Spirit Cabinet

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 09/13/02 02:57 PM

I am looking for a book, video, etc. for anything on the spirit cabinet and how it works. Any help would be great.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/13/02 05:57 PM

This is a classic effect...check Tarbell and maybe Greater Magic.

Also, John Calvert's routine (with props, including a spirit cabinet) is available through Hocus Pocus.

Jeff
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Postby Guest » 09/15/02 10:17 AM

Jeff,
I have seen the spirit cabinet you are talking about on Hocus Pocus. I am looking to actually make the illusion into a room or at least a platform. Would their cabinet work with platform? Thanks.

Seth
P.S. Are Tarbell and Greater Magic books or Creators. All I could Find were books with those names. Thank again.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/15/02 01:09 PM

The Tarbell Course, written by Harlan Tarbell, is a series of books that covers almost everything in magic. Greater Magic (reprinted by Richard Kaufman) is also a huge magic reference book that covers all kinds of effects.

The John Calvert spirit cabinet advertised on Hocus Pocus is designed to be used on a stage. It follows the traditional presentation: the performer is tied up, sits on a chair, a curtain is raised around him, and all kinds of things happen.

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Postby Guest » 09/16/02 12:09 PM

Has anyone had actual hands on experience with John Calvert's Spirit Cabinet from Hocus Pocus? I'm considering buying it. Thanks. Bob

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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/16/02 12:25 PM

Bob,

A friend of mine bought the Calvert spirit cabinet from Hocus Pocus. What you get is a video that shows a performance and how Calvert's rope tie works, the cabinet itself and a bunch of props (tambourine, bucket, ropes, etc.), and two audio tapes of the music Calvert uses.

The cabinet itself is very well-made, and it's probably worth buying just for that. With the rest of the props, you have all you need to start working on the routine. (You need to provide chairs for yourself and the volunteer who later sits in the cabinet with you.)

The routine is advertised as a "one-man" spirit cabinet, in that you could do the whole thing yourself and cue audience members to raise and lower the cabinet/curtain. I don't think this will be as effective as having your own assistants who've been rehearsed. John's rope tie will allow you to go into the cabinet, get tied up, and cause the usual ruckus all by yourself. It's a simple, effective method.

One thing...the two audio tapes with the music are awful. I think John picked some music 30 years ago, kept it on reel-to-reel tape, and then copied that onto the cassettes. Not only is the music dated, but the quality is very poor. However, this is the easiest part of the whole thing to fix, there are so many options for getting music these days and playing it back.

Jeff
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/16/02 07:00 PM

Seth, if you've never heard of Tarbell or Greater Magic, then you really can't know very much about magic ... how in the world can you provide magical expertise to a theatrical production?
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Postby Guest » 09/16/02 10:06 PM

Richard,
I just got out of that phase in my life where I wanted to be the World's next David Copperfield. I used to do everything he did and did have to worry about the rest of the magic community. I have just recently learned that there are people inside the "circle" of magicians besides the big time people that are on TV. I want to learn as much as I can. I was also just recently (as in the last 5 days) pointed to this site, which I never knew existed. I love it and I have learned so much in the past couple of days. I have ordered a couple of books on the spirit cabinet and they came in the mail today. Actually, just yesterday, I ordered the entire 8 volume set of Tarbell's Course. I have however had problems finding Greater Magic and I hope that you might be able to point me in the right direction since I have learned from this sight that you are the one who reprinted it. I really hope this has answer your questions. Thanks. Seth
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Postby Guest » 09/17/02 03:09 PM

Originally posted by Seth Konkel:
Richard,
I just got out of that phase in my life where I wanted to be the World's next David Copperfield.
David Copperfield read those books. ;)
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Postby Guest » 10/26/02 07:09 AM

You may wish to double check this, I think it's Paul A. (pardon, but I always mispell his name... long name with an A, highly successful mentalist and all around good guy...) that mentioned something about Mr. Calvert doing a "workshop" to a limited number of guests on the Spirit Cabinet as he did it. You might check over at MagicCafe for insights, I believe that's where I saw that post.

There are other versions of the SC. I have at least 4 versions to "the cabinet" that I've done over the years, including a very unique twist that employs "The Assistant's Revenge" escape (HINT: Look at the "Witch's Ladder" suspension system pictured in Ray Buckland's "Wicca Handbook").

My all time favorite routine still remains the Willard Cabinet in the capable hands of Glenn & Francis.
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