Broken Restored Rubberband Finesse

COMMENTS: I think the method of pulling two strands of a rubber band tightly together so they seem to be a single strand has been around for many years. Harry Lorayne then popularized the effect by developing a practical method for getting into the set-up, which was originally printed in his book, REPUTATION MAKERS. This is where I first learned the effect, and I used Harry's handling for years. In fact, the opening movements I use for doubling over the band are still Harry's.

However, after several years, I began to notice something interesting. My delivery of the effect was exactly as I had interpreted it from Harry's book. I picked up the rubber band, prepared it, stretched it a couple of times, then acted like it accidentally broke. I then immediately let the stretched band snap into one hand before showing it restored. When done this way, people would almost always say, "Where did the broken rubber band go?"

For years I was happy with that, because it seemed the method used - stretching two bands as one - had left them fooled. They clearly thought the original band had been broken. But after hearing this for years, I realized that while the method used was fooling them, the procedures which followed the breaking of the band allowed them to think a second rubber band could have been used. The broken band, remember, snaps quickly from its stretched position between the two hands, flying into one hand, which quickly closes. I think that the snapping band moved so quickly, many people thought I was shooting away the broken band, while closing my hand over a second band altogether.

The reason you have to proceed quickly with the broken band in the original handling, is because one hand - either the right or the left, depending on how you set up - holds the doubled-over band by its center. When the break is then simulated, you are holding the band by its center, leaving the looped nature of the band open for discovery. The only way to cover this is to snap the band quickly out of sight.

But I have discovered that by pinching both bands as close to where the looped ends meet as possible, you can conceal the loops that reveal the doubled-over nature of the bands. These looped ends are easily concealed by allowing them to sink between the pads of the fingertips.

This minor technical variation, where both hands pinch near the looped ends, allows you to slow down the procedures enough to control the display of the broken band, which also allows you to construct a better restoration sequence.

By following the illustrations and captions exactly, you will be able to keep every inch of the rubber band in full, controlled view during the break and restoration. Proceeding meticulously will make it impossible to accuse you of using a second rubber band. It is obvious only one band was involved. Combine procedures that make this fact clear, with a method that completely convinces them the rubber band is broken, and you'll notice you have a perfect effect.

But it gets better.

Not only is it a perfect effect with an ultimately practical method, but the objects, which can be borrowed, are found everywhere. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has had the experience of having a rubber band break on them. You will never find anyone who can't relate to the frustration of the break or the impossibility of the restoration. For all of these reasons, and for others I'll probably never understand, this is the effect that I perform more than any other I've ever known.

FIGURE 4: You will need to move the two looped ends until they are pinched between the index finger and thumb of the left hand. To do this, the right index and middle fingers completely open up the section of the looped bands that the tip of the index finger occupied.

FIGURE 5: The left fingers help the right fingers completely open up their opening, moving the two looped ends between the pads of the left thumb and index finger.

FIGURE 1: The rubber band is stretched between the index finger and thumb of the right hand.

FIGURE 2: The left hand pushes the middle of the rubber band away from yourself, as the right index finger and thumb pinch together.

FIGURE 4: You will need to move the two looped ends until they are pinched between the index finger and thumb of the left hand. To do this, the right index and middle fingers completely open up the section of the looped bands that the tip of the index finger occupied.

FIGURE 5: The left fingers help the right fingers completely open up their opening, moving the two looped ends between the pads of the left thumb and index finger.

FIGURE 6: The rubber band is doubled over on itself, with the looped ends pinched between the pads of the left thumb and forefinger. There is a double strand of rubber band held together so they appear to be a single strand looped around the right index finger.

FIGURE 3: The right hand pivots away from yourself, transferring the loop of the band from the thumb to the index finger.

FIGURE 6: The rubber band is doubled over on itself, with the looped ends pinched between the pads of the left thumb and forefinger. There is a double strand of rubber band held together so they appear to be a single strand looped around the right index finger.

FIGURE 10: The right index finger and thumb move down and pinch the rubber bands right next to where the looped ends are pinched together by the left fingers. Notice the difference between FIGS. 10 and 6: The location of the looped ends has been transferred from one far end to the middle position of the top strand.

FIGURE 7: The illusion is made better by moving the point where the looped top and bottom of the bands meet from the far end to the middle of the top strand. To do this, the left little finger moves to the middle of the lower strand and clips it

FIGURE 10: The right index finger and thumb move down and pinch the rubber bands right next to where the looped ends are pinched together by the left fingers. Notice the difference between FIGS. 10 and 6: The location of the looped ends has been transferred from one far end to the middle position of the top strand.

FIGURE 8: The right hand completely lets go to re-grip the band in a slightly different position. The looped ends are pinched between the left index finger and thumb.
FIGURE 11: If the looped ends are taken over by the right index finger and thumb, the hands can "wind up" before seeming to snap what seems to be an unbroken loop of rubber band.
FIGURE 9: The right little finger moves up to clip the double strands in about the same location previously pinched by the index finger and thumb.

FIGURE 12: The left index finger and thumb move down, quickly pinching the leftside of the doubled band as close to the loops as possible. By swinging the left hand back toward yourself, and the right hand away from you, each taking their looped ends pinched between their index fingers and thumbs, you create the perfect illusion of breaking the loop of rubber.

FIGURE 12: The left index finger and thumb move down, quickly pinching the leftside of the doubled band as close to the loops as possible. By swinging the left hand back toward yourself, and the right hand away from you, each taking their looped ends pinched between their index fingers and thumbs, you create the perfect illusion of breaking the loop of rubber.

FIGURE 13: The middle and third fingers of each hand are curled all of the way in, providing a perfect view of the band, as the little fingers continue to hold the doubled strands in what seems to be an oblong loop.

FIGURE 14: To emphasize the break in the band, both hands move up and down like a draw bridge, finally moving together, as if reattaching the two ends together.

FIGURE 13: The middle and third fingers of each hand are curled all of the way in, providing a perfect view of the band, as the little fingers continue to hold the doubled strands in what seems to be an oblong loop.

FIGURE 14: To emphasize the break in the band, both hands move up and down like a draw bridge, finally moving together, as if reattaching the two ends together.

FIGURE 15: After the left hand seems to push its end together with the right hand's end, let go of everything except the looped portion pinched by the right hand. Continue to pinch the band together for a moment before revealing the restoration.

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