Tag: Dean Gunnarson

An Insane Kegger: Dean Gunnarson’s Latest Escape

Dean Gunnarson is an Escape Artist without peer and an Inside Magic Favorite.

We have been following his exploits and insanity for almost a decade now.

There are two questions for which we do not need an answer: Why does he do it? How does he do it?

This Saturday, April 10, 2010, he will attempt an escape even the great Houdini found difficult and dangerous.

The show organizers plan to place the Canadian phenom in a keg of beer and seal it.   As if this was not enough — and frankly, shouldn’t it be — Dean Gunnarson will be handcuffed.

He  assures us he intends to escape in full-view of the audience.

“They’re going to take a metal drum, fill it full of beer, handcuff and chain me up, submerge me inside the drum and then lock the lid on with chains and padlocks from the outside,” he told the CBC for broadcast across the country. “The cool part is that I’m not going to use any smoke or any mirrors, or anything like that. People will be able to see the whole escape.”

Dean Gunnarson is a teetotaler.  He tells us that he has never even tasted beer.  We are guessing he does not begin drinking on Saturday.

Continue reading “An Insane Kegger: Dean Gunnarson’s Latest Escape”

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Gunnarson Dodges Death Again

The Prince Albert Daily Herald reports that we can stop worrying.

Dean Gunnarson survived to escape another day from one of the more dangerous escape stunts a trained expert can perform.

First, he was handcuffed and wrapped in chains, with a padlock around his neck.

Then, he was dumped in a 208-litre tank of water, with a lid placed on top and chained down, with a padlock on the outside.

He was able to escape in just under two minutes after cracking a combination padlock with water soaked fingertips.

Phew!

Read the full article here  The Prince Albert Daily Herald – Handcuffs and padlocks no match for Ex performer.

We have not yet seen the video but will be checking in at Dean’s incredible web site, Always Escaping for its release.

Dean Gunnarson – The Coffin Escape Ordeal

[In honor of Dean Gunnarson’s most ambitious escape yet, we thought we would re-publish his story from June 3, 2006.

He tells us what it is like to die during an escape].

Dean Gunnarson was kind enough to describe what it feels like to die in the course of an escape that went horribly wrong.

As loyal readers of Inside Magic know, we have a special fondness and respect for escape artists.

It could be because Houdini was an inspiration to all of us to study and perform magic.

Dean Gunnarson has long been a favorite practitioner of this ridiculously dangerous but exhilarating art.

The man is talented, able, charismatic and clinically insane. How dangerous are his escapes?

We was watching a video tape of his escape from a straight jacket while hanging by his toes over the top of Hoover Dam.

Now, we know that he survived the stunt. After all, he sent us the video tape.

But we were so nervous and tense that we actually turned it off half way through, took a break, and then we finished watching.

We don’t want to ruin the show for you but we can tell you that he successfully escaped and survived.

If you visit Mr. Gunnarson’s website, you will see that you can order a deck of bubblegum cards featuring his greatest escapes.

Continue reading “Dean Gunnarson – The Coffin Escape Ordeal”

Dean Gunnarson – Someone Stop Him!

We love Dean Gunnarson (strictly in a “fan of great escape artistry” sense) and love means acceptance but we wonder at what point we need an intervention.

(Check out the story leading to our concern in The Prince Albert Daily Herald).

He has hung over the Bolder Dam, been buried alive in concrete, been restrained by two tractor trailers pulling in opposite directions, and even performed the true Buried Alive live on television.

But frankly, we’re worn out.  It is getting close to “tough love” time.

Continue reading “Dean Gunnarson – Someone Stop Him!”

Magic Babe Ning’s Controversial Escape Stunt Teases World Record Illusion Act

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.

Continue reading “Magic Babe Ning’s Controversial Escape Stunt Teases World Record Illusion Act”

Brice Thrills with Escape 40 Feet Up!

Fifteen year-old Nick Brice had an exceptional view of the overflow crowd gathered beneath him on the hot asphalt parking lot of the Swift Current Mall.

The excited, curious, and skeptical over-flow audience had an equally fine vantage point to watch the young man struggle with the canvas straight jacket as he swayed and writhed in the 10 mile-per-hour winds dangling some 40 feet above last Saturday.

No straight jacket escape is automatic or easy.

But Nick Brice was not looking for “easy” when he agreed to perform the dangerous stunt.

If he wanted to be safe, or to perform an “easy” escape, he would have stayed planted on terra firma (likely indoors), donned a heavily gimmicked, unexamined straight jacket, and conducted his escape behind an opaque curtain.

Perhaps it is a tribute to his youthful energy and enthusiasm that he was able to fend off fatigue and vertigo to slowly and painfully work his way free of the weighty garment before he would have certainly collapsed from heat exhaustion and his inverted position.

Like many of us, Mr. Brice was inspired by Houdini – someone who never took the “easy” route.

“Probably the most famous magician, Harry Houdini, is the one that really inspires me. He was the first one to do this one at the turn of the 20 century. He was my inspiration to do the straight jacket escape,” Master Brice told reporters.

His usual performance venues are more stable, less dangerous.

“I have done a couple at the library. Actually I normally do it at schools. I am always entertaining the other kids at high school.”

How does he intend to top his latest public exhibition next year?

Continue reading “Brice Thrills with Escape 40 Feet Up!”

See Dean Gunnarson Live on Radio Tomorrow

Dean “Always Escaping” Gunnarson takes to the airwaves tomorrow from 11:00 to Noon (Wednesday 26, 2008) on Manitoba’s Information Superstation, CJOB out of Winnipeg.

U.S. Magic DXers will likely be able to pick up the signal live in much of the Northern Midwest and Mountain West — we have seen DX reports with a clear signal in Southern Minnesota.

Even if you are not lucky enough to be in Manitoba, you can still hear Mr. Gunnarson’s interview live via the internet.  Head over to CJOB’s web site at www.cjob.com or click on this link to get the station stream.

Mr. Gunnarson said the interview should last about an hour.  He invites fans to call in during the broadcast or email questions to him in advance of the show.

He will be hosted by the talented and attractive Courtney James.

Continue reading “See Dean Gunnarson Live on Radio Tomorrow”

Dean Gunnarson Cleans Up in New Escape

World-Famous Escape Artist, Dean Gunnarson is not normal.

Rather, he is nuts.

He performs an escape attempt each Halloween as a tribute to Houdini.  The escapes are never easy and rarely safe, but always the subject of great media attention.

Performing escape attempts that combine high risk and great difficulty is sure bet for unexpected and tragic results.  Perhaps that is why the press follows each attempt so closely.

Quoth Houdini: No one wants to see someone die, but they want to be there if it happens.

A quarter century ago, Mr. Gunnarson came with in a breath or two of losing his life in an underwater escape dedicated to Houdini.

As more than 10,000 watched, Mr. Gunnarson was shackled inside a coffin and lowered into the frigid, rushing Red River in Winnipeg, Canada. Continue reading “Dean Gunnarson Cleans Up in New Escape”

Dean Gunnarson – Certifiable

What do we do to help the insane in our business?

What do you say about someone who is insane?  One can be solicitious.  One can grin nicely and say, “well, he is just adventurous,” or “it must be a magic trick — after all, he is a magician.”

But those words fail.  They neither diagnose nor treat.

True, Dean Gunnarson is a magician who does magic and performs magic effects.

But the methods of producing a rabbit from a hat or making silks change color do not help one attempting to escape from a straight jacket whilst hanging by one’s toes from a trapeze bar 726 feet over Hoover Dam.

Mr. Gunnarson is crazy about our art as well.

Continue reading “Dean Gunnarson – Certifiable”