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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Favorite smash and stab? (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sealegs
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Thanks micwise. I had a great time being part of that 'Stars of Magic' show. Glad you enjoyed it. Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Matt Pulsar
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Every person I know, including well known professional performers, who have done the spike under cup, no matter which version, have messed up at some point. Not because the method was difficult, but because it’s enough things to be juggling in ones mind that it’s the equivalent of a juggling drop. I will never perform this because I have had the experience of having something fail that wasn’t a risk of pain, where the reason it failed was I saw the wrong thing when I was looking right at it. I can trust a method but not the human brain.

So, be careful everyone!
Belief Manifests Reality.
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micwize
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Just to clarify. Every person you know who has ever performed any version of this trick has messed up at some time, including professional magicians. Not one person you know has managed to perform this trick, any version without messing up? It is not that I doubt you but I can spend several years perfecting a trick to perform sometimes and still not be ready with that particular trick so carry on practising. When I finally decide to perform it, I would be totally gutted if I then messed it up after all that practise.
Matt Pulsar
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Yes, the only person I know who who performs a smash the hand on the dangerous thing routine regularly and has yet to have the brain fart is doing the two bag version based on Jermay’s handling. I’m talking about professionals who are doing this in regular performances. I think the bottle version is the only one where you can’t really screw it up. There is a reason if you google Magic gone wrong that you see a bunch of videos of this going wrong.
Belief Manifests Reality.
Nebula CT: https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8517
micwize
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I agree that if something can go wrong then it will at some point. Therefore, it is important to plan in a safety net or two to ensure this is less likely or no longer possible. As magicians , we are always carrying out tricks in a particular order for them to work and to not give away the secret. I value your comments though as some versions of this are definitely a No No and I would never perform them.
Samuel Catoe
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I've done my version of Smash and Stab since I created it in 2003 without harming myself. My version uses actual nails too. It's not just in the methodology, but also in the routining. Having a safe methodology helps though.
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micwize
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I agree
Sealegs
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Samuel; saying, "I've done my version of Smash and Stab since I created it in 2003 without harming myself." is not useful.

Richard Feynman, the renouwn physicist who was brought in to investigate the Space Shuttle disasters, identified this same thinking and mind-set as a major contributing factor to the Space Shuttle disasters.

In a nutshell.... The repeated safe outcomes of a flawed process don't by themselves, or when added together, reduce the risks of the flawed process or act as any sort of vindication of the flawed process.

Nearly all the methods for this effect are, 'an accident waiting to happen' regardless of routining, safeguards and the number of times it has been performed to a successful conclusion.

It's difficult for me to understand why this seemingly obvious state of affairs isn't accepted as, 'being the case'. Consequently, barring arrogance and ignorance, I cannot understand why anyone would choose to use any version other than; Scott Alexander's 'Nailed-It', or Randi Rain's 'Sterile T2'

Unfortunately I think the two 'barring' exceptions I've mentioned account for much of the problems and injuries that result, and will continue to result, from the performance of other versions of this trick.

I post this here because the ethos on the Café is; 'magicians helping magicians', and if ever there was a trick where the consequences of taking wrong advice was pertinent it is this one.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Samuel Catoe
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Sealegs, you assume my process is a flawed one. It is not. I created my version specifically because I did not want to perform a version where there was a chance I could get hurt. With my performance, presentation, and methodology I have less of a chance of getting hurt by the performance of my routine as I do of cutting myself with a spoon during my spoon bending routine (which has nearly happened twice) or tripping over an electrical cord while setting up.

While I won't discuss my methodology here, I can tell you that I consider it to be 100% safe.

Having said that, I have cautioned many on here and other places not to perform this routine with most of the commercially available routines as they have a chance of causing permanent injury. I have additionally cautioned them to NEVER use a participant for the person to be placed into jeopardy. I see that as reckless and wholly irresponsible on the performer's part to do so.

I agree with you completely that nearly all of the methods for this routine are an accident waiting to happen. I also agree that Scott Alexander's routine is an excellent choice for someone looking to purchase a version of this effect. I have no opinion on Randi Rain's routine as I have no familiarity with it. I know that she has released some excellent products in the past though and will likely find out more about this.

In short, I get what you are saying, and I agree with a great deal of it. If it weren't for the intimate knowledge I have with my routine and the knowledge of the safety of it, I would likely either be using one of Scott Alexander's routines or not doing it at all.
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Senor Fabuloso
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I too have both comedic and serious versions of this effect that I believe are original. They all remove most of the danger and problems consistent with other methods. I also have some Russian roulette effects with toy guns and acid that can be used with little real danger. For those who think you have to have real risk involved in the effect consider the pay off. Is it worth the risk to yourself or someone else? Entertainment is first entertaining not necessarily shocking. When I want shocking I go to horror movies.
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Sealegs
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Samuel; you are right to say that I know nothing of the details of your method. I inferred from the way you wrote your next to last post that your method had the potential to inflict damage and is therefore flawed. You wrote that you've been doing it since 2003 without harming yourself. It reads as if you are offering past successful performances as a validation of the safety of the method. I'm pleased to hear that's not the case.

I think it's important though that others who do or might consider doing this type of effect understand that past successful outcomes are not a validation of a method a being safe.

I'm happy for you to hear your method doesn't contain any danger for you.... but I have to say I'm still sceptical. The reason for this is again due to the wording you use. Personally I don't think an 'intimate knowledge of the routine' should have a bearing on the safety of such effects and suggesting it factors into the safety would, for me, be a concern.

Scott's Nail- It for example, actually cannot be performed without first actively removing the possibility of being able to stab yourself with a spike.

But I'm not here to stand on a soapbox about this. I just want, in the spirit of helping others, to let magicians know what does and doesn't constitute safe. And it's apparent from many posts in many threads on this subject, and the numbers of people who have impaled themselves (and worse others) that many have a flawed understanding of what 'safe' is.

Best regards.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Samuel Catoe
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I understand what you mean. I'm glad to hear Scott created such a routine as he has. That will save quite a few from injury in my opinion. Regarding this type of routine, and even the Russian Roulette routines, if you are going to perform them, then you must have an intimate knowledge of the routine you are performing. You need to know every single and possible way it can go wrong, and every possible way it can harm you, and how badly it can harm you. It is through that detailed knowledge that you can put measures and checks in place to make sure you do not get harmed. I am not talking about my own routine, or any other performer's routine. I am talking about EVERY routine that involves an element of danger from the Water Torture routines on stage to the Milk Can escapes to the Smash and Stab routines. If there is legitimate harm inherent in the routine, it is our responsibility to cut out as many dangerous elements as possible to protect ourselves. Without that intimate knowledge of the routine as the saying goes "if something can go wrong, it will". Honestly, that is one of the biggest reasons I have never pursued a Russian Roulette routine.
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Senor Fabuloso
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I just want say the Mr. Catoe's way of performing the effect is very safe. We have compared notes and although slightly different independently we both worked out ways of keeping ourselves safe. Personally I think Mr. Catoe should go to market with his version as I have no desire to get into the retail business of magic or mentalism props. The community would be way better off with his contribution than most of the method out today. Well done Samuel and God Speed.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

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Sealegs
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Samuel wrote; "Without that intimate knowledge of the routine as the saying goes "if something can go wrong, it will"."

Here's where I differ on this..... even with an intimate knowledge of a routine, 'whatever can go wrong, will go wrong' still applies.

For instance, knowing with 100% accuracy exactly under which cup or bag the spike is under or in does not stop you from mistakenly choosing to slam your hand down onto it. This is exactly what Chris Corn explained he did when he impaled himself. He knew and was completely aware of exactly where the spike was but in a moment of mis-thinking he swapped 'avoid that one' for 'go for that one'.
Neal Austin

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Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Feb 9, 2018, Sealegs wrote:
Samuel wrote; "Without that intimate knowledge of the routine as the saying goes "if something can go wrong, it will"."


Mr Catoe was being generously cautious. The danger really dosn't exist in his or my method. Not real danger anyway.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Sealegs
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Senor Fabuloso wrote; "The danger really dosn't exist in his or my method. Not real danger anyway."

I can't help but notice that even when extolling the virtues of the safety of whatever method(s) you are referring to you add the qualification, "Not real danger anyway."

Both Samuel and now you have qualified the danger/safety aspect within whatever routine and method(s) you might be referring to. You might want to ask yourself why you included such qualifications. I hope by me pointing this out it raises for you the same alarm bells that it raises to me.

Best regards
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Feb 10, 2018, Sealegs wrote:
Both Samuel and now you have qualified the danger/safety aspect within whatever routine and method(s) you might be referring to. You might want to ask yourself why you included such qualifications. I hope by me pointing this out it raises for you the same alarm bells that it raises to me.


LOL! Ok you got me. In my method you might get a pin prick if you were extremely stupid. In Mr. Catoe's method you would have to be so careless you couldn't do the effect even with the props made for children. The harm would be like driving your had against the comer of a table. Again and this could only happen in Mr. Catoe's method with EXTREME carelessness. That should clarify things for you there sealegs.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Sealegs
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Not really.... but I don't need clarification. Others reading this thread as a source for this sort of material might though.

Cheers Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Samuel Catoe
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I get where you're going Neal. If you want to cut out any chance of danger, you got with a sure fire method that employs nothing harmful. It's like using your hands for scissors in a rope routine rather than using actual scissors.

Here's the absolute truth of it with my particular routine, IF you are stupid enough to deliberately perform it without employing the gimmick, there is a HUGE chance you will get a trip to the hospital. This would be a deliberate act of full blown stupidity on the order of deciding to use your toaster while getting a bath. If you would be careless enough to perform the routine and not employ the gimmick, then you have no business performing at that point in time please enjoy your visit to the Emergency Room. Seriously, if you don't put checks in place with ANY routine you do, it can go wrong, and there are routines that can cause serious injury if they go wrong that do not employ the element of danger in the routine itself. I personally know someone who broke a foot when a poorly set bowling ball dropped from about 4 ft onto their foot. My entire point is that you must have some sense in order to properly perform anything, but you can never discount the lengths and depths of the stupidity of people. I'd be willing to bet you could likely find someone out there that can cut themself with a Nielson Bottle if you look hard enough.

My version is as safe as you can make this type of routine and still have actual nails, spikes, etc. involved. For me it is 100% safe, for anyone who were to use my gimmick and actually employ the gimmick it is 100% safe, but for someone that has filled their head with cotton and stupidity, probably not. People injure themselves all the time with safe instruments so who knows.

The biggest and only caveat I would give for this type of routine is this, if you do not trust the routine do not perform the routine. That means the props, gimmicks, methods, etc. If you don't trust them, do NOT use them. Use something you can trust with your life and your health.
Author of Illusions of Influence, a treatise on Equivoque.
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Sn00py
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There are clearly a few Smash and Stab connoisseurs in this thread so you all may be interested to know about a new version coming out this week -“SAS- Who Dares wins”.
Details will soon be available on www.chriswebbvault.com
Watch this space.
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