Peter llyich Tchaikovsky wrote the ballet "Swan Lake". To the best of my knowledge, he never choreographed it cr danced it. So, if you are like me, and find that inventing and building illusions is not easy, please don't give up There is room for those who only perform them well.
builder does best. Anyone who has seen my show knows how much entertainment comes from by Abbott Giant Guillotine I bought that prop in 1971. It's about due for retirement and, with thirteen years of experience, I have some ideas for its replacement. Alan Zagorsky of Alan & Associates and I have discussed a superior prop for my unique purposes. So I bought a reasonably-priced prop, gained experience and developed a routine while using it. Now the expensive customized model will be tailored just for my particular show.
Don't choose the Crystal Casket as your first illusion. Any production illusion almost has to be a show-opener and, therefore is probably not a good place to start. A closing-type effect would be much better. After all, your assistant will not want to remain concealed in a cramped base while you juggle those Linking Rings and count six cards four times over.
An effect where your assistant mysteriously disappears would be a better choice However, after she's vanished, what do you do with her when someone walks backstage to ask for your card, etc.? Please try to preserve the magic; a previously vanished assistant walking around is an illusionist's anachronism.
So, after the Chinese Cabinet breaks apart and she's gone, do not have her walk out two minutes later-especially in the same outfit-to hand you those two sticks with the cords and tassles.
Similarly, a woman who has helped with your dove routine should not step offstage and then magically appear from a Doll House. Select an appropriate outfit for her to appear in and then don't let anyone see her in it until the magic happens. And, except for a complete illusion show with several production effects, her appearance in the illusion should be her first appearance onstage.
What should she wear? Of course that depends on many factors, but here are a few rules to make her look better Fishnet stockings, worn over regular pantyhose, are a must. Nothing glamorizes a woman's legs more
Unless her legs are very, very slender, the fishnets should have seams which you have checked to make sure they are straight (perhaps a bother, perhaps a fringe benefit). She may select fishnets with feet for extra comfort, but she must wear shoes with heels. Have your wife, sister or girlfriend stand - while wearing shorts or a short skirt - flatfooted a' la ballet slippers and then on her toes a' la high heeled shoes. You will never wonder about this again.
Of course there may be an illusion or two that heels will not work in. The Hindu Basket comes to mind. But a peasant girl, in a harem outfit with six-inch spiked heels, would look pretty funny in that! Our newest illusion (at this writing; 12/84) is Owen's Geometrick If shoes make it tough, the girl can always enter and then remove the shoes so her ankles can be cuffed, Obviously, this shoe discussion must be modified also in special situations like the Thin Sawing and the Mis-Made.
Here's a final word about pantyhose. Many pairs have a mid-thigh change of weave that under street fashion is not, or at least should not be noticeable. I have lost count of the number of times I've seen these type show up onstage at a magic show. It's laughable, so don't let it happen to your assistants.
When it comes time to put that illusion together you will always want the required nuts, bolts and hinge pins handy so make a bag or box with the illusion's name on it for all the hardware. This should travel with the illusion in its case. We also carry a tackle-box tool kit with lots of extra hardware and tools.
Before Paul Osborne published any of these books I had a traffic signal bar light that I'd purchased after a show in Las Vegas. One night I put this in the stage manager's area and he could display red, amber or green to me. As long as it glowed green I kept the show moving. Amber meant to slow up and red forced me to stop and sort of "tread water" onstage. Someone else suggested this idea in one of Paul's earlier books and anyone who thinks it's silly has never tried it. We make up a more elaborate model for the nationally touring "Wonders Of Magic" and it's the best helper an illusionist can have. If you don't think so, just wait until your audience hears someone offstage chanting, "Stall, stall!"
Years ago, most illusions were performed one-at-a-time, with a unique setting for each. Today, many illusionists prefer to routine several together to create an entire sequence. This is certainly more theatrical and to be advised.
I find though, that when it comes to selecting music for these acts that most illusion acts fall miserably apart. If you are only listening to Top 40 tunes, or vapid elevator music, you won't know where to even begin to pick music. The sooner you switch to classical music, the sooner you will have a more educated ear to pick the perfect selection to accompany your latest feat. You need music written to accompany a dramatic scene. It's not too hard to find, but Dick Clark won't be playing it. The answer is often motion picture soundtracks. Whether your illusion is humorous or spine-tingling, chances are there is a record available for a similarly-set film. I don't like using anything too recognizable so, unless you're mounting a burlesque of the actual film and its characters, avoid Star Wars, Raiders, etc. A fast-paced selection must be used for quick effects, but rather than using something off the top ten this week, you should consider the Hooked On Classics series but, again avoid the most commonly-played cuts.
I remember being driven around Louisville by Lance Burton before he became the superstar he is today. We were chatting and I asked about his choice of Vivaldi's Four Seasons for his act. He seem surprised that a magician recognized a well-known classical piece. Remember, this was back in 1981 when everyone else was still using the pop music from Shaft for their acts. Today, I suggest you seek out the wonderful illusion show of Landis and Company. Now there's a show with perfect, appropriate music!
I use reel-to-reel tapes at shows because, by splicing leader tape between cuts, it is easy to cue up to the next selection. This is much harder with cassette. Besides, that portable, boom-box stereo you're using was never designed to fill a theatre with sound.
Well, I could go on and on, but there are other views, which will probably differ from mine, that need to be in this book, too. I do enjoy hearing from and meeting other magicians so please do introduce yourself if i am appearing in your area.
Finally, when you do build your own equipment, the applause is all yours. As for me, every time I take a bow after the Asrah. Modern Cabinet or Alice Thru The looking Glass. I always privately thank Owen's Les Smith, Abbott's Greg Bordner and Bud West, SKS's Harold Rice and my pal Alan Zagorsky. I don't think they hear me, but they know now that I appreciate their skill and artistry.
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I hired Michael Stein for Gene Patrick's and my production of "Rabbittcadabra" at Six Flags Great America in Chicago ( photo below). The show was so successful that we moved it to Los Angeles' famous "Magic Mountain" Amusement park where it plays to this day...starring who else but Michael Stein!
"I have many thoughts on how to accomplish this illusion. The premise is very simple ..it's a DeKolta Chair gone wrong. The magician sits on the chair, is covered, and when the cover is pulled off the chair is gone but the performer remains! The drawings below show one way of doing this effect, other methods would be a collapsing chair, or actually pulling the chair down into a stage trap. With any method, I hope you'll see the merit of this idea and plan to use it in your next show!"
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For the first time in the history of my books I have Abbott's as a contributor I was thrilled when Greg Bordner not only agreed to contribute to the publication but also sent stacks of plans with his permission to reproduce them. These illusion concepts are truly collectors' items and I hope that you'll take the time to not only study the drawings but take a weekend to construct one of these effects
I'll never forget my first Abbott catalogue. It was *6 and considerably worn when I received it as a hand-me-down from Tom Palmer I think I memorized the pages and looked forward to every drawing and photo that was on them Abbott's is, of course, truly legendary when it comes to illusion manufacturing. They have created props for some of America's premier illusionists.
Many people covet their ideas; I try to share them. Abbott's was the first manufacturer to begin building props from my plans and as of this writing they have constructed virtually every one of my ideas for various magician's around the world. Greg has been so loyal about mentioning me that I can't resist the temptation to encourage you to give them a call and check their magic and illusions out for yourself Or better yet, if you haven't made the trip to the magic capital of the world, I think it would be well worth your time to see the classic facility that Percy Abbot built in Colon, Michigan This facility, unlike many other manufacturing plants, is virtually self contained. They do everything from paint to printing right there in Colon and it's a regular small town industry ..very exciting to seei The next page features some shots of the Abbott plant and just a few of my illusions that they have constructed for others Thanks Greg'
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A young lady is placed on a table and without any covering she rises into the air. The table is removed, a solid hoop is passed completely around her, the table is replaced, and at the command of the magician she slowly descends.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.