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.


Rising Arms


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.


Secret: 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.


Middle Eastern Strong Hold

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 inspection.


Secret: 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



Rung Out


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 rope.


Secret: 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.


Temperature Changing


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 degrees higher.


Secret: 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


#1: Hold a card between your index finger and your thumb. Place a wine glass on top of the card and let it balance.


Secret: You can do it by placing your index finger underneath the glass as shown.


#2: Here is another version: Hold a plate in your right hand, and place a glass on the rim. It looks like it balances on the edge.


Secret: You use your right thumb, extended upwards, to hold the glass.

#3: Place an uncooked egg in the middle of a plate and let it stand.


Secret: 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.


#4: 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.

Secret: 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 interlocking blades.


The Inflamed Sugar Cube


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 powers.”


Secret: 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 hands.


Secret: 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 quickly.


So practice with a friend.


Psychic Hand


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. 


Secret: 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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