To Perform

Pick up frame and top. Set top against trunk. Show frame and open it. Bring it over to right of trunk. Stand behind frame and open it. Set it down with one edge an inch or two behind right side of trunk. Audience can see your legs through frame.

Figure 39 shows a diagram of positions of yourself, boy, trunk, and frame at this point.

Now come around right side of frame to front. Pick up top and place it on frame, causing curtains to drop into position. The moment curtains have fallen, boy crawls from behind trunk to back of frame, Figure 40.

1 — Phantom Black Art Frame and Top.

2 — Black back curtain and ground cloth.

3 — Trunk, large enough for a person to crouch in comfortably.

4 — Large cloth, about 8 feet square. A bed sheet will do in emergency.

Grasp handle at left side of trunk and pull it forward to front of stage. Open trunk, stand it on end, and turn it around to show it is empty. Strike it on all sides to convince audience it is an ordinary trunk.

Replace trunk against edge of frame as before, but this time have front of trunk toward back curtain so that lid opens toward audience.

Boy crawls behind trunk again as you lift the lid. Quickly the boy slips into trunk while your movements help to screen him from the side, and he crouches over in right side.

Girl assistant enters quickly and makes a slight bow to audience. She steps into trunk from left side, faces audience, and places her hands on top of trunk lid, Figure 41.

While looking at audience, she quietly steps out of trunk backward, one leg at a time. Audience is not aware of this movement. Figure 42, next page, shows a side view.

Girl crouches down behind trunk and then crawls over behind the frame. You place lid of trunk down over boy. Audience believes that you are closing the girl into the trunk. Figure 43 is a diagram of positions at this point.

Now grasp left handle of trunk and pull trunk away from frame, bringing it down to side-front of stage. Turn it so that front of trunk is now toward audience.

To convince audience that girl is in trunk, go through the following: Knock on the side of the trunk and have boy inside knock in return. Have boy raise lid of trunk a little also. You may raise trunk lid a little and place a corner of a handkerchief under it so that boy can quickly draw it inside. Or an inch hole may be cut in side or top of trunk so that you can put corner of handkerchief into that and have it drawn inside by boy.

Next pick up the sheet and walk over to Phantom Platform. Step up on the frame from the side. Show sheet empty and then hold it spread out in front of you. Be sure that bottom of sheet comes a little below top of platform and yet leaves enough of the frame in view so that audience thinks it can still see through frame, see Figure 44.

Girl crawls up on to platform on your left and then stands up in front of you. You allow sheet to fall down and drape over her. Figure 45 is a side view.

Step down from platform and come to center of stage. Point to figure under sheet. Point to trunk, and then walk over to it. Open lid suddenly. Up jumps the boy and steps out of the trunk. Trunk is then tipped on end and shown empty.

Walk over to platform and whisk away sheet, revealing the girl. Help her down from the platform.

NOTE: You have a very effective illusion here if you will speed it up and put pep in it. The finish is great. Study it enough to perform it in an artistic manner.

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