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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Knots and loops » » Bill Neff's rope trick (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Al Angello
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I have read about this trick in several publications, I even bought one from Abbotts years ago, but I have not been able to find a video of someone doing this trick. If you know of one would you please post it.
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It is not easy, and I doubt if anyone has gotten it on video. Although, I seem to remember someone doing it. Maybe Fred Kapps on a tape or an older act like that.
By the way, parts of the Bill Neff spook show were given to Rick at Fab magic and he is supposedly having an online auction of old posters, props and more. It had been owned by a magician in Tampa who passed on a few years.

It is on this video, but you only see the restoration on the clip. The dvd has the effect.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsTTeGKPOq0&feature=related
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
limkris
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See the DVD's The Invisble hand - Michel for a version with a hold out!
Pete Biro
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I believe Bill Cosby did it on one of the Doug Henning Specials.
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bojanbarisic
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Doug Henning did it himself as a part of his rope routine.
Geoffrey Durham performed it on The Best of Magic.
Jay Mattioli`s RENAISSANCE FX DVD has a performance and explanation
Michel Invisible Hand DVD - performance and explanation

I bet there is a video of Pete performing it as well.


Bojan
Al Angello
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I have heard about this trick for years, but it looks like the only way to see it done is to buy a DVD. This is sad.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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I could whip up a clip for you, but I always found it difficult. I actually have the instruction somewhere in the magic room. I actually did it at Daytona convention last year, as part of a PN routine. That video would not help you, as the method is not evident.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Al Angello
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Ian
I have the trick, and two books with the write up of it, I understand the method, I'm having a hard time taking this trick off the page, so I want to see someone perform it.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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I have a problem doing it. I don't know if my gimmick is right. I can't follow thru with confidence. Kind o like a vanishing birdcage, you have to trust that your bird isn't still showing (lol).
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Bill Hegbli
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I use to do this maybe 40 years ago. It was a great effect, but it required a lot of wasted rope per show. I love the red ladies nylon gag.

I know you desire a video, but as it was a time when there was only 8mm film, and you had to have excellent lighting or outdoor filming, it seems you are looking for something that just does not exist.

Remember, that was the reason performers were hired as live entertainment. No television yet or it was only available in New York city.

It does require a mental adjustment, just like the Vanishing Bird cage. Intense concentration as the move are opposite as to what would normally be performed.

Such as let go, and grap, while swinging the ends together. If you are concerned that the audience will notice anything, there is just to much movement, the mind and eyes cannot follow.

The only disadvantage of this trick is that it ties up the performers hands more then the spectator. It does not say anything in the Neff Instructions, but I would imagine he had his assistants control the spectator, or he just had them cut the rope from below the stage without having them come up on stage with him. You still have to work out when to chose the spectator, when to hand the scissors to the spectator and how to get back the scissors and get the spectator off stage, or where he should be when you restore the rope. As it all happens so fast that to have a distraction by spectator would kill the effect.

This effect like the Vanishing Bird Cage requires hours of practice. In the end the work is worth seeing a MIRACLE!

Another great effect is Neff's Cut and Restored Necktie Routine, with the visual restoration of the tip of the tie, is a killer.
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Al Angello
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I'm always looking for the oddest effects in rope magic. I do the Will Rogers Snap knot, the vishnu rope mystery, I have a kinda original ring and rope routine, and I was curious what this one looked like when done right.
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Gee, I thought I had invented a visible neck restoration. Although
I have mine restore dead center. I'll bet, that Neff and I thought alike on that one.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Bill Hegbli
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The cut and restored necktie effect is cutting the tie into several pieces and restoring the tie to a normal state, except for the tip, which is visibly restored at the fanale.

Frank Herman published a great book on the cut and restored necktie, and Roy Johnson also published his unique handling of this effect in his book "Silver Special".
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Quote:
On 2010-09-11 18:49, wmhegbli wrote:
The cut and restored necktie effect is cutting the tie into several pieces and restoring the tie to a normal state, except for the tip, which is visibly restored at the fanale.

Frank Herman published a great book on the cut and restored necktie, and Roy Johnson also published his unique handling of this effect in his book "Silver Special".

I put out 2 tie tricks in the 80's. One "Blendo Tie" got 4 stars in Genii, the other "cut and restored", never saw the National market. I actually cut the tie in half, stuff one half into the stub of the other, and cover that seem with my hand. One tie end is handed to a spectator, and we each pull the tie while my hand is on the seam. The tie is restored. and can be examined.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Bill Hegbli
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I combined some cut and restored tie effects to create a mis-made neck tie routine. Incorperated the "Dove Sensational" silk to dove appratus, not using the dove, but using the bag only, bringing some action to the restoration, with a snap of the cloth, the tie flying high into the air.
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So, to bring this back to topic of Bill Neff, the Neff method could be used to cut and restore a tie.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Pete Biro
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Himber had a KILLER cut/restored tie. No Stooge, No Switching. "GUTSY" ... Persi Diaconis has a fabulous UNPUBLISHED version as well.

Meanwhile, back to Neff's Miracle rope.

One year, some time ago, when Karrell Fox and Duke Stern were doing their goofy DEMONSTRATIONS at an Abbott's Get Together, they asked me to do something out of the Abbott line that I was familiar with. So, I did the Neff Miracle Rope.

They had a run on it and SOLD OUT... and had to make up another batch for the next few days of the convention.

My Handling has been varied. I usually used it as an MC, so I could walk on all set. I did it without someone needing to cut the rope. I rigged it with an tiny exploding device in the rope and the rope pre-cut, but rubber cemented together.
I would say I was strong enough to break the rope... a strong pull and the rope came apart, with a flash and bang.... a pause and then I would do the restoration.

The last time I used it I came up with the following gag.

I walked on stage and said I would like to do the CUT AND RESTORED ROPE, but can't as the airport security wouldn't let me bring my scissors, so instead I brough this (I took out a pistol) ... this got a solid laugh... I handed the pistol to someone in the front row and told them AIM CAREFULLY at the middle of the rope and at the count of three shoot at the rope.

1-2-3 ... BANG... the rope split into two pieces... I staggered a bit and SPIT OUT A BULLET.

then the restoration.... needless to say IT KILLED... BEST VERSION TO DATE.

Note: Instead of the Neff pull set up, I use a HUGE reel. Gives me freedom of movement.

If can, next week, I'll try to shoot a simple video of the effect and post.
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Pete, I used to use the pull string snappers as well in my rope effect. I had inserted it into the first 3 inches of the rope which of course, became the center of the rope that I would cut. By cutting across the charge section of the pull string, the charge would go off, and I restored the rope in a bang as I cut the knot off.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Pete Biro
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GREAT MINDS WITH GREAT IDEAS.
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Geoffrey Durham
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I certainly performed Bill Neff's Rope Trick on The Best of Magic back in 1989, so if you can get hold of a copy of that show you'll have a version of it for reference. I don't remember it as being especially hard to learn - but then again I haven't seen it from that day to this, so my performance may be appalling, for all I know.

And I think Pete is right about Bill Cosby doing it on Henning.

For a while, following The Best of Magic, I used it as the opener to my live show. I made a pull with a clip on one end and manufactured the ropes in bulk, so that I could just unclip it after one show and attach a new one for the next. It went down very well with audiences, as I recall.

But then one night an agent came backstage and said, 'I'd been going to book you, when when I saw you do that rope trick everyone does, I realised you weren't the act for me.' I understood at that moment that a certain kind of show business know-it-all sees all rope magic as the same trick. So I've never performed the Neff Rope since.

But don't let me put you off. Times change, and my guess is that it's so old, it's new. It's a fantastic piece of magic that deserves to be seen.
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