Walking On The Ceiling.

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Postby Guest » 05/12/06 08:24 AM

:) I have been trying to trace who performed this illusion. There was an American,Leffell the Magician who advertised it in his 1944/45 catalogue (Leffell Devices. A copy of which was offered on E Bay by someone in the USA. But I can't find it)There was Aimee the Human Fly in the 19th. Century who used rubber suction pads on her shoes & performed in Circus, There were other performers in the early part of 19th. Century including a Japanese one.It is currently being performed night;y by the Chimney Sweep hero in the musical Mary Poppins. He walks up the pros arch, over it and down the other side.We also had a juggler/magician who performed up side downm walking across the pros arch. I'm expecting a video of this from professional magician friends.
Apart from magnets, does anyone know anything about the illusion, the methods and most important the performers?
Allen Tipton UK.
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Postby Guest » 05/12/06 09:02 AM

Hi Allen-
I don't have the book in front of me at the moment soooo I may be wrong about this...BUT I thought there was something about this in The Hanlon Brothers by John McKinven. Also I witnessed this within the last year or two at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus! I do not know the name of the act(maybe the Ringling webstite has info)...but they performerd it above the center ring! It was a very magical thing to witness.
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Postby Guest » 05/12/06 09:27 AM

Hey Allen:

Groucho Marx performed this in "At the Circus"...

Fun stuff.

ajp
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Postby Guest » 05/12/06 11:09 AM

Originally posted by ALLEN TIPTON:
...Apart from magnets, does anyone know anything about the illusion, the methods and most important the performers?
Allen Tipton UK.
Is this the thing Peter Gabriel was using in his last tour?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/12/06 11:52 AM

This illusion has been done for many years in a theater in China where at least one of the performers walks up the wall and across the ceiling. Can't recall which city.
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Postby Guest » 05/12/06 02:03 PM

I saw a guy do this when Circus Oz was in San Francisco, at least 10 years ago. It was a fine illusion. It was presented as a detective story, very Damon Runyon. After a while the audience adjusted to the performer being upside down, so when he poured himself a drink, the liquid seemed to fall up!

Bob Taxin
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Postby Guest » 05/14/06 03:58 AM

Thank you guys for the info. Another magician has sent me 3 patents on the illusion. Needs nerve.
Apologies TO Richard K. My mouse slipped and missed the right section.Old age. Obviously this was meant for Platform & Stage Magic.
Any other info will be welcome.
Allen Tipton UK
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 05/14/06 09:38 AM

How to piss off you wife in easy lessons.

Start with clean ceiling.
Take one small child
Dips childs feet in Mud or dirt
hold child upside down
have chuild walk on ceiling
remove child
Wait for EXPLOSION
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Postby Guest » 05/14/06 03:11 PM

Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling in Royal Wedding, (1951) which is in the public domain, so you can view it online at the Prelinger Archive. But his method only works on film.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/14/06 03:51 PM

Unfortunately the Astaire dance is useless as a magical effect in real life: they built an entire room on a gimbal so they could slowly rotate the room around Astaire as he danced. Since the camera was mounted to a stationary spot, it appears that he's dancing up the walls and on the ceiling, but it's the room that's really turning, not him.
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Postby Guest » 05/14/06 06:44 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Since the camera was mounted to a stationary spot, it appears that he's dancing up the walls and on the ceiling, but it's the room that's really turning, not him.
The same exact (impractical) modus was used in the 80's for the video for Lionel Richie's execrable song "Dancing on the Ceiling".
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Postby Jeff Haas » 05/14/06 07:53 PM

And Kubrick used the same idea in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
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Postby Guest » 05/14/06 10:34 PM

And it shows up in Poltergeist, and in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

But the nicest version is in Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.
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Postby Guest » 05/14/06 11:31 PM

The Astaire "method" is essentially what Penn and Teller did on the old SNL bit, where they hung upside down.

I was talking with Jim Steinmeyer at a book signing some months back, and he said the new musical of Mary Poppins has a scene where one of the chimney sweeps walks up the wall, across to the middle of the ceiling, and does an upside down tapdance. Someone asked about method, and Jim said (paraphrasing) "just a Fying rig." Then he laughed, and added "and a guy who can tap-dance upside down in a Fying rig!"
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Postby Guest » 05/15/06 06:42 AM

An entire issue of Jay's Journal of Anomalies is devoted to this very subject (vol. 2, no. 4, winter 1996). There's plenty of information there.

I also remember Kai Leclerc's "Ceiling Walker" act on Letterman. When it aired April 13, 2004, the whole thing struck me as amusingly surreal and way too trippy to be perceived as magic. A good thing, perhaps.

http://www.dimitri-leclerc.ch/e/ceiling_walker.htm
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Postby Guest » 05/15/06 07:25 AM

Thank you guys. The reference list is building up. Thank you especially Craig Matsuoka.
A close, professional magician friend is sending me, next week, a video of Kai Leclerc, which I saw last year. he couldn't remember how you spelt Kai's name.
Allen Tipton UK
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