Thursday, December 15, 2016

Update From The Steampunk Illusionist

I know I've been kind of quiet lately, but that has only been here. I've been busy working on the show and performing the Steampunk Illusionist Show. As with many projects, this one is in a constant stage of development. We are 'growing' the show as I type this. We will be adding many new things to the show, from new routines and new illusions, to new products to sell after the show.

One of the new routines in the show is our Spirit Cabinet, right from the playbook of Anna Eva Fay
herself. Actually, the Spirit Cabinet will also be the backbone of another show we are creating that is about ghosts and spirits! But we will include the Spirit Cabinet in our other shows as well. We had a great time presenting it during October for many of our Halloween shows. For those unfamiliar with a Spirit Cabinet, here is the basic effect. A medium, in this case my assistant Denise, is tied to a chair  She is placed in a trance so that in this state she can summon spirits of the dead. A table with a bell, tambourine and other objects sits next to her and a curtain goes around the medium. As soon as she is out of site, the bells ring, tambourine shakes and other odd manifestations occur. The moment the curtain is opened, the medium is found to still be in a trance state, still tied securely as before. It's quite an amazing presentation.

There are other new effects in the show as well, but I'll share those at a later date. For now, I would like to share with you an updated promotional video of the show. It's fairly short, and shows clips from different performances. We tried to give it an old timey feel by using an aging filter. I'm not happy that Youtube made me change the music. I had paid for the music I originally had, but for whatever reason, they would not allow it. The music that is on there is similar however to what I had. I hope you enjoy the video!

Saturday, August 06, 2016

The Steampunk Illusionist Returns!

I feel as if it has been a very long time since I stepped on stage as The Steampunk Illusionist. It's actually not been that long, but with the passing of my Father, time seems twisted and unfamiliar. That being said, The Steampunk Illusionist DID return to the stage this week. We had the honor of performing at the Locust Shade Park Amphitheatre in Triangle VA. It's a wonderful venue that holds up to 600 people. The audience is covered as is the stage, but with the hot August days, it can still be a challenge, and it was.

The temperature was in the 80s the day of the show. Though we were doing the smaller version of the
show, there is still a lot involved in the set-up. We planned a rather ambitious show that we felt would be received enthusiastically. Imagine our surprise when we arrived to find we left our closing effect at home. That situation was a crushing moment as we had worked so hard on this new ending to the show.  We had all the other parts to the closer, including new costumes and such, but the one key piece we needed was missing. So, we quickly had to reorganize the order of the show. We chose to close with our signature Traveling Bottle and Glass routine. This effect is a popular one among stage magicians, but almost everyone I have ever seen perform it does the exact same routine. Now, there is nothing wrong with the original routine, but we wanted something a little different. Our routine uses two people and has a lot of extra comedy due to the antics of my assistant Denise.

We had a couple new routines in the show which I was very proud of. One is an effect with several feathered plumes. The plumes magically change color, again and again. I think it may be my new favorite routine. The other new addition was the Silk Pedestal which dates back to the Victorian era and plays very nicely. I believe that I am going to expand on this routine and make it more of a feature.

The show also included my Steampunked Disectolator illusion, where my arm gets cut into three pieces. And we also do a wonderful effect with three borrowed finger rings that appear in a most impossible location. All in all, we presented 12 routines in our 45 minute show.

There are more new routines that will be going into the show soon. One which is based on a real Civil War era spy! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Escape Act Going Into The Steampunk Illusionist Show

This past weekend, my assistant Denise and I presented a sort of recreation of Houdini's act for the ObscuraDay 2016 event called Houdini Escapes DC. We gave it a sort of modern spin, in that the escapes were done quicker than Houdini might have presented them. But we used music from the era and even one track that Houdini himself used. We had our Victorian garb on and plenty of handcuffs to delight the audiences.

The whole idea of an escape act really comes out of the Victorian era. Some of the first folk to present escapes were the fake mediums/spiritualists. Magicians then took the methods they used and adopted them to the world of magic. The first person to ever present a handcuff escape was a man named Samri Baldwin who was known as The White Mahatma. Harry Kellar the greatest magician in America at the dawn of the 20th Century, was known for his ability to be tied up, free himself and then return to the tied up state. Kellar learned this technique while being employed by the famous Davenport Brothers. Harry Houdini of course took the escape act in directions it had not known by taking on pretty much any sort of restraint available.

The Escape Act is now part of our Steampunk/Victorian show. We will also include the multi-cuff escape which uses 6,7,8, or 9 different handcuffs and a pair of thumbscrews. Escape looks impossible! This is right out of Houdini's act and it's something that is almost never seen today.

In addition, we will feature the escape from 100 feet of rope and one or two of the following: The Steel Straitjacket, The Challenge Belt, The Glass Head Box, Sack Escape, Escape from Old World Stocks, and more. 

We are searching for a 'dangerous' escape to add as well. Right now, the Glass Head Box is probably the most dangerous. This box fits over my head and can either be filled with water or left air-tight. The water fill has been problematic in the past because of the way it has to be filled.

Keep watching for more updates on the escape act!