THOSE who are regular readers will recollect that in the December issue of the Pentagram there appeared an excellent presentation of the torn and restored paper effect under the title of the " Binding Ring." It was a presentation that Douglas Francis had used in his professional patter act during the previous season. Douglas has now come along with a sequel to the effect. He aptly titles it, " The Ring Binds Again!"
At the finish of the routine described in the December Pentagram the magician retrieves the pieces of black and white paper; they are torn into pieces and rolled into a ball. A touch with the " binding ring " and the audience see that the torn pieces have changed into an egg! The hand holding the egg closes round it and the other hand takes the binding ring. A final tap on the closed hand from which a shower of black and white confetti is released. The hand is then fully opened showing that no trace of the egg remains.
The method of achieving the effect is both simple and straightforward, and a trial will convince the reader of the effectiveness of this addition to the routine already described.
The requirements are as follows :—
1. A blown egg that has been filled with black and white confetti. The latter is best made by cutting black and white tissue paper into quarter of an inch squares. The confetti is gently packed into the egg and the opening then sealed with a small piece of cellotape. The egg thus prepared is placed into the right hand trousers pocket, where it will in no way interfere with the working of the main effect.
2. A small saucer or dish which is placed upon the table.
That is all the additional preparation. Now let us deal with the working.
At the conclusion of the " Binding Ring," the ring used is placed in the right hand trousers pocket. At the same time possession of the egg is obtained with the right hand which palms it and then removes it from the pocket. The action must be carefully studied and it should be so timed that the hand emerges as the conjuror goes to retrieve the first sheet of paper. The taking of the papers gives additional cover. The pieces of paper are then torn and rolled into a ball. The left hand moves away leaving the paper ball at the fingertips of the right hand. The right hand apparently places the ball of paper in the left hand but actually the paper is retained and the egg is taken instead. The right hand now goes to the pocket for the " binding ring " and in taking the latter the ball of torn paper is left behind. The back of the left hand is touched twice with the " binding ring " and then opened to reveal the egg!
The left hand closes around the egg and the right hand still holding the " binding ring " taps the latter against the closed left hand. The ring is now dropped onto the table (or returned to the pocket) and the small saucer or dish is taken and held under the left hand which makes a squeezing motion (in actuality crushing the egg shell) and allows the black and white confetti to shower down: onto the saucer.
There are two additional suggestions. The first appertains when the effect is being used as a closing item and conditions do not prevent you from dropping confetti onto the floor. This is the way it goes. As the closed hand holding the egg is tapped for the second time the ring is placed in the inside pocket and a small black and white fan taken and opened. The left fist is fanned as the confetti is allowed to escape. To heighten the effect, the performer makes his exit whilst a cloud of confetti is allowed to precede him.
As an alternative to a fan proper, a nice touch would be to produce a fan of cards and fan the confetti with these.
The second suggestion is for the comedy magician. The presentation after the pieces of paoer have been picked follows the line of Cullpitt's egg and silk trick. One of the special eggs now
VOLUME SEVEN, No. TEN - 1/6. (20 Cents) - JULY 1953
marketed is taken and instead of the usual contents it is filled with black and white confetti. Possession of the hollow egg is obtained and the performer after tearing the pieces of paper works
" The true skill of the magician is in the skill he exhibits in influencing the spectator's mind. This is not a thing of mechanics. It is not a thing of digital dexterity. It is entirely a thing of psychological attack. It is completely a thing of controlling the spectator's thinking. Control of the perceptive faculties has nothing whatever to do with it. Convincing— interpreting, to the spectator, what the senses bring to him, in such a way that the magician's objectives are accomplished, is the true skill of the skilled magician."
' Magic by Misdirection ' page 33
them into the egg. The trick proceeds on its usual lines but instead of the egg being broken to reveal the normal contents it is broken to shower forth confetti.
THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES . ..
HOLD A CANDLE
HERE is a two person telepathy stunt. The means for arriving at the ultimate effect are simple and so far as I know, new. The method hit upon quite by accident.
Here is one presentation which is quite straight-forward.
The telepathist sends his assistant out of the room escorted by a committee who keep her (or him) under observation throughout the test. Inside the room the telepathist hands out to the spectators present a number of cards each of which carries a different design. One of these is chosen. A pad (which has been borrowed if needs be) is then taken by one of the company to the assistant outside, and on this pad she duplicates the design chosen in the room.
At this point let it be noted that:—
1. There is no elaborate code.
2. Assistant can learn her part in five minutes.
3. The pad is totally unprepared (We've mentioned before that it could be borrowed).
4. Any spectator can take the pad to the assistant.
5. The pad is handed to the spectator without any kind of move.
6. The assistant uses her own pen to make the drawing.
The requirements are simple :—
1. An unprepared writing pad.
2. A small piece of candle (preferably housed in a container).
3. A clean thumb!
4. Eight design cards or objects that are easily identifiable. More can be used but the effect gains little and at the same time from the performer's point of view becomes proportionately more difficult.
The preparation prior to presentation is for the piece of candle in its container to be placed in the right hand trousers pocket, the writing pad open at the first page on the table together with the design cards.
The assistant and performer must think of the designs by numbers. They must also visualise that certain positions on the pad mean certain numbers. These numbers are as illustrated :—
Open pad (the numbers indicate imaginary positions of Design Cards.
The presentation is very simple indeed. After the assistant has been escorted from the room, the telepathist picks up the stack of design cards and spreads them out on the table top. Whilst one of the spectators is deciding upon a given design his right hand goes to his trousers pocket and he gets a thin smear of candle grease on his right thumb. After the design has been decided upon, the pad is picked up by the thumb and finger (thumb on top of the pad) at the point which gives a number corresponding to the chosen design. He moves the
Open pad (the numbers indicate imaginary positions of Design Cards.
thumb very slightly at the same time pressing on the paper as he hands the pad to a spectator who is to take it to the assistant. Providing that the thumb is perfectly clean no mark is visible on the paper. When the assistant receives the pad she takes her pen (ink or biro) and draws a " frame " around the periphery of the pad. This is apparently to enclose the finished design that will draw next, but in reality she gets her information regarding the positioned number, for as the pen reaches the waxed part it will slip over the greased area. Directly she has the information she with due artistry draws the chosen design. At this point let it be said that too much grease will give the lady a deal of trouble for there will be no ink line at all. The pad is then taken back into the room and everybody is happy.
A final word or two. The most important " move " in the effect is the natural picking up of the pad. Therefore it is most important that no suspicion should attach to it. The best way to obviate such suspicion is for the performer to approach the pad so that the desired point of contact on the pad is in the required position. Therefore the table used should be in such a position and of such a size that during the choosing of the design the performer can easily move round it.
" There are some fine entertainers who use magic props in the sole service of comedy, but they are no more magicians than the clown with the breakaway fiddle is a violinist."
Orson Welles. Foreword to ' Magic as a Hobby.'
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