Houdini Essay

1094 words - 4 pages

Magic is the second oldest profession that exists today. It has not always beenaccepted by the people. In medieval times people who were thought to practice magic weresentenced to death. Around the mid 1900's magic began to serve as entertainment. Magicis an ability that requires a lot of skill and patience. In this time it was very difficult to makea living out of magic. There are many types of magic, some examples are : close up magic,stage magic, mentalism, illusionism and escapism. The art of being an escape artist isconsidered the most difficult type of magic to practice because it not only consist of a fewprops and tricks but also involves physical ability. There has been one man that with hardwork and a special talent triumphed not only in close up and stage magic but as an escapeartist, his name... Harry Houdini. Houdini op to now, is considered to be the greatestmagician ever to live. Houdini was born on April 6th , 1874, in the small town of Appleton , in the State ofWisconsin. His real name is Ehrich Weiss. His father was Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weiss, atthat time he received a salary of$750 a year, which was a very poor salary due to the factthat he had seven kids and a wife. After his father quit his job, they moved to Milwaukee,where they had a very tough time getting everyone to eat. Houdini's real never went toschool and he started working as an assistant with a magician. It was at this point where hisobsession for magic begun. He wasn't making enough money from this job so he quit dueto the fact that his father died. Houdini made his first appearance before an audience onOctober 28, 1883. He appeared as a contortionist and trapeze performer. Later he workedas a locksmith, electrical driller, photographer, actor, etc... During these jobs he began todo his first handcuff tricks. The beginning of these tricks would change his whole carreer. At the age of twenty one he began to work in freak shows and circuses. This typeof entertainment were very popular in this time because it broke with what was consideredtraditional.. Houdini worked in many things at a time . He worked as a fake wild man andother conn jobs, but he also had a small magic show, "The Great Houdini." During this timeshe did not like him, but finally they got married and got their own place. He went to workas a locksmith again and he began to open hand cuffs very easily. Soon he asked his fellowworkmen to lock him in safes they built so he could practice getting out. In a Holloweenmagic convention he and his wife were invited to a magician offered a reward to any personwho could get out of a straight jacket. Houdini volunteered and naturally he got out of thejacket. He was the first magician in America to be able to get out of a straight jacket. Aman told him that he was very impressed but he had seen it before in Europe by a magiciannamed Schweigel. He warned Houdini that the obsession that Schweigel had could get himkilled.The prize he won at the...

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