When I was at FISM last summer a guy showed me a really cool stunt…it wasn’t really a magic trick. It was more like Paper Balls Over Head where the audience sees something and there was a bit of a payoff later. What happened was I sat in a chair and he had two coins. He clinked them together. You then closed your eyes and he clinked the coins and you pointed to where he was. You did this several times and the final time you heard the clink and pointed to where you heard the noise. Let’s say you pointed behind you, you opened your eyes and the guy was in front of you.
It was really cool and I’d never seen anything like it.
Last night I was reading Body Magic by John Fisher and guess what I found?
Yep, I found the principle for the trick that was written up in 1979! The version that I saw at FISM was definitely a more fleshed out version of the stunt, but it was fun to run into the trick in that book!
Yesterday I wrote about doing a “spectator as mind reader” type effect and it having to be a clean trick from a method standpoint. The spectator who reads the mind must be unaware of how you get them to reveal what the other person is thinking. Today I’m going to talk about something similar, but … Continue reading “The Blow Off”
Yesterday I wrote about doing a “spectator as mind reader” type effect and it having to be a clean trick from a method standpoint. The spectator who reads the mind must be unaware of how you get them to reveal what the other person is thinking. Today I’m going to talk about something similar, but the opposite way, where at the end everyone knows how the trick was done. This doesn’t just apply to mentalism, but to magic.
Let’s start with a premise everyone knows, which is paper balls over the head. Personally I dislike this trick, because it has no ending. Sure, you could produce a bowling ball from the tissue at the end or something like that. In its standard for you are basically telling the same joke over and over, there is no punctuation on the trick.
One way some people end it is to reveal the paperballs on the floor to the person. The problem with that is there is a bridge missing, the person doesn’t know how they got there, they just see them on the floor. Did the disappear and reappear there…you miss the moment where they are let in on the gag. Watch Michael Finney do the card on the forehead, it ends when we get to see the person onstage react to the finally seeing the card. You’ll never get the same reaction when the person sees the paper balls, plus they will be turned around looking at them, so we can’t see them.
My point is when you do a trick where everyone knows how the
trick works, except one person, you need to completely let them in on the
trick. You have to essentially tell them what happened, or they will not react well
because they are trying to cross a bridge that’s not there. The challenge is to completely reveal the
trick in a second or two. At a glance the
person on stage should be able to figure out what happened.