Human Magnet


My conception of difference between a strong and a weak effect does not lie in the mechanic of a trick itself but rather in the convincing ability of the performer. The greater the convincement the mightier the effect. I do not believe there is any bad trick . . . the fau t invariably rests in the presentation . . or in other words the wrong "approach".

By convincement I do not allude to such indiscreet tactics as deliberately sticking out the hands for examination or indulging in such remarks as "this box is devoid of any preparation". These woufd not be convincing but CONVICTING. In the course of our life's daily routine we learn of these things. Have you not had experience of a guilty person over emphasising his point of innocence ? It is the same in magic. You over emphasise a point and you defeat your own end. Convincement, from my point of view, should be done insinuatingly . . something shou'd always be left to the imagination. You must let the audience imagine in their own minds that things are being done exactly as they think. Every person in the audience has his own opinion as to how a trick is being done . . . one should work afong their line of thought . . . leading them on according to their own fancy . . up to the culminating point in the climax . . . and the simultaneous explosion of their theory.

I will now refer to that "magnetiser" effect in which the performer gives a demonstration of "personal magnetism" by causing articles to adhere to his fingers. Personally ! did not care for the original version as I considered the approach somewhat fiimsy. The fact that the spectator feefs a decided 'resistance' when the article is being removed from the fingers suggests one thing—"Glue"

despite the fact that we describe it as "magnetism". Then the idea of preparing the fingers in advance sounds very well in theory but in practice it did not prove very successful as others may have also noticed that the magnetic fluid proved too magnetic to resist "dirt"

To overcome these I had many years ago evolved the "Human Magnet" which stood up to my requirements So subtle and deliberate are the different moves that i have no hesitation in saying that the element of mystery is not only we'I preserved but greatly enhanced. Now to the business side of it.

Obtain one of those torch fountain pens and remove the bulb and fittings from the light end. Open the pen in the centre and fill the bottom haff with the 'magnetising fluid'. I shall describe my recipe later on. The lower half of the torch pen acts as a reserve chamber for the fluid. Now procure a wad of cotton wool and roll between both hands in ¡he shape of a thick lamp wick. Push this through the open end of torch until about an eighth of an inch protrudes above the mouth. The fluid wifl work its way up the cotton wick and keep it sufficiently moist for your purpose. The Torch is always carried in the inside breast pocket like an ordinary fountain pen. It is, of course, not necessary to state that the end with the cotton should be on the top. In the same pocket place a cigar and a pencil.

With this set-up you are always ready to demonstrate the "Human Magnet". For the presentation, you begin by explaining the properties of the ordinary magnet. You continue, "In the human system lies dormant a certain percentage of this Magnetic Influence, which can be brought to the surface by generation". Now rub your finger tips against your sleeve and ask someone to hofd out his hand—palm up. You next tell him to close his fingers into a fist. You rest your finger tips on top of his fist and rub in a circular motion. When you raise your hand upwards—his hand will seem to be drawn up by some invisible force.

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before spinning. Further reference to the drawings should make this clear.

Now to the display stand for the name boards, it will be seen that this is a cencre rod or post, fixed to a base. On this post are fixed three cross arms, thus giving six terminals or ends to which to fix the six required spindles. The spindles are of course fixed slanting slightly upwards, so that the rotating arms will not fly off. NOTE that the top and bottom arms are placed on the FRONT of the post, and the centre arm is fixed co the REAR of the post. This is so that the rotating arms do not catch one another in spinning. Space must also be allowed VERTICALLY between the arms to allow each name board a complete circuit.

Required then are the stand, as explained, six faked name boards as also detailed, six sets of cards, each set comprising five names repeated and one other name, as, for instance 5 "Worthing" cards and 1, "Portsmouth' , and so on through all the names, giving you a force pack for each name.

To prepare, have your six sets of cards handy. You could have a card index and place the six sets in your right coat pocket, pulling out the appropriate set when the first name has been chosen. Two pockets could be used, with three sets in each, indeed any arrangement so long as you can readily take up the required set. The stand is upon the table and the name boards are already on the stand, right way and facing the audience.

Have your first assistant make a choice of the rowns, explaining to him that he has won a competition which entitles him to this choice. Then, knowing what his choice is, bring out the appropriate set of cards and force the name upon the lady, asking her to keep the card face down for the time being.

Turn the stand round, having removed the name cards first, then replace them, being careful to put them all, except the chosen town, upside down. Give them all a spin and a I Tow them to come to rest.

Approach the first helper and patter "Let me see, sir. You chose Bognor didn't you?" Here he will correct you and say "Worthing". "Oh yes", you say, 'Worthing. Madam, would you mind telling us the name of the town you chose?" Affect surprise when the lady names the same town, and then, turning the board round, show that your choice is Worthing also. "Surely a holiday Co-incidence" you say, "we must all arrange to meet there!"

If desired, the choice of the first assistant can also be secret. Give him a small writing pad on which to write his choice, and, using a hard pencil or a ball point pen, ask him to write his choice and rear off the sheet. As you place the pad on one side it is quite an easy matter to catch a glimpse of the impression made on the second sheet. With a little thought other methods of presentation can be given.

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