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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Rope escape hints / help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bretigan
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Milwaukee
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Hi,

I have toyed around with some rope escapes, the 50 - 75 feet of rope ones... standing position. Of what I have read, no one really goes into detail about the specifics of the actual rope. I personally think that 5/16 is not that bad, 3/8 is easier, with a stiffer style of rope. When I try to use a softer rope, that is when it is harder to undo the knots.

Now, does anyone know the best way to undo a lashing? I have a difficult time with those. And, any other tibits of information would be helpful. Smile

Bret
Greg Arce
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I've never had a problem with this type of escape. You realize that the more rope you use the easier it is to escape. The easiest way to do this is to bring up at least two spectators to help tie you up. When it is done by committee then the problems immediately crop up as far as really tight knots and clever use of the rope. All the heads on the stage will butt together as they try various ways to lock you in. It's also easy to get extra slack as their bodies tend to hide you from the audience at times. So my easy solution: as much rope as you can afford and as many spectators that will fit on your stage...it also makes it look like a bigger show.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Joe Marotta
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Can You Believe I Have
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Actually, I LOVE a really good lashing!

Oops, sorry. Did I say that out loud?
Thoughtreader
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Use commercial grade nylon rope from the auto store (the kind used to pull cars with) or the kind from the hardware store that one purchases for pulling objects, tying things down on a truck, etc... It is a still rope making knots much more difficult, stays clean longer and is not particulary expensive to purchase.

Getting out is a rather easy thing and it can also be done with you sitting in a chair and them tying you to the chair. Seems impossible (it is a bit more difficult) but is done the same way.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Margarette
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Memphis area
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For my rope escapes, I use a cotton/nylon blend rope, 3/4" diameter, and it works very well for me. It does help to have two spectators do the tying, but I've had no problem even when one spectator ties me up. It's all a matter of staying in control of the situation and knowing your limitations.

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Bretigan
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Milwaukee
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Do the rest of you like to use a thicker rope like Margarette does? It would make sense it would be easier to undo vs 5/16" of an inch. The rope I currently use is polypropolene, which is pretty stiff when you first use it.

Do you guys attach any rules to your escape? Like not going around the neck, etc? Or just anything goes?
Margarette
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One stipulation I have is not going around the neck. When explaining the rules, I say "OK, now you may do anything except go around the neck...that will cause me great pain...and THAT'S another show, and you ain't got the money for it!" It usually gets a good laugh and establishes that I am in control of the situation. Now, also, when I book an escape show, IN MY CONTRACT I specify...uh...places where contact is not allowed, and if that should happen, the show stops, I leave, and no refund. I might add that I get paid in cash before the show starts with an escapes show.

Anyway, those are just a few of my 'rules'.
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Harry Murphy
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Margarette just gave the biggest tip (secret) in extreme-magic (any magic that may cost you life or limb). Control! You must be in control even before you show up to perform, control each and every element of your act, and have control of the post performance.

Now that I think of it, that bit of wisdom is true for any segment of magical performance. The great Slydini would simply refuse to perform if he did not control the angles and he did not ever risk life or limb only reputation.

If you take nothing else away from this thread take the wisdom Margarette has given you.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Sniper
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The only point of contention with the 75 foot rope escape is making sure that they start from the end of the rope. That way ensures a slipnot. I also recommend starting with one of your wrists, rather than the feet.

Sn!per
Harry Murphy
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I watched two escape artists perform this summer. Both performers were at small county fairs. (Different fairs— tis the county fair season around here!) Both did the 75 (or maybe 100)-foot rope escape.

Both these guys had the start of their acts in common. They had a big loop tied in the center of the rope, they then put the loop over their heads and handed each spectator an end of the rope (two spectators, two ends) and told them to go for it. The only instruction either made was to not wrap the rope around their necks.

Both acts moved rapidly, both performers had funny lines to keep the spectators interested in the process and both escaped with drama and flair! Good routines, good acts, and very entertaining.

I am only sorry that I don’t have their names to share.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
x-treem
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Personally, Ed, I've gotten away from the whole time frame thing. I know that many use it but here is what I think.

Where is the fun and suspense in telling the audience that you will get out in less time then it took you to get in? You tell them and then they know you are going to do it and the suspense of "can he do it period" is gone.

However if you get tied up, get out and then tell the audience that it took you less time, then you get a better "Holy Cow, he did" from the audience.

I am going out on a limb adding this: I am glad that you do not say, "I will get out faster than Houdini." How do any of us know how long it took Houdini? I once heard an escape artist say, "It took Houdini 2 minutes to get out of a straight-jacket, I will beat his time and get out in less than a minute." Another escape artist said it took Houdini 3 minutes and that he would do it in 2 minutes.

Any time facts about Houdini's escapes were often embelished by the man himself and are not time frames for us to beat, the audience is more worried about "can he do it," than
"how long it will take."

Another ploy that I have used to my advantage when I started out was that it took me 2 minutes to get out of a strait-jacket. I stated to the audience that it takes me 4 minutes (variance in case of unforseen problems). If I did not get out within the 4 minutes I would donate $200.00 to the charity of choice in the name of the person who strapped me in. Once every year I purposely failed to "prove" that this was a
"legit challenge."

Beyond that I only use the time factor in a "dangerous escape" where time is of the supposed essence.

Nice to have another escaper with us, welcome to you Ed.

X Smile This is cool!
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Scott Xavier
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I have to agree, there has to be some suspense. When they know it takes 2 minutes, where's the fun? I'd get up and walk to the concession stand, and still have 30 seconds to see the best part, the final escape. As for death defying stunts, we all know the rope won't burn through, and that bomb, isn't a bomb! Use some other diversion, I want new methods! Amaze me artists!
Margarette
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I very rarely use 'time references' with my escapes. About the only time I do is when I am doing a publicity stunt for a fundraiser, and the amount of time it takes will depend on a certain donation (amount, of course, set by myself and the people running the event). I did a rope escape in less than 20 seconds, and the American Cancer Society got $500 from one person.

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
BroDavid
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I have been talking to a couple of malls about doing an escape as part of a shopping mall promo and magic show. The mall would hand out cards to the spectators. One side of the card would be a random discount (5/7/10%) for various stores in the mall, and the other side of the card would be our magic promo and it would also have a time printed on it in big letters.

And you guessed it! The holder of the card with the closest time would receive a special price. A $25.00 or $50.00 mall gift certificate.

For scheduling purposes, I am thinking of putting a 4 minute limit, and if I am not out at 3 minutes, a crowd countdown will start.

Does anyone use a crowd countdown, and if so, how far do you let them count?

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
x-treem
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Are you talking about a timer with them counting along to it?

I've never done this but if I were sitting in an audience I'd be bored if I went any longer counting than 20 seconds. But then again I have a short attention span and get bored easy.

By the way that is one cool promotion.
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
BroDavid
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Yes, I think it might get boring if it went too long. I was just trying to think of a way to use to get the audience more involved in the whole process.

And you have sort of answered my real question: "Should I use a countdown?" Probably not, unless it happens "spontaneously" for a short time.

Definitely need to put more thought into that part. But fortunately that is incidental to the rest of the performance and the audience rewards.

Thanks for the comment about the promotion. I may not be the best magician, and I may have equals as an entertainer, but I generally stay a step ahead of the crowd in promotion.

Thanks for the input!

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
x-treem
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Well, this is just a thought, what type of times are on the cards? Seconds or minutes? If it was seconds the person with a certain second could say their second then the person with the next second could say theirs (hope you understand it is tough to explain).
So if say the first card was 1 minute 23 seconds, at 1 minute 23 seconds the person holding that card would call their time out. It might heighten anticipation and would get an excellent response out of the winner.

None of us can be the best if there is truly such a thing in magic or life in general. Like I say, "If escape artists were peerless we'd have to escape from ourselves." Let's see how many catch on to the meaning of that saying. Smile

:handcuffs:
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
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