The Visual Torn And Restored Newspaper

Effect: The title efficiently sums up the effect. A newspaper is torn to pieces, then is magically restored. Several good methods exist for achieving this effect, but when Gene Anderson's newspaper tear was prominendy performed a few years back by Doug Henning, magicians seemed to lose sight of all others. It is rare to see anything but the Anderson method performed these days. This is to be regretted, as several of the prior methods had advantages well worth considering {not the least of which is Al Koran's, to which the Gene Anderson method owes a considerable debt). When Mr. Elmsley first discussed his method in print, he clearly stated his goal:

"In most methods, assuming that they are well performed, the torn pieces are transformed into a neatly folded packet, obviously untorn, which is then unfolded. To me this does not look magical, however magical it may be considered intellectually. It looks as though a folded packet has been substituted for the pieces. Moreover, the unfolding of the packet is an anticlimax.

"I believe that, if it is to look as though it is the same paper being restored as was torn, there must be no folded packet seen at any stage. In practice, that means that no folded edges, but only torn edges and the natural edges of the paper must be seen, right up to the moment when the paper is shown unfolded and restored."

At that Lime (1958), only one method met this criLicism: Ken Bowell's "Kentare", which was marketed by Harry Stanley. Taking the Bowell method as a starting poinL, Mr. Elmsley creaLed the one about to be explained. A folded packet is substiLuLed for Lhe Lorn pieces, buL iLs folded edges are hidden up Lo Lhe insLanL of resLoraLion.

Method; You will require Lwo duplicate front sections of a newspaper. Remove the inner pages of each secLion unLil only Lhe two outside double sheets remain. That is, each duplicate paper should now consist of only eighf pages. Find a single page from the exLra sheeLs of the papers, or neatly cut a double page in half. (Ideally, this should be the front page from a third duplicate copy of the paper, but this is not strictly necessary.) Dispose of everything but the single page and the two eight-page sections.

Take the single page and fold it in half widthwise. Then, using your finger for a paperknife, tear the page in two along the fold. The tear should be ragged but reasonably straight. Think of the lower half of the page as Piece One. Fold the upper portion in half lengthwise and, again using your finger, tear along the fold, creating two quarter pages. Call the left-hand quarter Piece Two. (Figure 136 shows how the page has been torn.) Throw the right-hand quarter away.

Now lay one of the eight-page sections on the table and open out the front page, exposing pages two and three. Using rubber cement or another glue that dries without wrinkling the paper, apply an "L" of cement at the bottom left corner of page three. This "L" runs up the left side of the page, near the crease, for roughly two-thirds of its height; and horizontally along the bottom of the page for almost half its width. (See Figure 137, in which the glue coated area is shaded.)

Close the front page again, and press it smooth along the glue-lined area. Then fold this front page in half by carrying the right edge back to the left and creasing it along its length. This crease is not quite at center, as the left edge of the folded page must project slightly beyond the folded spine of the section (Figure 138). Dog-ear the upper right corners of the three remaining sheets, folding them in together against the surface of page three (Figure 138 again).

Now fold the top half of the paper down and behind the bottom half, bringing the top and bottom edges even (Figure 139). Apply a continuous line of cement along the bottom edge and both sides of the folded paper, as indicated by the shaded areas in Figure 139, Lay Piece One (the torn half page) over the folded paper (Figure 140), gluing it in place with the torn edge at the top and overlapping the top edge of the paper to hide the folded edge. This overlap should be kept as narrow as possible, while still covering the fold.

Fold the paper in half again, this time bringing the left side over the right. This folds the torn half page inside the packet. Twist the folded paper a hundred and eighty degrees, turning the printing into proper reading position. You should now be looking at the top left quarter of page two. Apply a line of cement to all four borders of this quarter page (Figure 141). Affix Piece Two, the torn quarter page, to the folded paper, positioning the two torn edges at the right and bottom (Figure 142). These edges should project very slightly past the corresponding folded edges of the paper, hiding them. Again, make the overlap a narrow one.

Double the top half of the paper down and over the bottom half, folding the torn quarter page inside. This brings the top right corner of page three uppermost, with the dog-eared corners lying at the bottom left (Figure 143a). Turn the folded paper over sidewise. This places the torn edges of the inside quarter page at the left side and bottom of the packet. The printing on the upper surface of the packet is in reading position (Figure 143b),

143a

143b

143a

143b

We now turn to the second newspaper. Remove the outer sheet and double it both lengthwise and widthwise, until it is folded into sixteenths, making a packet the size of the prepared first paper. Crease the folds and open the sheet out flat again, with pages two and seven up.

Apply lines of cement to the left edge and both top and bottom long edges of the prepared packet (Figure 143b again), turn it over sidewise and glue it onto page two of the second paper, positioning it at the lower left quadrant of the upper half of the page (Figure 144). Note that the dog-eared corners of the packet should lie at the bottom left. When you set the packet into place, align the left edge of the open sheet with that of the adjoining surface of (lie packet. The other edges in the packet can protrude slightly beyond the edge of the open sheet, but the glued left edge must be even.

Take the inner sheet of the duplicate paper and fold it into sixteenths, just as you did the outer sheet. Sharpen the creases and unfold the sheet. Lay it right-side up, pages four and five uppermost, on the open outer sheet and fold the left pages of both sheets onto the right pages, closing the paper and bringing the front page into view (Figure 145). This concludes the preparation.

Lay the paper on your table, with the packet turned away from the audience. Or you can fold the paper in half again, along its width, and carry it under your arm as you walk out. Here, the packet edge should be positioned at the rear, again away from the audience.

To begin the trick, face the audience and grasp the paper by its left edges, at the point where the packet lies hidden, holding the paper with Lhe left hand, front page toward the audience (Figure 146).

With your righL hand, separate the two rear pages at the left edge and let them drop open, at Lhe same time turning the inside of the unfolded paper toward the audience. This displays pages four and five (Figure 147). The left hand keeps its hold at the place where the packet lies and, if necessary, the left thumb can draw the inner sheet upward slightly, further concealing the edges of the packeL.

WiLh the right hand, grasp Lhe hanging lower edge of the inner sheet and bring it up to Lhe lefl hand, closing Lhe sheet. This exposes pages six and seven Lo Lhe audience. Repeal Lhe action, closing Lhe outer sheet and bringing Lhe back page of the paper inlo view.

Still holding the closed paper by ils leff side in Lhe left hand, insert Lhe fingers of the right hand into the center fold of both sheets and use the edge of the hand, like an origami karate master, to tear the sheets at the top righL corner {Figure 148), The Lear should end at a spot roughly even wilb your left Lhumb,

Open Lhe paper once more at the center and, with your right hand, grasp Lhe right edges of the right pages. Then pull Lhe hands aparl, Learing the two sheets down their center creases (Figure 149). You should now have four page-size pieces.

Lay the right hand's pieces onto the left's. This places the pieces that conceal the packet nearest the audience. This rule will be followed with each tear.

Turn your left hand palm-down, rotating the paper a quarter turn clockwise. This brings the packet to the top edge. Transfer the left hand's grip on the packet to the right hand, and shift the left hand a few inches to the left. You are now holding the pages by their upper edges, near the center, Tear the pages in half (Figure 150). If necessary, you can first fold the pages in half and start the tear with the side of your hand, as you did for the first tear. Place the left hand's half pages over the right's, again keeping the packet toward the audience. Then twist the bundle of pieces another quarter turn clockwise. This brings the packet to the upper right corner.

Shift the hands to the center of the top edge of the bundle and tear the pieces again in half, making quarter pages. Put the left hand's pieces onto the right's and twist the bundle clockwise another quarter turn. Tear the pieces once more down the middle, making them an eighth of a page each. Place the left hand's pieces over the right's. At this point only one torn piece rests between the audience and the packet, and that piece is glued in place (Figure 151). Its torn edges cover the folded edges of the packet. All the other pieces are stacked together on your side of the bundle.

Give the bundle a quarter turn, counterclockwise this time, and grip it in the left hand at the left side. If you check you will find the dog-eared corners of the packet are now at the upper right. The thick folded edge of the packet is downward, making it easy for you to slide your right fingers upward between the packet and the stack of pieces. Do so, and grip the pieces between the right forefinger and thumb. Then shift the pieces as a unit downward about two inches and slightly leftward. This exposes the top of the packet to your view (Figure 152).

Insert your right second finger between the dog-eared corners and the comer of the packet behind them. Then pinch the dog-eared pages between the right first and second fingers (Figure 153). Hold the stacked pieces securely between the right forefinger and thumb. If the left hand released the bundle at this point, the folded packet would fall open under its own weight to full-page size. This is essentially what will happen, but the left hand guides and controls the opening of the packet, to prevent the torn pieces from showing as the paper is restored.

Relax the left fingers and let the outer portion of the packet open forward and downward. This exposes torn Piece Two to the audience. Tighten the left fingers on the bundle again, to prevent it from opening further. This is the first move of the restoration sequence, and though the edges of the paper can be seen, the hands conceal the thickness of the stack.

151 cover piece packet

Tip the bundle forward slightly and to the left, as you again release the left hand's grasp. This allows another fold of the packet to open, the outer portion swinging forward and to the left. With the left hand, grasp the outer edge of the swinging portion and finish opening the packet to half-page size. Torn Piece One, upside-down, is now seen by the audience. As you pull the fold open, reverse the forward and leftward tilts just given the packet, bringing it again fully upright. This helps to impede the drop of the bottom half of the packet.

Once assuring yourself that everything is in your control, do what you have just prevented: release the left hand's hold and let the packet drop open to full-page size. Give the paper a little shake, if necessary, to speed the opening. Figure 154 shows your view at this point. The opened paper is held between the right first and second fingers by the upper right corner; and the stack of pieces is gripped behind the paper, between the right thumb and first finger.

With the left hand, grasp the upper left corner of the doubled over front page the instant the paper falls open. Separating it presents no problem, as it was folded to overlap the spine of the paper. Then move the hands in opposite directions, pulling the restored paper open. As you do this, Piece One forms a pocket with pages two and three at the bottom of the paper. Drop the stack of pieces from the right thumb and forefinger into the pocket (Figure 155} as you begin to turn leftward. Without hesitation, bring the hands together and transfer one page from the right hand to the left. Then separate the hands again, opening the paper to pages four and five. Release the right hand's pages and let the paper hang open from the left hand, as in Figure 147. Turn the paper, showing it front and back; then with the right hand lift the hanging pages one at a time, closing the paper. If you now casually fold the paper in half widthwise, the pieces are locked inside the pocket and the paper can be held in any way or tossed aside without risk of exposure. (The idea of an internal pocket in the paper is, I believe, A1 Baker's invention.)

With a bit of care, the restored paper can be used for several performances. There is only one piece of the destroyed paper glued to page three. If you have used rubber cement, this piece can be carefully peeled away. Should you recycle the prepared paper in this manner, you will need to purchase several duplicate papers. Choose a paper with a headline that will not be quickly dated. Also, leave the prepared paper unfolded between performances, or it will not fall open as readily during the restoration.

The restoration sequence should be neither slow nor hurried. When Mr. Elmsley does it, it consumes approximately five seconds. The speed at which the paper is opened is, of course, a matter of preference. With a bit of practice, one can achieve a "flash" or instantaneous restoration similar to that featured in the Koran and Anderson methods. One advantage the Elmsley method has over those mentioned is that there is no strained folding of the pieces, no metal strips or wires, and no delay between the tearing of the paper and its restoration. Everything flows smoothly from first to last. The important thing to aim for is an appearance of torn edges melting away as the paper unfolds.

Some years back, at a testimonial dinner given in Goodliffe's honor, Mr. Elmsley performed a special version of his torn and restored paper. He began with a newspaper that had no print—-just blank pages. Observing that such a paper was of little interest, he tore it up, "Now, if there had actually been some news in this paper, that would be something else again." As he said this, he unfolded the paper, restored, and at the same time print gradually appeared on all the pages.

The method used was essentially the same as that described above, but the trick was done with a blank paper and a normal one. There was one added bit of preparation: a few small scraps of printed news-paper were glued to the blank portions that appeared when the second paper was unfolded, giving an impression of print gradually appearing as the paper was restored.

This novel presentation caused quite a stir among the audience at the Goodliffe Testimonial, and is remembered by many to this day.

August 1958

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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