Jack In The Box Illusion
By Jim Gerrish
This requires a stage and several assistants
(at least four) to do it justice, however, it is possible to
perform with three assistants.
After building Eisenheims
Ghost (The Wizards Journal #13), I realized I had
discovered a new toy to get an assistant in and out of an
illusion in a hurry. It has nothing to do with the
Ghost principle, but with the way the Ghost gets into
and out of that Illusion which was the break-through for me. But
Im getting ahead of my story.
illusionist rolls out an open frame of legs on wheels, and an
assistant carries out a piece of 1 inch thick plywood to set on
top of it, making a square table that is about 36 inches on each
side. The Illusionist jumps on top of the table and shows a small
cubical box that has a crank in one side. He turns the crank and
you hear the familiar music box playing Pop Goes the
Weasel that has become the Jack In The Box standard for
years. At the Pop! sure enough, out of the box pops
tiny Jack on a spring. However, as the illusionist closes the box
for another try, the box suddenly expands to over twice its size.
The illusionist jumps down and places the large Jack in the Box
on the table. He reaches into the box and produces several large
six-foot silks. Then he produces a crank and begins to crank the
side of the box. Again we hear the music, but this time it is
greatly amplified. At the Pop! the top bursts open
and a huge Jack pops up. In moments we realize that it is an
actor dressed up as Jack, for the illusionist opens the front of
the box and lets Jack out, to exit from the scene doing hand
springs, or whatever.
To accomplish this illusion, I have stolen the
expanding effect from Bautier De Koltas Expanding Die
trick, but actually the method of accomplishing it is stolen from
my own (Stealing from myself! Whoever thought I could stoop so
in my PVC Pipe Illusions for the Really, Really Cheap
Illusionist Book 2.
And then, as if that theft werent bad
enough, I stole the ***** from my own Eisenheims
Ghost which I will be using a lot more often since it
works so nicely.
Disclaimer: this is
not an illusion I have built yet. I got the idea from seeing the
Wiz Kids delight in the method for zooming in and out of Eisenheims
Ghost which premieres on my front porch this Halloween.
I wanted to remake my Die-A-Bolical
illusion anyway, and this Jack in the Box theme seems
perfect for it, so I do not anticipate any construction problems.
I believe I can have this constructed and in
rehearsal (at least with a cardboard prototype) within two weeks,
so it will be ready for performances this Christmas season. I
have an advantage in having lots of Wiz Kids to act as
assistants, illusionists, clowns, and so on. They are also small,
lightweight, and athletic (every last one of them can do a back-
flip, juggle and ride a unicycle
not all at the same
that comes next year!).
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