An Explanation To Audience Of How The Napkin Trick Is Done

This is an explanation of the above effect, in which you tell your audience how you have accomplished the effect, and yet when you have finished, they find your explanation all wrong and are as much puzzled as ever.

On the table at your right you still have a napkin with a concealed ball under one corner. In your left hand you have the napkin that you have just been performing with.

"I will admit that that was a rather easy experiment. Nothing to it in reality. And if you would like to know how to do it, I will show you how so that you can fool your family, friends, enemies, relatives, or mother-in-law. First of all, the napkin is very ordinary."

Show napkin you have in left hand.

"It is just an ordinary paper napkin that you find at picnics or Sunday night supper. I really tore it up and rolled it up into a ball, but here is where the trick part comes in. Unbeknownst to you, I had another napkin rolled up and concealed here between my fingers."

Roll up napkin into ball and place in palm of left hand so that all can see it.

"This is how to palm an object":

Tighten up palm muscles around object which you have placed in center of palm.

You will have no difficulty in holding ball in palm. You may cover it a little with thumb if you choose.

"Or rather I should say it is concealed in my palm. I kept the back of my hand toward you, and so you thought my hand was empty."

Turn left hand so that back is toward audience and ball is concealed.

Then reach over to table on right and pick up napkin with ball of paper concealed under the corner.

Hold napkin in both hands and finger palm the ball in right hand just as you did the first time you did the trick. Audience must not know, however, that you have a ball concealed in right hand.

The trick is really now just the same as the original version except that you do it with the extra ball in palm of left hand.

"I will use this napkin on the table. Now remember, I have this napkin and the one palmed in my left hand. I tear the napkin into a number of strips -- and then crosswise again."

Tear napkin and then roll into a ball.

"Then I roll the pieces into a ball."

Do the same move here that I described to you in the preceding effect as to how to show the two balls as one.

This time hold ball from RIGHT hand and torn pieces as one in LEFT hand as in preceding effect, but remember to keep ball which you have palmed in left hand concealed from audience. Then palm off the torn pieces in right hand and reach for pencil, dropping torn napkin into hat as before.

Bring up pencil and point at the balls in left hand. The audience thinks ball between the first two fingers and thumb is the, torn napkin. Your torn pieces, however, have been disposed of. Your trick from now on is easy to do and there is nothing to detect. The audience, however, thinks the main part is yet to come.

"Using a pencil with this trick is all bunk, but it looks professional. I could have waved my handkerchief with just as much power. However in reaching for my pencil, I did something. It was to exchange the whole napkin in my palm for the torn pieces at the ends of my fingers."

As you say this slip one ball above the other by rolling the ball in back over the front one with the thumb and fingers. You may put wand under arm and show how exchange is made by using both hands.

"The single hand move shows how you do it with one hand while reaching for pencil."

"Then all I have to do is to tap the ball which is now the whole napkin, the torn pieces being in my palm, unroll the ball..."

Place pencil under right arm and unroll ball.

"And show that the napkin has been fully restored. Then you can bow as you have successfully performed the experiment."

Drop napkin on table.

"Now, the torn pieces in the left hand you can get rid of in any way that you desire. Of course, if the audience is watching you too closely, then the best way I have found is to take the torn pieces and blow gently thereon twice and pronounce the words, 'Chow Mein Chop Suey.' Surprising as it might seem, if you slowly unroll the ball of pieces..."

Unroll the ball.

"You will find that they have all joined themselves together, making a complete napkin as in the beginning. Then your audience will never know what became of the torn pieces. Don't tell them."

As a rule, it is never safe to EXPOSE a method. The less an audience knows about your method of working, the better. But in a case of this kind where you apparently expose and yet do not. you have led your audience to think that perhaps palming and using two pieces of paper is all wrong.

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