This powerful yet simple trick will be a great way to entertain the crowd and solidify your magical presence. You will convince them you have the strength of the gods and the magical abilities of Houdini with this simple yet crowd pleasing trick. It also works great as a lead in to a more difficult trick.
Now you've got the whole crowd's attention. You explain that you have recently had a vision, and the ghost of Hercules has loaned you his incredible strength for a time. And that you have decided to use his borrowed strength to entertain the crowd rather than for personal gain. The more you boast, the more they disbelieve. Surely you are making this up. You produce a pack of ordinary cards. You shuffle them a few times to prove they are a normal pack of playing cards. You call on the strength of the gods one last time, and then easily tear the cards in half, throwing them in the air. The crowd is stunned, and you are a hero. The men will wish they were you, and the women will wish they were with you.
Of course, this is an illusion, and here's how to do it. The deck will need to be set up before hand, so that it looks normal to the untrained eye, but is much weaker so you can easily tear it in half. You can do this a couple ways. The first way is to take a straight razor, and cut every other card halfway across. Make sure the cards are all lined up, so that the cuts are all in the same spot. They will shuffle the same, but with every other card pre cut, you can easily tear them.
Another way to prepare the deck is to heat the cards in an oven. This will make them more brittle, and much easier to tear, but won't change their appearance significantly. Another way to prepare the deck is to take every other card, and fold it back and forth a number of times. You'll have to be careful that each card has been folded in the same spot, otherwise they will be difficult to tear.
This trick works best when you are in the middle of a few other card tricks, although you don't really need to do it that way. It would just appear strange if you were to suddenly talk about tearing a deck of cards in half, and then not be able to do any tricks afterward. You're friends might think it a bit odd if you simply produced a deck of cards, tore them in half, and then started talking about sports or something.
And as with any other trick the way you build this up will have a significant impact on how impressed people will be. The more entertaining a story you can tell, the better response you'll get from the crowd. Psychic energy, ghosts from the past, channeling strength from aliens are all great ways to introduce this trick, and to get people's minds off the obvious fact that the deck has been set up. For best results, fling the cards in the air after you've torn them up. This will be much more impressive, and will be a great distraction for whatever the next trick is that you have up your sleeve. Have fun.
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