Secret And Patter

To prepare: Make an envelope of tissue paper in this way: Cut a 3 1/4 inch square piece of tissue into a pattern like the illustration. Then fold over and paste to make envelope, bottom closed and top open.

Take a sheet of tissue paper 3 1/2 inches by 15 inches and tear or cut into small confetti-like pieces. Stuff these pieces into the little envelope and paste top flap down.

Open fan. On the back, paste the end of a small strip of tissue paper, about 2 1/2 inches long by 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide. On the other end of strip, paste the bag or envelope containing torn tissue.

Now lay the fan on a hat so that envelope hangs down into hat.

Leave fan slightly open so that it screens envelope from audience. Of course, audience is not aware that such a prepared envelope exists.

Have hat with fan so arranged ready on a table at your left. Near it have two glasses — one empty and one containing water. You are now ready.

Let us assume that you have just finished the torn and restored paper effect and have paper in your hand. You can begin something like this:

"Next I want to present a little play in one act, entitled 'Wintertime in China.' It is a very sad play and a tear drop may walk down your cheeks. It revolves around a little Chinese girl named Chee-Woo. Chee-Woo was very pretty. We will let this piece of paper represent Chee-Woo, all rigged out in her beautiful purple dress (providing you are using purple paper). Well. Chee-Woo fell in love, but her father objected to her lover and the shock literally tore her to pieces."

Tear paper into a number of pieces, placing one piece in front of the other.

"So she left home and went out into the cruel cold world."

Put pieces of paper into the empty tumbler.

"And then it rained — oh, my, how it rained! Regular Chinese rain."

As you say this, hold glass with paper in it in your left hand, and with the right hand pick up the glass of water and pour water into other glass so that paper will be soaked.

"Which reminds me of a very subtle joke told about the Prince of Wales. You see, the Prince was standing on a corner talking to a friend. They were both standing under an umbrella. So the Prince says, 'It certainly is raining.' To which his friend replies, 'So's your old man'. It's quite subtle -that job about the king reigning."

Now stir up paper in glass with first and second fingers of right hand.

"Anyway, Chee-Woo got very wet — in fact, she was sopping wet. And she said, 'I must get out of this dampness and find sunshine'."

Take wet pieces of paper out of glass and squeeze in right hand so water will run out. In the meantime, place glass of water on the table at left.

"She couldn't have been wetter if she had been swimming. 'But let me get into the sunshine,' said she."

Apparently place wet paper into left hand. THE AUDIENCE THINKS YOU PUT PAPER INTO YOUR LEFT HAND, but you don't. Let me show you how to do it as you will use the same or a similar "sleight" with other small objects later on.

After you have squeezed water from paper, it is natural for you to hold ball of paper between your thumb and fingers of right hand. Show ball. Now turn slightly to the left so that palm of left hand faces audience and back of right hand is to audience, ball concealed.

Apparently place ball in left hand, closing fingers slightly around the right hand.

Right hand now draws away, bringing ball with it, still held between thumb and fingers. Left hand closes quickly at same moment. The effect is that you have PLACED THE BALL OF PAPER IN YOUR LEFT HAND.

Try this before the mirror. Actually put ball into left hand at first, then try to get same effect but leave ball palmed in right hand.

Reach for fan on hat with right hand, letting ball come a little beyond fan. Dip fingers slightly into hat and let ball drop into hat. Then pick up fan, allowing edge nearest to you, to come up first so that envelope attached to fan will pull up out of hat but will be hidden by fan.

As you pick up fan, spread it apart.

Hold fan in front of left hand. As soon as left hand is covered, open it and grasp envelope of torn pieces, tearing it from the strip. Then begin fanning.

"Then came the gentle winds. The winds of the four seasons came to soothe her."

As you fan, squeeze envelope, thus tearing it and releasing the pieces of paper so that they fall from hand like snow flakes. The fanning helps to spread them.

When the envelope is broken in hand in order to let the torn pieces out, it is naturally torn apart in the fingers in the process of moving fingers and thumb back and forth in scattering the paper flakes. The torn pieces of

envelope fall with the flakes in small pieces.

"And swept her away to the heavens where she changed to snow — beautiful purple Chinese snow."

After all of the flakes have fallen and left hand is shown empty, say,

"And ever after — they have had winter in China."

The above effect may be done without patter, simply doing PANTOMIME. If doing pantomime, music helps put across the effect and you should use it when possible. Chinese or waltz music is most effective.

Instead of a hat on the table you may use a nice Chinese bowl of some sort; or if you have an assistant, he or she may hold your properties on a tray. This would permit you to dispense with using a table for the effect. If assistant is dressed in Chinese costume, so much the better.

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