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, worldwide.
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.