Vampire Levitation
By Professor Spellbinder

This is based on TWO levitations invented by U.F. Grant circa 1965, but the old master wouldn't recognize either of them in my Vampire Levitation variation.

In 1975 I built a self-levitation illusion based on ideas I had combined from two U.F. Grant principles and came up with my Vampire Levitation, designed for use in a 1975 theatrical production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, by Hamilton Deane to help the actor playing the role of Dracula turn into a bat and fly away.

Some time later, I adapted the theatrical illusion to performances for my Wizards’ Magic Show, combining the Levitation with my Fabled Cloak of Invisibility as described in The Wizards’ Journal #6 but eliminating turning into a vampire bat as the ending. After all, I was a respectable Wizard, not a creature of the night.

I discovered that I was able to perform the Levitation as a separate effect in children’s shows, usually around Halloween, but I also produced a non-spooky version for use by a clown using a circus theme, so the effect has wide possibilities for children’s entertainers as well as for stage illusionists. The only requirement is that the children’s entertainer must be comfortable working with a backdrop. Any setting where a backdrop can be employed makes it possible to include the Levitation. This might lead you to think that my Levitation requires heavy machinery and tons of time to set up. Au contraire, mon frère. The levitation is lightweight and sets up in plain sight of the audience after you set up the backdrop. They can see nothing. It's not a suspension, either. You lift up off the ground and have the option of vanishing at the end, reappearing from the wing to take your applause, or reappearing in another illusion if you prefer (all options are discussed in the e-Book).

I recommend a backdrop such as the ones made by Jeff Jones of North Carolina www.magicbackdrops.com .

Of course, you may already have a backdrop that will work and in that case, you don't need to buy or make a new one. A PVC pipe backdrop, such as the ones found in Jim Gerrish's PVC Pipe Illusions Book 1 will also work.

Effects:

The performer is wearing a large brightly colored cape. At some point, the performer brings the cape up over the bottom part of his face, in typical Bela Lugosi fashion.

Then the performer begins to rise slowly into the air. His feet are visible beneath the bottom of the cape, and they attain a height of 15 inches or so above the floor. Then his feet disappear beneath the cape and his head begins to change into the head of a bat. There is a fluttering at the top of the cape, as if wings are spreading out. Suddenly the cape falls to the floor and a large bat flies out over the audience… well, that is if you are performing the original version as used in the Dracula play. Assistants are needed for this version, while the alternate versions described below can be performed solo.

Alternate Endings after Levitating:

The performer simply disappears and the cape falls in a lump on the floor. Later, the performer reappears, or simply walks out of the wings, bows to applause and retrieves his cape.

The performer turns into one or more doves, which fly off when he vanishes.

The performer turns into some helium balloons which fly up to the ceiling.

The performer can also simply float back to earth without disappearing, and continue his show as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

All of these variations on the theme are discussed and explained in the e-Book.

WJ17-11

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