Talk:Harry Houdini

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  • I make the most money, I think, in Russia and Paris, for the people of those countries are so willing to be amused, so eager to see something new and out of the ordinary
  • I think my escape from the Siberian Transport was my most difficult performance. I was placed in the great vault usually assigned to political prisoners, and when the great door was shut, I had the hardest time of my life, perhaps, in releasing myself. But nevertheless, it took me 18 minutes to walk out, and face the dazed officials.
  • I think that in a year I may retire. I cannot take my money with me when I die and I wish to enjoy it, with my family, while I live. I should prefer living in Germany to any other country, though I am an American, and am loyal to my country.
  • What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes. (1920)
    • This might be a quote from Swordfish (2001):
Gabriel Shear: Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini? Well he wasn't like today's magicians who are only interested in television ratings. He was an artist. He could make an elephant disappear in the middle of a theater filled with people, and do you know how he did that? Misdirection.
Stanley Jobson: What the fuck are you talking about?
Gabriel Shear: Misdirection. What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.
  • My brain is the key that sets my mind free.
  • Another method of eating burning coals employs small balls of burned cotton in a dish of burning alcohol.
  • Drinking boiling liquor is accomplished by using a cup with a false bottom, under which the liquor is retained.
  • Eating coals of fire has always been one of the sensational feats of the Fire Kings, as it is quite generally known that charcoal burns with an extremely intense heat.
  • Exposure of the secrets of the fire-eaters, for instance, dates back almost to the beginning of the art itself.
  • Fire has always been and, seemingly, will always remain, the most terrible of the elements.
  • Flames from the lips may be produced by holding in the mouth a sponge saturated with the purest gasoline.
  • How the early priests came into possession of these secrets does not appear, and if there were ever any records of this kind the Church would hardly allow them to become public.
  • I think that in a year I may retire. I cannot take my money with me when I die and I wish to enjoy it, with my family, while I live. I should prefer living in Germany to any other country, though I am an American, and am loyal to my country.
  • In all feats of fire-eating it should be noted that the head is thrown well back, so that the flame may pass out of the open mouth instead of up into the roof, as it would if the head were held naturally.
  • It is still an open question, however, as to what extent exposure really injures a performer.
  • My business has given me an intimate knowledge of stage illusions, together with many years of experience among show people of all types.
  • My professional life has been a constant record of disillusion, and many things that seem wonderful to most men are the every-day commonplaces of my business.
  • No performer should attempt to bite off red-hot iron unless he has a good set of teeth.
  • The eating of burning brimstone is an entirely fake performance.
  • The great day of the Fire-eater - or, should I say, the day of the great Fire-eater - has passed.
  • To cause the face to appear in a mass of flame make use of the following: mix together thoroughly petroleum, lard, mutton tallow and quick lime. Distill this over a charcoal fire, and the liquid which results can be burned on the face without harm.