EXCESS BAGGAGE by J C Sum - Illusion EXCESS BAGGAGE by J C Sum ¢© Copyright J C Sum 2018 Make the case

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    © Copyright J C Sum 2018


    © Copyright J C Sum 2018

    Dear Fellow Magician,

    I have spent a lot of time & effort putting this set of E-Plans together. It is my way of giving back to the magic industry that has enabled me to have a rewarding career on many levels.

    I hope you will respect this request not to share or upload this E-Plan. If you think there is value in this E-Plan, please direct your friends to www.IllusionBooks.com and ask them to subscribe to the website to download their own copy.


    © Copyright 2018 by J C Sum

    No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, now known or to be invented, without permission in writing.

    All commercial manufacturing rights of the illusion contained in this publication are reserved and strictly remain the sole property of the author.

    The author accepts no responsibility for damages or injuries resulting from the fabrication or performance of the illusion in this publication.

    http://www.illusionbooks.com/ http://illusionbooks.com/illusionist-backstage-pass/


    © Copyright J C Sum 2018



    The illusionist asks the audience if they travel by air and if they find packing for trips challenging.

    He explains that he always tries to pack everything into one suitcase for convenience, but his

    luggage is always overweight, and he has to pay for excess baggage charges.

    He offers to show the audience what he keeps in his suitcase.

    A large soft-style suitcase is seen lying on a dolly. The illusionist unzips it, opens it up and

    removes a set of clothing from the suitcase.

    This is placed aside, and he proceeds to remove a heavy ATA case that just fits inside the

    suitcase. The illusionist explains that it contains all the equipment he needs for the show.

    He places the show case down and explains that while all these contents do make his suitcase

    heavy, there is one more item that really adds to the weight. He snaps his fingers and a beautiful

    girl magically emerges from the suitcase!


    This is an illusion which is straight forward and powerful because of its simplicity in effect and

    props used.

    FIG 1


    © Copyright J C Sum 2018

    The central prop is the suitcase which everyone can relate to and are familiar with.

    From the performer's point of view, the illusion packs small and lightweight in relation to the

    scale of the effect. It can fit in the trunk and backseat of a regular saloon car.

    Best of all, you do not have to spend a lot of money to put the illusion together.


    The girl is hidden in a curled-up position in the suitcase from the start. The show case has no

    bottom and fits over the girl in the suitcase.

    The dolly appears normal and solid but is hollow which provides a bit more hiding space for the

    girl. See FIG 2.

    During the performance, the show case is conveyed to be heavy that suggests is full which

    means there is no free space available in the suitcase.

    The clothes are just window dressing and fit the presentation of the illusion.

    These multiple deceptions work together to create an impossible effect in the minds of the


    FIG 2


    © Copyright J C Sum 2018


    You will need the following:

    • A gimmicked suitcase.

    • A hollow base disguised as a dolly.

    • A custom-made ATA-style case.

    • A few articles of clothing such as a shirt, trousers and a jacket. You can place all the clothing on a hanger, clipped them together with a binder clip, so that they can all be handled as one unit.

    • A female assistant.


    Here is a step-by-step guide on building the various components of the illusion.

    The Suitcase

    I recommend a soft suitcase consisting of a single solid colour. I would avoid a dark colour so

    that it does not blend with a dark backdrop or curtain.

    You must modify the suitcase in two ways. The first is to cut out the entire back of the suitcase,

    without damaging the structural boning of the suitcase.

    Next, sew 1” wide black ribbons to the lid and inside sides of the suitcase. The purpose of the

    ribbon is to hold the lid upright (just past a 90-degree angle) without falling over flat.

    Instead of ribbons, you can also use black fabric in the shape of triangles. This has the added

    advantage of protecting bad angles when the suitcase lid is opened.

    Dolly Base

    The suitcase is attached to a dolly which is a partial deceptive base that provides additional

    hiding space for the girl.

    This dolly is made from 3/8” plywood and 1.5” x 1” lumber.

    Step 1

    Make a frame from the 1.5” x 1” lumber. The size of the frame will be determined by the size of

    the suitcase you get. The area size should be 2” wider than the suitcase on each side. For

    example, if the suit case measures 30” x 20”, the dolly frame will measure 34” x 24”.


    © Copyright J C Sum 2018

    Step 2

    Cut a frame from a sheet of 3/8” plywood. This will serve as the top surface of the dolly. The

    outer dimensions of the frame will be the same as the dolly frame; in this case, 34” x 24”.

    You will need to make a cut-out to create the frame. The size of the cut-out will depend on the

    size of the cut-out in the back of the suitcase. Let’s assume the size of the cut-out in the back

    of the suitcase is 29” x 19”, this would mean the size of the cut-out in the frame will be 29” x


    Step 3

    Cut a piece of 3/8” ply the same size as the dolly frame; in this case 34” x 24”. This will form

    the base of the dolly.

    Step 4

    You will now join all three components together with carpenter’s glue and countersunk wood

    screws. Mount the frame on the dolly frame and mount the base sheet under the dolly frame.

    Finish the entire dolly in black. You can either paint it black or covered it in black laminate or


    Step 5

    Add four 3” castors to each corner of the dolly. Ensure the back two castors are locking ones.

    Step 6

    Add visual masking around all the edges of the dolly frame with 1” aluminum flat bar, 2mm thick.

    This breaks down the thickness of the dolly base, so it appears thinner than it is.

    FIG 3


    © Copyright J C Sum 2018

    Mounting the Suitcase onto the Dolly

    The suitcase needs to be mounted onto the dolly so that the suitcase will stay in place during

    the performance and not expose the girl hidden inside.

    You will need four lengths of 2” x 2” aluminum angle (2mm thick). Drill holes into the aluminum

    angle and screw one side to the underside of the top frame. You will need one length of

    aluminum angle on each side.

    The will form an inner frame that the cut-out in the back of the suitcase will fit over.

    Drill holes through the suitcase and the aluminum angles. Use bolts, washers and hex nuts to

    secure the suitcase to the aluminum angles.

    2” x 2” Aluminium Angle

    The finished prop will provide a hiding place for the girl inside the suitcase as shown in FIG 2.

    The dolly base will provide an additional 2” space of hiding space which may not seem a lot but

    is a significant amount of space when it comes to squeezing a girl in a small space.

    Show Case

    You will need to build a custom ATA-looking case that has no bottom. It must just fit inside the

    suitcase and be large enough to fit over your assistant. See FIG 5 for an example of how the

    ATA case looks like.

    The case has a hinging lid and is held shut by two latches with a single briefcase handle.

    In a regular ATA case, panels of wood are riveted to ATA case hardware such as aluminum

    tongue and groove extrusion, 1” aluminum angle and corner knuckles.

    Build this case as normal, but do not include a panel on the bottom side of the case.

    FIG 4


    © Copyright J C Sum 2018

    Make the case as lightweight as possible by using 1/8” ply for the sides or use corrugated

    plastic or ABS honeycomb plastic. The sides should be finished in plastic laminate of a

    contrasting colour from your suitcase. If you like, add airline stickers to the different sides of the

    case to make it look like a well-traveled show case.

    SET UP

    The female assistant curls up into the suitcase and dolly base. Carefully, fit the show case over the girl. Place the clothes onto the show case. Close the suitcase and zip it up.


    The outline of the script is describe