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Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Based on the description:

"The boxes are lifted and raise off of the ground. All this time I am being locked up by and exectutioner type character, who then gets a sledge hammer and smashes up the boxs to reveal I have escaped. The executioner then pulls off his mask to reveal it is me. I have just smashed myself up!!"

There is no way I could be persuaded to think of the escape to be 'legitimate;' it is variant on Murray's "Escape from the Gestapo" and Blackstone's "Blown to Kingdom Come." Those were both illusions, as this would also have to be to get the end result. No worries there.

Would I be concerned if a 15 year old wanted to do the Water Torture Cell straight out the gate? Yes.

Do I still think a young performer could start with simple escapes and grow to be a great escape artist without touching other forms of magic? Yes.

Carl Wallenda never taught his children trapeze or clowning; he taught them tightrope walking.

No matter what other magic you do, to learn to escape you need to escape.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
The Donster
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Even kids under 12 will need advice and are interested in Escapes/Magic.
Roslyn
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Thanks for the link Mike. As always Kenton tells it to us straight.
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KingStardog
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Well yes Jordan I knew you were 15, when I read your story above and supplied the link for thought. Like Stephen, I assumed illusion, without risk.

I have to be honest and Kenton is one guy that has irritated me from the beginning, and made me see red a few times. He does do something that no one else seems to do, and like Ros mentioned above, He gives it to you straight and he doesn't care if your ego gets sent to the Emergency Room in a green garbage bag.

If you read the article, He is trying to explain that art form begins and ends in the minds of the spectator, and your job of shaping their perceptions and forming magic begins and ends in their minds and not yours.

A far bigger job than most are able to even conceive.

I would pay special attention to his past articles on Props, and working with perceptions. He exposes the lies that everyone in the art would have you believe for their own gain.

Kentons material is NOT for everybody. He says so himself. The articles he writes however are.
...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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Good call
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Jordan Waller
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I agree with all concerning Kentons essays. As I young magician I find them ver informative and interesting. I also funilly enough agree with a lot of the things he does say as for a 15 year old I take my magic very seriously. Though he does get my back up as I'm sure he does with all you guys to an extent.
About my question. I am very pleased that none of you turned on me like wild dogs when my age was out in the open. I do understand what you are saying in your answers though I have been doing magic since I was pretty young.....well younger then I am now anyways lol. I also have absolutly no desire to jump streight into the deepend with escapeology, and I intend to learn the basics. I also have no desire to perform the water torture cell or the milk can escape. When I finaly get to the level of skill I crave I will be dong things a little bit differently. But more on that in severasl years time. lol

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Wolflock
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Quote:
On 2004-12-03 03:02, Jordan Waller wrote:
well younger then I am now anyways


Really??? Me too!!! What a coincidence!!!
Lol

Regards
Wolflock
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Ian McColl
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Hi Jordon, the age is not really the consideration. It is the maturity of the individual more than the age. There are some teeenagers you wouldn't teach because you know it is just a passing stage, or wouldn't do the hard yards and lots of other reasons etc etc. Same can be said for some adults. It is horses for courses.

I really don't think that some young kid would come here and post a few messages and then go off armed with a little knowledge they have gleamed from here and then go an kill themselves by doing something really stupid. There have been far more plots and designs for stupid behaviour shown on TV shows and cartoons.

The Amazing Joe is a prime example of an adult that should have know better.

The author of "a dance with Houdini' Rudy Steffish once posed the question. If you were to die in an escape, would you want it advertised that your demise was due to equipment failure or lack of a particular skill?

Keep safe

Ian
Wolflock
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Very good point to ponder on Ian. Wise words there.

Regards
Wolflock
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Bill Palmer
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I'm of two minds when it comes to teaching the youngsters escapes. One side of me says -- "let them try anything they want to -- the ones that survive are the smart ones, the ones that don't are simply proving the law of survival of the fittest -- and they won't pass on their defective genes to the coming generations."

The other side of me says, "Make sure they serve an apprenticeship, so they can have a concept of all of the danger and all of the things they need to know about safety."

I don't think that escape artists need to learn anything other than escapes, though. It's like stunt drivers. They don't need to know escapes. They need to know how to drive -- and how to keep their vehicles in top shape.

But safety is of primary importance. Look at what happened to Alan Alan when he was trying the upside down and his rope broke through!
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The Donster
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Safety is always number 1 with me. plus if I design something I try and have more then one way to get out.
Wolflock
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Yup. Always have a failsafe.
Wolflock
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The Donster
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Of course safety 1st.
drwilson
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So I finally did some escapes in public this year for the first time. It would be nice if there was a curriculum to train new performers, but there are so many ways up the mountain. I'd be glad to help anyone who asked me, and I have done so here at the Café via PM.

For me, the most useful experience was in theater. The escapes I have done could not have been done without theater experience. The publicity and promotion was a large element also. As far as escape technique, as has been discussed elsewhere in this area of the Café, you have to think about whether you are a purist or not. Are you trying to impress other escape artists, or to convey the archetype of the person who cannot be confined?

In my case, the escapes were technically easy, but working out all the details to present a thrilling picture was very challenging.

So my advice to a youngster would be to pursue two paths in parallel: First, read everything and learn the basic techniques of escapes. Second, learn about theater, movement, story and character. At some point it is then possible to present entertaining escapes.

Perhaps learning close-up magic might be part of the path to learning about theater. It is also possible that a few seasons of performing Shakespeare might be more valuable.

Yours,

Paul
Roslyn
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Dance or movement classes may also help out with learning how to move about the stage and avoid looking clumsy (spelt?).
Something that Paul's post made me think about is that a great performer can take either a "pure" escape that is technically difficult or an easy "new comer" escape and make both look awsome. Yet a purist, with no performing skills, can take both escapes and kill them.
That then leads to the question of what do people find entertaining? Not with escapes, in general. And shouldn't we be using this as a guide to making our shows/routines? Or should we be re-educating the public that what they think is entertaining actually isn't? I refer to the general trash that is currently being paraded on our TV screens as talent contests and consisting of nothing more than singers. Should we even try and compete with stuff like pop idle and multi million budget movies? What do you guys and gals think?

Ros
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drwilson
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Roslyn,

The movies offer multi-million dollar, state-of-the art effects created by teams of superbly talented craftsmen. Yet while creating these, the industry in general does not seem to be able to figure out that a good story is a good movie and a lousy story is an expensive disaster, although they have figured out how to wring some money out of even the worst of the dogs.

In a sense, we cannot compete with the movies. On the other hand, most people have figured out that the movies are fake in the sense that a combination of special effect techniques are used to create things that cannot be presented live. Most importantly, the movies are fake because the audience sits in a dark room and watches 24 pictures per second while the sound system plays. The movie cannot respond to the audience. It is a phantasm.

There is no experience quite like live theater, an experience which many people these days no longer experience with any frequency. For most of human history, people have experienced live performances of some kind in which individuals attempted to convey ideas to them with movement, speech and music. This is a fundamental human need.

When you stand barefoot on a sand bar being wrapped in chains which the audience has had the chance to handle, being fastened with locks that they have donated, as the tide is coming in, you realize that everyone knows that you are real, flesh and blood temporarily animated by an eternal spirit. You speak to them and feel their tension. Will you die? Perhaps not at this time.

It is instead, the movies that cannot compete with us.

We can re-educate the public one unforgettable experience at a time.

Yours,

Paul
The Donster
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Hey I can sing if anyone wants to hear what it might sound like strangling a cat.
Roslyn
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I'm going to move this to a new topic called "them and us".
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The Donster
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Ok and most movies are full of molarkey.
MarkTripp
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Well, and with all due respect, I have to say that far too many people here have no idea what they are talking about.

First, lets define terms. Success equals LOTS of PAID shows. Who can pick a lock faster is not so important if no one will pay you to do so.

As such, I repeat my point that NO ONE in escapes that has had real success "jumped over" their study of magic as an art form, and paid their dues as a "magician" first. NONE.

If you have one, name them. Houdini, Hardeen, Randi, Viano, Baker, Hull and many more, ALL were/are excellent magicians first. I'll bet money my list has far more names than the "non-magic" list could ever have, and more well known as well.

The point is really very simple, but lets get rid of the silly stuff first.

Study acting? Great idea. However the problem is actors stand still and say nothing without writers and directors! In as much as most EA's write and direct their own shows (a bad idea but such is life), where do they get the skill for this?

Just do Escapes? Another great idea with NO basis in reality. There are simply NOT enlough venues for an EA to learn his craft in. ONE bad show will end your carrer as an EA. Kinda silly to start there don't you think?

You see, the core problem is one of flawed thinking. It is the "lock pickers" fault here, for the most part, who reject this concept. To them, you locked me in, I got out! That is all that is needed to be a successful escape artist in their eyes. I have only to point out that most of them are UNKNOWN to the public at large to prove the flaw in that thinking.

It takes far more to be a success to the general public.

You have to pay your dues; period. You have to learn what works for you and how to sell it. That isn't learned overnight, and it sure can't be learned in your bedroom. You must do shows, and a whole lot of them. There are not enough escape shows to pull that off. It is just that simple.

NO ESCAPE is going to make you the next Houdini, were this so, we'd have one by now. You have to pay your dues, and then find your own path.

Disagree all you like. Everyone believing the false doesn't make it true, and no one believing the truth doesn't make it a lie. They stand alone on their own merits.

Believe as you wish, just remember belief doesn't change the truth.
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