Switchey thingy

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 03/05/02 02:59 PM

I have always wanted to ad a magician switches places with assistant thing to my act but i cant find any instruction(let alone term) for this effect. does anyone know what its called and where i can find a book about it?

Postby Jeff Haas » 03/06/02 01:25 AM

Joe, you're getting into the area of stage illusions, which is a subject that's as complicated as card magic, in its own way.

You probably want low-cost stuff to learn and get some performing time with. Look in the back of the Mark Wilson Course In Magic (available at regular bookstores, or through any of the big magic dealers) for a bunch of stage illusions that you can make out of corrugated cardboard, foam core board, etc.

There's also a new book by Paul Osbourne called "Easy Build Illusions" that's less than thirty bucks. It covers stage illusions that are easy and inexpensive to build. Look on page 52 of the March 2002 Genii for the ad.

Once you put one or two of these together, you'll have to find some friends who are willing to be assistants and work with you so that the staging of your new miracle looks good. Use a video camera to tape your rehearsals if you can get one. And spend time picking your music...but that's a whole different subject.

Jeff Haas
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Postby Guest » 03/06/02 12:07 PM

I wanted to second Jeff's recommendation of the Mark Wilson course. There is an illusion in it called "The Haunted House" which is an excellent "switch" places type of routine. Easy to do, fun presentation, and very different from what most people may have seen. Also packs flat and plays big, always a plus!

Good luck!

Postby Guest » 03/06/02 12:57 PM

These effects usually require an assistant...one of the most expensive "props" you'll ever acquire!

Postby Steve Hook » 03/06/02 03:17 PM

Another book (and video) that might be helpful is DARWIN'S INEXPENSIVE ILLUSIONS.

Steve Bryant wrote a mini-review at http://littleegyptmagic.com/eleven96.htm

And Stevens notes this about the vid:
"The video includes Dekolta Chair, Artist's Dream, Doll House, Instant Appearance, Costume Trunk, Refrigerator Appearance-and many more."
Steve Hook
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Postby Guest » 03/07/02 05:03 AM

The proper term is TRANSPOSITION. And, as far as I know, there is no book solely dedicated to this most superb effect.

The effect relies on STARTLING REVELATION and the viewer's inability to RECONSTRUCT how the transposition could have taken place.

There are many different presentations of this illusion usually exclusive to the illusionist; e.g. D.C.'s Cocoon and The Fan (my personal favorite), Doug Henning's China Rhapsody (performed for TV w/ Brook Shields) and Orson Welles' one time only Triple Transpo (utilizing trick photography). Backstage with a Magician (based on Dante's Backstage Illusion) uses the whimsical "the audience is in on it" approach (both Lance Burton and Sigfried and Roy have different variations of this) while the most common and effective (and over used) transposition is, of course, Metamorphosis.

The illusion is considered advanced stage magic as it often uses a "third" unseen assistant or twin (with the exception of Metamorphosis). Also, it takes a highly skilled performer to present the illusion correctly so it doesn't seem like a transformation; (meaningful TIME DELAY between the apparent transpositions aids greatly to this.)

An excellent magical transposition involving children can be found in George Schindler's book PRESTO.

Postby Pepka » 03/07/02 05:56 AM

Not trying to be rude, but it sounds like Joe may be getting in over his head. My recommendation is to first read up on the history of illusions and performers and their creations. You sound like a layman, (not an insult) when you refer to these illusions as "Switchey thingy". I'm a close-up guy, but even we know the names and origins of most of these illusions.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 03/07/02 07:10 PM

Actually, it sounds to me like he's a teenager and is just starting out. That's why I mentioned the Mark Wilson course...it's the easiest way to build some inexpensive illusions and try them out with your friends.
Jeff Haas
Posts: 924
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Mateo, CA

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