great little illusion, but it's probably not going to be the thing for most kids' birthday party performers to be honest. It works very well in a school show or shopping centre show setting. I'm happy to answer any personal queries sent via the website on size etc. The illusion itself if 70lb(32kg) and can be transported assembled. The case adds a lot of weight, taking the whole package up to about 132lb (60kg) but obviously decreases the transport size. I've designed Slice of Magic to be really practical, so while it does pack down small into the case, it's really easy to put together. The illusion goes into the case in reverse order, so basically you can pull the legs up into position and fasten them off, then flip the whole base out of the case and the boxes are packed underneath. The boxes are hinged to pack down flat and slide into place to assemble. The total assembly is about 5 minutes and it is very easy. The reason the prop is short is that it's important that the child is comfortable so therefore we've tried to keep it very friendly both visually and in operation. Peter May has been doing the illusion around here for over 20 years and has done it in every conceivable situation I think, including private kids parties, but he's always been prepared to travel with equipment. Thanks for discussing!
Chris Murphy
www.sliceofmagic.com
Gerry Walkowski
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Chris,

For the right entertainer and his or her assistant, I believe Slice of Magic is an absolutely wonderful stage illusion.

It's an excellent concept, beautiful craftsmanship, and I could see this being a huge hit in some shows.

Thanks, too, for the additional details.

Gerry
stempleton
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I'm not sure this requires an assistant, unless you mean the volunteer who, according to the description, need not be "in" on the workings of the illusion.

I would again like to hear from real world users/owners.
Chris Murphy
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Thanks Gerry, appreciate that. Steve, you're correct, it's a child from the audience and the child is not in on the secret, you lower them into the prop and they don't see what's going on. There's lots of padding inside so they're comfortable and I think it also sort of distracts them from the method; plus they can't actually see what happened to them so there's a kind of dual reality. Anybody purchasing would need to consider the handling aspect of the prop - it is an illusion, so a second pair of hands to help with unloading and logistics might be a good idea for some performers. Plus, it's a very specific market segment too re the age of kids people are performing for, and the style of show they do. We're just getting started with this so there's not many of them out there to get a conversation started. I've had very positive feedback on the ones I have sold in Australia and New Zealand.
Chris Murphy
www.sliceofmagic.com
Nick Britt
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Hi Guys, I own "Slice of Magic" and recently put a video up of me performing it on youtube. I've always tried to perform an illusion or at least something bigger in my show's each year to give it the wow factor.
Last year I went looking for a new illusion, I wanted something the audience wouldn't have seen performed before, I found it really hard to find something unique, then I came across "Slice of Magic"
The best thing was I could perform it without an assistant! 50% of my show's I don't have someone assisting me.

The illusion is light weight and I leave it set up in my van, when I arrive at the show I just wheel it straight out and no set up is required. Before I purchased this illusion, I told my dad about it, he is a school show performer in New Zealand (Greg Britt-Elgregoe) he went and purchased one straight away and is getting amazing reactions in his school shows. I own many illusions but I have to say when you pull out the two pieces to show the child's middle is missing the reaction is like no other! You can hear the audience gasp! This money for me was worth every penny, the quality is of the highest standard with attention to detail. One last thing to mention, I thought the child might freak out when placed in the box, however, they don't realise what's going on as they can't see the blades.

I didn't purchase this trick to be performed at birthdays, I mainly use it for shopping centres, school shows and theatre shows, however, I've recently offered it for 8-12 year old birthdays for an additional fee. It's a great add-on, for the top birthday package I'll saw your child in half! It has been a great selling point.

I'm so glad I decided to purchase this illusion, I was nervous to see how it would go, now I take every opportunity to wheel it out of my van to amaze the audience!
Gerry Walkowski
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Steve,

When I mentioned assistant, I really meant to help carry the prop in and out of shows. There's no way I could handle 132 pounds (with the case) by myself. Even by myself, it would be a struggle to handle 70 pounds (without the case).

Other than that, I think it's a wonderful stage illusion, and I can see why you like this as much as you do.

I truly believe most audiences would be quite impressed with this stage effect.

Gerry
Mark Boody Illusionist
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I just came across this today and all I can say is WOW!!

While NOT for every performer, in the RIGHT venue this could be a real blockbuster (obviously with the right routine, staging etc.).

I have added some larger pieces to my church shows lately and this is definitely on my radar to add sometime down the road.

This looks like a real winner.

Mark
JBiesecker
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Do you ever hear the kid afterwards saying how they think it was done? I certainly may be wrong since I've never done anything like this before, but it seems like the kid would have at some idea of how it works.

By the way, what is the size and weight limits for the kid?
Chris Murphy
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In terms of the size child to use, usually a child in the 9-12 age bracket is what you're looking for. I have an 11 year old who is about 58 1/2" tall and she's pretty much ideal height for it, but there's some flexibility in the height of the child as their feet can stick out more or less and this builds in some natural adjustment. It's more a case of ensuring you don't choose a kid who's a little larger in the middle... Peter May has used this illusion locally for many years (I'm thinking at least 20) and I've come across people who were in it as kids and still say they don't know. Peter's illusion wasn't as streamlined in appearance as our new version either. Our experience is that the audience loves it and it's a great sales point - anyhow, some kids will always spout off about knowing how something is done I don't think you can prevent that. Remember that the kid in the box can't see what's actually happening to them - they're just lying down on a padded table really - the audience gets the effect but the kid inside doesn't.
Chris Murphy
www.sliceofmagic.com
Bairefoot
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Has anyone bought one of these in the US? If so please tell us about it.

Thanks
Bob Meigs
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I am a solo performer who purchased Slice of Magic for use at a large fair in Southern California. Everything about it is GREAT! Chris had none in stock, but worked hard to get it to me in time. Shipping from Australia to the US was fast, not expensive, and trouble free. The illusion is very well made, bullet proof, easy to perform, and the audience reactions are over the top! I use it as my closer.
Chris came up with an idea for an easy to make a black art cover that also conceals the well during performance - sheer genius. I leave the wheels on the base, and it takes only about 2 minutes to put on or remove the panels. including the time to put them in a box protected by bubble wrap. The illusion is perfect for family shows, because it's amazing, but not scary. There is no blood, and no scary saw. (I stress that I do not cut my volunteer with the blades - they drop into place with no resistance.)
I've used a Wakling Sawing, Audiience Dismemberment, and a top-of-the line Bow Sawing - all pf which cost at least half again as much as Slice. Slice iis much easier to perform than the Wakling, much lighter and easier to transport than Audience Dismemberment, and has more audience impact than a Bow Saw. All I can say is that if you ore "on the fence," get it! It's far and away the best "large illusion" I've ever used.
JohnPizzi
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Folks,
I am not on here very much. However, after seeing the above post and question that started this thread. I thought would add my input. I am full timer for 30 years. And own the Audience Dismember that was redone 100x betterthe original verison by Steinmeyer and Bill Smith. Taylor Reed did the improvements and I hasve to say Taylor understand magic. And I use it dozens of times a year for my larger shows when I have assistants and peform in the right venue(s). It's great amd always gets a huge response. However it's limited to the venue and man power to move it around. But, it's great and worth the effort as in all illusions.

In reference to Chrs Murphy and" Slice of Magic" illusion. I spoke to Chris several times and did not know him before those conversations. But from my emails and conversaions with him I could cleary see his legitimate, Pro and very communicative. And Aims to please. And a nice guy whom I would like to meet one day.
Ali
So , I iordered the Slice of Magic and was Sooo suprised. I knew it looked good. But was better than any illusion I have gotten from any USA builder. And the thought put into every aspect of the design was so refreshing. Just the quick put together and easy on and off attachments alone made me smile. As well as the aluminum fabrication. Very well thought out as a perfomer and a bulder wih skills.

I actually sent this letter to Chris after my first performance.

https://gyazo.com/06cd68749209d5466b7f2de656557a78

and attached is a picture in my warehouse of it setup on top of the ATA case he made for it.

To tell you all the Truth- I can't wait to get another product from Chris and wish I had known him before I wasted so much on other builders whom performers are suckered into believing they are the best.

Chris Murphy to me is one of the best builders I have come across so far and I can't wait to see what else he produces.
JohnPizzi.com
JohnPizzi
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NJ
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Oops here the pic of it in my warehouse
JohnPizzi
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Not sure why the photo won't attach as a file. So here-
https://gyazo.com/a47a7e200fb00be88e099a05310a1286
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