Gene Anderson Torn and Restored

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 11/25/02 10:29 AM

I have been performing the Gene Anderson Newspaper Tear for some time now and I love it but...THE PREPERATION! Does anyone have any new handlings and or suggestions for improving his method? Perhaps the Mark Mason No Tear version can be applied (magnet) to get rid of the glue and clip? Any thoughts would be appreciated. I love what the audience gets to see in Gene's version more than any other I have seen. It is a complete story from start to finish. I don't want to lose that aspect of his version.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 11/25/02 11:15 AM

I recommend using double-stick Scotch tape rather than glue. You can put it exactly where you want it without worrying about leaking, drying time, etc.
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 12:04 PM

Thanks. I thought about that but was afraid the tape wouldn't hold the gimmick as well as the glue. I will try it though. :)
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 01:13 PM

There is an item, and unfortunately I'm not sure where you can get it, but it's carpet tape. It is a very strong adhesion double stick tape that I've used (got it from a friend who lays carpet).
That works VERY well.
Rick
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 01:42 PM

Does this "super" tape make it hard to recycle the newly restored paper for later use? The only good thing about the glue is it allows for a nice clean removal of the old gimmick without destroying the new one. Not a big deal, but the idea is to cut down on preperation. Thanks Rick. I'll look into it. Why do some of the best tricks require so much work! I'M NOT HARRY POTTER! LOL. I guess good tricks are like good woman. Lots of work but they look great...never mind my sexist outburst.
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 11/25/02 02:18 PM

Whenever I do a platform/stage show I generally open with the Anderson tear. When I have a string of kids' shows, I will set up maybe a half-dozen papers in advance.

Rubber cement, properly used, allows me to recycle the papers with great ease, as Jason suggests. Permanent double-sided tape, or carpet tape, would cause the removal of the torn packet to destroy the whole newspaper when re-setting.

In fact, the rubber cement does not really have to hold the two papers together all that sturdily, if you think about it. The gimmick has to really be glued on well, but if the gimmick is made properly, with the materials specified in the instructions, the papers are held in place (in both "directions") by the gimmick.
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 02:22 PM

I guess good tricks are like good woman. Lots of work but they look great
Completely baffling as well.

I heard this conversation from a lay audience at a public magic where 4 magicians all did T&R in the same bill.

"How many time do we have to see that stupid trick?"

"YEah, its not like there fooling anyone."
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 03:16 PM

If the T&R newspaper has one downfall, it's this: once you start tearing it up, they assume then that you're going to restore it, and the surprise is lessened.
I use a version that Dan Tong showed me where you bring out pieces of newspaper and read bits of stories ala Jay Leno's newsbits. You'll pull out several pieces of paper, then out of the stack of papers, do the restoration using the Anderson gimmick. I get a major response from this over what I got from the normal Anderson T&R.
Rick
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 09:12 PM

I'm not sure what your point was in quoting me Nicholas, but I will say that I recently performed this classic trick in Tannen's here in NYC for the owner and several other magicians that you buy tricks from. They love it. Do you perform it? Perhaps, as your logic follows, magicians shouldn't perform card fans (like the one shown in your photo) or maybe they shouldn't levitate or do the pass because every magician does it. Read this message board. Most people are talking about tricks we have all seen. You are thinking from the perspective of a lay audience. In my professional life I have very rarely seen Gene's version. Many of the people I perform for here have never seen a magic trick. Granted, I live in a very big and international city. I have also noted that lay audiences always say "they know" how the trick is done. Especially kids. Ask them, and few will give you the correct answer. I am sorry if I seem to be roasting you but your comment added nothing to the original discussion. Moving on. No hard feelings. Anyway, Rick and all, thanks for your comments. Rick, it sounds like the (Mark Mason?) No Tear with the Anderson gimmick. I thought about doing that. Perhaps I will try it. Then I could use the same gimmick and paper about 20 times. Also, the funny stories bit could work!
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 09:16 PM

Thanks, Jason.
It is along the same idea. Dan told me that he got the routine from Jimmy Ray (?), which would place it well before the Mason routine.
Rick
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Postby Guest » 11/25/02 09:34 PM

Rick, do you really think the effect is lessened by them knowing what is coming? In the video Gene says that "If god gave you the ability to do this trick you would say that you would tear it, restore it and then show them (the audience) by then doing what you claimed." This idea does go against a basic premise of magic (don't let them know the ending before it happens) but, I do like the idea of shoving that concept in the audiences face. In other words, perform it not like a magic trick but more like it would be demonstrated by a real magician (God or Harry Potter or add your own here). Here's what I can do--then do it. POOF! Does this make since? Maybe I should go to bed now. Thanks Rick.
Jason
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Postby Guest » 11/26/02 12:48 AM

Jason- Just saying that women are baffling, like a good trick. The thoughts and T&R are a different point.

Sorry for the confusion.

:)

My reason for quoting the lay audience (NON-magicians) was to show that:

a) the T&R newspaper did not fool these lay people b) Any trick, performed four times in a row for a lay audience with lose any mystery it had.

I have never been hot on the trick because of the complex set up for what I see as a reasonbly weak effect. I just can't see the magic.

It doesn't really matter whether they knew how the effect was done or not, they were pointing their opinion that it didn't do anything for them.
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Postby Guest » 11/26/02 08:27 AM

Thanks for the clarification Nicholas. Again, I hope my reply didn't seem as pointed as it did when I read it again. Sorry about that.

Your right. The preperation stinks, but I have found that for those who have never seen it before, it goes over very well. I try to make ten at a time while watching TV or something. The flash restoration, when seen for the first time, is very nice.

Boy does it stink when even 2 magicians are on the same bill! 4 magicians would make every trick look the same though for the poor audience. Only at a magic convention could I watch 4 magicians. ;)
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Postby francismenotti » 11/26/02 10:07 PM

3M Super Adhesive Spray is a very strong glue spray that bonds nearly instantly and is very easy to store/transport in your show case or car.

I use the Anderson T&R in every show; average settup time is about 8 seconds.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 12:35 PM

Francis:

8 seconds? I have used the Anderson tear for more than twenty years, and can fold the papers in about ten minutes. But 8 seconds? You must have very fast hands.
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 11/27/02 01:20 PM

I betcha Francis means he can swap out one prepared paper for a torn packet in 8 seconds, or?

It takes me also about 10 minutes to fold one and glue on the camouflage and so on.

Actually, for kids's shows I use the Sunday funnies from the Washington Post, which requires a little extra assembly of two sections of funnies into one "8-page" section.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 01:34 PM

I read about a new version on hocus-pocus.com, called the Baxt's Better Paper Tear. Does anyone know about this? The above web page features a video demonstration on this method. Looks like maybe magnets and or a piece of metal sheeting about the size of a torn piece of paper, but maybe covered with newspaper??? I did notice that he doesn't page through the paper afterwards. I don't like that. Any thoughts?
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 01:43 PM

Rick,
I had 2 shows this week at Madison Square Garden (strolling) and tried your version with the papers torn before hand. While I didn't like the fact that I couldn't do the whole routine with the tearing, I did love the fact that I could use the same paper over and over again with about 30 seconds to reverse the Gene Anderson clip and fold the same paper over and over again. Not normally a trick I would do in a strolling situation but I wanted to get a real "working" response so I did it anyway. Very favorable. The audience also doesn't expect a mini illusion to take place in front of them! Fun! The torn pieces and folded gimmick fit nicely into a big pocket in my jacket. Thanks for the idea Rick. It's a trade off to not do the tearing but when you have several jobs in a row, it may be worth it depending on the situation.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 01:50 PM

Do you think that when you tear the paper in front of the spectators you are tipping the finale? Is it more of a surprise if the paper is pre torn?
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Postby francismenotti » 11/27/02 01:55 PM

I guess I should elaborate. By "8 seconds" I of course mean the time it takes to spray glue a new folded paper to the gaff and the gaff to the unprepped paper.

However, I cheat a lot. Though I respect the genius behind Anderson's secret pocket that allows one to flip through the paper one-page at a time, I don't bother with it. The (same type of) gaff is simply glued 2/3 from the top on the inner most section of paper being used. I can still flip through the pages, only not as thoroughly... which is merely a presentational concern.

As for preparing papers to be used, I prepare them at about 100 at a time. While doing nothing in particular on a day off. I don't use the front pages or the funnies (or anything particular) every time. Through the working presentation I wrote, it is of no importance what is printed on the papers. I just use any two-plies of full sheets that I can, which allows me to get several full sets of T&R out of any major Sunday paper (Philly Inquirer, NYTimes).

I will make these complete sets (one folded paper wrapped in it's unprepared mate)and rubber band them together in bundles of five or 10 and keep them in my car.

Also not a bad idea to have a couple of extra wire gaffs prepared (for when the wire breaks eventually. There are tricks for preventing this as well. But I'm tired of typing right now.)
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Postby Steve Bryant » 11/27/02 02:07 PM

Do you think that when you tear the paper in front of the spectators you are tipping the finale? Is it more of a surprise if the paper is pre torn?
Pundits have agreed with this premise for years, but I see NO justification for it in the real world (i.e. outside magic club circles). Gene Anderson's tearing and the patter that goes with it is a great part of the fun of his magic trick. Most magic tricks have a dramatic setup that a lay audience appreciates as part of the plot. If you saw a woman in half, it is to restore her later. If you have a card selected and lost, you are going to find it. If you stand in a block of ice for several days, it is to emerge alive. You are a magician and such things are expected of magicians. Usually the finale is tipped or at least foreshadowed (except perhaps for those unrelated "kickers" some favor) for any magic trick. Anderson justifies his tearing wonderfully. Have fun with it. A "surprise" is not always the goal of magical entertainment.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 03:26 PM

I could not disagree more (nicely though ;) ) I see good magic as being surprising. It should NEVER be predictable. I think that sawing lady in half and putting her back together is BORING.

There needs to be a spanner thrown in the works with good magic. The magician is the hero. He has to overcome some sort of conflict to reach his goal. Or better still, reach a new and better goal.

I am not sure whether using pre torn newspaper is a good example of this but I strongly believe that magic is ALL about surpise.
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Postby Kendrix » 11/27/02 08:27 PM

I know a lot of magicians thought the subtrunk/metamorphisis was boring. Then, along come the Pendragons and everyone changes their mind. If you don't amaze your self with the effect, trick, prop, etc., then you will never amaze an audience. Effects become "classic" for very good reasons.
Nicholas, you and all other magicians are the absolute last that I care if I amaze, trick or stump. It is the lay audience that I am concerned with.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 10:01 PM

Kendrix - couldn't agree with you more.

Of course, a lay person idea of a classic is very different from a magician. Few laypeople know a subtrunk routine at first sight so they are still amazed.I believe that the subtrunk is great because the lay audience thinks the person in the box is going to escape. They don't realise the two are going to swap. Hence the spanner in the works and the surprise.

Sawing a lady is boring to laypeople because they usually know the finale. It is only when the boxes are removed, or the legs get up and walk around by themselves or the persons gizzards fall on the ground that they are truly amazed.

As for the T&R paper, I believe that spectators see the ending coming and so are less amazed (not necessarily less entertainment)

I have a children's magic book aimed at under 10s which says "Never tell your audience what you are going to do. Always try and surprise them."
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 10:20 PM

Yes Steve, Anderson does justify his trick nicely. I recently returned to his book and video to compare how I have changed his patter over time, as many of us do change and make things our own. I like that he flaunts the fact that he can do it, and then does it exactly as he claims to the audience. As if to say that he's not a magician but rather a God. I spoke to this in an earlier posting. By the way, the reason for starting with torn pieces was strictly for the convenience of being able to reverse the process in under 30 seconds. I'm currently doing shows in an environment that does not afford privacy or much time to re-set. Granted, I could choose not to do this trick, but I really love sharing it with an audience. Compromise.

Sometimes the fun in watching a movie is knowing the ending but taking the journey to see how they "get to be there." Sometimes not knowing the ending until the last minute is fun too. Depends on the routine and the magician I guess. As long as it's entertaining.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 10:52 PM

I have a children's magic book aimed at under 10s which says "Never tell your audience what you are going to do. Always try and surprise them."
I was just getting ready for bed and I was trying to decide if I should invest my time in an 800 page book. So, I read the plot summary on the dust cover. Now, fully knowing the plot, I choose to read the book. I just realized that I have never read a book without knowing what it's about first. Funny. Not sure what it all means, but I'm now off to bed to read my new 800 page book. I wonder how it will end? :rolleyes:
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/28/02 12:04 AM

If you don't like set up work, get Pat Page's 10-Second Paper Tear. Or Alan Shaxon's variation.

Seabrooke KILLS with the Slydini one. And I know he's too lazy to do anything that takes much preparation time. :D :eek: :D
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 12:07 AM

Nicholas:

Don't take a magic book aimed at 10 year olds as completely authoritative. Any magic trick that is truly unfathomable to an audience is surprising, even if the audience knows what is supposed to happen. They are surprised that it could happen at all.

The magician announces that he is going to cut his forearm off and put it back on. He takes an axe, whacks off his arm, and passes it for examination. He then sticks it back on his elbow and says a few magic words and begins using his hand again as if nothing happened. No surprise, eh?

The Ambitious Card and many other tricks depend not only on the audience knowing what is going to happen, but on the performer doing it again and again. Each time he does it, under different test conditions, it becomes even more amazing.

Look at the bread balls and coffee cup routine that Rene Levand does--it is both surprising and unfathomable, though the audience knows exactly what is supposed to happen each time he repeats the trick. Calvert's routine of continuaously producing balls out of the mouths of spectators is another example. These are effects of repetition.

Maskelyne and Devant discuss the various theatrical types of magic effects in Our Magic, and talk about anticipation, repitition, surprise, and many other elements and effects of magic. Effects of surprise are only one type of magic.

I have done the Gene Anderson tear as a part of my regular show for many years, in nightclubs, amusement parks, cruise ships, and corporate gigs. It always kills. I also do the cut and restored rope, the linking rings, and other hoary old classics that are familiar to most lay audiences. If the routines are well thought out and presented, audiences will still enjoy them.

By surprise, I think you may mean novelty. It is always good to do something that no one has ever seen before--at least by your audience. For example, David Blaine did a wonderful trick with ashes on his arm that spelled out a chosen card. It killed. I learned that trick many years ago from a magic book for 10 year olds. ;)
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/28/02 09:30 AM

Good post Whit... (Whit Happens)... but wouldl you wash your forearm? :p
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Postby Guest » 11/29/02 12:53 PM

Pete:

It's not really my forearm. It is borrowed from a wise-cracking friend of mine. But I cleaned it up a bit since the last performance. May be doing the trick again soon. Are you coming to Friday lunch at Castle today?
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/29/02 02:46 PM

Yah, came to lunch, stood around an hour and discovered they ran out of Turkey and the Castle was CLOSED. ARgh... :eek:
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Postby C Howell » 12/27/08 03:16 PM

I agree that in this case knowing in advance doesn't diminish the power of the effect. I've been bewildered actually through the years how much lay audiences talk about this piece. Even if they know what will happen, the interest leading up to the point of restoration all depends on what you draw the audience's focus to: for instance, why not use Anderson's clean technique to make the whole premise that you intend to accomplish this famous feat without ever letting the newspaper leave their site? By framing the performance in this way, they know what happens in advance, and you have the bonus of sending them away with having put the words in their mouth they'll use to tell people about it... "And he did it without ever taking it out of our site." ... I'm slightly off the original point of this thread, but I hope this is of use.

Cheers,
Christopher

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Postby Roland » 01/05/09 02:40 AM

Does anyone have experience using the Mason method?

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