The Torn-And-Restored Card Trick

by Charles Blachly

The Magic

The magician fans out a deck of ordinary playing cards. A spectator randomly chooses a card and puts a unique mark on it with a magic marker. the magician takes the card back from the spectator, shows the card with the unique mark on it to the audience, and then proceeds to rip it apart into countless pieces. The magician squeezes the small pieces together in his hand very tightly, chants some magic words, then slowly opens his hand. "Magically," the card has been restored to its untorn state, complete with the spectator's markings on it.

The Trick

This trick requires a little pre-show preparation. The magician should make a long cut in the back of one of his pants leg. Next, he should make a similar cut in his leg and slide an extra card (with a back identical to another pack of cards) under the skin. Like most good magic tricks, the prepatory step will take some practice, but after a few times it will become quite easy. The picture shows what this should look like.

Above: The playing card can be easily concealed inside the magician's leg.

Now fo the actual presentation of the trick. The magician chooses a spectator from the audience. Next, using what ever method desired, he "forces" the spectator (I suggest the "fibbonachi double-return force") to choose a card (in our example, the Ace of Hearts, as a duplicate Ace of hearts is hidden in your leg). The spectator thinks he has randomly picked a card (but we all know better!) and proceeds to mark on it with a magic marker however he sees fit (perhaps some initials).

At this point the magician takes the marked-on card and tears it into several tiny pieces and holds them tightly in his hand. Now comes the "magic"!

Timing is critical from this point on, as one can only misdirect the audience's attention for so long. The magician now quickly pulls a meat thermometer from one of his pockets and inserts it into the ear of the chosen spectator. I suggest screaming something like "Die, Swamp-Witch!"

Time is of the essence now. While everyone is distracted with what you have just done, quickly reach through the slit in the back of your pants and pull the duplicate card out from your leg (you may have to wipe it off). Then reproduce the spectator's marking on this newly produced card using the same marker. Palm the card. Obviously, after inserting the meat thermometer into the spectator's ear, you will not have much more time to finish the trick. Now get everyone's attention again and act like you are still squeezing the card scraps. Slowly open your hand to reveal the new card, complete with the "authentic" marks of the spectator. Take a bow.

A few comments: This trick is rather interesting. Due to the nature of having a card concealed under your flesh, you may wish to use this trick as an opener; leaving it there can be painful. However, most people who try this fail to realize that they will only have a couple of minutes at most for the rest of their act after beginning the misdirection phase. In light of this, this trick actually works better at the end of a routine. As a final thought:

Misdirection is the magician's greatest friend and tool. Do not forget her power!



--Charles Blachly