Illusion, performing an
 
CONTENTS
To go to a particular illusion, click on the title of that illusion.
 
illusion title
Mind reader -- Tell which card someone else secretly chose
Which hand -- Pick which hand was raised when your back was turned
Coin through cloth -- Seems like you make a coin go through cloth
Spoon bending -- You severely bend, then perfectly straighten a spoon in a second
Card trick -- Another way to pick which card someone else secretly chose
Rolls that bounce -- Make it look like a dinner roll bounces like a rubber ball
Stops at choice -- You tell which object someone else secretly chose
Levitate shaker -- Looks like you lift a salt shaker by making it stick to your finger
Matchbook trick -- Seems like you can tell which matchbook is lighter by one match
Smash glass -- Looks like you can smash a glass with your hand

 
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Mind reader
 
Here we describe how to do something that will puzzle someone else who is watching. They will not be able to think of an explaination. Perhaps they will wonder if you understand something that they know nothing about.
 
You will need an assistant who also understands the trick. Place 9 cards face down on a table in 3 rows with 3 cards in each row. You turn your back to the cards. The audience person picks any one of the cards by touching that card. You then turn to face the cards. Your assistant then touches one of the cards with a pencil or finger and asks, 'Is this the card?' Your assistant does this for 3 or 4 cards. Each time you say no. Then your assistant touches the card that was picked by the audience person. This time you say yes. But how could you possibly know which card was chosen? The nine cards are arranged as shown.
 
cover
 
We will say the audience person selected the lower left card indicated in the figure by the X. The stick figure is your partner and is touching a card to ask, 'Is this the card?' Each time the question is asked the lower left corner of a card is touched. If the audience person had chosen the center card then your accomplice would touch the center of each card for which the question is asked.
 
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Which hand
 
Tell someone you will read their mind. Turn your back. Have him place a coin in his hand with the other hand empty. He should place the hand with the coin against his forehead. Use 20 to 30 seconds pretending to concentrate. Then say that you know which hand is holding the coin and he should put both hands in front of himself side by side so you can choose the correct hand. Immediately ask if he is ready. You turn around and choose the correct hand.
 
You know which hand because the one raised to the forehead will be paler than the one held lower. Normal color will return to the hand in about 5 seconds. You should not appear to rush the trick but you must turn to see the hands soon after the coin hand is lowered.
 
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Coin through cloth
 
Hold a coin between the thumb and index finger of the left hand. Have a handkercheif lying flat nearby. Grab the hanky at its center with the other hand and place it over the coin. As you place the hanky use the thumb of the hand holding the hanky to inconspicuously push a bit of the hanky down between the coin and the thumb holding the coin. Now lift the edge of the hanky that's toward the audience and flip that half of the hanky back and over to reveal the coin and to assure the audience that the coin is still there. Here's the basis of the trick. To cover the coin back up, flip both halves of the hanky back over the coin. Most often your audience will not notice that you did anything more than recover the coin. Then with your free hand grab the coin with the fold of cloth covering it and lift straight up, revealing your empty hand underneath.
 
The audience should realize you are holding the hanky with the coin underneath. Use the now free left hand to grasp the hanky just below the coin. Then using one or both hands squeeze the coin so that it seems to push up through the handkerchief.
 
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Spoon bending
 
Announce to your audience that a person can do just about anything near perfectly if they practice it enough. Say: I can bend a spoon severely and straighten it back so that you can't tell that it was ever bent. Then place the part of a spoon where the stem joins the bowl between your left 3rd and 4th fingers(not counting the thumb). The hand's position is in front of you, fingers pointing to the right. The bowl of the spoon is away with the stem end toward you. The concave side of the bowl is up. Place the end of the left thumb under the end of the stem with the thumb roughly in line with the stem. Place the end of the right thumb under the end of the left thumb. Place the the little finger of the right hand under the index finger of the left hand and over the spoon's stem. The bowl of the spoon should rest on the table top. Make all these placements as conspicuously as possible to your audience. Then cover the stem end with the first three fingers of the right hand as if getting a secure grip on the spoon. In one even movement bring the right shoulder forward, the right elbow away from the side, and pivot the right hand about its little finger upward and away from you. As you do this the right thumb is allowed to slide out and around the stem when the right hand is pivoted. The illusion is that the spoon has been bent. Immediately pivot the right hand back to its former position as if straightening the spoon. Lay the spoon on the table.
 
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Card trick
 
This is a card trick that requires two people to perform both of whom know how it is done. Your accomplice leaves the room. Someone else in the room picks any card from a deck and shows it to all in the room. The card is placed back in the deck and you place the deck on a table. Your accomplice enters the room and announces the color of the chosen card, then its suit, and finally which specific card it is.
 
It is done in this way. You and your accomplice agree beforehand that each edge of the table will represent a certain suit. When you lay the deck on the table place it noticably closer to the edge representing the selected card. Your accomplice will know the suit and makes two statements to which you respond according to this table.
 
 
answer to second statement
yes
yep
yeh
no answer
first statement answer
yes
ace
2
3
4
yep
5
6
7
8
yeh
9
10
jack
queen
no
answer
 
king

 
The first statement by your accomplice could be: 'It is a red card.' If your first response is 'yes' your accomplice knows the card is either an ace, 2, 3, or 4. The second statement could be: 'It is a heart.' If you respond by saying 'yeh', then your accomplice knows it is a 3. The accomplice then announces the card is a 3 of hearts.
 
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Rolls that bounce
 
While sitting in a restaurant comment, 'Hey, those are the buns that bounce.' Take one of the rolls in your right hand and make a motion as if throwing it straight down. Bring your hand lower than the table top. Raise the toe end of your foot and tap it down against the floor to simulate the sound of the roll hitting the floor. With your hand still lower than the table and so out of sight, flip the roll straight up moving only the hand. So the timing is right, count 1, 2, 3, for the throw, tap, and flip respectively.
 
This can produce a believable illusion if the timing is close, the acting fair, and the sound not too far from what might be expected.
 
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Stops at choice
 
Bring 5 objects together on a table, perhaps while waiting for your meal at a resturant. The objects are cup, salt, plate (or glass), napkin (or pepper) and ashtray (matches, ketchup). Say the name of each object as you point to it. Tell the audience person to pick one of the objects without telling you which one. The observer is instructed to mentally spell the name of the object as you touch each object, spelling one letter each time you touch an object. He should stop you as the last letter is spelled. You touch the objects in a seemingly random pattern. To the observer's surprise, he stops you on the object that he had chosen.
 
You touch any objects on the first two touches. On the next 5 touches choose the objects in the order given above. If you wish your audience to not know how the trick is done, only perform it once for a particular audience, otherwise they will eventually realize the method that makes it work.
 
Here is a variation of the trick which is more difficult for the audience to see through. Collect eight small objects each of which can be hidden in your hand. A list of possible objects each followed by the number of letters in its name is: key 3, ring 4, match 5, button 6, battery 7, penknife (or bracelet) 8, paperclip 9, and nail polish (or chewing gum) 10. You may substitute other objects so long as they have the correct number of letters. You must memorize how many letters are in each name. To make it easier you can use just 4 or 5 objects. Place the objects on the table in front of you. As the audience person watches point to each object and clearly say its name. Tell the person to choose one of the objects but not tell you which one. Place all the objects into a box. The audience person should not be able to see the objects when they are in the box. Say they must spell the object, one letter for each time you lift an object out of the box. They should not say the letter but just think of it and on the last letter they are to say stop. Pick up any object on the first two grabs, but keep each object hidden. Return each object to the box after you lift it out. On the third grab raise the key in your hand, on the fourth the ring, and so on.
 
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Levitate the shaker
 
Place a toothpick along the middle finger on the palm side of the finger. The end of the toothpick should be even with the finger end. Hold the toothpick in place with the thumb of the same hand. The other fingers are used to hide the toothpick as much as possible. All fingers are pointing downward. Your audience should be directly in front of you. Announce that you will levitate the salt shaker by causing it to stick to your fingers. Lower the hand over a salt or pepper shaker so that the end of the toothpick inserts into one of the holes in the top of the shaker. Use the thumb to extend the toothpick far enough to grip the shaker. Some movement of the hand will likely be seen as you do that. Don't let the audience think this is some sort of hanky panky going on. Give them an explanation for the movement. Say something like, 'Ya gotta get your finger to kinda stick there.' As you say this obviously push downward. Then very slowly raise your hand and the shaker.
 
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Matchbook trick
 
Place 3 full matchbooks on the table in front of you. Open each matchbook as your audience watches commenting that each one can be seen to be full. After showing each book close its cover as tightly as possible without being noticed. Explain that you will turn your back. Then the audience person should take a match from one of the books, close the book, and place it back amomg the other books. They should say ready when that has been done. At that time you will turn around and tell them which book has one match missing. Say you will do this by judging which book is the lightest in weight. Take one book at a time in your hand and move the hand slightly up and down as if trying to judge its weight. As you do this, inconspicuously test each cover with your thumb to find which one is loose. That will be the one with the missing match.
 
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Smash glass
 
Place a large towel on a table with the towel draped over the edge where you are sitting. There is a jar nearby on the table. You have a cardboard disc the same size as the jar's mouth laying on your knee under the table. Lift the jar by the mouth with the tips of your fingers and say, 'Here we have an ordinary jar. I will lift the towel to make a space for the jar.' Set the jar down. Put your left hand under the towel's draped edge and grab the cardboard disc. Bring the left hand with the disc up under the towel. With the right hand grab the jar. Appear to put the jar under the towel but instead put it on your lap. Bring the empty right hand up under the towel and lift the disc. It will appear as though the jar is holding up the towel. Bring the left hand out from under the towel and grab the disc from above the towel. It will appear as if you are holding the jar with your left hand. Bring the right hand out from under the table and hold it over your left hand. Poise the right hand several seconds while concentrating your gaze on your right hand. Then lift the right hand several inches and quickly bring it down to slap the left hand flat against the table.
 
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There's lots of optical illusion web sites. Here's two:
Visual Illusions Gallery
dragon.uml.edu/psych/illusion.html
 
SandlotScience
www.sandlotscience.com/
 
Web sites on performing an illusion:
dmoz.org/Arts/Performing_Arts/Magic/Online_Tricks/
 
jiggy, the illusion urchin Each of us knows some faults in ourself. Those faults are a challenge to change and so can be an opportunity to win something to be proud of.

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