General Contractor


One of the more common rope moves from the Ropesational routine is the formation of a complete circle of rope from a previously normal piece of rope. This loop, held in the left hand, is then cut by the right hand which has formed itself into a pair of scissors. The loop separates atthatpoint, the scissors apparently having cut the rope in two.

Obviously, the rope is never actually a real loop. I believe it was George Sands who applied the Vernon Linking Ring spin to a piece of rope to convince the audience that the rope formed one seamless loop. The normal practice of cutting the rope at the juncture where the two ends meet calls attention to the secret of the rope spinning. It is used by most rope workers as aconvenience, not necessarily for the effect.

Barry heard about a method by Socrates of Italy of using the imaginary scissors to apparently cut the loop in the middle. The rope would then visibly separate at the place cut. This is Barry's method of accomplishing the same thing. Pay attention to the setup — the method and the reason. It is economical and convincing. It takes about a second to perform.

The Work. I will assume you have already formed the rope into a loop with the ends meeting in your left hand. Your right hand has apparently pulled the rope through the left fist several times, convincing the audience that the rope is a continuous loop. Your left hand holds the ends loosely, both being grasped between the palm and the first two fingers. The forward strand hangs out the first finger's end of the fist while the rear strand hangs out the magicians end (fourth finger's end) of the fist.

Bring your right hand up with your fingers on the audience's side of the forward strand and your right thumb between the two strands. A s you do, open your left third and fourth fingers slighdy. This position is shown in figure 1.

Your right thumb lifts up on the near (rear) strand. This strand is brought up and over the first two fingers of the left hand. As soon as the right thumb's loop is over the first two fingers, let the loop slide off the right thumb onto the left first finger. Close your left fingers into a loose fist, including in

Figure 3

the fist the rest of the rear strand hanging from the loop you just made around the first two fingers of the left hand. Your view of this is shown in figure 2. If you were to open your fingers so that you could get an exposed view, you would see everything as shown in figure 3.

As soon as your right thumb transfers the loop to the left fingers, the right hand grabs the forward loop and stretches it between the two hands as shown in figure 4. This isn 't quite the innocent move you are pretending it to be. During this stretch and display process, your right hand gently pulls the rope from the left hand until the left thumb and forefinger are just barely holding onto it.

Figure 1

Figure 5

You are now ready for the cut. Form your right hand into apair of scissors. Bring the scissors to bear on the forward end of the rope, about three inches from where the rope emerges from the left fist. Your current position is shown in figure 5. Pretend to cut the rope with the scissors by bringing your right first and second fingers together sharply.

Two additional things happen at the same time the rope is apparently cut. The first is that the left thumb and forefinger release their grip on the forward strand allowing ittofall. Theleftfingers simultaneously release their grip of the end of the rear strand of rope. They do not completely release the rope; only the very tip of the rope which is looped around and

between the left second and third fingers. The tip of the rope will fall or spring (depending upon the stiffness of the rope) into view hanging from the fist. See figure 6. The rope moves too quickly for the eye to follow. It will appear to the audience that the rope separated right where you severed it with your right fingers.

Regurgitations. It is important not to position your right hand too far from the left. It all depends upon how much rope you loop around your left fingers. A little experimentation will help you determine where the end of the rope will fall. That will tell you how far down the rope (how far from the left fist) you should make your imaginary cut.

Roger Sherman's EYE OPENER

I asked Roger for this. A friend of mine showed it to me about ten years ago. He learned it from Roger's lecture. I've always liked it and it has not been published anywhere except in Roger's notes. It belongs in The Trapdoor which is already the repository for more magic with body parts than any other magical publication. You want parts, we got parts.

I will describe the routine. The moves (just a vanish and a switch) will become obvious with the presentation. If you want to keep your sanity, don't try this without the props. Start with a small rubber hand and a small eyeball in your right pants pocket.

Routine. The magician removes a small rubber hand from his pocket. As if to explain its presence, I'd like to show you a little sleight of hand... no, I'm just kidding. I worked a midget's convention recently and I asked someone to loan me a hand and this is what they gave me... no, I'm just kidding. My wife went to the store to get some lady fingers and this is what she brpught back... no, I'm just kidding. (Editor's Note. Did I mention the other reason I'm publishing this? Nobody else would.)

I really am going to show you some sleight of hand. I'll place the hand in the hand. Pretend to place the hand in your left hand, retaining it in your right. Sir, /' d like yo u to help me by keeping your eye on the hand holding the hand. As a matter of fact, /' 11 keep my eye on the hand holding the hand. At this, remove the eyeball from your pocket and place it onto the mouth of your left fist. Leave the hand behind in your pocket so that you finish clean. Allow the eye to roll down into the loose fist.

Now sir, if you' 11 loan me a hand by touching the back of my hand holding the eye... and the hand. The spectator touches the back of the hand holding the hand. And, just like that, the hand disappears, once again proving that the hand is quicker than the eye.

Regurgitations. This is too good an idea for me to leave alone. Roger uses this as a quick opener. By using the standard pocket to hand ruse, I use it as a three phaser. Start with the eye, the hand, and a small rubber foot in your right pants pocket.

Phase I. Openly remove the hand. (The hand feels a lot different than the foot—just like your hands and feet.) I don't know if any of you have daughters, but my house looks like a part supply store for dolls. And these aren't cheap either. To keep from wasting the investment I have in them, I decided to use some of the parts in my act. You might say that it was "partly" my idea.

I'm going to place the hand in the hand (execute a pass or fake transfer) and I want you to keep your eye on the hand that holds the hand. In order to give you a hand, I have an extra eye here.

Remove the eye from your pocket, but continue to fingerpalm the hand. Place the eye on top of the circle formed by the left thumb and curled forefinger at the opening of the (empty) left fist. Keep your eye on the eye which sits on the hand which holds the hand. Whoa! Did you see that? The hand traveled to the other hand. The eye didn't travel... it's a lazy eye." Table both props.

Phase II. Place the eye in the left hand— secretly retaining it in your right fingerpalm and pick up the hand with the right hand. Allow it to go inside the loose fist which secretly holds the eye. Both the eye and the hand are in the right hand. If I place the eye in the hand and the hand in the {right) hand, if you open your eyes and I open my (left) hand, you will see that the eye is no longer in the hand, it is now with the hand. Open your right hand to reveal the eye and the hand in the hand. Table the props.

Phase III. You are now ready for the test. If I place the hand in the (left) hand (execute a pass) and the eye in the pocket... (place eye in pocket and leave your hand there), What is in the hand? No matter what they say, eye or hand, open your hand and reveal it is empty. You weren't watching.

Under cover of the excitement of the vanish, remove your right hand from your pocket with the eye held openly and the final load fingerpalmed. Pretend to place the eye in the left hand, executing a Bobo Switch to drop the load in the hand instead. What's in the hand? No matter what the answer, Aw foot! Reveal the load.

Magic requires a lot of eye-hand coordination. If there's no applause or to start the applause—In caseyou were wondering, now's the time to restyour eyes and use your hands! Optional, You don't want to appear glassy-eyed.

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