The Center Tear

Here is just one refinement to the center tear, that comes from Richard Osterlind. Before starting the tear, push the second, upper fold (fold 2) over, as shown in the photo. While you are toying with the billet, without looking at it, briefly open the fold halfway and immediately refold it, with the upper fold at an angle. This produces the "step" that will allow you to open the billet with the tip of the thumb. THE CENTER WILL HAVE THIS SAME "STEP!" This technique is especially suitable for working without a crystal ball. You can actually read the center while you tear the billet, then tear the center twice and burn all the pieces or put them into the spectator's hand.

This is how it works with the "stepped" billet. After the center has been torn out, it is placed BEHIND the rest, unfolded with the right thumb, and pushed to the left. The piece in front hides this unfolding action. Now tear the rest of the pieces twice more and place them in front. Now push the center open with the left thumb and read it. Fold the center up again and tear it twice. - This technique requires some practice! Once you can do it, it is as valuable as gold.18

16 To do this particular version of the center tear, your first tear must consist entirely of the section within the quarter circle shown in the picture. If you wish to look Into the Richard Osterlind technique, you should read The Surrounded Slow-Motion Center Tear...And Other Techniques by Richard Oster lind (Jeff Busby Magic, Oakland, CA. 1986.) This requires a different type of billet, but it could be adapted. My favorite method is the Al Koran version from AJ Koran's Professional Presentations by Hugh Miller (Supreme Magic Co.

Bideford, U.K. no date.) It works well with this type of billet. There are hundreds of methods for the center tear. If you don't know one, take time out and learn one. This is too good to pass up. BP

Alternative Technique for The Center Tear

Finally, this is the principal item in the routine, and its value cannot be overrated. If mentalists could learn the identity of the legendary inventor of this idea, they would erect a monument to his memory. Massive amounts have been written about this technique by A1 Mann, Goldstein, Bernstein, Dunninger, and A1 Baker, among others.

There is a wealth of methods which have already been described in print for you to read. This is valuable if you work impromptu. With the "Oracle" this added burden is not necessary. For people with visual problems, the magnification provided by the crystal ball is of incalculable value. You should also master one of the techniques that does not use the crystal ball, even if only to have an additional technique that you have mastered. IF YOU DISCOVER A METHOD THAT SEEMS TO BE BETTER, KEEP USING THE ONE YOU CAN DO MOST FLUENTLY. Once you can do it in your sleep, then you can do it without looking. That Is an unconditional requirement!

Here is one more simple, sure-fire technique that I have shown in several lectures in the U.S.A., that is dead certain and works without causing any heart palpitations.

Prepare a pack of book matches as follows: Prepare the inner side of the matchbook with double-sided tape or magician's wax and place it open in the right jacket pocket, with the taped surface outwards. When you tear the billet, steal the center, throw the pieces into an ashtray, have the lighter fluid poured over it, if available. Reach into the pocket with the hand containing the center, stick it onto the piece of tape, close the matchbook, and bring it out of your pocket. Open the matchbook and push the center halfway open. Now give a BURNING match to a spectator, have him set fire to the pieces, open the center the rest of the way, and read it while everybody is gazing into the flames.

The matchbook with the center stuck to it. You can see the fold that has been pushed over.

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