Saturday, November 09, 2013

Steampunk Illusionist Gets New Costumes

I'm not sure what my favorite part of this entire process is, but I'm really enjoying the costume creation. The photo here is actually not one of ours, but it's a fair representation of what we are going for, minus a few of the extra accessories. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the accessories, but we've got to stay practical too because girls need to get in and out of boxes, float in the air and do all the stuff associated with a magic show and then some. Basically, the girls need to be comfortable but have a killer look.

In our show last Saturday, Denise rocked a killer outfit. Do I have photos? NO! And I can't begin to tell you just how frustrated I am about that. Even the video didn't turn out. :(  But trust me, her costume was incredible. My costume was good, but she had the stand out look from my perspective. I'm still trying to get a hat that fits, lol!

Back to Denise, she had on a red corset, long billowy black skirt, black wig, miniature black top hat, white blouse, awesome period looking boots and lace gloves. I had on my long frock coat, a black vest, top hat w/goggles, black pants and spats. It was a good look, the spats really brought it up a notch and together we looked like we just stepped out of a time machine, which was the general idea.

There are more costumes coming in each week. New hats, new accessories, new vintage style shirts and pants. I want to be sure the show is visually interesting on multiple levels and fashion is the one area where most magicians drop the ball. Generally, most magicians are wearing fashion that is out of date. Here is the ironic part, SO ARE WE, but for us, that is the point! It's a themed show, so the costuming plays as big a part as character, props etc. But for other magicians who are wearing styles from the 1990s, they just look out of touch.

I am so happy to have some sort of gadgetry for the show also. And MORE gadgetry is on the way! I've got some work to do on revamping one of our illusions. I'm going to take before and after photos so you can see how we changed it. Until next time...

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Trying A Fresh Approach To Magic thru Steampunk Magic

At the theatre show we did last weekend, one of my favorite comments was how 'fresh and original' our act was. This is funny in an ironic sort of way because the material for the most part has been around for 100 years or so. We have added our own twists here and there. Of course, our approach is to infuse the magic with Steampunk. We are not the first to do this, nor will we be the last. But we have tried to approach it from our own unique perspective.

One routine that is an important part of our show was actually the creation of Orson Welles the famous movie star and film director. Orson was an avid magic fan and even toured with his own Illusion Show for a period of time. This creation of his was later adopted by Doug Henning and I recall seeing Doug perform it on TV and live at his shows. The basic plot is borrowed object to impossible location. Our contribution is to wrap it in a time travel setting with a miniature teleportation device. It's a strong piece of magic, but not without it's issues. It's not easy to do. It has many restrictions. And borrowing objects can be problematic these days. But the end results, we find, are well worth it. Having said all that, the routine continues to evolve because we want the strongest routines possible for our show.

Another piece we presented during the show was a very unconventional escape. Usually, with escapology, the star of the show does the escape. However, in this instance, my assistant, who is also more partner than assistant, is featured. It is not a rough and tumble sort of escape where there is a lot of struggle. Instead, this escape is delicate and fast and to be honest, quite astonishing. I had magicians come up to me after the show and say how this fooled them. No surprise, it fooled me the first time I saw it presented. The way in which it was performed last weekend will change slightly in the future. It does not contain any sort of time travel or steampunk element, however, simply by the nature of the prop, it fits perfectly into the act. Having just said that, hmmmmm, I think I might have a clever premise to add to the routine!

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Steampunk Illusionist Appears at First Annual Houdini Festival

In a previous blog article I mentioned that we would be debuting the Steampunk Illusionist Act at the First Annual Houdini Festival in Danville VA on Nov 2, 2013. Actually, to be exact, this was the first time the 'two person act' debuted. I've been doing Steampunk material and routines on my own for a while now. The plan has always been to expand the act and to create a much larger and grander show. So this event in Danville was the next step in the process.

My assistant Denise and I presented four routines. The first was a clever interactive piece that as far as I know, I am the only one presenting. The second routine was pure steampunk, using a minature time machine to send several borrowed finger rings back in time and then return to the future in a most unusual place. The third piece in the show was an escape. This was a Houdini Festival after all so we presented a clever escape using a fabric bag and the lovely and talented Denise presented the escape. The final routine was a story based routine of my own about Harry Houdini and Charlie Chaplin.

Our steampunk costumes looked incredible and the comments by the audience, both young, old and those from magicians were all very enthusiastic and positive. Looking forward to the next steampunk show!