The new science of magical appearances in a theatre show

The new science of magical appearances in a theatre show

It was not that long ago that the American illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer came with some new techniques in the world of illusion equipment. His new inventions can and will change the magic scene for ever. So I thought that by now professional illusionists all over the world would have gone wild with his plans and would amaze audiences with their new pieces of grand illusion. But they seem to be extremely difficult to understand. And therefore almost impossible to translate into working illusions. These illusions would work very well in places like themeparks or musicals that stay in one place!

His new inventions of the Optical Wedge and Optical Slot are perfect to use in settings that don’t have to move all the time. Like a musical that stays in the same city for several months. Or in a circus like Cirque du Soleil where it can be built in, in the stage or décor.

I made some 3D drawings to show what these new concepts look like..

Ofcourse I cannot and will not tell you in this blog how these effects can be created. I am more than willing to discuss the workings with interested people. If you are one of those: feel free to contact me with your questions.

The Double Million Dollar Table:

Many years ago Walter Jeans created his Million Dollar Illusion. It got that name because he offered a million dollars to the one who could tell him how it works. No one ever got the money. And now the secret behind this Million Dollar Illusion is used in a couple of illusions of David Copperfield. Everything that fits on the table can be made a appear, and appear again and again. You can have a blue angel appear, fly off the table and then suddenly a red angel sits on the table. Then a green one, a yellow one…. Endless. Or you can produce a Christmas tree. Or have the table filled with food in a flash. Or put a door on it and get an army walk out of it. Or a gate that gets people to other worlds. The funny thing is that they can end up in a different place. You can make them reappear in the audience.

The Double  Optical Wedge Table:

It takes a lot of study to understand the working of this illusion. It creates the opportunity to create a secret invisible tunnel to the table.

The Million Dollar Wall:

People see a wall, while in fact it is a hiding place where you could even hide an elephant. It could also be a door. An actor steps through the door and immediately becomes invisible. He can come back driving a motorcycle. Of all new principle this one could become standard in the world of theatrical special effects. If only they knew how it works. Very few know about the secret of Walter Jeans.

The Angled Round Table:

Invented years ago but still no one uses it, besides some of the biggest names. It is hard for magicians to understand why ‘the secret’ is placed away from the audience. The science behind it goes far beyond the standard magic books.

Optical Wedge Table:

One of the new inventions. The Optical Wedge creates an invisible hiding place. You can hide a wizard or ghost in this hiding place under the table. But this place becomes invisible and people can see right through it. They look at the person but they can’t see him or her because you get to see what is right behind them. A jawdropper if you know it and see it live. It takes an experienced builder who is good at math to calculate the right measurements and angles. But then in your musical you can have a table standing on stage. Performers walk all around it and then suddenly the ghost appears right on the table in a puff of smoke. Or the evil witch gets smaller and smaller to then vanish completely, even with performers standing at the back of the table.

Optical Slot Table:

The Optical Slot is basically an invisible hiding place between two tables. You can see performers walking behind the table through the space between the two plates because of the illusion of the optical slot, while in fact a person is hiding in the space between the tables. You can place a doll on the table and then make it grow slowly to become a real life doll that came to life. Or a beam of light causes a vampire to melt on the table. This principle of the slot is only a couple of months old. It could change the theatre world, if only they could understand it. These are optical illusions and the mind finds them very difficult to understand. The advantage of this one and the Optical Wedge Table is that you can push them on and off stage when you need them in the show. Effects like the Million Dollar Cube need to be build in the décor. These ones can be pushed off right after the effect.


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