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Magicians seem to love tearing and restoring newspapers since the invention of newspapers.
They tear and restore big, small, medium size newspapers. They tear and restore newsletters, tabloids, broadsheets and magazines. Often they tear and restore them whole, sometimes with a corner piece missing, sometimes with a spectator’s signature on one of the pages. In some instances, they restore the torn newspaper in several steps, slowly, and deliberately. At other times, they restore them in a flash. They even perform this trick with newspapers already torn. Think streamlining the trick!
If you want to learn different versions of this trick, and the methods of performing it, you may want to buy Ben Salinas’ DVD Torn and Restored Newspaper Illusion—The Complete Collection. He offers a smorgasbord of methods to do this trick, far more than you can use.
While we magicians may be obsessed with finding the best method to perform the Torn and Restored Newspaper trick, it looks almost the same to the lay audience. A newspaper is torn to pieces and then restored in a magical fashion.
However, among magicians, the consensus seems to be that the Gene Anderson version is the most magical looking from the point of view of the audience. That must explain why most magicians choose this version over others, even though the method for performing the trick requires a lengthy preparation and complicated process.
I am one of those magicians who love the Torn and Restored Newspaper trick, particularly the Gene Anderson version. I have researched many methods and versions, and fell in love with all of them. But I’m partial to the the Gene Anderson version. I feel it is the best worker for most performing conditions.
The latest addition to the many versions out there is Axel Hecklau’s Newsflash. It features a different tearing technique and the flashiest flash restoration ever.
While most magicians are crazy about the Torn and Restored Newspaper trick, for some reasons a few others are reluctant to perform it. Their reason? They think the trick is so transparent many lay people can see through it and come up with their own methods to do it. As a result, they claim, the trick falls short of its goal to amaze people.
I don’t know why doubts are cast on the amazement level of the Torn and Restored Newspaper trick. I perform it regularly in my program precisely because of its strong amazement factor. I wouldn’t go through the whole trouble of preparing the newspaper (an exasperating process the more often I do it) if it doesn’t fry audiences.
People figuring out that two newspapers are used? Only when the magician fumbles in his handling. I’ve seen magicians go into a convulsion when opening the newspaper to show the inner pages after the restoration.
I’ve even seen magicians not opening the inner pages—which is a mistake. Not showing that each and every single page has been restored suggests that something is hidden in the pages of the newspaper.
And of course, Joel Bauer (in his video on T&R newspaper) is right. At the end of the restoration, a magician should not crumple the restored newspaper. He has just performed a miracle. The newspaper is his masterpiece. Why crumple his work of marvel?
A painter will not crumple the canvass after he has rendered his obra maestra. A sculptor will not break into pieces the beautiful statue he has made. And an architect will not blow up the skyscraper he has just erected. But a magician will crumple the newspaper he has restored, even though it is the evidence of his miraculous work.
Well, you know why. The audience also thinks it knows why. It’s a tell-tale sign of magician’s guilt.
So you see, the suspicion that two newspapers are used is mostly encouraged by the magician himself. If he only thinks over his handling a bit, the suspicion can be avoided.