Impaled

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 09/13/02 02:59 PM

I am looking for the blue prints or the secret to Impaled. The stage illusion where the sword goes throught the person's stomach. Any help in this area would be great.
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Postby Steve Hook » 09/13/02 10:57 PM

Seth:

Are you asking who the inventor is so that you can purchase the plans or have one made? Your post isn't clear.
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Postby Guest » 09/14/02 07:47 AM

Steve,
I am looking for any help in the area of finding the plans. I really don't want to buy the illusion already built becasue I want it to be different. So I guess I am looking for the plans. Thanks.
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Postby Jim Riser » 09/14/02 10:04 PM

Seth;
Unlike many illusions, this illusion is potentially an injury producing illusion and not something I would want left to inexperienced builders. If you really want this illusion to look different from others, this can be done by the experienced builders. I'd suggest contacting the inventor and asking for a list of builders. If you explain what you want, the inventor can most likely steer you towards a builder flexible enough to create your custom version.
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Postby Guest » 09/15/02 10:12 AM

Jim,
I am glad you mentioned that. The problem is that I am not exactly sure how it works so I don't know the danger level. That is why I would like to see the plans to see if I even want to mess with it and to see how I could make it different. That is also why I don't really want to have to buy one to figure it out becasue I don't plan on using that one. Do you know who the inventor is? Is it Jim Steinmeyer? Do you know where I can get plans? Thanks for your help, I am really greatful. Seth
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Postby Jim Riser » 09/15/02 12:47 PM

Seth;
I do not think there are any plans available for this illusion. Owen Magic Supreme in Azusa has made several versions. See:
http://www.owenmagic.com/Illusions/Impa ... led_1.html

I'd contact them as a starting place.
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Postby Kendrix » 10/19/02 11:35 AM

Ken Whitaker who recently died is credited with the original "Impaled" construction. I don't know if he invented it. I can't think of a worse illusion for a non-professional to try to build. Very very few men a flexible enough to go on the illusion and make it look right. Any assistant would sue your pants off if she got hurt on a homemade one. Of course, there is always your mother-in-law. Yeah! she would be perfect.
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Postby Guest » 10/20/02 02:58 AM

I agree with Jim, and Kendrix, leave this illusion to a professional builder! It seems that money might be an issue, is this right? It is an expensive illusion for a reason, however you can find some great used models for sale at a much lower price. Perhaps you could modify a used one to your unique design. If your budget is not a factor then I really suggest that you get this made by a professional, especially if you don't even know the secret yet or the main hardware ingredient that is used in the building of this illusion.

Best of luck, and play safe.

P.
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Postby Guest » 10/26/02 07:01 AM

Ken did invent the effect, the original was on a large Water Fountain for a Rock-n-Roll show he and Paul (founders of Creative illusions) were in.

If you are looking for something "Unique" I'd recommend going to either Bill Smith or John Gaughan with your ideas. DO KNOW That we have built versions of Impaled using a Torch (Ayala & Co.); Water (my own); and Neon light tubes penetrating... Bill made a beautiful variation using a large pair of Sissors (pardon the spelling).

If I recall correctly the #2 unit was made for Chuck Jones; #3 went to Bob Brown; #4 went to Mark Kaylin who is credited most, for bringing it into mainstream magic via his Knott's Berry Farm shows. As best I know Copperfield is one of the few to do the effect the way it was originally designed e.g. the magician gets shafted instead of the girl. Too, I know of no one other than myself that's ever done a gore (blood gushing ala Richiardi's Buzz Saw) version.

Feel free to touch base should you have any questions.
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Postby Guest » 10/31/02 07:22 AM

For me its still a modern version of Les Levantes Levitation. I think its always a little bit difficult to talk about who invented an illusion.

But Ken did a great job with it!!

Best regards
Domenik
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Postby Guest » 10/31/02 12:46 PM

The Hamners also do it with a giant syringe and hypodermic needle with a "Don't do drugs" theme- very creative! (Not sure who built it for them.)
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Postby Kendrix » 11/01/02 08:51 AM

Joanie Spina and Lydia Harmon who both worked for David Copperfield told me a funny story about his "Impaled". They both told him he looked so stiff on the trick it didn't fool anyone. When he insisted on performing the illusion, the girls started calling it "Dick on a Stick" instead of Impaled. When DC found out about their new nick name he quit performing it.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/02 09:20 AM

Originally posted by Kendrix:
Joanie Spina and Lydia Harmon who both worked for David Copperfield told me a funny story about his "Impaled". They both told him he looked so stiff on the trick it didn't fool anyone. When he insisted on performing the illusion, the girls started calling it "Dick on a Stick" instead of Impaled. When DC found out about their new nick name he quit performing it.
Why don't that suprise me?

DCs explanations are (and I quote) "Everyone else started doing the trick..."

"It started hurting my back too much..."
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/01/02 08:48 PM

You can make cracks about David doing "Impaled," however he was the first to do "Interlude" with no gimmick (and he does it well), and if you think that doing the trick where the laser cuts him in half doesn't require unique limberness and body control, then you don't know how difficult it is.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/02 10:58 PM

Very true. If we really knew what D.C. has put his body through over his entire career we wouldn't believe it. He truly is the greatest illusionist in history for that one fact alone; not to mention his other records.

It's just too bad he has a skin-thin ego. He bleeds very easily.
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 07:44 AM

I'll NEVER take anything away from David...he's done a lot of good for magic and ANYONE that's ever done illusions knows for a fact it's brutal... I recall hearing Char complain about the bruises she got from Interlude... then again, my poor daughter got her share of bruises, when Kenny and I pulled her in and out of Shadow Vision as it was being evolved (both girls got beat up bad!)

The Gods know I wish I had a new set of knees, back, neck, etc. 20+ years of getting in and out of those things, not to mention the moving and loading... it takes it toll. That's why the new show generally consists of a briefcase or less! ;)
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Postby Kendrix » 11/02/02 11:26 AM

David Copperfield has done more for stage magic and illusions than anyone in the history of magic. It is still nice to know even he has his limitations like the rest of us mere mortals. That was the point of the thread. I still stand by the fact that I have never seen any male performer do a great version of the "Impaled". I think it has to do with the structure of the male pelvis, relative size of the lumbar vertebral bodies, laxity of the anterior spinous ligaments, etc. The Interlude requires an entirely different ability and flexibility. The "passer through" is, also, in MHO of equal or greater importance.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/02/02 12:37 PM

I think Roy (of Siegfried and ...) does a pretty fair job of it.
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 03:21 PM

...I think it has to do with the structure of the male pelvis...

Boy do I have a picture for you!

Ayala on the original sword unit (fountain) in my driveway... it's a rather erotic shot (Joaquin has threatened to do bodily harm should I ever publish it...) ;)
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Postby Kendrix » 11/02/02 03:25 PM

Richard: You make a good point. It is done on the snout of a dragon if I remember. The head of the dragon is moving, if I recall making it somewhat different visually. OK, so there is one male who can do it well.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/02 05:22 AM

Originally posted by Kendrix:
Richard: You make a good point. It is done on the snout of a dragon if I remember. The head of the dragon is moving, if I recall making it somewhat different visually. OK, so there is one male who can do it well.
Actually, I believe Vanbirch also does it to himself (and yes, S&R have theirs mounted as a "horn" to their dragon... very cool piece.)
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/05/02 08:01 PM

Yogano built a beauty of a version... he was placed on the tip of a rifle (on a stand so it stood vertical) and when the gun when off, he slid down the barrel.

It was a segment of a routine involving an Elliot Ness type "raid" in a warehouse. :cool:
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/05/02 08:01 PM

I now remember seeing the prototype in Ken Whittaker's garage a looooooooooong time ago.
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Postby Guest » 11/06/02 08:37 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I now remember seeing the prototype in Ken Whittaker's garage a looooooooooong time ago.
Be careful Pete, memories of that sort can make you feel old... not that I'd know anything about that... :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 11/06/02 12:36 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
[...]if you think that doing the trick where the laser cuts him in half doesn't require unique limberness and body control [...]
Not to mention Johnny Gaughan's flying rig.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
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Postby Guest » 11/08/02 12:52 AM

Also, back when D.C. was performimg the illusion in the mid-80's false accusations were poping-up of D.C.'s supposive homosexuality. I can see why his assist.'s thoughtless nickname for the piece was sensitive at the time.

I know for a fact that David Copperfield is NOT gay; and is much more secure these days with who he is and where he is going than 17 years ago.

And, for the record it was Les Levante who conceived and performed the original impaled presentation, but Ken Whittaker, as Mr. Browning correctly points out, invented todays modern operation of the illusion.
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Postby Terry » 11/08/02 06:11 AM

I know for a fact that David Copperfield is NOT gay; and is much more secure these days with who he is and where he is going than 17 years ago.
You should have seen the hot little red head "friend" he had in Jax, Fl. ;) Very Nice!!

Re Copperfields Impaled - his staging, music, lighting, etc was perfect for this illusion and is stillone of my favorite.

Re DC's Interlude - one of the 2 best productions of this effect. The other being the Pendragons.

Without a doubt Copperfield creates incredible show pieces and that is the reason he sells out shows night after night for years.
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Postby Guest » 11/08/02 10:38 AM

Originally posted by Steve Spicer:
Also, back when D.C. was performimg the illusion in the mid-80's false accusations were poping-up of D.C.'s supposive homosexuality. I can see why his assist.'s thoughtless nickname for the piece was sensitive at the time.

I know for a fact that David Copperfield is NOT gay; and is much more secure these days with who he is and where he is going than 17 years ago.

And, for the record it was Les Levante who conceived and performed the original impaled presentation, but Ken Whittaker, as Mr. Browning correctly points out, invented todays modern operation of the illusion.
Just keep in mind, there are reasons such "rumors" get out... look at DCs earlier Tv specials and the inuendos pertaining to his sexuality... Sure, it was a "trend" thing to do back then (Politically Correct?) but it's also the kind of thing that results in one's kids (my 10 year old boy) asking "Do you have to be Gay or Bisexual to be a successful magician?"

Poor kid... just about everyone he'd met in magic fit that profile :rolleyes:
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Postby Kendrix » 11/08/02 09:08 PM

This thread is getting too weird for me. What happened to the kid who wanted plans for "Impaled"? I bet he is sorry he ever asked.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/21/02 07:43 PM

Originally posted by Kendrix:
...there is always your mother-in-law. Yeah! she would be perfect.
I second the opinion. Need any extras?
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Postby Nicholas Carifo » 12/15/02 03:25 AM

Does anyone else here remember David Copperfield's ORIGINAL presentation for the impaled with the girl on the sword before the self-inflicted version he did on his television special.

I've had this conversation with Doc Dixon a number of times and we both agree it was the best version of the Impaled illusion that we ever saw.

His original routine for impaled back in the mid-eighties the year before the tv special debut, was completely different. He introduced the concept with the intro song "Welcome to the Jungle" from Guns & Roses for an opening sexually charged dance squence, then faded to a new song I don't remember at the moment.

What I do remember was the presentation was a very erotic, very fast paced, and very sexual S&M dream sequence. It was somewhat similar to the stage setting and feel he used 10 years later for his "Voyeur" Illusion routine, but this impaled illusion went much futher in suggestiveness and erotic costuming and suggestive dance. Not to mention the startline lighting effects used when the sword penetrated the girl "accidently".

All in all it was a very bold stage routine, and in my opinion, much better than the much tamer and completely different version that appeared on the special, tho I liked that version also.

Incidently, on the "nickname" of the impaled... Friends in the know at the time David was performing this version of the impaled (with the girl on the sword) had told me that his code name for the illusion with the crew was CHICK ON A STICK as an inside joke. I would bet The Dick on a Stick comment was just a joke in kind later on:) :)

Hope you enjoyed my trip down Copperfield memory lane:) hehe.

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Postby Kendrix » 12/15/02 03:57 PM

Nicholas: I agree with you 100% the original way DC did it was better. You know in another thread Melinda Saxe was slammed because her version "The Drill" was too provocative. I sometimes think that a double standard starts to slip in. I am, of course, am referring to the person on the melinda thread not you, Nicholas.
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Postby GAMOLO » 12/16/02 05:12 PM

Re: The Impaled Illusion

Quite a few performers had purchased my original GAMOLO hydraulic motors (used in the GAMOLO LEVITATION) when having the Impalement built.
When the newer versions of the Impalement started being built (e.g. with "see-through" bases)purchasers started switching to my electromechanical piston motors used in the GAMOLO 3.
However, since I am now using 18" strokes, some performers prefer a longer stroke. Generally, the higher the girl rises....the more uncomfortable it gets for her. Impalement is best done with a young girl assistant....not your wife!
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Postby Guest » 12/19/02 05:15 PM

The Copperfield road show has had some interesting "show names" for their illusions. In the pre-Flying days David did a beautiful version of the water fountain levitation. David and his troup called it "Golden Showers." It was even stenciled on the prop crates.
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Postby Chance Wolf » 12/23/02 12:01 PM

Hey Seth, To get back to the question at hand, most Impaled Illusions are based on the same gimmick. So everything built around the gimmick is essentially Design and Theme dressings. I would strongly urge you not to build the unit for safety reasons as well as Creators Rights ( if they still apply,that's a whole other topic) Try to find a used version, strip off all the dressings and recreate a new theme. If you need any design advice, feel free to ask.
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