The Magic Shoe Lace

EFFECT: The performer says that he always has trouble in lacing up his shoes and offers to show the magic way to do it. A white shoe lace is displayed along with an envelope inside which is a large picture of a rather odd looking shoe.

A helper is commandeered and first checks that the magician only has one shoe in the envelope. The shoe, which has no laces on it of course, is slid back into the envelope and left in full view.

A bag is shown empty and the helper drops the white lace inside. He then mutters the magic word and the lace is supposed to disappear and magically lace itself up on the shoe picture in the envelope. However, when the bag is turned inside out the lace is still there - BUT NOW IT HAS CHANGED TO BLUE!

The assistant is told off by the magician for doing the wrong trick! The boy takes the blue lace and puts it back into the bag. Once again the magic word is said and when the bag is turned inside out the lace has turned to RED!!

Finally the red lace is returned to the bag and succeeds in disappearing. The envelope is opened and the picture taken out to reveal the real red lace actually threaded and tied through the picture of the shoe - and the envelope is otherwise empty.

REQUIREMENTS: 1. Two identical pictures of a shoe. The picture on p.16 is the actual size that I use. To produce one for yourself, get a photocopy shop to run off 2 copies on 2 sheet card. Do not be tempted to have it done on thicker card as this might cause problems when using the envelope. 2. Four ordinary laces. Two red, one blue, one white. 3. A three way changing bag. (Available from Mark Leveridge Magic. See current price list.). 4. A Double Flap Switch Envelope large enough to take the picture of the shoe. To construct it you will need three manila envelopes sized approximately 13" x 9".

SET-UP: Get the three way changing bag and into the middle pocket place the blue lace, while in the rear pocket put the red lace. Get the two shoe pictures and with the knife make an X slit in each of the lace 'holes' on the two pictures. Thread one of the red laces through the lace holes on one picture and tie a neat bow. Slip this picture into one of the envelope pockets. On the flap of this pocket write the number 2 in pencil. Turn the envelope over and slip the other shoe picture inside, marking this flap with a 1. You are now ready to go!

PRESENTATION: "Do you ever have trouble lacing up shoes? I do, especially when I have to thread a new lace into a shoe. I always get the laces all tangled and the ends the wrong length! However, I have discovered you can do it all by magic, and we are going to have a try now. First we need a lace - here's one."

Bring out the white lace and display it. Place it down on your table.

"Next we need a shoe. Who's got one I can use."

Start to peer at a few of the children's shoes as if looking for a likely one.

"No, I won't use any of your shoes because if you were to take your shoes off you might have smelly feet! And then I would have to do the whole trick holding my nose! I certainly can't use one of mine, because I DEFINITELY have smelly feet! Instead we will use a picture of a shoe."

Bring out the envelope, Flap 1 facing the front. With the left hand grip the bottom left corner of the envelope (the flap is at the top and facing the audience) and with the right hand hold the top right corner. Cross over your hands so that the envelope is turned with the visible flap being twisted away from the audience and so that it ends up facing you. Your left hand still lightly holds its corner and the length of the left arm runs along the bottom edge of the envelope thus concealing the extra flap from view.

This is a bit difficult to describe clearly in print, but what it should look like is that you just turned the envelope round so that the opposite side to the visible flap (the assumed address side) is now facing the audience. The use of the arm to conceal the extra lower flap at the bottom of the envelope is used as a subtle way of showing the 'address' side without having to mention it.

"I have a picture of one of my shoes inside this envelope."

With the right hand, open the top flap of the envelope and peer inside. Give a little giggle as if the shoe is a bit funny.

"I'm afraid it isn't a very smart or modern shoe, in fact its a bit funny." Repeat the peering inside the envelope again. "If I show you it, you won't laugh, will you?"

Reverse the twisting procedure to turn the envelope so that the top flap is facing the audience again. Tilt the top flap down to the right, holding the envelope in the centre at the opposite end to the visible flap with the left hand. Open the flap with the right hand and slide out the picture of the shoe. Having displayed it, place it down, but keep hold of the envelope.

Get a child up to help and ask him to look inside the envelope to see if you have any more shoes in there. To help with this, put your right hand into the top of the envelope and spread the fingers and thumb wide to hold the inside open a little. The left hand keeps a grip on the other end of the envelope. The assistant can look inside and it will look completely empty. Because the shoes are printed on thin card, the envelope will still bend naturally even with the other shoe in the other hidden pocket. If thicker card is used, this is not the case.

Pick up the picture of the shoe and slide it back into the envelope. Tip the flap end upwards again and twist it round as before. With the right hand pass the white lace to the boy and ask him if it looks like a magic lace. He will probably say 'no'.

"That's because it isn't! However, I do have a magic bag."

As you say this you lean towards your table and gripping the envelope at the top with the right hand smoothly lay it down flat so that Flap 1 is actually resting against the table and Flap 2 is now visible at the other end of the envelope. Immediately bring the changing bag out of your case. This switch of the envelope's sides is never noticed!

"Better make sure this is empty before we start. Ah, yes, full of nothing!"

Turn the bag inside out using the front pocket so that it appears to be empty. Return the bag to its proper way round and get the helper to place the white lace into the front pocket of the bag.

"All you have to do now is wiggle your fingers over the bag and say the magic word, and instantly the lace will vanish and tie itself on the shoe in the envelope."

The boy does as instructed and you turn the bag inside out, this time using the central pocket. This reveals the blue lace and at the same time shows that the bag is otherwise empty.

"A blue lace? No, that wasn't what we were supposed to do. Look, he's changed its colour instead of making it disappear! Oh dear, we'll have to try again. Take the blue lace and put it back into the bag and we'll see if you can make the blue lace disappear and tie itself on the shoe."

Get him to put the lace back into the central pocket. Repeat the finger wiggling and magic word and turn the bag inside out, this time using the rear pocket. This brings the red lace into view. Children find these colour changes of the lace very funny, surprisingly enough!

"Now he's changed it red!! Look we'll give it one last try and we'll get everyone to say the magic word this time, that way it is sure to work."

Take the lace from the boy and place it yourself into the front compartment of the bag. Get all the children to help with the magic word and turn the bag inside out using the rear pocket to show the lace has finally gone.

Put the bag away and pick up the envelope. Hold it with Flap 2 facing to the right and open the flap and reach inside. Withdraw the shoe picture a little, but not enough to reveal whether the lace is on the shoe.

"If when we pull the shoe out of here the red lace is really all laced up with a bow will you all give Simon a big clap for helping? You will? Good. Well here goes!"

Remove the picture to display the laced shoe and if you wish you can get the helper to have one final look inside the envelope to confirm you only have one shoe.

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