Many clever little tricks may be performed with pieces of paper. In fact, some of the best experiments in impromptu conjuring are done with paper. One of the most perplexing of all such tricks is called.
1. The Torn and Restored Cigarette Paper
The magician takes a cigarette paper, and tears it to pieces. He rolls the pieces in a tiny ball, shows his hands empty except for the little ball, and then proceeds to unroll it. The torn paper is restored, and the hands are empty!
A duplicate paper ball is used. It is rolled and concealed between the tips of the first and second fingers of the right hand. All the fingers are bent slightly, and the position of the hand is very natural.
The original paper is torn, rolled into a pellet, and the two pellets are pressed together, so they may be held between the left thumb and forefinger and shown as one, while the hands are shown to be otherwise empty. The paper ball is rolled more tightly, which enables the first and second fingers of the right hand to take away the torn paper pellet.
Then the fingers and thumbs of both hands start to unroll the duplicate paper pellet. To assist this action, the tips of the right fing2rs are raised to the tongue and are slightly moistened. The torn bits of paper are left in the mouth, and the restored pellet is completely opened, the hands being shown empty.
2. The Restored Paper Napkin
The effect of this trick is similar to the last. A paper napkin or a large square of tissue paper is used and the magician apparently shows how the trick is done, yet finishes by mystifying his audience.
Three napkins are used. One is rolled in a ball and is placed inside the other two which are formed in a loose cylinder. The magician unrolls the cylinder, and secretly grips the rolled up napkin in the bend of his right fingers.
Then he exhibits the two loose napkins, and rolling one into a ball, shows how it may be concealed under the left fingers. He tears the unrolled napkin, rolls it into a ball, and adds the napkin from the right hand. He holds the two balls as one at the tips of his left fingers, calling attention to the ball that is under the left fingers.
“Now,” remarks the magician, “I will ex change the torn pieces for the restored nap kin.” The right hand approaches, and squeezes the double ball, removing the ball of torn pieces, leaving a restored ball at the tip of the left fingers and thumb, and another restored ball under the left fingers. One re stored ball is exchanged for the other, in plain view; and the ball that was under the left fingers is unrolled, and held up to view. It is carelessly rolled into a ball, with the torn pieces from the right hand going inside it, and it is dropped in the pocket by the right hand.
“Here,” says the magician, pointing to his left hand, “I still have the torn pieces. Of course it is necessary to dispose of them in some way. Perhaps the best method is to unroll them—and then we find that they have also been mysteriously restored!”
As an additional effect, the magician may have a fourth paper napkin rolled tightly inside the third. When he reaches the denouement of the trick, and shows the torn pieces really restored, he carelessly lets the fourth napkin fall to the floor, where he quickly puts his foot on it. Of course every one wants to see the little paper ball that is beneath his foot; so after feigning embarrassment the magician picks it up and calmly un rolls it.
3. The Celebrity Trick
The magician takes a cigarette paper and lays it on the table. He asks some one to name a famous celebrity, now deceased. SupposeWashingtonis named.
The magician asks some one to carefully roll the paper into a tiny ball. He takes the little pellet, and holding it between the tips of his left thumb and forefinger, places it on the back of the spectator’s hand. A few moments later, the paper is unrolled, and the name ‘Washington’ appears written on it!
This pseudo-psychic mystery is quite astonishing. Yet it is not a difficult trick to perform.
Place a tablet of cigarette papers and a very short pencil in your right trousers pocket, or in the coat pocket. As soon as the celebrity is named, put your hand in the pocket and write the name on the top sheet of paper; then roll up the slip of paper and hold it between the tips of your forefinger and second finger (as with the restored cigarette paper). When you take the pellet rolled by the spectator, bring the hands together and add your pellet, holding the two as one; then, in dropping the pellet on the spectator’s hand, retain the spectator’s paper with the fingers of your right hand, and drop the pellet that bears the message. The right hand easily disposes of the spectator’s pellet, and the trick is virtually completed. You should be careful to perform this trick in a very impressive manner.
4. The Three Paper Balls
The magician rolls up three tiny b2lls of paper. He lays them on the table, and picking up one with the right thumb and fore finger, drops it in the left hand. He repeats with the second paper ball, and throws the third ball away. But when the left hand is opened, three paper balls roll out!
The trick is repeated, without hesitation, time after time, but with the same result; the third ball, thrown away, mysteriously emerges from the left hand.
Method: Again we employ the artifice of holding a ball concealed between the tips of the first two fingers. A fourth ball is used, and it is hidden in the right hand. The natural bend of the fingers allay suspicion. The first ball is picked up and is dropped fairly in the left hand; but when the second ball is dropped in, the hidden pellet is dropped also, the left hand immediately closing over it. When the third ball is “thrown away” it is really retained by the right finger tips. When the left hand is opened, and three balls are rolled out, the trick is ready to be repeated.
If the trick is performed seated at a dinner table, the magician should have a lump of sugar resting on his knee. After the trick has been repeated a number of times, he asks a spectator to throw away the third ball. Then his left hand rolls out three balls and while attention is on them, the right hand picks up the lump of sugar, holding it in the bend of the fingers.
The right hand picks up two of the paper balls and drops them in the left, letting the lump fall also. Then the third ball is thrown away, and when the hand is opened, the lump of sugar rolls out instead of the third ball.
Another finish is to pick up the three balls (or two if the sugar is used) and pretend to put them in the left hand, really holding them with the right thumb and fingers. This is not difficult, as the right fingers merely slap the left palm, and the left hand closes immediately.
When the left hand is opened, the balls have vanished, The right hand, meanwhile, lets them fall over the edge of the table.
Before performing this trick, it is not a bad plan to scatter some ten or twelve paper pellets on the floor. People seeing these after wards will think that they are paper balls which have been thrown away.
5. The Balls and the Hats
The magician rolls up four paper balls, each about the size of a golf ball. He lays them on the table so that they form the corners of a square. Then he takes two hats and puts each one over a ball. Picking up an odd ball, he reaches beneath the table, and thumps the bottom of the table. A hat is lifted, and there is the second ball I The hat is replaced over the two balls; the other odd ball is thumped under the table, and three balls appear beneath the hat. The three balls are covered with the hat, and the magician points to the other hat, which has a ball beneath it. He lifts the hat, and shows it empty. The ball has gone! And when the three-ball hat is lifted, all four balls are beneath it!
The trick usually ends here, but there is a very surprising conclusion which may be introduced. The empty hat is laid on the table. The four balls are set upon it, and the other hat is pressed down on top. When both hats are lifted they reveal a large paper ball, as big as the hat itself!
The first part of the trick is not difficult of execution. When the magician starts to place one hat over each of two balls, he is uncertain which of the paper balls to cover. He puts the right hand over the ball nearest him; and his fingers, which are underneath the hat, grip the ball, while the other hand is deciding where to put its hat. Suddenly he lifts the right-hand hat, carrying the ball beneath it, and instantly drops the left-hand hat upon the space occupied by the right-hand hat. As the hats come together, no one has a chance to see that the ball is no longer there. The right hand drops the hat (and the ball) over another ball.
The right hand then picks up an odd ball and thumps it beneath the table. The left hand picks up the hat and reveals two paper balls. The left hand carries the hat to the edge of the table, where it is gripped by the right hand. The fingers of the right hand go inside the hat, holding the ball there. The hat is dropped over the two balls and the third ball drops with it.
This maneuver is repeated with the other odd ball, so that three balls appear beneath the hat; and then the fourth ball is secretly introduced. When the magician points to the other hat which is supposed to cover a ball, he has merely to lift the hat, show it empty, and then let someone lift the other hat and find all four balls.
If the magician adds the large ball effect he goes about it thus: The large ball is hidden under the coat, on the left side of the body. It rests against the magician’s hip.
The magician shows the one hat empty, picking it up with his right hand. Then he transfers it to the left hand, which holds the mouth of the hat close against the body. A person is requested to lift the other hat. As this is done, all eyes will be upon the four balls which appear beneath it. No one will be looking at the magician. As he leans for ward and gazes at the four balls on the table, his right hand reaches beneath the coat and slides the large ball into the hat held by the left hand. Then both hands immediately drop the hat crown upward on the table. Every thing is then set for the mysterious appearance of the large paper ball.
6. Breaking the Pencil
This is really a paper and pencil trick; the paper used is a dollar bill, or a bill of larger denomination. The bill is folded in half, lengthways. A person is asked to hold the ends of a pencil, and the magician strikes the pencil with the creased edge of the bill. Suddenly he makes a mighty stroke, and the pencil snaps in half!
To do this, simply extend the forefinger while the hand is sweeping downward. The finger strikes the pencil and breaks it.
7. The Tough Napkin
A paper napkin is twisted in rope fashion, and a person is invited to tear it in half by pulling directly on the ends. The paper will prove too tough to tear. But when others have failed, you take the twisted napkin, and tear it with ease.
To accomplish this, dip your fingers in a glass of water while the other persons arc trying to break the napkin. Twist the paper tighter with your fingers, and in so doing, moisten the center. The napkin will then break when you pull the ends.
8. ThePaper Bridge
Take a sheet of note paper and stretch it between two glasses, so that it forms a sort of bridge. Ask anyone to set another glass on the bridge; the paper will not support the additional weight. The trick is to make the paper bear that weight.
The solution of the problem is quite artful: pleat the paper lengthways; the weight of the third glass.
9. The Marked Paper
Take a packet of cigarette papers, and let a person write on one of them, very lightly, so that the paper is not indented. The papers are mixed; then you hold them behind your back, and instantly draw out the marked paper!
Method: Cigarette papers are cut on the bias. You have merely to turn the marked paper around, before it is inserted with the others; and when you hold the packet behind your back, you will discover projecting corners that belong to the marked paper.
10. Three Paper Slips
Take a small sheet of paper and fold it crosswise into three slips of equal size. Tell a person to write three names on the paper, one in each section, with his own name in the center. He then tears the paper along the creases, and folds each slip in quarters. The paper slips arc dropped in a hat, and you immediately reach in without looking and bring out the slip which bears the person’s name.
Method: Both edges of the desired slip will be rough. The other slips will each have one smooth edge. Feel for the paper with the rough edges.
11. Travelling Tissue Paper
The requirements for this trick are two match-boxes and two sheets of tissue paper, one red, the other blue.
Crumple the blue paper and put it in a match-box. Mark the end of the drawer with a blue pencil. and close the box. Crumple the red sheet and put it in the other box, marking the end of the drawer with a red pencil. Thus the marks tell the color of the paper contained in each box.
The two boxes are laid on the table. Pass your hand over them, and open them. In the box with the red mark, you find the blue paper; while the red paper has mysteriously passed to the box with the blue mark!
On the reverse end of one drawer you must previously make a red mark, and a blue mark on the reverse end of the other drawer. As each drawer is part way open, these marks will not be seen. Put the red paper in the box which has the hidden blue mark; and put the blue paper in the box which bears the concealed red mark. Then mark the front end of each drawer with a color corresponding to the paper that is in the box.
Close the drawers and put the two boxes together. In stepping to the table, or moving some object out of the way, turn the boxes around, so that when you lay them on the table, the red marked box is now blue and the blue is red. Thus when the drawers are opened, the transposition has been effected.
12. Production of Paper Money
The magician holds a dollar bill in his hands; otherwise his hands are empty. He pulls up his sleeves, and rubs the dollar bill between his hands. A dozen more bills appear at his finger tips; the single dollar has increased into a stack of paper money.
Method: The extra bills are folded length- ways, and are rolled into a tight cylinder, which is hidden in a fold of the left sleeve, at the elbow. After the hands are shown empty, the sleeves are drawn up; and in pulling up the left sleeve, the right hand obtains the roll of bills, which are then spread out between the hands under cover of the bill already there.