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This PDF would not exist, if it were not for one of those rare coincidences. The content of this ebook was locked away on a set of 16 microfiche since the mid-70s under a title and categorization inaccessible to magic keyword searches. No more than 50 people have seen it or are aware of its existence. And since most of those 50 folks have nothing to do with magic it is a publication completely unknown in the magic community.
It is a remarkable set of plans for 27 illusions which 27 students of architecture at Penn State University under the guidance of Prof. Howard Ray Lawrence produced during a one of a kind 1976 class. The aim of the class was to teach some of the basics of architecture through the exploration of magic illusions. Each student had to design a magic illusion, build it, and then perform it on stage.
One of the great features of this ebook is that each illusion is accompanied with beautiful to scale drawings, including enlarged details. Additionally, which is a first in magic, each illusion comes with a stage lighting plan. These drawings also show the stage set ups of illusions for each act. Each illusion is also described by effect, gimmick and materials used. Prof. Lawrence dug out a couple of photos of the performance and these photos are added to the respective illusions. There is also a sound and lighting cue plan as well as the list of music accompanying each illusion. In other words, you are not only getting the construction plans for the illusions but also all the information of how they were staged and presented. Something like this has never been offered to the magic community. It is both a remarkable historical document as well as a great resource for illusion builders and magicians who want to incorporate a stage illusion into their act.
The illusions themselves are a mix of classic illusions such as sawing a woman in half and completely new illusions specifically created for this class. But even if the illusion is a classic one, the way it is realized and the details of its construction are often novel and unique. Keep in mind these are architecture students who come with a completely different set of skills and ideas than the typical magic illusion builder.
The 27 illusions are:
- Talking Death Mask
- Noah's Ark
- Drinking Water from Barrel Suspended in the Air
- Girl from a Big Balloon
- Production of a Woman from a Trunk
- Removal of the Center Portion of a Person
- Decapitation with Suspension of Head
- Dissembling and Reassembling a Person
- Transposition of a Woman
- Clown Gets Death Penalty
- The Elastic Lady
- Talking Head
- Diagonally Sawing a Woman in Half
- Woman Changes into a Cat
- Light Bulbs Through Body
- Person Through Glass
- Packing Crate Escape
- Paper Box Escape
- Switch of Magician with Assistant
- Milk Can Escape
- Floating Light Bulb
- Vertical and Horizontal Rotational Levitation
- Dancing Silks in Magic Bottles
- Levitated Woman Vanishes in Midair
- Vanish of a Woman Behind Dressing Screen
- The Magical Palanquin
- Voodoo Vanish
1st edition 2015, 163 pages.
word count: 12527 which is equivalent to 50 standard pages of text