Friday, May 16, 2008

Psychic Touch Levitation

The Effect-
The magician asks a spectator to extend their hands out in front of them, and to think “light thoughts”. Slowly, the magician’s hands approach the spectators. As soon as the magician’s hands touch the spectators, the magician begins to float up into the air. The magician continues to float until he is over a foot in the air! The magician instructs the spectator to begin thinking “heavy thoughts”. As he does so, the magician begins to slowly ascend back to earth. Of course, there are many, many ways this effect can be performed, and there is no need at all to touch the spectator. This is just one of the many presentations possible with this amazing effect, and the touching is simply used to add a more “personal” feel to the effect.

The Method -
This effect is accomplished by secretly removing one leg from the pants, and lifting oneself up into the air with that leg. So, how do you get the leg out of the pants without anyone knowing? That’s where the gimmick comes in.

Making the Gimmick-
To make this gimmick, you need to have, or at least have access to, the following items:
  1. A jigsaw
  2. A 5 gallon, heavy duty plastic bucket
  3. A pair of pants one or two sizes larger than you normally wear.
  4. Duct tape
  5. A measuring tape
  6. A permanent marker
  7. Two small, round, strong magnets. (rare earth” magnets (also called neodymium magnets) are preferable).
  8. A couple packs of Velcro.
  9. Some super glue.
  10. Some scissors.

The first step in constructing the gimmick is to measure both the width (at it’s widest point), and the length of the area from just under your knee to just above your ankle. After you have taken these measurements, you are going to draw out the measurements with a permanent marker onto your plastic bucket. It doesn’t have to be exact, but you are basically just drawing a rectangle with rounded edges the size of your lower leg. After you have drawn this shape, cut it out with your jigsaw, and sand the edges with some sandpaper so that they aren’t so sharp. This piece is going to be used as a shell to take the place of your leg inside the pants, so that the spectators won’t be able to tell when your leg is outside of the pants. Now, you’re going to take your pants, and cut a slit straight down the middle of the back of one leg. Use your stronger leg if you have one. You’re going to cut from about your knee (on the back side though) all the way to the bottom. Now, take your two magnets (size doesn’t really matter, just make sure they are strong enough to hold your pants together), and superglue them to the flaps you just created on your pants. On the right flap, about middleways up, just a few centimeters on the INSIDE of the pants, and on the left flap, on the OUTSIDE of the flap, so that it matches up with the right flap and holds your pants shut. This is why you chose oversized pants, so that you could overlap the flaps and you it wouldn’t be obvious. It’s going to seem like everyone will notice this big slit in your pants when you first create this effect, but they won’t. Unless you give them a reason to, no one will notice this. You have to just trust that and be confident in it. Now, to complete the gimmicking of your pants, you’re going to attach the Velcro (the male part) to both the left and right side of the inside of the pants, just about a quarter inch from the bottom of this same leg. That part sounds confusing, but read it again, you’ll get it. Now, you’re going to attach two more strips of Velcro (again, size doesn’t matter, as long as it works for you) to the right shoe (if this all is with your right leg). You want this to be the “female” part of the Velcro. You want to attach them to both sides, right at the top. What you’re trying to do is be able to attach the Velcro on your pants to the Velcro on your shoes so that your pants never slide off of your shoe. For the last two pieces of Velcro (magnets would also work here), use one strip of female, and one strip of male, and place them on the innermost side of your shoes (NOT the INSIDE), about halfway up. You want your shoes to stick together when you press them against one another. Once the Velcro is attached, and it fits perfectly with the pants, you want to take your plastic shell you made earlier, and your duct tape, and tape the shell exactly where it would be if it was you real leg INSIDE the pant leg.

To use the gimmick, just put on the pants and shoes as you normally would.
If you play around with it for a bit, you’ll realize that all you have to do to
create the illusion of levitation is:
  1. Press your shoes together, locking them with Velcro.
  2. Secretly reach down and unclip the two magnets holding your pant flaps together ( under the misdirection of looking your spectators in the eyes and talking to them).
  3. Slide your shoe out of its pants and position your foot about 12 inches back.
  4. Lift up on your leg (the one that’s out of it’s pants), as you simultaneously raise your other leg. This will cause both feet to rise into the air.
  5. To return stop levitating, simply reverse the above actions.

Achieving More Height
So, how do you achieve more height and float up to 2 feet in the air? The answer: Levitate upon to a curb, stool, chair, or stair. The actions are exactly the same, except instead of just stepping back, you’re stepping up and back onto the object. I hope you enjoyed the Psychic Touch Street Levitation! It’s an amazing effect, and if you treat it well, it will treat you even better!