The Russian Roulette...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Simon_Magic, May 7, 2012.

  1. Heya Guys!

    I am looking to implement a Russian Roulette Routine in my show, however I don't know what version to go for.

    I know 'The Spike' was quite popular at one point and have seen versions of it many times. I've seen Dan Sperry do it with a broken bottle, I've seen Kockov do it with guns loaded with a blank and I've seen Dee Christopher do it with power drills.

    I want to do something different, so possibly 'The Spike' idea isn't for me as it has been done a lot, but what other versions of this are there out there, and any idea where I could purchase the beer bottle, gun, or power drill routine so I can look at costs for this.


  2. The Russian Roulette (RR) plot is incredibly simple and with some thought you can probably figure out a fairly surefire method yourself. Also, ideal methods will change depending on the venue.

    What I'm curious about is your goal with implementing RR in your act? This will help determine which methods might be best for you.

    I used to use Matthew Mello's Instinct. Actually, I'm glad you reminded me of this as I had put the RR stuff to the side for a long time, but thinking about it now I think I may have a presentation that suits me. So thanks for that :)
  3. Heya Christopher!

    I had thought up a method myself using clear plastic cups and blindfolding the magician, but I'm not sure how well this would play on stage. My original concept for this was that the audience could see exactly where the nail was, but the magician couldn't, meaning that the audience could see if he was about to plunge his hand on the nail. Obviously the magician wouldn't plunge his hand on the nail but would make it look like he was about to.

    However looking at other performances of this, I can't help thinking that some of the fun is in not allowing the audience to see the nail or whatever either.

    I am looking to implement this in my routine for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The plan is to start with basic tricks, then move to mentalism, then to geek. Russian Roulette is a nice go between from mentalism to geek.


  4. I should preface this by stating that I hate the Russian Roulette as a plot, for reasons I will happily go into if you wish.

    You said you were going from magic to mentalism to geek magic all in once show? How long is your show, because ultimately going through these three disciplines each one of them needs to be given its own space.

    If you do want to go the clear cups with a blindfold route I would highly suggest that you only use one empty cup and 3 spike cups. There are two reasons I would do this. EIther there is going to be no suspense for the first two cups. The audience knows you are not going to hit the cup with the spike under it as they can see you are nowhere near it. The second reason directly relates to the first you you are always tossing up between the cup with the spike and another cup, the audience will assume you know where the spike is at all times. Even though you are blindfolded it is only a simple step to the actual method, which is never a good thing.
  5. Heya D ICE R!

    Nice to speak to you again mate :)

    My personality and character on stage is able to switch between the three. I don't do what some performers do (blood brothers, Preacher Mua'dlib) when it comes to Geek by making it as horrid and gut wrenching as possible. I perform any geek stunt, real or not, as an invincibility stunt rather than screaming in pain. Nothing wrong with that, just isn't my style.

    Also whenever I perform a 'trick' I put my own spin on things rather than just keeping it to the basic trick. I mould the tricks i perform in the show around me and my personality, I do not allow the tricks to mould my personality which I think is important, otherwise I could be ridiculously cheesy at one point and dark and mysterious the next.

    It is hard to describe, but it does work as an act on stage. I'm sort of like Pete Firman. I'm that sort of style, just a bit younger and not from Middlesborough.

    Thanks for your advice on doing it with 3 nails. Would you say that it would be worth taking some apples on stage or something like that? So that you could bring the apple down onto the spikes? or would you suggest just eliminating them somehow?

  6. #6 D ICE R, May 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2012
    I don't feel that you directly need to eliminate them, as you pointed out the audience knows that they are there. All you have to do is give some from of 'process' as to how you are eliminating them and the audience will believe it.

    I have mind movie'd the presentation if you would like to me to write it up just shoot me a pm, giving me a brief description of your mentalism abilities (ie are you nlp body language reading like Derren etc.).
  7. Either do all mentalism, or none at all. Mentalism is performed differently from magic and should be separate from it. If you want to do some mental magic, fine. But pure mentalism should not be presented beside magic.
  8. I'm biased for the version Randi Rain put out called "tetanus". It's 100% safe (no really it is). If you are looking for something that is not a spike I personally dig the staple gun version. I know Sperry performs Shattered (The broken bottles) and gets good reactions from it.
  9. D ICE R, It would be ace to hear your patter ideas, I'll send you a PM now :)

    Steerpike, I have never seen a problem with mixing magic with mentalism. I don't do what may be conceived as 'Pure' mentalism as it wouldn't suit me. I am in no way the next Derren Brown. However in my act is a drawing duplication, mental epic, as well as some comedy bits and pieces. Thank you anyway for your thoughts on the matter.

    Bizzaro, thank you for your recommendations, I will definitely look them up :)

  10. If you want Comedy as part of the bit look into GRAFFITI by Roni Shachney in the UK. You can probably inquire through Lebanon Circle in that Roni works closely with Dan Baines.

    The routine uses cans of Spray Paint and delivers a hilarious climax. If I were still doing stage shows I'd have this in my act.
  11. My favorite Russian roulette effect! I don't use it but I've seen it performed a couple times and the plot is so awesome. You can put the spectator on the spot without the fear of hurting them at all! They will still be scared to death but there wont be any worry that you'll hurt yourself or the other participants in the effect. This is golden!
  12. I've googled the GRAFFITI Routine however can only find descriptions, no videos, and nowhere i could purchase it if I decide to unfortunately :-(

  13. As I said earlier, you will want to go through Dan Baines @ Lebanon Circle. The effect is not mass produced, I think Roni is only releasing two dozen of them total. I think it runs somewhere in the $500.00 to $600.00 range but don't hold me to that, it could be a great deal more.
  14. I want to say Derren Brown performs a version of it on one of his "Events" specials.

    Even if you can't get this exact effect I think the train of thought is better than the classic Russian roulette. I don't like the dangerous routines, there are too many horror stories out there about magicians and spectators being hurt. I would prefer a smash and stab routine with the spectator's watch rather than there hand. Banachek has one that uses buisness cards and it is fairly intense itself and perfectly safe.
  15. There was one put in print in a magic magazine a year or two back (No idea which one or when sorry) where cans of silly string was used and only one can worked. Then the magician got a face full of silly string. Kinda funny.
  16. Many considered that a rip-off from Roni's piece (which I do believe to be the one Derren Brown used) but magician's love to steal it would seem. . . how many versions of Smash & Stab are on the market right now and whose not paying royalties to the originators?
  17. I would dare say this performance has almost passed into public domain because it has seen so many variations with different methods.

    This of course brings up the argument of if you change the method to an effect but similar principal whose is it? Technically whoever invented Russian roulette should be getting credit yeah? ha ha
  18. #18 kendonaga, May 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2012
    I think this is a little out side the box to must of the suggestions so far which are more 'proper' mentalism/roulette routines.

    I have used a variation on Wayne Houchin's Fizz Master in the past - I'm sure if you know the effect you'll be able to work out the variation.

    5 cans, 1 shaken and then open over the head of a spectator or another performer that night is what I usually do.

    I have a similar style to you with mixing magic and mentalism and I find it works quite well cause it isn't as serious as a spike or staple gun etc. and quite easy to mix in some humour!
  19. Yes, I have several such bits that I rotate and I do understand what you mean. At the same time I'm reminded of the Greg Arce observation in how "Magicians" will watch a mentalism show and try to figure out how to fit certain pieces into their own show while Mentalists aren't trying to figure out how to put a Pom Pom Stick or Thin Sawing into their programs. . . it's a matter of domain and respect which, sad to say, today's redefined idea of Mentalism don't seem to encourage.

    In the old SYZYGY newsletter there was a routine I did with a borrowed watch. . . I loved finding the most expensive man's watch in the room just for my own amusement; watching the patron cringe as I jumped onto and smashed the collection of lunch bags he just mixed up, one of which held his watch. . . the audience got a kick out of it too, especially when I used the Boss's watch.
  20. You might also check out Dan Sperry's cookie cutter

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