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magicjackct
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Though I am not a big escape person, I would just like to share my thoughts on an act I recently have seen.
I think that a problem with magic is when magicians start using props that are not everyday items.
During the show I witnessed, the magician pulled out (I don't know exactly what they are called)the square metal bar with the wrist chains on each side. Now the escape routine had some funny moments, but a boy around 8 years old said it best when he yelled out; those aren't handcuffs why don't you use real handcuffs.
Now I admit to guilt of almost purchasing the shackle thing myself years ago because I thought it looked cool. But I think the kids statement said it best.

I definately feel that altough the trick had a little entertainment value that it was lost in the pointed out fact that he obviously used a gimmicked item. Losing the effect of magic.
Hope I'm not offending anyone. I just wanted to point this out.
The Donster
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The Magician probally just had what he could acquire even if he did use real handcuffs. what would be the best to do. sorry I can't tip anything here. Don,
Harry Murphy
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Unfortunately magicians continue to use items that are not in common usage. They use handkerchiefs (which even well groomed men no longer carry), use coins (what the heck are those?), cards (what family actually buys a deck of cards any longer?), knives (get you thrown in jail and not allowed on any school campus any longer), use glass milk pitchers (what?), hats, canes, strange looking boxes, and the like.

Actually, the prop does not have to be “common” place IF (and a big IF here) the performer gives it reason to exist and motivation for use in the performance. The bar could have been interestingly explained as being used in certain parts of the world, or as being used in Maximum-security settings as being more secure than handcuffs, etc, etc, blah, blah.

This topic has been gone over dozens of times here at the Café in many different sections. Bottom line is that it is not the prop but the performer. Here the performer took a good (albeit a strange looking) prop and played it flat. Sadly, that is the case with many performers that think the prop is the magic!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
GreatWizardoftheEast
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8 year old boys are prone to yell anything to get attention. That said, your point is well taken. I recall an article by Jim Steinmeyer where he pointed out the minimalistic approach by magicians who don't want boxes and props but yet want the same punch that those things deliver. His point was that the prop acts as your scenary, it can help move your routine along. I never thought of: coins and cards as being outdated, but you may have something there. Milk Pitchers, knives, traditional magician hats, canes, and so forth can look dated. I also read somewhere, and I can't recall where right now, that one of the problems with magicians is their approach is very 'victorian', passing things out for examination, verifying that everyting is ordinary and the like. This is a great topic for conversation.
Harold White
Roslyn
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Another way of explaining "strange" looking props is through the use of character. I managed to catch a performance and lecture by Loki at the Top Secret Day of Magic a couple of years ago and I must say that he was fantastic. Doing tricks that would, to most other magicians, be wrong and look outdated.
He does a dancing cane and is one of if not the best dancing cane I've ever seen. It fits because his character would have a cane and he would be able to make it float and dance.
This same principle can be used to explain cuffs or any other escape props.
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Don Randini
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Applying the principal of character, is a very powerful tool if properly utilized.

Don
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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It's interesting that the bar prop got that response, even from an 8 year old.

Perhaps he was just being a classic heckler, and questioning the magician's inability to handle something 'official.'

If there's any item that is not 'everyday' for the average Joe, it's a pair of police cuffs. These DO have the appeal of being made for 'official business,' but in that context work best if supplied by actual police (the challenge angle, precluding [?] the use of gimmicked handcuffs).

In actual performing, I have often found that a wrist chain and padlock impressed the average spectator more than a real handcuff. This is because they are familiar with padlocks and chain. Handcuffs, while familiar from a social standpoint (the police use them), are an exotic item to the layman.

Also we, as escape enthusiasts, know all too well how this exotic item can be gimmicked every way from Sunday.

When I was still in my late teens, I was showing some friends the handcuff display board photos in "Encyclopedia of Escapes." Why glossing over the intricate Towers, Dortmunders, Ahrends, Maltbys and etc., they would point out the more utilitarian devices, such as the wrist stocks, bilboes, padlocked irons and etc., exclaiming, "Whoah! Look at THAT one!"

Why? The simpler cuffs, especially the ones fastened with padlocks, they could understand. The more sophisticated cuffs were a mystery to them; who could know or trust what was inside those fancy lockcases?

Just an interesting observation.

Steve
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MarkTripp
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The bar chain never fooled me, nor did it ever fool anyone I have ever used it for.

I know many people have used it, but it isn't about "natural" it is about logic.

Keep in mind when I work for Cub Scouts, those little bast... I mean those darling little children, I would never use "magic" but always use an escape show.

Trust me, I have many things to lock them in that they will not get out of, but I can.

However, as Burling Hull observed, locking them in these things FIRST, and handing them the key to try an escape, and they fail, goes a long way in making your escape far more impressive.
magicjackct
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Great idea, locking them up first to try to escape. I'm not an escape person but if I ever did some I would definately apply this in a heart beat.
Roslyn
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Be very careful when locking up kids. You do it in the wrong way or a parent takes what you are doing as being something that it's not could cause a you a bit of trouble.
I'm not saying don't do it, just that I can see a potential danger in doing it. And like all dangers that EA's are confronted with they should be taken seriously.
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The Donster
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But Ros how many Parents might actully want to lock their kids up. maybe this might be a good idea for some of the kids on the nanny . ( new Show about Nannies )
SANTINI
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Heck,

My daughter Shiana WANTS to get locked up. To try and escape that is!

She wants to try and do what Daddy does.

I hope it's just a "phase"!

Steve Santini
KingStardog
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Quote:
On 2004-11-11 05:34, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:

In actual performing, I have often found that a wrist chain and padlock impressed the average spectator more than a real handcuff. This is because they are familiar with padlocks and chain.


Ditto. I have never seen a properly presented chain cuff escape fail to entertain and entertain well.

Here is the problem. The old models came with good presentation instructions to overcome any potential heckling and give a solid reason why you had them and the greater degree of difficulty than normal handcuffs. I know, I loaned out some that never came back so I have seen three different sets of instructions on these.

However most of the modern sets for sale come from India or China and have a halfpage picture sheet with no presentation framework at all.

Still that doesn't get the performer off the hook for a lousy performance. One should seek out knowledge of every aspect of performance for a given prop.

A proper presentation of this Item would have kept the boy from heckling in the first place.
...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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Don, all I'm saying is there may be one parent that doesn't agree with a performer locking up a kid as part of the show. Now it only takes one parent to get the wrong idea into their heads to cause you trouble. I just mentioned it so that those who may never have tried it to think about how they go about it a little first.
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jezza
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I like the idea of everyday items and I am planning to use plastic ties to be tied up with (the ones garages use) you could demonstrate the strength of these with audience and switching to gaffed ones would be no problem (and also adding a modern twist to escapes)
Roslyn
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Jezza, why use a gaffed tie?
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The Donster
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Why use a gaffed tie might be like why do others use a set of gaffed cuffs
MarkTripp
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Quote:
On 2004-11-11 13:42, Roslyn wrote:
Don, all I'm saying is there may be one parent that doesn't agree with a performer locking up a kid as part of the show. Now it only takes one parent to get the wrong idea into their heads to cause you trouble. I just mentioned it so that those who may never have tried it to think about how they go about it a little first.



In point of fact it is the scout leaders or troop leaders who get locked up for sure.

BUT

If a little brat says "I can do that" they get their chance. Of course they will fail.

I turn Mom or Dad problems aside with a smile as I say "Is this his first humility lesson?"

Of course if they are the reason the kid is a brat, well it is a lesson for the family. I got paid cash when I arrived remember?

Works for me, can't say it will for others.

But I did and do lots of blue and golds just this way.
Roslyn
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Quote:
On 2004-11-11 16:15, The Donster wrote:
Why use a gaffed tie might be like why do others use a set of gaffed cuffs


You are not wrong. Although I was trying to find out whether the gaffed tie was needed for the effect to work or whether it was just personal preference. I wasn't trying to be cocky in any way and I certainly didn't mean to imply that gaffed is in any way wrong. Although now I read back my message I can see why it could be taken this way. I just have a genuine interest in the reasons why certain peformers opt to use certain types of stuff at certain times.
So my question stands. Why use the gaffed tie for this effect?
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The Donster
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Ros your never Cocky but lets ask this. what are the Advantages of Using Gaffed or Not Using Gaffed. also why did the person asking about gaffed does he know using a real one is possible to.
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