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EscapeMaster
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So, are now the insiders not interested in supporting good and young performers? I see several on here. In my opinion, beginner escapers should expand avenues not done.

Future aren't they? Who has advice to them? Instigate them some support. Help out real triers. Come on. Cease 'king' calling. It's about our future. Underestimtate children & kids, you overestimate us.
MarkTripp
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Quote:
On 2004-11-26 17:45, EscapeMaster wrote:
So, are now the insiders not interested in supporting good and young performers? I see several on here. In my opinion, beginner escapers should expand avenues not done.

Future aren't they? Who has advice to them? Instigate them some support. Help out real triers. Come on. Cease 'king' calling. It's about our future. Underestimtate children & kids, you overestimate us.


But the problem is, they are kids.

Escapes are like graduate work in the art of magic. They should not be attempted until you have "paid your dues" mastering the basic art and craft of magic first.

EVERY successful escape artist did it that way. They didn't try and jump over the law of progression.

There have been far too many young people injured and even killed trying to out Houdini Houdini, who I might add also paid his dues as a magician until he grew into the role.

Face it, if you can't present a card trick, you sure can't present an escape.

The truth is, there is plenty of advice in here, but it isn't what people want to hear. They want to hear that there is some short cut to success; like challenging others to an escape duel or other such sillyness.

The truer the truth, the truer the friend who tells it to you.

Begin at the beginning, and all things tend to fall in place.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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I agree with Mark's concern about kids getting in over their head and getting hurt. They should always go slow, and we as adults must guide them accordingly.

At the same time, though, I should point out that I STARTED with escapes and did not learn to do a decent card trick until long after I had learned to do some decent escapes.

Still, I started slow, and had good guidance from a few magicians who did escapes. I started with simple rope ties and handcuff escapes (using my own cuffs at first), gradually building up to challenge handcuffs, straitjacket and more spectacular escapes.

I started at 13, and did not offer, publically, to accept handcuff challenges until I was 19. I also did not attempt any underwater work before that age.

It is possible to start with escapes, and never perform any other form of magic, but slow and cautious are the obvious bywords while learning the art.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
MarkTripp
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Quote:
On 2004-11-26 18:36, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:

It is possible to start with escapes, and never perform any other form of magic, but slow and cautious are the obvious bywords while learning the art.

Steve



Possible sir, is not probable. I will still say that one does not begin at the ending.

Not if they expect real success at this, or any performing effort.
pastorclyde
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I have put together a series of Escape Artist courses for this very reason; to help newbies get on board. The courses provide the student with all the equipment they need for the enclosed escapes. Each course presents some of the basics of performance and some for escapes. The course leads them through progressive steps each with a performance goal and an escape goal. A brief performance is constructed to help the student think along the lines of effective performances and to give them a structure within which they can begin to gain some practice and experience. Five such courses now exist.
The Donster
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PastorClyde Please PM Me on The Courses. Don,
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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As usual, Mark, we will have to agree to disagree.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
AJP807
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I saw one or more of these courses on Ebay, Pastor Clyde. I must say that I was pretty impressed. Great going sir!
Best regards, Tony Parisi
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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For the sake of others, though, I must ask: why must one learn sleight-of-hand, illusions or some other form of magic before one can learn escapology?

This is like the old school belief that a student must learn Latin in order to be successful in an academic career.

One does not have to learn violin to play the piano, though one should learn to read music.

One does not have to learn oil painting to sculpt, though one should learn to draw.

If there is a prliminary to any performing art, be it mystery entertainment or anything else, I might suggest that the preliminary be Acting.

One does not have to learn the double-lift to practice escapes, though one should learn to act.

Anyone else have an opinion on this?

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
pastorclyde
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Thanks Tony. That is course one. I'm printing boxes, etc for the follow-up courses. You'll see them on eBay as well with time. Fist reports back is that folks find them helpful and that they want to keep going in escapology.
MarkTripp
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Quote:
On 2004-11-27 09:07, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
As usual, Mark, we will have to agree to disagree.

Steve


Indeed, and we do.

<<<For the sake of others, though, I must ask: why must one learn sleight-of-hand, illusions or some other form of magic before one can learn escapology?>>>

For the same reason the old timers were told to learn the pass first. You couldn't jump ahead, and the effort told people if you were serious or not.

You might have noticed no one has died while learning the pass

<<<This is like the old school belief that a student must learn Latin in order to be successful in an academic career.>>>

Flummery sir. The reason it was taught was to train the mind. It didn't hurt me any.

<<<One does not have to learn violin to play the piano, though one should learn to read music.>>>

Well, first, to quote the Professor "If you can't handle the area of a close up pad, odds are you will never manage a stage". He had it right.

There is a law of progesssion to the learning process. Better to learn those rules on simple things that have less chance of failure or injury.

<<<One does not have to learn oil painting to sculpt, though one should learn to draw.>>>

More flummery. In point of fact the only way one becomes an "artist" as you reference it here, is through long training and study of many forms. The basic "eye" must still be taught and brought forth.

<<<If there is a prliminary to any performing art, be it mystery entertainment or anything else, I might suggest that the preliminary be Acting.>>>

Of course, this goes without saying and is stating the obvious.

<<<One does not have to learn the double-lift to practice escapes, though one should learn to act.>>>

Sorry, we differ right here. The self-mastery needed to master that slight of hand pays well when its needed for other things... such as getting keys and picks past observant eyes.

It was good enough for Houdini, Hardeen, Randi, Steve Baker, Burling Hull, Viano, John Novak, and many more....

....but why not tell me what MAJOR STAR of escapes, skiped over their magic lessons?

<<<Anyone else have an opinion on this?>>>

Yep, and that was mine.
Cliffg37
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I am recalling a stupid and unnecessary death that occured some years ago when a young EA failed to make his escape from a death trap he himself had set up. The death was blamed on rust in the locks that prevented his high speed picking. I am sure anyone of you, looking at the same stunt, would think of a dozen outs that should have prevented the death. Mine (most basic) he should not have have been dependant on picks. There are other simpler ways when your life is on the line.

My point is this. I don't know if I agree that an EA needs to pay dies in sleight of hand or illusion, but he sure better pay his dues in the escape field. Starting slow like Dr. Stephen said.

Did you all hear the story of John Wayne Gacy's only victem to escape alive? Gacy told him he was going to show him a stunt with a pair of trick handcuffs. When he had the fellow locked in he told him that that trick was that you needed the key to get out. He then began to touch the fellow. The fellow bolted, grabbed the key and got loose.

Imagine if it had been a straight jacket, or some other form of restraint? Learn easy first. Here is a real simple way to see it. We all know the rule in magic that one day you will mess up and blow a trick? in escapes it is at best a disaster.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Ian McColl
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Hi all people start with a basically empty mind which is filled with many thoughts, theories and concepts. From what anyone learns they normally take the best information and use it accordingly. Some don't and to there own fate they go.

I prefer to say, learn as much as you can and then take and refined the best of many things as your knowledge expands. In escapes one has to start at a beginning ( from the unknown to the known) and work to adding more each time. No one book or one person can teach you everything as many have already said. Start simply and work your way up, it as easy as anything else we learn through our lives.

Seeing many of the negatives of this art is one of the best teachers. Don't do what others have foolishly done before and stay healthy and alive.

Ian
Jim Wilder
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What a great thread! I also will premise that I am only an observer/fan of escapes, nothing further. Furthermore, I am a firm believer in the teacher/student relationship.

One problem I see (even though I am a kid to many people) is that kids today don't understand the word or concept of humility. I often found when I opened my ears and shut my mouth, my elders would give more insight than I could ask for. I can only assume that this would be true of up and coming escape artists if they would apply it. By today's culture standards, we live in a "get it now" world. Some unfortunately do not understand that when your life is involved, the old school may be more beneficial.

I have always liked the double-edged quote, "Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens."
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Face it Mark, you are labeling everything I say as 'flummery' because you have a bone to pick with me, personally, since I often lock horns with you.

I started with escapes, am alive and well, and haven't done too badly with the art. I'm sure there are other escape artists who can say the same. That by itself indicates that you are pushing this issue beyond reason.

Since everyone knows both your and my opinions, I would again be curious to hear others have to say.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
James Peters
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Well, I started with escapes, and never really performed anything else (at least not in the magical sense of the word). I also know a few others over here in the UK that have done the same, and are doing well.

When I do magic ... I'm a bit naff (ok, ok ... very very naff) ... but when I escape the audience crowd all around (I mainly do street entertainment).

The thing with the street is, unless you captivate people, they walk on. (and in fairness, a couple of times that has happened to me, albeit not in a long while).

I think that the main pre-requisite is "stage ability" rather than earning your spurs with magic.

That said ... an appreciation of danger is vital. It's just too easy to make a mistake.

That's why UKEA was set-up ... to help the beginners get the right advice, and help them to mature more quickly.

All the best,

James.
The Donster
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We need a UKJEA here in the States. Don,
KerryJK
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I have to say, I don't get this "learn card tricks or die" angle. Since when was putting yourself in danger a part of learning basic skills? You can learn handcuff theory (which incidently I learnt not off a magician but from an off-duty policeman with real and applied knowledge of handcuffs - more fool me, I guess), rope work and the like without jumping off a bridge or setting up a deathtrap, and quite frankly anyone who does jump into a lethal situation without having any idea of what they are doing is probably better off out of the gene pool.

The most genuinely dangerous trick I do is a juggling trick involving three genuine (sharp) kitchen knives and three apples (it's a version of "eating the apple"), and it wouldn't have occurred to me to attempt that until I'd built up to it with covered blades first, and only then when I'd been juggling clubs for long enough for it to be second nature. Jugglers start out with balls and then clubs, not flaming torches and chainsaws. Why is it assumed that beginning escapologists are any different?

Unfortunately as human stupidity knows no bounds there are idiots who will get carried away, but to judge everyone who shows an interest by the moronic few (who probably aren't the ones asking anyway - they must think it's easy if they're willing to gamble their lives on it) and arrogantly dismiss the simplest query is not the answer to the problem. Put simply, the idiots will do it anyway, I for one would rather they had some point of reference to dissuade them doing anything stupid and dying of ignorance (OK, so my remark about them being better off out of the gene pool was perhaps a little flippant, but I'm sure you already knew that), so full marks to UKEA for providing exactly that.
james_magic
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Hey all,
Interesting topic here. I'm 18 in less than a month so I'm still considered quite young. I've been doing magic since I was about 8 years old. At no point did I decide to try a 'death-defying escape', since I knew that you need practice and had to start somewhere and progress.

Helen is right when she mentions juggling knives. I juggle genuine kitchen knives and have been able to do so since I was quite young. There is no way that I would have been stupid enough to say "Hmmm, I want to juggle, how about I try some knives!" I learnt to juggle balls, then clubs, then the knives with covers that I made up to put on the blades, and finally without the covers.

Although, I can totally agree that in these times, children and teenagers want to try things without building up their skill and knowledge, they expect it to be instantaneous.

But you can't classify the majority based on a few. Sure some people aren't serious and they just want to do some really dangerous stunt because it would be cool. You can normally tell by the way they act, whether they are serious or not.
Very interesting topic though.

James
Wolflock
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I agree to both points. You do not need to learn magic to do escapes, in the same way as you do not need to learn stage magic if you do street close up. It is not neccessary. BUT, it does help in the fact that it teaches showmanship, presentation, etc.

So My advice would be to learn a bit of magic if you wish, as this can only help your show, but it is not neccessary.

I will be teaching everything that I have learned from experience, books, etc. on my DVD of escapes this year (will be released next year) as I have been asked to make a DVD with teachings of escapes. I have no idea if my escape techniques are the same as any other person here, as I have never even gotten to speak to another escapologist until I joined this site.

As some of you on this site know already, if anyone wants some tips or hints on escaping something, you are welcome to PM me and I will help out wherever I can. Should we create a Thread with tips and advice? So that beginners can get all the hints and tips that they can use? What do you all think?

Regards
Wolflock
Wolflock
Pro Magician & Escapologist
Member of JMC (Johannesburg Magic Circle)
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