Over the last few years I have used this routine to start scores of shows. It's a great little opening routine that allows you to get a feel for the audience and lets them get to know you. Isn't it amazing what you can do with a two minute pack of lies?
You can place this at the beginning of almost any rope routine that starts with a single rope. I use it as a lead in to the cut and restored rope. It makes a good routine longer and stronger. You won't have to learn anything new except Kevin Justice's "No Tie Knot" which is in this issue and that should take you all of fifteen minutes. Everything else is pretty much standard stuff put to amusing patter.
Routine. Start with a five foot piece of rope tucked inside your shirt. Fix it so that it doesn't appear too bulky but at the same time can be cleanly pulled from the shirt. You want one end to protrude about a half of an inch from the shirt in the area of your naval. Your tie will cover this end so that no one will notice it. Walk out on stage at the beginning of your show. (This is something you've probably done at the beginning of other shows.)
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Steve Beam." (Use your own name here.) Since we are going to be spending the next fourty minutes together, I thought I would tell you a little about my life and my magic career. First of all, I was born." New reach for the end of the rope hanging out of your shirt behind your tie. Slcwly renove it from your abdomen. You want it to appear as an umbilical cord. Pull it slcwly so that they'll have time to catch on.
"I started magic at a very early age. Like all of the other kids, I learned to tie my shoelaces." Execute the shoelace knot forming the rope into a bow. "And like all of the other kids,
I also learned how to get the ends tangled and form a knot." Pull the ends through as in the regular knot flourish. Stretch the ends out to display a knot in the middle of the rope. "But, unlike all of the other kids, I was twenty years old and I could make the knot disappear." New you're going to sucker the audience. Grasp the knot with your left hand from the audience's side. This will cover the knot from their view. With your right hand, reach up under the left hand and pretend to take the knot and slide it down the right hand under cover of the right fingers. Actually, the knot remains intact under your left hand. When your right hand clears the end of the rope, pretend to grind the knot into nothing. Make this appear as magical as possible.
Stand there as if you have just finished the Merican version of the East Indian Rope Trick. "But usually at this point, all of the other kids wanted to see my left hand, which I would show them. You are still going to sucker them. Cup your right fingers away from the audience. Place the knot into your right hand which hides it from their view. Now display your empty left hand. The audience of course knows what's going on.
"At this point, the other kids wanted to see both hands which looked someting like this." As soon as you say "both hands," tuck the knot under your chin. Keep it covered as if you don't want anyone to catch on to what you are doing. Keep your head tilted downward to hold the knot in place as you finish the sentence. Garble your words a little because you are holding the rope with seme of the muscles you would normally use to talk. As you display your enpty hands and talk in a funny manner, you will look ridiculous. The audience should be laughing at your predicament.
When the laughter dies down, remove the knot from your chin by holding the rope six inches on either side of the knot. "This was iry first experience with a tough audience. As I look around the room tonight, I can see that it wasn't going to be my last." Look around at the audience as you say these last two sentences. Then smile as you slide the (slip) knot off of the end of the rope with your right hand. This will desolve the knot and appear as if you have done what you said you were doing all along. The audience will applaud at this point if you tied the correct knot at the beginning of the routine. Don't leave this section of the routine out because you feel the shoelace knot is too well known. In this instance, it is funny. (G.W. Hunter's Shoelace Knot can be found in Volume One of the Tar bell Course in Magic and in Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks.)
"Magic wasn't ny only interest. In high school I took up archery (perform the "William Ttell Knot") but later realized that it was (k)not for me." Point to the new knot as you say the last part of the sentence.
This particular part of the routine can be used to do any of your favorite knots that fit in with the routine. In my case, I needed something in ny life between shoe lace tying and going to college. Archery was as good a thing to be doing as any. If you use the this knot, untie it before you continue.(The "William Tell Knot" or "Bow and Arrow Knot" can be found in A Ring And Rope And Around The Table Lecture Notes fcy Phil Willmarth.)
"Then came college. That was an experience. The first night at the dorm, the seniors on the hall took all of us freshmen out on the tcwn. They took us to a local strip joint where we really tied one on." Quickly tie a regular knot in the rope but don't pull it too tight. You'll have to untie it shortly. "That's where I met LULU. Boy, oh boy, was this a girl I! She could do tilings with her body that just could not be done." Here comes your hicjoest laugh of the routine. Grab the rope about six inches from the middle on each side. This position is shown in the illustration. Start spinning each end of the rope around in circles. The right hand moves in a clockwise direction while the left hand moves in a counter clockwise direction. The whole thing is executed imnediately in front of your chest. You are imitating the action of another kind of artist, the muscle control stripper. The ends of
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