Escape Artist

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mattxdfa, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Just bought a pair of handcuffs to work on getting out of! Next to card magic this is my favorite thing to see so I figured I would give it a try!
    Anyone else do much with this type of stuff?
  2. If your getting into type I would recommend you pickup Dixie Dooleys DVDs on escape magic, I think they have them available at penguin
    Al e Cat Dabra and Mattxdfa like this.
  3. Thanks I will have to check it out, I have been looking around for some material on it!
  4. Can confirm, I had all of Dixie Dooley's dvds, theyret great. They start with rope escapes then move into cuffs and straight jackets and then into bigger escape illusions.
    Learning to pick double locked handcuffs in under a minute was a really fun skill to learn.
    Also I think Brian brushwood has some lock and cuff escape stuff on his site.
    Mattxdfa and HectorE1 like this.
  5. I do a legit strait jacket escape in my sideshow act. It's how we get the crowd worked up for the opener.

    There's two bits of advice that were given to me that I think are really important for escapes - 1) The hard part is making the act of escaping interesting. The skills obviously take some time, particularly if you're getting into lock picking (which was a hobby of mine years before I got into magic), but making the audience enjoy watching you do it is going to take a lot more work.

    And 2) Make it have a consequence. If there's no consequence to you failing to escape, no one cares. When I originally did it, I would get laughs, sure, and people thought it was kind of cool, but when I figured out a way to make it have a consequence suddenly the reactions and energy were ten times bigger.
  6. Out of curiosity, what was the consequence if you couldn't get out?
  7. I'll be honest with you - I'm not keen to talk about my specific presentation for this. While it is something that is particularly suited to the sideshow act I do with my wife, it's generic enough that it will likely be stolen. Not directing that at anyone specifically here, but it wouldn't be the first time people have stolen material from me so .......

    The key here is making sure the consequence is enough to be worthwhile, but not so much as to be unbelievable. Like, if the consequence is that you'll die - you'll have trouble getting people to invest in that because who genuinely believes that a performer would risk their life? Not many. If it's too inconsequential, like you'll feel embarrassed that you didn't break Houdini's record or something, no one cares.

    It also has to suit the show/character. If you're generally a comedic person, then a serious consequence will not sit right in the show. It has to be in line with the character and just serious enough to matter.
    DominusDolorum likes this.
  8. Yea I feel like using escapes wouldn't suit me right now. I am enjoying just learning lock picking right now. I'm going to have to check out these DVDs.
    Thank you @ChristopherT for the insight on adding it to a routine. I feel like it would be rather difficult to do and keep it interesting but I never thought of the consequence aspect of it. So thanks!

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