Torn and Restored Paper

[A magical repeat from December 19, 2011]

This is a cool effect on which I’ve gotten a lot of mileage over the years. 

THE EFFECT:  Sitting in a restaurant, take a cocktail napkin and shred it to pieces.  You ball it up – and slowly begin to open a fully-restored cocktail napkin.  Your hands remain above the table at all times. 

THE TRICK:  Before you start, quietly (and unobservedly) take your own cocktail napkin, put it in your lap, open it, ball it up and secret it in your hand by your thumb.  You’re now ready to go.  Announce that you have a trick that will amaze and astound.  Ask for a cocktail napkin, open it all the while keeping the balled up napkin under your thumb.  No one will see it because it is small and any slip will blend with the other.  Shred the napkin and ball it up with the whole napkin.  Put them together and hold the two in front of everyone’s eyes.  The audience will “see” only one balled-up napkin.  Though you know that the torn napkin is on one side, the whole one on the other.  Reverse them and slowly begin to open the whole napkin.  Any dropped pieces can be picked up and reintroduced onto the torn side.   Once open, you can drop the torn ball in your lap or on the floor.  And take a bow. 

You MUST practice a dozen times or so (in front of a mirror) before attempting to wow the crowd.  And (raise your right hand) you may not tell anyone how it’s done.  

Perhaps some of you know that magicians actually run in my family.  They have to if they want to survive. . . . .