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WARNING: Rick Maisel is a Professional Escape Artist. Trying to copy these stunts can cause serious injury or even death.
© 2004 - 2008 Rick Maisel - All Rights Reserved
Rick Maisel, Daredevil Escape Artist (Repertoire of Escapes)
1. Washing Machine Escape (TM) -Rick Maisel's most famous and original
escape/stunt, worldwide, is the "washing machine escape" (TM). It was July of
1983, that Rick received written permission to use a commercial front load
washing machine. With the help of MD's Rick learned to control the emetic
process, for over 32 minutes or 1600 revolutions, in the washing machine.
Besides escaping from any handcuffs and/or leg-irons, while spinning in the
washing machine, full of soap and water, Maisel can, also, use any brand or
manufacturer of front load washing machine (over 50 different brands and
models, escaping over 2,500 times). The washing machines must have, at least, a
12 inch door and a 24 inch drum, normally, spinning at 50 to 60 (r. p.m.'s)
revolutions per minute, before the machine goes into the "deadly" spin cycle of
450 r.p.m.'s, which could kill Rick in 3 to 5 seconds!
Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Museum, located in St. Augustine, Florida, along
with other museums, worldwide, display artifacts from Rick Maisel's Escape
Act, including his "original" washing machine that he first performed in, and
used on the original TV series (TBS), "Ripley's Believe It or Not", where Rick
was showcased in the original first season broadcast. The museum wanted to
purchase the machine, as proof that the machine Rick Maisel used was
unmodified, in any way, and the spin cycle is (or was) about a minute away from
turning on (still connected). It was 1989 that Rick Maisel's "washing machine
escape"TM was published in over 240 markets, worldwide, for "Ripley's Believe
It or Not! Cartoon Series. Rick started receiving calls from Japan, Puerto Rico,
etc., to perform the "washing machine escape"TM and other "original" escapes,
The "washing machine escape" doesn't allow Rick to hold his breath, since the
soap and water (full capacity) is forced into his nose and mouth at 150 to 180
times a minute, with the three lifters, and spinning at 50 to 60 r .p.m.'s. The trick
is not to panic and start drowning, by swallowing the water. The trick is to spit
out the soapy water, without hyperventilating, which the audience is watching
through the front door, until at the full capacity of water, it becomes difficult to
see Maisel escaping without having the TV cameras in for "close-ups". Rick has,
also, performed by taking waterproof cameras, inside the tumbling machine, to
prove it's completely full and a "very real" washing machine. Even for the last
30 seconds in the "washing machine escape"TM, Maisel, himself, is actually
choking on the soapy water. However, by not panicking, "it's the difference of
choking and not drowning" in the washer.
In addition, Rick uses self-hypnosis and transcendental meditation. At age 15,
Maisel was lucky enough to study transcendental meditation, from the same
Maharishi that trained "The Beatles", through the University of New Mexico.
As a result, Rick, can lower his heart rate, "on command", allowing his body to
require less oxygen, to the blood, while performing his escapes and stunts.
The "washing machine escape"TM can be performed in as little as one minute,
to as long as about 15 minutes, depending on venue. Maisel can perform
multiple shows daily, in any indoor or outdoor venue. The "washing machine
escape"TM can be performed separately, or as part of "The Rick Maisel Escape
Show, Escape or Die", depending on budgets and the purpose of promotion.
Rick has performed, worldwide, understood in every language and, also, loves
working as a part of larger shows (i.e.: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Live, warm up
act for Bo Didly, etc) and from his resume, you can see how Rick's act is flexible,
like Rick, and he works as a compliment to variety shows, worldwide. Rick has
been seen, by more than 500 million TV viewers, performing his "washing
machine escape"TM.
2. Straitjacket Escape -Rick is the current world record holder of the upside
down straitjacket escape, at 2.23 seconds. He, also, is the only person
authorized, to perform his escapes by the United States Federal Aviation
Administration, up to 30,000 feet, without safety lines. Rick begins on the
ground, where police officers, guards, etc. buckle Rick, into a regulation
straitjacket (sometimes with additional handcuffs/leg-irons or belt and muff,
Australian straitjacket). His ankles are attached to carabeeners, which are
attached to nylon climbing ropes, while Maisel hangs upside down, until the
desired altitude is reached. The pilot, then drops a separate 1 inch manila rope,
which Rick climbs, hand-over-hand (after disengaging his boots), back into the
Options are to perform the straitjacket escape from a crane extending as high as
300 feet or from a fire department 100-foot extension ladder. The escape can,
also, be performed from the side of a skyscraper, high-rise building or tower, a
bridge spanning a gorge, or an aerial tramway gondola.
The escape, normally, is performed in 10 to 15 minutes (or part of a
larger/longer show or production). Planned to the exact second, Rick was hired
to perform as the ball, dropped at midnight for New Mexico's Millennium New
Year's Celebration (performing his straitjacket escape on the way up).
Rick has been sponsored by Hang UpsTM (inversion tables and inversion boots)
for over ten years, from normal, Hang UpsTM Inverta- Tables (except for
decorating the apparatus for "Las Vegas" and TV performances, worldwide.
Maisel says he literally trusts his life to Hang Ups products and performed the
"world record upside-down strait jacket escape", for "Guinness Records", using
Hang UpsTM systems.
3. Milk Can Escape -Replicates Harry Houdini's famous escape from a 33-
inch high-galvanized steel milk can. The can is filled with water, with no
space left at top for air. Rick is handcuffed and lowers himself into the milk
can, and the lid shoves him underwater as it is put onto the top of the can
and padlocked shut.
Maisel is the only person in the world to perform this escape after the can is
electrically arc-welded shut. The milk can is then shielded from the audience
by a curtain or smokescreen. In about 30 seconds, Rick, reappears, standing
atop the can (dripping wet, gasping for air), which is still padlocked or
welded shut. The milk can then may be inspected by anyone from the
audience to prove it has no secret trapdoors or escape routes. The escape
typically is performed in 10 to 15 minutes. In virtually any indoor or
outdoor activity (Also, as a part of larger show, possible).
4. Tank of Death Escape -A 2002 version of Houdini's "Chinese water
torture tank" escape. Rick provides the modem looking circular tank -the
only type of its kind in the world designed to separate into two chambers, for
shipping worldwide, and yet holds 400 gallons of water without leaking with
one of the world's largest o-ring assemblies. Rick is shackled with a variety
of handcuffs, or chained into an "Australian straitjacket." A boat anchor is
then attached to him, and an electric hoist lifts him, upside down, over the
tank. Rick is then lowered slowly into the Tank of Death. Rick is the only
person in the world to perform this escape in full view of the audience,
without the use of a curtain of any type. The audience watches Rick, totally
immersed underwater in the tank, struggle with his restraints, escape from
them and pull himself to the surface, gasping for breath. The Tank of Death
is made of bulletproof LexanTM plastic, which would prevent attendants
from breaking the tank to release Rick if he is unable to escape from it. This
escape is usually performed in 10 to 15 minutes, including audience build-up.
Also, can incorporate as part of larger act and this escape can be performed
indoors and outdoors.
5. Handcuff Challenge -This escape invites patrons to bring their own
handcuffs, leg-irons or padlocks and challenge Rick to escape from them.
This can be a stand-alone demonstration, where he escapes from the
shackles, etc., in seconds, in front of the person (or people) who brought the
security device. Or he will use the "challenge" shackles as part of the escape
he is scheduled to perform next. This can be combined with a cash reward
(I.e.: "$25,000 if your handcuffs or locks are escape-proof.").
6. Safe Escape -(Anything BUT safe) Rick provides a choice of safe designs
for this escape. Maisel normally uses a safe, made by "Yale" or any safe that
Rick can contort into (an antique Door safe or modem, high-security
fireproof safes. In either escape, Rick is handcuffed and squeezes himself
into the safe, leaving barely enough room for a minimal amount of air. An
attendant slams the door shut and locks it. Rick must escape before
suffocating, since the air supply will be exhausted in two or three minutes.
Performed, in full view of the audience, and/or even completely surrounded
by audience members. In less than three minutes, the safe door opens and an
unshackled Rick rolls out of the safe, gasping for air. The entire escape last
about ten to fifteen minutes (an/or part of larger show), and can be
performed indoors and outdoors.
7. Car/Truck Escape -Rick, restrained in leg irons that can be bolted to the
ground or pavement, is covered by a small cardboard box. The box, and
Maisel are in the path of a large truck, Chevrolet (new sponsor for Rick
Maisel Escapes, Chevrolet 2004 Silverado), HummerTM, or self-propelled
Heavy machinery. As soon as Rick is covered by the box, the vehicle revs up
and crashes into the box. At impact, pyrotechnic flares and smoke goes off.
Also, have non-flammable pyrotechnics, in act, just as exciting (same system
used by "David Copperfield", "Siegfried and Roy","Madonna" and other
rock concerts, worldwide, and growing lists of sponsorships, as of 1991 to the
"Rick Maisel's Never Ending World Tour", Streamer Effects International.
As soon as the vehicle has passed over the box, Rick emerges unscathed and
Unshackled from the smoke. This escape typically is performed in five
minutes or so. Also, edited, works for TV automobile/truck advertising, etc.
in addition to live promotion/news story.
8. Train Escape -This is Rick's contemporary version of the old silent movie
"tied to the railroad tracks" escape. Rick is tied, hand and foot, and roped or
chained to the railroad tracks. As soon as train comes into view, Rick begins
to struggle against his bonds. Just before the onrushing train reaches him,
Rick frees himself and somersaults off the tracks. The Hang Ups, Inverta-
Table can, also, be combined with this escape. In this version, Rick frees
Himself, somersaulting off the railroad tracks, just in time, before the train
crashes through the Hang Ups machine. This escape is performed in ten to
fifteen minutes.
9. Robot Escape -(Detail's confidential)
10. Boat escape -Two different versions:
10(a) Cruise ships and/or military ships. Maisel can perform escapes while
hanging, upside-down, over the side of ship. After escaping, he crawls
back to deck (or swings) depending on equipment available, on board.
10(b) Rick's version, has him padlocked, spread eagle, in an aluminum
boat. Maisel has a limited time to escape before drowning (timed by
the size of hole in bottom of boat). However, while Rick is still
attached, the boat ends-up pulling him down, underwater with the
sinking boat. (Better with underwater cameras) At the nick of time I
pick the last lock, swimming back up to the surface, struggling to get air.
11 through 28. If "Escape and Beyond" becomes a series, Rick Maisel has designed
enough original escapes for two-full 14 episode seasons, or 28 escapes (confidential
from this memo). Some can be performed with other escapes, while some escapes
could fill an entire show (or two). Future episodes could feature friends of Maisel's,
also, escape artists performing their specialties. In addition, (I like the idea) it was
the original intention of the other producers of "Escape or Die Productions", to
feature famous jail/prison escapes and prisoner's of war (pOW) escapes.
Rick's hot-air balloon pilot, also, holds several world records, including the only
pilot to fly from all seven continents.
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