Did anyone notice (Sakai/Fearson)?

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Postby Ben Harris » 09/10/01 09:22 PM

Hi everyone.

Just a curiosity. Did anyone notice the strikingly similar approaches taken by both Sakai and Fearson with their one man levitations?

Any idea who first used a mirror in this particular manner? I know, I should have bought the Steinmeyer book, damnit!

Cheers

Ben Harris
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/10/01 10:01 PM

Ben,
I don't know anything about the Fearson method--is my recollection correct that he was advertising it some years ago? Is it really the same kind of box and mirror setup?
I know that Sakai developed his solely for the purpose of using it on a Japanese TV quiz show, on which he appeared with Steve Cohen, Jamy Swiss, and Joe Givan. Don't know the year, but one of them might.
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Postby Ben Harris » 09/10/01 10:15 PM

Hi Richard,

Steve is again selling his as a set of plans via his website. The methods are the same, just framed differently. I was just curious about who first thought of this particular application for a mirror. Bloody brilliant!

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Ben
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Postby Guest » 10/11/01 09:04 AM

The famous jockey Frankie Detori did a version of this with no mirror. It was on the uk television show "TFI friday" a couple of years ago. Best levitation I have ever seen. 100 percent no mirror used. Cardboard box handled freely. Close up on his feet.
I'm still amazed.
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Postby Ben Harris » 10/11/01 05:07 PM

Hi Axeman

Would love to know more about this.

Cheers

Ben
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Postby Frank Yuen » 10/11/01 05:43 PM

I would guess that their inspirations may have been the old stunt where you stand with your chest against a mirror and it appears as if you are floating. I think that's been around for a very long time.

Has anyone seen Nicholas Einhorn's version of a self levitation in a cardboard box? I hear Paul Daniels uses it.

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Postby Fearson » 10/11/01 05:49 PM

Hi Guys,

I heard about this discussion and figured I'd throw in my 2 cents..

I came up with the basic idea in 1993, right as I was ready to put my Fantastic Floatation on the market. Initially, I used a cardboard box.

I knew it was a good trick, but since I had just put a bunch of time and money into preparing the Fantastic Floatation for market, I decided to put it on the shelf for a while.

In 1997 I was suddenly inspired to work with the idea again (I was broke). I switched the cardboard box for a milk crate and added the second phase of the routine.

The trick is similar to what was published in the magazine, but there are major differences. For one, mine looks more like a crazy flying device made by some mad scientist, which really adds to the effect.

But most importantly, my routine includes the second phase where the entire box floats off the ground with you inside it. This is the best part of the routine, I wouldn't have put it on the market without it. It is now available on my website in manuscript form for download at http://DownloadMagic.com

On another note.. I heard a rumor that I didn't receive proper credit in Genii regarding my involment in the creation of Copperfield's Laser illusion, and that my involvement was limited only to consulting.

Is that just a rumor? To set the record straight quickly, I invented the illusion and performed it on Television years ago.

I sold it as a complete routine to David and did very little consulting on it after that.

When I did the illusion, it was presented fairly close up and was called "Splitting Image". I performed it on live TV for Nippon network in Japan. There is a tape in circulation, sorry I am unable to provide it to anyone.

All the best!
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Postby Ben Harris » 10/11/01 06:58 PM

Hey Steve,

My initial post was made because I was curious as hell about the idea. Please don't think I was being critical in regards the paternity of the method. Being a lover of levitation, I just wanted to know more.

You are right, the second phase when the crate itself lifts off, is wild.

Cheers mate

Ben
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/11/01 07:33 PM

Steve,
The rumor you heard is NOT correct. In the October issue of Genii Copperfield credits you as the creator of the laser illusion.
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Postby Fearson » 10/12/01 12:22 AM

Thanks for clearing that up Richard, it was second hand info so I'm not surprised it was not true.

And Ben.. no offense taken. I think it did stem from the illusion Frank mentioned, I don't doubt there are probably dozens of people who have experimented with the principle at one time or another. There is a magician from France (I think) who attends the Desert Seminar here in Vegas who also does it with a cardboard box. Again only the first phase, but he also came up with the idea independently.

Isn't it amazing how that happens?

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Postby Guest » 10/12/01 03:00 AM

Ben,
The show on which Frankie Dettori did his levitation was a regular friday night show on Channel four. It was created and hosted by Chris Evans a kind of british Howard Stern. He claims that he recieved more questions about Dettoris levitation than anything else that ever appeared on the show.
Heres how I remember it.
A cardboard box was placed on the desk (all interviews were conducted at a regular office type desk). This box was not gimmicked in the way Fearsons levitation is. It was handled far too freely and the roving camera style used on the show simply wouldn't have allowed this. It had a panel cut from the front so you could see Dettoris feet. he then levitated about four inches from the desk. I was amazed. I'm not sure if channel four could provide you with a
tape of this but I urge you to try as it is the best self levitation I have ever seen. no cover or anything, just a jockey in a box!
Even Chris Evans was amazed. He said that Dettori had sprung this on them at the last minute and asked for a box and cut the front out.
Hope this helps.
Show was called "TFI Friday" and it was screened by channel four in the UK. The production company was Ginger Productions.
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Postby Ben Harris » 10/12/01 05:31 AM

Hi Steve,

You are so right. It is amazing how often ideas seem to pop up at the same time in different parts of the world. There's probably a whole body of work dealing with "simultaneous creation."

Hey Axman,

Thanks for all the additional info. Appreciated!

Ben
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Postby tboehnlein » 10/12/01 06:27 AM

I have had this conversation with other individuals before, because when I first viewed Fearson's Box, it struck me that I had seen the first phase described before using a cardboard box in of all places a Children's magic book. But trust me I am not taking anything away from Steve the design of his creation along with the second phase to me makes it totally his.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/12/01 09:16 AM

Axman's description sounds like the guy in England simply did the Balducci levitation while standing inside the box. This is quite a clever idea because it conceals the dirt from all angles!
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Postby Guest » 10/12/01 09:20 AM

Definitely not the balducci. He was side on and both feet clearly left the ground(surface of desk) about four inches.
It must be seen to be believed.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 10/13/01 04:43 PM

Steve Fearson -- I am stumped. How do you look at the video of your box levitation? First I realize I must use IE to download the file rather than Netscape (grr, but OK), but then what kind of viewer do I need to see the video,and where do I get it? Hope you can help.
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Postby Fearson » 10/13/01 05:16 PM

Hi Steve.. The video is in windows media format. You need windows media player to view it, which is compatible with mac as well as windows. There is a link on the page to download it, click the windows media graphic. http://downloadmagic.com/fearsons_box_info.htm

Ben.. I'm sure there have been volumes written about the "cosmic" or "collective" conciousness. I haven't read much of anything on the subject but I do believe in the theory that every idea which has ever been created and every idea which ever will be created is already there in a big cosmic library. It's just a matter of being able to get into it and retrieve the info.

For me the ideas come in two different ways. Either weeks of hair pulling, struggling with an idea, trying to make something out of apparently nothing.

Or.. The idea somehow leaks out of the cosmic conciousness and plops right onto my head in it's complete form. Like a baby being born and landing right in my hands. It catches me off guard and I have to stare at it in disbelief for a while.

The latter type of idea is usually the most elegant, every piece seeming to fit into place. The box levitation was like that, so was my easyfloat trick. They are the tricks I'm most proud to attach my name to. Even though in a way, I don't feel that I created them since they just "appeared".

I guess my point is that I don't doubt for a moment that people would be able to reach into the same place and draw out the very same ideas.. and often at the very same time. If I was dispersing knowledge throughout the universe, I wouldn't drop a good idea on just one person. I'd probably give it to a few around the world.

Best-
Steve http://downloadmagic.com
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Postby Richard James » 10/14/01 01:28 AM

Sorry to burst your bubble Axeman, I too watched the box levitation that Frankie Detori did on TFI Friday and I'm afraid that he DID use a mirror in the same way as Fearson and Sakai did.

In my mind, he didn't perform it all that well either. It was obvious (to me at least) that he was stepping up onto something just before he performed the levitation. If you watch it closely, you'll notice that his body posture gives it away!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/14/01 08:33 AM

Richard James,
So, was the guy doing a Balducci levitation with a mirror between his feet (inside the box)?
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Postby Guest » 10/14/01 01:58 PM

"Richard James : Sorry to burst your bubble Axeman, I too watched the box levitation that Frankie Detori did on TFI Friday and I'm afraid that he DID use a mirror in the same way as Fearson and Sakai did.
In my mind, he didn't perform it all that well either. It was obvious (to me at least) that he was stepping up onto something just before he performed the levitation. If you watch it closely, you'll notice that his body posture gives it away! "

Well put Richard - what you say is correct regarding the mirror - unfortunately Frankie Detori is not a magician and so I feel gave a somewhat poor showing of this illusion which if done well looks great. He does not do a Balducci levitation in the box.

All the best
Stuart Brown
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Postby Richard James » 10/15/01 01:45 PM

Hi Richard,

As already answered by Stuart Brown above, no, he didn't do a Balducci Levitation inside the box.

It simply looked like he was standing on something inside the box. It was so badly performed that you could easily see him adjusting his position to get 'onto' the step.

Regards,

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Postby Guest » 10/16/01 02:28 AM

So did he use a mirror or not? I knew the principle and I'm sure there was no mirror. If there was why did he need to get onto a "step?" you would just stand on one foot tiptoe and let the mirror do the rest surely?
I saw this once, live on tv, and I thought it was cool.
His "Bad performance" probably came from the fact that he is a professional jockey and not a magician. I was expecting him to be bad.
but as my memory serves it fooled me! But most things do.
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Postby Richard Morrell » 11/08/01 05:57 AM

Hi Axman,

I saw the Frankie Detori interview, and can confirm to the best of my knowledge he used a mirror, I watched the tea-time showing and videoed the late night showing to view back, and if memory serves you didn't get to see into the box, and he jumped out of the box at the end, which is obviously his trade-mark anyway...

The little touch I quite liked was having the box filled with those little polystyrene 'infinity' pieces, so that it looked to all intents and purposes as though the whole box was filled with them.

Also UKer Stephen Mulhearn performed both phases of Steve's Levitation on the ITV 'Quick Trick Show' looked excellent.

Rich.
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