Making of Illusions for living room parties.

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 04/24/03 07:24 PM

I am looking to make illusions for performing at home parties, one of the tricks I have been thinking about is the metemorphosis box, among others tricks that will bring the master illusionist to their home.
I have done the every day routine tricks that are done for kids parties, I want to give them illusions that they have seen on tv, do them in thier living rooms. Of course I will do the same ole thing bring audience members up on the stage to be the magi's assistants.
I want to create a stage presence that they will remember for a lifetime. Not so dramatic as Copperfield's great effects. Just something that will bring my audience to be in awe of my performance.
I need plans on how to make these illusions. I know of Paul Osbourn's plans book that he sells, I think they are a bit pricey. Can anyone help me with this?
I will also take some suggestions on other effects that might fill this venture.
Thank you :help:
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Postby Guest » 04/25/03 09:55 AM

I also have the same desire to perform stage type illusions for my act. I have purchased over $600 worth of books and plans in the last 2 weeks alone. Osborne Illusion systems 1-4, "Device and Illusions" by Jim Steinmeyer, "IllusionBook" #859 of 1000 by Andrew Mayne (signed) and several others. I am searching for "packs small, plays big" without having to buy a moving truck to get my act around.

There are some great ideas in these books and I am anxious to begin construction. My first project is making a "BASE". It will be elevated off the floor and will be used for a variety of appearences and disappareaces. Also a set of stairs/steps for gaining access to the elevated platform/base. There is also something called "Flash Appearance" that looks fairly easy to construct and can be broken down for easy transport. There are some books and vids out there for making your own inexpensive illusions using household objects, like cardboard. The problem with doing living room illusions is you don't have a backstage to work with. The ceiling isn't designed for anything except holding the walls up. On a stage, you have the side wings, backstage, and overhead supports for assisting you do your illusion.

Right now I have a device called HANDZ UP that I use to perform illusions. Check it out at http://www.hottrix.com/html/HandzUp.shtml. I even levitate myself using this gimmick. I love the reactions I get when I do these mini-illusions. It's got me wanting more, just like you!
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/25/03 10:48 AM

U.F. Grant published a booklet titled (I believe) "Victory Carton Illusions" which were simply built using old cardboard boxes, like used for refrigerators, stoves, etc.

You should be able to find this used from the various booksellers.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 04/25/03 11:10 AM

Most of the Grant illusions that Pete mentioned are also in Mark Wilson's big book.

Bob Sheets and Steve Spill used to do illusions at the Brook Farm Inn of Magic, which was right under (ok, right above) the noses of the spectators. They did a very funny sub trunk as well as a levitation. For the latter they would ramp up the music, which had a lot of static. Sheets would yell from the wings, "How do you like that Dolby?" Very funny, but proved you could do illusions up close.
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Postby Guest » 04/25/03 12:06 PM

I hate to be the person to rain on your parade, but someone's living room is NOT the place to be performing large scale illusion for a number of reasons, including the ones mentioned above. Unless, of course, you are talking about a living room in Bill and Linda Gate's mansion. Leave the illusions to those working venues that have stages and work on your club act that can play anywhere. It will be much better if they remember you as a wonderfully entertaining magician, than as the person who broke their antique lamp!
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Postby Guest » 04/25/03 06:31 PM

Thank all of you for your responses' I understand what you are talking about Jim, some of the living rooms I have been to are enormous, (North Scottsdale, Arizona) I could put on a complete stage show right in thier living room. Of course, I don't get that lucky enough to only perform in those kind of homes all the time. I would say I have done 4 shows in the last 7 months in the homes of the eliete.
I have Mark Wilsons' big book, I forgot all about that even had it. I will work on the project of constructing of those. Thank you.
Musicman, I will look into that site you mentioned and let you know what I come up with.
All of you have given me good ideas. Thank you.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/26/03 10:31 AM

When Robert Harbin lectured, he had his Zig Zag illusion in two large canvas bags, carrying one on each shoulder.

He told us he would go into a small venue, and set up the illusion as part of the act... discussing it as he put it up.

This would work if you had, say, a non carpet floor, or a small open space.

I still think this is one of the great all time illusions, can be done up close and surrounded.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/03 04:34 PM

Too bad so many are doing unauthorized version of it Pete, and in fact, if they were doing it the way they were supposed to be doing it, they would have the perfect illusion for everywhere. (Although you still have to cringe over the guy that does a 10 minute zigzag to music and dance just so they can stretch it out and get what they feel is their full money's worth from the illusion).
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB StageCraft
Supplying Unique Mentalism World-wide
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/ABstagecraft
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