Cigarette Tear


First, with the cigarette held in the left hand as described above, and the teeth gripping the filter end of the cigarette, move the left hand to the right, keeping the filter between the teeth, while the left hand takes the other two-thirds of the cigarette away to the right. Holding the left thumb and forefinger right at the point in the cigarette where the filter meets the tobacco facilitates this being a clean break.

Magician Apparatus

Move the left hand down. The left forefinger changes position on the cigarette, from above, to the "underside" where the thumb is — to the left of the thumb. The first finger, the thumb, the third finger and the fourth finger are underneath the two-thirds of the cigarette, while the second finger alone is on top — see Figure 4.

Use the thumbnail to crease the long piece of cigarette dead center. Now roll and crease the cigarette between the fingers until you get a clean break. The second finger on top of the cigarette acts as a fulcrum for this break. When the cigarette breaks, the two pieces will automatically be held as shown in Figure 5 — with one piece between the left first and second fingers, the other piece between the second and third fingers.

The left hand moves back up to the mouth and grabs the filter part of the cigarette from the mouth (where it has remained); this filter piece is held between the left thumb and first finger. Show the three separate pieces between the fingers, with your left little finger up

(showing that nothing is concealed in the hand), perhaps mentioning something about your cigarette brass knuckles — Figure 6.

The left hand moves up and returns the filter part of the cigarette to your mouth, with the filter end going into the mouth.

Now, two things occur at once. One is a flourish with the cigarette piece in your mouth, which draws all attention away from the second, which is the loading of the thumb tip and cigarette from the right hand into the left:

Either openly "tongue" the cigarette as a flourish, or wiggle it rapidly between your lips. This latter flourish is accomplished by holding the cigarette third loosely between your lips, and inside your mouth your tongue rapidly flicks it — the butt at your mouth will appear to have a life of its own, as it rapidly flicks back and forth.

As all attention is on the cigarette third at your mouth and the flourish, the left hand lowers and the right hand loads the tip and cigarette into the left palm. The tip is loaded into the left palm diagonally across the palm, and the left thumb moves up to cover the filter top of the cigarette extending out of the tip. The loaded position is shown, without the left thumb covering the top of the extended cigarette, in Figure 7, an exposed performer's view.


The left fingers still hold onto the two parts of the cigarette. The actual load need not be quickly or cleverly done; basically, the right hand moves into the left hand, while the left fingers and palm remove the tip off the right thumb. Remember, all attention will be on the flourish being performed at your mouth, so no heat is on your hands.

Now take the butt of the cigarette from your mouth with your right thumb and index finger. The following move should appear as if you are replacing the filter third of the cigarette from your mouth to between your left thumb and first finger. In fact, you drop the filter third of the cigarette into the thumb tip, while you kick up the filter end of the whole cigarette (which is partly inside the thumb tip) to between the thumb and first finger. As the right hand moves over to the left hand, partially covering the left hand, drop the butt into the tip, and the right middle finger kicks up the filter end of the whole cigarette into view — see Figure 8, a rear view just after the butt is dropped into the tip and the middle finger has kicked the filter end of the whole cigarette into view. Also see Figure 9, an audience view, which looks like you are holding the three parts of one cigarette between your fingers.

Take the middle cigarette piece between your first and second fingers, and put it to your lips where you leave it. Take the third piece of cigarette and drop it "into the fist" of the left hand, actually dropping it into the thumb tip. Take the piece from your mouth and put it into the tip, supposedly just into the fist.

Magician Apparatus

The right hand comes over and grabs the filter end of the whole cigarette between the thumb and first finger. The back of the right hand and fingers are toward the audience and cover this action: pull the whole cigarette out of the thumb tip (thus it goes up and above the fist, which is hidden from the audience by the back of the right hand and fingers. Once the whole cigarette has cleared the tip, immediately lower it back into the fist, right next to, but outside of, the thumb tip. Leave part of the filter end of the cigarette still sticking out of the fist. This move should be very quick, and the audience's view of this should be that you are preparing to push the last third of the cigarette into your fist.

Show the right hand empty, palm to audience. The right fingers now "pat" the back of the left fist, which hides the right thumb going into the left fist and into the thumb tip. Figure 10 is the audience's view and Figure 11 is a rear view.

Magician Apparatus

Remove the right hand from the left (the tip is now on the right thumb). Point the right index finger at the audience, while your second fingertip touches the end of the thumb tip. This is an excellent position for showing the hand empty with the tip on it — see Figure 12.

Keep the right index finger pointed. After pointing at the audience, move the right hand to the left hand, and push the remaining bit of cigarette that is extending from the left fist into, through, and out of the fist. The left hand should be tilted so the protruding filter end of the cigarette was toward the right. The effect to the audience is that the last third of the cigarette is pushed into the fist, and it visibly joins together with the other two pieces in the fist into a complete, restored cigarette. Leave the cigarette extending out the left side of the fist and pause — Figure 13.

Briefly show the right hand empty, again using the position shown in Figure 12, but with a "looser" and more casual pointing gesture this time — but remember to have the second fingertip touching the end of the thumb tip. The right hand takes the cigarette between the first and second fingers. Show the left hand empty. Put the cigarette to your lips. Display the back of the hands. Display the front of both hands, with both hands assuming the position, casually, as shown in Figure 12 again. Ask for a match.

Notes: One added touch to this routine is using a special brand of cigarette. If you are at a party or a club, and someone you are with is smoking an elite or bizarre type of cigarette, borrow one early in the evening. Supposedly smoke it, while in fact switch it for a different cigarette. Load this cigarette into your tip, and later when you perform the effect, borrow the cigarette to be used from the person with the special cigarettes.

Jeff's inspiration for this effect was Slydini's torn and restored cigarette, unquestionably a classic, but Jeff wanted to perform it stand-up and without lapping. He has succeeded tremendously. This effect is visually startling and the routining is all smooth and everything makes sense.


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