Are you a 24 hour magician?

YOU’RE IN A DEPARTMENT STORE, ¬†supermarket or restaurant and it comes out that you’re a magician. Inevitably someone says “Show us a trick”. No doubt you have your own outs that you do but here’s an absolute stunner from Jeff McBride that was passed onto me by good friend and Magic Circle Editor Matt Field.

Get a thumb tip and a 4 feet coloured silk streamer. Attach one end of the streamer into the tip then fold the silk inside and store it in your trousers pocket.

Carry it ALWAYS whenever you leave home.

When the challenge comes – stall and say “Okay, can I borrow a pencil and a gas cooker!” As no cooker is forthcoming, borrow a pencil taking the opportunity to get the tip onto your right thumb in your pocket as you search for the pencil.

Make a great play of touching different parts of the spectators with the pencil and then touching the palm of your left hand say “Can you see the tiny silk worm in the palm of my hand?” They look closely but see nothing. Ditch the thumb tip into the closed left fist by your favourite method, then with the tip of the pencil pull out the end of the silk streamer.

Then keep pulling out the streamer slowly making a pile of silk on the table or the spectator’s hand which after a time looks considerable and quite impossible. I’ve used this a lot and the impact of this apparently impromptu piece of visual magic is powerful and very memorable.

The great Polish magician, the late Silvano who was a great exponent of the thumb tip, always used to keep a tip on his person, even when he was sitting in bathing trunks beside a hotel swimming pool. When challenged he would stand up, pull up his trunks and go into action.

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