Saturday, February 25, 2012

Trying to Transform Escapology One Escape at a Time

Harry Houdini & Alexanderia the Great escape artists meet
I have been doing escapes since I was a kid.  They started out as challenges.  How long can you hold your breath.  Can you get out of rope, chains, shackles, cuffs etc.  Then as I began to get better it I wanted to see was how could I challenge myself even more.  Can you get out of this in a certain amount of time or even more dangerous offerings like underwater.  It has grown since then.
Alexanderia the Great aka Donna Purnell a Modern Day Houdini
As I began to get more serious about these challenges, I began to do some research.  I admired Harry Houdini, who was the first magician to do escapes in such a grand scale.   Harry was an accidental escape artist.  He did escape stunts as a way to promote his magic show.  He was first known as the King of Cards and then the King of Handcuffs.  He began doing bridge jumps (underwater escapes) in town for free to announce and promote his show.  Without TV or the internet, Harry needed to do something to demonstrate why someone should go to his show. It was escapes that made Harry famous and so others began to copy him.
Houdini King of Cards Alexanderia the Great blog

Harry Houdini King of handcuffs Alexanderia the Great blog
Copycat escape artists began to pop up as soon as Harry became famous for such escapes.  They would try and steal his act.  Harry hated imitators.  Harry did all he could to stop them. He even copy wrote his Water Torture Cell escape he called Upside Down originally by putting it in a play. He did the escape in the play just so he could copy write it. He closed the play after only one performance.  In that way, he had a way to sue others for trying to copy what was in the play.
Houdini imitator Carl Mysto Alexanderia the Great blog
Sadly these days, escape artists do Harry Houdini's escape exactly as he did them. Houdini died in 1926 almost 90 years ago.  Houdini was the best and so few have been willing to attempt to go beyond what has been done.  In my research and training I, Alexanderia the Great, have been trying to go beyond those escapes.  I have been trying to add to his escapes or update them.  Trying to add more restraints (more chains, shackles, padlocks, cuffs) or combine them to do them in ways that have not been done.  I am trying to remove the curtains literally.  I do my escapes in full view, no curtains, so all can see just what it is like to try and escape such restraints.  In this blog, I will begin to show you what it is like to try and be a Modern Day Houdini.  I did not give myself this label.  To compare yourself to Houdini is not something one should do themselves.  I let my reputation speak for itself.  It is the media who has given me such labels as, Houdini Mom, the Housewife Houdini, The Hockey Mom Houdini and a Modern Day Houdini.  I am proud of the comparisons but there was only one Houdini.  To be mention in the same breath is such an honor. I do my escapes hopefully in a way that would make Harry Houdini proud. To copy Houdini would be to cheapen what he did.  I look to go beyond and hope Harry is smiling now.

PS In my next few blog posts, I will try and give you updates on my training and explain how I try and do my escape differently.  I will post pictures and links to escapes so please stay tuned and invite others to add me.
Fox News, The CBS Evening News and NBC's The Today show all have done feature stories on me and called me "A Modern Day Houdini". A women who tries to go beyond Houdini in her death defying escapes. Go to my Facebook page below and LIKE it to learn more. Share with friends who you think would like as well. 
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