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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Tarbell 79: Escapes & Substitutions - Penguin Every Trick in the book (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mindacrossrhino
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Hi all

I am looking for a number of budget illusions and the Tarbell Escapes and Substitutions download from Penguin caught my eye, I am particularly drawn to the Bon Bon Paper Bag escape that Dan seems to have transformed into a trash can escape (loving the aesthetic).

I have had a bit of a look and can find little detail re. this particular effect (I have to admit I don't own the original Tarbell books, though they are very high on my wishlist). Can anyone here shed some light on the overall effect, e.g. does it require a stage, assistants etc. Looks relatively easy to build (?) Certainly not looking for any type of exposure, however the effect seems to have been transformed fairly substantially from the original source material as far as I can ascertain given the name, and the description ('Dan's modern take on a silly idea becomes a wonderfully stunning showstopper').

Any pointers much appreciates, as looking to target my hard earned pennies in the most effective manner, as well as create a diverse and interesting show.

Many thanks
Simon
Bill Hegbli
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Without digging out my Tarbell Course books, I will say that all Grand Illusions (using people) require a stage, lighting, sound, and assistants. That is why they call them Grand Illusions, they are on a grand scale. Some illusionettes can be done in a living room, but they only usually use small apparatus.

The Tarbell course is not that expensive today, compared to years ago, why not make the investment, you will learn a lot about all kinds of magic. The original Tarbell course is even available in PDF.

Here is a free copy of the original, don't know if it has the item you are speaking of, or if it is in the original course, as it was expanded over years.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......633042#1
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
mindacrossrhino
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Hi Bill

Many thanks for the response. Didn't realise the original was out of copyright and in the public domain, what an amazing resource. The effect that interested me was in there, however Dan Harlan seems to have adapted it quite radically.

I certainly intend to purchase the course at some point, however not just the cost, also the time investment required is postponing that day (currently working through a number of other great books, and I know I will end up flitting backwards and forwards too much if I try to stretch myself too thin (it's a bad habit of mine):-)

I think I probably wasn't overly clear in my original post, what I really meant was whether a full blown stage was required (with associated lighting curtains and other paraphernalia), or merely a large venue (e.g. a sports hall or similar).

As for assistants I was really wondering if members of the audience would suffice, or whether an actual assistant was also needed.

Looking at the PDF you flagged, I now think I can answer both of those points.

I'm really looking for just a couple of large illusions to complement, the rest of a show (i.e. the illusions wouldn't be the main meat of the show, maybe just bookend it).

Thanks again for the advice.

Kind regards
Simon
David_N
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Hi Simon

JC Sum has a good book on easy build illusions called 'Simple Showstoppers'. Don't expect Origami Boxes but there are some good ideas in there that would play well with some thought and a good presentation.
mindacrossrhino
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Thanks David
Bill Hegbli
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Yes, a large venue like a sports arena could be used, as long as they or you have curtains, side wings, and lighting. In large venues, the more light, the more they can see you.

And yes, most all grand illusions use assistants that have practiced and rehearsed the movements, and how to move around on stage.

I guess you could use members of the audience if you want to be sued, and pay all the medical bills that would arise. They trip, fall, get hit by something sticking out or you close a door on their fingers, leg, arm, head, etc.

Just make sure you have a good insurance policy for an entertainment performer.

Really, I am just kidding, I am sure you realize the things I have listed, are things you have to consider to use any untrained person. If all they have to do is stand still and hold something, you should be safe.

I guess you have never watched the Worlds Greatest Magicians television shows, if not, I suggest you check them out on YouTube and watch what an assistant has to do, while on stage.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
DanHarlan
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The Trash Can escape (inspired by the BonBon Paper Bag escape) will require one trained assistant, visible to the audience at all times, to properly assist in locking you into the cans and put a curtain around you. Regarding the curtain... this particular escape requires a pretty tall curtain (about 8 feet) so I used a drop-curtain from the ceiling. It's a moderately involved rig, but you could just as easily make a curtained cabinet that breaks down for transport. Although this particular escape does not "require" a stage and special lighting, you will need plenty of room for it and a top for the cabinet so your secret actions won't show through the curtain.

All of the escapes in Lesson 79 require at least one other trained assistant (also typical of just about every illusion), although most of the time their actions are overt... moving the prop, tying/locking/taping, holding a curtain, etc. Illusions are different from escapes (typically) in that they require your trained assistant to do something hidden from the audience, and often more involved than the audience realizes.

Check out these other lessons for a few illusion ideas:
Lesson 33 http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/5794
Lesson 45 http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/6672
Lesson 58 http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7472
Lesson 70 http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8311

Also, as I tell anyone who expresses an interest in illusions... be prepared for long set-up and tear-down times, maintenance, storage, and transportation. Only dedicated people (who are also a bit crazy) perform illusions on a regular basis. It requires a commitment. If you're looking for something relatively easy to start with which can be performed with a volunteer, you might try a Visible Sawing, Chair Suspension, or even the Princess Flying Carpet. For "build-your-own" here's a link to some great info from JC Sum: http://illusionbooks.com/budget-illusion......n-stage/
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www.danharlanmagic.com
mindacrossrhino
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Dan, my sincere thanks for your very detailed and very comprehensive post, including links to other artists, I am very grateful for you taking the time to answer me directly and my apologies for not thanking you much sooner.

I am a massive fan of yours (Starcle being one of my all time favourite effects), and very much enjoy your reinterpretation of the Tarbell Classics. I did not use the Bon Bon escape in the end, however it is something I really love the look of and will probably look to use at some point in the not too distant future.

Thanks again.
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