May 18, 2011

Houdini’s Needles

I recently went to the Skirball Cultural Arts Center in Los Angeles to see the Houdini: Art & Magic exhibit. I loved it. I saw some amazing artifacts directly from private collectors and other museums. This one struck me (notice I didn't say stuck me) powerfully. Pictured here, and a bit blurry, are the actual needles that Houdini used in his recreation of the famous Indian Needle effect.

There are a handful of magicians who perform the effect almost identically in presentation as Houdini did it. Teller (of Penn and Teller) does it beautifully. In my effect, thirty to forty 2" needles are swallowed, similar to Houdini's version, but in my Intimate Illusions show, the ending of this effect takes the piece in a completely different and "mind-boggling" (as Dick Clark would say) direction. 

Each performance of it gives me new nuances to insert and perform. It's my passion and I'm always thinking about how to improve each piece. It is one of my favorite effects in the entire show.

Thanks again for stopping by and see you at the show.