Explanation of the various effects14

The Prepared Measuring Tape

In this routine you use a special measuring tape15 which you prepare yourself. It costs you a measuring tape every time you do the routine, but the effect is worth it!16

You will need two identical measuring tapes. If possible, use a two-colored paper or vinyl measuring tape (for instance, yellow on one side, white on the other) without metal protective tips. If the only tapes available have these tips, you can easily remove them. Take one of the measuring tapes and cut 13 cm. from one end of it.17 Using low tack double-stick tape or magician's wax,18 attach this piece to one side of the uncut measuring tape, so it overlaps the end of the uncut tape by about 3 cm. This piece should be attached so the overlap occurs on the low numbered end of the tape. This is the end which the spectator sees when she is making the cut.

The length of the ribbon you use should be equal to the total length of the prepared measuring tape. (In this version of the routine, that would be 88 cm. The

14 This section is taken partially from the original version of Der Wahrtraum and partially from the second versión. I have added a few ideas of my own, usually as footnotes, to make it easier for those magicians In the U.S.A. to use this material. BP

15 These measuring tapes are available In Europe as a dealer item, but they are quite easy to prepare. Instructions follow. BP

16 This is only true with measuring tapes that are numbered with the same system on both sides, i.e., metric-metric or English-English. Most of the tapes currently available in the U.S. are numbered with metric on one side ,ind English on the other. These will not work for this added effect. BP

17 If you are in the U.S.A., you will have to use a measuring tape with markings in inches instead of centimeters. In this case, you shoulaadd a piece 6 inches long. It is attached to the other tape with about a 1 inch overlap. Have the spectator cut off 4 inches of the tape and ribbon, and then have her cut this piece in half. Otherwise the method is the same. BP

18 Any kind of temporary adhesive will work here, as long as it leaves no trace at the end of tne effect. Letraset makes a double sided tape that has a low-tack side and a high-tack side called Letraset #312 double-tack tape. This would be ideal for the purpose. BP

length of your actual ribbon may vary slightly. That is not a problem. Use the type of measuring tape that is most easily available in your area.)

It would be natural for you to hold the tape and the ribbon together for the lady, in order to help her when she does the measuring and cutting of the ribbon. This is exactly what you do in order to conceal the added section of measuring tape. Hold the ribbon against the measuring tape, so she can see how long the ribbon is. (Punx suggests that the ribbon should be transparent or translucent so you can hold it on top of the tape and she can still read the numbers through it.) Once she has written the length of the ribbon on the note pad, hold the ribbon against the prepared end of the measuring tape, so that one hand is holding the end of the tape and the end of the ribbon, and the other hand is concealing the overlap of the added piece of tape.

Now you can make sure that she cuts the tape at exactly the correct point. (That is, at the 10 cm. point on the added piece.) You can also ensure that she does not see the join of the prepared piece and the rest of the tape. Nothing is cut off the long piece. (You will still need to hold the ribbon and measuring tape together if you are using the version available from the dealers. If not, she will see that the numbers start over again.)

As you talk about placing the pieces into the plastic box for safekeeping, you have ample time to palm off the remainder of the added piece (about 3 cm.). Make a point of showing the lady the other end when you point out that the other side is still usable. This undamaged side of the tape is the side you use for measuring the ribbon to show that none of it is missing.

You can make two prepared measuring tapes from three unprepared ones. You will have a long section of middle left over. Don't throw it away. You ran have a spectator cut a 1 cm. section of tape (with a number on it) from the tape at any point. You can then reveal the total of the numbers on both sides of this section to him.

On any given measuring tape, the numbers on the opposite sides will always have the same total. You can use this as a prediction, a mind reading effect, or as a number force. Why is this done so seldom? Because it costs you a measuring tape each time you do it!

The Changing Box

This is an inexpensive plastic card changing box from Hong Kong that costs two or three dollars. I have found it to be much less suspicious than the much heavier metal card cases, which are otherwise perfect, but are much more expensive.191 can call my case a box. A box is completely uninteresting.

Only the spectator on the stage will be able to see that we are not dealing with a perfectly ordinary everyday box.

You must try placing the pieces of ribbon into the box to see how they fit best - and above all how the box must be closed.

If at all possible, don't touch anything at all. Using clear, distinct gestures, show the spectator how everything must be done. To do this, you must have a clear mental picture of all of these movements.

19 Avoid using a plastic box that has a rabbit in hat motif or a stencilled devil's head on it. This will look like a magic trick. If this Is the only kind of box you can find, cover the offending motif with sortie kind of colored adhesive plastic, such as Contact paper. Use something innocuous. Don't use metallic tape, glitter tape, or reflective tape with a diffraction surface, i.e. "space tape'. DP

The Changing Pad

The Astor Pad or Super Mento Pad is quite simple. Their availability in the U.S.A. is somewhat limited, so I will explain it to you. Some dealers carry them from time to time. If you can find one, buy it, because they are quite nice and it will save you the trouble of making one.20

It is a special note pad with a magnet imbedded in one side of the pad and a steel plate imbedded in the cover on the side of the pad containing the magnet. There are 3 or 4 sheets of blank paper covering the magnet. The spectator writes her notes on the topmost sheet of paper on the magnetic side of the pad. When she closes the pad, the magnet will grip the steel plate imbedded in the cover. When she tries to open the pad at the end of the routine, it will open only on the side that has no magnet (and no writing, of course!)

When you take the pad out of the chest, open it on the side with the magnet. When the lady has written the last piece of information, have her close the pad and place it into the chest (The chest I use came from Tangiers, is made of green leather with gold decorations, and cost me ten marks.)

At the end of the routine, when she pours the contents of the chest on the table, she will not know ivhich side she wrote upon, and will have no idea that her writing is on the other side of the note pad. She sees a blank note pad and is completely satisfied.

Here is a special little refinement that you and your spectators will find quite convincing. Before the show, draw three parallel horizontal lines on both the front and back sheet of the pad. Use colored ink, such

20 From time to time, Joe Stevens and Howie Schwarzman have stocked this item. BP

as blue or green ink, and number the lines 1, 2 and 3. These lines should be spaced about one inch apart. The two sheets must look absolutely identical. As an added touch, place a small smudge, a fingerprint, or some other noticeable mark near the lower left corner Df each sheet. Do not call the spectator's attention to this mark. Her eye will naturally be drawn to it. If you call the spectator's attention to the mark, it will look like you planned it. You don't want the spectator to think you are that clever. Most of the audience will never see the sheet of paper anyway. This refinement is just a little subtlety for the ones who have a close look at the props during the routine. (See below)

The Watch21

It is quite well known that it is possible to change the time on a wristwatch very quickly without the spectators' knowing it. With your own watch it is very simple.

In this routine, you show your watch while it is still on your wrist. At this opportunity, secretly pull out the stem of the watch. Try this yourself. Now you can change the time in seconds, either while it is on your arm or in your hand. Simply allow your fingertip to stray casually over to the stem of the watch.

In our routine, you set the watch to the time the spectator gives you, right before everyone's eyes. Show that your watch has the same time. Then take your watch off. Hold it by the clasp and show it once more to another spectator without changing the time! The spectators must be absolutely convinced that they can see that the time on your watch is correct when it is placed into the chest. It is placed into the chest on its edge. (The watchband will keep it upright.) The stem should be upwards!

When you are taking your watch out of the box later, change the time as quickly as possible, immediately take hold of the watch band, and take the watch out of the box holding it by the band.

No one will be able to see that you have touched the stem. Leave it outside of the box and set it to the correct time later, when you put it back on your wrist.

! 1 For an exhaustive treatment of this particular effect, see Bev Bergeron's took Predicting Time, published by Exclusive Magical Publications (1989). Bev s the earliest originator of this effect, and he traces the development of it, ilong with many nice 'touches' and 'wrinkles'. BP

In the early 1960s Richard Himber sold Time Capsule which could be the ¡arliest reference to this type of miracle, but I understand it was a special watch. CMSjr

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The whole thing must be done skillfully and per-2ctly. If hardly anybody looks at your fingers at the ritical moment, since nobody knows what you have n mind, they should not see what yoii are doing. It veakens the effect considerably if one of the spec ;ators speaks up during the intermission and says: "I saw how he changed the time on the watch."

The changing of the watch and the various sleights used in this routine and the ones that follow, should pose no problem. The audience does not have he slightest idea what is supposed to happen, so they >hould not be looking for any tricks or sleights. Here fou are a mentalist - and mentalists do not do mage.

One other gag with a prepared pocket watch has iot been mentioned in the routine. This bit of business will cost less than twenty dollars if you have one af your grandfather's old pocket watches. You simply need to remove the lever which stops the flywheel every second. When it is wound up, it runs very fast and the hands race around the face of the watch.

You can set this former time keeping device to whatever time you wish and show it to the spectators (in our example, 9:15). As you place it into the chest, start the hands in motion. At the end of the routine, the lady from the audience will show it with the other watches.

Then you take it from her, hold it up without calling attention to it, and at the words: "time is out of kilter," point to the racing hands. Try to purchase or install hands that will be clearly visible. This will get a marvelous laugh from the front rows.

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