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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Neil Foster's Center Tear (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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FrankFindley
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Now see that Penguin is selling Sreenivas's version: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7748
jamesmwood
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Hi Frank Findley,

I bought Sreenivasa's version of the Newspaper Center Tear from Penguin (reasonable price, about $10). There is a lot to like -- particularly that he opens up the newspaper and shows the diamond-shaped hole to the audience. I have one problem though: When I show the back of the newspaper to the audience -- at the beginning of the trick and again at the end -- there is a diagonal seam that shows where the sneaky work has been done with the newspaper. This seam is near the top of the newspaper and seems likely to be noticed by the audience, since the seam always opens up about 1/8" leaving a small but visible gap between two layers of newspaper. Sreenivasa seems to deal with this problem by (a) showing the back of the newspaper for only the briefest moment and (b) keeping the newspaper in motion nearly all the time that the back of the newspaper is visible to the audience. What I'd *like* to do is (a) show the back of the paper more slowly but (b) keep the seam invisible. I have the impression you have performed Sreenivas's trick and like it. Do you have any comment on this problem or how to deal with it? For instance, it may be that even though the seam is visible, you have found that the seam simply isn't noticed by the audience. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

Jim Wood
Bill Hegbli
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Jim, by seam, do you mean the edge of the paper is lower down on the reverse side. If so, and it bothers you, why not make it so the pages match evenly. The stick a piece of invisible tap over the edge on the back page, that will give you a gap making it easy to insert your finger to drop the pieces in. If that is what you are referring to.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
jamesmwood
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the tip about using a piece of tape to make the "secret compartment" easier to open with my fingers.

The issue I'm asking Frank about is a different one. Sreenivasa's version of the center tear uses two duplicate tabloid pages, which I'll call Page 1 and page 2. At the beginning of the routine, Page 1 is open entirely, and Page 2 is folded into quarters and formed into a packet that is glued to the back of of Page 1. The audience thinks that Page 1 is the only page, of course, and doesn't know about the packet glued to its back.

In his online demo of the routine, Sreenivasa shows the front of Page 1, then turns it around and shows the back of Page 1, thus "proving" (without saying so) that it is just a single tabloid sheet. Because of the way the packet is folded and aligned with the back of Page 1, the packet *almost* blends in with the back of Page 1 and is *almost* invisible when the back of page 1 is shown to the audience. I say the packet is "almost* invisible, because there is another detail I haven't mentioned yet: The packet has a diagonal fold in it. This diagonal fold extends from the middle of the packet's right edge to the middle of the packet's bottom edge. This diagonal fold is there for a reason I won't mention here, but it plays an important part when the "diamond" is later torn out of Page 1.

It is this diagonal fold in the packet that is the problem: Because it runs diagonally across the newsprint and tends to bulge out slightly, it does *not* blend in with the back of Page 1 and is pretty visible. In his demo of the effect, Srinivasa displays the back of Page 1 very quickly and keeps everything in motion as much as possible so the audience won't see the diagonal fold in the packet. However, I think this hurried display of the back of Page 1 looks unnatural and may make some members of the audience suspicious.

So the problem I face with Sreenivasa's routine is this: I would like to take a little more time showing the back of Page 1 to the audience, so it doesn't look like I'm trying to hide something from them. But I fear that if I let them get a good look at the back of Page 1, they are going to notice that diagonal fold in the packet. Because it seems that Frank has done the trick, I am hoping for his input. Maybe he has found that it's OK to rush while showing the back of Page 1, because the audience doesn't care or get suspicious. Or maybe he has found that its OK to go slowly when showing the back of Page 1, because the audience just notice the diagonal fold. Or maybe he has some other advice I haven't thought of.

I apologize for the lengthy explanation -- if I could make you a diagram or a video, I think it would be fairly easy to show you what I'm talking about. It's much more difficult to put this all into words.

Thanks,

Jim Wood
Bill Hegbli
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Jim, you are running when not being chased. As the popular phrase says.

1st this is stage effect with people sitting in chair several feet away. 2nd, the trick is the center tear and instant restoration. The trick is not to examine the newspaper, you are paid to entertain with magic effects. Is examining a news paper, which had been folded, squashed, dropped, carried, and been taken out in all kinds of weather, entertainment for your audience. In my opinion it is not entertainment.

Simple answer put a diagonal crease in the back page, to match. Your worry solved. Heck, crumble up the newspaper before you prepare it, who says a newspaper is suppose to not have any wrinkles in it. The newspapers I see around are a mess. Go to a restaurant in the morning that serves breakfast, guess leave their newspaper all time. See what condition they are in.

I have been doing the Center Tear for over 40 years, and I can tell you that every one I make up is not exactly perfect. I show both sides, that is not the important part, but I do it, I just swing out my arm holding the newspaper to show the opposite side, then back and refold. I think and act like it is just a sheet of newspaper, nothing more. That is an unspoken word that says, "just a newspaper".

You could say, For you that don't recognize what I am holding, this is called a Newspaper, this is how we followed the news in the 19th and 20th centuries. Without this, we would not know what was happening in our cites and the world, along with the latest fashion and sales. See it has multiple sides this side and this side, and an inside and outside. I see something I will need later, (tear out center) I keep this in here. Oh, my wife, mother (whatever fits) is going to be upset that I destroyed the newspaper before she could read it (restore).

Your presentation need energy, enthusiasm, and excitement, that will transition to your audience. Not here look at this side and study every little detail, fold , crease, and see if you can find a flaw.

When I perform this effect, it gets gasp from the audience when I display the diamond magically returned to the center. That is the reason I do it in every show.

Jim I hope you take this the right way, I am trying to explain this trick is good, and none of it has to do with a crease that you worry about.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Mar 8, 2019, jamesmwood wrote:
So the problem I face with Sreenivasa's routine is this: I would like to take a little more time showing the back of Page 1 to the audience, so it doesn't look like I'm trying to hide something from them. But I fear that if I let them get a good look at the back of Page 1, they are going to notice that diagonal fold in the packet. Because it seems that Frank has done the trick, I am hoping for his input. Maybe he has found that it's OK to rush while showing the back of Page 1, because the audience doesn't care or get suspicious. Or maybe he has found that its OK to go slowly when showing the back of Page 1, because the audience just notice the diagonal fold. Or maybe he has some other advice I haven't thought of.


Jim, sorry I missed these replies. Yes, I have performed it numerous times. On the pre-cut showing of front and back I move pretty quickly just like in video with the same hand placement shown to keep it flat. I take more time in the post-cut showing. In fact I turn it twice and do the hand poke through as he does. This has worked well. Any suspician should be dissipated by how freely the paper is handled post-cut.
jamesmwood
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Hi Frank and Bill,

Many thanks for the advice. It sounds like I have been worried about something that I don't need to worry about. I will stop worrying and remember your tips.

Jim
tourmagic
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I bought Center Tear back in the 50's at an Abbotts Get Together after seeing a demo by Neil. Almost immediately I thought of combining it with Squircle. Beginning the routine with squircle changes the audience expectation when you do center tear. They see the diagonal fold and assume that you are going to tear along that diagonal line (which is exactly what you do). Then they expect that you will open the paper to show a hole of a different shape (Like Squircle). It's only after you tear the diamond into pieces, and put the pieces into the paper, that they realize that you're going to restore the paper into one piece.

Here's a video of my routine: https://youtu.be/Fe-_hpp9jaU
Tom Tourville
"Magic is all based on guile, and the more experience you have with being sneaky, the more sneaky you can be"
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FrankFindley
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Quote:
On May 31, 2019, tourmagic wrote:
Here's a video of my routine: https://youtu.be/Fe-_hpp9jaU


Wonderful thinking! I really appreciate your casual pace and handling. It loses strength if done too quickly. You set up the audience perfectly for maximum impact.
Bill Hegbli
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Tourmagic,

Good presentation, I never seen Squircle performed before. It is fooler, and looked great when you did it.

Never thought of using a tabloid size news paper good idea.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
tourmagic
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Thanks Frank & Bill.

The paper that I use is heavier than most newspapers. The extra weight helps to prevent problems when there's light behind you.
It's called "Casa Magazine". It's 10 3/4 x 13 3/8 inches.
I've always used tabloid sized paper, and as I recall, l the original Center Tear (as sold by Abbotts) used a tabloid sized paper.
My preparation of the extra piece for center tear is modified slightly from Neil's original instructions.
Also, with the squircle, my method of folding the extra piece inside the outer piece is different than in the original instructions.

Tom
Tom Tourville
"Magic is all based on guile, and the more experience you have with being sneaky, the more sneaky you can be"
- Teller
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