Saturday, May 10, 2008

Street Self Vanish

Effect - A blanket or towel is draped over the magician. Suddenly, the towel is dropped, and the magician is nowhere to be found!

Preparation - You need an assistant who is familiar with the effect, a blanket large enough to cover your body, but lightweight enough to not bend the gimmick, and you need to make a gimmick. To make the gimmick, gather some duct tape, a wire coathanger, some wire cutters, scissors, and an aluminum baking pan. The first thing you are going to do is mold the baking pan to the shape of your head. Place it on the top of your head, and gently press in all directions, letting it take the shape of the top part of your head. Now you’re going to trim it up with the scissors, cutting away all but the part that represents about the top third of your head. Now, carefully cut the coathanger open, and straighten it out. You need it to be about 2 ½ feet long. Now, on one of the ends of the straightened out hanger, you need to attach the baking pan gimmick. Bend the hanger so it fits nicely into the pan gimmick, and then secure its place with duct tape. Don’t worry about how it looks, no one is ever going to see it. Begin by concealing the gimmick under the blanket, with the pan part close to the center, and the wire running diagonally to the corner where your (or your assistants) right hand will be.

Presentation - Have the blanket with the gimmick hidden under it near where your assistant can easily access it. Make sure you perform in an area where there is something you could hide behind, such as a tree, car, or dumpster. You should begin your performance no more than 10 or 15 feet in front of your hideout. Make sure your audience is positioned at least 5 or 10 feet directly in front of you. Have your assistant pick up the blanket, keeping the gimmick in place. Have them drape it over your head as you kneel down, allowing your entire body to be covered. What is going to happen, is you’re going to quickly take a step back (keeping low to the ground) as the blanket is being draped over you, and you are going to let the gimmick act as you. The pan part of the gimmick should appear to be your head under the blanket, sort of like a shell, so make sure your assistant keeps it in the proper place. Quickly, staying low to the ground, walk back and hide behind whatever object you want to hide behind. Since your audience is directly in front of you, and since all their attention is on the blanket, they won’t see you. After you’re hidden away, your assistant throws down the blanket, showing that, in just a fraction of a second, you have vanished.

Ideas and Tips - It’s a good idea to have your assistant pretend to be a random spectator, so the illusion seems much less contrived, and much more powerful. One a similar note, you could have him/her be the one that vanishes, instead of you. Also, you could, after the vanish, reappear somewhere else, by simply running to wherever you want to appear, as the audience is focused on the blanket. For a more visual, eerie effect, instead of just throwing down the blanket, slowly lower it, so it looks like you’re shrinking into nothingness. You could even run to an area you wish to reappear at, and create an almost teleportation effect. Most importantly, please remember that this effect was designed, not for you to go out and perform it as it is, but to provoke your thinking, and allow you to come up with even better illusions yourself.


Another way to make yourself vanish, and WITHOUT the use of an assistant OR the gimmick, is to stand on a chair, quickly toss a blanket up in the air, and when it comes down, you’re nowhere to be seen. This could be accomplished by making a gimmicked chair or table. All that would have to be done, is a mirror would have to be inserted underneath the table or chair, in the middle between the legs. This would reflect the two legs that are already visible, and hiding the two that are not, creating the illusion that the audience can see under the table/chair. All you would have to do is, as you throw up the blanket, jump down behind the chair/table and sit in a
crouching position. The mirror would hide you. Thank you so much for purchasing this ebook. I hope that you play with some of the ideas, create your own methods, and go far in your career in