If you've always known that good illusions cost hundreds, and even thousands of dollars to purchase, magician and designer Andrew Mayne can change your mind. Mayne has made an industry of adapting traditional illusions into low-cost, build-them-yourself plans. While good illusions require precision and high-quality work, Mayne's illusion plans only call for common household tools and readily found, low-cost materials.
In Light Storm, the magician picks up a thin board and places it in front of his body. An assistant who is holding a green work light walks on stage and behind the magician and raises the light. He lowers the light behind the magician and begins to push, and the green light appears to emerge from the center of the magician's chest.
The assistant's hand emerges through the board while holding the light and the light moves from one side of the board to the other, apparently passing through the magician's body. The assistant then retracts the light through the magician's body. The magician then lowers the board and reveals that his body is completely intact. The green light fades out.
The illusion is easy to build. Throughout the booklet, Mayne offers clear instructions and plans for constructing the illusion with lots of pictures and illustrations. "Light Storm" travels completely flat and can be built in under an hour for around $60, and the only tools you'll need are a knife (or a box cutter), scissors and measuring stick. The effect requires an assistant and there's some definite practice to get the timing right to sell the effect.
Andrew Mayne is not only a creative and clever illusion designer, he offers excellent plans for building low cost illusions. If you've always wanted to add an illusion that uses an assistant, Mayne's plans for "Light Storm," at only $14.95, are worth the look.
-Wayne N. Kawamoto