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a false appearance or deceptive impression of reality . the state or fact of being intellectually deceived or mislead.a false or misleading perception or belief. a misleading image presented to the vision. HOAXX ISSUE 01


Hoaxx Issue 01 Hoaxx is a quarterly publication giving you an insight into the different areas of magic and the magicians that became famous through this. Subscribe to Hoaxx on www.hoaxxpublication.co.uk

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Issue One looks into the subject of illusion within magic and highlights the Greatest Illusionists in history and how they practiced it. In particular, their tricks and their performances and how they intrigued their audiences. Editor, John Smith

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Contents

Jean Eugene Robert Houdin Houdini David Copperfield Dynamo Famous Illusions- Robert Houdin Career Major Achievements Illusions- Houdini Chinese Water Tank Suspended Stright Jacket Career- Dynamo Mission Impossible Illusions- Dynamo Contributors

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Houdin, Jean Eugène Robert or Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin 1805–71, French conjurer and magician. Originally a clockmaker, he was celebrated for his optical illusions and mechanical devices and for his attributing his “magic” to natural instead of supernatural means. Houdin was the first to use electromagnetism for his effects

Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin Houdin, the French performer widely considered the father of modern magic.

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Jean Eugene Robert was bitten by the magic bug just as he was entering his family’s clockmaking business in the French town of Blois. The young man enjoyed entertaining his friends with sleightof-hand tricks, but at first gave no thought to performing p r o f e s s i o n a l l y. At twenty-four, he married the daughter of a prominent Parisian clockmaker, soon adding their family name to his own and opening his own clockmaking studio in Paris with the backing of his father-in-law.

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During these years the clockmaker made mental notes about what he would do and not do if he ever took the stage himself. Particularly influential were Comte, a favorite of the French Kings and owner of his own theater, and Philippe, whose utilization of electricity would have the greatest impact on Robert-Houdin.

Living in the French capital allowed RobertHoudin to more fully indulge his interest in magic, and he eagerly caught every performance he could while developing friendships with a number of amateur and professional magicians.

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HARRY HOUDINI Harry Houdini was born on March 24, 1874 in Budpest, Hungary, with the name of Ehrich Weisz. He was one of six children and the son of Rabbi Mayer Weisz and his second wife, Cecilia Steiner. In 1876, Mayer Weisz immigrated to the United States with the dream of a better life. He found work as a rabbi and changed his last name to Weiss. In 1876, the remainder of the family joined him in the United States. The family moved to Milwaukee when Ehrich was eight years old. During his early years, Ehrich sold newspapers and shined shoes to help support the family. On October 28, 1883, nine year old Ehrich made his first appearance on stage, performing a trapeze act. He billed himself, “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air.� At 12, Ehrich hopped a freight car and ran away from home. A year later her returned to New York and continued to help support his family by working as a messenger, necktie cutter, and photography assistant. Nothing is known of his year away from his family. About this time, Ehrich and his brother Theo began to pursue an interest in magic. As a stage name, Ehrich Weiss became Harry

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Houdini by adding an ĂŹiĂŽ to the last name of his idol, French magician Robert Houdin. Harry is simply an Americanized version of his nickname, Ehrie. At 17, Ehrich, now known as Harry Houdini, left his family to pursue his magic career. By the age of twenty, Harry had been performing small acts throughout New York. He soon married and joined a circus where he began to develop and perfect his escape tricks. Through the years, Houdini gained fame after repeatedly escaping from police handcuffs and jails. Harry was even given certificates from various wardens for escaping from their prisons. After making his name in America, Harry toured Europe, where he expanded his repertoire by escaping from straitjackets and coffins. Eventually, Harry was able to accomplish his dream of having a full show dedicated to his magic. In his later years, Harry took his talent to the film arena, where he both acted and started his own film laboratory called The Film Development Corporation. Years later, Harry would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, Harry showed interest in the field of aviation and was the first person to ever fly over Australian soil. In the 1920s, Harry became interested in the occult, specifically in debunking mediums and psychics. His training in magic helped him expose frauds that scientists and academics could not. He chronicled his time investigating the occult in his book, A Magician Among the Spirits.

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David Copperfield has been hailed by audiences the world over as the greatest magician of our time. After years of successful network specials and extensive touring, David Copperfield has been seen worldwide by more people than any other magician in history, including Houdini. His magic crosses cultural lines. David Copperfield has elevated the art of magic to new heights, redefining this ancient art along the way. Where others think “it can’t be done,” David’s approach is: “Yes it can!” Vanish the Statue of Liberty. Walk through the Great Wall of China. Soar through space with the greatest of ease. To David Copperfield, his passion for magic is everything. He has broken the mold of the master magician: soft spoken, witty, engaging, and supremely entertaining, his modern approach to a very old art has transformed the way the world looks at magic. He celebrated feats and sense of theater have won The Magic of David Copperfield dozens of Emmys, and have led him to be twice named Entertainer of the Year. He is the only living magician to receive his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In France, he was knighted by the French government, receiving the Chevalier of Arts and Letters, the first ever for a magician. Born September 16, 1956, young David Kotkin was performing professionally in his hometown of Metuchen, New Jersey, at the age or twelve. Soon thereafter, he became the youngest person ever to be admitted to the Society of American Magicians. By sixteen, he was teaching magic at New York University. While in college, he was cast as lead in the Chicago musical, The Magic Man. Under the name David Copperfield, he sang, danced, acted, and created all the magic in the show that became the longest running musical in Chicago history. More than any other magician before him, David Copperfield understands his craft. In The Magic of David Copperfield, the wonder is real; the miracles are happening live before real witnesses. Yet for all his accomplishments, David Copperfield insists that his greatest work to date is Project Magic. David developed this rehabilitative program over a decade ago to strengthen dexterity and motor use in disabled patients by using simple sleight-of-hand magic. “It motivates a patient’s therapy and helps to build self esteem.” Copperfield says, “There is nothing I do that is more important.” Project Magic is currently implemented in 1,000 hospitals and 30 countries around the world, from Belgium to New Zealand, Iceland to Singapore.

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DAVID COPPERFIELD David Copperfield also has a secret passion: preserving the history of the art of magic for present and future generations by providing a safe, permanent home for antiquarian props, books, and other historical ephemera related to conjuring. His vast collection, known as the International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts, is housed in Nevada. David’s goal is to build a monument to the history of magic as a performing art, an ongoing museum that will survive us all. David Copperfield has rewritten the book on magic. He has brought it to heights of artistry and imagination undreamed by wizards or audiences in the past. The illusions are both spectacular mysteries and entertaining theater. He blends mystery and romance into sensual illusions, which dazzle the mind and move the heart. The real magic, however, is the man. David Copperfield has changed the view of what magic is and will continue to be for all time.

Copperfield performing for the 1977 ABC special.

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Dynam Tipped as the most exciting British magician

to emerge in decades and with a list of celebrity

fans

that

reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the Hollywood elite, Dynamo:

Magician

Impossible is the story of an ordinary boy from Bradford living an extraordinary life. Like his dear grandfather before him, Dynamo grew

up

practicing

precision card-handling and

developing

powerful magical skills.

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He’s seemingly come out of nowhere but Dynamo has been wowing celebs and punters alike for years with his close-up card tricks and matrix-style levitation moves. He recently walked on water across the river Thames in front of goggleeyed tourist but that was just the tip of the iceberg expect plenty more spectacular stunts from this hip Houdini. The story of an ordinary boy from Bradford living an extraordinary life. Like his dear gran...dfather before him, Dynamo grew up practising precision card-handling and developing powerful magical skills. In Dynamo: Magician Impossible, his very first television series, the 28-year-old travels the globe as the unassuming anti-hero who just happens to astound everyone he meets, whether international footballer or Hollywood actor.

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famous illusions O n one of RobertHoudin’s side table, he has an egg, a lemon, and an orange. He soon displays what he is going to do with them. He goes into the audience and borrows a lady’s handkerchief that was in style then. He rolls it into a ball. He rubs the ball in between his hands and the handkerchief gets smaller and smaller until it disappears passing through to the egg on the

THE MARVELOUS ORANGE TREE

table. Carefully he picks up the egg. The audience expects him to crack it open and produce the spectator’s handkerchief. Instead, he makes that disappear too. He tells the audience that the egg went to the lemon. This is repeated with the lemon and t h e orange. When he makes the orange disappear, all that is left is a fine powder. This is placed into a silver vial. He soaks this vial with alcohol and sets it on fire.

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A small orange tree planted in a wooden box is brought forth by one of his assistants. The audience notices that the tree is barren of any blossoms or fruit. The blue flame from the vial is placed underneath it. The vapors from it causes the leaves to spread and sprout orange blossoms from it. Robert-Houdin then picks up his magic wand and waves it. The flowers disappear and oranges bloom forth. He plucks the oranges from the tree and tosses them to the audience to prove they are real. He does this until he only has one left. He waves his wand again and the orange splits open into four sections revealing a white material of sorts inside of it. Two clockwork butterflies appear from behind the tree. The butterflies grab the end of the corner of the white cloth and spread it open revealing the spectator’s h a n d ke r c h i e f.

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SECOND SIGHT

When Robert-Houdin first opened his theatre, it was sparsely attended. Though his inventions w the idea of doing a two person mindreading act. He even concocted a silly story on how his son E

He took the title that was used by such magicians as John Henry Anderson, bu inserted. The medium would then describe the contents inside. In Robert-Houdin held up and his blindfolded assistant, played by his son, described each one Eventually Robert-Houdin changed the method so instead of asking his son suspected a spoken code. He would even set the bell off to the side and Robert-Houdin even made the test difficult. He placed a glass of water into hi the taste of the liquids that spectators from the audience mere They tried to trip up Emile by bringing in books written in

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were good, they needed a draw that would bring the public to his little theatre. So he came upon Emile created a game of hot and cold that resulted into Robert-Houdin utilizing that for the stage

ut the effect was entirely different. Anderson had a box into which items were n’s version, he walked into the audience and touched items that the audience e in detail. It caused a sensation and brought the throng to see his Soirees. what was in his hands, he simply rang a bell. This stunned those that remain silent and his son still described every object handed to his father. is son’s hands and Emile proceeded to drink from it. He was able to perceive ely thought of. Even then the audiences weren’t entirely convinced. n Greek. He even described odd tools like a thread counter.

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THE ETHEREAL SUSPENSION

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During Robert-Houdin’s time, all of Paris was enthusiastically talking about the mysterious uses of "ether". He took advantage of this by presenting an illusion that appeared to use the pungent liquid. He told the audience that he discovered a marvelous new property of ether. “If one has a living person inhale this liquid when it is at its highest degree of concentration, the body of the patient for a few moments becomes as light as a balloon,” Robert-Houdin claimed. He proceeded to prove just that. He placed three stools on a wooden bench. His youngest son Eugène stood on the middle one. With the instructions from his father, he extended his arms. Robert-Houdin placed two canes on top of the stools and positioned them under his son’s arms. He took a vial of ether and opened. The audience smelled it wafting through the theatre. He placed the vial under his son’s nose who went limp. In reality, the vial was empty. Another son of his Emile poured real ether on a very hot iron shovel. That’s what the audience smelled. Robert-Houdin took the stool away from his son’s feet and he just hung limp as a rag. He took away one of the canes so he was dangling by one arm and carefully placed his head against his upraised hand. This was startling enough. What he did next was stunning. He lifted his boy upright in a horizontal position by his little finger. Then let go until he was suspended in mid air.[ Robert-Houdin stepped away to leave his son in that suspended state, balanced only by his right elbow and no other support. When it was apparent that the drug was wearing off, RobertHoudin returned his son to his upright position. When he woke up, he seemed no worse for wear. Robert-Houdin built up the surprise of spectators until, “… by gradually heightening it up to the moment when, so to speak, it exploded.” This brought letters of protest against Robert-Houdin thinking he was putting his son’s health at jeopardy, although the ether had nothing to do with the trick

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Discovery of Magic

Robert-Houdin’s career as a great magician was limited to just eleven years. But in this time his great contribution to magic brought new dimensions to the craft as his inventiveness awarded his the title “Father of Modern Magic”.

His originality was aided by his vast knowledge of the intricacies of clockmaking; it was his understanding of complex mechanisms which led to his development of “Automata”. Not only would his “Automata” increase the range of tricks that could be performed, they would enhance the drama and showmanship of his magic

Being one of the first magicians to utilise electricity in his act, Robert-Houdin took magic onto a higher and more spectacular platform, setting himself apart from other magicians of his time.

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Science and technology very much influenced the inventions of Robert-Houdin. In his autobiography, he writes about consulting scientists and conducting experiments to figure out how to perform a particular trick.

Science He also kept up with recent scientific developments. JeanEugène Robert-Houdin was one of the first people to find a use for electromagnetism. He created a new trick called “The Light and Heavy Chest.” He invited a spectator on stage to lift the small wooden box he said he kept to store his money. His volunteer always did this easily. Then the magician commanded the box to stay where it was, so it could not be stolen. No matter how hard the volunteer tried after that, he couldn’t move it. Hidden inside the wooden chest was a metal plate, and an electromagnet sat under the stage. When his assistant turned on the magnet, the strong attraction made it impossible to move the chest. Robert-Houdin wrote in his autobiography that at this time “the phenomena of electromagnetism were wholly unknown to the general public. I took very good care not to enlighten my audience as to this marvel of science.” But it didn’t last. According to Robert-Houdin, “At a later period, when electromagnetism had become more generally known, I thought it advisable to make an addition to the Light and Heavy Chest in order to throw the public off the scent...”

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When his audiences learned about electromagnetism, Robert-Houdin totally changed his performance of the trick. He had three volunteers raise the light box off the floor using a rope and pulley system. Then he would command the box to become heavy and it would sink to the floor, raising the three men holding the rope up off the stage. In his autobiography, Robert-Houdin said that he performed this same trick in an entirely different way in 1856. The French government asked him to travel to French-occupied Algeria. Robert-Houdin wrote that they feared that Algerian magicians who could eat glass and apparently heal wounds would encourage the Algerians to rise up and fight the French soldiers. They wanted RobertHoudin to perform for the Algerians, hoping to convince them that the French magician had even greater power.

Robert-Houdin usually entertained the people who came to see his show, but this time he was supposed to frighten the Algerians in his audience. He wrote that in Algeria, he invited a very strong man up on stage and claimed that he would use his powers to make that man so weak that the man would be unable to lift this small box. Robert-Houdin wrote that he could lift it easily but the man could not because the magician had turned on the electromagnet. He said he also rigged the handle of the box with electricity, so it gave the man an electric shock which sent him running from the stage.

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Career

1805 – 1871

Robert-Houdin’s career as a great magician was limited to just eleven years. But in this time his great contribution to magic brought new dimensions to the craft as his inventiveness awarded his the title “Father of Modern Magic”. His originality was aided by his vast knowledge of the intricacies of clockmaking; it was his understanding of complex mechanisms which led to his development of “Automata”. Not only would his “Automata” increase the range of tricks that could be performed, they would enhance the drama and showmanship of his magic. Being one of the first magicians to utilise electricity in his act, Robert-Houdin took magic onto a higher and more spectacular platform, setting himself apart from other magicians of his time.

In addition, Robert-Houdin brought class to Magic. When he walked on wasn’t fashioned as his contemporaries and predecessors (generally in wiza but attired in evening dress. He brought charm, charisma and class to Audiences would deck themselves in their finery to enjoy his performances this Robert-Houdin brought the upper class family parlour atmosphere to th

Robert-Houdin’s magic, thought innovative, achieved fam enhancing tricks originated by his predecessors. One su act. Not a characteristic mechanical propped trick, “Seco of his son, identifying items, belonging to the audience, blindfolded. It was in fact another magician’s act that saw R

To add to his credits, in 185 The French seconded the magic faction in Algeria who were us he did! He proved his illusions

Robert-Houdi box he demo man they cou box, which he whilst under discover the the box with

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stage, he ard robes) the stage. and with he theatre.

me through contributing to and uch trick was his “Second Sight” ond Sight” involved the assistance selected by Robert-Houdin whilst Robert-Houdin become a sensation.

56 Robert-Houdin prevented a rebellion in Algeria! cian to discredit the Marabouts, an Arab religious sing magic to incite a rebellion, and discredit them were more powerful than those of the Marabouts..

in presented his devil fearing Arab audience with his “Light and Heavy Box”. With this onstrated the illusion that he had in his power, the ability to deprive the most powerful uld offer of all his strength. This illusion was achieved by firstly inviting him to lift the e would do successfully. Robert-Houdin then placed him under a trance, explaining he would be deprived of his strength. Then, the participant was, to his horror, to previously simple task was now impossible. This was actually achieved by building an iron bottom, attached firmly to the spot by an electromagnet built into the stage. Also, for further demonstration of his unfathomable magic powers, Robert-Houdin administered electric shocks to the participant when in contact with the box’s brass handles. This trick and a selection of other amazing demonstrations of Robert-Houdin’s magical powers served to cease talks of rebellion. During his eleven years of show business notoriety, Robert-Houdin’s contribution to magic was marked by his fame, his innovation and above all, the saving of human lives. Though he left this world in 1871, his innovation, repertoire and showmanship lives on in the world’s theatres of today.

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Perhaps inspired by the complex mechanical devices, or automata, demonstrated by Philippe and other conjurers, Robert-Houdin started building more than clocks. In 1844, a small android he had built for the Universal Exposition was purchased by American circus impresario P.T. Barnum for the handsome price of seven thousand francs. The timing was excellent, as it allowed Robert-Houdin time to finish the pieces he was building for a magical theater he would soon open in Paris. The public was enchanted by his elegantly appointed theater at the old Palais Royal, which featured numbers clearly inspired by Phillipe but with novel twists of their own. Even in this first endeavor, Robert-Houdin displayed a gift for presentation which would set him apart. In particular, his practice of appearing in normal evening attire, rather than elaborate robes, caught on and has led many to see him as the first "modern" magician. The routine that turned Robert-Houdin into a major attraction was not mechanical at all, but a number called "Second Sight," in which his son, blindfolded on stage, correctly identified objects held by his father in the audience. Again, Robert-Houdin cannot take credit for originating the act, which worked through an elaborate verbal code, but for improving it with consummate skill and showmanship. In this way, he resembled his future namesake: both Robert-Houdin and Houdini grew famous by adding their own genius to the work of those who came before. It may have been this very similarity which led Houdini to turn on his legendary predecessor. In 1908 he angered many in the profession with the publication of "The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin," a scathing attack in which he called the legend "a mere pretender, a man who waxed great on the brainwork of others." Besides detailing the origins of most of his routines in an effort to set the record straight, Houdini challenged Robert-Houdin’s assertion in his celebrated memoirs that his presentational reforms represented "a complete regeneration in the art of conjuring." Houdini also assailed Robert-Houdin’s "supreme egotism" and habit of exaggerating his exploits, charges often made against Houdini himself. Houdini’s overzealous attempt to unseat his celebrated predecessor probably had several sources. From one perspective, it can be seen as part of the lifelong war waged against his own imitators, for whom he felt nothing but contempt. It can also be seen as a manifestation of his substantial ego, and the need to elevate himself at the expense of any competitors, even those from the past. But given that the two men shared so much more than a name, perhaps it was Houdini’s way of responding -- in a way his ego and psyche would allow -- to the very criticisms so often leveled at him.

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Robert-Houdin Robert-Houdin displayed displayed a gift for a gift for presentation presentation which would which would set him apart. set him apart. HOAXX

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Statue of Robert Houdin at Blois, Region Centre, France

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Famours Illusion Second Sight Perfromed in Paris

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The Arabs of Algeria were said to be excited to rebel against French colonialists by miracles performed by their religious leaders. In 1856, Napoleon III's Second French Empire sent Robert-Houdin there, hoping that he might perform tricks that were far more impressive, thereby dissolving the excitement of the rebels. Robert-Houdin's tricks, it is said, succeeded in breaking up the influence of the mullahs. Moreover, the Arabs became afraid of Robert-Houdin. In one trick, he allowed an Arab to shoot at him with a marked bullet, but instead of killing him, the bullet was found between his teeth. After that, they believed he could do anything. Robert-Houdin was not the first illusionist to perform the bullet catch and many since him have adapted their own version of the effect. He used another famous trick to prove that French magic was stronger than local shamanism techniques: he presented an empty box with an iron bottom that anyone could lift up. By turning on an electro-magnet hidden under the floor, he made it immovable, "proving" that through will power, he could make it impossible to lift for the strongest Algerian warriors. He found the trick was more impressive when he claimed not that he could make the trunk heavy, but when he claimed he could make the strong man too weak to lift a trunk that even a small child could lift. Robert-Houdin is often credited as being "the father of modern magic". Before him, magicians performed in marketplaces and fairs, but Robert-Houdin performed magic in theatres and private parties. He also chose to wear formal clothes, like those of his audiences. Many magicians today mimic this by wearing tail-coats, though other magicians view this as old-fashioned and believe that they should wear contemporary clothes. Doug Henning was the first to rebel against this stereotype with a distinctive modern look of his own.

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magic politics

Perhaps most interesting was his use of magic to stop a simmering war. In the 1850s, the country of Algeria was rebelling. Led by the Marabouts, a religious sect with supposedly magical powers, they wanted the country to break its ties to France. By request of the French bureau in Algiers, Robert-Houdin was asked to prove that French magic was stronger than that of the Marabouts. Performing for the local chieftains, Robert-Houdin caused a warrior to seemingly lose his strength. By suggesting that the warrior could no longer lift a lightweight box, the warrior couldn’t. And at the end, the warrior shrieked and ran from the stage. He was secretly shocked with a jolt of electricity. The rebellion was effectively quelled. In retirement, RobertHoudin continued to experiment with electricity and mechanisms and wrote books.

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Something else that Houdin is remembered for, he was the first magician to eschew the heavy robes that magicians of the era traditionally wore. In his performances, Robert-Houdin wore formal evening attire, which magicians wear to this day.

Another of the great illusions introduced to Western magic by Robert¬Houdin was his Aerial Suspension. The use of ether as an anaesthetic agent had just been discovered (in 1842). The magician spilled this liquid freely about the stage, and it put his suspension effect into the Big Illusion class. A reviewer of his show in London described it thus: [Robert-Houdin’s] most impressive illusion was the “Escamotage de RobertHoudin, fils,” with his son suspended in equilibrium by atmospheric air, through the action of concentrated Ether, which concluded by showing the boy horizontal in the air and apparently supported by nothing except his elbow on the top of a walking stick.

The implication was that the ether had made the boy (Émile) light, and a rather flimsy “scientific” premise was thus established. This illusion was first shown by Robert-Houdin in 1848, but the idea was not original to him. In 1836 Ling Lau Lauro, a pseudo-Oriental, had been the first to introduce it in the Occident. A few years earlier than that, in the city of Madras, India, an old Brahmin conjuror was reported to have done a suspension effect, but in his version he sat in the air cross-legged. The report had him using no better apparatus than a piece of plank, which, with four legs, he formed into an oblong stool; and upon which, in a little brass socket, he placed, in a perpendicular position, a hollow bamboo, from which pro¬jected a kind of crutch, covered with a piece of common

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hide. These properties he carried with him in a little bag, which was shown to those who went to see him exhibit. The servants of the house held a blanket before him, and when it was withdrawn he was discovered poised in the air, about four feet from the ground, in a sitting attitude, the outer edge of one hand merely touching the crutch, with the fingers deliberately counting beads, and the other hand and arm held up in an erect posture.

The blanket was then held up before him, and the spectators heard a gurgling noise, like that occasioned by wind escaping from a bladder or tube, and when the screen was withdrawn he was again standing on the floor or ground.

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BURIED ALIVE The first time Houdini was buried alive was in Santa Ana, California in 1917. He was buried in a pit 6 feet deep. He became exhausted from the digging and began to panic. He finally broke the surface with his hand and became unconscious. He was pulled out by his assistants. Houdini wrote that this stunt was very dangerous and that "the weight of the earth is killing". Houdini introduced a variation of this in 1926 when he was submerged in a New York Hotel Sheraton swimming pool in a sealed casket for 1 ½ hrs. He did it to expose an Egyptian performer named Rahman Bey, who claimed to use supernatural powers to remain in a sealed casket for an hour. Houdini lasted longer and maintains that he did it with controlled breathing rather than supernatural powers.

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Houdini didn't slow down as he got older. At age 52, he had himself sealed in an airtight coffin which was then submerged underwater. He rested there for an hour and a half in 100 degree temperature. All to debunk a rival who performed a "buried alive" trick under the claim that a man could only survive in such a state for 3 minutes and that it was necessary to enter into a mysterious cataleptic state in order to last longer. It was just a matter of endurance and training, Houdini showed. Houdini also had himself buried under 6 feet of dirt and clawed his way out.

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GIANT MILK CAN ESCAPE

To build suspense for his milk can trick, Houdini would have the audience hold their breath for as long as they could. After a minute or so, all would have given up. He would then climb into the can, which was filled with buckets of water, the lid was locked on top with 6 padlocks, a cabinet was drawn around the can, and a giant timer began ticking down the seconds. Houdini’s assistant would pace nervously with an axe, waiting to smash open the can if Houdini did not emerge. Around the 3 minute mark, with the audience nearly overcome with anxiety, Houdini would step dripping wet from the cabinet to thundering applause

Milk Can Escape was an escape created by Harry Houdini in 1908 and introduced in St. Louis Columbia Theater on January 27. Houdini would escape from inside a giant milk can filled with water. Originally called 'The Galvanized Iron Can Filled with Water', it became a very popular trick and he took it on tour throughout the U.S., England, and Germany. In this effect, Houdini would be handcuffed and sealed inside an over-sized milk can filled with water and make his escape behind a curtain. As part of the effect, Houdini would invite members of the audience to hold their breath along with him while he was inside the can. Advertised with dramatic posters that proclaimed "Failure Means A Drowning Death", the escape proved to be a sensation. Houdini soon modified the escape to include the Milk Can being locked inside a wooden chest. Houdini only performed the Milk Can escape as a regular part of his act for four years, but it remains one of the effects most associated with him

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EAST INDIAN NEEDLE TRICK Houdini brought the “east Indian Needle Trick” from the obscurity of sideshows to popular culture in the early 1900s. In this trick, Houdini swallows 50 to 100 needles, 20 yards of thread and brings them all up threaded, after his mouth and throat have been inspected by a committee. He begins by placing the needles and thread on his tongue and appears to swallow them. To perform this trick, Houdini would simply place a length of thread already threaded with needles and place them between his lips and gums before his mouth was examined. By tying a note on each side of the needle, a little “play” was allowed, so that the needles were loose, appearing to be normally threaded. This prevented any real danger of having the needles coming loose from the thread, which could have injured Houdini. At this point, Houdini’s job was simply to deceive the committee. This required a great deal of thought and skill. In showing his mouth, he would draw his upper and lower lips away from his gums and teeth. Most suspicion was directed toward the back portion of the upper gums and Houdini would simply draw his cheeks wide with his little fingers to give a thorough view of the area. In drawing his lower lips and pulling his cheeks outward, his fingers would cover the needles hidden by his lower lip. He could also move the needle to the area between his upper gum and lips and move them back after inspec-

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tion. In cases of extreme inspection, Houdini could manipulate the needles to be hidden beneath his tongue. Houdini would then enter the stage and place up to 2 packets of needle and a length of thread on his tongue. He would then drink water and appear to swallow the needles and thread, place his finger and thumb to his mouth and extract the pre-threaded length of needles. At the finish, the needles stretched well across the stage. However, Houdini also had to be ready to dispose of the loose needles and thread for a post-inspection of his mouth. To do this, he would simply take a drink of water after the trick and eject the needles and thread into the glass. The weight of the needles would naturally propel them to the bottom of the glass, where they could not be immediately seen. The glass was then promptly taken away by an assistant. No special glass was needed, as the reflection of the water made it difficult to see the needles. Houdini would also perform a variation of this trick, by using razor blades. This trick was performed in almost the same manner as the needle trick however, instead of actually placing a false set of razor blades into this mouth, Houdini would simply show the blades on a folded handkerchief that contained pre-threaded blades hidden inside one of the folds. When placing the blades onto his tongue, he would take the pre-threaded blades from the fold instead of using the actual loose blades. In this way, there was no need to dispose of the loose razor blades for a post-trick mouth inspection, as they would be hidden within the folds of the handkerchief that had been removed from the stage by an assistant.

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THE VANISHING ELEPHANT On January 7th, 1918 Houdini performed his “Vanishing Elephant” illusion at New York’s Hippodrome Theater. The Hippodrome featured the world’s largest stage as well as a troupe of trained elephants. The illusion called for only a huge cabinet, an elephant, and a team of twelve, strong men. Houdini began with a cabinet, he described as “about eight feet square, twenty six inches off the floor.” All parts of the cabinets where shown to the audience and the elephant was walked inside. Once inside the cabinet, the doors and curtains were closed. Once reopened, the cabinet was empty, the elephant vanished.

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The Hippodrome’s size made it easy for Houdini to underestimate the size of his cabinet. What he described as “about 8 feet high” could not possibly have housed the 5-ton, 8 foot tall elephant. The size of the theater made the cabinet appear much smaller than its actual size. Also, theater’s shape made it difficult for most people to look through the Elephant Cabinet. The downstairs spectators formed a semicircle, balcony patrons had their view of the top of the cabinet cut off, and patrons sitting in front saw a slightly oblong cabinet which was set toward the audience, so that its curtained front end was toward one wing of the stage and the back, was toward the other wing. When Houdini spread the "front" curtains and opened the "back" doors they were "faced" toward opposite wings. Jennie then strolled on stage, had her sugar with Houdini by the footlights and was moved from there to the front of the cabinet, which she entered. The curtains were then drawn shut at Houdini's order, and the two doors were closed at the back. After this, the front was then slowly but steadily turned straight toward the audience. Filled with 5 tons of elephant, the illusion required twelve men to turn the cabinet, which took up seven or eight minutes. During this time, all Houdini did was open the front curtains. He didn't have to open the back doors. Each half of the back door had an oval cutout in the edge, so that when closed, they showed a circular opening in the center. The audience saw through the cabinet and out the hole in the back. Apparently the elephant had vanished; otherwise there would have been no unobstructed view. Where did the elephant go? It never left the cabinet. Houdini was simply working in a hugely oversized cabinet on the world’s largest stage. While the cabinet was being slowly swung frontward by the stage crew, the trainer, who had gone into the cabinet with the elephant, was moving the elephant to one side. There, a black interior curtain was pulled into place, matching the inside of the cabinet and hiding the elephant. When the front end curtains were drawn apart, the audience saw an empty cabinet; nothing could be seen except the circular opening at the back of the cabinet. The light coming in from the opening in the back gave the interior a perspective that minimized the darkness. The front curtain was widely bunched at the side where the elephant was hidden.

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The greatest and most sensational of all Houdini’s escapes was without doubt his “Chinese Water Torture Cell.” In this trick, Houdini was to escape an extraordinary contraption resembling a fish tank. This is filled with water while Houdini is placed head down, in full view of the audience. His feet are manacled and when the tank is covered it is difficult to imagine how he can possibly escape. But escape he does. It was, in a sense, a “double challenge” — first, to the audience to solve and second to his imitators to try to design something even half as wonderful. During his lifetime and for many years after, he was the only man to perform the escape from the Water Torture Cell., or anything quite like it. With all its seeming danger, and the definite difficulties it presented, Houdini never failed in the escape.

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CHINESE WATER TORTURE CELL

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To begin the trick, Houdini would devote five minutes to a detailed description of the tank, stocks, grill and steel tackle comprising the apparatus. Inviting a representative committee of the audience, Houdini would retire for a moment or two to change while his assistants rapidly filled the tank from a high-pressure hose and with buckets of heated water from ornamental cauldrons at either side of the setting. Returning in swimming costume, Houdini would lie on his back in the center of the stage as members of the committee adjust his feet within the stocks and snap the locks. The steel frame is next passed over the body until at the base of the stocks, where it is clamped securely. The metal grill has been placed in the tank and pulleys haul the artist in mid-air, where he remains suspended by his feet ready for his plunge into the water below.

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A few seconds later he drops, head first, into the tank; the stocks are instantly fixed in place of a lid, the steel frets quickly cover the sides and top, leaving space in their design to give view of the performer's submerged head; locks are bustled on, and a cabinet of draperies veil the rest. Two minutes of suspense follow. An axe is kept at the ready, to break the glass in case of danger. The orchestra with "Asleep in the Deep" helps to awaken the awful possibility of failure. But a second later, Houdini bursts his cabinet and stands smiling and listening to the applause of a bewildered house. Houdini continued to present the one and original Chinese Water Torture Cell from that time on. It appeared that the ultimate in escapes had indeed been achieved. With all the magic that he presented, all his skill at sleight of hand, all the spirit tricks he demonstrated, the Water Torture Cell still held he audience breathless and spellbound, during those two minutes and one second from the time the cabinet closed until Houdini reappeared free. It was Houdini's cardinal rule, with all dangerous escapes and especially those of the underwater variety, to make sure that the device used was sure and efficient. It had to be, for him

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to work the escape successfully, night after night, show after show. During his attempts to create the ultimate underwater escape, Houdini switched from all suggested underwater gadgets to the ingenious idea of doing it above water, in the form of an escape from a pair of stocks. While experimenting with a conventional top, decided to convert it into a pair of stocks. This automatically eliminated all the complicated mechanical devises required in earlier types of water cells. Houdini would be "locked in" the cell while "standing on his head" but, the stocks were set on the cell and attached to it. Houdini gave the idea that he was sealed inside the cell, totally filled with water. However, there was a lot of air at the top, because water gushed in waves over the brim when Houdini was let down quickly into the cabinet, and there was some leakage at joints. What apparently sealed the cell were Houdini's own ankles. The stocks and the edges of the top could not be labeled airtight.

that much more for the escape. In a late version, four hasps held the top framework; keys were inserted in each keyhole, locking the hasps, but secretly releasing the two boards which formed the stocks. The bars at the front of the cell enabled Houdini to gain a firm grip and work his body upward to apply full strength in getting his feet free. He could then twist sideways, draw his feet down into the cell, do a quick flip turnover and come up for air, head first.

So the Water Torture Cell had an actual top that not only imprisoned Houdini but kept him in an upsidedown position while the locks were being secured and the curtains were being closed. Yet all this was accomplished with rapid precision in a minimum amount of time, allowing

Up until Houdini's death, during the time that he was denouncing fraud mediums and exposing their trickery, believers insisted that Houdini actually dematerialized himself from the water cell; They argued that he was afraid to admit his mediumistic powers in the face of public antagonism.

The top was deep-set and Houdini had no trouble getting his head above water level, which had already been lowered by the splash from his upsidedown immersion. It was then a matter of opening the top "doors" fully and climbing out between the two stock boards that had been unlatched when the hasp-lock keys were turned. The two stock boards could then be flipped open on end hinges. Houdini then let himself down outside the tank, closed it completely and made his dramatic appearance from the cabinet.

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THE KING OF CUFFS Magicians began to demonstrate handcuff acts as early as the 1890s. According to NEW IDEAS IN MAGIC, published in 1902, the secret to a successful handcuff act is having multiple sets of keys. Having the full set of 45 keys would allow traveling magicians the most success. When entering a new town, the magician would research the handcuffs used by the local police as well as any “special” handcuffs and conceal the keys somewhere on his person. Concealing keys was simple when presenting a normal stage act as time would often not allow for an exhaustive search. It was as “The King of Handcuffs” that Houdini first came into fame during the early years of the twentieth century. At the beginning of his career, Houdini would simply conceal the keys in secret pockets or a bag strapped to his leg. As his skills and popularity grew, Houdini invented and used a belt made of flexible steel, containing special compartments within a double wall. The inner belt ran on tiny ball bearings that could be revolved by pressure from Houdini’s arm. This solved the biggest problem in handcuff work: accessibility. real key to Houdini, who would give the false With this belt, Houdini could have access to any key back to the handcuff’s owner. He would tool he required with only slight of hand. then free himself from the difficult handcuffs, Houdini welcomed all “freak” handcuffs, even using the observer’s own key. Some handcuffs, if had no tool for unlocking them. To complete called “jumpcuffs,” could be opened by simply the act, Houdini would insist on trying the key, to replacing its strong interior spring with a weak make sure it worked. In doing so, he would allow spring. The handcuffs would pass inspection, but his assistant a look at the key. This assistant could be opened by a tug on the wrists. These would switch out the real key with a similarwere used when making a jump from a bridge looking key from Houdini’s collection kept into a river before large crowds. The “jumpcuffs” behind the stage. The assistant would pass the were pulled open immediately after hitting the water, allowing Houdini to come to the surface freed from restraint. Another of Houdini’s systems was to have his wrists locked with four or five pairs of handcuffs. The “strange” pair were placed higher up, where his forearms were much thicker than his wrists. From here, he would simply slip off the cuffs after unlocking the pairs below. Houdini also dealt with difficult handcuffs by using them as connection links, in a chain of three handcuffs. One wrist would be placed behind the neck with a handcuff attached and dangling downward. The “strange” cuffs would be linked to that; then locked to another, which in turn would be locked around the other wrist. All that was necessary was to unlock the “regular” pairs and the middle pair would fall free.

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SUSPENDED STRAIGHTJACKET ESCAPE

Beginning in 1915, Houdini thrilled huge crowds with his suspended straitjacket escape. In this “outside stunt” Houdini was bound in a straitjacket and a rope was tied around his ankles. He was then hoisted high above the crowd and suspended from a beam that projected from a window in a tall building. In a 1916 performance in Washington, D.C., an estimated 15,000 spectators watched Houdini free himself from this terrifying predicament. Houdini made his first movie for Pathé in 1901. Titled Merveilleux Exploits du Célébre Houdini à Paris, it featured a loose narrative meant to showcase several of Houdini’s famous escapes, including his straitjacket escape. Houdini returned to film in 1916 when he served as special-effects consultant on the Pathé thriller, The Mysteries of Myra. That same year, he got an offer to star as Captain Nemo in a silent version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but the project never made it into production.

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Did you know that for someone who could escape from submerged locked boxes and from dangling upside down in a straitjacket, Houdini was scared of being in confined places? He once made a call from a phone booth which became stuck when he was trying to leave. After several minutes of frantically trying to get out of the booth, passerbys were able to extricate him. Houdini was only confident in getting out of escape mechanisms that he himself had designed in some way. The phone booth presented something that he had no control over which panicked him. This incident presents a fascinating element to the psychological makeup of this legendary daredevil.

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Harry Houdini slipping out of a straitjacket while hanging upside down over 46th and broadway in Manhattan circa 1915.

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VANISHING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

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Making the Statue of Liberty seem to disappear on live television (in 1983) is the creation of Jim Steinmeyer and Don Wayne, and it is still unpublished. In the illusion, Copperfield raises a giant curtain on Liberty Island before lowering it again a few seconds later to reveal that the space where the statue once stood is now empty. A helicopter hovers overhead to give an aerial view of the illusion, and indeed the statue appears to have vanished and only the circle of lights surrounding the statue remain. To prove that it is really gone, Copperfield then passes two searchlights through the space where the statue stood, to show there is nothing blocking the way. A live audience sits in an enclosed viewing area, and most of the camera shots are from the same area.

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Unknown to the audience, they (along with the home audience cameras) are seated on a large rotating stage. After the curtain is brought up to obscure the view, the stage is rotated into a new position overlooking empty water. The movement is very small as the statue is to be hidden behind one of the brightly lit towers. Moreover, the lights are extinguished from the Statue of Liberty, which now cannot be seen in the darkness. The helicopters fly into a new position while a second ring of lights, identical to the ones around the statue, are lit in the open water. The curtain is then lowered, allowing the audience to observe the empty ring of lights, completing the illusion.

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David Copperfield is the world’s most recognizable and established stage magicians. Some of the effects that transformed him into a household name were his creative and impossible variations of levitation. Out of Copperfield’s seventeen amazing specials, a spectacular fifteen of them include different forms of levitation. His most recognisable ones include the visually impossible ‘Floating over the Grand Canyon’ and his stage ‘flying’, which is performed live. His live performance was marvellous and to assure of no secret wires being utilised, Copperfield even enters a transparent glass box whilst still floating. Watching David take part in levitation in person is breathtaking, and is a fraction of the reason he is what he is today. If you have any one of Copperfield’s specials, then wipe the dust off the video, pop it in the video player and relive his levitation one more time, and rediscover why Copperfield is still the world’s number one magician, of any category. If you have the chance to visit one of his live shows, then don’t miss out on the opportunity, the stage shows are astonishing.

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LEVITATION David Copperfield flies about the stage and than passes several tests to demonstrate that he is not suspended from wires. He has hoops passed around him and shows he can also fly inside of a covered glass box and while carrying a female volunteer. John Gaughan, the creator of this amazing illusion, has revealed the method behind it. According to him, Copperfield is suported by wires. This wires are less than 1mm thick and therefore invisible to the audience. However, they can support 100kg each. They are mounted to a harness at Copperfield's hips. The harness is of course covered by the clothing. Above the stage, the wires are attached to a computer-controlled rig that mantains the tension of each wire and moves the performer around. But what about all the demonstations Copperfield did in order to convince us there were no wires? They can all be easily explained. When the hoops are seemingly passed around him, they never really go above him, but are always twisted under him. It is an optical illusion. If you watch carefully, you can notice this at the first hoop demonstration. When he floats inside of the glass box, the top of the box is threaded between the two sets of wires in a vertical position before being rotated ninety degrees and lowered into place. This way, the wires are passing through crevices between the lid and the slides. The "volunteer" was most likely a stooge.

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WALKING THROUGH THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

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When David Copperfield goes inside the first box there was a switch made,copperfield goes under the box and goes into the hollow stairs he then getscarried away inside the hollow stairs. A lookalike in shadow form pretends towalk through the first part of the wall, after he plays his part he gets insidethehollow base platform. By that time the assistance’s pull the sheets away toshow that he walked through the first part of the wall. The stairs that copperfield is in is behind the camera boom as it makes acomplete rotation over the wall. The assistants on the other side of the walltake thesame stairs and put it next to the other plate form.The assistants climb the special stairs and hold up a small white sheet of cloth. It looks like David Copperfield is pushing his and and face through thecloth.The secret behind this action is that the person on the right is just controllinga pair of fake hands which he controls with his right-hand. The person on theleftis just pushing a fake face through the cloth with his left-hand.The two assistants then drop the small sheet cloth and listen to the wall tosee if David is all right. They then slowly roll down the sheets to cover theframebox up and make sure it is tucked in good, they go down the stairs to wait forcopperfield to make his way through the second part of the wall. All he has to do now is get out of the hollow stairs and inside the box andwatch his angles with the light. He then comes closer to the light so it lookslike heis coming through the second part of the wall. He pulls the sheets away toreveal himself, the white cloth stays on the floor because it contains theprops.

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The vanishing of a 747 Jumbo Jet while it rests on the tarmac hasbecome one of the most significant vanishes of all time. On manyoccasions this illusion has been performed before a live televisionaudience, while a crowd of onlookers keep an eye on the real thing. It is not an illusion most magicians can afford to perform, still Iwill explain the most common way of performing this trick.The audience will see the jet as it taxis onto an area at the landingstrip. The crew will park the plane and disembark. The audience, bothviewing at home and on the scene, can see the airplane from alldirections. Spotlights will be pointed at the plane, making it fullyilluminated against the dark night. At the performer’s command, the lights to flash off, then back on.When the lights are relit, the plane is gone. The spotlights are onceagain pointed in the same direction as before, but there is no jetplane, only the tarmac and the night. The plane is then brought back inthe same manner. The lights will flash off then on, and the plane isback. The crew boards the plane and taxis it back to the hangar.The secret: I’m sure that you guessed it: The plane never reallyleaves the tarmac. But how is it made invisible? Many spotlights aresurrounding the plane, which is in a cordoned-off area all set for theeffect. Between the massive search lights and the audience, there is anetting draped from light to light. Encircling the plane.When the plane is first driven or taxied into the area, the oneopening between the searchlights is clear of the netting. Once theengines are shut off and the crew disembarks, the technicians willhook up this last piece of netting. This is done under

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VANISHING A JUMBO JET the cover of preparing the these massive searchlights for illumination.The netting is the same which is used on stage productions. On thestage, the netting acts as backdrops for various scenes. With theproper lighting, the backdrops and scenes will change. When backlit,you will see the image on the netting, when front lit you will seeright through it. In the case of the jet plane, the huge searchlights are set in such amanner that at one point you see through the netting and you caneasily see the plane. In the next setting, you only see the black of night, since this is the scene secretly painted on the specialnetting. Black is also the same colour of the tarmac, so it appearsthat the jet is gone and you see the ground where the plane once sat.When the jet is made to reappear, the netting is dropped to the floorwhile the lights are out. Turn the lights back on and the jet hasreturned.Positioning of the netting depends on the circumstances. If theaudience is only in front of the plane, then only mask that part of the plane from the audience with the netting. For more angles, usemore netting, surrounding the plane if necessary. Neither the humaneye nor the camera will be able to see through the netting when thecorrect lighting is in effect.This netting not only is used in stage plays, but many of the modernmagicians will use this effect on their shows and specials, it is agreat way to make things appear or vanish. Vanishing of a statue such as the Statue of Liberty can be controlledin the same manner under the right conditions. When “Liberty� wasunder construction a few years back, it was completely surrounded withworkmen scaffolding and platforms. The scaffolding would be an easyway to attach the netting and cause the illusion to take place.Only a performer with a keen sense of timing could come up with eventssuch as these. So look around, see what other opportunities for thesetypes of effects are available, then go out and perform them.

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Effect: You probably seen David Copperfield do dancing paper & floating rose in hisTV special. You take a piece if paper, give form to it, and in you commandthepaper float in the air, it also move. You can do it with your hands in yourback! After, you take the paper, give it the shape of a rose, and magically therosefloat in the air. You set fire to the paper rose and it transform into a realrose!!!Preparation: You need to buy some "invisible thread." Take one single strand of the threadand attach two pieces of tape, one at each end. On one end wad it up into aball. On the other end, attach to anything. You also need some flash paperwith which to make the rose. You will need a real rose, concealed in your leftpocket and a lighter. First, Put the balled up tape end of the invisible thread in your mouth. Thenmake a rose out of the flash paper. Step back until the thread becomes tight(youcan tell because the tape in your mouth will start to come out). Now place thepaper rose on the thread, engaging it under one of the petals, and viola! Younow are floating a paper rose! You can move it by simply moving your body.Now for the switch. Your body should be with the right side to the audience,andthe left side hiding the rose. With your right hand, reach for a lighter(preferably a zippo) and light it. Bring it under the paper rose, but DO NOTignite it. Thisis misdirection while your left hand grabs the real rose. With the rose in yourhand, light the flash paper, and bring your left hand up to the same positionasthe paper rose. The appearance will be that the paper rose turned into a realrose! Take a bow, and throw the rose into the audience.

THE FLOATING ROSE

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career

Simply put, the most talked about magician of a generation. Dynamo has turned the world of magic on it’s head, amazing people across the planet from the streets of Harlem to the Cannes Film Festival, he has helped re-define the genre, inspiring countless young magicians with his blend of visual magic, card handling and ability to floor the most skeptical of audiences. His influence has transcended the magic scene and can be felt on TV commercials for brands such as Adidas and O2 and entertainment shows such as ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ where both contestants and judges have sighted him as an inspiration. Dynamo’s list of celebrity spectators reads like the ultimate Hollywood line up: Will Smith, Russell Brand, Ashton Kutcher, Diddy, Jay Z, Coldplay, Demi Moore and Paris Hilton are just a few of the names who’ve raved about Dynamo’s unique talent. His TV credits include Snoops ‘Fatherhood’, Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Katalyst Live’, Sport Relief 2010, The MTV EMA’s, Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, F1 Rocks and shows on Channel 4 and MTV Worldwide.

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Dynamo: Magician Impossible

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The series sees the 28-year-old travelling the globe as the unassuming anti-hero who just happens to astound everyone he meets, whether it's an international footballer or Hollywood actor. In episode one, Dynamo performs his spectacular matrix style levitation, physically moves a girl's tan line on the glamorous Miami Beach and performs magic with Manchester rock legend Ian Brown. Other highlights in this mind blowing series include; transporting a mobile phone into a glass beer bottle, magically transforming snow into diamonds in the Austrian mountains and bringing a flutter of butterflies to life in Hollywood's famous Chateau Marmont. Throughout the series, Dynamo: Magician Impossible will take viewers on his magical journey before stunning them with incredible, headline-grabbing stunts beyond the realms of possibility

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WALKING ON WATER EXPLODING BOTTLE TWIST BOTTLE COIN THROUGH GLASS TABLE

His stunning close up magic has amazed pop stars, royalty and people on the ability to transcend the magic scene that has made him the most relevant Dynamo was first inspired by magic by a trip to New Orleans where he sharks and gamblers. He knew then he wanted to be a magician when he grew

alike but it has been his magician of his generation. watched street hustlers, card up (or grew older anyway).

He practised his card tricks, mixed them with a bit of breakdancing, and started showing his skills on the northern club scene. In 2000 Dynamo made a name on the local ‘magic scene’ by winning the Bradford Magic Circle Championships. Then in 2002 he won the Northern Magic Circle Vice President’s award and became the only UK magician to rank in the top 4 at the International Magic Convention. Since then he’s been wowing many names from Dizzee Rascal and Ms Dynamite to Snoop Dogg and Jazzy Jeff. Party tricks include turning a £5 into a £20, getting a coin through the bottom of a beer bottle and even twisting the label on the bottle before revealing he has twisted the glass underneath. Spooky.

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“The greatest magic I’ve ever seen” Chris Martin

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He walks on water, defies gravity and makes the impossible possible If magic is the ability to make the impossible possible, then 26 year old Steven Frayne’s whole career has been nothing short of magical. Growing up on

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one of Britain’s toughest housing estates (Delph Hill in Bradford, North East England), with a father more often in jail than out of it and a debilitating form of Crones disease, he has taken the world of magic by storm, performing for cultural icons such as Will Smith, Jay Z, Sir Paul Mcartney and Prince Charles.

In the last few years he has walked down the catwalk for Naomi Campbell’s Fashion For Relief and performed at Lewis Hamilton’s birthday, appeared as a guest on Jonathan Ross and featured on Snoop Dogg’s TV show ‘Fatherhood’, sat on the couch with Richard & Judy and been on tour with the Kings of Leon. Ian Brown wrote a song about him and Dizzee Rascal put him in a music video. He has performed live in front of a worldwide audience of 1.5 billion people on MTV’s EMA’s, been in his own Channel 4 show and currently features in a global ad campaign for Adidas alongside David Beckham.

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