Monday, October 15, 2012

Harry Houdini

March 24, 1874 in Budapest in the family rabbi born a boy named Eric Weiss, known as Harry Houdini.

While other boys were playing ball or catching frogs, Erich learned to be released from bondage, or prodelyvat dangerous stunts on the trapeze in the backyard. He was fascinated by jugglers and circus performances stray who visited the town. Erich studied the "original genre" of books and pamphlets, and imitated the great French magician XIX century. Robert Houdin, known as a writer and a magician, an expert on the eternal mysteries and secrets.
Rabbi Weiss was a man of rude and grumpy and lost his job in Appleton, pushing away the tiny parish. The family moved to Milwaukee, and plunged into desperate poverty, so that children from an early age had to work. Harry Houdini worked as a salesman, and newspapers and shining shoes, and even a cutter for sewing neckties. At the age of twelve, Eric ran away from home to seek his fortune as an actor. Abandoning his own father, he took the "fatherhood" Oudin, slight changes to his name and turned as if by magic, in Houdini. Later the name was added to the name in honor of Harry's Harry Kellar.


In their submissions showed Houdini tricks with cards and other simple tricks.
At first he called himself "King of Cards." Houdini soon began to experiment with handcuffs, and use them in their submissions.

He became a celebrity when challenged the authorities of each city, who visited in his tour.
Houdini offered a large sum to anyone who can lock him up and hold captive. At the beginning of the XX century. He went to Europe, where neither Scotland Yard nor the police of Prussia and Bavaria, or the secret police of Czar Nicholas II was not able to keep under lock and key "King of the handcuffs." It is released every time the police have made another attempt. His fame grew slowly at first, then rapidly. When he was handcuffed and locked in a crate, was thrown into the East River, Houdini got out of the water free and ready to continue submitting to the rapt audience at Hammerstein owned "restaurant on the roof."
When his number was widely known, he was preparing a sensational new tricks to tickle the nerves of his fans, like "The cameras for the Chinese water torture" (it was placed upside down in a chamber filled with water, and he seemed to have superhuman effort escaped from imminent death) or "cans of milk": the big milk cans, with a wide neck, brim full of water. The audience-men check it with their canes. Yes, the second floor there is clearly no, and all the cans actually filled with water. It turns out Houdini, climbs to the head in a can. Pours over the edge of the displaced water to them ... Cover the can is closed for a few castles. However, if someone from the audience wants to lock up suspicious lid on its own, specially brought from home - please ... While the audience returned to their seats, nimble assistants Houdini set cans around the screen. The orchestra played a march, and after a minute wet Houdini reappears on the scene. The public - love it!
There was also a trick that Garii served with his brother Theo. Together they showed the trick, invented by John Maskelyne in 1864. Its essence was as follows: Theo hands tied and locked in a drawer. Harry stood on top of the box, and then be drawn curtains. Three in a row curtain pulls back - and everything changed dramatically - Theo was standing on a box, and Harry found himself inside with his hands tied.

Exemption from the iron box - a first-class trick!
The box made of thick sheet iron was shown the audience, he had no secrets. As soon as Houdini would climb into a box, covered with its lid viewers. Magician pushing from the inside through the holes the bolts on the outside of the audience they dimmed the nuts and bolts inserted for reliability. Of course the release of the box was happening behind the screen. To the surprise of the audience, Houdini appeared fairly quickly because of it, and the bolts, nuts and bolts were in place.
Another time passed before the eyes of many viewers through a brick wall. In 1903 he was thrown from a bridge into the Thames handcuffed and shackled to a 30-pound ball, but a few minutes later emerged, brandishing handcuffs.

All these tricks Houdini could not do because of the incredible flexibility, which he developed through the grueling training since childhood.
Harry Houdini brought their limbs to the point where they are more like clay. That is, they can be bent and bent at different angles, sometimes stretching almost to the state of the thickness of the sheet.
Houdini and Bess

In 1894, during performances at Coney Island, Houdini met Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner, who sang and danced in a group called "Floral Sisters."
Two weeks after they met Harry and Bess were married. She traveled with him to America, and assisted during performances.
At the same time, Houdini parted with a jerk (which succeeded, though it remained in the shadow of his brother, under the pseudonym of Hardin), and prepared jointly with his spouse under the alias number "Houdini." They acquired one of the old magician "magic box" from which alternately disappeared and where to appear again, either with free or handcuffed with his hands, as in "Metamorphosis."

Women's Wisdom by Beth))), Houdini's wife told me that in his youth, he was quick-tempered, and they agreed to in any way to avoid family quarrels.
So, if Houdini raised right eyebrow three times - his wife was silent. If my wife was angry, he had to leave the house around him and throw my hat in the window of the room. If the wife threw his hat back, he was obliged to make another short walk and repeat all over again. He did not return to the house as long as the hat did not stay in the room.


At the end of 1898 Houdini had quarreled with the management of the newspaper, which made him a promotion and to transmit regularly to the invitation to speak. So in 1899, Houdini's career began to decline. Then they, along with Bess went by boat to Europe. European audiences have never seen anything like the performance of Houdini's spouse. Their show was very little magic, but it is replete with numbers, which is based on various exemptions. Of course, the "Metamorphosis" was still the central gimmick of the program.
Over the next five years, Houdini traveled to Europe, always speaking in the leading hotel programs. We illusionist in Europe was so much work that he invited his brother Theo to return to joint action. Theo began performing with him under the name Hardin.
Touring Europe, Houdini did not forget about America. And soon even more determined to win fame in his beloved country, Houdini returned to the United States. Illusionist traveled from America to Europe and back, coming back to where offered large fees. However, a real home for him was the building on 113th Street in New York, which he bought during a trip to America.

Each year, Houdini became more famous.
In this regard, many magicians repeated his tricks in his speeches. Houdini was forced to invent new tricks, they are increasingly making it more difficult.
Houdini could be released from the handcuffs, shackles, straitjacket. He came out unscathed from the prison cells, from the cargo container of a huge paper bag (without disconnecting from the paper). Illusionist freed even from the metal boiler of milk containers, and the coffins of the famous camera, which is gradually filled with water.

In 1918 at the Hippodrome in New York, Houdini demonstrated the room with the disappearance of the elephant.

In 1916, people around the world have the opportunity to see the great illusionist by cinema. By 1923, Houdini took five silent feature films. Such films as "Master Secrets", "Grim Game," "Island of Fear" and "The Man from another reality," he wrote the script. In this regard, Houdini was one of the first stars on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to the film industry.

Houdini fascinated not only by magic.
Interested in aviation, he bought an airplane and made the first ever flight over Australia. And in this case, Harry Houdini, nobody gave the palm!
The latest trick Houdini
Throughout his life Harry Houdini tried to complicate his own stunts. Thus, the exemption from the handcuffs in the circus often gave the impression to the public. It is believed that the fake handcuffs. Therefore, traveling to cities and countries, he tried to get rid of the handcuffs in a local jail, in the presence of journalists. But once he was unable to open the handcuffs. The detective, who gave them, jammed the mechanism of the foil from the chocolate. This is - a mean trick, but he gave Houdini a good lesson. After that, before handcuffed, he demanded to open and close them. And it was justified, because at times he was offered a deliberately rusted items, because they would benefit from anti-advertising Houdini.

Once in the dressing room ... the artist went to a student who had heard that Houdini may make any punches in the stomach.
This was true, but he had to focus first, to gather. A student without warning struck Houdini in the stomach. And Houdini ... died. In New York, his body was transported in a coffin, which he used in his experiments under water.

April 6, 1974, the centenary of the birth of Mr. Houdini, American newspapermen waited for sensation: Will be opened by the artist to the disclosure of secrets of his tricks.
Their expectations were not justified, neither in the distinguished law firms nor the banks - no will never be found. This was the last of the great magician trick.
... And the trick?
Mr. Houdini remarked, many of themselves doing tricks ... the audience. More precisely, we can help do that. And this is the main resource is an inventive magician who ever used the stereotypes of the audience to address their problems. Here is a typical example. Houdini in a blue suit, slowly leaves the stage at the snow-white horse, slowly passes by aides lined up in a row, dressed in white. Flash Bang! Light smoke curled around a horse and a magician! By the way, where is he? Where and how was gone? ... Yes, anywhere. The thing is our inability to look at the disappearance of fresh eyes. Indeed, during the bright flash Houdini tore the blue form, made of paper, and remained in a white suit among the assistants ... Who is the audience enthralled by the phenomenon of a white horse, counted their number?

That's a completely different focus, but the resource is the same - the slowness of thinking people.
Houdini climbed into a paper bag more than a man. To bag it was impossible to replace, part of the audience left the autographs on it. They then fold the edge of the bag and seal it carefully ... But behind the screen Houdini cut with a razor blade bag, got out and seal it up again. The orchestra is completely drowned out the sound of paper being cut, well, brush and glue were always ready in a hidden pocket behind the screen. Of course, anyone and had no idea to find out the length of the newly obtained to check the bag.

Houdini himself loved to expose the fakirs, sorcerers and other magicians.
Anyone who offers viewers call any page in the book - a charlatan. He knows by heart, only one page of text, but his book and consists of identical pages, where you open either - the text is the same. And how Houdini explained through the reading of cards envelope? It's very simple: it is enough to moisten the envelope with alcohol - and for a while it becomes transparent, and then the alcohol will evaporate ...

In addition to its inescapable implications for illusionists and entertainers who know how to get rid of the shackles, Houdini is also known that was the first great pop superstar, who used the media to achieve the highest recognition.
By manipulating the press, showing the audience all the more sensational numbers and handing them to wrap the imaginary artistry, Houdini created a massive spectacle. Until now affects his ability to get out of the icy river, from the forbidding prison and locked in the lock boxes. The way he managed the public attention, as if a lot of people locked up in his powerful grip and releasing his audience until the last moment when it seemed that death was already knocking at the door, it was surprising and seemed inhuman. The fact that an immigrant boy and always traveled son of Rabbi Harry Houdini was able to perform because of their sharp wit and excellent physical fitness, was both an American success story and a Jewish fairy tale. Houdini symbolized the unusual ability of its people to survive, even when there is no escape.

Harry Houdini died after a fan punched him in the stomach.
Houdini let people hit it, showing the wonders impenetrable press. He died in hospital from internal injuries.

For twenty six years, he was ahead of all the artists and magicians.
It took place not only in history but also in the dictionary. His name was and remains a household word in the language of the concept, which can be found in reference books, encyclopedias, as well as any discussion about the magic tricks that capture the imagination tricks or secrets of the unknown.



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