Thursday, January 05, 2006

Disappearing Water

I've always been fascinated by magic acts. I decided yesterday that I'd figure out how to make water disappear. So while at a friend's going away party I "performed" the trick.

It's a simple script. Since I'd never done it before an audience (there were about 15 of us), I could use the excuse that I may not get it exactly right.

I started with three red plastic cups. One cup, full of water, was handed to me by someone in the audience. That way no one can claim it was some trick water or something. I asked for a volunteer from the audience. What better candidate than the one going away? Iko was a willing subject.

I asked her to show her cup to the audience, while I did the same. Next, I received the cup of water and dumped it into a second cup, the volunteer's cup. Next I dumped it into my own cup and placed a 4x6 flash card over the top. Then I inverted the cup holding the card very tight against the lip of the cup which was now upside down.

I asked my volunteer to hold the cup on her head very tightly. She was very obedient. She did so. It was at this point that things got a little crazy. I'd forgotten where I had put the directions for the next move. I checked my pockets and looked down at the floor. Finally I noticed a 4x6 card sitting on my volunteer's head. I yanked the card out from under the cup and acted as though I was reading it.

Next I lifted the cup from the volunteer's head and presto, the water was gone.

They were amazed. I was too.

Next time I can't act so amazed, I think it scares the audience.

This all reminds me about a disappearing trick I did back in the early '80s. The shot above was actually a double exposure. First I cut out a piece of cardboard in a circle. Then I cut the circle in half. Next I took two shots; one with me in the chair and the cardboard filter hiding the lower half. Then I took a picture without me in it.

Fun stuff.

You know what a camera is? A mirror with memory.