CARDBOARD CONTORTIONISTS by Jay Sankey (paper staple bound, excellent condition, Elmwood Magic, publisher) 2000 edition. 8 pages
I am always interested in anything that Jay Sankey puts out. It is usually good, and it is always stimulating because of Sankey's innovative approaches and because of his seemingly non-stop creative energy. This routine was originally published in 1986 (in Sankey Panky), and for some reason, despite Richard Kaufman's excellent illustrations and explanation, I never learned it. (Okay, I know the reason -- this routine takes a lot of practice. I was a newlywed in 1986, and so less interested in practicing magic for a while.)
In 2000, Elmwood republished the routine in this booklet. (And it has again been published in the Complete Sankey volumes. So if you have Complete Sankey volume One, or Sankey Panky, stop reading. Go get the book off your shelf and learn this!)
The effect: two cards are torn into quarters, and then restored. The routine and handling are notable for the fact that you use only two cards, nothing else. The restoration is total, for both cards -- no "match up this corner piece" etc
This Elmwood publication does a nice job explaining the handling, with words and small (but acceptable) photos. There is nothing particularly difficult about the handling, other than getting it down smoothly, and performing it with confidence. That is where the practice comes in.
I think, now, in hindsight, the other reason I did not learn this trick back in 1986 was that I read it, and I responded to it the way a magician does, not the way a lay person would. I'm sure I thought: "if there are only two cards involved, and they are totally restored at the end... well, obviously the cards must never be torn at all. The whole thing is a swindle. That won't fool anyone". But a lay person doesn't think about method -- they think about effect. They do not know there are only two cards involved in a trick that would secretly use three or maybe four. To them, the effect is the same as if you DID have extra cards. But you don't. And so to a lay person, the effect is not a swindle. It is magic.
I understand this now, and recently learned this one when I came across a few of these Elmwood booklets. Don't make the same mistake I made three decades ago... don't pass this one. Perfect it and you have a great routine to do, even when you only have two cards!
In excellent unused condition, tight and unmarked -- but some price sticker residue on the cover