"Road Rules" strait jacket exposure

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Postby Guest » 10/05/02 10:19 PM

I happened to be channel surfing this afternoon and caught an episode of MTV's "Road Rules" marathon. On "Road Rules" the participants travel to different cities and meet various challenges put forth to them. On this episode they were challenged to escape from strait jackets while hanging upside down in less than 90 seconds. They had a magician present who explained the procedure for escaping from a strait jacket. However, what I'm referring to is not the methodology exposure but the fact that they exposed how apparently easy it is to escape from a straitjacket in the first place. Four out of the six participants escaped within the 90 seconds allotted (they won their challenge) and at least two of them did it in under 30! Just wondering what the escapologists out there think of this.

Frank Yuen

Postby Guest » 10/06/02 01:38 AM

I didn't see this show, but I do have somewhere in my archives a show that I recorded a few years back that was on a major network, like FOX or NBC that was escapes revealed(sorry I can't remember the exact name of the show). They showed how to escape from an underwater tank, straight jacket, burried alive, water torture cell etc.! I beleive that it really had no effect to the art, just like the masked magician shows. Everyone forgets! I think the same is true with MTV, it will go in one eye ball and out the other, and after a short time it will all be forgotten. Just my thoughts.


Postby Guest » 10/06/02 01:27 PM

Technically, a straight jacket is used to restrain someone from hurting themselves, and not used to completely secure them. They are only used now in those cases where a patient cannot be provided with drugs to calm them down. Most of those shows (including one past one where the world's record was a matter of seconds) looked as if the jackets were 4 sizes too large for the participant. Most lay people are not aware there are different sizes of jackets and that one size does not indeed fit all. Most audiences also do not realize that it is in fact easier to get out of the jacket upside down, despite seeing those shows.

If you are performing the jacket, and if you are to first take someone from the audience that is about your size (provided that you have a properly fitting jacket) and place them into the jacket first (if it is gimmicked, just make sure that the gimmick is not within reach of the lay person), and ask them to try to get out (if you are merely holding the straps or it takes far too long and it is not a challenge, just a demonstration. Kind of the same as holding a blindfold in front of your particpants eyes to prove one cannot see through it. It would be a waste of time to put half dollars over their eyes, tape, etc., you arew just trying to demonstrate a point), your audience will be convinced of how difficult your job is to be to get out.

Then your acting ability has to take over and you must fight your own impulses to get out quickly. Make it look as difficult as possible, get stuck part way through and struggle even further. Mentalists can do this type of escape as a demonstration of "mind over matter" and "concentration and discipline of the mind". They do prove useful, just avoid the same old gags that many other performers use and develop your own routines.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

Postby Guest » 10/06/02 01:53 PM

I was not really concerned at the exposure of the method but more so of the fact that it is apparently a piece of cake to get out of a straitjacket. I've never tried but I'm guessing it is no where near as difficult as some would like you to think. My point is that it's gonna be a pretty hard sell from now on when four genXers with virtually no training were able to extricate themselves in under 90 seconds with relative ease.

On a side note, I always thought to myself that if you wanted to really secure someone in a straitjacket, couldn't you just loop the arm straps around one of the back straps? This would keep one from being able to get the arms over their head. Am I correct in this assumption?

Frank Yuen

Postby Guest » 10/06/02 02:27 PM

You say you are not concerned with the exposure of the secret of the straight jacket, but you are more concerned with how easy it is to escape quickly. Well that pretty much is the secret. The gimmick just makes it easier. All the magicians or escape artists that use the jackect could in fact escape in a matter of moments but then it would not seem beleivable or as dramatic, so they take thier time, making it seem more difficult than it is. So again I bring up the fact that in time 99% of the viewers will forget the MTV show and how fast it was for the laymen to escape. End of story really. I think in just a short time myself and others could EASILY SELL the straight jacket all over agian!


Postby Guest » 10/06/02 09:29 PM

I think in just a short time myself and others could EASILY SELL the straight jacket all over agian!
I hope so though I tend to disagree as to a layperson's memory. I do think they forget methods but I don't think that they would forget that they had seen the escape done previously by non-experts. I just posted this because as I watched the show, it made a straitjacket escape seem ridiculously easy. The difference I think is that upon learning a secret a layperson doesn't automatically think that "anyone can do it". In this case they not only think that but saw actual proof (in their eyes) that indeed anyone could do it. Of course the point might be moot anyway because it doesn't appear that anyone else saw this except for me! :)

Frank Yuen

Postby Guest » 10/06/02 09:43 PM

I completely understand what you are saying, I was simply staing that in my personal opinion, I really don't think it will have a noticable impact at all, but I guess only time will tell.


Postby Jeff Haas » 10/06/02 11:28 PM

Who cares about magicians escaping from straightjackets!

Am I the only one concerned that MTV showed that a straightjacket was basically a useless restraint? What about those patients that they can't use drugs on?

I guess they end up in the Hannibal Lecter restraints instead.
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Postby Guest » 10/06/02 11:41 PM

LOL, true, true! But Im not eating anyone Jeff!


Postby Pete Biro » 10/07/02 09:12 AM

Most of the magical performers doing the jacket escape sell it as a comedy piece and the gags and bits of business are the whole show.

When my dad was in Olsen and Johnson's Hellzapoppin in vaudeville, they did a running gag with a jacket.

Had a cabinet on stage off to one side. Put guy in jacket and into cabinet. Every once in awhile they would check to see how he was doing. As the show went on his BEARD grew longer and whiter... at the end of the show the guy looked to be 100 years old and was on the floor in the lobby still struggling trying to get out as people left the theater.
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Postby David Acer » 10/29/02 07:00 PM

It seems most popular straight jacket routines these days are almost parodies of their classic forerunners (Simon Lovells hilarious presentation comes immediately to mind). Ive yet to see a serious presentation of this that an audience really cared about (and just because they clap at the end doesnt mean they cared! Its equally likely theyre just glad its over!).
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Postby Guest » 11/04/02 11:12 PM

Well the thing is that Charlie the magician had his arms crossed so it was a hell of alot harder for him to get out of the straight jacket, and you could tell that those jackets for the road rulers were crappy quality, one of the girls ripped it I think or one of the guys. But I hope to think that the lay people know that their arms were in a set position, and not completely corssed out and ited, but damn, the magician's face turned beat red getting out of tht thing, that is something I am interested in learning.

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