Tag: Escape Artist

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”

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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!”

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!”

Cannon’s Great Escapist Fuel

There are very few in our society who receive and devour magazines and catalogs featuring the very latest in leather tethers, handcuffs, stocks, chains, and leg irons without making it on some government list.

Magicians and legitimate law enforcement are about the only folks who have an excuse for this interest.

We don’t pass judgment on the others who receive such reading material on a monthly basis; but are also careful to avoid passing their house at night or upsetting them in any way.

Canon’s Great Escapes is our favorite place to enjoy our harmless passion.

We haven’t performed an escape (other than a handcuff in-and-out in our current show) in years.

We never owned a Chinese Water Torture Tank, Underwater Packing Box or Barrel Escape, a Milk Can Escape, or even a Substitution Trunk. We have fantasized about each of those devices, however.

Does that make us bad or abnormal? Thank goodness magicians can get away with such daydreams.

Continue reading “Cannon’s Great Escapist Fuel”

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”

Cannon’s Great Escapes Invites You to Taping

We reported on Gay Blackstone’s exciting new project to bring Magic to television this winter in our multi-award winning, November 13, 2008 edition of Inside Magic.

Ms. Blackstone announced she would soon be taping the 13 episodes for the Fox MyChannel network and invited Inside Magic readers to attend.

We received inquiries from readers about the performers committed to appear on the series and are happy to report Mark and Shelia Cannon will be taping their contribution tomorrow, November 20th.

Ms. Blackstone has always had a special place in our pantheon of Magic Greats.

Similarly, Mark and Shelia Cannon are exactly what we hope to be when we grow up — well at least Mark Cannon.  We have worked through many issues related to maturity and gender role models.

Mark and Shelia Cannon put on one of the best Escape shows we have ever seen and we have seen plenty.

Their on-stage personae genuinely reflect their off-stage ethos of hard work, sincerity and incredible skill.

Theirs is one of the very few acts to bring our blood pressure into the very unsafe range.   We were worried sick until it was over and Mark Cannon emerged alive.

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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.

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