Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project 365 Backlog (76/365): Assistant's Revenge

.:76/365: The Assistant’s Revenge:.

One of the best escapology routines ever that involves no mortal danger to the performers, the assistant’s revenge is an escape act that really catches the attention of people because of the apparent sheer speed it is executed.

Invented by one of the best minds in the world of magic, Robert Harbin, this act features a magician restraining his assistant by an assortment of locks and straps to a large apparatus, then as he closes the curtain around the whole thing, by the time he comes out on the other side, it’s no longer the magician, but the assistant. In one continuous motion, he reopens the curtains, showing that the magician is now in those same restraints, effectively proving that he has gained his “revenge”.

What else can I say about this routine that I haven’t covered in the description? Well, for starters, it’s a very strong favourite among escapologists and illusionists alike, and is certainly capable of ending a show if they wanted it to be the highlight of the night. What makes this routine very amazing is the simplicity of the whole script, and the delayed reaction before people realize that a very inexplicably fast switch just happened right before their eyes.

Even if I know the mechanics behind this particular routine, I still can’t help but be amazed everytime I watch it. It’s like “Metamorphosis” done horizontally, if that makes any sense at all.

With that in mind, this is a fairly expensive routine to set up, what with the curtains and the apparatus and all that. There are plenty of variations on the routine, although I’d be incredibly happy if I could come up with my own presentation for it, since this routine has a lot of legs and can have a ton of options one can work with. Just don’t do a joke where you switch again and again and again and again because after the first or second switch, any further iterations just really turns the routine into a joke, which is the last thing you’d want to do with something that normally costs the average performer $4,000 to have made and shipped to their doorstep.

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