magic / Family Fun / Tools & Props / Backstage Vanishing Elephant

BACKSTAGE VANISHING ELEPHANT

Backstage Vanishing Elephant

The performer offers to teach his audience how to vanish an Elephant! He displays a draped tray, a picture of an Elephant, and two boards to "cage" the elephant. He now turns his back to the audience, and performs the effect for an imaginary audience in front of him, while the real audience has a backstage view of the working. The two boards are placed on the tray. The Elephant Card is displayed, and dropped between the two cards. The Cards are then removed, and freely displayed on both sides, to show the Elephant has vanished.
The real audience, however, have seen how the effect is accomplished, because they have seen the Elephant Card drop through a slot in the tray into a ribbon harness under the tray. However the Elephant is not visible from the front, being concealed by the drape. After some remarks to the effect that when performed with a real Elephant one would require a much larger trap on the stage than the slot in the tray, and a much stronger harness, the performer offers to repeat the effect, this time with the real audience to the front.
The two boards are again placed on the tray, and the Elephant drops between them. The boards are removed and freely displayed on both sides. The Elephant has vanished. The performer explains that there may be a few wise people in the audience who may figure out that the Elephant is behind the drape. As he says this, he turns the tray around, so that the audience can see the Elephant hanging in the ribbon harness behind the drape. If this happens, the performer continues, he has no recourse, except to use some "real magic". The tray is turned, drape side again facing audience. The performer gestures dramatically to make the Elephant vanish, then peels away the drape to show the elephant has indeed vanished. Both the drape and tray are freely shown all sides, with no trace of the elephant. (This effect was inspired by Jack Hughes' Lady Vanishes. We have made it a larger stage item, with an "Elephant" card instead of a Playing Card, and some modifications, so that the tray appears narrower than the Elephant Card that vanishes.)
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