“They tell me it’s impossible, but they say that you aren’t a real escape artist until you escape from jail. My career is on the line.”
The young man will put his career on the line this Friday, September 18 at the Montgomery County (Indiana) Old Jail Museum.
The Paper reports Houdini did the same feat in four hours, and Criss Angel allegedly pulled it off in half that time.
Mr. Stewart hopes to escape from a straight-jacket and his jail cell, in front of a live audience, in under 30 minutes.
The magician/escape artist/fire eater/illusionist/hypnotist learned of the jail from his girlfriend. During their tour of the museum, Mr. Stewart told the guide he could escape from the unique rotating cells.
This is no ordinary jail cell. He will don a straight jacket before being placed in the steel-barred cell. The jail was the very first of seven “rotary jails” built in the United States and the only one still in operation.
According to The Paper, “[t]he rotary cellblock, consisting of a two-tiered turntable divided into pie-shaped wedges, will be rotated to move Stewart’s cell 180 degrees away from the only opening available.”
The cell is not locked in a conventional sense. There is no lock to pick or door to jimmy. The entire cell rotates shut.
The tour guide was apparently the first to question Mr. Stewart’s sanity.
Not long after the visit, Tamara Hemmerlein, executive director of the Montgomery County Cultural Foundation, challenged Mr. Stewart to make good on his claim.
She thought it would make a great fund raising event for the museum. Mr. Stewart thought it could help “catapult his career as a performer.”
He will make the attempt at 7:30 p.m. after spending the day at the museum teaching magic and performing for guests.
Mr. Stewart has been working on a solution to the challenge over the past few months but admits he is a bit anxious.
We wish Mr. Stewart the best of luck and commend him on donating all proceeds to the museum.
Check out his web site for more information: http://www.stewartmagic.com.