Magic tricks have been around for centuries and are practiced in every society. They are among the most popular past times both for children and adult.
Tricks may make use of materials or objects such as coins, cards, tables, game cards, and number tricks but the one that remains to be the most popular among children and the one that is first learned by a beginner is the handkerchief.
Linen or Silk?
Tricks using a handkerchief can be either performed in whatever material it was made of. However, the type of tricks to be performed determines the type of handkerchief you are to use.
For knots and similar activities, a silk handkerchief is chiefly used because they slide quickly in the process of tying up. Other magic tricks using a handkerchief requires a hard material like linen as in the case of bringing about a hypnotized effect on a handkerchief.
Below are just some of the most common magic tricks that involve the use of handkerchief together with explanations on how magic works.
v Standing Handkerchief This type of magic trick makes use of a hemmed linen handkerchief which is ironed to make it even more stiff. This very same stiffness determines the success for this performance.
The handkerchief is taken folded from somewhere and spread on the table. The magician picks it up on the centerfold and raises it up in the air until it takes the shape of a small tent.
He will do the usual mystic hand pass while putting the handkerchief in an upright position. The hanky will stay upright as predicted as if it was put on a spell.
v Detachable Thumb In this trick, you will need both a hanky and a piece of carrot. The carrot should be cut in a way that resembles your thumb. It should be as small and has the same thickness as your finger.
Partly cover your hand and parts of your thumb finger with the hanky. You will need both sleight of hand and dexterity in this kind of activity. Quickness is the rule of the game in order not to spoil the trick.
Place the carrot in the same position as your thumb showing only that portion while covered with handkerchief. Patter a little bit with your audience describing how you have been feeling about your finger since you accidentally hurt it.
Ask one to participate to do the inspection and possible massaging for them. The moment they hold the carrot, release it and act like you were surprised.
v Handkerchief That Changes Color Apparently, this is one of the simplest magic trick usually done by magicians in terms of minimal effect on the audience but one of the most difficult when it comes to preparation and production.
The magician will show the audience a hanky and toss it around, up and down, right and left, and changes color along the way. The hanky does not actually changes its color since the magician is holding not one, but two hankie!
As the hankie is tossed up and down, he makes it a point to reverse the position of the topmost hankie so that the one in the bottom with a different color is showed up and the hankie apparently changes color.
This quite a difficult thing to do for many suspecting audience are trying to find out if you got several hankie at hand. This requires swiftness in the movement of your hand and making sure that the hankies you are holding do not move independently of one another.
Tips on Performing Handkerchief Tricks
v Be swift Try to be mindful of astute members of the audience at all times. Even the most seemingly attentive spectator are keen enough even the most slightest mistake made along the process of performing your tricks thereby spoiling it.
v Mouth Shut Secrecy is the basic rule that magicians should keep in mind. Blabbing about the secret of your tricks makes it even less appealing to onlookers. Allow the audience to make their own guesses and find it out in their own way. In short, keep them mystified.
v Practice! Although practice may not help you master all the skills needed for a certain trick, constant and intense practice helps and keep you on the right track.
Additionally, convey a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm in what you are doing for it helps you connect with the audience and infect them with your attitude along the way.
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