Sunday, March 07, 2010

Project 365 (66/365): The Gypsy Mystery

.:66/365: The Gypsy Mystery:.

This is rather awkward...

The Gypsy Mystery is a very popular routine with its roots in mysticists and paranormalists who have demonstrated what has come to be known as the Spirit Cabinet.

Having said that, this routine to me is more of an escapology act than a paranormal one, given the way my partner, Jay, and I have packaged it.

Traditionally, the routine is done this way: ask a volunteer to come up on stage, and make sure he is wearing a jacket. Have him step up beside your assistant as you bind your assistant with ropes very tightly. Then, you have both of them stand in a hoop, you raise the hoop and let the curtain cover them, and once you bring the hoop down, lo and behold, your assistant is still tied up, but she’s wearing the volunteer’s jacket, and it’s very clear that the ropes go over the jacket.

It’s visually stunning and really causes not a small amount of shock from the people in the audience when this routine is done. It’s a very powerful routine that goes well in opening or closing any given show, although it logically assumes a few things, most important of them, the fact that there have to be two performers onstage.

Most magicians such as the great Lou Hilario frown at having two men perform this routine, precisely because of the unfortunate implications of having another man tie up another man live onstage, but it’s precisely this kind of awkwardness and raw impact Jay and I actually thrive on. It helps the dynamic, because as a tandem, Jay and I couldn’t be any more different with how we approach our performance style, and that contrast makes for an entertaining show.

With Jay and I working on a third show hopefully this year (If not, early next year.), you can really expect some new tricks up our sleeves, as well as a few old favourites people have been asking for.

Gypsy Mystery is a routine I first saw from the great Glen Faulkenstein, and locally, sir Lou Hilario has also used this routine to great effect. Personally, I’m a big fan of it because it’s very visual, but it doesn’t require much in the way of props.

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