The Instant Babe illusion revealed based on my own guesswork, from watching some of the YouTube video clips.
Yes, Instant Babe illusion secrets exposed for the first time.
Here is a quick disclaimer.
I do not own this Instant Babe illusion apparatus, and I do not know how the trick is done.
As I have just mentioned, the revealing of the secret working of this illusion is based on watching some blurry video clips and together with my two-cent opinion.
Check out my version of Instant Babe Illusion revealed.
Well, my view on this quick appearance trickery could be quickly dismissed as grossly erroneous.
Anyway, this is an old (probably 2005) stage appearance illusion designed by Daniel Summers.
The effect is:
The illusionist steps on top of a platform or table.
The illusionist picks up a fairly wide piece of cloth.
Next, he slowly lifts the cloth until its bottom hemline reaches around his knee level.
Then he lowers the cloth, and as he whisks it away, a female assistant instantaneously posing next to the illusionist.
To the audience, it seems the girl pops out from nowhere.
This is the Instant Babe illusion:
The prop is simple and the performance is short, yet the effect is never short of amazement.
Note: Don’t be confused by its own promo video or Bob Trunell’s own recording.
Both are edited and used selective angle shots to avoid the secrets of the tricks being detected.
As for the its promo video, the girl appearance scene has been edited at 0:34.
So I can make out exactly where the girl hides, as I managed to captured her legs rushing to stand behind the cloth.
Probably that is what all the other girls are doing.
Rushed up quickly to the illusionist from the trapdoor, before he whisks off the cloth.
Bob Trunell’s clip the part where his partner appears has been edited.
What I can make up is her left foot is behind Trunell’s right foot, and then she steps up with her right leg.
But I was able to capture both her feet, before the cloth is removed.
It seems to me, his partner rushes up to his side from the back as well.
Sleight Of His Hands And Her Body
Besides, the prop plays a part in this illusion, I would like to call this Instant Babe illusion as the sleight of his hands and her body.
The hands I am referring to the illusionist handling the cloth, and the body is his female assistant who has to hide herself unseen and then appears.
When we talk about the sleight of hand in conjuring tricks, it means the dexterous hand movements to manipulate objects and deceive audience.
Similarly, for this Instant Babe illusion.
Both the illusionist and his assistant have to work hand in hand adroitly making all the secret moves to achieve the quick-appearance effect.
This is the Instant Babe illusion revealed secrets, I am talking about.
Later in the article, you will understand why I called it as sleight of his hands and her body.
Related: Get these 5 free books on sleights of hand moves in magic tricks.
Sleights; Being A Number Of incidental Effects, Tricks, Sleights, Moves And Passes, For Purposes Ranging From Impromptu To Platform Performances by Burling Hull
Click on any of these: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3
As I have just said, for this illusion to appear magical, both the illusionist and his female assistant have to work closely together.
Two key factors are: Timing and pacing.
It takes a lot of practice and rehearsal to achieve this sleek appearance illusion.
The female assistant should be fairly nimble to rush up quickly and then make the sudden emergence.
As for the illusionist, it is his polished showmanship or presentation skills in executing this simple but not easy stage illusion.
Related: Here are four free books for those who want to improve or excel in their performance before an audience.
Deceptive Base Of Instant Babe Illusion Revealed
Let’s dig into the apparatus base.
As advertised on its website, it says the table clearly showing a mere 2-inch thickness.
Well, that’s what it claims.
But logically, we know for sure there is no way to hide an average sized person in a 2 inch deep space.
So is it really that thin?
To quote Rand Woodbury from his “The Base Book“:
If you want a table top to look thin, then build just the table top that way and then cheat like hell in every other possible direction to conceal what is left over.
This is the close-up view of the table of platform top base from its promo photo.
It looks like some other stage magic prop deceptive base with the three layers.
And probably the top frame of the legs (indicated) can add a few more inches to the hidden base.
Anyway, the secret is at the back of the Instant Babe apparatus.
Normally they will spin or turn the prop around to show the audience that there is nothing dubious about it.
But for this illusion, you don’t get to see the back side of the apparatus.
Another suspicious feature is the side step.
Why does this low apparatus need side steps?
Furthermore, the distance of the step to the platform is rather uncomfortably close.
I suspected they are there to conspire with the base in helping to hide the female assistant.
Anyway, go to Daniel Summers website, and look carefully at the apparatus or prop.
The apparatus is NOT what it seems.
Take a closer look at these three areas as indicated on the image below.
The left side step and the back of the prop.
For the left side step, there is a black color area.
Look inside the front left leg. It is different from the other front leg.
As for the back, there is a horizontal bar running across the platform.
Now you know why they never turn the prop around to show the audience.
Instant Babe Illusion Secrets Revealed
After watching a few videos, I noticed there is a dark area stretches across underneath at the back of the platform.
I can also see it at the gap between the platform (table top) and the step. (see visual above)
One more thing, this illusion is performed in semi-gloomy stage distracted with flashing and sweeping stage lights.
Some even enhanced it with dry ice fog effect.
So I suspected something shady about this Instant Babe illusion prop.
For instance, this act by French illusionist Kamyleon, I can see a dark color area under the back side of the prop, just the beginning of the act.
You can see two short white lines on the left hand side.
Now look at the same spot of the platform, when the cloth is raised, just before the girl emerges.
You can see there is no more dark area, and the two white lines on the left are now longer, because there is no blocking.
Check out these two freeze-frames taken from Hans Klok’s 5-Minute Illusion Challenge performance.
At the beginning of the act, you can see clearly the dark area under the platform.
Now look at the same spot of the prop, after the cloth is raised by Dutch magician Hans Klok.
There is no more dark area at the back, beneath the platform.
Note: The center black piece is actually a contraption, which I will highlight to you later in the post.
Here is another video of Canadian magician Ryan Joyce where you can see the same dark area under the platform, at the beginning of the trick.
Now look at the same spot, after the cloth is raised by Ryan Joyce.
There is no more dark area beneath the platform.
This is from the late Michael Gile’s performing Instant Babe Illusion from Masters of Illusion 2014.
Now, look at the same area of the prop. There is nothing underneath.
Check out his young magician’s prop. The dark area is there throughout the act.
First I thought it is a shadow, but when the illusion is over, the stagehands push it out, I notice it is no shadow from 0:25
Watch this video for yourself.
So what exactly is that dark secret beneath the platform or table top?
I think it is a released trapdoor facing the back of the prop.
A trapdoor opening is easier for the girl to get out from the base, rather than the split-opening spandex trap.
From this Hans Klok video, I notice after the girl has appeared, a hidden contraption or device under the platform snaps open at 1:32.
If I am not wrong, it is to close up the trap door, so that the platform or table goes back to normal.
Related: Read these free books about building stage magic thin prop bases and more.
You can also find information about building magic prop bases in Illusion Systems (Vol. 1) by Paul Osborne.
The three chapters are: Hiding Places, Beginner’s Base and Bevel Base.
You can more tips and ideas in these big collection of free Paul Osborne Stage Illusion Plans.
Wide Cloth To Hide Instant Babe Illusion Secrets
When I viewed the act from YouTube videos, my first question is why do they need an extremely wide piece of cloth to block the trickery from being seen.
For a normal appearance illusion, the magician just holds up a cloth which is slightly taller than an average person.
The girl carefully sneaks out from the base and stands behind the cloth.
Then the cloth is dropped or whisked away to reveal the girl.
But for this Instant Babe illusion, it even needs two supporting rods on each side to extend the width of cloth, which makes it look like a hand glider.
Interestingly, its website just specified the cloth is about three feet tall.
The fact is the height of the cloth has little to do with the artifice.
It avoids mentioning the width of cloth, which actually is the important part to this illusion.
To perform this Instant Babe illusion successfully, it requires this super wide cloth, which is actually a three-sided curtain screen.
It is to block off the female assistant who is secretly hiding beside the illusionist just before the cloth is whisked away.
Yes, the girl is already on the platform with her illusionist, just before she appears.
The moment when the illusionist brings down the cloth touching the platform.
Watch this video of magician Ted Bravo and his assistant.
She rushes from the hiding place and quickly steps out from behind him at: 1:14-1:15.
And because of the rush, she needs to hold on to him for support.
Set the YouTube video playback speed to 0.25x, and view it.
You can see the shadow movement of her right foot just below the platform.
In this video, when Hans Klok lowers the cloth at 1:31, his assistant rushes to his back to hide.
When Ryan Joyce whisks off the cloth, she just holds on the him for support.
I will explain more in detail about the girl hiding behind the illusionist, before she steps out to make that sudden appearance.
Ironically, the vigorous swaying of the cloth by the illusionists before the trick, can actually distract the audience from focusing on this enormous piece of fabric.
They make the lively swaying and swinging of the cloth as part of the whole high energy dramatic routine.
Furthermore, this fast waving movement can enhance this speedy appearance illusion.
But in fact, the sequence of handling the cloth by the illusionist before the abrupt appearance of the girl, is slower than you are aware of.
Actually, there are four steps in the sequence, before the girl appears.
I will explicate on this sequence later.
Instant Babe Female Assistant
There are two tasks which the female assistant of Instant Babe illusion has to do.
First she has to come out from the prop base via trapdoor.
Then she has to deftly hides herself behind the illusionist before the final emergence.
Instant Babe Illusion Revealed
Let’s talk about the first part which she has to sneak out from the trapdoor of the platform or table base.
The truth is she has enough time to get to the back of the illusionist.
Watch the sequence carefully, how the illusionist handles the cloth until his female assistant appears.
This is the whole secret of this Instant Babe illusion.
It is well choreographed with definite moves.
First he spreads out the cloth, then deliberately drags it up slowly as if some kind of a dramatic act.
Actually, the illusionist is providing time for his female assistant to get ready to come out from the trapdoor of the platform.
For this illusionist, to make it easier for his female assistant’s movement, she wears a pair of tight black shorts together with a pair of black stockings and goes bare-footed.
It is much easier to slip out from the trapdoor and rush to the platform to make her quick appearance.
Here is a scene capture from the video, where you can see her legs behind the illusionist.
4-Step Instant Babe Appearance
Now you will find out why earlier, I called this illusion as the sleight of his hands and her body.
I will explain it step-by-step, just like a slow-motion movie scene.
This is the most crucial part of this illusion.
The movements of the cloth by the illusionist and the timing of the girl to appear as if she just become visible from nowhere.
Both of them, the illusionist and his assistant have to work in sync, just like dancing.
If it is well coordinated, it seems the girl appears out of thin air.
Let’s focus on the illusionist first.
Remember, the illusionist doesn’t rush when he makes the final magic moment.
There are four steps which he has to do.
Step One: He purposely lifts up the cloth slowly and looking at it, as if some magical thing is going to happen.
This is to give the girl time to prepare herself ready to sneak out.
Step Two: He continues to raise the cloth slowly until somewhere at his knee level.
He pauses for about two seconds.
As I have said, it’s all about timing and pacing.
Step Three: He lowers the cloth down to the platform.
Now the girl quickly sneaks out arching her body and lowering her head and hides herself behind the cloth.
Again, the illusionist pauses for one or two seconds.
He does not immediately swirl the cloth to reveal the girl.
Step Four: This is the make or break sequence of this illusion.
Assume the girl is going to appear on his left hand side, his left hand will still hold up the cloth, while his right hand will turn or swing the other side of the cloth over to his left side.
That means now the two ends of the cloth are together on his left hand side, where the girl is in the midst of making her appearance.
See the image below and you can still see the girl’s left foot.
By shifting his right hand side of the cloth over to his left hand side, is just to hide the girl as long as possible.
With this little extra covering time, it helps to make the effect of her instantaneous appearance more convincing.
It is because she has ample time to step her left foot out and acts as if she just surfaces there and then.
This is how Hans Klok does the Step Four move in the 5 Minute Illusion Challenge show.
Among the video clips available, I notice only the French illusionist Kamyleon who does it amazingly well.
Their coordination is superb.
He does not even do the Step Four manoeuvre, of bringing the two cloth ends together over to the hidden girl on his left side.
Both her feet are already away from him, and the only thing I managed to see his left hand brushes against her face.
See the visual below.
This is the video clip.
Now let’s check out the girl’s moves.
Step One: Once the cloth is slowly raised, she prepares herself from the back of the platform.
Step Two: When the illusionist raises the cloth to his knee-level, she still hides at the trapdoor.
Step Three: Once the cloth is lowered, with her body arched and head lowered, she quickly rushes next to the illusionist, hiding behind the cloth.
Step Four: This is the most vital part for the girl.
When he brings his right hand side of the cloth over to his left hand side, she has to follow the movement of the cloth closely.
She immediately straightens up her body and acts as if she is appearing from the thin air.
You can see the girls lifting up their heads in the videos.
This is a scene of the girl’s head in the midst of lifting up from Michael Gile’s performance from Masters of Illusion 2014.
Here is a scene captured from the video of Hans Klok’s act in The Ellen DeGeneres Show taped in Las Vegas 2008 at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
This is another freeze-frame shot at 1:31 from Hans Klok’s 5 Minute Illusion Show, where you can see the girl’s hair.
Instant Babe Holding For Support Not Posing
The pose of holding the illusionist is a bluff.
With such an abrupt rush, the girl naturally needs to steady herself by holding onto the illusionist, under the pretext of striking a pose at the finale.
Watch carefully the fake posing, and you will notice the girl’s right leg is still behind the illusionist’s left leg.
It is because with such a speed, she has to maintain her footing for balance.
To make it looks like she magically appears, she just steps her left foot out and smiles.
After watching all the available video clips from YouTube, I notice all their appearance movements and positions are the same.
This Instant Babe illusion revealed and explained in detail how to create such a lightning-fast appearance illusion.
This is my two pennies’ worth.
Disclaimer: All the books mentioned here are from the third party websites.