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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Makers added to the Earl line up at Indy/ New Bigelow Manuscript (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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x-treem
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First of all the EARL is VERY pleased to welcome Riley to the EARL’s line up of makers. Probably best known to Stateside escape artists as “the guy who did the illustrations for some of David De-Val’s books.” In the UK Riley also lectures on Houdini and does escape demonstrations as well he is the manufacture of Patrick Pages Patlock (a seriously cool lock with MANY escape applications in the waiting) Riley has helped David make some of his locks from time to time and has numerous inventions of his own. We are honored to test market some of them at Indy.

As well we will be adding on another new comer to the EARL line up starting at Indy (name withheld till he says we can mention it) his first group of products will be for sale and are not to be missed.

Friends (and foes Smile) the NEW Bigelow manuscript is FINALLY complete. The Seals Manual will show you how to escape from DOUBLE LOCKED handcuffs that have sealed keyholes, as well as a method for sealed padlocks.

The NEW Pop Rivet Kingbreaker is in there, a handcuff that has been altered so that others cannot escape from it yet you CAN. During a recent conversation with Norm I had mentioned that the 21st Century Kingbreaker, though a neat idea, was a bit passé (which is what MANY of you intimated to me when I added one to my collection) so Norm decided to share the one he had in his act for many years (there has been talk of making a limited supply of the cuff as well).

Also covered is escaping a pair of hinged handcuffs, behind your back, palms out while your hands are sealed inside BOXING GLOVES!

There is the Hicko Cage, Hicko was a well know escape artist of olden times. In his declining years Hicko could not perform and one of the last inventions he made was The Hicko Cage, the EA sits upon a chair on a platform, he is restrained to the chair (any fashion) the chair is nailed to the platform then a cage is put over him/her and nailed to the platform as well, yet the EA escapes. This has NEVER been performed before, the only model Hicko made was given to Frank Reno who gave it to Norm (neither used it as they had to many escapes waiting to be added to their acts already) and now it is being passed onto you, the future generation.

Though there is more I’ll leave you with “The Bull Restraint” which was a system of chain and pipe used to tether a bull to a tree, a great idea to work into an escape routine (I’ve got a system figured out already) as it stands we may ONLY have TWO Seals Manuals available at Indy so if interested it will be first come, first serve.

X
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
AJP807
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Hey Shawn, I bet I can guess who the new mystery man over at EARL is. But I wouldn't do it in the open forum. Also, any chance you will be selling those boxing gloves at Indy?
(just kidding) see you there! Tony
x-treem
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Well our mystery men are mysteries no more.

The above mentioned was Michael Sanford whos first product (debuting at Indy) really rocks and is in limited supply.

Next we are PLEASED to mention that we are NOW affilated with Pastor Clyde and his awesome Mighells (pronounced miles) Illusions , if you have not seen his starting line up of products hop on over to his site, http://www.mighellsillusions.com we are planning to bring some of his products to the convention! Santini called Pastor Clyde a padlock genius and I'm sure you will too.

X
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
KingStardog
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Way cool! Those Pro-locks look awesome!

I tried to bring the site up before a cuople of times but couldn't get it to load. Thanks for the link.
...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.
Roslyn
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First off I'd like to say that I have nothing against PastorClyde personnally, but can I be honest? I've just had a look at the site and I'm not sure that the word 'awesome' is quite the word to be used to describe the Mighells Illusions or indeed the site. I would say they were 'nice', but nothing original about any of it really. I myself have been performing a visual escape from a mail bag where you pick the locks for quite some time and just like the Pastors bag I don't use a gimmicked bar either. I'm sure many of us have performed something similar. And to be fair, the pillary escape (as is said on the site itself) has been performed since the days of Houdini. Surely it's time for something new to be produced and maybe then we can begin to use the word awesome to describe it. As for 'padlock genius', well I haven't seen anything on the site that would qualify for that title either. I'm not saying that I can make these things myself, nor am I saying you haven't got to have a high level of skill to be able to make these products, but I just feel that any decent locksmith worth his/her salt should be able to produce items like those seen. Am I wrong?
One last thing, is it really wise to have so many people jumping on the bandwagon and selling secrets? For many years escapologists have kept the trade secrets from the public. I know people will say it pushes the art forward, but I disagree. Just look at the number of people who do cards, coins etc. Are the audiences really fooled by a close up magician these days? No is the answer. Even if they don't know the method, they do know that the performer isn't doing what he said he did. But with escapes people still believe. How many people still think you dislocate your shoulder during an SJ? By all means share amongst other like minded people, but why publish a means of obtaining secrets on the web for all to see? Meetings like Indy should be the place to trade ideas and obtain new contacts of where to get things made. Lets not let the selling of escapes go down the same road as the selling of other magical secrets.
Am I alone in this thinking? Did anyone bother to read this whole post? Have I become one of those moaning old men that sit at the back of magic societies wearing a brown suit? Only time will tell.

Roslyn
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x-treem
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I did indeed read the entire post and am leaving my post as stated as it is my personal opinion and the quote is that of Santini's.

Here are some of my thoughts, again remembering they are mine alone.

Do you know how each item is made? The ammount of hours and passion the makers put into their work? My local has many locksmith's since I know most of them, I also know they would not be able to make something along any gimmicked lock line. Why? Because they have better things to do then to care about escapology.

I know as well the above is your opinion, but then why have people like the Cannon's and EARL? Why should anything be made by anyone at all? How many people out there would rather spend the money to buy an item then blow twice the amount to get the tools to make the a singular item then not know what to do with the tools beyond that?

If you did not have your ADA what would you use as a substitue? Did you buy the ADA to fit into an already existing routine or did you build the routine around it? Or did you buy it based on others opinions?

These are ALL questions someone should ask themselves before buying an item.

Those at Indy can decide for themseleves if items like the Tool Shed has a place in their act or if an the McColl cavity is something more along their lines.

All in all each is up to the individual person. There have been times that some people have ranted and raved about a product and I jumped on it, to find that it did not fit me or was pooly made. I did not base my judgement on the items despription or picture.

Do I come out and say, "Hey this sucks?" Nope. There are numerous items out there that I have looked at and said, "Gee, anyone can do that...make that... would not fool an ape with a bannana jammed up his nose," yet there are others who look at that same item and goes, "That fits perfectly into my routine." And they are happier than a pig in mud. So be it.

Though there are items similar to Pastor Clydes out there he has taken percautions to make it so that the standard norm that the "public- lay magician" might be looking for is not there, same as the Cannon's. Was the ADA not made to better the overused bridge jumper? It is an inventors improvement, just like Pastor Clydes.

Personally I feel we are too clique like even to those within our own art, "everyone is a back stabber," "his or hers ideas stink" "An ape with a bannana stuck up his nose could perform/make better." Again that is up to the audience not us.

The EARL has a semi open door policy, you have something to make, they have to fit the standards created by the EARL, for every seller I keep I politely reject 2 because the items are poorly made. For every item my sellers made there are 1 or 2 I reject as well (most of my sellers will agree with that) after something comes out to the site we make a limited test market, once that is done we will decide as a seller to keep it or dump it. All useless information but we try to keep from the norm.

To end what lay person in their right mind is going to spend $200 just to see how a "secret lock" works? Prices are set at a price that keeps items in the "right peoples" hands. Since I know 98% of the people I sell to I know that EA's and a few magis.

Anything of this make sense to anyone because I can no longer remember where I was going.

Have you asked lay people if they are still fooled by close up magicians or are you assuming since you know how it is done then it could not fool lay people. I only ask because they fool me. Why? Because like lay people I have better things to do in life then to figure out how a magician does his card trick.

Take Care,
X
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
KingStardog
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I don't know, I haven't seen any thing like the Tool Shed before. Maybe other folks have seen stuff like that, but I haven't. Fully examinable is the key set of words. The special place is very large to still get all these features.
"FULLY functional!
FULLY examinable!
FULLY working cylinder with visible working pins!
NO signs of tampering!"

Up until I saw this, I had assumed the only one like this in existance, with these features, was locked up in my office.

The secrets thing, well like everthing else, price restricts who gets them. I can't afford to buy even a small portion of the things I would like to have. Therefore I don't know any of those secrets. It all comes down to cost. Only the ones serious about learning are going to spend the money.

The biggest danger to magic itself is not getting enough young people involved. Magic did fine all these centuries when the secrets were handed down from father to son, until the last hundred or so years when kids no longer took up the fathers trade. Now each and every generation seems to be a hurdle to get past, hopeing young people will get interested.

If anything this is the defining time in history to see if the branch lives or dies. I don't see it as selling out at all. I see it as more of a do or die. I think this must be on a lot of folks minds as well, or we would not be seeing all of the cooperation among folks that normaly keep to themselves.

All my opinion, no offense intended to any one, or in any way.
...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.
x-treem
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It is truly hard to buy anything just based on the description, that is why Indy is great it gives people a chance to look at it for themseleves and realize if the claims they read are true or not. IF the claims are true then you know that the seller is reliable and not just trying to make a buck, if true the price would also be were just anyone can afford it.

Again personal opinion, I don't believe that gimmicked padlocks made from rekeyable padlocks fool anyone, how many out there admit that they own and use one? I do. I also sell them because there is a market for them, personal opinion aside.

Like KSD, I'm not looking for a fight an arugement or to offend anyone but there is so much a person should look at before basing words/ buys on assumption.

Peace out,
X
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Riley
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"Are the audiences really fooled by a close up magician these days? No is the answer..."
(Roslyn)

Doesn't that depend on the close up magician? I don't mean the magical society hobbiest (not that I have a problem with them), but I mean the close up magician (or escape artist) who earns money from his work and gets repeat business from his customers. I'm pleased to say that my audiences ARE fooled by my work, but more important, they tell me so. . . and . . they pay.
Let's be honest, the merely curious lay person will not pay good money just to learn secrets. There are plenty of good locksmiths out there, but only a few have the interest and knowledge (and perseverance!) to cater to the requirements of the EA. They deserve our thanks and respect. They make our work easier and motivate our own thinking and performance.

Riley
x-treem
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Why is it that people like Riley can sum up what I try to say in a paragraph that is clear and to the point rather than the disjointed ramblings I posted above? Smile Smile
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I must say that I totally agree with KSD and Shawn. Mr. Roslyn on the other hand, I do understand where you are coming from, but I must disagree with you on several points.

There is no point really in arguing an individuals opinion on who is a "genius" and just what happens to be "awesome". Some people, by nature, are very complimentary. In this case, Shawn was relaying an opinion of Steve Santini, who, by an unfortunate turn of events, has been refused permission to post any longer on this board. I for one sorely miss Steve's input and opinions and I appreciate it when guys like Shawn can relay it to me, even if it is only second hand.

What I do know is, Steve is not a man easily impressed and not one to flatter someone for the sake of flattery. If he likes something and says it's good, that's generally good enough for me. There are a core of people that I know in the escape community that I trust not to steer me wrong. Steve is certainly one of them, and Shawn is certainly another. There are several others out there, and you know who you are Smile And I do appreciate it.

I know there are people out there that are fans of Steve and there are people out there that are not. I'm sure that Shawn relaying an endorsment from Steve was only meant for people like me who are leery of any "new" product but do value the opinion of the product by someone I know and respect.

This is like "Basic Marketing 101" but I know that sales is not the only thing on Shawn's mind. Without embarrasing him too much I would venture to say that he is more concerned with providing good quality escape products to the escape community, than he is milking us for every dollar he can get. I'm basing this on my years of knowing him and purchasing countless items from him. And I for one appreciate his efforts.

As far as having "so many people jumping on the bandwagon, selling secrets" Well, Mr. Roslyn, you yourself stated a need for some "new and original ideas and products" to be produced. Well I can count the names of good product suppliers on one hand. Certainly a few more is NOT going to flood the market and water down our art if that is your position. Especially if we are talking about men like Riley, and Pastor Clyde. Mr. Sanford's work I am unfortunately not familiar with, but once again, if Shawn says his stuff "totally rocks" then you can believe that I'll definitely be checking it out at the Indy convention.

Another note that I must disagree with you on is the statement that no one these days is fooled by close up magic. Admittedly I don't know your level of training in close up, and I don't know the calibre of magicians in your area, but to make a blanket statment that NO ONE is fooled these days by any close up magic is both arrogant and naive. I personally do a good degree of close up magic myself and I must say that there are guys right here in New York that just blow me away. I also would have to admit that there are people who probably believe that EAs do dislocate our shoulders for certain escapes, but I believe that there are just as many, if not MORE that probably assume that we are using gimmicked devices or hidden keys or tools. None of which, most of us are probably admitting to, unless you're doing a full view picking escape ala Norm Bigelow. So we are not exactly doing what we say either, and I believe that a good amount of the public knows or suspects this. Again, this is MY opinion, as I do not state things with the amount of certainty that you seem to possess.

I'm not trying to attack you here. If anything, I value your opinion, as well as anyone's who will make me think this much about this art. It's fine to have differing opinions. But I feel that your whole, let's keep all this stuff under our hat approach is definitely BAD for this art. Escapes in general is on the cusp of a renaissance. With the second anuual Escape Artist convention only weeks away. Guys like, Mazini, Shirk, Gunnerson and Griffin scheduled to attend.

Other guys like Norm Bigelow and Steve Baker who have personally told me that they will be trying to make the next one. New products and manuscripts coming out all the time now from people like Ian McColl, Steve Santini, Norm Bigelow, The Cannons, X-Treem, Pastor Clyde, Riley, Stuart Burrell, and now Michael Sanford. Escape Masters magazine has been started up again after being gone for years. The list goes on and on, and I think this is a good thing.

I think all these great products and manuscripts makes it easier and much more enjoyable for me to progress in this art. Without them, I might have stayed a close up magician. For those of you who have seen me perform, you know it would be no great loss to the art. But I think there are plenty of good performers out there who would love to explore this art, but just have no idea how to get started due to lack of instruction and adequet equipment. So for performers like them who are the future of escapolgy, I applaud the efforts of all the above mentioned who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to promote this art.

Best regards,
Tony Parisi

I just didn't want you to be the only one with a disjointed rambling post Shawn. Smile

Tony
Roslyn
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I should like to clarify a few points. My line about audiences being fooled, that was quoted by Riley. The audience may be entertained, and in Riley's case it seems that way, they may not know how it was done, again I fully appreciate Riley's audiences feeling this way. What I was getting at was the fact that due to over exposure any half intelligent audience knows that it's not 'real' magic. Where as they still believe an EA is doing what he/she said he/she is doing. It would be like a juggler telling an audience he/she is going to juggle 9 balls, and then the audience members working out that he had them on thread.
On the point about people not learning secrets because they can't afford the product. No they won't spend $200 to learn how a trick lock works, but from visiting sites like the Cannons, EARL or the Pastors they now know we have trick locks. Descriptions about the cavity lock for example, ok they don't know how it works but any lay person that goes to the site now knows there are locks we can hide stuff in.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't sell the stuff, I would be lost without it as I am not skilled to make these items myself. But why not have the site password protected? Or change the description of what the lock does? Example regarding a spirit lock: This apparatus will teach you how to pick a lock like a true professional. Rather than: This lock will make it appear as if you can pick a lock like a true professional.
As for saying that the Pastors work 'sucks'. You couldn't be further from the truth. I said that his work was nice (refering to the locks), yet not very imaginative (refering to the illusions). I don't go round slating others work. I merely disagreed that the products on the Pastors site were 'awesome' and that he is a 'genius'.
As for the ADA's, I contacted Ian personnally about them who then directed me to the Cannons site. I did not learn about them from the Cannons site. If the site never existed, I could have still got hold of a set from Ian. I use them as a safety precaution when doing underwater acts etc.
That leads me to my final point (don't cheer too loud guys), from the discription of the ADA's on the Cannons site I managed to work out how another of their products works, therefore I didn't need to purchase the $500+ illusion. If I, a mere performer, can work it out then anyone can.

Roslyn
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Riley
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Interesting thread.
Part of the entertainment value for some members of our audience is to try and work it out. Some will try harder than others, but it is there.
Houdini once asked Will Goldston if he (Goldston) knew how Houdini managed to escape from a nailed and roped packing crate. Houdini's line of thinking was that if Goldston knew how it was done, then many others must also know how it was done. In reply to Houdini's question, Goldston took his pad and pencil from his pocket and quickly drew a sketch of a gaff. Apparently, Houdini looked at the sketch, quietly folded the paper and put it in his pocket. "That's me finished with the packing case" said Houdini. Goldston managed to persuade Houdini that he should continue with it, and Houdini successfully used the packing case challenge for many more years.
We can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time, but then ALL of the people are not ALL of our audience Smile
Well done Roslyn for working out the illusion above!
Catalogs and product descriptions have been around a long time, magic books can be found in public libraries, secrets on the net etc, but I find people are still just as fooled and entertained as they ever were. Let's not fall into the trap that Houdini nearly fell into. People LOVE to see escapes/magic performed well, BUT they must like/enjoy the performer in order to enjoy the performance. The method should be secondary to this.
Keep performing guys! Smile

Riley
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Althought these description are out there on the net, we must remember that 99% of people don't go looking for them!

I work with a team of about 15 people. They all know what I do in terms of escapes. They all want to know how I do it. They are all skilled IT staff, used to researching things on the web.

Only one of them has ever gone looking for stuff, and he had a head start, as he learnt to pick locks in his teenage years! As for the secrets he found out, I pointed out that they weren't applicable to my escapes, because as you all know, I'm a 100% genuine escape artist. I don't use any gimmicked gear .... there's no need, when you can get out of the real thing!! Smile

And finally, how can we possibly complain about descriptions being available, when we're prepared to disclose the amount of detail we just have on this thread!!

The truth is, people don't care. They want to be entertained, but once the entertainment has passed, they forget to try and figure it out. Except the 1% ...

James.
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It is not my intention to upset anyone. If I do then either I have failed to write this in a non offensive way or some people are very thin skinned.

I got into escapes by trying to figure out how things worked and after watching a TV Show based on "The many deaths of Harry Houdini" and smashing a combination lock as a ten year old.

Trying to figure out how a magic trick is performed is the main reason that some people show up....they know its not real magic, they know it is not Harry Potter on the stage, you are not introduced as 'Jedi Master Van Helsing' so why is it difficult to understand that people know they are being tricked but in the same way as a 'Who done it' they are trying to figure it out prior to the end.

They are looking for the picks, they are looking for the keys, the trick is to make sure that no one sees them.

Now for the other point.

None of the sites mentioned above show the tricks in action, you can not see an animation of an ADA and you can not see the padlocks in action and you do not see how the cavity cuff works (although I am sure the vast majority have worked it out already).

So how is that any different to the fact that you are not turning into a Rabbit? They know full well that Escapologist's and Magicians use picks and tricks CSI, Jonathan Creak, Knightrider, Columbo and even The Quick and The Dead have shown how magic tricks and escapes work

CSI also did the regergitating pick story as fact which made it easier because now people accept that as a fact.

I am also curious as to how a person is supposed to sell a product correctly and more important legally without using an accurate description.

My thoughts alone, my opinions alone, my point of view.

Discuss.

James Posted just before me and I agree 100% with he has said.

Also it is important to realise that even if every site, Ian's, Cannon's, Earl's and others were closed, people could still read other descriptions on Magic sites such as Magic World.

So, for the sake of argument we convince the whole magic community in the world to pull every description for escapolgy related products from every web site around the world, be they in Africa, Asia, Europe or America.

So we now have no on line reports on how to buy a gimmicked cuff or whatever. So Cannon's and everyone now poroduces paper catalogues (using recycled paper of course as we do not want to deforest the planet and not because, unlike an earlier unintentionally offensive comment suggested, that the EA community is running low on original ideas) then we post them out to magic shops to show what people can buy.

The problem is, not only is equally as unsecure as using the web it also means you are open to some magic shops selling to the general public, in so far as they simply post a catalogue to you rather that explain the trick etc.

Regretfully the magic world is less secure than the EA community, thus defeating the whole idea in the first place.

So we have two options

1) Deforest the plannet / produce thousands of brochures for our work to prevent the rare chance that one person in 5 billion works out how a trick is going to be performed

2) Accept and act in a way as to encourage and inspire others without showing how the tricks work. Which is what we are already doing anyway.

I think number two is the winner
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I personally happen to like having many choices regarding products and ideas on performing escapes. What really separates the performer from the general public or their audience isn't that they know a secret, it's the artistry in the perfomance itself. Anyone can go out and buy a gimmicked cuff or know how to get out of a regulation cuff. That doesn't make them an escape artist.
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Stuart, I just want to let you know that you have offended my thin skin with thoughtless comments.
(jut kidding buddy, Smile very well written)
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Thank heaven for that....(Tony, take it easy on me please)

Man.Ray, great point and well made.
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Hehehe is it clear to poke my head out here? Smile BTW, "I don't do magic... it only appears to be magic. If you put in the time and effort as I have done you too could do what you see me doing." (words said by many a magician) That's true with locks too. At the risk of opening myself up further as a target I'll say that, yes, any locksmith could repeat what I have done. No problem. But they did not come up with my methods. If I can't improve on what's out there or if it isn't original I'm not going to carry it. For that reason I can say that NO ONE in the world does some of the things that I do with locks. Not even Ian; and I way that with the deepest respect for the work he does.
What you will see at the convention is the 'Mighells Method.' It will undoubtedly be criticized by those it threatens and repeated by others who will claim its origin as their own. Even if these things should happen the important thing is that I will know that the methods are mine.
I agree with Roslyn, I'm no genius but I HAVE stumbled across some neat ideas I think will help the art of escape so I'm making them available. In that way I'll share with all, and especially Roslyn, that I'm not portraying all the information on my locks on my website (nor all my illusions). No one is doing the 'Monks Key' like I am. No one has an 'easy open' lock that has nothing to pocket/hide and is fully examinable BEFORE as well as after the event as mine is. And certainly no one is making a Master #7, #3, #5, #14 into a fully functional/examinable cavity locks capable of holding the equivalent of up to 8 keys- including tubular keys! There's nothing to hold up to compare to these.
(Guess its my turn to ramble) What I'm trying to say in a poor way is, please don't put down a man's work until you can hold it side-by-side to what's out there. Until you do, you are talking in an area where you have inadequate information.
With that I'll not defend anymore. I know that being involved in this business unfortunately means that I will be the target of many for varying reasons. My goal is to extend a hand of friendship to any and all. I think I have something to share... If someone thinks not- that is okay- don't buy my products or listen to me. If my locks and illusions continue to sell as fast as they have been then I will know that I am meeting a need within the art even if the vocal escape community feels otherwise. Meanwhile I'm having a great time with the locks! So much so that I'm going to have to put on some staff so that I can get back to R&D. Smile
Oh Roslyn, btw, the KEWL illusions I do aren't on the website.... don't want anyone to know (even a picture) of how they work. They are available only to custom customers such as the, "M-Pew-Tator", a compressed air powered Spiked Cabinet like non others and, well, I'll keep the others secret as you suggest.
Have a great day all.
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Profile of Lloyd McDonald
Man-Ray I believe you summed it up beautifully. Let me see if I can take 3 times as much space to say the same thing. Smile

For years the linking rings have been part of my show. When doing walk around magic I pull them out of the bag people can be heard saying oh I’ve seen this. It’s almost all too familiar some would say. One of the local magicians holds up two linked rings and says have you seen this? Tosses them of the stage, and says no sense bothering with them then. His point is well taken, as many of my audience no doubt have owned a set themselves and know there is a key ring. I would dare say that this trick has been exposed as much as anything on the market. Still when I am done every once in a while some guy will come up and tell me the set that I have must be different than his. I’ve always considered this the ultimate compliment.

There are two avenues I could pursue now. The ol' I'm not divulging my secret to anyone, or point out the only difference between his set and mine is a little practice and familiarity with the trick.

Don’t you think we have a tenancy to take ourselves and the art too seriously?

Just because a person owns a violin it does not make them a musician.
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