Sign up for our monthly newsletter |
Learn Magic Tricks developed by the Great Houndini
Simple, Smart Magic Tricks for Young and Old
Download the Ebook "50 Magic Tricks" Now.
TRICKS WITH COMMON OBJECTS
ON RAPIDITY AND DECEPTION-MISDIRECTION-A JAPANESE SUGAR TRICK-"FLY AWAY, JACK; FLY AWAY, JOHN: COME AGAIN, JACK; COME AGAIN, JOHN "-A "RISING BLADE "-TO RESTORE A PIECE OF COTTON THAT HAS BEEN CUT UP IN SMALL PIECEB--TO PASS A RING FROM A HANDKERCHIEF ON TO A WAND HELD AT EACH END-A SECOND METHOD-A THIRD METHOD.
I COMMENCE this, the second portion of drawing-room conjuring, with the decided hope that, before my readers attempt to follow me, they will have attained Some proficiency in the art of palming and other little matters alluded to in my remarks concerning the treatment of coins. If such skill has been acquired, although in a small degree only, it will be of use in rendering the manipulation of other objects much easier. The prevailing idea with the public is that a conjuror moves things about from place to place before one's very eyes, but with such extreme rapidity as to avoid detection. This, I say, is the prevailing idea, and long way it continue to be so, since it is the very thing an audience is supposed to imagine. The learner, however, must, from the outset, dismiss such an impression from his mind as untenable, even for an instant. If he has a lurking opinion that a hand can be moved without the motion being detected, let him practise at moving, say, a cork or a piece of sugar, a distance of only one short inch, Let him practise for a twelvemonth to begin with, and I will guarantee that at the end of that period he is no nearer the consummation of the feat than he was at the commencement. If time hangs heavily on his hands, let him go on practising, say, for five or ten years: the result will be precisely similar. No; conjuring is based upon more deceptive principles than mere rapidity of movement, although that, of course, enters largely into its composition. Articles are, indeed, transmitted from one place to another before the eyes of the audience, but it is always, as it were, sub rosa. This is the reason why conjurors say so much about the hand being quicker than the eye, &c. The audience is continually trying to detect movements which are never even attempted, the result being that other movements are conducted with impunity. The conjuror must start with the one principle firmly fixed in his mind that he is to deceive his audience in every way possible. At no time is he actually to do that which he says he is doing. Every look and gesture, besides every word, should tend to lead the mind into the wrong groove. MISDIRECTION is the grand basis of the conjuror's actions; and the more natural the performer's movements in this particularly, the more complete will be his success. With each trick that requires it, I shall give hints for misdirecting the spectator's attention, although I am of opinion that every conjuror can best suit himself if he is only firmly impressed with the necessity for misdirection. The drawing-room conjuror must hold himself prepared to perform offhand with any article that may happen to present itself to view; although it is, of course, perfectly allowable for him to send for anything he may require. An article which one is tolerably certain to find in most houses is
Sugar.-Take four well-shaped pieces, of a medium size, and place them before you on a table, at which you will sit at your ease, in the form of a square, and about a foot from each other. Hatch up a long rigmarole about one piece being the Emperor of Japan, another his wife, another his daughter, and another his prime minister, or any other rubbish you please, so long as you bring it about that it is necessary that all four should assemble together in one place. In the country of which you are speaking, you will explain, it is the custom of Royalty to travel by telegraph, and invisible to the gaze of the" common herd." To illustrate how it is done, you will cover two of the four pieces, each with a separate hand, and, at the word "pass," make a slight movement as if throwing a piece from one hand to the other. On raising the hands, two pieces will be found under one, and none under the other. Repeat this operation (the minority always going over to the majority) until all four pieces are collected under one hand. The explanation of this really pretty, and, to the uninitiated, inexplicable trick, is, that you have a fifth piece of sugar palmed. If this piece be released, and that under the other hand palmed, the effect is the same as if an invisible journey had really been made. Supposing the five pieces of sugar to be represented by numerals, the various changes may be thus tabulated:
Left Hand. Right Hand.
1.-Raise 1 and Drop 5 with 2.
2.-Drop 1 with 5 and 2 and Raise 3.
3.-Raise 4 and Drop 3 with 1, 5, and 2.
4.-Raise both hands and pocket 4.
The rough and adhesive nature of sugar renders it very easy to palm. In palming, avoid all contraction of the muscles of the back of the hand, which is visible to the audience, or a clue to the solution of the trick will be given. If going out to a place where you are likely to be asked to exhibit your skill, be provided with a piece of sugar, and then ask for the requisite four pieces. If you are unprovided, then you must secure possession of the sugar basin, and secrete the extra piece as best you can. The extreme simplicity of this trick is only equalled by the astonishment of the audience, who are straining their of catch a glimpse of the piece of sugar as it passes. I need hardly remark that they never succeed.
Continue to tricks with knives