Karrell Fox – Shoulderope

Columnist:
Karrell Fox

Magicians have been cutting and restoring ropes to the amazement of their audiences for many years. In my quest for something different with this trick, I came up with the following idea which has served me well for trade and auto shows.

To perform you need, a pair of scissors, a five foot length of magicians rope and a spectator from the audience. The spectator is standing to my right.

I remove the rope from my pocket and say, “I appreciate the fact that you volunteered for this trick, you are very nice, very accommodating and VERY BRAVE. The effect of this mystery is exciting. I tie one end of this rope around the microphone, the other end around YOUR neck and then PUSH YOU OFF THE STAGE. While dangling in mid-air, YOU ESCAPE, are you ready? You aren’t? Well, O.K. so much for the complicated version of the trick. Now, on to the simple version. I find the center of this rope (hand them the scissors) and you cut it in half.”

Here you do any one of the 16,528 moves that have already appeared in print. Just end up with the one long piece of rope with the short piece looped around its middle, only in this case make sure that the short piece is at least four or five inches long.

The spectator is still standing to your right. Move in close to them. Move the four cut ends right in front of their eyes and say, “look four ends, two pieces of rope and a ton of cultured talent.”

Your right hand grabs one end of the short rope, presses it to one end of the long rope and pulls it out of the left hand. At the same time, the left hand forms into a fist around the bunched up center of the rope and the remaining end. Move this left hand up into the air, stage whispering to the spectator to “keep their eyes on this end.”

As the left hand raises upwards, THE RIGHT HAND DRAPES THE SHORT END OF ROPE OVER THE SPECTATOR’S LEFT SHOULDER AND LEAVES IT THERE. DO NOT LOOK at their shoulder or this action while you’re doing it. Keep looking at the left hand and so will the spectator.

Rub on the center of the rope and show it restored. Next fold the rope in half, then fourths and lay the rope on their left shoulder, RIGHT ON TOP OF THE SHORT PIECE STILL LAYING THERE. Shake hands with spectator, then take the restored rope AND THE SHORT PIECE off their shoulder and replace it on the table.

The audience reaction to this trick is quite interesting. When they see the short piece on the spectator’s shoulder, and he doesn’t, they laugh. Why? Because they think that they are “getting-in” on how the trick is done. But, if you think about it, they aren’t. They still don’t know how you restored the rope, nor really where the short piece came from. They laugh because they see you put it there and take it away and he doesn’t see this. Actually you ARE NOT exposing anything, just baffling and entertaining them just like you do all the time…DON’T YOU?

“The Karrell Fox book is a beautiful book…more than that, it’s filled with first-rate material. All practical stuff which anyone can use. It is a book which I have enjoyed reading and which will be re-read many times. I’m delighted with the many clever and offbeat ideas in it. Profuse congratulations!” –William G. Stickland (Past International President of the I.B.M., author and inventor.)