The Vanishing Glass
A glass is covered by a large silk or a piece of cloth. It is picked up by it's rim, still covered, and thrown into the air. The cloth floats to the ground, but the glass has vanished.
Amazing? So it appears. This trick will work great both on the small stage, or in the parlor. It is great for kids' shows as well as family magic programs.
All you need for this effect is a piece of stiff wire, curved in a circle the approximate diameter of the glass. Before you begin lay the wire ring on the table with three small pieces of clear adhesive tape under it, face up at three points around the rim. Mkae sure it cannot be seen from the audience.
You can allow the glass and the cloth to be examined at this point. Shake out the cloth and spread it on the table with the center over the ring. As you lift the glass to show it to the audience, or take a drink, if it's full, press down with your other hand to stick the ring to the under side of the cloth. Pick up the cloth, with the ring now temporarily attached, and carefully spread it over the top of the glass so that the wire rests on top of the rim. Now you can pick up the ring and the glass together. As you pull the cloth toward you, let the glass drop out into a ditch bag behind your magic case or table. Be sure to have a safe, quiet place for it to land before you let go. A box lined with foam rubber below the edge of your magic table or a simple cloth bag will do. Practice with a plastic glass until you are confidant of your handling.
As far as the you are concerned the "trick" is now over. The audience still thinks the glass is under the cloth because the wire ring holds the shape. Now you must make the vanish convincing. Walk forward away from the table, where the glass lies hidden, holding the cloth up high. With a sweeping gesture throw it high up in the air. The higher you throw it the more dramatic it looks and the longer it will take to fall down. You can let the cloth float to the floor or catch it on the way down and draw it between your index finger and thumb, to show that there is no glass hidden in it.
As you turn away to start your next trick, pull the taped ring off the cloth and ditch it out of sight. The cloth is now clean and can be used for other effects. I like to hand it to an audience member without saying anything while I turn away to pick up another prop. You can be sure they will take advantage of the opportunity to examine it closely.
If it is not important to you to have the scarf examined, you can attach the ring permanently. You could also glue a disk of cardboard the same color as your cloth to the cloth instead of the wire ring. Again, this will not be examinable.
I look for good magic scarves in the second hand shops. I find that a 30" square woman's scarf, with a bold border and a center design, can hide the wire ring very effectively. It doesn't have to be silk. Inexpensive rayon works just as well for this trick. Even a square of plain cotton cloth or a man's hanky can be used.
I have made myself a "glass catcher" that clips onto the back of my magic table with a spring clamp from the hardware shop. It is a black velvet bag, deeper than the glass is high, held open by a loop of heavy wire sewn into the top edge, with the two ends of the wire resting on the table. The diameter of the bag should larger than the glass, so that it drops in easily, but not so large that the glass can tip. This is especially important if you want to have the glass full of liquid when it vanishes.
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