THe Complete Restoration

If there is one serious flaw in "The Ultimate Rip-ofF', it is that the final restoration, though surprising and baffling, is nevertheless incomplete. The card is only three-quarters restored. Anyone who has performed this trick reasonably often becomes aware that the audience has a sense of unfinished business on the part of the magician. It is not uncommon to hear such questions as "Now can you restore die last piece to die card?" And if no one speaks it, it is still a part of most spectators' expectations. There is a general desire for a total resolution, and if it is not forthcoming, the trick just doesn't feel quite finished.

Many magicians have wresded with this problem, as have I. Some years ago I came up with a defusing strategy. As soon as I finished die diree-quarters restoration, I hid the paitial card and the loose fourth quarter in front of someone and said, "And if you can restore the last piccc with the rest, I'll tell you how I did the others." This anticipates the question before it can be asked, and dismisses it with a playful challenge that is obviously not serious. The ploy was successful in sidestepping the problem, but after a while I came up with an idea I think is much better. It docs require a little preparation though.

Before your performance, you must score one corner of the card you will later tear and restore. To do this, lay the card face down on a table and, with an X-acto knife, carefully score two lines on the back of the card where you will tear off the quarter during performance (Figure 6). You must slice through oidy half die thickness of rhe card, so that the cuts aren't visible from the face.

^ Next you must find some very sticky white tape. Use two narrow lengths of this to cover the scored lines you have just made. The positioning of the tape is important. The ends of the tape strips should stop just short of the edges of the card, and the edges of the tape must only slightly overlap the surface surrounding the scored quarter. Slightly here means less than an eighth of an inch (Figure 7).

As you perform "The Ultimate Rip-off" you will find that, if you start with the face of the card turned outward as vou tear

off a quarter, the tape on the back of the card can be easily concealed throughout the handling. When you ^ tear the quarter from the card, your tears should easily follow the scoring and the tape will come away with the quarter piece. Because the tape overlaps the edges of the piece by so little, and because it is white in color, from even a short distance it will be mistaken for torn edges.

So you proceed unhindered through the tearing and the three-quarters restoration. (When, during the fanning of the 'three' pieces, you add the loose piece to the folded card [Figure 3 above], you'll find the two taped edges are naturally hidden behind your fingers and the rest of the card.) To complete the effect, fit the loose quarter into its place on the card and hold it there as you say something like ' And this piece fits perfecdy." During this display, secretly tise your thumbs to press the tape to the back of the card, reattaching die quarter to ihe rest (Figure 8). Then release the piece, spin the card straight up about a loot in the air and catch it as it descends, displaying that die final quarter has been restored to rhe card!

Immediately toss the card face up onto the table and accept the applause. You can expect that someone will pick up the card and eventually discover the tape on die back. When this happens, shrug and say, "What did you expect, a miracle?" Yes, it diminishes the magical effect, though it doesnt completely eliminate it. Where, af ter all, did the tape come from? But the alternatives are much less attractive, as I shall show in a moment. First, however, lets talk about...

off a quarter, the tape on the back of the card can be easily concealed throughout the handling. When you ^ tear the quarter from the card, your tears should easily follow the scoring and the tape will come away with the quarter piece. Because the tape overlaps the edges of the piece by so little, and because it is white in color, from even a short distance it will be mistaken for torn edges.

So you proceed unhindered through the tearing and the three-quarters restoration. (When, during the fanning of the 'three" pieces, you add the loose piece to the folded card [Figure 3 above], you'll find the two taped edges are naturally hidden behind your fingers and the rest of the card.) To complete the effect, fit the loose quarter into its place on the card and hold it there as you say something like ' And this piece fits perfecdy." During this display, secretly use your thumbs to press the tape to the back of the card, reattaching die quarter to ihe rest (Figure 8). Then release the piece, spin the card straight up about a loot in the air and catch it as it descends, displaying that die final quarter has been restored to the card!

Immediately toss the card face up onto the table and accept the applause. You can expect that someone will pick up the card and eventually discover the tape on die back. When this happens, shrug and say, "What did you expect, a miracle?" Yes, it diminishes the magical effect, though it doesnt completely eliminate it. Where, af ter all, did the tape come from? But the alternatives are much less attractive, as I shall show in a moment. First, however, lets talk about...

obviously hiding it in his fist. He then tosses it into the air and catches it back on his hand. This is a silly bit of pantomime that fools no one, and he knows it. I le shrugs, smiles at his audience, then returns to another deep mystery. With drat shrug and smile he lets his audi-encc know that he knows the trick is one you would do to amuse children. Then they begin to think, I wonder if hehas kids? What's he like at home? And suddenly, for that moment, he is another human being like them. I le is real and has made contact —and he is much easier to like.

These little moments are very important, and sometimes rhey are worth much more than a flat-out miracle to a good magician.

Of course, if you do poor magic, this strategy is unnecessary. Your audience is already quite aware that you arc human.

diminished. But when cards are counted, attention is fairly constant, providing less chance for concealment.

Widi a display, it is unnecessary to keep a uniform rhythm; in fact, it is probably inadvisable. It is much better to have some variety in die rhytlim to aid in keeping the display interesting. For instance, when doing a I lamman count in die classic "Wild Card" routine, one makes a very distinct break in rhythm, just before the switch is made. In this context this works because there is a good presentational reason for the interruption: You are showing a card distincdy different from the rest in the packet. It isn't perceived as a hesitation, so it will not give away the secret.

0 0

Post a comment