The Wiz Kids'

PVC Pipe and Dollar Store Illusions
for the REALLY, REALLY CHEAP Illusionist!
by Jim Gerrish

Book 4

1 Backdrop Illusion Screens
(Plans and Secrets for JUST THIS Illusion Article - $7.00)



This article is about backdrops that are also illusions. Because the biggest request I have been getting is for appearance illusions which can be performed solo (no assistants at all) I have included two examples.
1. Tri-Fold Transformation Screen
2. Bryce’s Six-Fold Solution
3. Solo “Victory” Appearance Screen
4. Spiderweb Solo Appearance Screen

2 Descent Illusion
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Descent is a "poor man's Elevator Illusion," made from PVC pipe and inexpensive fabric covers, but with no need for a platform and capable of being performed "solo," although adding assistants would certianly make the act look bigger.

3 Materialization
(Plans and Secrets for JUST THIS Illusion Article - $7.00)



Materialization is based on an idea put forward by Louis S. Histed, the inventor of the Square Circle. Don't let his other invention mislead you, however; there is no connection between that illusion and this one. The Effect is simple: A couple of screens of white paper are mounted on a platform by the magician and an optional assistant. A light is turned on behind the screens showing nothing hidden. Gradually a shadow materializes, becoming more and more solid. A live (required) assistant then bursts through the paper. Performed correctly, the audience has no clue as to how the person materialized. The screens were all shown on both sides beforehand, formed into a cabinet on top of the extremely thin and tiny aluminum platform (source given for a $35.00 platform) beneath which they can see at all times.

As a bonus, Jim adds his De-Materialization Illusion, which can act as a vanish OR better yet, as a Transposition in which the assistant vanishes from one set of screens to the second set of screens.

4 Hi-Strung
(Plans and Secrets for JUST THIS Illusion Article - $7.00)



Hi-Strung is based on an Okito/Fu-Manchu collaboration written up in The Sphinx in 1941. I took the basic idea and adapted it for my Wiz Kids, making the cabinet out of PVC Pipe with foamboard sides, and turning it into an amazing clown appearance, rope penetration, and levitation all in one illusion. It also has the advantage of rolling in and out on its own caster platform.

5 Rip Van Winkle - Revisited
(Plans and Secrets for JUST THIS Illusion Article - $7.00)



The Rip Van Winkle Illusion was invented by Edwin Brush (c.1940), and is an excellent one-man vanish. reappearance/ quick-change Illusion that works on the smallest platform stage up to the largest theatre stage. It is easily transported and assembled and requires no assistant to make "both" characters appear in the playlet.

Jim has redesigned it to be made from PVC Pipe, as well as making other "improvements" to bring it up-to-date. He notes that Brush's original theme of "Rip Van Winkle" may be out of date, so he proposes using it instead for a variety of modern themes, described in the e-Book, that are better suited to today's audiences.

More Information and Description of Effect:

6 The Mysterio Cabinet -Revisited
(Plans and Secrets for JUST THIS Illusion Article - $7.00)



The Mysterio Cabinet may have been the invention of McDonald Birch who featured it prominently in his Illusion shows. It is rarely seen these days, but it is perfectly suited to PVC conversion, and with Jim's simplified operation, much of the mechanical screens and traps are eliminated. This could make a comeback!

7 Giant Chinese Temple Screen
(Plans and Secrets for JUST THIS Illusion Article - $7.00)



UF Grant's Temple Screen has been long used as a small production device, but when expanded to Giant Size with a PVC Pipe Framework and sparkling faces of mylar, it becomes a stage illusion that you can also perform in a parlor or platform setting. Produce one or more assistants, plus scads of stuff, oriental or not, like real Chinese lanterns, all lit, Chinese parasols, huge production cloths, a Chinese Dragon and finally the costumed assistant. Originally, the Screen of Life Illusion of Charles Waller made from PVC Pipes was going in this place. Jim later realized that this Giant Temple Screen was a much improved and simplified version, but for die-hard historians, he has left in the original instructions and diagrams for the Waller Illusion, which explain how this really does the same thing but in a much easier way.

8 Elastic Box Illusion
(Plans and Secrets for JUST THIS Illusion Article - $7.00)



The big empty gift box rises, floats, rotates 360 degrees and then lands to make a costumed assistant appear from inside the "empty" box. The Wiz Kids toured with this in their Christmas shows beginning in 1983. It is revealed here for the first time.

First Three PVC Pipe Illusion Books:

BOOK 1 - BOOK 2 - BOOK 3

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