Magic for Beginners
Welcome to the very first edition of the Neobook Library.
Whilst perusing the book store one fine morning with Tayene, it suddenly occurred to me: our pets get to read the books and then they mysteriously vanish before we, the buyers and legitimate owners, get the chance to! We spend good money on books for our pets, and all we get back are puffs of smoke - not even so much as a refund from the sellers.
So, I spent a small fortune gathering together a collection of novels from around Neopia and defying the wrath of Laywyerbot's secondary designated model, Copyrightbot, in order to bring the books to you.
Are we all sitting comfortably? Then let us begin...
Magic for Beginners
Blurb: A great easy to follow guide that takes you through 10 simple magic tricks to impress your friends.
Magic for Beginners is exactly what it sounds like: specialising in simple tricks to impress your friends. Unfortunately, not all pets will be suited to learning magic tricks as, in most cases, fingers ARE required.
You'll need some simple props and a cool outfit to look the part: capes are always a good look for a new apprentice. The Intricate Needlework Cape is a good choice, as the needlework on this cape is simply amazing!
Our first three tricks we're introducing is to trains agility of the fingers, sleight of hand, showmanship and a quick eye. You will need a minimum of four digits to carry this one off.
Welcome to The Jumping Band.
Props required: Plain Rubber Bands. I recommend looking in the Neopian School Supplies shop, as these ones are extra durable and made with 50% post-consumer recycled materials. They might be green, but they're actually classic brown rubber coloured. Do buy a few, as they will wear out if you're practising lots like you should be!
Just one is enough to begin practising this most simple, but staple technique. Drop the band round your pinkie and ring fingers. Make a loose fist, resting your fingertips in your palm. Pull the back of the band over the top of your clenched fist. Open your hand... and MAGIC! The band mysteriously jumps from your pinkie and ring finger to your index and second! You can then reverse it and send it back to the original fingers. WOW! Don't believe me? Try it yourself - and practise.
You'll need to master the Jumping band both backwards AND forwards to be able to attempt the fiddly Double Band Trick.
Being as you've now sussed the Jumping Band, you'll need to pick up a different coloured band to really show this trick off. You can get bands in fun pink colors! Get one out of your bag of Pink Rubber Bands, and grab one of your normal ones too.
Put your normal one in the normal place and your pink one over your index and second fingers. Clench your fist as in the last one and, exactly the same as the last trick, pull the bands over your fingers. Open your hand and KAPOWY! They've magically swapped places! You might need a few goes to get this right in both directions, but it's well worth it. Be careful you don't get too tangled up!
Cracked that one? Want something tougher? Ok. I'll help you, but first I recommend upgrading your tools of the trade to something a bit more flash as you'll need a full range of colours to really show off the Trapped Band trick. I recommend either the Fire Rubber Bands or Disco Rubber Bands as they're just super snazzy!
You can do this with just a single Jumping Band, OR go really wild and use the Double Band technique - but be warned, the risk of getting tied up has multiplied phenomenally. Make sure help is at hand - but not your hand, as that's likely to be in a bit of a twist!
To begin, put the band(s) in the Single or Double start positions - then use a third coloured band wound through all your fingertips on the same hand. Crazy! If you're stuck, you put your little fingertip inside the band. Twist it, and put your ring finger in. Twist and repeat until all fingers are wrapped inside. Continue the trick as with the originals - and good heavens! The bands jump, even though they've been trapped in by the twisted one! That's AMAZING!
By now I'm guessing your poor hands are tired out, so we'll go for a couple of simple, pre-prepared magic stunts, starting with the Multiplying Coins trick.
Props: A hardback book. A friend. Some coins.
Preferably don't use THIS book, as you might accidentally open it at this page and give the game away. Mathematics In Space is a good one, because you can pretend the mathematical power of the book multiplies the coins! Before your show, tuck some small Dubloons into the gap between the spine and the board up the edge of the book - Two Dubloon Coins are ideal, due to their size. On the night, carefully open the book at a random page and get one of the audience to count some Dubloons onto the page. Pour the coins back into their hand by tipping the book - and secretly allowing the coins in the spine to slide out! Blimey, how DID you manage that? At this rate, you'll be RICH! (Make sure your assistant doesn't make off with your money, though!)
If that was too easy, here's one similar, but a bit trickier: Instant Ice!
Props: Water. Mug. Sponge. Glue. Ice.
Get a nice big mug. My favourite is the Gruundo Mug, as the starry outside gives that extra-mystery feel. (Also comes with its own magic trick built in: When you fill it with hot water, the band appears on the side!) Glue a chunk of Natural Sponge (Also great for gentle exfoliating) inside, and add some Neatly Stacked Ice Cubes. Pour in some Bottled Water and whisper your words of magical power at it. If you have a Magic Wand, then now is the time to use it - but watch out where you point it: This magic wand doesn't do anything... unless you point it at your Neopet, in which case it will vanish in a puff of purple smoke! That would be terribly inconvenient! Anyway, in the meantime, the sponge will soak up the water, so when you pour the mug out, only the ice should fall out - looking like you have instantly frozen the water! Now THAT is COOL.
Here's another good, pre-prepared magic, especially favoured by Myncies.
Props: Banana. Blue Floss Pick.
Carefully stick the sharp point of the pick through one of the side "seams" and carefully wriggle it side to side - this will slice the banana. Repeat all the way up and try not to damage the skin. When everything is ready to go, wave your Magic Wand or do your secret Mystery Island Nimmo move and peel the fruit - revealing a perfectly sliced banana inside the skin!
The nice thing about this one is that you get to eat it afterwards - a nice ripe banana makes a lovely treat for your pet!
As we're getting into the swing of pre-prep, we'll do one more before moving onto the classic card tricks. So here goes - The Magic Necklace.
Props: String. Beads.
If you can afford them, you'll need three Oranu Beads. As these can be in the millions and some people say they could spell your doom, you might be better off breaking a cheap Green Bead Bracelet. In fact, yes, this inexpensive item is just what your Neopet wants!
Make sure the beads can fit on four thicknesses of your chosen string, not too tight, not too loose. Your pre-prep needs to be setting up your necklace.
Fold both strings in two. Thread the beads on one of the doubled up strings, then thread the loop of the other through the loop of the beaded string. Slide the bead over the "join" to hide it. Thread the remaining two beads on. Wear. You can be wearing it for the show, just be careful not to pull or catch it.
Take off your necklace, and tie a loose knot (like the start of tying your shoelaces) with the top two threads - it looks like the beads are tied in tight. Hold the beads firmly in your fist and get someone to pull the remaining two untied strings. And HEY PRESTO! Escaping beads, with no evidence of how it was done!
Alright, so you've got all that down pat, sleight of hand is no problem, you're faster than the human eye - or anyone else's for that matter. So now, now we move on to the first of the card tricks; starting with The Sticky Hand.
Again, this one will take a little prep work, so you'll need some Turbo Scissors, a Deck of Cards and an Automatic Glue Stick - the best for this kind of work, as this glue stick always stays at the perfect temperature for optimum gluing.
You need to gimmick one card, by cutting a three sided square into the middle of it. This should make a nice flap that sticks up. Glue another card to the front of it, to hide it - but don't glue the flap down!
Here comes the simple trick - show the cards face up (that way they can't see the flap) then spread them around a bit face down. Carefully grip the gimmicked card between two fingers and, as part of your shuffling them around on the table, tuck some on top of the gimmicked one. Lift them up - Abracadabra! Floating cards - spoooooooky!
The Simple Monte is also a gimmicked card trick, though a little more complicated, and a lot more impressive. For this, you'll need four cards, your Turbo Scissors and some Kau Tape as it's nice and clear. We tried taping Kaus together with this stuff, but it did not go well. Anyway. I also recommend using Darigan Playing Cards, as they're a mysterious purple and will give you that visual "edge".
To do the prep, you need to fan three of your cards, face up. Now, looking at the middle one, carefully slice off the corner that's visible. Tape the chopped off corner down in the exact same space on the bottom card, so that when you put the top card back on, it looks like there's still a fan of three cards. Now, tuck the fourth card UNDER the new "corner", so that it's concealed and fitted in the angle.
Get your randomly selected assistant to memorise the order of cards. Flip them over onto the table. Ask them what the MIDDLE card was - and gently extract your hidden card from under the folded corner - make sure to keep it face down so no-one sees. Amaze them as they've got it wrong. After all, there were only THREE cards, weren't there? Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Wow, so you've seriously impressed your audience now. So we're going to need a grand finale card trick as a high note to leave the stage.
This one needs very little preparation, but it DOES require a nice sleight of hand, so practise first. You'll need a Deck of Cards. Flip the top card over, so both ends of the deck are "Bottoms".
When it comes to this section of the show, turn the deck over so that they're face down. Let your audience member choose a card (make sure they don't see the flipped bottom one.) Whilst they're showing it to their friends and all distracted, subtly turn the deck over and let them put it back in at random. Make a big fuss about not watching where they put it. Turn your back to audience and quickly riffle through the deck to find their card - which will be the wrong way up to the rest of the deck! Turn the flipped bottom one the right way round (getting rid of the evidence!), dump the deck and give them back their chosen card!
Holy Cannoli! You're a magical genius!