The Production Cloth

This cloth should be about five or six feet square, made of heavy, opaque, decorated material. The material should be such that it can stand wetting without spoiling. It is well to have a colored border around it. The back of cloth may be lined with plain-colored material, which helps to give it weight.


Come forward with all preparations made under your Chinese costume, and production cloth over left arm, as in figure 15. If bag is properly adjusted, you can walk freely. Chinese magicians even sit down on the floor and get up again while carrying bowl without exposing it.

Facing audience, take production cloth between both hands and spread it out. Show both sides, Figure 16.

Fold up cloth, hit it with hands to show that it contains nothing. Replace cloth over left arm and make a complete turn around, ending by facing audience again. Take short, jumpy Chinese steps in making turn.

Now strike costume between your knees, pushing it in and say, "No". Then strike chest with both hands and say, "No". These two gestures show audience that you have nothing concealed in these places.

Open up cloth again as in Figure 16. Spread it out in front of you with the lower edge on the floor, see Figure 17.

Then drop cloth to floor. Pick it up and show both sides again. With cloth in front of you, squat down just far enough to touch concealed bowl to floor.

Figure 18 is a side view diagram of the movement.

When bowl touches floor, it is pivoted forward so that it is thrown to floor with top up, Figure 19.

Figure 18 is a side view diagram of the movement.

By a slight backward movement, release the bowl from the bag, Figure 20.

Continue to move backward and cover bowl with cloth. Make some expressions which sound Chinese at this point, Figure 21, next page.

This series of movements is done quickly and to audience it appears that you merely squatted down a little and covered a large object which had suddenly appeared on the floor.

Reach down and grasp dangling ends of rope on bowl cover. Free cover from bowl quickly under the production cloth, Figure 22.

With a flourish, raise up cloth with cover under it and expose the large bowl of water, Figure 23.

Pour water from bowl into two buckets or glass dishes to show that bowl really contained water.

Some performers release cover from bowl in act of covering bowl with cloth and immediately raise cloth and cover without completely dropping cloth on floor.

Practice this effect carefully so that you overcome all clumsiness in your movements and can perform it gracefully and quickly. To the audience, who does not know of your movements, the production comes suddenly, in a flash.

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