Over a thousand people filled the lawn at the Asian Civilisations Museum to be part of our 8th mega illusion, “The Aerial Exit”. As the organizers of the Explore Singapore! 2010 campaign hoped, a fantastic turnout of families made up the audience of young and old.
The weather was perfect in that it did not rain and by the time we started the mega illusion in the evening, the sun was not overhead and blazing.
We took the stage and one of the first things we did was introduce the audience to the simple set-up we had on stage – a structure designed and fabricated to hold the 5 participants as they were to be elevated into the air. We affectionately called this structure the “cage”. The “cage” itself sat on five concrete blocks to elevate it off the stage and was rigged to a 3-ton forklift that would elevate the cage 24ft into the air.
The 5 participants were introduced on stage and we did a few verifications to let the audience know that everything was legitimate. And honestly, everything they answered was completely true.
One of the participants was actually a member of the media. Xin Ying is a DJ with 100.3fm and this is the first time we allowed a member of the media to be a part of our mega illusion. She also had an important role as she was given a microphone and was requested to count down from 5 to 1 when she was asked to do so. She did a test run to ensure she completely understood what was required.
At this time, the 5 participants were invited into the cage, where four participants stood at each corner and Xin Ying stood in the middle. The two front people were requested to face the back people and the four participants at each corner were asked to extend their hands to touch Xin Ying on the shoulder.
To help reduce the effects of vertigo, an all-round curtain was raised up around the cage so that the participants were shielded from watching the elevation of the cage.
To ensure that the audience could tell that the participants were still inside, the participants at the corners were instructed to extend their hand out of slits in the curtain and hold onto a “I Love Museums” flag each.
The cage was immediately elevated up into the air dramatically… all the way up to 24ft off the ground.
Once at the highest point, the participants were asked to wave their flags so everyone could see that they were still in the cage. Next, Xin Ying was instructed to count down from 5 to 1.
At the end of the countdown, there was a burst of pyrotechnics and the curtains dropped to the bottom of the cage, revealing that the 5 participants had instantly vanished up in the air!
The cage was then immediately lowered to show that the 5 participants had indeed vanished into thin air! To quote TODAY newspaper: “Nobody had a clue as to how the illusion was performed. The cage was surrounded on all sides by spectators.”
A BIG thank you to Weili Chua and Florent Cote for the great photos of the mega illusion!