I recently was involved in a discussion about the various versions of the torn and restored newspaper. I would imagine that most everyone reading this blog has a favorite. Personally, I prefer Gene Anderson’s classic method for normal situations and Osterlind’s Signed Torn and Restored for those very special occasions – if the venue is conducive. I have a friend that swears by the Elmsley version and, I must admit, it looks great.
We also discussed the various no tear versions and quick reset versions like the Bauer and Baxt variants. From my perspective, these are just poor imitations and you are better off not doing a newspaper tear than using these. I know, I know they reset so quickly and the Anderson tear is so much work. Yeah it takes some time in preparation and more practice than most realize, but don’t you want to give your audience your best?
I’ll bet the last time you were REALLY fooled, it was by someone like Tommy Wonder that never let difficult preparation get in the way of the final effect. Why were magicians paying $100 each to see a performance of the Hooker rising cards? Most people like to be fooled and, to extrapolate from Leipzig – they like to be fooled by a gentleman that made the effort to make sure it happened.
Good magic is hard work – there’s no way around it. If we’re going to be magicians, we’ve got to be willing to pay the price.
The alternative is bad magic or we can go to the joke store and load up on plastic poo, joy buzzers and whoopee cushions and be the life of the party. This is especially appealing if you wear humorous pants and do lame insult lines.