the centre bag—because of the double thickness of material all round—nothing can be seen. If the head is placed between bags one and two—so that you get three thicknesses behind the head and only one in front of the face—then you have a reasonable vision if the material is thin enough.

Frankly, 1 don't like this type at all. The idea behind the double wall principle is supposed to be that the bag blindfold could be tested. In actual fact it may be tested—but anyone with an ounce of common sense would soon see how it worked. The principle of a Bag Blindfold is very good—the idea that the head is fully covered is basically sound. 1 would therefore suggest that as an alternative you have two bag blindfolds—one very thin through which you can see—and one very thick through which you cannot see. You have the latter examined (if necessary) and then switch for the other one—which honestly does not present much of a problem. By this method, both bag blindfolds are single bags as there is no need for the double principle.

This type of Blindfold is suitable for the Blindfold Drive, Sealed Letter Delivery and such stunts. It has the big drawback that is hard to overcome— inside a bag you can get very hot—very quick and it is rational to suppose that the average magician breathes!

Apart from the drawback—it has an asset over other types. It is a model which may be used by performers who have to wear spectacles to see. The glasses can be in the bag before-hand—put on when the head is in the bag and removed and left in the bag before it is taken off. No one knows that you were wearing spectacles! Many people have said to me that they cannot do Blindfold work because they wear glasses—well here's the answer. It is not just an idea—it has been tried and proven successful.

(6) The Sheet or Blanket Cover

In many respects, this—though simple—is one of the most convincing methods. The medium or Mentalist's Partner is seated on a chair and is then completely covered with a large blanket. Under such conditions it is quite impossible for the medium to see—and so effects are chosen carefully so that in actual fact there is no need to be able to see. At times, this can be very convenient—especially when the medium wants to do something and not be seen doing it! For example, under the blanket, by the light of a pocket torch she is able to read sealed messages. It would be safe to say that when a blanket is used—the audience are at a disadvantage more so than the medium. The simple things are usually best in the long run.

(7) The Bucket

From time to time, those in search of new ways to convince their fans that it is possible to see without looking—have resorted to wearing a bucket (if it can be said that one "wears" a bucket!). To add to the general authenticity of the experiment—the bucket is first filled with water and as no fluid escapes it is implied that there are no holes. Now the bucket is to be worn, but first it is advisable to remove the water—and since most stages do not have* drains it is as well to have another bucket nearby. In an emergency, you could drink it—which of course, would prove it was water! Having thus emptied the tested bucket, you invert it over your head and looking somewhat like a hybrid of a Martian crossed with a Robot—you do your party piece.

I am of the honest opinion that, although doubtlessly convincing, the bucket blindfold is dangerously funny. I am sure that it would look so ridiculous that half the audience would snigger throughout the act.

(8) Cotton Wool, Dough, Coins, Plaster and Suchlike

In general, I dislike the use of the above named means of blindfolding. Rarely it can be said that there is justification for their use. It depends very much on what you are doing. For a simple blindfold effect—perhaps part of a Mental Routine where you do a spot of X-Ray Eye work or Psycho-metry—there is no need for imposing what appear to be test conditions fit for experiments in Psychical Research.

For a challenge Blindfold test—yes—use everything you can—have the eyes first sealed with surgical plaster, then covered with bakers dough, padded with cotton wool and have the head mummified with bandages. But use this sort of restraint for publicity stunts—where the effect is specific, based entirely on the fact that you will do something when beyond all doubt— you are blindfolded.

The Mentalist who wants to make sightless vision part of his act cannot afford the time for these elaborate and often messy procedures. For if they are to be done properly, a committee must be called to examine the materials and to take part in the blindfolding and this means time—valuable time during a mental act.

I would be prepared to argue that a good actor wearing an ordinary black velvet mask—would be just as convincing as anyone who used dough and plaster. We cannot say that these elaborate measures are entirely useless —as many famous performers have used them with great success. However, there is no need to get carried away with enthusiasm and forget the underlying feature—you are there to perform effects, not to demonstrate varieties of blindfolds.

For those wishing to study the use of fake coins, surgical plaster, cotton wool and dough, I recommend The Tarbell Course in Magic and Will Dexter's Sealed Vision, which deal so comprehensively with the subject that repetition here would be superfluous.

(9) Summary

We have considered a few methods of Blindfolding and have said enough to imply that it is not so much what type of blindfold you use—as HOW

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment