by Jim Rose
Rip a Phone Book
with Your Hands
Place the bound side of the phone
book on your thigh. Hold it with both hands firmly placed on
each side. Make sure your fingers are curled over the pages for
a strong hold. With equal pressure of the hands, bring the book
together, and back, bending the pages. Do this a few times until
a fold is formed in the center. When both sides are closer
together, begin to tear by pulling up with one hand and tear
down with the other. When the pages are bent, the tearing is
much easier to do. What happens is you actually tear a few pages
at a time, not the whole book at once.
The Easier Method:
Put the phone book in a
microwave for a few minutes to make it crispy and easy to tear.
Here is an experiment based on a
natural faculty of our body.
Ask someone to stand in a doorway
(the narrower, the better) with arms at his sides. Then ask the
volunteer to press the backs of his hands as hard as he can
against the door frame while counting to twenty. Tell him to
keep pushing with all his strength, then ask him to come
forward. You’ll see his arms rising.
This effect is caused by the
continuing contraction of the muscles, as if the volunteer is
still pressing his hands against the door frame.
This experiment often times is
used as part of a hypnotic act.
Place on table a brass pot, a bag
of white rice and a large kitchen knife.
Each item is examined by the
audience. Pour the rice inside the pot and dip the knife blade
into the center of the rice. Lift the brass pot using the knife
as a handle. Have everything passed around for another
To do this, the sides of the
brass pot has been previously smeared with glue so that the rice
adheres strongly to the pot which will hold the knife
Ask two people from the audience
to tie a rope to each one of your wrists, leaving a bit of rope
in between them. While they’re doing this you have a large metal
ring examined by the audience. Sit behind a screen; after a few
seconds, while still tied up, you show the ring dangling on the
The secret is that you are hiding
a second identical ring up in your rolled shirt sleeve. While
behind the screen, hide the examined ring in your shirt or pants
pocket, and let the concealed one roll down your arm.
First, take your temperature. Let
everyone verify what it is. Then talk to your audience about
mind over matter, willpower, etc. At the end of the lecture,
take your temperature again and you will find that it’s a few
Place a piece of strong soap
under the left armpit, touching the skin.
Another version is to eat a small
piece of strong soap, the size of a quarter, and drink plenty of
hot tea. This version supposedly works better than the first
one. I’ve never done it nor has anyone else I know, but it keeps
showing up in different references.
Balancing Acts for
the Dinner Table
Hold a card
between your index finger and your thumb. Place a wine glass on
top of the card and let it balance.
You can do it by placing your
index finger underneath the glass as shown.
another version: Hold a plate in your right hand, and place a
glass on the rim. It looks like it balances on the edge.
You use your right thumb,
extended upwards, to hold the glass.
uncooked egg in the middle of a plate and let it stand.
Beforehand put a teaspoon of salt
in the middle of the plate, then press the egg on top. Carefully
blow away the salt from around the egg. It will seem that the
egg is standing by itself.
Ask someone to
arrange three glasses and three knives in a way that a fourth
glass can be supported on top of the knives. The knives can be
placed on top of the glasses, but cannot touch the table.
Interlock the blades and place
the handles on the edges of the glasses. Once done, the fourth
glass can be positioned on top of the triangle formed by the
The Inflamed Sugar
Challenge someone to set fire to
a sugar cube so a flame is burning. That person will be
unsuccessful, but you’ll be able to do it with your “magical
Give a sugar cube to a volunteer
and ask him to set fire to it. It will burn and melt, but no
flame will appear. Then ask him to give the sugar cube back to
you. Have an ashtray nearby. Rest the melted half of the sugar
lump on top of the ashes. Waste time fumbling with the
lighter. Do not pay attention to the ashtray. While picking up
the sugar cube press it hard on top of the ashes to get some to
stick to the bottom. It will now easily catch on fire.
Pest Your Vest
Put a vest on in front of an
audience. Then put your jacket on over it. Tell your audience
that you will take the vest off while keeping the jacket on. To
prove that you are not cheating, someone can hold one of your
To start, use a screen (a
tablecloth can be used). Have someone examine the vest and
jacket. Then ask two people to hold the screen up. Have
one of them hold one of your hands, then stand behind the
screen, showing only your head and feet.
Here are the moves to escape from
the vest: Unbutton the jacket with your free hand and have
it slide off down your other arm. Then unbutton the vest and let
it slide off down the same arm. Now reach to the jacket and pull
it through the vest arm hole, making sure that it doesn’t twist.
Put your free arm through the jacket sleeve and button it up on
the front. Bring the vest up and put it on top of the jacket
which you also button. Before stepping out of the screen, tell
your audience that you have not only taken the vest off while
still wearing the jacket, you also put the vest back on, on top
of the jacket!
They will think that you really
did take it off and put it on again, but in fact it never comes
off. To make this stunt look good, you have to move
So practice with a friend.
A small compass is passed for
examination and is placed anywhere a spectator designates.
Performer now offers to demonstrate his magnetic power or
control over natural laws by having the compass follow his
finger. His arm is bared, so a concealed magnet is out of the
question, yet the compass magically follows his finger. No
amount of examination will disclose the performer’s means of
accomplishing this effect.
This effect is based on such
simple means it may appear absurd. The only requirements are a
common compass and for the performer it takes a good shock from
a shocking machine. Those acquainted with electricity will
subject themselves to one from a light socket which, however, is
not suggested to the uninformed. Lay the compass down any place
as long as it is not on metal. Now the motion of the finger
placed near the compass will cause it to change direction and to
follow the finger. This effect happens because the body retains
a portion of the electricity after the shock, but spectators
will search in vain for hidden magnets or pieces of metal. The
effect is most uncanny.
Simple as this stunt is, it never
fails to amuse and mystify, and is a delightful little stunt
well away from the general run of tricks. Its simplicity should
appeal to your magical taste.
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