As I worked on my Master Lecture material for the Southern England Magic Convention “Urban Classic Magic”, I also turned my attention towards Ning’s Razor Blade act.
In 2004, I first developed a razor blade act (which is a modern classic in magic. The traditional version uses needles) for a male performer. The handling was standard but I added the part where a flaming torch is placed into the performer’s mouth after the razor blades and threads are put into the mouth. For Ning, I retained the presentation structure of the act but also changed the technical handling so that it was smoother and more less ‘fumbly’.
I’ve also never been completely satisfied with the central holder that is used to hold her blades. Ning’s act is much more involved with different elements needed and I wanted the holder to be able to hold all the different items she needed for the act securely. This is especially important during a performance where one cannot afford to have items shift or move out of place when the prop is brought out onto stage by a stage hand.
So, for a few months, I worked on a design that was simple, elegant and functional. At the same time, I wanted to give the holder a bit more character. So, I decided upon a knife as the holder for the blades. Ning already uses so many sharp weapons in her show, so it made perfect sense and gave the holder a more interesting look. I designed the rest of the holder out of aluminum to house all the other items she needs in the act. The distinct ‘flame’ backdrop design also adds to the edgy feel of the prop.
The end result is an original look to the routine that is self-contained and highly functional. It is also 100 times more durable and sturdy than the original one.
This is a one-of-a-kind prop that is not for sale but I will detail in my lecture notes that I have had on the backburner for the last 3 years. If ever do complete them, the notes “Urban Classic Magic”, will detail my interpretations of Classic Magic effects (both stage & close-up) to make them relevant for modern urban audiences.