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If you do a complete rope routine act, or if you only include a few rope tricks in your usual act, or, if you only work this rope illusion, you will find that the effect obtained is equal to many illusions costing quite large sums of money and needing bulky and expensive equipment. It is in complete contrast to the usual cut and restored ropes, and, I am sure, it will give you an unusual and unexpected effect.

The performer places two chairs facing the audience and about three feet apart. He then exhibits a length of rope which can be fully examined. This he ties to each chair back so that the rope stretches between them, allowing about an inch of slack from the horizontal position. A glass tumbler is now thoroughly examined and can be filled with water, milk, beer, or have a coloured handkerchief tucked into it. The performer takes the glass, and. standing behind the rope, he shows that only the rope stretches between the chairs by passing his arm over the top, underneath, and vertically behind it. He now places the tumbler on the centre of the rope, and it mysteriously balances without any other support.

The secret lies in the use of kitchen or dining-room type chairs with open backs having either spindles or slats. A length of strong, black linen thread is fastened to the backs of the top rail of the chair backs with cellotape, so that, when placed about three feet apart, the thread is taut. The use of cellotape prevents premature breakage when pulled taut as would probably happen with a knotted thread. As the thickness of the chair back is usually about one and one quarter inch, and the thread being stuck behind the top rail, it follows, that if the rope is tied to the chair and arranged to come in front of the top rail, the thread will be about one and one quarter of an inch behftid

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the rope, and if the rope is allowed to sag a little, it will also be above the rope at its centre point. A little experiment will be sufficient to find out how much slack to allow, so that when the tumbler is placed in the centre of the rope the thread will support and hold it apparently balanced. This effect is very suitable for small platforms as well as large ones, if the background is patterned or black, and is very easily rigged up on arrival for a show.

It will also be found quite easy to pass the hand and arm over and under the rope and even vertically behind the rope and in front of the thread, giving a perfect illusion that no other support is utilised. Properly presented this effect can be the subject of much comment long after it has taken place.

- The delightful and fascinating Just Chance effect is destined to become a classic in magic, and a study of the various methods used to obtain the effect, makes one wonder if it can ever be further improved. On the other hand, the more methods there are of performing an effect, the longer it is likely to last, since, as one method succeeds another, so the public is completely mystified for a further length of time.

Here is another way of performing this effect with the following advantages : Only three envelopes are used. Only one pound or ten-shilling note is used. The chosen envelopes are left with the spectators. Spectators can change their minds even at the last second. The performer's envelope is opened in the conventional manner with the thumb, the £1 note is removed with the first two fingers from inside performer's envelope after his hand is observed to be empty.

The effect is easy to do, no intricate manipulation is required, and all movements are completely natural.

EXPLANATION.—Take three envelopes and insert into each one a piece of notepaper the size of a pound note, folded three times so that the folded paper makes a packet x If" approximately. Remarks like "you'd be luckier on the Pools". "Penny points pay big dividends". "You're Treble Chance lines may come up next time" may be written on the papers. Now seal each envelope so that the thumb may be easily inserted for ease of opening.

From this you will realise that the note has to be palmed and inserted into the performer's envelope at the end of the trick and this is done easily and invisibly with the "gimmick" detailed below :

A tin plate holder slide is made up as sketch with a finger clip as shown and painted flesh colour. The reverse side can have a pencilled line along its length to suggest the line of the fingers. When front finger palmed the note should be to the fingers and the open end towards the centre of the palm, and it must be gripped by the clip between the second and third fingers. The hand can be held quite naturally in this way and the holder is easily obtained from the right hand side, where it is held under the coat by a paper clip soldered to a safety pin, a la egg or billiard ball.

PRESENTATION. — Produce the three envelopes and offer a spectator on your left his free choice. Let it be observed that nothing whatever is in the hands but the envelopes. Ask him if he wishes to change his mind. If not offer

the other two to a spectator on your right, holding the envelopes in your left hand. Obtain gimmick from coat while he is taking an envelope.

Transfer remaining envelope to your right hand thus hiding the gimmick beneath the envelope. If the spectator wishes to exchange with you, take his envelope in your left hand and let him take yours from your right hand, dropping your hand as soon as it is taken. Transfer envelope from left to right, again hiding gimmick.

You can keep quite still whilst the envelopes are opened by spectators. Now slit open your own envelope with the right thumb, and turning right hand over, palm towards you, open the top and let gimmick slide into the envelope, remarking at the same time how you have been "born lucky" and with fingers wide apart, extract the pound note with the thumb and first finger . . . This last move is indetectable.

STILL MORE COMEDY "Cooze Gags for the MAG"

They put fences round cemetries because people are just dying to get in.

It is not the traffic jams that cause accidents but the pickled drivers.

The most curious thing about girls is—men.

Help your Hubby in the choice of his clothes—for example pick his pockets.

Stout women are lovely girls gone to waist.

fession.

Snoring is nothing but—sheet music. Don't believe the stork—he kids the worlH.

In a recent musical comedy none of the chorus girls had been to school—just a bunch of dumb bells.

A drunken driver is like a bigamist—he's taken one too many.

Two pints can make one cavort.

Father of twins goes round grinning from heir to heir.

Sherry is supposed to be good for sea sickness—what's wrong with a port?

Handwriting experts should forge ahead.

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