August 23rd, 2006 6:10pm
|In an age when instructional magic videos are generally released in extended sets, padded out with scads of less-than-stellar material, it is refreshing to see a video that pursues the simple route of choosing one thing and doing it well.
Torn and Restored Tissue begins with an in-studio performance of the perennial sucker effect in which a paper napkin is torn and restored, the method is exposed by demonstrating how the torn pieces are switched out, but then the ball of torn pieces is shown to be restored as well. Although no audience is present to applaud the performance, one thing is abundantly clear: Bob White has been doing this effect for many, many years. All of the nuances have been worked out, tested and refined.
The stamp of hard-won experience is also on the explanation of the methodâ€”by which I mean the real explanation, not the one presented to the audience. Every detail of preparing the little bundles of paper is conveyed so that the viewer can benefit from decades of road work and repetition.
The video concludes with a performance in front of a real audienceâ€”not a preselected studio audienceâ€”so that viewers can get an impression of how people respond to the effect.
Speaking of responses, when Mr. White gets to the point in the performance when he reveals to the audience that the effect works by having â€śan extra piece of paper,â€ť someone in the crowd lets out a cry of â€śNoooooo!â€ť Itâ€™s done jokingly and gets a big laugh, but I think itâ€™s a very good indication of how people really feel about magic and many other things in life: We want the myth more than we want reality, even when itâ€™s clear that the myth canâ€™t exist.
I have one caveat about this effectâ€”not the DVD, but the effectâ€”and it applies to some other effects of this type. The explanation provided to the audience amounts to a tutorial in how to recognize when the magician is hiding an object in his or her hand. Some people in the audience may be alert enough to spot that body language if they see it again. My advice is to reserve this effect for the end of the show, as Mr. White does in this video.
For twenty dollars, the purchaser of this DVD receives thorough, uncomplicated, practical instruction about an effect tested in years of performance. That is value for money.
Product info for Torn And Restored Tissue
Author: Bob WhiteAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $20.00
The Torn and Restored Tissue Paper has been the closing effect for Bob White's banquet program for over forty years. It never fails to get a terrific response from the audience. Because of its impromptu nature and the false explanation as to "how it's done," this charming swindle always catches the spectators off-guard.
This DVD presents a practical routine within the grasp of anyone who will take a few minutes to learn the simple preparation, easy handling and patter scheme. Bob uses the same presentation for children as for adults. You can take advantage of his experience with this trick and include it in your program exactly the way it is presented on this DVD. The presentation is versatile enough that you can perform it impromptu for your friends with dispenser napkins from a soda-fountain or cocktail napkins from a social saloon. Or, you can use it to close an evening's performance at a black-tie affair. Incidentally, this presentation will fool a large number of knowledgeable magicians.
- Bonus Live Performance