Ztemic

Here is a pretty little opening effect that does not want spoiling with unsuitable patter. It is based on the use of " Cremation " or " Red Ashes " paper. Whilst, so far as I know, there is no dealer marketing this effect in England, fine Japanese tissue of the kind used in the making of model aeroplanes should prove an efficient substitute. From a sheet pieces are cut to a size of six inches by four. As the reader may be aware, this type of paper will, after being ignited, rise in the air. (Cortini made a speciality of this in his burnt and restored paper effect.) The only other requirements are a twelve-inch silk of similar colour to the tissue, a wax taper, candlestick and candle, and an ashtray.

First of all, the silk is laid flat on the table and two opposite diagonal corners rolled in towards the centre until you have a long roll of silk about one and a-half inches in width. Turn up two and a-half inches at one end of the silk at right angles, and, rolling from this end, a little bundle is made, the right-angled end protruding as in the illustration. With the aid of a short length of black cotton the bundle is fastened to the taper (see illustration). This piece of cotton actually forms a loop, and were it not for the fact that the wax taper so easily breaks under pressure I would say use an elastic band (this method of fastening a silk for easy release is, of course, similar to that of attaching a silk to a wand for ultimate production. This being done, the articles the performer is using are arranged on the table as shown in the illustration. It will be noticed that the small silk bundle is completely concealed by the thickness of the table. With the small piece of tissue at hand and the candle lighted, the conjurer is ready for the

Presentation. The piece of tissue is taken and held by both hands at the extreme opposite corners ; the audience must be given the opportunity to see that there is nothing concealed either in the hands or behind the paper. The tissue is now creased widthwise and opened out so that the folds are at right angles to one another. In this condition the tissue is placed like an open book on the ashtray. The right hand now takes the taper, care, of course, being taken that (1) the fingers shield the bundle ; (2) the bundle is nearer to the palm than the taper ; (3) the tip of silk protruding from the bundle is positioned near the first finger. The right hand moves the taper across to the candle flame, and when the former is alight applies this flame to the two corners and the top part of the fold of the tissue. As the tissue burns down the right hand quite naturally passes the taper to the left hand, which in turn replaces the former on the table, the silk bundle being left in the right hand. In these moments the flame should have reached the lower

AUDIENCE

Candle in Candlestick

Candle in Candlestick

Thread tied round taper and folded silk

Ashtray

Ashtray

Thread tied round taper and folded silk

Taper with silk attached edge of the tissue, and the ash is ready to rise. When this happens the conjurer times the movement of his right arm so that as the ash reaches shoulder height the right hand meets it. At the moment of contact the right thumb presses against the protruding tip of silk, the fingers of the right hand releasing their hold on the bundle so that the silk falls. The effect to the audience is one of instantaneous change from ash to silk. There should be no attempt to shake the silk as the hand reaches the ash ; just let it fall. Whilst a bigger silk may be used, the greater length of fall will make the change less magical.

TURN OF A CARD— continued from page 19

Pick up case, and bear in mind which card must have its back to the audience. Extract the cards right side forward, leaving behind the Joker which happens to be at the " front " of the pack. Fan out the cards—again, not to flashily—and when you see the named card facing you, separate it with left thumb nail so that the back just shows to the audience. Run through them again, cut the pack there, and you have another "back outwards " card on the back of the pack, which you can once more show casually as you lay pack down.

Ask again for the name of the card, and on receiving it, turn it slowly over at arm's length so that its face appears for the first time.

And if my experience is anything to go by, you'll hear a gasp of surprise. But, of course, you must watch the angles, you Macchiavelli, you.

If you've had no luck with formulae for roughing fluids, you may care to try this one : 2oz. Canada Balsam dissolved in 8oz. Thawpit (both obtainable from Boot's). Apply with a soft cloth, because the fluid dries so quickly that use of a brush will leave streaky brush marks.

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