Inside Magic Favorite ‘Magic Babe’ Ning Cai literally elevated the risk level of her renown straight jacket escape last weekend.
Miss Ning is famous for her signature Straight Jacket Striptease routine. She describes the act as “Harry Houdini meets the Pussy Cat Dolls.”
Her most recent presentation, however, moved from tease to terrifying.
Inversion saw her completely restrained by a regulation straight jacket, blindfolded, and held upside down over a very real and very sharp bed of spikes.
Magic Seen calls Miss Ning “the sexiest woman in Magic” but this latest stunt could easily have ended in a decidedly less-than-sexy manner.
Honestly, we don’t know why they (escape artists) do this type of thing (risk their lives).
If our fellow performers risk their lives for our entertainment, they can skip it because we cannot handle it.
While we admire their skill, we tend to worry.
Inside Magic Favorite Dean Gunnarson sent us a video of an insane escape that took us a couple of hours to watch.
We kept stopping the video, visited our “happy place,” recalled that we were watching an event that happened in the past, and because Mr. Gunnarson sent us DVD himself, there was every reason to think he was not killed in the footage we were viewing.
Like Miss Ning, Mr. Gunnarson performed an inverted straight jacket escape.
Miss Ning was over very sharp and sturdy steel spikes.
Similarly, Mr. Gunnarson was high above The Hoover Dam while hanging from a free-swinging bar using only his feet; no tether, no strap to hold the top of his shoes in place as he contorted his body.
Yes it was an amazing feat, but it also brought us nightmares and an additional five weeks of therapy. And as many know, most insurance policies refuse to cover so-called “Puppet Psycho Therapy” beyond two weeks of visits. Our recovery was costly and left emotional scars.
We flinch watching gymnastics. Our stomach turns watching drunks or the elderly descend stairs. We have never watched a high-dive competition all the way through. In fact we don’t even like being as tall as we are.
Given our weak constitution, the idea of someone falling face-first onto a bed of steel spikes induces a very un-manly swoon.
If we had to see it in person, we would prefer to be blindfolded as well.
Finally, and we hope Dean Gunnarson takes this the right way, Miss Ning is incredibly attractive.
Perhaps we just feel more protective of her than the strapping Dean Gunnarson.
The cynical side of our multi-dimensional psychological profile wonders whether Miss Ning was actually playing on the fact that she is beautiful and in peril.
Perhaps Miss Ning was well aware male and female audience members would reflexively react stronger to her ordeal because she is so lovely and apparently vulnerable.
If that was the thinking, it worked perfectly.
Press reports say Miss Ning eschewed all safety precautions to perform the stunt.
Because of the inherent risk associated with straight jacket escapes in general, suspended straight jacket escapes specifically, and straight jacket escapes over a bed of steel spikes in this case, we agree with reporters that “[a]ny mistake could have lead to a fatal fall onto the spikes.”
It is not surprising to read that Miss Ning’s refusal to use a a safety line in the escape drew concern and criticism from friends, family, clients and peers from across the world.”
If we had known she was going to abandon the safety line idea, we would have joined in the chorus of concern.
Kids (and adults) please do not try this at home; or anywhere. Miss Ning is more than a “Magic Babe,” she is a trained professional who knows her limits. We presume she worked within those limits to perform this incredibly dangerous feat.
You can watch the behind the scene video and see the photos of Inversion at www.jcsum.com/inversion.html
We were very impressed by the photos of the pre-show preparations designed to make the escape safer, if not totally safe.
Look at the images carefully and you can see that even Mr. Sum was anxious as Miss Ning prepared for and executed the stunt.
He looks physically relieved when she makes her triumphant bow.
Miss Ning and Mr. Sum used the stunt to “tease” their upcoming attempt at The Impossible Record.
You may recall our coverage of early promotion for The Impossible Record.
Well, the fateful day is almost upon us.
This Saturday, June 27, 2009, Miss Ning and Mr. Sum will attempt to set a world record for “most number of grand illusions in 5 minutes.”
The talented couple intend to complete 15 grand illusions in 5 minutes.
The attempt will be officiated by the Singapore Book of Records and the International Brotherhood of Magicians for both Singapore and United States.
We believe the record breaking news will be submitted for consideration by the Guinness World Record folks.
The duo currently stars in Ultimate Magic at The Arena in Clarke Quay, Singapore’s only magic tourist attraction endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board. Check out the Ultimate Magic site ( www.ultimatemagic.sg) for more information on this incredible show.
We are constantly impressed not only by their high-energy style and marketing genius, but also their kindness and patience. Despite their obviously hectic schedules, both have been very responsive to our inquiries.
It makes sense that Magic Babe Ning and J C Sum are Inside Magic Favorites.